Rock Band Community: Deep Thoughts (your feedback please!)

HMXJohnlokHMXJohnlok Harmonix Developer
edited February 2008 in Announcements
Sup?!

Over the past few months, I've seen the forums transformed from a small, tightly-knit community of excited fans into a, well, bigger, less tightly-knit yet still awesome community of excited fans. In order to accommodate this surge of growth, we want to make sure that the Rock Band forums are a place where fans can go for information and conversation.

One icky side-effect of the forum growth that we've experienced is that it has added, as Sean put it, "the slightest whiff of anarchy..."

He also mentioned that we're working on clarifying what the "rules" here are. Well, we are working on something a little bit more abstract. Of course, we'll have rules and that sort of thing, but what makes a good forum a good forum isn't necessarily more rules. When I go to a good, fun message board, what I see is a sort of an unspoken agreement amongst the community - an agreement that screams, above all else, "INTERNET: KEEP OUT."

When I see people writing, "you can expect to be flamed - it's the internet!" a little piece of me wants to
TAKE UP THE BANHAMMER
and swing it to and fro (In my mind I’m singing some sort of crazy battle-song?), all in the name of internet justice. I mean, I suppose there are *bad* things about the internet that will always be bad, but it's not so dire that we can't all commit to making the Rock Band forums a bit cozier.

Anyway, dispensing with the theatrics, I would like to know what you guys have to say. What has made the communities you've visited particularly enjoyable? Is there anything specifically you want us to keep in mind as we move forward to improve the Rock Band atmosphere?

Comments

  • Tender-SurrenderTender-Surrender Road Warrior
    edited February 2008
    Maybe a more organized Ultimate Setlist section. There really is no need for there to be hundreds of threads requesting Tool, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, GnR, etc. Same goes for all the whiney threads on DLC!

    Maybe when a topic is made for an artist, it should be merged into all other topics requesting said artist. Many flames are caused by this! Just a thought! Also some stats on most requested songs and DLC sales... just saying!
  • meltphacemeltphace Unsigned
    edited February 2008
    Tender-Surrender;306248 said:
    Maybe a more organized Ultimate Setlist section. There really is no need for there to be hundreds of threads requesting Tool, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, GnR, etc.
    agreed. not sure how this can be done, but it would be easier/clearer for everyone.

    edit: perhaps subforums for genres? also, the same 20 or 30 bands keep coming up over and over and over, dozens of threads... what if there were alphabetical stickies for those? scouring through the forum shows 50 different threads for "Pink Floyd", "System of a Down", "Foo Fighters" etc etc. if those were combined you could really get a clear idea of what people are clamoring for (and users would know where to post their requests if it involves said bands). more obscure requests would be tougher to organize, though.

    also, there could be a naming format that the thread titles must follow. band/group name only... extra details (albums, songs) can be listed in the actual posts. thread titles could be organized alphabetically; users would have a clear idea of where to post and it would make for a very organized request forum.
  • bill55bill55 Unsigned
    edited February 2008
    I think one the best things about this forum is that you (HMX) actually post and listen to feedback of the community. I can't speak for everyone, but I feel like you guys actually give a crap what we think about the game and take us into consideration when making decisions about the game, the site, and this community. DLC announcements every week is awesome and appreciated by everyone here!

    I guess that isn't really a suggestion, but more of a keep up the good work suggestion.

    On the suggestion side don't be too quick with the banhammer, but don't be afraid to use it either. Every forum has guys who come looking to argue and stir things up for no good reason. Let those people find another forum to ruin.

    Thanks HMX!
    Bill
  • Tender-SurrenderTender-Surrender Road Warrior
    edited February 2008
    Could I borrow the ban hammer really quick? :P
  • barber78barber78 Opening Act
    edited February 2008
    I think that when dealing with musical tastes, it creates debates. Some of these debates gets ugly and turn into virtual brawls. I think that people need to be more mature but i guess that would be a hard rule to implement.
    Having said that, I think this forum has been my most enjoyable forum experience. Maybe cause I love the game so much, but also I think for the most part, the fans of the game all seem to have a nice sense of commadarie among each other.
  • kcwcmankcwcman Unsigned
    edited February 2008
    One of the things that did bug looks like it is being fixed. I do check the boards every Monday to find out what the DLC is going to be, but it was really no fun reading "Nothing for me this week" or "I love that one" that showed up with each DLC notice. I like the fact that you are going to start locking the thread after posting the songs because I really don't care who doesn't want to buy the songs or who does. I really only care if I want to buy the songs and I usually don't care to post that information because I don't care if someone likes the songs I buy or not.

    Also I'm not a big fan of the BANHAMMER, but sometimes it is needed. Some discussions are quite interesting to read but when things get to the point of people saying "You're stupid for liking ...." or worse, it is probably time to step in and lock the thread and too many of those flame comments should get a person banned. If it is constructive feedback that is one thing but straight out attacks should not be tolerated. I'm not saying it is an everyday occurence because I don't visit that often, but I have seen a couple of posts like that.

    Other than that, keep up the good work. It does seem that a good relationship has developed between most of the RB fans and the game developers.
  • Johnny Go-TimeJohnny Go-Time Unsigned
    edited February 2008
    Re: Setlists
    Rather than a million posts of "I want band X", how about something similar to an ongoing poll where everybody can submit songs and then give thumbs up/thumbs down. One vote per song per account. Then over time you'd see the popular stuff bubble to the top. Remove a song from the list when it gets included in Rock Band.

    Re: Anarchy
    Let users promote/demote posts, and set a minimum "quality" level of posts they want to see. See Slashdot for one means of executing this.

    How about a more stable & comprehensive list of available/upcoming songs where you pull together all DLC announcements. Why would you want us to have to go to Wikipedia to learn about the March songs announced in OXM? PS: You'd want to disable user responses to such a page and leave that for the forums...

    Have a forum filter to show only responses by HMX staff and/or moderators. Ex) I don't care about the 50 different ways people have asked "why is 'Ten Speed' a cover", but I do want to see the one official response (if there is one...I wouldn't know because there was too much noise-to-signal in the "weekly DLC" thread!)

    Re: Moving Forward
    Leverage your connections to star power and get some celebrities to post their favorite songs to play, what songs they want to see, what level they play on for each instrument, etc. See AICN.com's first Q&A with Sylvester Stallone for what kind of effect this has on a forum community.
  • SmashManSmashMan Rising Star
    edited February 2008
    I'll agree with having the developers of the game posting here makes it more worthwhile than just a random bunch of us arguing or speculating. I'm a member at OperationSports, and hang around the MLB 08 The Show boards most of the time. There's a few of the developers there and they answer tons of questions and are just really hands-on with that part of the fanbase; and it just helps communication.

    Having developers on forums is great because we like to know that we're being heard in our complaints.

    --

    What would clear up the ultimate setlist board is either splitting it up into a bunch of sub-forums for different genres...or having HMX make a post with a list of bands that likely won't be in. I know you never say never, but obviously some bands just aren't going to sign on for this. Letting people know might slow down some of the posts.

    Also, there's a lot of arguing about what is and what isn't right for Rock Band. Someone'll request a country song, and ten others will throw the "It's called ROCK band" rebuttal. Just a HMX post with something like "We WILL consider all genres of music, country included." might slow down some of the arguing over that.
  • gardzgardz Opening Act
    edited February 2008
    love most of the board, especially now that the Canadian "issues" are basically gone, so no more "poor me I'm Canadian" (which I AM) vs. the "shut up, you shouldn't have driven the 3km across the border to buy the game, you should've waited an extra month...etc.." stuff that really made this board a pain for a while. I'd like to see a better organized DLC request section, and I'm glad you'll be locking the DLC announcements thread. I wouldn't mind seeing specific threads somewhere on each song to share ideas on how to beat the song, what makes it a fun/annoying song, etc. Whatever happens, just keep on providing a great place to discuss an amazing, diverse game (who woulda thought we'd see the B-52s and the Monkees?) and some great music!
  • LinkStrifeLeonhartLinkStrifeLeonhart Road Warrior
    edited February 2008
    Nice to see that a tight-knit community is a priority! I can't wait to see that come to fruition.

    I like this place quite a lot, and perhaps the only problem to me is when things turn uncivil and go straight to insults. It's just poor etiquette in my opinion. Otherwise, I like to see what other musical tastes the members have. I've checked out quite a few bands because other people suggested them in the Ultimate Setlist section.

    It's just my two cents, but maybe some more community events. Like that one to send stuff over to Harmonix. I really dig that and I think more things like that would increase the closeness of the community. Also, maybe a sorta rival thing to go on. I don't know how it would work or how to explain it.

    Either way, I'm loving the game and the community!
  • omaplataomaplata Unsigned
    edited February 2008
    Basically, you are going to make this board a place where people can kiss the developer's asses and ban the people that express their concerns. Lovely.
  • Tender-SurrenderTender-Surrender Road Warrior
    edited February 2008
    omaplata;306353 said:
    Basically, you are going to make this board a place where people can kiss the developer's asses and ban the people that express their concerns. Lovely.
    Let's start with you. That is not what he said at all. He said he doesn't like using the banhammer. I think they like the feedback, there was no need for this comment though.
  • HMXJohnlokHMXJohnlok Harmonix Developer
    edited February 2008
    Thanks for weighing in!

    A couple of comments:

    -It looks so far that the Ultimate Set List forum could use a bit of a redesign or face-lift? I haven't decided yet whether I like the song request tool, or the more personalized threads in there more. They are both useful and needed I think, but so far there are some interesting ideas for the set-list forum. Keep them coming.

    -Dev-tagging (being able to quickly find dev posts in threads, etc.) is something I'm pushing for, since it's something that I actually look for when I'm on other sites. We'll likely see it sometime in the future.

    Interesting stuff so far, thanks!
  • barber78barber78 Opening Act
    edited February 2008
    omaplata;306353 said:
    Basically, you are going to make this board a place where people can kiss the developer's asses and ban the people that express their concerns. Lovely.
    What's the matter with you?
  • HMXJohnlokHMXJohnlok Harmonix Developer
    edited February 2008
    omaplata;306353 said:
    Basically, you are going to make this board a place where people can kiss the developer's asses and ban the people that express their concerns. Lovely.
    Nope. It's about tone - not content. You can get away with saying a lot of things in life. Yes, there are some taboo subjects, but for the most part, it's not what you say, it's how you say it.

    Some things we're looking to be able to do:
    -Keep information in places where people can find it (a la dev tags and that sort of thing)
    -Keep internet attitude out of here. It's okay to be upset - it's not okay to be insulting to other fans.

    I'm not sure why you would jump to that conclusion.
  • NitaraNitara Opening Act
    edited February 2008
    Seriously I have given up on these forums. I joined just to post about DLC. The developers obviously cannot select some of the more popular songs from bands to add to Rock Band. Which is a shame because the game is so much fun to play. But realizing posting on the ultimate setlist area is just a way to believe you are being heard by the developers.

    I just come here to check and see if they announced next weeks DLC and then leave if they have or havent. I have given up on seeing the more popular bands and songs from those bands.. As someone else stated I have gone back to playing Guitar hero 2 and Guitar hero 3 for the more popular songs from real rock bands. Hopefully Harmonix will soon give a reason why some of the most coveted songs in the Guitar hero series has not made it to Rock Band.
  • HMXJohnlokHMXJohnlok Harmonix Developer
    edited February 2008
    LinkStrifeLeonhart;306351 said:

    It's just my two cents, but maybe some more community events. Like that one to send stuff over to Harmonix. I really dig that and I think more things like that would increase the closeness of the community. Also, maybe a sorta rival thing to go on. I don't know how it would work or how to explain it.

    Either way, I'm loving the game and the community!
    We actually have some events planned for some time down the road, too, so stay tuned!
  • edited February 2008
    While I don't agree with omaplata, I think we need to ensure that we're keeping varying points of view in the forums w/o resorting to over the top name calling or personal attacks on taste. I'm fine with removing comments from the DLC list as long as there is an associated official post that you guys track for feedback on the dlc. Not everyone is going to like the choices every week (nor should they) but a poll would be a good gauge as to how your core audience reacts to the choices made when releasing songs. I see many posts from members saying "if you don't like it, don't buy it". I understand that but we still need to have a place for discussion to see how things rate overall, especially over time. As you guys know, any good company needs quality feedback to keep improving products and offerings.

    Another thought would be some insight from HMX at release time as to why certain songs were picked from the respective artist. Not to justify it but rather to show the line of thought involved. I wouldn't care if it was due to a personal favorite, group vote, rights issue, etc, but it would help clear up confusion/topics over how the choice was made.

    Overall, you guys are awesome and I have permanently made the switch from GH to RB. Keep up the good work, look forward to in helping anyway I can so that you can make the best product out there!!!
  • omaplataomaplata Unsigned
    edited February 2008
    HMXJohnlok;306370 said:
    Nope. It's about tone - not content. You can get away with saying a lot of things in life. Yes, there are some taboo subjects, but for the most part, it's not what you say, it's how you say it.

    Some things we're looking to be able to do:
    -Keep information in places where people can find it (a la dev tags and that sort of thing)
    -Keep internet attitude out of here. It's okay to be upset - it's not okay to be insulting to other fans.

    I'm not sure why you would jump to that conclusion.
    To me your initial post read as if you stirred the pot within this community you are going to be watched or banned. A person can't come here ever and express their opinion on issues with this game without being jumped on by 40 different Shiny Happy People. I have invested a lot of money into this game (yes, I understand nobody put a gun to my head, save it) and I would like to express my concerns to hopefully have them addressed by the developers. If we were to keep the status quo on everything in our lives, nothing would ever get better. This game is great, my favorite of all time. But there are many things that seem fixable and you guys never address them here.
  • PyrettablazePyrettablaze Opening Act
    edited February 2008
    It is going to be extremely hard to get the perfect community. Prior to the game being released you not only had people that liked the Rockband game but they LOVED it(as lil jimmy would say).

    After that, you have people that are angry with the game mixed with people that love the game fighting each other about one thing or another and then you have those that are just completely upset because of the complete lack of Godsmack songs being added to the DLC.
  • SayburrSayburr The Always Informative Rock Band Forum Guru
    edited February 2008
    In looking at the Rock Band sub-forum the most talked about subjects are DLC and Modded items... If those two items could be moved to new subforums it might clear some things up. Maybe if the DLC forum is seperate the "Where is Who's Next and the Dead" will not fall off the front page as fast and we will not have a new posting asking the same question every-other day.

    The Ultimate Set-list forum is a mess, I have looked in there and posted a few times, but for the most part you see the same things being requested each day in a new post. I actually thought about going through it and making a comprehensive list, but talk about some major work to do that and I am sure if I went through the trouble it would be on page 3 in a couple of hours.

    I am afraid I was not here prior to the release of the game, never thought I would be one of those people who found enjoyment in playing it. Never played guitar hero, this is my first music game. So, I regret not being here from the start because it sounds like you had some great conversations. Alas, I am afraid those days are long gone, because you now that the infux of people like me who are hopping on the Rock Band Wagon later in the cycle and with the game already developed there is not much to talk about that is new and exciting other than songs that are being released or that we hope will be released. So, what can be done about this? Let us know what you are working on... long term plans and thoughts... that would give us something to talk about. I mean, what exactly is the Stage Kit and how does it work?

    Anyway, the forums are not that bad as they are concidering you have all us new people coming in and taking over, changing the culture, and rapeing the old ways.
  • Etapi1000Etapi1000 Opening Act
    edited February 2008
    HMXJohnlok;306370 said:
    Nope. It's about tone - not content. You can get away with saying a lot of things in life. Yes, there are some taboo subjects, but for the most part, it's not what you say, it's how you say it.

    Some things we're looking to be able to do:
    -Keep information in places where people can find it (a la dev tags and that sort of thing)
    -Keep internet attitude out of here. It's okay to be upset - it's not okay to be insulting to other fans.

    I'm not sure why you would jump to that conclusion.
    omaplata;306390 said:
    To me your initial post read as if you stirred the pot within this community you are going to be watched or banned. A person can't come here ever and express their opinion on issues with this game without being jumped on by 40 different Shiny Happy People. I have invested a lot of money into this game (yes, I understand nobody put a gun to my head, save it) and I would like to express my concerns to hopefully have them addressed by the developers. If we were to keep the status quo on everything in our lives, nothing would ever get better. This game is great, my favorite of all time. But there are many things that seem fixable and you guys never address them here.
    I would have to agree with HMXJohnlok in that content is not really an issue, it is tone.

    There are so many posts in the forum right now where the posters are downright rude, crude and insulting. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but put it across in a civil manner people. A good example is Omaplata's post above. He got his point made in his reply in a civil and constructive manner.

    That is one of my biggest concerns right now, the other was addressed by and earlier post that the forums really need to be cleaned up and reorganized some. We have too many posts overlapping on the same topics and it would help to have a better way of straightening them out.
  • HMXJohnlokHMXJohnlok Harmonix Developer
    edited February 2008
    Sayburr;306408 said:
    Let us know what you are working on... long term plans and thoughts... that would give us something to talk about. I mean, what exactly is the Stage Kit and how does it work?
    Hopefully we will be able to talk about some of these things more in the future. A lot of the time, however, the marketing plan doesn't exactly parallel with the demands of the community. There will be times our hands are entirely tied, but for the times where they are not, we will try to be as forthcoming as we can be.
  • Tender-SurrenderTender-Surrender Road Warrior
    edited February 2008
    Nitara;306371 said:
    Seriously I have given up on these forums. I joined just to post about DLC. The developers obviously cannot select some of the more popular songs from bands to add to Rock Band. Which is a shame because the game is so much fun to play. But realizing posting on the ultimate setlist area is just a way to believe you are being heard by the developers.

    I just come here to check and see if they announced next weeks DLC and then leave if they have or havent. I have given up on seeing the more popular bands and songs from those bands.. As someone else stated I have gone back to playing Guitar hero 2 and Guitar hero 3 for the more popular songs from real rock bands. Hopefully Harmonix will soon give a reason why some of the most coveted songs in the Guitar hero series has not made it to Rock Band.
    This game has only been out for 3 months, and it is still relatively new. You cannot count out having "popular" bands in the game, when they release DLC weekly. Who is to say, besides HMX, what is in the pipeline or not.

    I am going out on a limb saying this, but it is possible they have secured some of the "popular" "real rock" band's songs, and are in the process of converting them to DLC. I am pretty sure creating note tracks for songs take longer than most people seem to think. I would also think they are in the process of securing other bands that people want. Remember licensing music and all that is not always, or ever, a simple process. Some of the people on this board just think it is similar to downloading an mp3.

    If your definition of "real rock" is what is in Guitar Hero II and III, then that is your opinion. I think all the Guitar Hero games and Rock Band are full of "real rock".
  • bill55bill55 Unsigned
    edited February 2008
    It seems like most of the arguing and negative talk revolves around DLC.

    It may or may not at all be possible, but perhaps (I could be WAY wrong)....

    1.) if we knew why songs were selected it would cut down on the arguing of why a certain band's song was picked over another band.

    2.) if we knew why we're set on 3 songs per week.

    3.) why some bands get packs and others get single tracks.


    I know that info may no be available to share, but I really think a lot of the arguing around DLC selection could be cut down in a big way.

    Thanks,
    Bill
  • SayburrSayburr The Always Informative Rock Band Forum Guru
    edited February 2008
    HMXJohnlok;306421 said:
    ... for the times where [our hands] are not [tied], we will try to be as forthcoming as we can be.
    Believe me, I understand that. I am a financial analyst for a health system in East Tennessee. There are things that I know that I just can't tell anyone as it is related to marketing. That is the nature of business. What I was trying to say was there just is not as much to talk about or speculate about as there was prior to the game's release.
  • JoatmonJoatmon Rising Star
    edited February 2008
    I would like to see some form of seperation between PS3 & xbox, well, & wii too I guess, I don't like having to decipher if what I am reading regarding (insert issue here) is about PS3 or xbox, I also don't like wasting my time reading through the flames that happen because of it. On forums similar to this one with cars for example, they have them broken down by models or years of the same car so that people with very similar situations can congregate without weeding through the chaff that doesn't apply to them... Along that same line, I would like to see the Console under the persons name as well, like right under where it says member, senior member etc? You can still of course have wide open areas for all, like band discussions, dlc etc....

    Also a way to pick which forums you want to read when you hit "new posts", again a way to filter out what I am not interested in, like I would want to see "announcements" & "PS3 Issues (if it existed, hint hint)", but I have no interest in "album reviews" or "xbox issues", does that make sense?

    I would also like a more visual, open process of some sort for suggesting DLC and seeing what is actually on the drawing board/being considered in real time...

    Basically, more efficiency in what I come here for, I hate to burst your bubble, but this site is not the ONLY thing I do all day, I want to come here for information, I DON'T want to read, whining, flaming, console issues that don't relate to what I own, and the same old thread about the same old thing named something else (dlc for example).

    Otherwise, keep up the good work!
  • NitaraNitara Opening Act
    edited February 2008
    Tender-Surrender;306432 said:
    This game has only been out for 3 months, and it is still relatively new. You cannot count out having "popular" bands in the game, when they release DLC weekly. Who is to say, besides HMX, what is in the pipeline or not.

    I am going out on a limb saying this, but it is possible they have secured some of the "popular" "real rock" band's songs, and are in the process of converting them to DLC. I am pretty sure creating note tracks for songs take longer than most people seem to think. I would also think they are in the process of securing other bands that people want. Remember licensing music and all that is not always, or ever, a simple process. Some of the people on this board just think it is downloading an mp3.

    If your definition of "real rock" is what is in Guitar Hero II and III, then that is what your opinion. I think all the Guitar Hero games and Rock Band are full of "real rock".
    Look this week is a perfect example. They select the B-52's but pick one of the more obscure songs. Roam is not bad but when the could have chose any of the more popular B-52 songs they dont.

    Kiss, god how I love kiss. But of multitude of Kiss songs they could have chosen, they chose Dr Love. Again not one of the more popular songs. I think Harmonix can't get the rights to the more popular songs that the Guitar Hero series has got.

    I mean it is a crime that Guns and Roses is not in the game at all. Anyways I am only defending my position that Harmonix is either unable to or is not giving us the best song selections on purpose. Take your pick.

    I can go on and on about what has been put up for DLC so far and even the bands I do not like, the songs that were selected for DLC were not even there most popular. There are a few exceptions but not many.
  • golfstromgolfstrom Unsigned
    edited February 2008
    I agree ‘Your Ultimate Setlist’ could use some more organization.

    And if there could be a separate 'Whining about DLC' forum (and I'm being completely serious)…because the amount of random/out-of-context whining across all the different forums is truly breathtaking; e.g. that guy who came into this thread to whine.

    Perhaps HMX could post some thoughts about why each song was selected (“Toad was a really underappreciated band from the 90s”; “innovative drum and guitar on this one”; “everyone in the office made out to this song in college”) – I think that would pre-empt a lot of the criticism and sort of get HMX’s musical chops out there.
  • HMXJohnlokHMXJohnlok Harmonix Developer
    edited February 2008
    Joatmon;306449 said:
    I would like to see some form of seperation between PS3 & xbox, well, & wii too I guess, I don't like having to decipher if what I am reading regarding (insert issue here) is about PS3 or xbox, I also don't like wasting my time reading through the flames that happen because of it. On forums similar to this one with cars for example, they have them broken down by models or years of the same car so that people with very similar situations can congregate without weeding through the chaff that doesn't apply to them... Along that same line, I would like to see the Console under the persons name as well, like right under where it says member, senior member etc? You can still of course have wide open areas for all, like band discussions, dlc etc....

    Also a way to pick which forums you want to read when you hit "new posts", again a way to filter out what I am not interested in, like I would want to see "announcements" & "PS3 Issues (if it existed, hint hint)", but I have no interest in "album reviews" or "xbox issues", does that make sense?

    I would also like a more visual, open process of some sort for suggesting DLC and seeing what is actually on the drawing board/being considered in real time...
    Delineating posters/posts/forums between consoles is interesting but also a bit dangerous I think. Segregating the versions of the game might actually serve to alienate people.
    Joatmon said:
    Basically, more efficiency in what I come here for, I hate to burst your bubble, but this site is not the ONLY thing I do all day, I want to come here for information, I DON'T want to read, whining, flaming, console issues that don't relate to what I own, and the same old thread about the same old thing named something else (dlc for example).
    Yep! I'm thinking that making this information as accessible as possible, as well as filtering the tripe is beneficial to everyone - the forum enthusiasts and those who come checking for updates.
This discussion has been closed.