Community & Media Manager
Virtualsense Media Team
VCAT Team Member
Last year, lessons we learned from experience set a new course for us as a team. We have always had our primary focus on community, and that's how it will remain. Our communities mean a lot to us because we work in partnership with them to create the best possible experience. This means listening, engaging and learning what is working and what is not. It means making decisions that help to support and develop a cohesive community that works together for the good of all. Some decisions aren't easy, but they give us a path toward evaluating needs, wants and what's best going forward.
With the addition of Planet Toulan to our Virtualsense family, we have an even greater responsibility to both of our communities in the way of elevating experiences to the level we have set course for with regard to vision and achieving goals. The path is very well charted for both locations, and growth and expansion is very much on the agenda with some exciting things to come. We gave Toulan an economy boost with both the Sept 1st and Dec 1st VU releases, and we have an "Expect the Unexpected" big VU planned for Monria in March, but Toulan will also benefit in unexpected ways.
We created Community Initiative Programs (CIP) right out the gate in Dec 2015 that not only helped our community members, but gave them benefits they might not have gained elsewhere, like a free space travel benefit on our Yamato Mothership for shop and apartment owners, as well as our Monrian Born, and now Toulan Born players. We have community members who manage some of our programs, and others who volunteer their time to support efforts wherever they can, like our amazing Yamato Crew and VCAT teams. As we evolved with the community, adjustments needed to be made, then we also added more programs to benefit our community.
Over the past five years as a team, we've been able to support the community in many ways, and we are always looking to improve that effort. Supporting our shop owners and those who sell from shopkeepers in their apartments helps to boost the economy. With the help of Morrath, we were able to improve upon support in the way of new and improved shop inventory tools for both Monria and Toulan, but he is building a greater resource that will be even more beneficial to all. I work with many community members from both Monria and Toulan who volunteer time to work on projects that benefit both our Monria and Toulan communities. Ant recently awarded 4 Monria community members and 3 Toulan community members with the Virtualsense Volunteer Outfit in appreciation for all of their consistent and hard work.
We also spent five years developing our Monria community to be an enjoyable interactive experience where everyone shared their knowledge and game experiences that helped others to learn and be able to progress with their game efforts. The Monria chat channel was welcoming, and conducive to an environment that everyone was comfortable with, despite the occasional disruption. From the beginning we set a standard for our chat channel with rules that fostered a healthy community interaction:
- Treat everyone with decency and respect ... this includes community members and visitors alike.
- Be civil in your discussions or comments and not rude, even if you disagree with someone.
- Dropping the F-bomb in chat is not welcome, nor is profanity in general.
- Bullying, intimidation or trolling is not conducive to enjoyable community interactions.
- Topics related to religion, politics and other world affairs are controversial and invites discussions that can derail quite quickly.
- Be helpful when you can, especially with new players looking to learn how things work.
- Use the trade channel for all buying, selling and advertising and keep it out of the main chat channel.
- Here is Ant's take on our Communication Standards.
We are using the same formula with Toulan and have engaged the community to work in partnership with us to create the same kind of environment that will be more conducive to its evolution and growth. We established something that worked for our communities and we want to build on that. There will always be disruptions, but we kindly ask everyone participating in our chat channels to please be mindful of our communication standards that help foster a more workable environment.
When things become disruptive in our chat channels, it causes our regular community members to not engage in discussions. This is the last thing we want because our community members should feel comfortable enough in the chat channels to be involved in helping others and answering questions, especially from those who are new and just learning to navigate the environment. This is how we build a cohesive community that works toward the benefit of all, even if it's just sharing general experiences, because those too are learning opportunities for everyone. When the channels are flooded with too much off-topic chat or disruptive drama, those asking questions or for help are sometimes missed, and we want to avoid this.
Granted, our chat channels aren't as active certain times of the day or night, but that's true for all chat channels across the universe. However, both the Monria and Toulan chat channels are very active most of the time, and especially Toulan after we have shown the planet a little love and have given everyone more to do. Over the course of time we will show you how we plan to connect not only Monria and Toulan lore, but also how we plan to connect the two communities who will benefit from each other. The plans we have for both locations are well thought out, measured and calculated for the best results. You will see this unfold with every VU.
We do things differently, and so far it has worked for us as a team, and now for our two evolving communities. You may disagree with how we do things, but for us, it works, and all we ask is that you give respect to the fact that we are different, and make decisions that benefit not only our communities that we work in partnership with, but also us as a development team ... it would be appreciated.
Thank You ... and ... Happy New Year ... here's to some exciting times ahead.
Please continue to post your Suggestions / Feedback for both Monria and Toulan ... we do pay attention.