Letter from Will Harbin about the Future of Battle Pirates

  • Zippernikkel
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Sep 2011 Posts: 790

    Maybe, just maybe it wouldn't have come to this if there hadn't been a history of cm's, mods and cs's hellbent on claiming everything was fine and the players were wrong. Guess we'll never know and one can only hope there is weight behind Harbins words...... Somehow I doubt it though......

  • jamest..jagger79
    Joined Jun 2013 Posts: 21
    i will wait and see , very skeptical of what kixtards post , been playing for 5 years and change , and like one of the players posted , i'm getting tired of the Bs , hope this time ya'll mean it,

  • BattlePirate_BlackShark
    Master Tactician
    Joined Sep 2011 Posts: 2,263
    edited 18 Jul 2018, 6:26PM
    And here we go again...with the latest update, we have got a new bug in the 61´s...if you are autoing them, your ships will
    kill all turrets and buildings...but they will stop to move after that, it seems that they cant targeting the enemyfleet.

    So with this new bug, this letter from Will Harbin is nothing as hot air!

    Do you all remember the KIXEYE "babysteps"? Two steps forwards and 3 steps backwards...the excessive update orgy will continue...
    BlackShark        Born in Sector 429

    Decoding Pirateslangword "F.A.R.M." = Foolish Amateur Reaches Midgame
  • Milo-Ant
    Incursion Leader
    Joined Oct 2017 Posts: 1,172
    So just to prove my point you put out Loins Mane campaign which unless you coin heavy or have top fleets is impossible to do
    As much as it pains me to side with kixeye, saying untruths like this is counterproductive

    Lions mane can be done FREE with Phoenix
  • dean.richardson.507
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Dec 2012 Posts: 382
    Death rattle has begun...
  • Scott Degenaer
    Scott Degenaer
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Jun 2011 Posts: 424
    Mr. Harbin... you need to read the Discussion Thread heavily posted on since the new FM began today entitled "Changes to the FM in July, August and September" THOSE ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS TALKING TO YOU!  Replacing top targets VERY few could do since they were introduced just months ago with targets that again require a complete refit.  Bugs where even in low-level targets (61s) players fleets are destroyed on auto where last week they got a few minutes damage all because players' fleets now won't target the PVE ships.  Players for years asked for a "Dry Dock Shipyard" to do just refits (which the new FM is requiring nearly a month of, only to be good for perhaps a month or two before more changes)... instead we got a "Conquest Shipyard" AND a whole raft of ADDITIONAL hulls we have to build in order to do PVP (which is what made this game fun), while becoming more and more restricted on what items can be used on what hulls, LIMITED items overrunning our lives, and more restrictions (down to a single hull) that can be used in a target.  What ever happened to diversity and strategic thinking in this game, equipping the unexpected and taking down your foe with it... in short... building that better mousetrap!  Now, if you don't have the one hull, the one build, the one armor... you are doomed.  That is not a game of strategy, it is an activity where you can only build one thing that works... where is the fun and challenge in that?

    'Freaking well said SIR!

  • Hoot343
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Nov 2011 Posts: 316
    13 pages and it all falls on deaf ears !!
  • wolf123
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Jul 2012 Posts: 3,324
    Same old mantra we hear every 'State Of The Game'
    Words are cheap 
    Give us Action!!!
    ever had  a problem where you log on and someone is hitting your base, and wanted to view the world map while it happens? try this.
    1/select leadersboard.
    2/select player's medals.
    3/select any player there.
    4/select "find base"
    that may or may not take you to world map.
  • Lady Cat
    Lady Cat
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined Jan 2015 Posts: 132
    Actions, not words. 
  • Jonathan Joseph Schale
    Jonathan Joseph Schale
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Sep 2011 Posts: 559
    edited 19 Jul 2018, 1:28PM

    May 2nd marked the seven year anniversary of Battle Pirates - a game I'm incredibly proud of. Over the years we've seen exciting new factions, incredible player tributes, and tons of emergent gameplay. But if there's one thing I've learned in my tenure, it's this:

    Complacency is death.

    Unfortunately, Battle Pirates has become a bog of complacency. A lack of diligence has allowed balance-breaking bugs to escape and go unnoticed for months. A lack of community engagement has caused us to lose touch with the speed that players can realistically progress. A lack of planning has forced the team to wildly over-tune stats, targets, and events in order to shoehorn value into new content.

    All because of complacency. Well, complacency isn’t going to cut it and it’s time for us to right this ship. So what are we doing to fix this?

    First, I’ve put a new leadership team in place. Our issues don’t stem from the talented individuals working long, difficult hours to execute on the nuts-and-bolts of the game, it’s about how we’re deploying those resources. Heading up that leadership team is our new GM, Michael Rubinelli. A State of the Game post will go up in the next few weeks in which he will discuss the long-term look for Battle Pirates. Additionally, our new Lead Designer WrongThinker will be putting up a post on Wednesday introducing himself, as well as the second part of our correction strategy, which I will now spoil.

    Battle Pirates has adopted a philosophy that dictates everything we do. It’s simple: “Players First.” Content and features will continue to ship, because that’s how the game is supported, but with every new feature, we will always ask: how does this enhance the player experience? How does this make a player’s life better? Easier? More fun? If the only answer to why we’re putting something in the game is money - I don’t want it in the game.

    Finally, we’re tripling down on our community engagement efforts. Expect to see more developer presence, more AMAs, more live streams, more unadulterated proof that the Battle Pirates team is exactly as invested in the continued success and longevity of this game as you are.

    The fact that we’re in this position is no one’s fault but our own. The time of complacency is over. You’ve shown us that you’re here for the long haul, and it’s time for us to show you that we’re here for it too.

    Long live Battle Pirates!

    Will Harbin


    To me, this is interesting.  I have been here since nearly the beginning.  I hope that this is true. I plan to stick around and see what happens in the game.  For the sake of the game, I hope this is real.  

    One thing I will say as a player who has been here a long time: I seriously dislike the constant change in the Forsaken Mission Prize Pool.  For example: You put the Charged Armors in the FM, which to me, was a good thing.  They were cheap, and since I did not have many of them, and they were necessary, I grabbed them up every week.  Then in June, you changed it and limited the number you could get and made them more expensive.  Then, with this FM update you further limited number  you could get.  Truthfully, it makes player feel that this isn't real, it just more words from Kixeye.  If you really want to make it "Player First"... consider how those changes affect the players.
    No Current Alliance... Not Looking to Join Once.

    Been here since 2011... After 9 years... I often wander ... "Is It Worth It?"
  • typhoon666
    Joined May 2013 Posts: 8

    Well there you have it Mr Harbin and Wrongthinker.

     If you want to ignore your paying customers and continue down the same path, I think it is safe to assume that  BP is finished.

    Many of us could see the increased game creep 1 or 2 years ago.

    You have squeezed and squeezed our pockets until the majority have said, " that's it enough is enough, I'm off".

     Life offers many alternatives to this game.  Your many loyal and devoted players have woken  up in large numbers to the fact that  your product  no longer offers real  value for money.

     I personally have spent many long hours and  considerable sums of money over the last few years to reach the high levels.

     I really enjoyed this game a few years ago  but over the past year I have been  questioning myself as to whether I want to carry on handing over serious sums of money to Kix just  to ensure I have the best fleets etc.

    Looking forward over the next 12 months it is unlikely Kix will be getting wads of money from my account.

    I think it will be better spent on holidays, cars and other more enjoyable games.

  • War_StalkeR
    Incursion Leader
    Joined Sep 2014 Posts: 1,244
    edited 19 Jul 2018, 5:53PM
    Am I disappointed? Yes...but not as much as 4 years ago. Do I think the words of your CEO are genuine? Probably Yes......the only way to hurt a wealthy sociopath is in the pocket and I am sure that is where he is hurting right now and that is why he is addressing us now. Do I think he will stick to the promises made? No.....once a liar always a liar, we have all learned that in life. Do I think the game will survive? Sadly no.....not with the current leadership and highly unlikely with a fresh new management team....the rot has set in and the damage done is too great.

    These words are... SO TRUE!

    Without a face, a single word, the flames of war unify
    Sundered clouds, a blooody rain, seas that fill the sky
    Capture the gods, advance the troops, fire consumes the towers
    Forge all spirits and bloodlines into the nine killing powers!
  • Mad_Scientist
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Dec 2012 Posts: 7,716

    @Reina_69 said:
    I'd be more impressed if Will Harbin would have actually taken 5 minutes to log into forums and copy/paste the message himself.  It's disappointing that we hear so little from him after all the things he's promised in the past.  

    I wonder if he'll pop back in sooner to talk about progress. What's in been, maybe 5 years since anything attributed to him has been posted here?

  • Grumpy Pirate
    Grumpy Pirate
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Nov 2012 Posts: 3,339
    There's an old adage of talk being cheap.... but it appears the illustrious CEO is so cheap he couldn't even be bothered to show himself on here and post this letter himself with a simple copy/paste (something we all know Kixeye folks love to do.) Actions speak far louder than words and right now that action plus recent general actions in game and on here drowns out any of the honeyed words being offered.

    "Complacency is death"  is the only bit of the post I wholeheartedly agree with and believe, and Kixeye have been complacent for so long that you're basically giving the kiss of life to a rasher of bacon at this point. Too little. Too late. Too bad.
  • g_b_arg
    Joined Dec 2012 Posts: 24
    read alot what peeps said here...1 of the things i'm hating is...why do i have to buy chit in the FM...that i didnt want when it CAME OUT?????...why in the hell..do i HAVE to buy a cannoneer...i didnt want it to START WITH ...im a lvl 105...i dont WANT IT...but i have to pay for it...are yall related to OBAMA?
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Feb 2013 Posts: 445
    edited 20 Jul 2018, 8:25AM
    Axel L said:
    Axel L said:
    Thanks a lot for the communication Will Harbin and I'm truly thankful for this post. Here are some of my thoughts about the post and it was definitely worth reading. Please note that I'm not an active Battle Pirates player and my main kixeye game is instead War Commander.

    Firstly, this post can be seen as an indication that kixeye has messed up and that they want to repair the damage caused. It can't be a coincidence that the unicorn himself leaves the unicorn office and writes this post. His approach to repair the damage appears to be sorting out some of the bad apples from the game team and to value the player opinions higher than previously seen.

    Secondly, it's interesting to see that WrongThinker will become design lead for Battle Pirates and his skills shouldn't be underestimated. He used to previously be a design lead for TOME and War Commander and he has also been a great advocate for communication between the game team and players. At this time, he has posted a total of 20 different WrongThinker Thinks posts which is inside communication posts about the future and he has also been a major contributor to communication on the WC and TOME forums. He has also been a major contributor to general developer to community interactions on the forums.

    Thirdly, I'm also excited to see promised communication between the BP Game Team and the players as this has been a truly successful aspect with WC. My current theory stands that the communication efforts on the WC forums was either some form of pilot project or something accidental which ended up being successful.

    For those who haven't been active on the War Commander forums, the communication between the WC Game Team and the players consists out of the following aspects.
    Focus Group meetings
    • WC Game Team members asks discusses the game and future plans related to once specific subject to a community group of players.
    • The members on the Focus Group invited to the Focus Group meetings do usually change and the information published on the meetings aren't covered by a NDA.
    • At this time, 3 meetings has been made and the topic has been monthly events, PvP and Shadow Ops for the respective meetings.
    • The meetings are more or less done to get 
    Burny's Briefing Room podcast
    • A podcast were the WC Community Manger interviews a kixeye employee and asks some frequently asked questions. At this state, 5 episodes of the podcast has been published.
    Developer communication on the public forums
    • Developers are active on the forum and discord server and answers community questions about the game. (Link to WC Discord: https://discord.gg/QNdcnxK)
    • This do also consist about state of official state of the game posts and other forms of pinned communication posts.
    Community events
    • Community contests and events other community events. One of the most recent instances was a PvP event with kixeye employees as a high value target.

    In conclusion, I'm truly excited about this post even if I cannot consider myself as a Battle Pirates player and don't forgot to not underestimate the power of WrongThinker. It could just be the case that he thinks right to the player standards. :smile:

    Regards Axel L
    Its to early to praise Will Harbin or WrongThinker.
    The damage is done with the desicions from the last months and Battle Pirate is a very complex game, so i dont expect wonders from a new
    Dev lead.

    We had excessive numbers of updates in the last months, so it is obvious, that there are a lot of problems with the programming.
    Then we have the problems with the balancing...in the PvP part and in the current raidtargets/maptargets and TLC´s.
    There is a lot of work to do, so it will not be a matter of few weeks. I am expecting the first significant improvements in the january raidformat.

    The next months will be a mess, if we like it or not.
    Like always, changes will not happen instantly and I would guess that the consequences will only truly be noticed after few months if a side by side comparison is made.
    This game and this company do not have the luxury of time. Players are leaving en masse. You are not helping this conversation. Go back to being a MOD on War Commander, we do not need their puppets coming over here.
  • Axel L
    Axel L
    Unicorn Overlord
    Joined Mar 2013 Posts: 11,060
    Axel L said:
    ... Please note that I'm not an active Battle Pirates player and my main kixeye game is instead War Commander....

    Enough said Mr WAR COMMANDER MOD. If you don't understand the extreme frustration that this games community is experiencing then go back to play War Commander. You are not adding value to this conversation. You are not welcome here.
    I contributed to this post as it's still relevant to me even if I'm not a direct BP player. The information provided by kixeye in this thread shouldn't be underestimated as it do show that the higher ups at kixeye has realized there mistakes and that they care about there games.

    By belief why the BP team got changed recently was that it wasn't successful enough with delivering quality either due to some internal issues and that there existed members in that team that wasn't passionate enough to make the game as good as it could be.
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  • Blackllllll
    Incursion Leader
    Joined May 2012 Posts: 1,125
    Must have been a poor turnout for the raid .
    There have been poor turnouts the last three raids.  They tuned up the damage too high to try to make money on coins and overdid it.

    I actually REALLY like this raid format.  It requires driving, can't be consistently autoed, and has a neat and new feel to it.  If the damage were tuned to an appropriate level it would be one of the best raids in the last three or four years.  It's hard to beat the Garrison raids of 2016, but this would be close.

    The issues, as Harbin correctly point out, stem from the failure of the Dev Team to fix problems and, I think, to *test* in the game environment.  Time and time again I and others have pointed out bugs, lags, broken things, and other crap that was shoehorned into the game without being appropriately tested.  How many times in the last two years have we seen "the update has been rolled back" or "such and such a target has been removed"?  More than any good game should.

    As another example, look at the countermeasure fix.  It was long overdue but as soon as it went out players started complaining that their boats weren't performing like they did and they couldn't do as much game work.  That's a reasonable complaint - but one that could have been avoided if the Dev Team had looked at how the new countermeasure rules would affect *actual player fleets*.  They clearly didn't look at that and had to make a fix to the damage output of the targets on the fly in the real game environment.

    And how many changes have been rolled out without fixing the core issue: player loss at level 50?  Going from 49 to 50 is a death sentence for many players these days because the hulls are stronger but the base defenses aren't any easier to get.  The TLCs bring out important and some might say necessary hulls, but the campaigns smaller players can actually do are at this point almost completely worthless.  The Mercury? Vassago's interdictor? Those are collectors' hulls at this point and worthless in the modern meta.  Even a bunch of the hulls in the foundry are now worthless - lookin' at you, hellwraith.  The Campaign system actually sets players up for failure because they spend time and gain levels on garbage.

    The game needs to re-evaluate how it prepares the smaller players to enter the big boy world, and it needs to ditch the level system.  It's time to go to a Tier system where player bases are Tiered, where hulls and fleets are Tiered, where PvP is tier-gated, and where raid targets are tier-gated (or hitdown penalties are applied based on tier rather than base level).  They already have all the data they need to make these changes, they just need to do it. I have made a suggestion in the past which, if I may be so bold, would fix a lot of the current level-based nonsense.

    Player complaints are nothing new, and in the past the team has responded - the build times of new hulls are SIGNIFICANTLY less than they used to be.  Some of you whippersnappers won't remember when hulls took a month - literally - to kit out completely.  Two days' build time for each component was not unheard of, and these were boats with three or (gasp!) four special slots and 6-8 weapon slots.  Today's builds are much shorter.  The use of the hull class system is actually good - it's realistic and while it takes away some flexibility it helps streamline build decisions.  It also helps players understand what is coming up.  I want to believe, because I love this game, that the new team can fix these issues.

    Look, credit where it is due: Harbin is trying to fix his golden goose.  And there's a chance that this could do that.  But the content has to be evaluated, top to bottom, to see where it fits and what is necessary to fix it.  This is going to take time.

    Your a Regular player LOL  You Lost me at the hit down penalty ........  That alone cost this game ten thousand player I bet . 
    My intent is to suggest that having players hit T4 raid targets with top-line builds is a problem.  I don't mind if that's wiped away, but if it is maintained it needs to be based on fleet tier, not on player level.
    Better get back to work Will gonna be looking for you .
  • suck-ma-stump
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Jun 2013 Posts: 352
    rrzehr said:
    Hey, Will Harbin, I bet you have a bridge for sale also..................................................................not buying any of this post
    will have to see it to believe it...........................almost too little , too late
    thx i just nearly swallowed my spliff laughing :D 
    Strike-force Captain
    Joined Jul 2012 Posts: 651
    lol did Venture cut off Harbins dope allowance?
    They're calling in Greenpeace...to save the vanishing whales. Greenpeace showed up, looked around, shook their heads sadly, and said it's hopeless....

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