GM Week - Day Six Review!
Hey pilots! GM Stardust here with the penultimate daily review of GM Week!
Here's a look at some of the goings on from day six.
A Spider’s farewell.
The GM Formerly Known as Spider held a farewell party for his GM Name in Amarr yesterday, insisting it got a proper Viking sendoff (not entirely sure the Vikings had fireworks… or spaceships for that matter, but whatever).
You can see a shot from the celebrations above. We call these explosions: Tears of a Spider.
The naming competition is still open, so make sure to cast your vote, it’s a really tight race (lol).
Liaising with Development
If we learned anything during the Reddit AMA we held last Wednesday, it is that at least some people are interested in the workings of the CS department, so Lead GM Lelouch took some time to write about one of the most important aspects of GM work: Liaising with the developers.
Hey all, Lead GM Lelouch here to tell you how we in Customer Support work with the EVE development department.
While a GM's core responsibility is answering tickets, we are also involved in many other tasks / projects which either directly or indirectly contribute to improving our standard of service; one of the most important of which is liaising with the developers. This project has evolved considerably over the years and we currently have GMs embedded in each active feature team.
There are many benefits to this arrangement. I consider the following to be the most important:
- Document new features (and iterations for current features). This is to ensure the GMs can support them!
- Follow up on bugs, exploits and other live issues with the Devs.
CS feedback provided during design process - Potential future issue mitigation.
On top of that, there's also constant communication between Customer Support and the Developers. The GMs attend their team's daily standup meetings to keep abreast of what's happening with the development of the game and keep the devs informed of emerging trends in tickets. Important developments, if any, are then communicated daily to the Game Masters so we are all well informed of what's going on.
Let’s expand a bit on the main benefits we've seen from embedding GMs in the Development departments.
EVE is a complex game with a notoriously difficult learning curve and supporting the game can be quite a challenge! GMs embedded in Dev teams are required to be experts on features released by their team and to ensure all GMs are aware of how exactly these features work, the liaisons create internal documentation for the GMs well before release day.
With new features come new GM tools; another important documentation task is detailing usage instructions for these tools. This documentation forms the base of our internal knowledgebase for GMs.
The GMs are often the first to hear of new bugs as they are reported to us in support tickets. In our experience, the embedding arrangement has been a great contributor to ensuring urgent problems are identified and actioned with as little red tape as possible.
Our interactions with players in support tickets give us a great window into the needs of the community. We are the frontline of the company so to speak alongside the Community team, and our role is to bring a player-centric viewpoint and perspective to the table.
Based on trends in support tickets, we can for example highlight issues in the game which are not necessarily bugs, such as balancing problems.
Our ticket-investigation experience can also be applied to bring valuable insight during the design phase regarding potential future issues, such as unforeseen edge-cases which could cause problems if not addressed ahead of time.
Finally, embedded GMs are responsible for trying to anticipate potential support issues associated with new features, and what capability we'll need to sort things out if something breaks. Based on this work, support tool requests are filed to ensure we're adequately prepared to support new features.