One of the really popular pastimes on the Avenue is complaining. Is Empire Avenue going to survive or are they just going slowly down the drink? Are they spending too much time with GamrRank? Why don’t they ever reply to support tickets? Why is this or that feature broken? Why didn’t they implement that great idea that I gave to Dups? I am sure you can come up with even more, but really that is not my point today. I think that sometimes we focus on our frustration because we are passionate about this platform.
Passion is great, but there is a danger that passion blinds. I am not going to talk about my love life; even though that could provide numerous amusing examples. I am entering my tenth month; so I am neither old nor new. I am past the beginning honeymoon excitement, but I have not lost hope like some of the folks who started with the intriguing site beta. I am a bit jaded by promises not kept, but I see signs of progress on Empire Avenue. I think the road is getting smoother. I thought that perhaps recounting a few of those might provide some eye opening perspective.
1. Mission Throttling/Captcha When I started on the Avenue, I was poor! I know just like everyone else, but the only realistic way to make eaves was to do missions. I did a ton. I dreaded that random, discouraging, horrible message…”We have noticed…” I am pretty sure that what Dups meant was that he hated me and wanted me to be poor forever! Every time I was in mission time out or my own personal EA hell, there would be a fistful of really big missions that were super easy to do! I waited and stewed. I heard that it was to eliminate the scripts that harvested eaves, but I was convinced it was an evil plot to make me quit. Moving to a Captcha solution is much better and more fair. Cheers for Dups promising and delivering on this one!
2. Mission Warning to Thieves Posting a warning on the mission screen to discourage theft I am still concerned about thieving…wait…just positive stuff today…The warning seemed to have a really positive impact at first. Although it may have diminished a bit, still a step in the right direction. Cheers for the EA team. At least they understand there is a problem and seem to be looking for the right answer.
3. Dups Engagement These days we often see Dups engaging the community in FB as well as EA forums. He usually is taking a beating…why don’t folks tag him with a compliment occasionally? He keeps coming back, listening, and explaining. He even replied to a suggestion by saying thanks, but I need to see how this fits with our overall strategy, a wise answer instead of the easy one. Give Dups credit here. He takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
4. Community Redux I am a bit unclear about the big plan for communities, but I do see some differences. If nothing else, give EA credit for identifying they had a problem. They seem to be trying to clean things up a bit and getting ready for something of a relaunch. The credit here is being smart enough to realize that the real engagement was happening off site and trying to figure a way to bring it back.
5. Buy Screen Update I see some cosmetic changes in the buy screen, but the huge thing I appreciate is that it does not hang endlessly like was typical before. I am unclear if the screen or the underlying code for buying or user close or what. I really don’t care what or how they fixed it. I am smiling because I can buy stocks in the morning without waiting forever. I bet this was a big one that most folks don’t even think about now that it works. Good job EA team.
6. Leader Board Improvements I noticed some cosmetic changes to the leader boards. The indexes getting dropped saddened a few folks, but here is hoping that more meaningful boards are on the way. I am personally looking for a Share Price, Net Wealth, & Portfolio Wealth for players before their first anniversary!
7. New Awards As things have grown along the Avenue, the initial awards were left behind by the leaders. EA has done a bit of adapting…things like an award for 500,000,000 (e) in Net Wealth that I noticed on a profile I watch carefully. Let’s mark this one a hopeful work in progress.
8. New Pie This seems to be easy and required to continue to grow the game for the top of the leaderboard. Now that I have caught up a bit, I can say it is a great thing. I was worried about catching diabetes with so much pie flying around there for a few weeks. I did think it was extremely awesome that EA provided a pie upgrade to go along with the last [X]Pendapalooza event.
9. Mission Dashboard Creating a dashboard where you can see and manage all your missions is a great improvement. Fewer wasted clicks and errors in creating missions are a welcome result of this innovation. This is a great start to making missions easier to create and manage.
10. Owning the Problems In the few months that I have been around, there has been a sea change in the attitude from the EA staff. I used to see ignoring, defending, explaining, and denying as the primary communication from EA. Dups gave back eaves when he saw missions that did not act as promised. Dups owns they stink at replying to tickets. Dups restrains promises. Dups has lead this effort. It feels like a real commitment to me. I believe EA wants growth and improvement.
a. New User Onboarding I have not set up a new account; so I only have rumors on this one. I hear there are significant improvements. I notice fewer accounts without avatars; so something is better there. If that process is smoother, more folks will survive the chaos of initiation.
The Empire Avenue team is small. They seem to be listening and trying diligently. I know that everyone has a list of suggestions and concerns. I am glad to listen, but what I am really interested in today…What have you noticed in the past month or few by way of repaired bumps on Empire Avenue?