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Polling PvP Updates

There's quite a lot of talk about PvP and polling, and it hasn't gone unheard. We've been discussing player perceptions, we've been looking at polling behaviour, and in this blog we're going to talk about some of the considerations that we need to make before any decisive action can be taken.

PvP Related Polls
 

For a long time, the PvP community has been troubled about the performance of PvP content in polls – in particular, there are concerns about ‘spite voting’ by PvM players.

Only one reward passed from the recent LMS rewards poll, and it was not aimed at PvP players. In the same poll, results ranged from as low as 42% to as high as 76% support. This would suggest that the vast majority of players are properly considering the impact of each poll question on the game rather than voting no because they don't like PvP. However, we understand that it’s frustrating for PvP players when so many rewards designed for them consistently fail to pass.

We can see how players vote relative to their in-game activity (PvM, PvP, Skilling etc.). However, we can't determine why they vote the way they do. If a PvM player votes no to a PvP suggestion, there's no way to tell if they did it out of spite or whether they genuinely believe it’s what’s best for the game.

A common suggestion from the PvP community is that only those who engage enough in PvP are allowed to vote on its content. This idea raises a number of issues, but we're keen to discuss it further.

The polling system enables you to choose which content affects your Old School experience. We recently made gameplay changes to LMS without a poll because they were overwhelmingly popular with LMS players and didn't affect anyone outside of the minigame. Conversely, the LMS rewards were polled because they affect everyone. To standardise decisions like these, we're considering writing a polling charter which makes clear what we poll, what we don't poll, and why (with clear reference to past precedents).

Similarly, we could restrict PvP content in a way that would only require them to be voted on by PvP players. For example, PvP equipment could be limited for use on PvP worlds and the Wilderness in Bounty Hunter worlds only. This would allow any non PvP player to avoid any interaction with them if they choose. But, if any such items were tradeable, they would still affect the flow of gold through the Grand Exchange on all worlds. So is it okay if only PvP players get to vote on them?

What we would like to know is where the community draws the line. Additionally, we're interested to hear how you would decide who qualifies for such a vote.

A PvP Council
 

We've worked before with cabals of expert players and delivered various changes based on their recommendations. We could consider convening PvP Councils to do something similar.

An official PvP Council, however, would require a more thorough selection process with many questions to answer:
  • Do they merely suggest content for us to consider, or do they decide what is polled?
  • Do their decisions get to bypass the polling system?
  • Who selects members of the council and how?
  • How do we ensure every type of PvP player is fairly represented?
  • How should the council be moderated to ensure the game's best interests are at heart rather than personal ones?
  • Is the council a permanent feature?
It is also worth noting that this would be a large project to organise and manage. To be worth pursuing, we'd need to be confident a council would achieve what the community wants. We have reached out to our industry peers with experience in player councils to share information about how something like this might be structured.

In the meantime, we're confident that bringing the best possible designs to the polls will affect the results positively. We are laying the groundwork for a discussion platform between ourselves and the PvP community on Discord. All types of PvP players will be included to allow us to get a holistic view of what the community wants. We'll also be able to gauge the PvP community's opinion on competitive play and eSports.

We know some of you feel that your suggestions go unheard, and while this isn't the case (using your feedback we've made PvP changes almost every month this year), we know there's room for improvement. A place for the PvP community to interact with us directly, along with clearer organisation of ideas, is the first step.

It will take some time to invite PvP representatives and organise them into groups. This is a long-term vision for improving our communication with the PvP community, so it’s important that we get it right.

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