An Update on Creator Guidelines

I’m not an age of noobs fan, I barely know who he is. I’m a supporter of free speech however.

It occurred to me that every single AoE2 DLC after DE’s release has been involved in controversy.

LOTW: People didn’t like the new civs or the fact they were perceived overlaps with existing civs.

DOTD: This one had the least amount of controversy. The only one I can think of is a minor one with the Bohemians not using the Central European architecture set (I looked up Czech architecture on a trip and this is indeed the best set to use).

DOI: There was the whole Thirisadai situation, and the poor balance of the Hindustanis and Gurjaras.

ROR: We all know what the big controversy was.

TMR: The whole thing with the Georgians and Armenians not using a new set, which is still a super lazy decision.

VAV: Same with ROR, we all know the controversy.

It seems the new game releases and rereleases are embroiled in controversy too, but I don’t know enough about those.

:scream::scream::scream: Is mod update broken for all mods?

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Compared to later DLCs, LotW, DotD and DoI have almost nothing to blame, or way less critical.

RoR (along with Xbox version) is complete BS and is the start of a new plethora of pathing bugs.

V&V, what can I even say about it… Let’s forget it exists

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What you described are not controversies to me, just people having different opinions (I know nowadays this sounds controversial lol it tells us about the times we’re living in).
It’s really not a matter of controversy with Ror or V&V because personally to me being controversial can be a good thing, it’s also usually rejuvenating for a franchise from a purely marketing standpoint to ignite some controversy. I think aoe2 is the opposite of controversy actually, it’s playing safe to just redo aoe1 in 2 to sell it again without further updating it (aside for the Viet civ) or to sell mods while modders can’t monetise their content.
The other DLCs to me range from quite good to ok so that’s not the point either.
If you look at the ideas the fanbase has (yours too as a theorist, but especially the modders who are actively working to make them possible) they seem like the ones in charge while getting nothing out of it…
Even the Caucasus DLC basically recycled some age of mythology mechanics and they took ideas from the fan base for the Indian one for what I know.

I think people have a right to own and make money out of what they take care of like a garden, a house, a game etc. in this case Microsoft is not showing this care so they barely deserve any money imo.
They just happen to have intellectual legal property over the franchise but in a truly liberal world they won’t endure much to the fan competition.

Modders of the world unite, seize Microsoft’s means of production! No I’m being a bit over the top to deliver a point which is extremely realistic and reasonable imo. If your work is good and hard, you get the share otherwise you don’t. The rest is simply exploitation of ideas you never had.

Microsoft can revert the process anytime they want btw but they really have to, either incorporating new elements in their team or inject some creativity somehow. Otherwise it’s not free market, it’s just feudalism.

I tried yesterday and didn’t work. Basedteuton and other creators told me the same, this is what I know.

They did completely revamp AoE2 to make DE, you know. I know of no fan mod for two decades that polished the graphics pnearly as much as DE did… and has receIved many updates since launch. The fan competiton didn’t pull that off in 20 years. Not to mention the other stuff in the franchise they’ve made/done and will be doing

There is one way you can pretend DE didn’t happen and MS hasn’t done anything worthwhile to the francise the past 5+ years, go back to HD to play that instead. Something tells me you will come back to DE in no time :slight_smile:

You must hate forum rules then :sweat_smile:

Content creators have been critical of AoE games before, and they will be again. I don’t think the theory of “censorship” works here.

Certainly, we’re up to at least two forum threads on the subject. Neither are locked. If “censorship” is MS’ goal, they’re not doing a very good job of it!

You’re not addressing any of my points. Did you read what I just wrote? Of course DE did some pretty great stuff (to me all DLCs except Ror and specially this last one were ok or even better, I already wrote it), I wouldn’t be here otherwise as you said.
The point is something is going wrong and we don’t know why because of “communication issues”. Technical issues like the pathfinding worsened the game since release etc. but specially lack of novelty and ideas which is what drives a healthy (and not predatory) capitalism.

Since when people are asking new skins? A mod did it before.
Since when people were asking Indian civs? A mod did it before doi (and I guess that gave them “inspiration”).
Since when people were asking a Roman campaign? Lots of custom mods about that (mine is coming too).
Since when people are asking new architecture? Still no mod about it at least to my knowledge but who knows maybe modders will beat Microsoft at his own game again while being people who probably have little free time on top of a job (while this should be Microsoft’s job lol which let’s remember is a multimillionaire corporation, not an indie store).

Just the fact we’re discussing about modders being just vaguely able to compete with them it’s beyond ridiculous, given the means and power Microsoft has.
How many assets did they add for the last DLC at the price of 13$ (and using mod content, again good from the part of filthy cause he deserves money for his work, not good from Microsoft)?
They’re giving you crumbs and you say it’s enough… I mean, if it’s ok for you that’s it, just let others have their own opinions.

A lot of games, even in other franchises, have this problem. It will be a problem separately to whatever goes on in MS’ legal department, and it will continue to be a problem regardless of what third-party company MS contract with for an IP cash-in release.

They’re not related, other than all being linked to the same company. For example, though I disagree with the direction of the thread r.e AoN’s removal as a content creator, I agree that communication should be significantly better (across the board, I think most / all AoE games suffer right now).

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I actually think rules are very important to a community but to be literal about them is not a good idea. I was banned once because I made a joke but they applied the rule literally and… You know, you can’t be literal if you want to read sarcasm, right?

While banned I couldn’t help players who were writing to me under my mods so that was bad too.

I’m not saying he’s been censored like we’re in URSS of course but even the west is able of censorship, it’s just more subtle and marketing conscious, so to say. To censor someone on the spot would be stupid from a marketing standpoint so you gotta play it better.

I don’t know what happened to age of noobs, it just seems to me in general they’re losing a bit the plot, almost like they don’t know what to do next (except money, that’s the only thing I’m sure they want to). They have a pretty big thing by the hands which is this cult game, if you can’t handle it maybe someone can do better.
It happened with ensemble, it can happen again.
I’m not against Microsoft, at the contrary I’m here to say “wake up” or you’ll ruin everything.

I’ve been a forum moderator a bunch of times before, and imo it’s always contextual. And at the same time, moderators are humans, so mistakes will be made (I certainly made a few over the years).

But my forum rules thing was a bit tongue-in-cheek, it’s a bit different to whatever went on with Age of Noob (that we’re unlikely to get the details about regardless).

I do think this will generate negative publicity regardless or not of MS being justified, AoN being in the right, in the wrong, whatever. And yet at the same time I think MS will have expected that negative reaction. Maybe the theory about TiMi pressuing MS is true. I think it’s unlikely, but I’m not ruling it out. I just want others to keep an open mind the other way, too.

(again, not that AoN necessarily did wrong, just for folks to entertain the notion that this was done purely from a NDA standpoint, as breaches of NDA weaken all NDA-based activities for all participants)

I don’t know the details myself, my point indeed is about a principle, not the case itself.
It could be a stretch from my part to connect this to the general decay this game is going through and it could just be a coincidence but it can also be connected.
I think when you need to rely on banning, censorship or punishment it shows you’re in difficulty otherwise you just argue and win the argument (not always but at least you try to convince people). Indeed I’m not saying death to Microsoft, I think I proposed many solutions here.

I’m not very happy with how things are going but I don’t think someone can say I’m close minded, if the next DLC gets back to an ok quality per price I think most players will forgive anything bad happened before, because this game means a lot to a lot of people after all.
They just need to be more transparent, fix bugs, show they want to work hard and (from my side) implement somehow a way for modders to stand on their legs, instead of proposing DLCs like the last one (which filthy would not have needed if he could monetise his custom work somehow in a more transparent way).

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I did, sorry for misunderstanding or misinterpreting!

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First thank you for your voice! I advocate all your points.

Big +1 to this. Actually I’m already appreciating all the recent QoL features. They are pleasant surprises, despite the disastrous quality control.

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I find this entire situation beyond laughable.

For one, NDAs are not nearly as important as the managers in your company believe they are. There are countries that take their laws less seriously than this. For all intents and purposes, this fiasco of a scenario is about 5 people justifying their jobs in this company by being bureaucratic managers that do nothing but put up arbitrary lines which will never meaningfully come up ever.

Arbitrary lines that have been absolutely siphoning the life of every game in the Age of Empire series ever since Microsoft got their hands on it.

And they dare to go after the few, handful of content creators that actually produce value for this joke of a company?

I would rather have AoN involved in this series than ANYONE involved in the decision to kick him out. The idea that an NDA is unbreachable by even god is ridiculous, and this whole scenario is entirely disgraceful. Not a single person would have cared if this had gone unnnoticed, yet instead of deciding to let it pass and handle it properly by actually engaging with AoN respectfully and doing your part, a hammer was put down because some useless leech of a manager is powertripping.

And beyond AoN, there are countless of community members who have contributed to reporting bugs, giving feedback and tried to expand our community that have provided infinitely more value to this company than the manager behind the decision to punish AoN and doubling down after being exposed for doing so.

Seriously get your shit together.

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I’d also like to add that this post, and their poor attempts on reddit, are entirely set up by PR people that does not care either. Nothing will come from this because they genuinely, and I mean genuinely do not care, and this is all for show, to pretend that they do.

For that, I’d like to say that you should be ashamed of how you’ve handled this, and I will maintain that stance until there has been an actual attempt to prove me wrong.

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You used some strong words but I agree on the general concept, that’s what I was trying to say too.
A game is made by passionate and creative people first and foremost, not by onanistic bureaucrats. Sure you need some of them too but a company is not a legal office, it’s about art and (if the quality effort is there) profit.
My invitation was indeed: let’s look at facts, not some abstract legal passage, let’s prize people who are doing a real effort and bring new ideas (even controversial ones) to the table instead of nitpicking on nothing which is totally unproductive and sterile.

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I don’t really want to get into it because I’m not approaching this from a perspective of disagreement (and I hope it comes across this way), but:

If you want community participation in company efforts, then you want NDAs (or some kind of codified agreement) to work.

If you don’t want community participation in company efforts, then you don’t care if NDAs work or not.

Both of these are valid positions, depending on how you want a company to engage with its fans. Without NDAs, there would be no Community Council. Without NDAs, there would be no officially-sanctioned content creators that benefit from early access to builds (and games, like AoN has). But at the same time, you can do other things.

It’s entirely possible to have things like open betas, etc, without NDA access. It all depends on whether or not you want the content preview to be internal, or public. Without NDAs, they would either need to be public (and thus closer to the time of release, reducing the window to make changes before said release), or not exist at all.

There are also “good” NDAs, and “bad” NDAs (and some “very bad” NDAs). But I just want to gently push back on the idea that they’re unimportant, because they serve as a codifying of “trust” when it comes to access pre-release content.

Without NDAs, it’s a fair assumption to say that (at least some, if not most) content creators would move onto other games, because content creators generally thrive on early access to content. You can’t grow on a social platform (like YouTube, etc) anymore without a hook like that. It’s sad, but it is what it is. Covering something exclusive gets you far more interest than covering something everyone already has access to.

And a person breaking that NDA only serves (ironically extending your argument about middle management here) to weaken the existence of these community-driven projects amongst those in the company who’d rather not spend the resource on them. Even if they break the NDA for the right reasons.

Rewatching Age of Noob’s video, I guess the thing that triggered the kick was him going into detail about payment as that seems like stuff that’s only supposed to be handled internally.

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