First Community Poll discussion
The first community poll has concluded. You can find the results here. Frankly, I am very unhappy with how everything turned out in the end and I am unsure where to go from here. But let me start from the beginning.
How we got here
The initial problem was the following: The Barbarian inn and big inn is backwards compatible to the tavern while the empire inn is not because it can no longer produce rations but only meals. There were different opinions if this a good solution or not and I finally started the first community poll with the following three options:
- Keep the empire inn as is. (30 votes, 42.25%)
- Make the empire inn backwards compatible. (9 votes, 12.67%)
- Make all buildings backwards compatible. (32 votes, 45.07%)
We had some trouble with people voicing their opinion multiple times so I changed the system to one vote per account. The final result is listed in braces in the list above. As you can see most people want that all buildings are backwards compatible. I will now explain why this won't happen and why this is my mistake alone.
What we won't do
Widelands is a game of three tribes. All tribes are different - the differences might seem arbitrary or even confusing for new players but they really make that a game between empire and atlanteans plays out completely differently to a game between empire and barbarians for example. If you do not believe this, take some time to study the replays of the ongoing tournament.
For example, having the axefactory only produce axes for soldiers is a great advantage for the barbarians: they can stockpile axes and be aggressive much earlier in the game than the other tribes. If the axefactory would also spend its time making tools it would not be able to produce axes so quickly and this would destroy this advantage - and unique trait - of the barbarians.
How I screwed up
This was my error totally: I offered an unspecific option (number 3) which I would veto anyways because it would destroy relations which increase the variety in the game. Also, option 3 includes option 2 so it is hard to get a clear picture of the intentions of the voters. Vote options should be disjunct, clearly voiced and real options for the game. This is obvious in retrospection - but I clearly didn't think this through beforehand.
What we will do now
There is some guesswork involved here now and not everybody will be happy with the decision.
Most voters were pro changing every non backwards compatible building in the game. This seems so far fetched for me that I cannot believe most players would really enjoy this when implemented. Its like turning all pieces in chess except for the pawn into queens - it makes the game easier but eats up its essence. We will not follow through with this - the axe factory and the brewery are knight and bishop for the barbarians. Instead, we will redo the vote, one building at a time. I restarted the poll which will run now for exactly 6 weeks. There are three options now:
- Change the Empire inn to be backwards compatible.
- Keep the Empire inn as is.
- Either way is fine for me.
Option three will show how many people spent some thoughts on this topic and might give an idea of the priority this has to the community as a whole. Please vote again for your favorite option.
What we will change to work around such problems
I still think the community polls are a good idea and I am really sorry that it was so messed up the first time around. For the next community poll, I plan to write a news post introducing the problem and positions (just like for this one). We will then take some time to read and collect suggestions for a solution and I will compile the vote options for the poll from them.
Forum topic - http://wl.widelands.org/forum/topic/911/
Original News Post introducing the first vote - http://wl.widelands.org/news/2011/11/18/community-poll-backwards-compatibility-buildings/