Some great posts in here, both from my fellow 2013 members and others.
This thread really is a lot like what working on the Council was like. Lots (and lots and lots) of posts, all with views and opinions. Some more detailed than others, but all open to comment, criticism (constructive, not antagonistic), and elaboration. We also derailed a lot of threads, but kept opening new topics when things got too far afield. There were a lot of "Blue Names" posting right in-line with the Council members, and it really seemed a dialog more than a glorified wish-list or survey.
I am a real believer that dialog is what the Council is about. Sure, sometimes I wished for a bit more from the Dev/Team/Manager side, but I also fully understand why often there *can't* be, even in an NDA environment, like the Council.
I've seen a lot of this before, and in this thread, but I think it bears repeating (a lot), because it's really key:
- Turbine is a business; as such, they aren't about to do things they believe will harm the company or the assets of the company.
- Do through Dialog. It isn't enough to stand and demand, you have to present your case, in a calm and reasonable manner.
- There has to be mutual respect for anything good to happen. You hurt your cause by indulging in tantrums or any disrespectful attitude.
- Working towards something is easier than working against it. Hate something? Work on changing it, you'll have more people helping that than trying to get it eliminated or undone.
I would tell the 2014 Council:
- Don't think "it isn't my area"... your opinion is often *more* valuable for being objective, even if you have to ask about the system being discussed because you don't do it.
- Comment, even if it is "Me, too.". Just because one person says something, it isn't always obvious how many feel that way, unless they speak. Without comment, the best idea looks like a passing thought.
- Try new things in the game. You may find it really isn't your cup of tea, but you'll gain better insight for those folks who do.
- Beware of talks that range into the wee hours in hotel lobbies. When the cleaning staff is working around you, it's probably time for bed.
People are passionate about this game, for a number of reasons. Don't lose sight of the fact that the people working at Turbine, who create and maintain the game, are just as passionate. Having a conversation with a Dev or Team member will quickly impress upon you that, sure, this may be their job, but they love it far beyond "work". Not any one of them would do anything to harm the game or the player base. Can mistakes occur? Sure. But the Community Forums and the Player Council go a long way toward keeping it all flowing. You can't ever please everyone, but there isn't anyone sitting in a funky high-back chair, stroking a cat, and contemplating how to screw up LOTRO. Evil intentions aren't there, period.
[SIZE=2][B][I]Concerts, Crafting, Cosmetics, Horse Races, Chicken Runs, Role Play, Exploration, Screenshots, Video Capture, ... Oh, yeah, and some fighting the forces of evil bent on world domination and tyranny. [/I][/B][/SIZE]