Starfield | Securing The Scientist
Welcome to the new lag monster –err UI improvements! NO, you were supposed to drop a match and have it counted against you because such and such sent that link of a cat picture on Steam chat!
When you think about things steam should and could do better what comes to mind? Quite frankly this is like asking someone “how to run a country” or even “how would you improve Steemit.” There is an endless amount of different things people would want and let’s face it not everything is reasonable. So what about a reasonable one for a platform like Steam?
Better Customer Protection And Treatment
That is the first thing that comes to my mind. When vaporware or similar kin shows up to Steam mask parading around as an alpha game. You would at the very least think massive reporting being done by its own customers would be enough to halt the selling of a game in a timely manner. Until some viable product that claimed what it would be hit the market. I remember games like StarForge. Every summer or winter sales where the Steam game forum would be littered with people warning other users “don’t buy this scam”
Now I know what you are thinking those posts are back from 2015 dude they clearly would have done something as soon as enough people said something about it right?
Now granted after years the developer decided to just remove the game from the store and make it free. Yep nice going guys you finally one way or another gave up on trying selling a junk product. It only took them to January 2017 to do so.
At the very least that game was something you could download and log into a world that more or less never worked and was a giant glitch of a mess. There have been other games I’ve heard of you just download an empty folder or even worse some nasty surprises instead of a game.
You even had games like No Man’s Sky that missed the mark so badly in what was promised to the gamer in interviews, on twitter, and on other gaming sites. They are still working on adding key features such as playing with friends. Most of us kind of laugh the rating system needed a “recent reviews” to try and sell a game that did not go over so well.
Now to be somewhat fair to No Man’s Sky and Steam itself from a legal standpoint. Yes, you were buying what was claimed on the store page and not how the game was advertised to you elsewhere on other platforms. Which is the classic “stop overhyping stuff you know you can’t a developer on” as things just got strange for quite a while out of the developers creating that game.
Between all that, the endless asset flips that have shown up. Just overall how much bloatware of games that are for sale and there is almost no standards at all! You would think they pull a Walmart where the customer is “right” even when they are wrong just because how much each person over there lifetime could spend on a platform like this. It’s really no shock companies like Microsoft have been trying to eat their lunch using their own stores for a while now.
It is strange how European laws are the ones giving the most customer protection as far as getting refunds within a certain time window and data protection. Granted that not a discussion I want to start as I know many of the things that could be a result from GDPR and other stuff coming out from the EU is not so great after all.
People Just Don’t Like Change
With how much life changes if it’s one thing that should remain constant it’s how the UI of a platform you have used most of your life stays the same. Really in this day and age why is there not a “classic” option every time a company makes major changes to their design if it’s been around for years? You know they're going be adoption issues.
I would understand if it’s just something that gets updated a couple times a year and people should expect change. However, if it’s not broken and it will for sure break peoples custom created UI’s. Along with it feeling like it was not fully tested. The customer should not start off in the new UI on by default. It should just ask "would you like to try out some changes? You can switch back at any time." Is that too much to ask?
You would think there be enough case study from the Snapchat’s of the world and what happens when users wake up to a new UI. Even worse the changes to Steam’s chat is just the start of it. They will have to roll rolling out more changes to match how chat works and looks. Some of it already has made it into other parts.
Does Steam Need To Beat Discord And Others?
When your company dose billions in sales per year like Steam it should and needs to be investing back into itself to make things better. While Steam has had a chat service for as long as I can remember. There have always been better options out there.
I can understand from an ecosystem standpoint where you would want users to embrace and use all the features a product has to offer. For me at least their chat system was just there to connect to a friend’s game or a server someone was playing on if that game was on Steam. I’ve had very little issues over the years using that feature and in fact as other platform rise trying to replace Steam they often miss the mark on success when it comes to that ability. Endless failed to connect issues come to mind.
For quite a number of years, I was also just a Steam chat user. It meets my needs as it was just a quick way for a friend to contact you saying “get in the game.” Most chats where done in game out of convenience. In fact, for years I played games that were not on Steam and still do from time to time. So really it was just a “hey I’m playing this other game.” That was until we finally gave up and used other platforms for a chat in the last few years. Since we were all over the place and not always in Steam’s ecosystem anyway.
That to me is the biggest issue they face moving forward. I find myself being in their ecosystem for so long that quite frankly they just don’t have everything I want anymore. There only so many times you can try and sell me the same game that was on sale for every holiday at 75% off before it should be considered I’m never going buy it. As such this still lacks encompassing all my games and I would just rather keep using that third party.
Even other stuff like there Discovery Que has failed to find me something new and get a sale out of me in regards to that for quite some time now. It is all now word of mouth from friends and my own discovering of things from other platforms.
So will being able to play video from their own chat and have more engaging and meaningful conversion increase sales out of me? Well, first their darn stuff needs to work. It seems to just crash chat and not load things. Even when it does work it is slow. While I think it will have the desired effect on sales over the long run. They should know by now the effects of a bad roll out. Just think back to all those bad game launches you have been thought over the years and how that played out for that game.
I think they did need to make these changes over the long run. They should have just done it in a smarter way. Slowly ease their user base into it. Not break everyone custom UI’s they love so much. Not force a massive change on their older gamers who have spent a truck ton of money on that platform in the past. With an ever increase desire to need more games as they near or enter retirement.
This should have at very least done more beta testing and rolled out the news about it in a better way. I logged in greeted with a new icon for news that I’ve never noticed before. It should have started with that. An option to opt-in from there and try out our new and improved chat features for playing video, group chats, and other fun stuff.
Knowing gamers they will mod the living daylights out of this until they get back their old normal. Which means any advantage they were looking to gain from bringing said improvement to their platform will go unused by certain communities. In fact, I’ve already been told by a few friends “this broke my skin and I will undo this junk.” That's not how you want your user base to be thinking when it comes to a new rollout.
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