Open Document: Why I Left the Creators Faction


#1

Why I left the Creators Faction

If you and I haven’t met, hello - I’m Red. I have been playing War Dragons since April 2015 and have been addicted ever since, even to the point where I had to put my iPhone 5 on an ice pack to keep it from overheating (since turning off Dragons wasn’t going to happen). I have made all the mistakes in the book, from a long base to building too high for my dragons and so much more. Currently, I am the Leader of Rulith, a Diamond 2 team, which is globally ranked 38 as I write this. In game, I actively maintain three accounts; a level 324 with three obsidian dragons, a level 270 which is breeding Nier, and my level 166 which is comfortably in Garnet. I was named “Dragon Lord of the Month” for May 2017 and am mostly known for my breeding paths in game, though I do a few other things. This past summer, I joined the Creators Faction, and this week I left. This open document is to answer questions, address some issues, and hopefully bring light to some things about the Faction.

If you are unaware of what the Creators Faction in, see the War Dragon Blog.

Before I continue with this document, I want to make some things very clear. Firstly, these generalizations of “Creators Faction Members” and “Pocket Gems Employees”, etc do not apply to every single individual. As with most things, there are outliers. However, for the purposes of this document I do not want to list any names and would rather keep generalizations to avoid any personal attacks.

Membership

Membership in the Creators Faction is, shall we say, selective yet absurd. I feel as if the intentions of the CF are wonderful, but the application has gone significantly downhill. Creators should be sought out for their knowledgeable contributions to the community to help, guide, share, and create good content for the good of the WD player base. Whether those contributions be on Facebook, Twitter, Discord, Twitch, Youtube, fan site, Line, official forums, or elsewhere, members of the CF should be the ones sharing information to help the community.

Recently, I believe membership in the CF has become more of a joke, for lack of a better word, than it was intended to be. Members grow busy, become lazy, and content slips. Announcing events should not be grounds to gain and retain membership into the Creators Faction, in my opinion. That should be a perk for the Creator to draw more attention to their outlet area. I get that marketing is a reason for Pocket Gems to have the CF, I am not ignorant to that idea, but that should not be the sole purpose of membership. It is listed on the description of the Creators Faction in the War Dragons Blog:

  • “Create original content for War Dragons. Do you like to draw pictures of dragons? Create gameplay tutorials on YouTube? Stream on Twitch? If so, this program is for you! The sky’s the limit in terms of what you can create, and we’re looking forward to seeing what you guys can come up with!”

Where has this focus on creativity and gameplay content gone? It is my opinion that the Creators Factor, as a combination of both the Creators and Pocket Games, has grown stagnant and lazy with its content. Yes, there are still some fantastic Creators making fantastic content that is fresh and for the good of the community. Yes, there are some Pocket Gems employees who have not forgotten about the CF. However, as a whole, I feel the CF has grown into an “announce the next event” and do whatever on the side.

Continuing on this idea, I feel that the requirements of membership are entirely too relaxed. Creators should be held to a minimum expectation with their content where simply announcing the event does not matter count as a minimum contribution. Minimum content could be things such as traffic on a fan site, comics, original art, accurate and informative youtube videos, activity in fan groups on facebook, gameplay streams, blogs, guides, and other such content. To be completely honest, a large, large, large portion of the War Dragons community sees the Creators Faction as one of two things: “what is the next event” and an absolute joke. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the Creators, as I do feel they aren’t given the information, materials, and trust they are due, but it certainly doesn’t help to have people not pulling their weight. A group is only as strong as it’s weakest link.

In order to grow and become a more influential and trustworthy group, the Creators Faction must recruit the best of the best in the player base. The ability to gain membership to the Creators Faction currently revolves solely on the potential Creator knowing about the little talked about CF, applying themselves, and waiting for overworked PG employees to check in with them. I feel that it should be the responsibility of Creators to search out other helpful and/or creative people in the community and submit them to PG for review in addition to normal applications. Yes, this is done currently, but in no formal capacity.

Why should people start new content, especially the kind that takes an extraordinary amount of work? If Pocket Gems wants to see players create and maintain difficult items such as websites, podcasts, streams, artwork - there needs to be an incentive. Step one really needs to be to weed out the members who are in the Creators Faction, but do little to contribute or who make poor and inaccurate content. Step two needs to be trust in the Creators so they can make content so good that jealousy floods the community.

Stress, Respect, and Conversations

In the overall grand scheme of the handful of months in the CF, I went from a very hopeful, long-time player ready to help in a billion in one ways to a bitter, exhausted player who struggled to even play the game. I am glad there is diversity in the CF, but as this is a letter from me, I can only speak of my opinions and perspectives.

My specialties and involvements, so to speak, include the following: my big breeding guides, custom breeding guides, base adjustments, live streaming, youtube videos (eh), experienced “don’t do what I did” gameplay guides, leadership materials for new teams, a Line chat a couple hundred members, and a smattering of a few other things. Almost all of these things I did before becoming a Creator, and almost all of these things I will likely continue doing after I leave the CF because that is simply what I do. I am a third generation teacher in my blood and bones, and it is something I will never be able to turn off.

Despite my need to help people, I was growing increasingly overwhelmed by the number of people who needed such specific and time-consuming guidance. This is something that I feel few of the CF experience first hand due to my unique personality, longevity in the game, and involvements. The more I reflected on this, the more I realized that the stress has multiple contributors. The first is of course myself and my overwhelming need to help people and my inability to say no as I put myself out there to help as much as I could. This is an aspect of my life that I can control, and have taken steps to do so in order to lessen stress on myself, steps such as deleting my old Line in order to have more privacy and the starting project between me and a friend to have a more comprehensive set of “read this first” help guides.

However, the other factor to this I truly believe to be the lack of promotion of intelligent, comprehensive, accurate, and easily accessible guides for the War Dragons community. It has been entirely on the shoulders of content creators to promote their material and due to this, it has become nearly impossible for a new player to differentiate between good and bad advice. As a clear example, I still meet brand new players who use breeding guides such as Salamanca’s. That guide ends with gold tier, that’s how out of date it is. New and old players alike are left to their own devices to find guides and such to aid them in their progression. I don’t know why the simplest of ideas - vetted and accurate breeding guides, base guides, and the likes - are not made more easily accessible to players from within the game. I do think this was another major contributing factor to the stress on someone such as myself, someone who simply wants to help.

Along these same lines comes the lack of respect that I feel. I am not saying this is what is actually being given or not, simply that this is the way I feel. The Creators Faction has the following little blurb on the War Dragon Blog about the role of Creators:

  • “Give us feedback. As part of the program, you’ll get a front row seat to the inner workings of War Dragons and have the chance to impact the game directly! We want to hear what you think about events, features, and updates.”

In the past few months I have been a Creator, I have been disappointed in the communication between the Creators and PG. In the ideal world, the CF should have some of the most brilliant minds in War Dragons - from guide creators to artists who all see the game from a unique but passionate perspective. I am exceptionally disappointed in how little communication happens between the CF and PG, which leads me more into this mindset of “I am just free marketing” which is an awful place to be for a passionate person with a personality such as my own. Why are the thoughts and opinions of the Creators not more heavily sought out? These are the people that are in the center of your game, the players who play like it’s their job, who love this game more than most people would classify as healthy. The lack of communication between PG and the CF has been exceptionally disheartening. I do feel like those select people who speak with the CF are amazing, but I feel like the people who should be talking to us rarely are. If this communication is opened up, it would also be an added incentive for players in the community to create content and push themselves in the hopes of joining a selective and exemplary Creators Faction.

Information

One thing that I was shocked by when I formally joined the Creators Faction was the lack of information freely given to Creators. It went it spurts really - sometimes it was great, sometimes it was so lacking that it was a complete slap in the face. I recognize that the messengers to the CF cannot always give information ahead of time, but it has become downright ridiculous. I like to assume everyone has the best intentions, but it honestly has felt like the CF was an afterthought at best, in most situations.

From my own perspective of what areas I really settled into as a long-term player, these are the things I was expecting to see when I formally joined:

  • HD Concept Art and gifs of all Dragons to use for creation. This list was kind of started, and sometimes had some additions, but was severely lacking. I was expecting, for instance, to see all new concept art for Season Divines so we could begin to make content but have a set release date and time so we didn’t spoil anything.
  • Upcoming changes conversations before they were announced
  • Access to a “subject to change” events calendar with the strict instructions to not release information until a set date and time so we could prepare content ahead of time.
  • Access to data and information about some background coding, workings, and such for some items.

When I finally caved and joined, I was really looking forward to the insider information like what was advertised. It has been almost entirely disappointment.

Content and Rewards

The content and rewards relationship in the Creators Faction is a literal joke to me. The rewards themselves are lovely, and I am sure everyone who receives them is super thankful. However, what Creators earn rewards for is just getting out of hand. It seems silly to me that a twitter post of my announcing the new event would be equal in this system to my three hour live stream on the event itself or the massive HD map that took me hours to make. I was told there would be someone looking into making changes, but changes never came. I honestly feel like the content and rewards relationship and turned into a monstrosity of perpetuation to lazy behavior in order to receive free items.

This relationship is exceptionally broken and I do not feel it truly rewards talent, time, and skill like it should or was maybe meant to do. I did not feel motivated to make content in any way with the rewards system. In fact, my stubborn nature and my stressed/angry/hurt mentality actually saw the rewards system as a reason to just give up making new content or maintaining the content I did have.

Overall

At the end of the day, I just felt like the Creators Faction was this lovely idea that has been degraded and twisted into this sense of being used for free marketing, and being okay with that. Are there some Creators that I feel should have never been in the CF to start with due to poor content (even with good intentions)? Yes. Are there some Creators that I feel are under appreciated with so much amazing talent and content? Yes. Do I feel like Pocket Gems has done enough to support, encourage the growth of, and maintain this sliver of a community? Absolutely not.

Intentions and actions are two very different things. I feel that some people in Pocket Gems have amazing intentions, but wanting the best and working hard for the best are two very different things. I would like to quote a section of an interview with PG’s Michael Fedor:

  • “After we saw how much our players appreciated having some agency in the game, we wanted to go further. Another idea we had, which admittedly is still pretty young, was to find more ways to empower them to create outside of the game.
  • We made a Creators Faction. To do this, we identified creative people in the community and gave them all the resources and team access that we could. Our hope was that this would help them to wrap themselves up in the identity of the War Dragons.
  • We are at the very beginning stages of this, but it’s one of our favorite projects. It’s already resulted in tons of amazing things like War Dragons fan fiction, comics, podcasts, websites, player-designed dragons in the game and, of course, cosplay.”

Dear Pocket Gems, what are your intentions with the Creators Faction and how do you plan to make your intentions match your actions? If you want your Creators to be encouraged to make content for you, give the resources you are promising in this interview. HD images, concept art, quick turn around conversations with employees who aren’t just messengers, game data, conversations that a new event is coming, and conversations about the experience in the game as a whole. If you want this to work, if you want the Creators Faction to be respected, to thrive, and to help your player base and your marketing team, then give your Creators the respect they deserve and keep your standards high.

:heart: Red


#2

From what I saw of CF it honestly seemed like cheap marketing. From a business standpoint if they had to pay you for your time/result it would have cost significantly more than probably what they did. It was simply a good move and if you don’t like their conditions they are probably more than willing to move ahead without you (singular and plural). Just what I saw from it, could be wrong.


#3

slow clap


#4

Quick note:
There is incorrect information in your content & rewards section. The two examples given are not rewarded equally. I’m not sure how public the rewards system is allowed to be and don’t want to over share, but I thought I’d state that so people don’t get the wrong idea.


#5

Allow me to further clarify - a twitter post with an image is worth the same as my three hour live stream.


#6

I just want to give you a big hug to say thank you for everything you do for the rest of the community❤️

I understand your frustration and I hope PG will do something about this. CF should be for the players who contribute with something the rest of us will gain from. Whether it’s amazing artwork or guides to show us what to avoid and what to do.

It does feel like the main “task” CF has is to announce the next event. That has to change. Give CF access to what they need to produce better content.


#7

I want to second Falcon and tell you I always appreciated the effort and sincerity you so willingly gave to your fellow players @RedRaidingHood I’ve always respected your work and substantial contribution to our community. I completely understand the frustration and stress you experienced, you deserve much better than the gratitude you received as being part of CF. I do hope you can continue enjoying the game with us, and please don’t let this episode cause you any more stress.


#8

Thank you very much for the kind words, from both you and @MsFalcon

To be extra clear, there is some amazing talent in the CF, and I think the CF has so much potential of they are given support from PG in a more substantial way. This post was made to help the community in this area by sharing information and what I think needs to change to do that.


#9

Thank you for all that you have done for us and continue to do. I have no real knowledge of the Creators Faction but I hope for change as I have seen, in game, the many broken aspects. I love this game but it is getting harder and harder to stay involved as things continue to break, and I continue to see phenomenal suggestions be ignored year after year. Thank you for posting this. PG please listen to your player base. Creators Faction: thank you for all that you do as well. I see this as a challenge to you to strive for change and to speak for the community, not only for PG. The players are watching :smiley:


#10

Well…this seemed a bit vague. I think Red is unhappy with disparity within the CF and I sort of thought that PG just sort of took advantage of the people of CF as cheap labor and not as a real way to connect with their player base. The reason for this thread is different than what I initially thought whoops.


#11

100% agree with the fact that the CF has become a little bit lessened over the past year. I am not personally in it, but I was sent the full contract by Pixxel when she invited me before she realized I wasn’t old enough and I have communications with some members so I know some of the details. I think it is a good idea, but, like you said, I feel like people in it don’t get enough recognition for doing a good job. And I have said that in so many videos. Rogue is a great youtuber…how many times has PG told people about him? As far as I can remember…none. And that is just one example.

If the point of the CF was to get info out to the community it is failing more or less. Now PG themselves are streaming on all these platforms and leaving everyone else behind in the process. And no offense, but the tips given by employees aren’t always accurate as no lower level should be building a base like Pandas🤦 which means they build a long base. And that advice was given to a ton of people on the atlas Livestream! How many lower levels are now going to build a base exactly like Pandas? (Not saying yours is bad Panda lol…just saying long bases at lower levels doesn’t work out) It’s this type of thing that annoys me as I don’t see the purpose of the CF. I used to want to join, but honestly I don’t need the “early event notice” or shoutouts or anything else as my community is already “self-sustaining”. But that being said, I want to see other 1k+ YouTubers as well as some people won’t watch mine so they don’t have too many options. And also, as some people in particular like to say, my information may not always be 100% accurate so having multiple different information sources is critical in making sure you get the right info. And this doesn’t just apply to YouTube but other platforms as well. Just using YT as an example as that is my personal experience.

Just my thoughts on this.


#12

89BE7B40-7A3E-48D5-9FE2-EB3D77BA7A71


#13

I love your content and keep checking 3-4 times everyday on your website knowing the fact that it wouldn’t be updated so often.
I keep following wardragons.info but i end up mainly checking it for new event announcement and i believe most players in community who check this website mostly for new event announcement and events calender.
If CF is really given very limited info, the timing of release of new content w.r.t new events is bound to fall behind.
Hope CF fights for more rights :slight_smile:

That being said, I hope we still have a way to contact you for obvious reasons :cry:


#14

These issues are not new. It’s been the same way since shortly after it began. The Creator’s Faction is very much a one way street. If it were myself, I would have questioned a lot of things at the Atlas release party while there instead of kissing everyone’s ass but that’s just me and probably why I wasn’t invited. I’m not picking on you in particular, Red, I’m just stating in general.

I enjoyed doing the podcast and I think there were 1 or 2 people that liked it too. I didn’t care about rewards because I liked doing it but it’s incredibly disgusting to see the guy with the crappy posters spamming instagram, Twitter, and Line knowing he’s getting tons of free loot every month with something that takes 3 minutes in PicsArt while I spent tons of money for equipment. Not even mentioning it takes much longer to edit and produce a quality product worth releasing.

In the end, it’s a multi-million dollar corporation, not your friends running the show. Don’t be fooled.


#15

Ok, I’ve been playing since January 2017 for reference.

Lemme make sure ive got this all straight:

1- The Creator’s Faction is supposed to do more than just announce the next event?

2- The Creator’s Faction members are selected by PG?

3- The members earn rewards, which I can only speculate to be ingame packs, etc, for creating “content”?

So, if 1-3 are true, then that probably means pretty much any “content” that is shared through WD Facebook page that “appears” to be “fan made” probably comes from members of the CF, which the quality of some of the stuff that has been shared since I started playing, as well as the actual content, has been “sketchy” at times to “borderline wrong”.

I’m sorry, I’m still floored by the above. So the CF which is stressed to not be PG employees and are “players just like you” are in fact compensated for their “creations”with, most likely, ingame stuff. I’m sorry, that needs to be clarified upon, up front, on CF work. If you are being compensated for something, in any way, by the game company, that needs to be made clear, because it isn’t unbiased, in my opinion, and more often than not, will not be critical of the “hand that feeds” so to speak. That point can be argued all you want, but you definitely will be restrained in some way/form from letting em have it when they screw up.

Sorry that the CF (aka the free publicity department of PG) didn’t work out for you, Red. Sounds like you should be glad it didn’t. Your work, that I have seen, has always been top notch.

I think it is funny that I’ve been playing for 11 months and seriously thought that the CF’s main purpose was to announce the next event a day early via various outlets. Oh, right, there is that dragon academy thing too now apparently. Wonder how many Ember evolve stones one of those is worth?


#16
  1. Yes, sad isn’t it? Some do make cool, good content though (lol I love Woe Dragons)

  2. You have to apply for it, and then yes, selected by PG.

  3. As stated on the WD Blog:

Free, cool stuff for your audience. If you want to give away War Dragons swag (check out store.wardragons.com to see what’s available) or in-game currency to your audience as part of a giveaway, let us know and we’ll see what we can do!

War Dragons swag. We’ll send you a War Dragons Creators Faction t-shirt to impress your friends and family!

I didn’t get a t-shirt, but I did get a sweatshirt and a flag. Which are awesome btw. However, that is all I can say due to a contract I signed.

I understand the comment on “be kind to the hand that feed”, and that was one of my concerns when I was approached to join the CF last month. I asked if I had to change who I was or tone down my thoughts and was told “no”. I have always been critical but kind of PG as best I can, but will never claim to be unbiased as I have an addiction.


#18

I have not been less critical since joining the creators faction. When Fight Pits was introduced, my review on it was that I thought it’d be terrible. :joy:
& Lx, how do you know we didn’t question them? I don’t recall seeing you there when we were having serious, constructive conversations about the way things are run (primarily events.)


#19

It makes me sad to see this devolve into a generalized criticism of the individuals in the creators faction, when I for one am proud of my efforts and grateful to have an outlet for my overwhelming addiction to this game.
I love working on my art project (the dragon catalog), making videos, sharing stuff from the game and talking to other players (be it on line, forums, Instagram or Facebook.)
I don’t disagree that the CF as a program has room to improve, but I don’t think the way to do it is by negatively speaking of the people in it. In the preceding comments, CF work has had its quality questioned, been mocked as “free publicity,” been accused of being biased/not credible, needing PG as a crutch for sustainability, and more.
Consider me offended, but I can’t not defend my work. I love being a part of and giving to this community.


#20

It saddens me to see you felt you weren’t supported or rewarded for your membership in this program. This program, in which you are correct, does not have stringent requirements for participation precisely because it was not meant to add any extra pressure.

The program is meant for people to be rewarded and connect with others who are already going to be creating content, not to pressure you in doing so.

I do see that we should revisit the presentation of the Creators Faction so there are no surprises with what anyone is signing up for.

Also note this “contract” is purely at will both for sides and in no way do we claim ownership of your content nor social channels.

If anyone has additional questions about the program, feel free to reach out.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Pixxel


#21