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An open letter to the AT Community

There are a lot of things that could be worked on in the game — to say it mildly. And most of them need the input of the community for the best results. This is my opinion on how the community discussion is currently shaped and why is it not only unhelpful, but even damaging to both the players and Kong.

What’s the current state of affairs?

Let’s establish a common ground of what I’m talking about. It’s not about anyone in particular (although I bet you can see your own role in all this), but about the general vibe and the way community gives their feedback.

here are people giving hones feedback, proposing new features and solutions. Those are both good and bad ideas, but they are presented in a sensible manner. This is great and we need more of this. Unfortunately there are also large groups of players voicing their concerns differently:

I see your points. The game acts suspicious in many ways, and it’s easy to believe that there is a grand conspiracy against you. But this shouldn’t be how the community is acting.

Who are the community leaders?

As I stated in another thread, this is not a democracy. Kong running the game, and they are open for feedback. This is why they enable the community, by providing this forum, animating it, organizing giveouts, promoting AT related content, creating the Fan Kit. I’m not saying it’s a big deal and we should be thankful, but it is a clear sign that they are open to all of this and they welcome it.

Kong wants to listen to us, want’s us to be a part of the game as a whole, not just as consumers, but to have an impact too. And this is where it baffles me – the community threw it away, by following the select few members that stay in opposition. The majority of discussion isn’t treating Kong as a partner, but instead tries to find flaws in the game and prove that Kong has bad intentions.

Those people feel that they can demand anything, just because they are the players – they put effort into the game, they watch ads, some of them spend any amount of money. I don’t believe it is or will ever be true. And in their own words – this has no effect, because regardless of countless threads, not much is changing.

Instead of assuming good faith, the community decides to work against Kong. They want the game designers to be on their side, improving our game experience, but instead working together in a substantial way, they team up and demand changes. The community has little leverage over Kong to demand anything, and it’s an immature thing to do (I would say it’s not proffessional, but it’s not that kind of a relationship).

In effect, there is so much toxicity daily on the forums and reddit. We are not arguing about how to make the game better, but rather about if Kong is doing it on purpose, if they knowingly introduce bugs to the game or code that works agains the players. Monster threads about Nixongate, leapfrogging, censoring posts and such occupy our time we could spend on a much more interesting topics, like for example how to definately solve the SFC ranking problem.

There is usually more to the problem that meets the eye

It’s easy to think about solutions to all of those problems. But none of us have the full context. For example:

Those are just some examples that come to mind. Basically noone can know all of this, so it’s unwise to assume that there are „simple fixes” at all.

Not to mention all of those solutions that are based on unproven assumptions. It’s easy to believe a conspiracy theory, but there is yet anything to gain by behaving this way.

I don’t want to repeat the same topics all over again

There are a lot of things the community is upset with right now.

And much, much more. I am not stating my opinion on any of those in this thread, the specifics are not relevant here. I acknowledge that there are serious topics we should work on, and there is a lot of things that need fixing. My only issue is about the way we, as a community, approach those topics.

The result

In short, by staying in the opposition, we as a community (I’m generalizing now) are not a partner to argue with for Kong. We are an angry mob that needs to be managed somehow. And this is why most of the solutions proposed on the forums are ignored. Instead of spending all of this effort to build something better, and have some effect, we fight pointlessly.

Next steps

I don’t think this thread will change much. I will probably be called stupid for not seeing the truth, defending Kong. Then someone will assume something about me, like for example that I’m f2p and things don’t concern me… Or on the contrary, that I’m p2w so I wouldn’t understand the f2p point of view. Whatever.

I just want you to think about it and decide what kind of community you would like to be a part of:

I chose the latter, and despite all the shortcomings of the game, I you don’t see me whining about everything and blaming Kong, but instead you can see me maintaining the site regarded by many as the best unofficial resource about the game. Make your choice.

Follow the discussion on Kongregate