Where is Ken Troop?

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Come out, come out, wherever you are...
Yeah I was wondering about this myself.
He's at WWW.DNDINSIDER.COM ..............

Oh wait my mistake, no-one lives there :D
OH MY GOD... noew it makes since WotC lost there head IT guy that is why we don't have DDI...send out the search partties(and make sure they each have a ranger)

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

OH MY GOD... noew it makes since WotC lost there head IT guy that is why we don't have DDI...send out the search partties(and make sure they each have a ranger)

Au Contraire- rogues and some Eladrin will work just as well!
He is in a witness protection program somewhere hiding out in Canada.


http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1054764
He has posted (tho I was hoping for more than just stuff on the compendium).
Agreed Giz... agreed.
He's locked in battle with a Titan and Orcus.
Yes, he's posted some info on the compendium.

Seems unless it's a technical question in regards to functionality, which is often answered by GM or GZ, we're not going to see any more answers. That is sad.
Ken's been busy with a lot of things, but he's always reading the forums, since we talk about them almost every day at work. I'm on vacation this week, and I know WotC is mostly closed down for the next two days, so we may not see much more info until next week.

Mudbunny, the D&Di VCL is going to be working with all of you in the community to try and compile some Q&As and some suggestion/feedback threads. I hope to use those as concentrated areas where we can get Ken, WotC_DM, Chief Youngs and others to provide some additional feedback and information for you all. So check back in next week.
I killed him for XP.

Tried to loot him but all I found was 2 packs of Sweet n' Low and some broken promises.

(Okay maybe that was a BIT mean...)
I killed him for XP.

Tried to loot him but all I found was 2 packs of Sweet n' Low and some broken promises.

(Okay maybe that was a BIT mean...)

It was, but I'll be damned if it didn't make me laugh.
Ken's been busy with a lot of things, but he's always reading the forums, since we talk about them almost every day at work. I'm on vacation this week, and I know WotC is mostly closed down for the next two days, so we may not see much more info until next week.

Mudbunny, the D&Di VCL is going to be working with all of you in the community to try and compile some Q&As and some suggestion/feedback threads. I hope to use those as concentrated areas where we can get Ken, WotC_DM, Chief Youngs and others to provide some additional feedback and information for you all. So check back in next week.

No offense man, but you guys really need to get your act together on this one. It is causing a lot of speculation on forums out there in the internet. People are pretty fumed about it, and don't feel like they are getting good info.
No offense man, but you guys really need to get your act together on this one. It is causing a lot of speculation on forums out there in the internet. People are pretty fumed about it, and don't feel like they are getting good info.

Agreed. We're hearing more and more often that Wizards is shut down, or the site is down for a weekend, or that so-and-so is on vacation. I understand that off time is needed, but we're all still waiting for DDi... and it isn't here... so what gives? My boss would fire me immediately if I did what appears to be going on over there.

Anyone else agree with me on this one or do you think I'm being too harsh?
Agreed. We're hearing more and more often that Wizards is shut down, or the site is down for a weekend, or that so-and-so is on vacation. I understand that off time is needed, but we're all still waiting for DDi... and it isn't here... so what gives? My boss would fire me immediately if I did what appears to be going on over there.

Anyone else agree with me on this one or do you think I'm being too harsh?

Well, to be fair, we don't know what is going on at wizards, but my first thought was "gee at my job if a big project failed to get off the ground on time and customers were ******, I certainly wouldn't be taking a vacation, because I would get fired." It might just sound worse than it is though. Also we don't know how many heads are rolling over there.
Agreed. We're hearing more and more often that Wizards is shut down, or the site is down for a weekend, or that so-and-so is on vacation. I understand that off time is needed, but we're all still waiting for DDi... and it isn't here... so what gives? My boss would fire me immediately if I did what appears to be going on over there.

Anyone else agree with me on this one or do you think I'm being too harsh?

I understand how things seem to be mounting and I apologize to anyone who is feeling frustrated. Most of us internally at WotC are frustrated with many of the problems we've been having, especially with the forums.

Today is my first day back in the office after the 4th, but I'll be checking in with Ken and team to see where everything stands.

Thanks,
-Mike
I understand how things seem to be mounting and I apologize to anyone who is feeling frustrated. Most of us internally at WotC are frustrated with many of the problems we've been having, especially with the forums.

Today is my first day back in the office after the 4th, but I'll be checking in with Ken and team to see where everything stands.

Thanks,
-Mike

I think the frustration comes from a lack of good info being available. You have to understand many of us purchased 4E because of D&DI. I was happing playing 3E otherwise. I had enough books, settings, modules to keep my group happy. What made we want to buy 4E was the prospect of using D&DI to connect with old gaming buddies, make characters quickly and easily, and design killer dungeons. Now I am not even sure I want to purchase D&DI. I have to be honest. It is the way this has been handled, more than anything else, that has changed my mind from wanting the product to not wanting it any longer.
I have to be honest. It is the way this has been handled, more than anything else, that has changed my mind from wanting the product to not wanting it any longer.

Sorry to say, but I have to agree. The last time I remember hearing such a deafening silence regarding the status of a product was the Master Tools/eTools fiasco for 3e. Given how the fans got burned in that mess, and the apparent similarity of the two situations, I'm losing optimism by the day.
Sorry to say, but I have to agree. The last time I remember hearing such a deafening silence regarding the status of a product was the Master Tools/eTools fiasco for 3e. Given how the fans got burned in that mess, and the apparent similarity of the two situations, I'm losing optimism by the day.

I'm not really sure what you mean by deafening silence. I know that there are a lot of questions that people want answered that we don't yet have the details on, but I hope people don't have the perception that we're just whistling and looking the other way. I think that between WotC_DM, Ken, and myself, we're doing a good job of at least showing that we're out here on the forums reading what you all are saying and trying to answer the things that we can.

If that's not the case, please let me know what I can do to make that more clear. I think it's very important that people know that we're reading and trying our best to respond.
I'm not really sure what you mean by deafening silence. I know that there are a lot of questions that people want answered that we don't yet have the details on, but I hope people don't have the perception that we're just whistling and looking the other way. I think that between WotC_DM, Ken, and myself, we're doing a good job of at least showing that we're out here on the forums reading what you all are saying and trying to answer the things that we can.

If that's not the case, please let me know what I can do to make that more clear. I think it's very important that people know that we're reading and trying our best to respond.

Honestly you guys are doing a great job conveying that you are listening it's just that we really don't know whats really going on. I don't really want to sound snarky but its time to take off the kid gloves. You need to let us inside at this point if your going to rebuild trust from the community. This means updates and play by plays of whats getting fixed how projects are moving along ect.. I understand that the company may not want this but if thats the case it would suggest that the product is in a very bad place and at this point they may be looking at cutting it altogether or at least making it a different entity all together(which may not be so bad). If not we need something solid to tell us thats not the case and the compendium doesn't do this It once again erodes confidence as it is not and were being told will not be what was advertised.

I understand that you may be doing all you can as a representative but the company itself really needs to change its approach. We need something more concrete to give feedback on or its worthless for the most part.
I agree that the job that the guys like wotc_Dm Ken and Gamer_zero are doing is good. Its nice to hear that people from WOTC listen.

However I want to throw in the other side that says I understand why wotc does not give play by plays (and should not) by the way the forums have responded. Companies like Blizzard (who make great games) that constantly have delays. 99% of the time the only thing you hear is "delayed from rumoured release". Thats it. Here we have gotten more info about how the releases will look (tho not the dates). If they start giving play by plays, they mine as well suicide now. I can see it now "We are working on getting product x out in the next week." and then find a huge bug that requires rewriting some code and it gets delayed. I can imagine the insanity once we go down that road. I (and I know I can't be alone) am content to wait for it to be done and done properly.

I don't suggest that wotc not give any infos, but I implore wotc not to do play by plays of what exactly is going on as things change. I dislike the forums as it is when a very large chunk (especially in the D&DI area) is a whine fest on how people are unhappy with how things already went. YOu start doing play by plays, unless you can guarentee that things go exactly as the play by play said (which you can't) I suggest not doing that. So far my only real disappointment is that the Compendium does not have the rules concept as I thought it would, but as I have stated in other posts the compendium is something that I can live without if needed. The rest of the stuff is what im really looking forward too.
I agree that the job that the guys like wotc_Dm Ken and Gamer_zero are doing is good. Its nice to hear that people from WOTC listen.

However I want to throw in the other side that says I understand why wotc does not give play by plays (and should not) by the way the forums have responded. Companies like Blizzard (who make great games) that constantly have delays. 99% of the time the only thing you hear is "delayed from rumoured release". Thats it. Here we have gotten more info about how the releases will look (tho not the dates). If they start giving play by plays, they mine as well suicide now. I can see it now "We are working on getting product x out in the next week." and then find a huge bug that requires rewriting some code and it gets delayed. I can imagine the insanity once we go down that road. I (and I know I can't be alone) am content to wait for it to be done and done properly.

I don't suggest that wotc not give any infos, but I implore wotc not to do play by plays of what exactly is going on as things change. I dislike the forums as it is when a very large chunk (especially in the D&DI area) is a whine fest on how people are unhappy with how things already went. YOu start doing play by plays, unless you can guarentee that things go exactly as the play by play said (which you can't) I suggest not doing that. So far my only real disappointment is that the Compendium does not have the rules concept as I thought it would, but as I have stated in other posts the compendium is something that I can live without if needed. The rest of the stuff is what im really looking forward too.

This is simply the silliest thing you have ever said this whine fest you mentioned is there for a reason, and its that they failed to responsibly inform the user base. I'm really tired of you whining about the whiners especially after you have said you were done with it people have reasonable complaints the fact that you don't have the same complaints doesn't make theirs less valid.

If they were to make it a big enough deal they would probably get a lot more leeway from most sure a few people who will complain regardless but a bit more of an open book approach would not only rebuild lost trust in people but also help in shutting at least a few of us Haters up.
This is simply the silliest thing you have ever said this whine fest you mentioned is there for a reason, and its that they failed to responsibly inform the user base. I'm really tired of you whining about the whiners especially after you have said you were done with it people have reasonable complaints the fact that you don't have the same complaints doesn't make theirs less valid.

If they were to make it a big enough deal they would probably get a lot more leeway from most sure a few people who will complain regardless but a bit more of an open book approach would not only rebuild lost trust in people but also help in shutting at least a few of us Haters up.

I said I would not argue with someone (and im going to stick with that). I was throwing in my two cents on my reason why I would suggest not to have a play by play. Obviously wotc will respond how they see fit. I just wanted to make sure that they knew that there are those of us (even if its just me, I felt like saying it) that do not necessarily want/need a open book policy with them. And thats all that im going to say about that.
I'm not really sure what you mean by deafening silence.

I can only speak for myself, but:
- I expected to have all apps at 4e release date
- Since we didn't get I'd expect: To see a weekly updated status report on all of the apps. Let's say as a blog or forum post. "State of DDI" or something.
- Post updates, screenshots, media. Yes, this will cost you time you could use coding. But it will also keep your customers happy buying you more time you can use coding.

Browse through the forums. Most people start to believe that DDI is vaporware and won't be published at all. A lot of the others worry about the level of quality because this doesn't seem to be a priority.

You need to address these issues and start to talk with the community again.
I'm not really sure what you mean by deafening silence. I know that there are a lot of questions that people want answered that we don't yet have the details on, but I hope people don't have the perception that we're just whistling and looking the other way. I think that between WotC_DM, Ken, and myself, we're doing a good job of at least showing that we're out here on the forums reading what you all are saying and trying to answer the things that we can.

If that's not the case, please let me know what I can do to make that more clear. I think it's very important that people know that we're reading and trying our best to respond.

I'm going to try to chime in here without getting too rough, but from my vantage point, you guys really are not doing enough to keep the customer base informed. I'll give you several examples:

1. It took well over a week for anyone to make an "official" post on the forums regarding the issues you're having. The issues continue with no updates, although at times they are much better, and at others they are just as bad or worse. You have an announcement on the boards regarding an extended maintenance from over a week ago.

2. Ken came in and replied to a few comments and questions. A number of those responses were rote answers. When people pointed out "hey, wait, that's not good enough" there was no further response. Sure, it's the company's decision to say "this is how we're doing things, and that's final" but in such event, don't say that you're open to feedback, because you're really not. A lot of questions, concerns, and comments were put in that are now pages behind, because people just gave up.

3. It is frightening that well after the initial due date of DDi has passed that we continue to hear answers along the lines of "we're not sure, or it hasn't been decided." First, there's the technical aspects. If you don't know what you were going to add by now and what the capabilities were going to be, DDi should have NEVER been advertised, especially as much as it was. Technical aspects aside, the fact that pricing modules, business practices, and all those things that don't hinge upon coding are still in the works.

4. Your team has chimed into the apparent silence issue and a number of technical capabilities, but all those other factors people have put out there have neatly been ignored or otherwise swept under the rug.

There are a LOT of ways your team could improve communication. I and others have listed a number of them, but none of the changes have been implemented to date. Your own answer that you just returned to the office and need to check with people to see where everyone is at shows that communication within your office is still terribly lacking. Taking the Fourth and whatnot off is no problem, but with such a massive undertaking, there should be regular internal updates--even a white board with check marks on it if needs be.

Listen, I love DnD and I like the direction Wizards has taken in a variety of ways. I also have no doubt that you and your team and others over there are working extremely hard to get things done. I think it's time for everyone to take a breath, step back, and start working smarter rather than harder.

2. Ken came in and replied to a few comments and questions. A number of those responses were rote answers. When people pointed out "hey, wait, that's not good enough" there was no further response. Sure, it's the company's decision to say "this is how we're doing things, and that's final" but in such event, don't say that you're open to feedback, because you're really not. A lot of questions, concerns, and comments were put in that are now pages behind, because people just gave up.

I just want to make one comment on this and that is a company/person can be open to feedback and still not change how they plan on doing something. Doesn't meant that they aren't open to it, just means that they looked at it, and feel that the plan they are going with is better. Obviously people may disagree that its better but that doesn't mean the feedback isn't being listened to.
I'm not really sure what you mean by deafening silence. I know that there are a lot of questions that people want answered that we don't yet have the details on, but I hope people don't have the perception that we're just whistling and looking the other way. I think that between WotC_DM, Ken, and myself, we're doing a good job of at least showing that we're out here on the forums reading what you all are saying and trying to answer the things that we can.

If that's not the case, please let me know what I can do to make that more clear. I think it's very important that people know that we're reading and trying our best to respond.

I think people feel like you guys are in-and-out of these forums, and are not really giving people a complete picture of what to expect. Also the major concerns people seem to have (price, release dates-particularly for C. gen and Tabletop, and the fact that you guys have changed the purpose of the Compendium mid-stride) are not being answered. I am telling you guys, people are fumed.
I just want to make one comment on this and that is a company/person can be open to feedback and still not change how they plan on doing something. Doesn't meant that they aren't open to it, just means that they looked at it, and feel that the plan they are going with is better. Obviously people may disagree that its better but that doesn't mean the feedback isn't being listened to.

You know, I could run through all sorts of business models where this happens, and that''s fine, but the best example I can think it relates to is my wife and kids. I never knew that not everyone knew to respond when they were given a direction or asked a question to avoid confusion or failure. It really doesn't take much effort to say "okay, I hear you" or "do you mean this" or "I can see your points, but really don't have control in the situation, I'll run it up to my boss(es)." I mean, really, my eight year old does a better job at communication and follow up than I've seen here, and I'm not trying to be rude, but take a moment and put yourself in the same situation and still try to say that the communication here is effective.
I agree with EpochGames.

You have a community that loves the hobby. They are interestedin the success of 4E and DDI (they WANT it to succeed, by and large). Most of the people are going to be very forgiving of delays and problems if that leads to a quality product in the end, SO LONG AS you keep them in the loop in the meantime.

I think popping in and answering some questions etc. is nice, but I think if there was an official status update or something like that, something that was actually kept up to date on what is going on, most people would be a lot less frustrated.

People are very forgiving of problems with products and services if you treat and respect them as customers and people and just let them know what's up. I'd give WotC a C+ in this regard with respect to DDi. There's been some effort to come into the forums and answer questions, but there could be a lot more.
I'm not really sure what you mean by deafening silence. I know that there are a lot of questions that people want answered that we don't yet have the details on, but I hope people don't have the perception that we're just whistling and looking the other way. I think that between WotC_DM, Ken, and myself, we're doing a good job of at least showing that we're out here on the forums reading what you all are saying and trying to answer the things that we can.

If that's not the case, please let me know what I can do to make that more clear. I think it's very important that people know that we're reading and trying our best to respond.

Showing a good job (?), of the three you listed IMO only WotC_DM is doing a best effort.

Mr. Troop promised to answer all pages in the thread he started, he only answered the first two pages. Mr. Troop promised to reply in a week or two and did not reply to anything in three weeks to this section.

I will concede that you are not quite as Mr. Troop but there are questions that you could have answered that you did not.

I suspect most of us have come to the understanding that some questions are not permitted to be answered. The level of what we can not tell you yet clearly a concern, however an occasional post from the two of you to the effect I can not answer at this time would at least make you both appear to be less MIA.
Plans are always subject to change.
Thanks for the replies. I am going to start a thread soliciting feedback and suggestions on ways you think we can do a better job of communicating. As I know you already know, there's a lot of things we can't answer quite yet, for a variety of reasons, but it's a priority for us to make sure people understand that we are listening to the community and taking feedback seriously.
I sent WotC_ScottR a 2 part PM on 04-29-08 about a few methods to help with communications.

Best feedback I can give, is to participate more in the forums. Even if you can't say much, talk to the users as equals rather than talking down to them from some corporate pillar.
Thanks for the replies. I am going to start a thread soliciting feedback and suggestions on ways you think we can do a better job of communicating. As I know you already know, there's a lot of things we can't answer quite yet, for a variety of reasons, but it's a priority for us to make sure people understand that we are listening to the community and taking feedback seriously.

This thread is about how Ken Troop starts threads but doesn't actually respond to community questions or concerns. In response to our questions and concerns, you are starting a thread. It's strangely palindromic and somewhat frustrating.
Gamer_Zero,

The appropriate kind of feedback we are looking for is this:

"Application A is delayed because of a problem with ... we expect it to be ready in two weeks, but realize it may take longer.

"Application B is delayed because it needs to be paired with Application A to work properly, once A is ready B will follow in a day or two.

"Application C is delayed because ... we aren't certain when it will be ready. Hopefull by next quarter."

We don't really care at this point what goes after the "because," but as we get neither that half of the explanation nor the half with a projected ready time we feel like you folks are stalling and lying like a politician caught doing something unusual in a public restroom stall.

If you want our respect and trust back try giving us something less vague. Prior to the release of 4e I eagerly looked forward to DDi, now I strongly expect that DDi will be kluge that I'm afraid to invest even a single month's subscription for. I doubt that it will perform as advertised. I doubt that it will have adequate bandwidth to actually run a game without half the players going linkdead several times a session. I doubt that it will be easy and intuitive to use. At this point I like the print version of your game, but I've come to doubt the veracity of the information that originally garnered my enthusiasm for DDi.
Gamer_Zero,

The appropriate kind of feedback we are looking for is this:

"Application A is delayed because of a problem with ... we expect it to be ready in two weeks, but realize it may take longer.

"Application B is delayed because it needs to be paired with Application A to work properly, once A is ready B will follow in a day or two.

"Application C is delayed because ... we aren't certain when it will be ready. Hopefull by next quarter."

We don't really care at this point what goes after the "because," but as we get neither that half of the explanation nor the half with a projected ready time we feel like you folks are stalling and lying like a politician caught doing something unusual in a public restroom stall.

If you want our respect and trust back try giving us something less vague. Prior to the release of 4e I eagerly looked forward to DDi, now I strongly expect that DDi will be kluge that I'm afraid to invest even a single month's subscription for. I doubt that it will perform as advertised. I doubt that it will have adequate bandwidth to actually run a game without half the players going linkdead several times a session. I doubt that it will be easy and intuitive to use. At this point I like the print version of your game, but I've come to doubt the veracity of the information that originally garnered my enthusiasm for DDi.

Playing somewhat devils advocate, I fear some of what you suggest simply because if they go
"Application A is delayed because of a problem with ... we expect it to be ready in two weeks, but realize it may take longer." and then it takes longer, and then post another thing that says "Ok we fixed whatever bug we found, so it will be another week." and then say it gets delayed again and so on. This will only work if they somewhat hold to this. If they keep delaying it, it will cause more issues.

That being said, I would love to hear about the specific information of the system. "We found such and such bug that caused a blue screen on ATI video cards" would be good as it will let us know some specific info. However it would be nice to get info in the form that Tom put so that way at least we know progress is being made. Other than the compendium which has got to be the easiest of all of them to design (other than the data entry part) we have not really heard any new info on any of the other apps.

What I would love to hear is that the character builder is coming soon, as im sure im not the only one that is hoping that will be out so we can get some characters going.
Just to amend what I first posted. I know virtually nothing about coding games.

I'm just looking for a simple explanation. "We have bugs with certain graphic cards." is good enough for me.

"We think we'll be vulnerable to certain types of fraud."

That's good enough for me.

Right now all I hear is "Soon." and I don't know if soon means 2008, 2009, or 2010, and from what information we've been given we have no way to even hazard a guess. Right now I have zero confidence that all proposed DDi components will be ready before January 2010, some of them definitely, all of them, no, I don't believe you can do it.
Just to amend what I first posted. I know virtually nothing about coding games.

I'm just looking for a simple explanation. "We have bugs with certain graphic cards." is good enough for me.

"We think we'll be vulnerable to certain types of fraud."

That's good enough for me.

Right now all I hear is "Soon." and I don't know if soon means 2008, 2009, or 2010, and from what information we've been given we have no way to even hazard a guess. Right now I have zero confidence that all proposed DDi components will be ready before January 2010, some of them definitely, all of them, no, I don't believe you can do it.

For the record, the vast majority of bugs during development take only a few minutes to fix, and there are a lot of them. When development is rushed or poorly managed, you can spend weeks working on nothing else than bugs that would take longer to write about than fix.

But a general "bugfixes" comment would be well-appreciated.
Just to amend what I first posted. I know virtually nothing about coding games.

I'm just looking for a simple explanation. "We have bugs with certain graphic cards." is good enough for me.

"We think we'll be vulnerable to certain types of fraud."

That's good enough for me.

Right now all I hear is "Soon." and I don't know if soon means 2008, 2009, or 2010, and from what information we've been given we have no way to even hazard a guess. Right now I have zero confidence that all proposed DDi components will be ready before January 2010, some of them definitely, all of them, no, I don't believe you can do it.

FWIW I did do some basic coding of games a few years ago and it worked well until data array problem occurred. It was for personal use to see what I could do, I clearly could have solved data array if I planned to compete with existing games at that time. Programing does have its issues, these days as much as then impart because how it works with current aplications.

That said we have fans that have compiled promised PDF (at least one issue) and others that believe if they had at least a view of Alpha or Beta that likely could offer code advice. One does not need to crack or hack to spot defects in code.
Plans are always subject to change.
Thanks for the replies. I am going to start a thread soliciting feedback and suggestions on ways you think we can do a better job of communicating. As I know you already know, there's a lot of things we can't answer quite yet, for a variety of reasons, but it's a priority for us to make sure people understand that we are listening to the community and taking feedback seriously.

This has got to be one of the most frustrating replies I have seen from you guys. People have listed off a bunch of specific complaints and concerns they would like answered. Have explained that because these concerns are not being answered we feel that wizards is not communicating well with its customers. Now you tell us you are going to set up a thread so we can tell you how to communicate better with us? How about answering the questions and concerns we already expressed to you? Do you really need to fish for more info on how to do a better job communicating? I think people have already made it clear what they want.
This has got to be one of the most frustrating replies I have seen from you guys. People have listed off a bunch of specific complaints and concerns they would like answered. Have explained that because these concerns are not being answered we feel that wizards is not communicating well with its customers. Now you tell us you are going to set up a thread so we can tell you how to communicate better with us? How about answering the questions and concerns we already expressed to you? Do you really need to fish for more info on how to do a better job communicating? I think people have already made it clear what they want.

I think what they are trying to do is find specific info on what they can do. For the most part a lot of what I have seen in other threads is "Give me everything." That will never happen and is not helpful.

They are also looking for information from people who aren't just screaming that everything is bad. As Ken Troop has said he does not mind being slammed, but that its not constructive and really accomplishes nothing.