So, its been 15 hours since the launch of the new Character Builder. I basically wish they hadn't.
I spent 8 years of my life doing tech support on various products, mostly hardware and software with a side trip into a soul crushing customer service job for GM. I wised up and got out while I still had a shred of respect for humanity.
In that time I have seen launches of many different products, some ready, many not. The new cloud based character builder is not ready for launch. It is riddled with bugs and quite frankly some baffling design decisions. This product needs at least 1 (probably 2) months of work before its ready.
This is not the product you release to your customers when they are already up in arms. This reeks of "the meeting" where the dev team is behind schedule and the technical/financial limits of continuing the old product in tandem with the new one is sucking up too many resources. But management wants something out there so they can kill the old product. A decision is made to launch with what is already done or near done and hope for the best.
I would have prefered that you killed the old product, explained why, and focused on putting out a functional new product. Even if that meant that there wasn't a new CB or updates to the old for a couple of months.
This untenable situation could have been ameliorated by a frank discussion of why it was important to stop work on the classic CB in favor of a more robust and flexible cloud version. A frank assessment that it wasn't going to be on time and that in order to get it done resources had to be reallocated. In short managing expectations of the customer.
Instead we have a launch of a product that if the previews were to believed was ready for prime time. Its not.
As useful as my ddi sub has been and the ease at which CB has made character creation in its first incarnation, my patience is waring thin.
I did not ask for refunds when updates slipped. I have defended the switch to the cloud as being a positive thing. I really don't have the energy to keep defending that choice when you obviously are willing to launch with crap and tell me it doesn't stink (or worse, launch with crap and just not talk about the obvious stink its causing). You all should be ashamed and embarassed.
I am basically tired of being taken for granted and left in the dark about what is happening with the service that I am paying for. I have re-upped my yearly sub for only 3 months. That means you have 3 months and counting down to win me back.
I am not just talking about CB smoothly functioning, I am talking about getting real about communicating realistic expectations of what I am getting for my money.
I am talking about communicating with your customer base about what is possible and what is not with the resources at hand. You know, like I am an adult with a modicum of intelligence and restraint. This wall of silence crap has to stop.
Oh, and don't think that some glowing market-speak PR crap is going to make me jump for joy. I am asking for a sober discussion of what we have now and where the plan is for the future. And then updates when those targets are made or why they slipped or changed. You know, the real deal.
3 months and counting. Don't blow it.