The Inner Council’s summary of the first Player Council term

As many of you know, the first term of council has come to an end… We’re sad to end this first term, but are even excited to see what is to come from future Grepolis Player Council members!With elections now open up until April 19th, we thought it would be good for you all to know what has been going on in council for the past 6 months.

A final call with InnoGames took place on March 8th, in which several people took part:
Florian799 (FR), HBB-1 (NL), Dark-shadow35 (FR) from Inner Council, and
Stefanie Schaumburg (Lead Community Manager), Bernard Graham (Game Designer), and Jareth van Bone (Technical Product Lead) from InnoGames.
The call was sectioned into three parts: feedback and results from the past term, project related facts and numbers, and a discussion on analyzing and improving the council. Some of the main points included:

  • After suggestions from various servers, we picked 64 suggestions from all the communities and dwindled those down into 8 categories.
  • Of these suggestions, some have been implemented, such as the mobile live conquest report, while others are still in the process of being developed – such as end game ideas.
  • There was some discussion about the activity of the current player council, and ways that we could further improve communication to the developers and local councils. You can see some of these topics on the DevBlog.
  • Finally, there was an open discussion about ideas that were brought up throughout the term.

A few inner council members wanted to share their personal thoughts on inner council, which you can read below.

[FR] Dark-shadow35:
I have been working for 6 months as one of the two spokeperson for French community, and I’m glad by it. I got the luck to take part in two of the 3 calls with InnoGames, who did a lot to encourage our work, and listen to our feedbacks and suggestions from all types.
There was some bad things (NDA only for Inner) which came up to a slow but sure death of Local Councils… But thanks to our warning, it now doesn’t exist !

[EN] Phidippidies:
I have been in council for 6 months in the EN community, and joined Inner Council a few months in. As dark-shadow said, Inno really does encourage us/listens to our feedback – there were probably times when the developers were asking for more feedback than I could respond with. Since this was the very first term of council, things frankly started out… a little bit rough. However, I personally have seen drastic improvement with this project just in the past few months, and would highly recommend council to any player that is passionate about the game.

[NL] HBB-1:
In the beginning it was hard to find our way, because we didn’t know where to begin. For the next term Inno games has solved this by letting a few members in the council.
Everything went faster after the first meeting and from both sides came good suggestions.
I would like to thank all of the active council members for there Input and effort and thank Inno Games for listing to us.
I very am glad that some improvements have been realized this therm.
For the new Council members hope that you have such a good time as i had and it is really great to talk with Grepolis players from all over the world.

Grepolis Player Council

The Grepolis Player Council consists of player elected members of the community, representing the wishes & concerns of the player base. Select Player Council members take part in events with InnoGames to present their ideas & gain a general understanding about the development processes around Grepolis. The goal of this project is to gain a mutual understanding of community desires and development possibilities.

Posted in Grepolis Player Council
25 comments on “The Inner Council’s summary of the first Player Council term
  1. Gregor says:

    I have a question regarding implementing live sieges on mobile app..

    You said you already implemented it in recent updates?

    Can you tell us exactly how to post live feeds from grepo app to ally forum or to someone over private message?

    • Steffi Steffi says:

      Let me use the example of sharing such a report on the alliance forums:

      Once a siege has started on your city, you will see the live report and can then hit the share button. As in the browser version, you will need to choose who this report should be visible to.
      Afterwards, you open the alliance forum, create a new post and hit the attachment button (the little paper clip) in the top right corner and select the report you would like to share.

      It is possible that the list of reports to share appears as empty in the app under certain circumstances. This is a known bug that we should get fixed in the next app release. πŸ™‚

      • Gregor says:

        Thanks for the answer Steff

        however i am asking for situations where i start the siege and need to publish.

      • Sevak says:

        That is right … but only for siege …
        For conquests ?
        I mean … We can’t post like this the conquests… we have to go on desktop version and then copy the code from there…

        And another thing … we really need a method to prevent fake atacks ( land an atack and then cancel the command ) it’s really annoying to get this all the time in the middle of the night and to wake up just to see that nobody attacks …

  2. test says:

    hello steffi, hello bernard, this is a test for our dear friend geisti
    – lukas

  3. test says:

    Looking forward to our reunion on Friyay! πŸ˜€
    There’s no way parking me on the 6th floor in the morning btw. πŸ˜›

  4. Mim le Fay says:

    I really wonder for this answer. As you well known, there is no share button in the live report, do you?
    What do you think, when will the next update be released and is this fixed?

    • Steffi Steffi says:

      It is currently only available for sieges on your own city, which should work nicely, apart from one minor glitch.

      Sharing the sieges you started will have to follow later down the road.

  5. morg says:

    Dear Council,

    I write here because my market (US) doesn’t have player representation, we don’t have a council – our community manager didn’t go through with setting it up, however you can see, we have elected players, with high number of voters (bottom of the page):
    https://wiki.en.grepolis.com/wiki/1st_Grepolis_Player_Council

    Few days ago there was a (automatic) bot-scan on all our active servers, numerous players got banned falsely, which admittedly is caused by a glitch of a new bot-detection tool that you created. Despite the US support team admitted this, they don’t/can’t take any actions, don’t respond to appeals only close them.

    It is especially unfair in my opinion that these new tools are tested on a market without Council / player representation. Please read our feedback here and take the appropriate actions to make a change!
    https://us.forum.grepolis.com/index.php?threads/the-last-24-hours.11983/
    We can not ask our inner council members to take this to you…

    Thank you,
    a loyal customer since 2011

    • Steffi Steffi says:

      Unfortunately the player council is not currently active as we’re waiting for the elections of the second term, which will likely also allow us representation from the United States if all candidates meet the requirements (currently being confirmed). However, it will be necessary that any new player council members confirm their willingness to take part in the project with the Community Managers, which unfortunately did not happen for the last term, although we did have some election results.

      That said, we have released an explanation about the tool issues yesterday, as soon as the issues were resolved, and we started compensating players for the amount of days they have been banned unjustly as a first step. We are still in the process of compensating the more extreme cases that could not be covered by a generic compensation. However, fortunately only a relatively low amount of players was directly affected by this malfunction of our tools (37 cases across 9 game worlds – all other bans we found to be correct and justified), so we can look into their cases individually and find a compensation that should hopefully make up for most of their losses and help them lower the impact on their whole alliance.

      We would also like to point out that this problem occured due to combination of a misconfiguration and several other problems that were exclusive to the US market. The tools are neither being tested on this market, nor were they implemented without prior testing on the beta environment. This was merely a case of several individual smaller problems leading to a bigger error in the system that targeted the aforementioned ~30+ innocent players, which is something we still deeply regret and understand the frustration about.

      The configuration issue, as well as the tool, have been fixed immediately after we could confirm the issues and we are confident that no such error should occur again. Furthermore we will train our supporting teams to handle such situations with even more care.

      We hope that the affected players and their alliances will accept our apology as it was not our intention to cause any harm by attempting to keep the game a fair place for everyone playing without the help of bots.

  6. morg says:

    As far as I know the candidates were more than willing to take part in the project, the lack of cooperation from the community manager was the problem, council forum was never set up…

    If it’s what you suggest that our candidates’ willingness wasn’t confirmed – why didn’t the community get any info, announcment, new election?
    I really hope there will be a change in good direction for US markets.

    We all appreciate the efforts of the EN CMs in sorting out the chaos around false bans while our CM is unavailable.

    • Steffi Steffi says:

      The forums were indeed set up and are visible for the administrators, however, it seems like the communication to get the approval from the members willing to join the project got stuck at some point and the information we have is that there were not enough confirmations to proceed.

      That said, it is very well possible that some errors were made, I can neither confirm nor deny this explicitly at this point due to lack of insight (e.g. into private messages due to data protection reasons), which is why we will have a closer look at the elections this time around to prevent them from happening again.

      Thanks for bringing the matters to our attention and for staying polite and constructive. πŸ™‚

      Good luck for the elections!

  7. Athenakins says:

    Hi,
    I was elected to the US council. Gorben and I were more than ready and willing to serve. We were never set up with the forum permissions or given the information we needed to serve even after several attempts by us to do this. Our Community Manager stopped responding to us.

    The US is a HUGE market. There should be no reason the best players are going to EN or quitting the game altogether.

    The issues with US have more to do with the people Grepolis has chosen to represent them rather than actual game functions. The lack of a US council and the fact that it is being blamed on the players is just another example.

    • Steffi Steffi says:

      Unfortunately we cannot look into the private messages that have been sent in this regard (seen as they are private ;)), but what has been reported to us and what we see on the support system (there were tickets sent to all eligible members, as you know, since you answered), indicates that there were not enough responses to determine 2 eligible candidates and thus we did not proceed with the next steps.

      The first elections were quite bumpy and not only confusing for some players, but also for the Community Managers who were handling all the background processes. This is very likely due to the complexity of this project and the amplifying factor that the direct communication between Community Managers on the other side of the world and the German headquarters is by nature limited to only very few hours over the course of the day.

      This should not excuse any errors that were made in the last term (starting with the faulty election setup), which is why we have already made some adjustments to the processes to ensure that the elections starting tomorrow will yield a better result. At the point of writing this text, we have 3 candidates who meet all requirements to proceed with the elections. If these candidates are confirmed in their mandate and accept the challenge, we will ensure that they will be bestowed with all necessary accesses they need to proceed with their player council duties.

      Please understand that it was neither my intention to put the blame on your side, nor on anyone else’s. Assigning blame doesn’t help fixing the underlying issues anyways, proper solutions do. I’m sorry if it sounded otherwise, I was simply trying to state the facts that we based our decisions on. With additional help and supervision, I’m pretty certain that we should see improvements in this election process and I sincerely hope that we will get to cooperate with some US players as well. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for sharing your feedback and pointing out some more things to look into!

  8. Corwin36 says:

    Where is the fearless US community manager that has been behind most of these messes?

    • Steffi Steffi says:

      The US Community Manager is unfortunately currently indisposed and cannot answer to any inquiries, which is also why we are very thankful that the Community Managers of our EN market are helping out in the meantime.

  9. Rachel.L says:

    is anything being done so that app players have an opportunity to vote in the elections for the second gpc? right now it appears to be in the browser only. voting by email? coming to the forum? we are trying to make this a more inclusive and fair vote so let’s not forget 1/3 of our players.

    • Steffi Steffi says:

      Unfortunately it is not currently possible to participate in the elections from the phone, seen as the app is just considered as a companion app, rather than the full game (which is apparent in regards to the feature availability even outside of the election window).

      Most of our players play either on browser or cross-platform and in fact only a very small percentage of players is playing the mobile app only, and if they do, they tend to play more casually at that. If you happen to know any mobile players who would be interested in participating in the elections, please let them know that they can even log in to the browser version with their phones (load desktop version of grepolis.com) to cast their vote if need be.

  10. Rachel.L says:

    I understand they can’t participate in the app, i’m saying tell them it’s happening so they can find a way to do it. Also, why isn’t it possible?

    It’s not my job to let the app players know this is happening. IT’S YOUR JOB. It is actually written in the contract you write with players when they sign up. Read it sometime.