Our previous articles, “What is a Superuser?” and “Why Should You Acquire Superusers?” helped define who Superusers are and why they’re essential to your game’s success and nurturing the Gaming Community’s overall health and happiness.
Our final part of the Superuser series will give you (Game Developers) a brief explanation of how to build the perfect Superuser, what types of Actionable Feedback your Superusers can give to Game Developers, and the risks of losing Superusers (spoiler alert: don’t let that happen).
How to Build the Perfect Superuser?
Ideally, you want to schedule around 40 hours/Superuser to train them adequately. Depending on the scope of the game and what phase the game is currently in (Alpha/Beta Testing, Launched, LiveOps for many years) it could take shorter or longer to effectively train them.
Remember, the point of building perfect Superusers is to teach them how to deliver actionable feedback and recommendations that help Game Developers improve their product. Your Superusers will become an extension of your team as they’ll learn how to discover, capture, and relay actionable feedback from the community.
What Types of Superusers Should You Recruit?
As we established in “What is a Superuser?,” the various types of Superusers are Content Creators, Leaders, Socializers, VIPs, and Ninjas. While Superusers can take on multiple roles, it would be ideal for Game Developers to create a team that consists of one of each (minimum) type of Superuser.
This will help your Game Development team pull Actionable Feedback from a wider perspective of Community Members. You want to do research into your Superusers and make sure they’re in communication with a large group of people.
Guild/Alliance Leaders are usually in charge of 250+ players plus any additional friendly guilds they keep in contact with. Content Creators have a built-in fan base with subscribers/followers/likes/views. Socializers are always buzzing in their respective guilds/alliances and gaming communities with hundreds (or thousands) of players.
You can easily vet your Superuser’s community activity by asking them directly or looking into their activity in the game logs/community analytics/follower count. Once you pick your group of Superusers, you’ll want to make them Community Moderators for your Game’s Community. Our Superusers, act as Community Moderators for all of the Gaming Communities we work with.
The Superusers have direct moderation access to our Facebook, Line, and Discord community pages. They can answer any questions to the Gaming Community within hours in a way that is authentic and accurate (not automated).
Superusers can also help lighten the load for Customer Assistance by answering complex questions that would take a long time to answer via a game ticket and/or email, or that couldn’t be answered altogether. By having access to your Game Community’s Social Platform, they can answer any questions that they’re experts in and redirect them to other groups of players who can help them or to a published Guide that will explain their question in more detail.
Below is an example of a Superuser offering a detailed guide to a community member to help address their question and give more information about a specific resource in the game.
They go even further by answering their question in the same conversation in the next image.
Ideally, you want your Superuser team to help promote, support, and encourage the players in your Gaming Community. Once you pick out the best candidates to help your Game Developers, it’s time to figure out what kind of platforms and methods you want to use for Superusers and Game Developers to communicate with one another.
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What Are Some of the Methods That Superusers Can Deliver Actionable Feedback?
Communication between the Superusers and the Game Developers can take on many forms. They can communicate by email but emails can easily get lost in the shuffle of busywork.
Our Gamefluencers use a combination of emails, form submissions, and Discord to communicate directly with Game Developers. Each of these communication platforms is used for very specific reasons. We submit our Sentiment Reports in Google Docs via email to the Game Developers bi-weekly.
Bug Reports, Urgent Sentiment Reports, and VIP/Whale Reports are submitted through a customized form that immediately alerts the Game Developers when sent. Additionally, every time we send one of these reports, it alerts all of our Gamefluencers about that report to help prevent reports from being repeated and cause any confusion.
Finally, our Gamefluencers communicate with VIPs, Whales, and Game Developers in Private Discord Servers. Because of our relationship with the Game Developers combined with the Gamefluencers’ influence and understanding of VIPs and Whales, the Gamefluencers can confidently articulate and moderate the needs between both parties.
When starting an effective communication route between your Game Developers and your Superusers, we highly recommend using Discord. Having a specific room designated for all communication and/or hopping on a Discord call to discuss detailed topics can help to maintain a healthy relationship built on trust, integrity, and transparency.
What Types of Actionable Feedback Should Superusers Offer to Your Game Developers?
There are many types of Actionable Feedback that a Game Developer can ask from a Superuser. Depending on the game’s scope, the Game Developer’s budget, and the size of the Gaming Community, you can choose what kind of feedback you’d like the Superusers to submit.
Below are some examples of what we have our Gamefluencers submit to Game Developers that we work with. When applicable, make sure to ask your Superusers to send screenshots or videos of any report. Having some sort of evidence to an incident or report can help Game Developers grasp an issue in-game.
Urgent Bug Reports
If the Game Developers release new features, patches, and/or updates and it causes a major issue or bug, then the Superusers can immediately report it through Urgent Bug Reports.
Our Gamefluencers will prioritize Urgent Bug Reports from Priority 1, 2, or 3; 1 being the most severe or “Game-Breaking”.
In the example above, a recent Pack that was released had a new feature that caused all players to become “Zeroed” in one hit. Completely eliminating other players in one hit (especially players who have invested tens of thousands of dollars) can cause tons of chaos and anger in the community.
By having an Urgent Bug Report form to submit, or a Discord Channel available to post these instances, Game Developers will become aware within an hour of a major issue rather than in days or longer.
Urgent Sentiment Reports
Sometimes when a new pack, feature, and/or update goes awry and the entire Game Community is disappointed, Superusers will then submit an Urgent Sentiment Report to discuss the issue and offer a solution to the Game Developers.
Urgent Sentiment Reports can also be seen as smaller, more condensed Sentiment Report, typically one topic that a Superuser submits that can’t wait to be discussed in a bi-weekly Sentiment Report.
If some of the biggest Whales and VIPs express extreme disappointment with a recent pack, feature, update, or state of the game, Superusers can submit a Whale Watch/VIP Report.
The most common Whale Watch Report is used to report a situation where a CS agent is not properly compensating a whale for a bug they experienced that resulted in the loss of a lot of money.
Have Superusers submit bi-weekly Sentiment Reports that detail specific issues and features that the overall community is upset, worried, and excited about.
Our Sentiment Reports are organized by Major Topics (New Releases, Events, and Additional Topics), Community Sentiment, and Gameplay Topics.
We have our Gamefluencers submit priority ratings and colored ratings to help determine the significance of each topic or the Gaming Community’s reaction.
You can preview what a whole 20-30 page Sentiment Report looks like by clicking on this link.
Game Developer and Superuser Meetings
We recommend that Game Developers and Superusers schedule a video call/meeting at least once a month to help discuss topics and future development/plans. These video meetings are a great way to “put a face to the voice” and allow these groups to get to know each other on a more personal level.
Additionally, it’s a great idea to follow up on some of the actionable recommendations that Superusers have suggested and see what the Game Developers are willing to do with those recommendations: if they can implement them, how long it would take, if they choose not to implement those recommendations, and explain why they won’t.
These meetings are a fantastic opportunity to allow Superusers to feel truly a part of the overall Game Development by including them with the future plans of the game. Lastly, you are gaining incredible insight into the Gaming Community’s feelings towards the direction of your game.
What Kind of Questions Should Developers Ask from Their Superusers?
Superusers need to be specific about the Community Feedback they provide or else it’s not useful to the developers. Communication needs to be clear, concise, and transparent.
Additionally, Game Developers and Superusers need to allow the window for communication to remain open to help avoid misunderstandings. These are some of the “KPI-specific questions” that our Gamefluencers ask the Gaming Community and relay back to the Game Developers which makes the feedback clear, concise, and transparent.
The type of feedback that increases engagement and revenue for this is:
- Event structure and activity
- How was the structure of the event?
- Do players find the event task interesting?
- What types of actions/tasks would players find interesting to do?
- Player reception
- Did players enjoy the event? What did they like and dislike about it?
- Were players actively participating or only doing enough to hit rewards and quitting?
- Event length/duration
- How was the event length? Was it too long or too short?
- Were players able to complete the event in time to receive the rewards?
- Player behavior and reception
- Are players shielding for a long time? Are players attacking each other?
- Do players feel the game is tipped too heavily in one direction (offensive vs defensive) and why?
- Event difficulty
- Are the event tiers reachable? Are they too easy?
- Are players participating or trading hits to complete the event?
For a full list of KPI-specific questions related to 4X Strategy games, you can read our FREE document here.
How to Treat Your Superusers
Superusers should be treated as an extension of your Game Development team. As such, they should always be treated with respect, dignity, and integrity. Remember, Superusers want to give you actionable recommendations for improving the engagement of the Gaming Community and themselves.
Communication between the Superusers and Game Developers should be clear, concise, and honest. Naturally, Superusers will have to be advised by the Game Developers that specific upcoming patches, features, and packs can’t be discussed openly until released (that’s what NDA’s are for).
It’s important to state that Game Developers should not take advantage of their Superusers. Some bad examples of this could be collaborating with Superusers without some form of compensation. Another could be not showing genuine appreciation for their hard work and efforts in the Gaming Community, or simply not acknowledging their actionable recommendations and suggestions.
You want to build a relationship with your Superusers and by extension show that you care about their thoughts and suggestions about the game you want to improve.
One example of what not to do is Valve’s thoughts on Community Management, or in their case, a lack of Community Management. In our article, we criticize Valve and their Developer, Gautam Babbar, for taking a “hands-off” approach to Community Management. Babbar states:
“When players aren’t happy, we can’t solve the problem by talking to them, we have to fix the issues.”
Game Developers can ensure to their players that with Integrity, Transparency, Honest Communication, and Accountability, they’ll do their best to deliver a great gaming experience or explain why they can’t fulfill the Gaming Community’s wishes.
Payment and compensation can come in many different forms for your Superusers. Depending on their duties, you could compensate them for each project they complete, an hourly wage for Discord Community Moderation, or a combination of both.
The projects can be in-depth and detailed strategy guides to help the mass amount of players your game caters to. You could pay them a specific amount for each guide they complete or pay them based on their word count.
Additionally, for Content Creators who make videos, you could pay them per video they publish and offer them a sponsorship to continue to create videos related to your game.
Depending on the genre of the game, you could hire Superusers to host events like Esports competitions or provide an overview of a large upcoming event/patch/update.
You could compensate Superusers for the above activities by using in-game currency, which encourages Superusers to keep playing your game and allows them to create more in-depth guides about topics that would otherwise be blocked due to a paywall.
Risks of Losing a Superuser
Losing a Superuser can pose a big threat to the overall community and your bottom line. While companies might think that losing one Superuser isn’t the end of the world; a Superuser who quits the game because of their dissatisfaction has a ripple effect on the Gaming Community.
A Superuser who’s a leader of a prominent Guild/Alliance could take the entire group of people (200 to 1,000 players) associated with that Guild/Alliance and move on to another game. A Content Creator who has thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of followers could make a video talking about why they’re quitting, which in turn could convince other players who are on the tipping point of quitting to finally jump ship.
Below are Content Creators who have left their gaming communities or expressed dissatisfaction due to a major rift with the game developers and the overall community and game as a whole.
Nagato – Seven Deadly Sins Grand Cross
Nagato has 175k Subscribers on Youtube (5 million views/month on average), 33k+ Followers on Twitter, and receives 50k votes on community posts he creates. His content is primarily Seven Deadly Sins Grand Cross, a Hero-Gacha mobile game based on the Anime of the same name.
Nagato recently posted a video expressing his disappointment in the game’s publisher (Netmarble) for having a lack of content; even having to cut his content from 2 to 3 videos a day to 1 a day or two. Many of the commenters felt that Seven Deadly Sins Grand Cross became a game that they simply logged on, did their daily quests, then logged off.
However, after a recent release of a new event, “Ragnarok”, the overall community, including content creators like Nagato, have been satisfied with Netmarble’s new direction for the game.
Netmarable included an hour-long premiere of the Ragnarok event, detailing what to expect and addressing some of the community’s concerns.
While, by no means a perfect game, Netmarble’s approach to designing and managing new content and LiveOps is an excellent move on their part. And Nagato has returned to posting 2 to 3 videos a day about Seven Deadly Sins Grand Cross.
Asmongold – World of Warcraft
Asmongold is an incredibly popular World of Warcraft content creator with over 600,000 Subscribers and acquires over 100k views per video. He’s known for being a controversial but honest content creator, who has no issues with criticizing World of Warcraft and the company that created it, Blizzard.
With the recent release of World of Warcraft’s newest expansion, Shadowlands (released November 23, 2020), many WoW’s Gaming Community members express anger, frustration, and dissatisfaction with Blizzard’s direction of the popular MMO.
Asmongold and another very popular content creator, Bellular Gaming, have been exploring and playing SquareEnix’s popular MMO franchise, Final Fantasy 14. This is a Video Game that was on the brink of bankrupting SquareEnix, made a complete 180, relaunched as a new game, and has successfully beaten Blizzard’s World of Warcraft in overall satisfaction and online members.
Asmongold’s VoD of his Twitch playthroughs of Final Fantasy 14 have been uploaded on his channel and his first one has amassed 1 million views since its release four days ago (7/4/21).
Asmongold’s Twitch channel (as of 7/8/21) has over 80k viewers while he streams Final Fantasy 14 (he received over 7,000 subscriptions during his first stream) and he has expressed many positive comments about the game.
At this moment, it has yet to be determined if Asmongold will continue to stream Final Fantasy 14, but if Blizzard doesn’t take note of some of his concerns, as well as concerns of other major content creators like Bellular and the WoW community, they’ll continue to lose subscribers, revenue, and their already diminishing Gaming Community.
Superusers are some of the most important members of the Gaming Community. Their mastery and deep understanding of the game, interaction and support in their communities, and unbridled passion to help make a better gaming experience for everyone make them one of the most vital tools in a Game Developer’s arsenal.
However, it’s not enough to simply treat them as a “tool”; they’re a crucial part of your Game Development team. They’re an extension and a bridge between the Game Developers and the Gaming Community.
When a Game Developer leverages the knowledge and talent of their Superusers, they’ll be able to start undoing the issues that plague the Gaming Community. They can deliver better LiveOps that make the Gaming Community happy and excited. Developers can spend their time fixing major issues and correcting them while Superusers address common issues and FAQs with detailed guides, direct assistance, and support.
But we understand that this initial investment into Superusers can be quite daunting, time-consuming, and expensive for Game Developers. That’s where we can help you!
We have extensive experience with curating, training, and building the best group of Superusers for your Game Developers.
We can manage your Superuser team and build the perfect platform for you to successfully implement their Actionable Feedback. Please don’t hesitate to click on the links below to learn more. It’ll be the first step that you take to deliver a better gaming experience for everyone!
And, if you need a refresher on our entire Superuser series, make sure to go back and read Parts 1 & 2, “What Is A Superuser?” and “Why Should You Acquire Superusers?“.
We specialize in training, managing, and developing Superusers for a variety of Games using our patented GamerSpeak Method. Click here to learn more!
From Community Engagement to Discord Moderation; Custom Sentiment Reports to Urgent Bug Reports; our team of incredible Superusers can help you build an amazing game for years to come.
You can schedule a 30-minute free consultation with our CEO, Chad Kihm. He can detail how our team of Superusers can help your game grow.
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