Hope you're all enjoying your summer, and not melting in the heat.
Things are moving fast at BFNations with our recent announcement regarding DICE, and the Euro DOM 5v5 Tournament reaching it's conclusion on Saturday.
For this post however, we're going to take a step back for some reflection. About a month ago, we set up a Survey where we asked you for your feedback on BFNations. We are always looking to improve, and wanted your candid feedback on what we're doing well, and what we can do better.
We received a total of 85 submissions, which - considering the broad scope of the survey - is very impressive!
Below, I will break down the questions we asked, what the responses looked like, and provide some comments on each of the results on behalf of the BFN-team. I'll be starting off with the two most comprehensive questions; negatives and positives about BFNations:
What are some positives about BFN that you think we should stick to?
This was by far the most common reply out of the positives, which makes us really happy. First and foremost, BFN is a community, and a community needs to be united, respectful and friendly in order to function, so we're glad that we are doing our job here.
How you can help us keep this going: First and foremost; be nice and lead by example. Gaming still suffers from a lot of toxicity and disrespectful behavior online, and you can be a force of good in the fight against it. Being a likable personality feels really great, and getting there means making friends, not enemies.
Good meeting place for players within nations
If - for example - you're a Swedish Battlefield player today, there are not a whole lot of options to meet other Swedes. In fact, this was the very problem that we were first looking to resolve with BFNations. Local Battlefield communities are almost non-existent for most countries, and considering the language barriers between some nations, this poses a problem. We're really happy that we are succeeding in bringing people together within their nations, as this has already led to new friendships getting formed, new teams getting set up and a reignited interest for Battlefield among players that previously had no one to PTFO with.
How you can help us keep this going: Help spread the word about BFN in your respective nation! In many countries, some group of enthusiasts have seen the same problem we have, and tried to get their fellow citizens together. Reach out, let them know that a group of you are on BFN, and welcome them on board! Also, helping new players out goes a long way to creating a great community.
Many of you mentioned that you are impressed by the quality and effort behind our broadcasts. Twitch is one of the most important windows to the outside world for what we're doing, and BFNations is now the biggest stream on Twitch for competitive Battlefield. This is solely thanks to our incredible Stream-team, led by the man himself; ChaosZake. Without him, and the rest of the team, this wouldn't be possible.
Admins are engaged
Apparently, a lot of you feel that the BFN Admins remain engaged with the community. To be honest, we sometimes fear that we don't get enough time to simply sit back and have a chat every now and then. Nonetheless, this is flattering, and we will work on improving! Our organization is quite flat, and we're not fond of the sort of arrogance and big headed approach sometimes taken by leaders in gaming.
It's also worth noting here that the BFN Team is far bigger than simply the 7 Admins. We have teams for moderation, streaming, scouting and several other functions that are just as crucial to keeping the show running!
Continuing on the above, you praised us for doing a good job with the organization itself. This is probably where we are spending the bulk of our time day-to-day, and we're glad that it's showing. Our goal is to expand BFN to 50+ nations, many more competitions and even involve eSport teams / clans. With ambitions like that, we are still far from where we need to be in this regard, but we're working our hardest.
How you can help us keep this going: If you have a particular skill and are able to volunteer your time, please do! More than 30 people are involved in running BFN day-to-day and we're always looking for talented individuals to help us out. Check out our recruitment page, or message an admin on Discord whydontcha!
Welcoming to non-competitive players
Several members told us that they appreciate that BFN is welcoming both to competitive and casual players that are comp-curious. This is pleasing, since we believe upward-mobility is essential to a game like BF, where the few established competitive scenes have been comprised of quite few players. We respect the hard work put in by other competitive organizations, and would never bash any effort of improving the competitive landscape for Battlefield. With that said, we feel that landscape should be larger, and more accessible to good players that simply have not had the opportunity to showcase their skills.
How you can help us keep this going: Be an individual, and don't fall for the "us" vs. "them" thinking. While it's fun to wave our colors / flags / emblems, fun is exactly where it starts and ends. Rather than create divisions, groups should serve to unite the BF-scene and make it better. This has been a hard pill to swallow for some, but I do feel we have made a lot of progress in this regard. Many are now waking up to the fact that DICE have some exciting news on the horizon for competitive Battlefield, and realizing that this will require a change in attitude for some players that actually want to pursue a career in BF esports.
What are some negatives about BFN that you think we should improve on?
No support for Large-scale
The most common criticism we got was our lack of a large scale game-mode. This is absolutely fair, and something we are acutely aware of.
While BFN is now comprised of more than 3000 members over 20+ nations, this development has happened in a very short span of time. We only started the project in May 2017, and have since had to keep up with exponential growth. The way for us to cope with the growth, while still providing regular matches, was by on boarding T5 teams, because it was easier to maintain and was more established among our initial member base.
That said, large scale game-modes are on the horizon. One of the main challenges with T20 rosters is a logistical one. Many teams are not equipped to field regular T20's, let alone plan out consistent and effective strategies for a team of that size. However, BFN is much bigger now than when we started off, and our team thrives on the challenge of making large-scale competitive Battlefield a reality on BFNations.
Too few tournaments
Similar topic to the one above. Many of you feel that more competitive tournaments need to be planned, and that too much focus has gone in to the 5 vs 5 European Championship.
Agreed. Our vision is to establish different types of competitions for virtually every game-mode there is enough demand for. We are by no means restricting ourselves any single mode.
We're right now in the process of redrawing parts of our organisation in order to better cope with multiple competitions going on in parallel in more than one region. This is no easy task, and we want to do our best. We want more of our members to experience competitive play at the highest level, regardless of your playstyle or preferred mode.
Too restrictive rules
Point taken. Several players are sad to see their favourite gadgets and weapons get removed from our competitive matches by what they feel are too restrictive rule-sets.
At present, the game is not well optimised for small scale competitive Battlefield. In order to level the playing field, restrictions need to be in place.
That said, We agree and understand some players don't want too many restrictions. We have introduced a casual rule-set, and also look forward to new developments at Gamescom 2017.
We have allowed our teams and members to decide our current rule-sets via votes and consultations. That said, the rule-sets are a reflection of the high standards of competitive play that have been around for a long time. We don't want to remove the soul of the game or change how it is played, but there needs to be a middle ground.
Lack of events
One really encouraging thing coming out of the negative feedback we've receive is that it very much reflects the views of the admin team. We agree; much more needs to happen to keep the community engaged. Like with many of the other points, this has been a bandwidth problem to us, rather than a lack of will. We would like to see regular competitions arranged for all of our members to partake in, both on a nation level and for the entire BFN community as a whole. We would also like to get more public game-play going between members, and although our first public server is a step in that direction, we need to be better at keeping it active.
To remedy some of this, we're currently recruiting Event Managers. They will be tasked with making sure that their nation communities have regular events to participate in, regardless of skill level. They will make sure regular events take place for everyone to become involved with.
Better information for new users
Some users feel that the process of getting 'on board' as a new member on BFNations is complicated, and that it was unclear to them what BFNations was when they joined. It is my job to communicate what we're about, and if anyone is to blame, it's me.
BFNations has two primary goals:
- Be a community for Battlefield players, and connect players with others within their own nation.
- Set the standard for Battlefield eSports, by providing the most attractive prizes, broadcasts and overall organization. Right now we're pursuing this via Nation vs. Nation match ups, but will also be expanding our scope to eSport teams moving forward.
Perhaps some of the confusion comes from the fact that we're looking to merge what is traditionally seen as two separate things; community and competitive. From our perspective, the competitive scene helps build the community and vice versa. Of course, there are organizations primarily focusing on the competitive aspect of Battlefield, but we feel that the community is too scattered, and the biggest challenge to overcome is actually gathering all players in one place.
On a more practical level, we also need to become better at pointing new members to FAQ's (although one exists) and writing clear welcome messages in all of our channels. If you have further ideas on how we could help improve the experience for new members; don't hesitate to get in touch.
Finally, we frequently hear that you want us to stream more. In fact, some of you would like to see daily streams, and Twitch broadcasts available even when there is no match going on.
This is an area we haven't yet had a chance to work much on. More tournaments / competitions will definitely generate more broadcasts, but there's also an opportunity to use the airtime for other things, such as streaming game-play of top players on BFN, host loyal members or even broadcast content from external organizations. Feel free to get in touch with us on your ideas on what you would like to see on the BFNations Twitch channel.