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  1. #1
    Forum All-Star MiniGardener's Avatar
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    Last one out, please shut the gate behind you...

    Are we being herded away from our beloved forum?

    Ever since I discovered the forum a couple of months after I started farming, it has been as important a part of my farming day as milking the cows. I love my neighborhood chat, but the forum plays a different role in my enjoyment of Hay Day.

    Since last fall, I've been anxious about the focus of the Hay Day team's planning. I feel like we've been in the dark and the few brief sparks have been like matches on wet kindling.

    Historically, posts from Nick or Frisco with news about updates, or threads requesting questions for the developers, would have been bombarded with excited speculation and a number of thoughtful topics, both from new farmers and forum regulars. Now, even the 2 minimal videos from Camy have elicited almost no feedback. Threads in the Ideas and Suggestions forum are rare and rarely generate any support. If you go to the forum page that shows who is online, there is just a pathetic little paragraph of (currently) 31 actual forum "members" online. None are farmers. There are zero mods or game specialists--for either CoC or HD online. Truly, the last cows appear to be heading for the barn.

    Historically, (even last year) as June rolled around there would have been huge excitement about the upcoming birthday and summer update. This year, with the appearance of Camy's video, we all just pulled our tractor caps down a bit farther over our eyes and went back to our neighborhoods. Nick's post of the most recent "dairy news" in the announcements forum has only received responses from eight farmers, and the most recent was 6 days ago. It's not that we don't care. It's that many of us are too discouraged (and too polite) to say what we really think.

    I've been on the verge of starting a thread like this to air my concerns for months--every time some event on the farm calendar goes by with deafening silence from Helsinki--but I kept thinking, "I'll just wait until the fabulous long-awaited update." Well, my concerns have reached critical mass, and I'm not willing to wait until after the update when my larger concerns will be deluged by a tsunami of delight/anguish over the stupendous new feature.

    My fundamental concern is that no new feature can possibly live up to the hype that has been loaded on this one by the Hay Day team. Even if it becomes as popular with many farmers as the Derby, it won't please everyone.
    Why do the members of our team persist in putting so many of their eggs in one "new" basket update after update?
    Why can't the things that we look forward to throughout the farming year be regularly maintained and improved?
    Why can't the features that were introduced with much hoopla in previous updates going back several years be given a bit of attention?
    Is anyone responsible for managing the resource allocation of the Hay Day development team? They appear to be increasingly lured away from the work of keeping everything fresh by the allure of shiny new objects.

    Hay Day is a game of resource management. That's what those of us who have been farming for years--some since the game was introduced--love about it. We love our updates, but we also savor the small things of everyday farming. Things like the ability to pick up PT townies from multiple platforms, and chat with our neighbors whether we're on our own farm or theirs. There are a truckload of tweaks like that which aren't glamorous, but we appreciate every one of them on a daily basis. The tweak that greys out the animal product/feed when collecting/feeding is completed means I can give my animals some shade without worrying that I'm missing something. The change in the weekly events, and the notice of what's coming up for the week is great. The change to the BINGO derby which allows us to complete individual lines was a huge game changer!! The improved Town Hall has also been fabulous. However...

    Over the years, the forum farmers have made requests and suggestions for features that we feel were introduced and forgotten in the focus on some glitzy new feature-in-development.
    Fishing area?? We now have plenty of fishing holes. We've been asking for something new over there for years.
    Edit feature?? It is still incredibly clunky and I would be surprised if many people get a lot of use out of it.
    Boosters?? It seems the team is still tweaking them, but we'd all like to know what would be so awful about offering the option to activate rather than just trade/trash.
    Sanctuary?? What can I say....and I'm not asking for more animals.
    These are just major update features. There are a lot of things like barn-sorting tabs where changes would bring joy to farms everywhere. This would probably take considerable effort, but it would be appreciated by farmers from level 1 on up.

    Is it possible that the team doesn't realize how unhappy we are about the dwindling amount of creativity that has gone into holidays since last Halloween?? The fact that we have not made a big deal out of it in no way reflects our disappointment. How hard can it possibly be to simply plug new graphics into existing holiday code?? Even if it is time/resource consuming for the team, I consider it to be a worthwhile investment.

    As far as I can tell, there is no source of feedback that comes close to our forums--not Facebook, not YouTube, not Reddit. (I can't speak for Twitter or Instagram). There are still a few of us who choose not to engage in social media. I think what finally tipped me over into starting this thread (even if nobody responds) was SmallChange's thread about voting for the birthday cake. There was no thread in Announcements/News about it. When a very lovely long-time forum member posted that she wanted to vote but didn't have an account, I saw . I got my nephew to help me vote for a birthday cake without having to create a YouTube account. I posted the instructions here.#28

    The other YouTube disappointment for me has been the Hay Day YouTubers' visit to Helsinki. Ranger started a thread in the forums, and I looked forward to following it like the one when he visited several years ago. I guess we had to go to YouTube because the forum got no updates after the day Ranger arrived, and no other YouTubers posted anything. Did the team discourage them from posting anywhere but for their YouTube followers? I could find no mention of their visit on Hay Day's FB page either. Are those of us who don't want to be on the FB/YouTube/Twitter/Instagram treadmill SooL? (Don't ask. It would be censored.)

    Then there's Discord which has been dignified by a link in its own forum here. However, it's not a real forum; you can't start a thread or anything to invite people to a "server". It is just a single link. There's no information to help any of us Luddites decide if discord is for us. I decided that if I was going to post this rant, I needed to see whether we actually had a comparable alternative to this forum. Especially since CoC is the only other SC game with a surviving forum. No, it's not the same. It's like a giant neighborhood chat. I suppose it is possible that it will evolve into neighborhoods for larger groups of farming friends, but there seems to be no way to focus and preserve a discussion like we have here. I began farming shortly after the town was introduced. Neighborhoods had been around for a while. Some original neighborhoods, including the one I belong to, were formed by farmers who "met" here in the forums. Perhaps Discord will offer an option for chat with friends who are not neighbors. I reserve judgment. I feel like we're on the verge of a major change comparable to the end of GameCenter. In that case, SC came through with in-game friends and the SCID.

    So...we appear to be out here on our own. Very few posts from Nick or Frisco. Only two bare-bones Dairy News videos from Camy. Virtually no news from the YouTubers' visit to Helsinki. There is a lot of pent-up farming emotion out there with no outlet. I just hope that the birthday/update doesn't coincide with the summer solstice which I believe is another one of those holidays when everyone in Finland goes on vacation for an extended period.
    Last edited by MiniGardener; June 3rd, 2019 at 05:29 AM.

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  2. #2
    Thanks for your post, MG. It made me sad, because it rang so true for me. I don’t know what to add—except to say that I agree with you. I was especially struck by your saying, “It's not that we don't care. It's that many of us are too discouraged (and too polite) to say what we really think.” That’s definitely true for me, and it’s why I seldom voice my opinions any more. Thank you for taking the time to speak up about this.

  3. #3
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    My 2 cents for what it’s worth?

    i feel we have been long neglected by the community managers. News stopped being posted here and we had to go to other platforms to see some stuff. When a few tidbits are posted here, they really don’t grab me.

    i started a thread some time ago where they asked about what boosters we would like to see... I started it with a screenshot from Facebook. They never asked us directly.

    as far as discord is concerned? When they put the link in the forum I did check it out. Nick was a social butterfly on the day I lurked. I did not see him back there.

    this forum is important to me. I would not be farming without the forum. I like to help. I like to learn. All we can really do is help one another because it is a community forum.

    maybe we need new ideas to empower ourselves?
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  4. #4
    Forum All-Star MiniGardener's Avatar
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    The introduction of the Game Specialists was one of the best things to happen in the forum. We are so lucky. When I noted that there weren’t any mods or Game Specialists online, I did not mean to imply that we are neglected by either group, just that I was surprised. The most surprising was the tiny number of people online. There are always way more lurkers than members, but the list of members has always been at least triple what I saw. Especially since they were all clashers.

    I agree that we need to empower ourselves. I think there are people here who would jump in, but the lack of feedback from SC changes the game. The last Q&A video that Camy and Frisco did a while back was essentially worthless. Their responses were worthy of politicians. I feel like there’s no point in contributing questions when we get little but “Thanks for asking, but we can’t reveal anything.” We can’t even figure out what kind of suggestions and questions and feedback are helpful to the team when we just get silence.

    One big question I have is how the community managers now allocate their time among the fragmented social media options. Have they got so many different platforms to manage that there’s not enough time to actually be a contributing member of any of them? If all they are doing is lurking, that’s inadequate.
    Last edited by MiniGardener; June 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 AM.

    Farm Level 123 | Town 40 | Achievements 141/144

  5.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MiniGardener View Post
    The introduction of the Game Specialists was one of the best things to happen in the forum. We are so lucky. When I noted that there weren’t any mods or Game Specialists online, I did not mean to imply that we are neglected by either group, just that I was surprised. The most surprising was the tiny number of people online. There are always way more lurkers than members, but the list of members has always been at least triple what I saw. Especially since they were all clashers.

    I agree that we need to empower ourselves. I think there are people here who would jump in, but the lack of feedback from SC changes the game. The last Q&A video that Camy and Frisco did a while back was essentially worthless. Their responses were worthy of politicians. I feel like there’s no point in contributing questions when we get little but “Thanks for asking, but we can’t reveal anything.” We can’t even figure out what kind of suggestions and questions and feedback are helpful to the team when we just get silence.

    One big question I have is how the community managers now allocate their time among the fragmented social media options. Have they got so many different platforms to manage that there’s not enough time to actually be a contributing member of any of them? If all they are doing is lurking, that’s inadequate.
    Thank you for starting this very thoughtful thread, Mini.

    I am online every day - always several times a day - but I tend to be incognito, so you can't see me!

    Like you, I love the forum and the community it serves. Long may it continue!

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  6. #6
    Millennial Club Tahoe's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting this Mini. It's interesting because I was just discussing my (similar) observations about the forum with a friend. Both Nick and Frisco have read this thread so I am hoping that one of them might respond. (I'm not even going to comment on the HD Discord server).

    I have met the most wonderful people on this forum and hope it continues to exist.
    Last edited by Tahoe; June 3rd, 2019 at 07:32 AM.


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  7. #7
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    Agreed. I'm a forums person first n foremost. Even if not a regular poster.
    I still look in here when I'm able, whether I post, or not.

    Previously, I felt we'd been forgotten because of FB etc. And now, I feel this way doubly so cos of discord.
    It's something I'm making myself adapt to (discord) but, well, the knowledge I picked up on the forums will be hard to replace Imho.
    Last edited by udderly; June 3rd, 2019 at 07:49 AM.
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  8. #8
    Forum Champion SmallChange's Avatar
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    *Mini*

    Thank you x

    You’ve said what I’ve been wanting to say for a long time, but I just couldn’t find the right words/tone.

    I come on to the Forum and every day it makes me sad. I SO miss how it used to be. It’s now like a ghost town. Nothing re the Birthday Cake, no way for US to vote on the Forum, a Poll would have been simple enough.

    Yes, we could all ‘make an effort’ to post more, but tbh, there’s nothing to post about and not very many friends still playing. I think many would return if things improved though.

    I don’t do SM either. Even if I did, neither FB nor Discord are anything like our beloved Forum. Nothing.

    I’m an eternal optimist, but Hay Day is knocking that right out of me.

    Like you, I don’t understand why no one seems to care about the things that would make Daily player a MUCH better experience, small tweaks that would make a huge difference. Nick has said in the past that when we go quiet on something the assumption is that we are happy with it, it’s just not true, we have just given up on asking because it’s like shouting into the wind.

    The Game & The Forum BOTH used to be something to brighten my day, now they’re both just ‘Meh’. I’m sad.
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  9. #9
    Forum All-Star MiniGardener's Avatar
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    Thank you, everyone for the thoughtful replies. I learned a couple of new things about the forums from Cowslips (people may be online incognito) and Tahoe (I can see who has read the thread--never noticed that before!).

    I know that our forum can't compete with FB in terms of numbers. We certainly can't compete with 10.7K votes for whether we prefer bacon & eggs or pancakes for breakfast. We probably wouldn't get a lot of responses to what our favorite hamburger recipe is. I think we could potentially have some fun with the "what music do you listen to while farming" prompt. It reminds me of an old thread we had going asking what movie was playing in the cinema. (I'm hoping one of our resident search gurus can find that thread for me. It was a hoot.) Maybe the community managers would like to use our cinema movie idea as a FB prompt. By the way, all three of those (breakfast choice, hamburger recipe and music) appeared recently on FB. In my opinion, those are one step up from spam. What useful info does SC actually get from knowing that 52% of 1.7K voters prefer pancakes? Of the few hundred people who actually post (as opposed to vote) a large proportion are recruiting for a neighborhood (surprise!) or lamenting the paucity of scrolls (surprise again!).

    I truly believe that this forum continues to offer something that neither we nor SC currently gets anywhere else.
    Last edited by MiniGardener; June 3rd, 2019 at 09:05 AM.

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  10. #10
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    The derby is fun for me, but by Thursday I am back to just farming. My sanctuary animals get fed once a day. I have named all my pets but I can't tell you what, because I never look. I do use layouts, but only when I see a cool design on someone's farm and want to see if I can recreate it on mine. I used to look forward to the updates and new features. But knowing in Feb. that there is an update coming "sometime this summer".... it left me feeling like "wake me when we get there". If that makes any sense.
    There have been some good ideas in that sub forum but you are right they get no traction. New products would be nice, new trees, new crops. A one click multi order fill for trucks would be HEAVENLY.
    I love my game, I will still play. I would love it even more if there were more "tiny tweeks" each month.
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