posted by: redknight38
I sigh at myself. I really did promise to stay out of this, but that's clearly me lying to myself since last night. I've been involved...
So I am about to get a PhD in military history, with a specialty on insurgencies and conflict management. I'm not active military but what the hell. The gentleman in active duty was right-- this movement needs to get organized. Bioware has been getting better at playing by the PR handbook because they're getting a handle on things. Therefore they are in for the long haul and therefore people here have to be as well. That means getting organized and having consistent, coherent, simple and clear tactics and messaging. The Tea Party and the Occuppy movements both had to do that, hence their staying power after initial passionate outbursts.
How do insurgencies or even COIN ops operate?
1) Get a message out. So this Retake movement has to get a message out. Some suggestions have been offered: google bombing and review bombing. I have a lot of qualms about the latter because it has the potential to irreparably drive down the reviews to the point of not being able to repair it. Later, when this movement has become more articulated, you might be able to promise to attempt to drive that review rating up, however.
Either way, find a way to spread this on the Internet and build awareness for it. Have simple talking points and try to agree on them.
I suggest remaining polite and even being a little positive. You like ME, you don't hate Bioware. You just want changes. That'll build a sympathetic message because a key point in COIN and insurgencies is winning over neutrals.
2) Repeat the message as often as you can. Self-explanatory. However, it can't just be "I hate the ending" or "hold the line." You'll have to keep repeating your simple, bullet-pointed list of complaints. Groups like the IRA don't repeat long treatises (as I've been seeing on the boards) on their complaints. Nobody will read that. Keep it simple and keep it consistent.
That clearly means people on this forum will have to come to an agreement of the basic points they all agree with. The majority of resistance movements have internal problems and divisions that are often more important than external ones. The IRA, the VC, Mao, they all killed as many or more of their own members as their enemies. Failed insurgencies like the Philippine NPA did so to the detriment of their mission.
Incidentally, that means that instead of saying "bump" or "hold the line" or "I support this thread" you might want to say "don't play SP or MP" in trying to bump it. Something constructive. The message.
3) Disrupt the enemy's internal cohesion. Attacking Bioware people is highly counter-productive so no ambushing or isolating. These people are just doing their jobs and I sincerely doubt they're maliciously laughing at your discontent. Neither are they having money fights at your expense. Come on people, this is the gaming industry, not Goldman Sachs. These people are not rolling in it.
They try to humanize themselves to win your sympathy. DO THE SAME. Stop attacking Casey Hudson and the like but instead tell them you love the game, you always liked his writing and you always had faith in him. This will be easier because it's essentially true. Tell them you don't hate them, that you'll go back to the fold if they meet your demands.
What you are trying to do is build sympathy and win defectors. The biggest prize for an insurgency movement are defectors, especially high profile ones. In the case of this Retake thing, you want to do it so that during their meetings there will be someone advocating for you. Hopefully more than one someone. Incidentally, this might involve having to accept paid ending DLC. Much earlier in this thread I opined why it would have to be paid: remember, they claim the game is done. The story is finished to their satisfaction. Any ending DLC they release they can legitimately (i.e. in court) claim as bonus. You don't need to get it.
Be careful of them trying to do the same. They'll try to win you over so someone here will suddenly be advocating for them. Hence the skepticism regarding Mr. Lee. He came here and suddenly everybody was telling others to back off, the Bioware guys had a long week. This is true, and don't be rude to him. However, nobody was, but people were losing their skepticism and resolve.
4) Disrupt the enemy logistics which means disrupting sales. Since you can't meet them head-on, this is one thing you can do. However, threatening to boycott products not yet made is absolutely meaningless. Newsflash, if you threaten not to buy something a company has not yet made, what will they do? Not make them. Bioware hasn't lost money on products not yet made because they haven't sunk resources into making them and marketing them. If you threaten not to buy it, they will find another product, one which does not cater to you. The next Bioware game could therefore very well be a multiplayer game or a shooter. That being said, threatening to boycott Bioware in the future is not a bad idea since AGTHunter noted that it turned you into cautious consumers. You just have to do more.
However, they have ME3 now. I can guarantee you the sales of ME3 and its future content are part of their current budget plan and profit projection. It's part of their logistics. Disrupt that and you are actually making a message regarding their money.
You don't need to do anything dramatic but it might be hard. Too hard. Not playing SP and MP is honestly the best way to do it-- they track your playtime so by not playing you are telling them you are unhappy with the current product and will therefore not buy future DLC or anything of the sort. Since they alread have money sunk into your product, one likely response from Bioware is to attempt to find ways of luring you back since that would be easier than making an entirely new game. If you keep emphasizing you would love to be lured back if they meet your demands, even better. Remember that video games are actually cheaper than you think and a lot of their profitability comes from DLC so you do hold some leverage here.
Discouraging others from buying it works as well.
Not playing MP seems a no go since too many people want to. So be it-- it's their right and they're being smart consumers still. They paid for it, why not enjoy it? Don't criticize them for it. Someone suggested continuing the protest on MP and if it is possible change your name to reflect Retake or Hold the Line. Add it to your online avatar's name. I don't know if that's possible.
Basically-- if you kids are serious about this, remember a) this won't be easy and it'll take a while, b) there will be no clear win, insurgencies or COIN ops don't end cleanly, c) there is risk. There is always risk and you'll have to accept that. The biggest risk is that Bioware might simply abandon you and ME3. Another is that you might damage Bioware to the point that it can't make its games. I don't like that, you don't like that and it's why a lot of "haters" are mad at you. They have good cause, but that's beside your point.
One last cynical thing you can offer Bioware: if they meet your demands and you are happy... well you can essentially offer this online advocacy network to them. Most companies would give their right arms to have a passionate, far-reaching and dedicated group of people pushing their products for free.
So good luck to you kids.