Setting expectations

|TF20|Shockwave shockwave at
Mon Jun 27 15:47:18 EDT 2005

Hello everyone,

Like many of you, I have been on one mailing list or another
since the days of Unreal Tournament.  I've also been running a Linux game
server for that same amount of time.  For me, running a server isn't a
business venture but rather an opportunity to have a place for me and my
friends to get together to play and compete.  That is what has prompted me
to compose this message.

Let me start by giving a huge amount of thanks to people like Ryan Gordon,
Andreas Fredriksson, and Andreas Andersson.  Without your efforts there
would not be the kind of Linux support we all know is needed.  Thank you for
all you have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for this community of
developers, server operators, and gamers.  Don't let the vitriol some
continue to spew make you feel that your efforts are unappreciated or

As far as the problems surrounding the release of a fully functional Linux
server for Battlefield 2, I would like to make a suggestion.  I feel that
everyone would benefit from establishing some clear expectations.  To the
best of my knowledge, this has yet to be done.  I'm sure everyone would
agree that good communication is necessary for the success of any endeavor
be it a piece of software or a relationship.  Perhaps it's time to apply
that same kind of logic to the situation in which we all find ourselves now.
Towards that end, I would recommend that an EA/Dice spokesperson take a
moment to enumerate the following:

(1) Official communications channels - EA has pointed server operators to
this list and to the forums on but if there is a better way
of getting answers please let us know.  Knowing the right place to ask a
question is important.

(2) Valid/Invalid questions - Some have postulated that certain questions
will not be answered for whatever reason.  It would help to know if there
are any restrictions on the kinds of questions to which one can expect an
official reply.

(3) Average response time - Everyone has busy schedules and timezones
conspire to further complicate matters.  Regardless, it is only reasonable
that any business entity establish when they can be contacted and how long
it usually takes before a response will be given.

(4) Timetable for deliverables - Although "soon" may be an accurate
representation to some with respect to the occurrence of a particular event,
nothing trumps setting a specific expected time of delivery whenever

(5) Open lines of communication - The truth is that deadlines slip and
delays are inevitable.  The real test is how these unfortunate yet
unavoidable situations are handled.  If a deadline is approaching but it
appears that it will not be met, it is preferable to receive some
notification prior to the deadline so that surprises can be avoided and
everyone involved can plan accordingly.

Having this kind of information will help calm the situation and make the
exchange of ideas and information more efficient.  Most of the frustration I
see stems from not knowing when or if one will receive an answer.  If it is
a question that will never be answered for whatever reason, then this
frustration will simply continue to build.  If an answer is pending but
delayed due to some unforeseen circumstances, then I would wager that the
vast majority of people would be willing to calmly wait if they simply felt
that they had some connection to the people handling things.  For what it's
worth, I have faith in Dice and their ability to take care of this
community.  With a small tweak to the current procedure, I think that
everyone will breathe a lot easier.  Battlefield 2 is a phenomenal game and
we are all looking forward to enjoying it for years to come.


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