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Unity forum satisfaction

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Metron, Feb 13, 2013.

?

How satisfied are you with the forum and the answers provided to your questions?

  1. Very satisfied

    20 vote(s)
    21.7%
  2. Satisfied

    18 vote(s)
    19.6%
  3. Ok

    23 vote(s)
    25.0%
  4. Not satisfied

    22 vote(s)
    23.9%
  5. Not satisfied at all

    9 vote(s)
    9.8%
  1. kablammyman

    kablammyman

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    this.

    These sites are bigger than the unity forums, yet, I have very lil trouble getting help on them...even though they dont cater to juts 1 PRODUCT! Also, the more experienced users do a great job setting a more professional tone, so the n00bs fall in line. Also, all my questions get some kind of response. I dont see why this forum cant follow their examples.
     
  2. Krileon

    Krileon

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    I think this isn't really going anywhere.. Bottom line is Unity needs to make the decision and hopefully they'll come around to a Pro only forum solution, but that's just what I want and what I know for fact works.. oh well. Lets all try to remain civil here and get along, shall we?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  3. chingwa

    chingwa

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    As an aside, or just another way of thinking about this....

    being a user of the free version of Unity doesn't necessarily make you a "noob"... However it may be a good idea to somehow distinguish those who have invested money with UT via Unity Pro. If you look at a site like Flickr... they have millions of free users, and they also have users who have paid for their subscription based services. These people are given a "pro" monicker next to their name wherever there posts, or profiles are viewed.... as in this example...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisjongkind/

    what this suggests is that "I am a pro user and I have invested my time and money into Unity Technologies..." this doesn't necessarily mean anyone is better than anyone else, but it certainly suggests a certain commitment level. When a "pro" user has an issue it may be relevant to know his/her commitment level right away, and therefore may get more of a commitment back, both from the community and from Unity T.

    In my opinion this could be a baby step in the right direction. I don't necessarily agree with a "pro" only forum... in the interest of community development everything should be open imho. but I think Pro users should definitely have some sort of distinguishing feature.
     
  4. Metron

    Metron

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    Gosh...

    Pro Forum -> Pro Features related posts...

    Cannot say it any easier...
     
  5. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

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    Which part of "this only solves a small part of the problem for a small group of people" do you not understand? This thread is supposed to be about problems that affect everyone before it was hijacked by a bunch of people claiming that only Pro users matter.
     
  6. ColossalDuck

    ColossalDuck

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    I think you are vastly underestimating the amount of people that would actually like to moderate this forum voluntarily (present company included).
     
  7. khanstruct

    khanstruct

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    Yes! I'll be a mod. Give me full ban capabilities too!

    Absolutely kidding. I'm way too moody to moderate anything.
     
  8. Metron

    Metron

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    Take a look at who's the OP...

    The question was about the satisfaction of this forum due to the fact that a lot of questions remain unreplied, or lack qualified responses. In most cases those questions are targeting features that are only available to those who have a pro license or questions that go beyond the basic usage of Unity.

    I think the common consensus is that the current way the forum works is a) not satisfying for those with a pro license, b) has a high noise ratio, and c) lacks support from Unity. There is NO solution that goes "BAM - here you go, problems solved for everyone" !

    We cannot enforce a complete change of the forum and its setup. While creating specific beginners, advanced and expert tags (or sub forums) might sound like a good idea, it will most likely not reduce the noise. It still will result in questions quickly dropping onto page 2 of a sub-forum. So, the first step would be to actually listen to what the paying CUSTOMERS ask for, which is a specific sub-forum with less noise. If this is something you cannot understand, then please, walk your way and use the forum as is. Meanwhile, me and a whole bunch of other people have invested much money to purchase the Unity licenses and the updates, and we are asked to spend even more money to enjoy a half-decent support. Sorry to say this, but it's the paying customers who make a living for Unity, not the free users (aside those who spent big money on the Asset Store).

    As someone else said: When you sell licenses of a software, the customers should (and must) expect more support than those who use the software for free. It's in the same line like the AAA game discussion we had last year. Unity had to react quite quickly on that matter. Now is the next step: They have to improve their customer service.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  9. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

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    It's not the general consensus at all. And, once again, the tiered skill system level solves two of those directly while indirectly solving the first. A change in the forums can actually be enforced. It can be enforced through moderation and by making people aware of a new structure. It's that simple. There are even multiple people who have pointed out that it would not be hard for Unity to get volunteer moderators to offset this workload.

    And yes, it would decrease noise because it would separate novice questions (which make up the bulk of questions from a quick overview) from more advanced ones, which would make them move significantly less quickly, giving greater exposure to more advanced questions. Which. Helps. Everyone. Listening to "paying customers" first, who make up the minority of forum goers, would just make the community look less helpful to the majority of the userbase, which makes Unity vastly less appealing to new users.

    Pro users make up the minority of users here and simply targeting them does not help the inherent forum support problem.
     
  10. khanstruct

    khanstruct

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    I don't believe that's true. While Pro has some cool features that Free doesn't, they are not very complex or code intensive, and you often don't see too many questions about them specifically. If that were the case, the forums would be much slimmer. Most of the questions you'll find involve features that are available to everyone.

    Again, I don't care one way or another, but let's at least try to stick with facts to support your ideas. Otherwise its a pointless conversation and any solution you come up with will be self-defeating.
     
  11. Noisecrime

    Noisecrime

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    Ok figured I'd go back through my posting history for questions that were either never resolved or never had input from Unity engineers, which I'm assuming would be able to solve the issue. So depending upon you stance either these are Pro features or beyond the basics. I've left out some questions that were borderline, several of which got zero response too.

    Interestingly they all come from the ShaderLab sub-forum, which my gut feeling says probably would benefit from more replies from Unity than it currently does.

    Accessing-TextureMatrix-in-a-surface-vertex-shader
    Lots of replies, but no-one with an actual answer, just lots of hope and guesses.

    Shader-not-rendering-to-camera-depth-and-I-cant-work-out-why.
    Finally resolved this myself, but led to more questions than answers ;)

    Ping-Pong-RenderTextures
    Zero response.

    Is-it-possible-to-use-Geometry-shader-with-sruface-shaders
    No real solution, Aras did make an appearance, but never came back ;(

    Something else that may be of interest, is despite being quite vocal here about my concerns of a lack of getting questions answered, I still voted 'satisfied' in the poll the day it went up, as on the whole I am. Its just a few specific instances where things have fallen down.

    However conversely I still post on old Director mailing lists, gamedev.net and a few other places for questions that I could post here, but feel I'd get faster or more accurate responses too. Obviously these are not Unity specific though, but I think it does show that Unity forums aren't necessarily working as they stand.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  12. dtg108

    dtg108

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    That's because no one reads that forum. Each post margin is over an hour.
     
  13. Noisecrime

    Noisecrime

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    Then perhaps someone from Unity needs to? ;)

    Though again in fairness I know that Aras does reply quite a lot and takes a real interest, but he's just one developer and the number of threads in that sub-forum keep growing.
     
  14. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

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    Shaders in Unity is something that could benefit from an extensive rewrite of the documentation and maybe some proper tutorials. Right now it all seems to be "here's a thing you can do!" but with so little explanation as to the how and why of things. Better documentation there could help people figure out and advance in a lot more helpful ways.
     
  15. ColossalDuck

    ColossalDuck

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    You know a forum specifically for pro related content isn't a bad idea. Not a separate forum for pro only people to ask questions. But for specific questions regarding pro features.
     
  16. Noisecrime

    Noisecrime

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    I wish that were true, but I'd be very doubtful. Granted it would make many developers lives easier, I know I must have wasted days reading up on shaderLab and shader use in Unity, combing through the various include files (once i'd discovered them) much of which could have been saved with better docs. However eventually you'll still come across the sort of questions i've ended up posting after extensive research and testing as the answers just aren't in the docs or necessarily provided with better documentation due to the 'black box' nature of what happens to the shaders.

    I often wonder if Unity opened up their source for shaderlab and how Unity deals with compiling shaders (producing the mulitple versions needed) would help in this regard, but i'm not sure.


    I'm not so sure. My post about my own issues with shaderlab, whilst not a pro feature so that complex questions even in a low post sub-forum still don't get answered.

    However you may have a point, several of my other questions and a few threads that i've been on that really needed an answer from Unity have used some Pro features (e.g. audiofilters). So if Unity could get engineers into the forum to answer the questions it might be a partial solution.


    Oh something that really frustrates me about the forums - the lack of hierarchy display of where you are at the bottom of the page! SO annoying to reach the bottom of the page, especially if you've been through a multi-page thread and have to scroll or hit 'home' key to get back to the top in order to get back to the sub-forum.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  17. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

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    See, I dunno about that. I can go just about goddamn near anywhere and get help with GLSL and HLSL, but the minute I bring up Unity shaders even on the Unity forums...
     
  18. Pix10

    Pix10

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    You can't please everyone, but I could argue there's good reason to please the people who're putting their money where their mouths are - it would be an irony if those mouths aren't being heard in the vast signal-to-noise ratio that the Unity forums now, um, enjoy? : - )

    I think the boards could do with a few more sections, at the very least one for Graphics related discussion (why not, when there's Scripting?), and one for Pro Features should be stomach-able by all if the idea of a Pro-only forum is too much trouble.
     
  19. Metron

    Metron

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    So, basically what you are saying is: "Well, thank you for you paying but please f*** off, you are a minority here, so whatever you want, you won't get it because it's not for the free users..."

    I don't think that it would look less helpful, because all the other sub-forums would still exist so people can still do everything they do now. It's simply that those who were apparently stupid enough to buy (multiple) licenses would benefit from a better exposure of their questions to other pro (and non-pro) users and the unity team (who would be asked to keep an closer eye on that forum).

    Without the minority of pro users (plus the companies who have even more/bigger licenses than the standard pro), the free version would not exist. I initially purchased the indie version and did not frown when the indie license was dropped for a free version. I purchased pro licences and updates and so did the rest of this "minority". So a little bit of "consideration" from Unity would be nice...

    I've already the next poll in head... post it on Monday...
     
  20. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

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    You purchased software licenses that are functionally the exact same as the license that free users agree to, but with extra feature and revenue options. There is a separate support system on top of that that you didn't pay for and ONCE AGAIN FOR THE HUNDREDTH TIME, your idea ONLY helps Pro users.
     
  21. Krileon

    Krileon

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    That's the point... Unity as I can see, like most businesses, is about repeat business.. paying customers come first, always; that's how business is ran. You don't invest significant time into a "maybe" purchase when you've a customer who has already paid you and asking for help.. Anyway, seams to be a lot of tension between Free and Pro users here.. I get the vibe you don't want Pro users to have support benefits over you, which makes sense from your perspective, but you need to look at it from the other who has invested $1,500 into Unity while you invested nothing.

    IMO the easiest solution is to give Pro users a "Badge" on the forums. It's rather superficial, but everyone (support included) can see they contributed. I know it sounds silly, but my companies site has done this for years and psychologically our userbase feels more privileged and more important with a simple image representing their investment to the rest of the community; it also allows us when doing support to prioritize them. This won't solve the post noise problem though as Free users significantly outnumber Pro and Pro posts get drowned in Free posts.. I don't think that's a good thing, but that's just my opinion.
     
  22. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

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    No, I don't want the forums to suffer and miss out on a positive change that could help everyone for the sake of something stupid like a Pro-only forum section. I don't know how many times I have to say that before it clicks.

    The signal:noise ratio would be greatly improved with a skill based tier system and some proper moderation.
     
  23. Krileon

    Krileon

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    What is a skill based tier system? Sounds like you want to lump people together based off their knowledge and prioritize based off that, which I can't possibly see how that helps the community as well as the moderation required for that would be astronomical.
     
  24. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

    Volunteer Moderator Moderator

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    I think this was mentioned before, but just in case: Pro users are far from the only ones who are paying for Unity licenses. Keep that in mind.

    --Eric
     
  25. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

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    You have two or three skill tiers. Novice, Intermediate, Advanced. People post to one or the other based on how advanced their question is, which is considerably more self-regulating than everyone is making it out to be. It does not require "astronomical" moderation because most novice questions can be seen as such from the topic of the questions themselves. This inherently has people group together based on their skill levels, making them that much more self-sufficient. It also means that more advanced questions won't get lost in the shuffle of less advanced ones.

    GameDev.net has had a similar system for years. It's not something where you have a moderator go in and read every single thread and even if there is an increase in how much moderation needs to happen, there's no shortage of people here who would gladly be volunteer moderators.
     
  26. dtg108

    dtg108

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    I agree. They keep trying to argue, even though your point makes perfect sense.
     
  27. arkon

    arkon

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    You could easily refrase your reply to your idea only helps paying customers! So what is wrong with that?
     
  28. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

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    Because your half-baked idea leaves the vast majority of users in the dust.
     
  29. pkid

    pkid

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    I think a system where paying customers, including those who bought the basic IOS/Android licenses but have the free version of Unity, got priority support would be an huge improvement. I just think it's absurd that customers who pay thousands of dollars are not prioritized over people who have paid absolutely nothing.
     
  30. Krileon

    Krileon

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    That's a completely and utterly stupid idea. You're ASSUMING the userbase will follow the rules of posting in the appropriate forums. This in the end falls on moderators moving posts. GameDev isn't selling a $1,500+ license to a Game Engine, which is clearly a complex thing.. so your argument is completely invalid. If you've another example then would be glad to take a look. I've been doing support for a userbase of over 400,000 for more than 5 years now and leaving it to the user to post the correct location does not work. Your proposal is no different then what we have now! You're just changing the freaken names of the forum categories!

    No it does not. It leaves Free users to continue using the forum as you use it now (which is fine). It leaves paying users to have a better chance of getting the support they well deserve (which is needed).

    I agree.
     
  31. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

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    I'm assuming this because it has worked in other forums in the past and because the Unity community isn't full of feckless gorms.

    Which, because the community isn't full of a bunch of paint-huffing space cadets, won't be as big an issue as you think.

    That's actually completely irrelevant to the discussion as a whole. I fail to see how this has anything to do with people judging the skill level of their questions.

    It's actually vastly different because it changes from the subject of the inquiry to the complexity of it.

    It leaves the paying customers in a better position but somehow this doesn't negatively impact anyone else? Want to run that by me again?
     
  32. arkon

    arkon

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    How would it leave the free users worse off? The only difference would be the free users can't ask questions in the new Paid or Pro section of the forum. The free users can read the questions and benefit from the qualified answers the same as they can now, they just can't ask a question or start a new thread in that section.

    The free users are absolutely no worse off, in fact will benefit having at least one new section not full of noise. I have no idea why you could be against this.
     
  33. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

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    Because there aren't enough pro users for the noise ratio to positively change for the free users and it puts an extra amount of attention on the pro section which will take it away from the free section. Meaning that the exact same question asked in the pro section will have less a chance of being answered than in the free sections. This is not complex at all.
     
  34. Metron

    Metron

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    In what f***king way does it leave the others in the dust? The pro forum would be readable and reply able to everyone! The only thing that changes is that they cannot start a thread. All other forums remain. What is do f***king hard to understand in that?

    I see your points but they are invalid with the way I suggested the pro forum should work.
     
  35. Metron

    Metron

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    What % of attention will it drag away then? What you say is utter non-sense. Non-pro users will still be able to answer, read and discuss with the pro users in the pro forum. The only change would be that they cannot start a thread.
     
  36. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

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    Wow, they can stay and answer and everything? WOWIE ZOWIE. Except that doesn't solve the ultimate problem of the same question being asked in one forum having less or more of a chance of being answered in another one which ends up meaning that the Pro forum will offer a ridiculous advantage that does not in any way function as a justified cost increase that comes with Pro ownership.
     
  37. arkon

    arkon

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    So this is the crux of your objection. You dont like the idea that a paying customer should get more support than a non paying user. Amazing! Oh and a pathetic reason not to do it.
     
  38. MarigoldFleur

    MarigoldFleur

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    That's not what I said at all, but good job putting words into my mouth. Again. You're getting to be something of an expert at it.
     
  39. superpig

    superpig

    Quis aedificabit ipsos aedificatores? Unity Technologies

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    Well, you should never grant power to anyone who appears to want it ;-) but if you were to set up a "Moderator Lite" role that only had the power to move threads between forums, the opportunities for abuse would be pretty limited, so you could throw a bunch of people into it without having to trust them very far. I'd be ok with wielding that kind of limited power, sure.

    The main one I'm thinking of - because I was involved in running it for several years - is Gamedev.net. It's not set up as well as it used to be, but it has the dedicated "for beginners" forum.
     
  40. nullstar

    nullstar

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    This is a very valid point and something I tried to address earlier with another potential solution to forum satisfaction. There's many excellent resources for people else where when it comes to questions regarding generic game programming, programming language, and game maths. For Unity specific questions however there is only really one place people can turn to which is here. Its unfortunate that at the moment it appears lots of Unity questions aren't getting the visibility they need here due to the beginner noise which often isn't specific to Unity. For example how many posts do you see in the scripting forum along the lines of "why wont this compile" or "how do I make one object turn to face another".

    I think I made a valid point to how this could be resolved and hopefully increase forum satisfaction without it being reliant on splitting the forums based on paying and free users but its been lost in the noise so I'll repost it so hopefully it will get some consideration:

     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  41. n0mad

    n0mad

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    As wrote in another topic, and as everybody seems to agree with, there is a serious problem of forum noise in technical subforums (Support, Script).
    I stopped asking precise technical questions in Scripting forum a long time ago, because of that. And therefore, stopped browsing at all, so also stopped giving occasional help (occasional because I'm far too busy 100% of the time to take the time to browse a technical forum without a specific need).

    There is too much "How do I code ?", too much Read-The-F***in-Manual noise that could be resolved with just a Google search (or a bit of thinking ...), that is a fact.
    People I saw giving advanced technical help in 2009 stopped posting in those subforums, that is another fact.
    Now what Unity does want to do against that, it's up to them.
    (I'm not personally upset at all by that, I just adapted and search technical help on other coding boards, ironically most of the time on stackoverflow, which does have a very rude beginner moderation)
     
  42. Swearsoft

    Swearsoft

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    The reality is this:

    - I click on the forum bookmark.
    - I then click on the New Posts link.
    - I go through the posts and open each link I think is interesting or I think I can help with in a new tab.
    - I go through the tabs.

    Let's focus on the support like threads:

    - Some of the threads asking for help could be solved easily, mostly using the reference, which I use google to search through.
    - Some of them have issues understanding how their code actually functions, but can understand after it is pointed out.
    - Very few posts are for advanced issues.

    I'd say the ratio is something like 50% for google searching the docs, 49% finding out error in code and just 1% advanced issues
    that may actually be bugs in Unity. (This is based on my personal experience so have a grain of salt available)

    Most threads on Beast, Occlusion culling and other Unity features are not usually issues, but people who either don't understand how the feature works or how to set it up. Occlusion works since Unity 2.6 and so does Beast Lightmaping, to this I can testify, so I find the constant nagging annoying, but I just ignore the nagging now.

    Answering what I consider 99% of the issues posted is just a matter of routine to me, I go through them as a warm up to coding, I don't answer them to be nice, but more as an exercise, like stretching. I think most people who do this follow a similar pattern, they answer these questions because they can.

    What happens to the 'actual problem' posts though is that they get buried, I'm in a non-US timezone, so when I go through the forum a few pages of new posts have built-up, after going through the dozens of 'help-me' posts I might be ready to move-on.

    I'm guessing that's why my two threads,

    - one about android virtual device got one reply 8 months later and
    - one about google chrome not seeing attachments in forum hasn't got any (but I saw someone mention it again today),

    (these aren't even advanced issues, they just couldn't be answered with a google search)

    but the 1000th "OnTriggerEnter doesn't work!!!! Help!!!!"
    - Have you added a rigidbody?
    - No.
    - Well in the docs it says... etc

    has it's reply, with links and all (yep, that's what I do, I even explain how I found this info with 3 clicks)

    The reality is that whenever I have had a real issue, I found other people's threads and either asked there or
    followed their progress. If the issue was a Unity bug, I contacted support and the response time was reasonable,
    but it didn't solve my issue (something to do with audio artifacts on the Kindle Fire).

    So I guess yes, a section in which paying users can post issues that stay up longer and can get more focus
    from advanced users or Unity staff would help. You don't need Unity staff looking into every instance of OnTriggerEnter, the forum users have this covered already.

    I guess anyone from any level can buy Unity and still post questions with answers that can be found by simply googling the Unity reference and the 'advanced issue' posts will still get buried if you use the new posts link, but at least they won't be lost in the abyss, never to be seen again, because we are still helping the massive amount of people who use us as google extensions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  43. dubbreak

    dubbreak

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    Good point. It's easy to spend the equivalent of a pro license on non-pro licenses. I had to buy two android basic licenses (one for myself and one for a sub). And I've spent a decent amount of money in the asset store as well (though UT doesn't get much of that).

    That being said, if a benefit of a pro license was a pro forum that would make me consider it more seriously despite not requiring it for current projects. It doesn't solve the signal to noise ratio problem in general, but if/when I have an issue it's more likely to get eyes on it quickly. If the forum gets a pro section then I think answers needs to get some kind of pro question as well (so you can easily search unanswered pro questions, or filter your searches in answers to only pro questions etc).

    It's great that Unity is taking off and that there are so many new users of all different ability types. I think anything that makes people interested in programming is great. But.. the signal to noise ratio is horrid. You don't want to put off potential new users that may one day be a great contribution to the community, but at the same rate you don't want the people who try it out as a hobby but inevitably give up due to the learning curve drowning everyone else out.

    Support is a huge issue at any company and doubly so at a rapidly growing one. Last place I worked at doubled their sales in a little over a year (from 5m to 10m/year). Support got slammed and it flooded over into other departments. They were rushing around trying to set up new lower overhead support systems, better documentation (to avoid the calls that should have been a simple look up in the manual).. whatever was possible to make sure customers that actually required direct support could get it as efficiently as possible. It's one of the teething issues of a growing company. I of course understand Unity is much bigger than that company, however there are definitely parallels. The forum was working fine for a period, but now with the growth in customer base it's not serving it's purpose as well in its current state.
     
  44. n0mad

    n0mad

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Posts:
    3,732
    Actually let's rephrase the real need : there's no need to separate Pro from Free users, there's just a need to separate beginner / RTFM questions from more advanced ones.
    (because beginner / RTFM ones are 90% of the time duplicates of older ones, and are posted at an insane rate)

    * RTFM = Read The F***in Manual
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013