LastWriterStanding

Open Discussion with English Localization

495 posts in this topic

Thank you for pointing out the posts LWS, Out of curiosity has their been any discussion to include the original KR splitting path at the end of act 3, the choice of Light instead of the choice presented ?

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@Rahaya

One portion of the four-quest long chain does indeed reference the Swan Maiden story motif.  

Referencing the legend is the EN1 NPC "Ma Ture"'s excuse for why he's at the bathing pool when the PC catches him spying on the bathing women.  The previous three quests the character issues are, as earlier mentioned, him sending the PC around looking for so-called remedies to cure his sexual impotence.
 As all of the quests and the nature of the NPC were altered to fit a new direction, there wasn't much need or suitable angle to fit in a Swan Maiden reference in that one case.

 

As for the writing team, we were all hired on to begin the localization process at the tail end of 2014.  We all came from different places (some even moved in from outside of California) and, to the best of my knowledge, only one or two of us had worked for NCSOFT prior to this project.  The levels of experience on the team varied from writer to writer - some of us had been doing this sort of thing for ages, while a few were relatively new to the career.  Nearly all of us were avid gamers or general geeks when it came to our tastes in entertainment and multimedia, particularly as knowledge of things like games, anime, and the Wuxia or classic Kung Fu film genres were emphasized as being important during the interviewing process.

 

The process itself was usually done in a group setting where we would all get together and cover various details of the overall story, individual characters, and other parts of the localization process while playing the game on our own.  The big overarching details and decisions were all made by group vote, along with input from our product manager, production lead, and the Devs where necessary.  There were a number of times where we were able to personally meet with the Dev team visiting from Korea in order to discuss the plot and direction of the game, as well as some interesting content coming down the line later on.  When it came to actually working on the various content of the game by hand, we broke up into smaller groups to be able to cover all the considerable volume of work, while still meeting together regularly to address issues and concerns as they arose.  Any sort of major rewrites or changes to game content were never done in a vacuum, as anything of that degree was always run past the whole group and final decision was given to those higher on the developmental food chain.

 

@Yuri Takashi

The current version of the game does not have any sort of choice offered at the end of Act 3.  In previous versions of the game, the PC turned to the side of evil and was given the chance to decide whether they wanted to remain evil or repent and return to the Path of Hongmoon late in Act 4.  However, that entire story arc and the impact it had on the game/player base proved very unpopular, so the Devs scrapped it to be replaced with a different story line.

 

This sort of thing has happened plenty of times in the past, to be honest.  Older versions of the game were retconned out and replaced by new content at the Devs' discretion.  For example, in early incarnations of the game, the cast of the Eight Masters was different from what it presently is.  In another time the entire story surrounding the Great Dragon Pulse was completely different, where it more heavily involved Master Iksanun and the actual GDP itself was some sort of super-weapon rather than a gateway.  Even the climax of Act 4 has changed one or two times during the localization period in order to facilitate new content and raid dungeons introduced over the year, requiring us to do several rewrites in order to keep up with the Devs' revisions and additions.

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LWS, thank you very much for the information, i did not realize the story has went through so many revisions let alone that the original content had, that has to be harsh to keep up with. As a side, can i ask, was Pohwarans name changed and what were the names of her tigers changed too? from what i have heard in the japanese they are Yuri and Bara, translated to English this would be Lily and Rose.

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@Yuri Takashi

It's a constant process and we've still got our work cut out for us, as the content update schedule set for the future stretches on quite a long while...

 

As for everyone's favorite mini-gunner and her feline friends, Poharan's tigers were originally named 나리, which translates as Lily, and 달래, which translates as a variety of chive which bears pink flowers.  Previously they were to be renamed as "White Lily" and "Black Rose", but that ran into complications given the prevalence of the term "Black Rose" in reference to Jinsoyun and her mark.  The tigers are currently EN3'd as "Lily" and "Rose".

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@LastWriterStanding I don't intend to write extensively about my opinions on the story rewrite, aside from brief examples, but instead would like to know a bit of additional clarification and, if possible, elaboration on the processes which led to the rewrite.

 

I'd like to ask you if, during your process of addressing this material, you and the team considered modifying the tone and implications of the quest to keep to its base roots in Korean folklore instead of completely rewriting it into a polar opposite?

 

What I mean by this is, for example, removing the negative gendered language and slightly changing the tone of the story so it becomes more about comedy, as intended by the original writers, but also maintaining a distinct reference to folklore, as well as the mature content and some of the implications which were included. The reason I think it fits like that is because the remainder of the Lycandi storyline for NA was edited to remove just about all gender relations and clan dynamics, and while that's a separate discussion entirely I think within that context there is still room for the original sexual comedy, just in a way that also sits in line with how it was localized and for whom it is intended.

 

To be specific, a friend and I were talking and essentially arrived at this conclusion:

 

"If we remove the man saying the woman was ugly and that he got what he deserved, that he was unhappy being with a woman he doesn't like, and that the woman was also likely unhappy based on how the situation arose --- which is all subjective, personal, gendered language --- we are left with the core story and lessons therefrom:

 

A man thinks a woman is a maiden from heaven, and according to his own culture's legend he proceeds accordingly (license could be taken with the underwear theft and replaced with something more meaningful, e.g. planting/swapping of heirlooms or rings, in order to add substance) because he is ashamed of his past and wants to finish his days as a better man with a better woman (just an idea on how the original backstory could be spun). The player helps him out; It turns out he was wrong, but eerily similar rules ironically apply in the woman's culture instead, so they end up meeting, discovering quirky but ultimately important things in common, and get married without protest; they live together as happily as possible while mending their broken pasts (tons of creative room here) and pursuing academic cultural research together."

 

There are similar folktales across the globe, even in the West, so while there would be people who wouldn't understand the specific Eastern reference, it would probably be at least recognizable as a theme they've seen in media before --- I don't like to make the comparison, but Disney's stories are a prevalent example of how old, often questionable, and even disturbing folk tales have been modified to communicate growth and positivity from adversity and pain.

 

In summary, it appears that a bit of editing and tweaking could have been done to maintain the essence of the folk story and culture, as well as the comedy intended by the original writers (again, many ways to make his pursuit of her clever and entertaining with mature themes) without the added baggage of sexual appropriation that isn't logically in-line with any of the remainder of the Lycandi story --- the aforementioned paradox of rescuing a slave girl in the same area; Lycandi story/culture being somewhat modified during localization --- and does not provide any significant critique or meaningful character- or story-based progression. This also addresses the changes made during localization; while the Swan Maiden motif as it is originally doesn't fit in because of its gender, cultural, and sexual implications, a modified story similar to the one above would not clash with tone of the EN3 Lycandi, to my knowledge, and would both keep the essence of the original culture/folklore and an interesting, romantic and comedic side-story.

 

I apologize for the additional gravitas on the matter, but if you're able to answer any further to address this angle I'd be interested to read more. I have not seen many sensible posts about the topic, and I'm largely fatigued by the drama coming from such a relatively small and minor part of the game experience, but I thought it would be worth trying to explore this "middle-ground" and whether it could be a possible acceptable solution/change; I expect a lot of deliberation goes into all of these decisions regardless, so thanks for taking the time to read this, as well as engaging so candidly with the rest of the community.

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Is there someone fluent in both Korean and English on the team, who is experienced about the culture itself as well? Because if so, Jin Seo Yeon's name change should have gone through; Jinsoyun and Jin Seo Yeon do not have the same pronunciations at all. I'd also like to point out that the characters of her name had actual meaning fitting to her and that just got destroyed.

 

It was also decided to stick her family name with her given name. I read that the reason behind this was to secure not dilute her identity as the main antagonist (as most villains are referred to with one-word names, and you saw Jin is a common family name even for in-game NPCs) as well as ease the learning curve to your Western audience.

 

But I'm willing to bet it won't be the first time the majority of your Western audience has heard or seen a Korean name, spaced out in it's traditional three-letter form. I realize you don't want to bombard your audience with information of a "new" culture, but where do you draw the line between "this is good to keep", and "this is too much"? If your concern is the education and learning experience of your Western audience, wouldn't it be more educational to input the correct, traditional way of the names and titles, with their meanings? Those who want to learn will take their time to read and learn it, through what is provided to them. Those who don't care will skip. But attempting to find a "middle ground" to put in translations that may be slightly over-edited and/or diluted cultural content does not seem to be the correct way to go about things.

 

This develops further into a bigger problem, as I'm sure you've seen the discontent expressed about the localization on this thread itself and others, about varying things.

 

However, I'm sure you and your team didn't make these changes on a whim, as you've explained with Jin Seo Yeon's name change. Since Mesaana has already asked for more elaboration on the rewrite process, I'd like to take it a bit further and ask, what exactly would give you and your team incentive to edit the rewrite again at this point, or in these instances, revert the rewrite to the original? As it seems players have voiced their dissatisfaction about the localization for some time, but the changes still remain.

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Very odd question for the writing team, and also any of the very knowledgeable people here who know and understood the text of the original story in Korea.  When I'd played the story through in Japan, I'd gotten the sense that Yehara's establishment in the Cinderlands was a house of ill repute (she reminds me very much of Miss Kitty in Gunsmoke, and the "madame with a heart of gold" is an old stereotype in Westerns and other genres).  In the English translation, though, all of the rather sexily dressed, courtesan looking women are simply Yehara's fans.  Is that a change, or was I just misreading the vibes of what I was seeing in the Japanese client?  Feel free to laugh at my ignorance--I may very well be completely off base with this, but I'm just curious, idly so more than anything.

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With the rise and fall of various threads regarding the process of localization, all I want to know is: how seriously does player feedback on the localization matter to the English localization team?

 

I know it's very easy to say that all feedback matters and that everything is considered within reason, but I just want to know how much player feedback here influences the direction of the localization. I'm well aware that the localization team has certain guidelines to follow and that you're trying to do your very best to respect the original work, but do the players have any "say" in it? (e.g. if players express concern over the way certain names have been changed, does it really accomplish anything?)

 

I'm not trying to start a fight or be inflammatory, just curious.  

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Hi. I just read up on the side quest that was changed to avoid having such offensive material in the game and am delighted that the western version of the game takes such sensitive topics into account so well. It has given me the courage to ask the following:

 

Two of my very close friends are soldiers who returned from South Sudan at the beginning of this year and have been suffering PTSD since. They have been taken prisoner for a month and during their captivity, one of them was beaten regularly. I'm afraid Blade & Soul has some content that has offended them and possibly fed their PTSD. See, not only does the player get captured by the Talus Army at some point, but in Jadestone Village there is even a side quest where the player is required to beat a captured Bamboo Village Guard. Could this content possibly be replaced with something that doesn't normalise the abuse of prisoners of war?

 

Furthermore, I work at an animal shelter where we treat and nurse animals that have become the victims of animal abuse. I have to say that the fact that the player in Blade & Soul is required to kill the Pot Dogs and Ploggles, among other animals, has offended me slightly. To make matters worse, animals that aren't even a threat to the player, such as the pigs in Hogshead Hamlet, can also be abused and killed. I can imagine that other animal lovers might be very offended by this casual hurting of animals in the game. If it's not too much to ask, could these elements be replaced? Perhaps they could be replaced with figures that do not resemble real animals?

 

Thank you very much in advance.

Edited by Bread
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Let me tell you something about the localisation of games in general, having worked for two separate gaming companies (Sony Online Entertainment and SEGA of America) professionally, alpha and beta tested for numerous companies as a general user, and just outright paying attention to games as a fan and player over the years (I started gaming when I was 5 on a Commodore64 and kept at it from there).

 

Every game that is localised has some level of its original content stripped out and changed to something more palatable to the audience within the region it is being moved to. Sometimes it is as massive as what we're seeing with the Lycandi quest that is in question here, sometimes it is like the time travel quest in question here, sometimes it is smaller like the changes to what happens to the trust fund kid in Bamboo Village. Often, a lot of humour has to be changed around because of what is hot in pop culture in one place is not in another, or in some cases, religious references in one area are not going to fly in another place either due to intolerances or due to the religion not being all that familiar. Anything coming out of China or into China often has to have a lot of changes made due to their very strict laws, and I really pity the teams that have to perform both visual and written/spoken localisation for particularly importing games into China.

 

This is just a huge factor of game development life. A lot of times, you're blissfully unaware because a lot of games do not have interfaces that allow for translations; the only reason you're having such a snitfit here is because there were other versions of Blade and Soul that allowed for the development of in game fan-based translations for anything and everything, so the player base that has been following the game - and quite possibly playing it on other regional clients with said fan-based translations - knows what these quests were about originally. Even side quests as some of them were translated with these add-ons to the other regional clients (though not all are - I personally have started playing on the Taiwan server, and the translation project there doesn't have every side quest translated). With most other games, the lot of you would be blissfully unaware of many of the translations, as a lot of bilingual players would likely have only translated the MSQs (main story quests) and a scant handful of the larger side quests, like those for the bigger factions, if any of that.

 

So really, understand that localisation really does not mean straight, flat translation. It means fitting the entire body of spoken and written word into something that is palatable to the majority of the regional audience based on the company's observations and their metrics on those within the region, which may not necessarily jive with the talkative bunch on the forums. People have made arguments about the loud, squeaky wheel SWJs here, but technically, the lot of you might be considered the squeaky wheels on the forums, the ones who just happen to have the courage to speak up publicly on such a device and take the heat of someone responding back to you. Chances are, the people who are made uncomfortable by the type of quest the Lycandi quest with Ma Ture don't feel comfortable posting here, especially with the level of perceived volatility others have had about the change of the quest. Ultimately, the localisation team will make the call that fits with what the societal views their company has for the region their working on, and that will be that - squeaky forum wheels or not.

 

This kind of thing is very visible in some different localisations for the Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward quests. Particularly the end scene for a dungeon called the Vault. The rest of this is going behind a spoiler:

 

The quest in English is called "A Knight's Calling", though it's different in Japanese and German. The various setting and chatter from the scene is remarkably different, especially in the German version, as apparently the Germans don't mind likening the Ishgardian church to the Catholic Church, where as the Japanese and English versions dance around the similarities. Furthermore, the Germans have no problems showing the very strong romantic desires between the character Haurchefant and the protagonist (your PC character), the Warrior of Light, where again, the Japanese and English versions dance about it in their own ways. Even the after scene with Haurchefant's father's mourning shows it to be uniquely different in German, where the Japanese and English versions make it out to be more of a matter of duty and state (again, in their own ways), rather than love. (Note: The Japanese and English version are rather much closer here. A better difference between Japanese and English is the Midgardsomer discussion.)

 

Really, localisation is NOT what people tend to think it is. A great deal of things get changed, sometimes very dramatically, when things move from region to region, whether it be a single player game, a multiplayer game, or an MMO. Feel free to take umbridge with it, but realise that chances are, you're just a rather squeaky wheel on the official forums, and the higher ups are going to continue to tell the localisation team to err on the side of caution and to not offend as many people as possible, based on what they perceive their greatest audience to be like.

 

So please, give LastWriterStanding a break about having to do his job. <3

Edited by Darkfae
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Are your intentions with this thread to listen to criticism from a widespread, vocal, and paying (an important factor) group and make appropriate adjustments, or do you merely intend to answer questions to pacify?

 

Realizing that the intention of this thread is to discuss game content, is there a separate thread that will be started with the design team involved in which we can voice our opinions in a way that will alter the final design of the game's costumes, poses, and audio?  As this game is still in testing stage, have you stopped applying suggestions from the testers that are meant to provide valuable feedback on the desires of the players?

 

As someone who has bought in to the game at the Master Pack level, I am incredibly invested in its ongoing development.  If you stop taking players' advice, people like me will stop giving your company money.

  • EDIT: As there are no repercussions for rebuying (which I intend to do if the developers respond appropriately on this issue), and as refunds are freely available before name reservation starts, I will be submitting a ticket for a refund of the full $124.99 amount shortly.  I implore others seeking real change on this topic to do the same.
Edited by Hyperiant
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Whew, okay, pruning done.  There were a lot of well-articulated posts in there that I wish I could have kept around, except they didn't really afford me any other option since they didn't ask questions.  I've narrowed down the posts that seem relevant to what the general direction of the conversation was aimed at and were generally supported by those folk who's posts I had to shuffle away.  Again, I have to remind folk here that the purpose of this thread is to be a sort of Q&A where you can voice your curiosities on matters.  If you just state an opinion, be it positive or negative, I can't really do much beyond acknowledging that it's a thing and moving along.  I'd like to keep the posts in this thread focused so that it can serve as a repository for anyone interested on some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the whole release process.

 

I hate having to delete posts that were obviously given a lot of consideration for their statements, so please remember to at least add on a relevant question as well to keep them around.  Alternatively, post out the general statements into the open forum space where other users can read and comment on it freely.

 

I'm going to leave up Darkfae's post, however.  While it doesn't ask a question, it is very informative in and of itself in regards to how localization works, which is part of the intention of this thread to begin with.  It's good stuff to keep in mind from someone else in the industry, so I'd say it's safe to stick around here.

 

@Mesaana

How much of the original tone of a quest (side quests specifically, as those have a drastically wide berth of different moods and scenarios) varies considerably.  It's taken very much on a case-by-case basis, as well as by the unique voice of whichever writer was assigned to handle the EN3.  Ultimately we did our best to keep quests as close to source as possible and very few underwent complete overhauls, both for the sake of keeping the game near to its roots (which players like) and having a quick turn-around time (which corporate likes).  Further, a lot of quests simply could not be changed very much based on what sort of actions the PC is required to take throughout.  For example, there is a side-quest in which the PC must feed a pig and then root around through a heap of its dung searching for a ring it supposedly swallowed.  The localization/writing team has absolutely no capacity at all to alter anything but text in the game, so we naturally had to keep the quest close to source because there's little wiggle room to be had with the animation.  One way or another, you're digging around in poop.  In other quests, where the PC actions were just having a conversation and retrieving an item/killing a bunch of mobs, there was a lot more freedom of creativity.

 

As for your suggestion about one of the "Scholarly Path" quests, that's actually a rather pleasant sounding story.  At its core it's very similar to the current EN3 - the plot points boil down to "Guy asks PC to root around in Gal's clothes for innocent reasons.  Guy and Gal meet, have scholarly pursuits in common, everything's roses".  Those are effectively the same in your version and the EN3, with the general trimmings about why those points occur differing.  It's worth noting that, during the rewriting process, the idea of the NPC asking the more-nimble PC to leave something for the Lycandi women was tabled - the pitch was that he wanted the PC to leave a letter of invitation asking one of the ladies to come discuss their cultures in a civil meeting, or to begin a sort of pen pal relationship where they could converse peacefully.  However, we ran into the earlier explained issue - what's actually present in the quest's animation and UI elements.  When the PC interacts with the piles of clothing, it pops up a UI box with a clothing item.  Even if we changed the text of the item box, we couldn't change the icon, which ran a risk of dissonance.  There were a lot of other quests that yielded similar issues as we had to creatively work around a limited scope because of a single icon, a gesture the PC makes during the quest line, or the animation a NPC may be making at a certain point in the conversation.  I know it seems like a small thing, but we have to take that kind of stuff into consideration since we have to worry about things snowballing.

 

One must also keep in mind that this particular quest is one part of a larger chain.  Any references to general folklore did not appear in the previous quests at all, so having one pop up at the very end is a bit out of left field.  There are plenty of other quests in the game that directly reference folklore that were kept true to source (or as close as possible) which fit better as they focus purely on just mirroring those old stories.

 

@Ikasu

Yes, our Product Manager, who was in charge of building the writing team and managing the project for the majority of the work, was Korean herself.  We relied a lot on her input for making sure things were being handled correctly, especially where names were concerned.  Aside from her we have plenty of other Korean employees on the B&S project as well, helping with translations and communicating with the Devs overseas on our behalf.

 

While I do agree with you to a point with the names, as there were plenty of names and terms I would have preferred to stay in their original form, I don't fault the higher-ups for their decision.  Watch enough anime and you can wrap your head around some pretty hard-to-pronounce names, but the same can't be assumed of everyone who picks up the game.  We tested the general pronunciation on people who were not familiar with Korean and the consensus was that folk had difficulty working around how to handle various names.  The condensed versions, such as Jin Seo Yeon to Jinsoyun, were the compromise we had to make in order to reduce the overall learning curve.  It's only natural that players would figure out how to pronounce the names accurately sooner or later, especially with the presence of voice overs where the names are stated aloud, but the intention was to make the immediate absorption of the information as easy as possible.  I'd love to have a glossary of terms and concepts for players to explore - I was the writer who wrote most of the lore snippets found on the website during past updates, such as the exploration of how Chi works in the setting, the bestiary, and so forth.  But we don't have any capacity to add to the game - if there's no pre-existing glossary to be edited, we can't make one.

 

As mentioned before, a lot of the big, overarching decisions about how the localization was to be handled (names, terms like Soul Shield/Jyan/, being watchful for offensive material, etc) were decisions set in place ahead of time by the higher-ups prior to the writing team being hired.  The writing team then followed along that predetermined path, making our own contributions to the work, which were reviewed and approved (or asked for revisions, as sometimes happened) by folk up in management.

 

@Ikasu, Teisho & Hyperiant

As I've mentioned prior, the production staff reads the forums and collects player input regularly.  It's all reviewed in meetings to address the various topics and concerns players bring up over time, some of which do indeed filter on down to issue changes made further down the pipeline.  It varies depending on the topic.  I'm afraid I can't speak with much authority on the process, however, as I'm not directly involved with that part of development.  I'll get called in to sit on a meeting from time to time with the other writers when we're needed, but for the most part the two groups work pretty independent of one another.

 


@Hyperiant

As mentioned in the very first post of this thread, I've opened this thread entirely of my own desire to communicate and inform players.  I've volunteered myself to do it, so I'm not being paid to do this and it's not strictly a part of my job responsibilities.  I'm part of the writing/localization team, not community management, which is why I don't go around moderating the forums.  I noticed that a lot of players were voicing concerns and confusion over the nature of the localization in the CBT due to things like the voices/subtitles not matching up, or the UI elements being wonky, and wanted to alleviate some of the confusion.  It's something I've done with previous game communities I've worked with as well.  I personally believe that establishing a rapport with the users and being as transparent as possible is better in the long run for everyone.  Not enough companies make the effort to reach out and offer players a genuine avenue of communication, even if only in a conversational manner.  If nothing else, people always love getting the chance to peek behind the veil and see what goes on in the making-of process.  The gaming industry is a very closed-door situation to people not involved and most folk are generally clueless as to what goes on, so giving them a chance to understand how things operate always seems to be appreciated as well.

 

To that same end, however, I've made it clear so far that users should voice their concerns directly to folk like Marketing, Production, or the Community Manager if they have things they feel really need to be addressed.  Alternatively, they can open their own thread in the forums, which are bound to be noticed by the aforementioned groups at some point.  This thread is a voluntary action on my part to explain and inform, not to serve as some kind of open invitation for writing-by-committee from the player base.  It's great that players are very passionate about the game and other things, but I'm not the person they need to talk to if they're hoping to get something changed.  Refer to the aforementioned groups instead.


 

@Hrefna

While the Devs have hinted that there may be more to Yehara than meets the eye, her fangirls (oof, that pun...) have always been fangirls in the EN1.  There was a bit of concern voiced over whether or not Western audiences would immediately recognize that sort of concept: the specific fandoms that develop around individual celebrities and personalities are a lot more pronounced in things like Korean and Japanese pop culture than how they behave in Western pop culture.  But the concept ultimately stuck around, partially due to the pun and the fact that the ladies all dress to mimic Yehara as well - without the notion that they were emulating her on purpose, it may have been misunderstood.

 

@Bread

As has been previously stated, the writing team has no capacity to alter the actions taken in the quests.  If the player has to go kill some folk, that's what's going to happen - the most we can do is work with the reasons why.  Any concerns over the non-written content of the game should be addressed to Production, as they're more likely to have contact with the Devs, who are the only ones who can make those sort of changes.

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Can you explain for us what goes into the decision-making process on what content is considered offensive?  That seems like a very subjective topic.  Something that Joe considers offensive could be Matt's fantasy world.  There's also the thought process that others have brought up of "should content be changed if only a minority will consider it offensive?".  Are you able to go into detail on that subject, or is that more of a senior management type of question?

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Can you explain for us what goes into the decision-making process on what content is considered offensive?  That seems like a very subjective topic.  Something that Joe considers offensive could be Matt's fantasy world.  There's also the thought process that others have brought up of "should content be changed if only a minority will consider it offensive?".  Are you able to go into detail on that subject, or is that more of a senior management type of question?

 

It's obvious they're consulting tumblr and the type of people 71% of the US population are tired of hearing from who spend their entire lives looking for ways to feel "unsafe".

Good luck seeing that feedback here though, I just watched them "unclutter" every post people have made pointing this out, dropping the page count by 2 within the past 6 hours.

 

 

 

As I've mentioned prior, the production staff reads the forums and collects player input regularly.  It's all reviewed in meetings to address the various topics and concerns players bring up over time, some of which do indeed filter on down to issue changes made further down the pipeline.

Except the pages and pages of posts you "unclutter" which all happen to be the same feedback, exposing nakedly ideological selective pruning.

 

 

 

Alternatively, post out the general statements into the open forum space where other users can read and comment on it freely.

Where I've watched at least a half-dozen threads expressing this displeasure, one of which I participated in as suggested, get locked and or pruned.

Edited by plasmacutter
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@Zofi

It is indeed very subjective, which is why the localization process was not done in a vacuum.  Whenever something flagged up as potentially problematic for whatever reason (offensive to societal norms, confusing cultural differences, possible copyright infringement, etc) it was documented and brought up with the rest of the team to gather different opinions on how it should be handled or if it was worth changing.  Bigger issues were always handed over to our product manager to give final word on.  Other cases were decided for us ahead of time by the higher ups, so we had to dance to that tune as we went through the process.  Not all of it was writing content as well - we were also asked to review the general game content for potentially offensive imagery, such as religious symbols used out-of-context, which history has shown tend to be particularly upsetting for folk.

 

@plasmacutter

As mentioned prior, I trim down the posts that don't immediately contribute to the discussion, though I did my best to keep the few that did indeed offer points to address that were also supported by those folk who's posts I had to delete.  I've covered my reasons for why I do this sort of thing plenty of times by now.  As I've also mentioned, players are free to open their own threads for discussion where I am not involved - I don't do general forum moderation, so I don't go around deleting posts outside of my own thread for the previously explained reasons.  If a thread gets locked, it's because it violated the forum's Code of Conduct.  Looking at the forum moderation tool, I only see two threads on the topic of censorship that have been locked, with the expressed reasons being because they eventually devolved into violations of the Code of Conduct after being left open for a considerable amount of time.

 

Also, just for the sake of clarity since you've posted that link twice now: that poll mentions that it covers a national survey of 1,000 American adults, of which 71% responded they are against censorship in general.  That's a total of 710 people.  The current approximate population of the USA, according to a quick check on Google, is 325,127,634.  That's a pretty small survey pool, all things considered.  If your intention is to accurately present the opinions of the US population on a broad scale, you should probably find a source of information that uses a much larger sample size.

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Not all of it was writing content as well - we were also asked to review the general game content for potentially offensive imagery, such as religious symbols used out-of-context, which history has shown tend to be particularly upsetting for folk.

 

I'm REALLY hoping that this doesn't apply to swastikas.  Though I think we talked about that earlier in this thread.  Thanks for the reply, though I still have mixed feelings over changing original content.  Kind of stinks that we have to sing the tune of business politics in a game meant to entertain its customers.  I find myself often cringing when I see copyright infringement stuff on entertainment pieces.

 

Can we also assume that this same westernization process will occur on future content patches?  Will your team be responsible for those as well?  When we get up to the level of current content that is live on the foreign servers, will your team be "westernizing" new future content those as well?

 

Sorry if my posts come off as harsh, I think I'm just passionate with getting an authentic experience from an MMO inspired by eastern culture (as I'm sure many others are as well).  I think this is a great opportunity for us westerners to learn more about the eastern culture, even if that avenue takes place in a fantasy world.  If I don't understand something, that's all the more reason for me to look it up further to learn more.

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Is the whole writing team American or do people from Europe also have a say in what does and doesn't get censored? Because most of the changes that are being made for "localisation" just seem like Americanisation instead, including the really obnoxious and outdated memes that get thrown in everywhere. Like when you're talking about "offensive to societal norms" and "offensive imagery such as religious symbols" we're obviously only talking about American society and their identity politics.

 

And if almost everyone is American, is the way Europeans might react to this Americanisation even being considered? Or is this just a case where Europeans have to learn to live with the puritanical American culture being shoved in their Asian games?

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How is it decided which costume names are translated as is from the original Korean version and which ones are changed into something else?

 

I know that faction outfits and general quest outfits are all translated so that they make sense insofar as they correspond to the NA/EU version of the game. However, for costumes that don't have any particular "context" (e.g. cash shop costumes), how is translation decided?

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@Zofi

Swastikas were addressed, though not in a general "remove them all because Nazis" manner.  There is a distinct difference as to the appearance and cultural relevancy of manji, swastikas, and sauwastika.  There are tons of manji in the game that appear as properly intended, though we did find a number of cases where they ended up being turned into the style of swastikas that might set people off because of texture flipping.  That sort of thing is just a graphical error and not an intentional effort of design.  Those instances, along with other religious and political symbols (crucifixes, iron crosses, runes, etc), were documented and sent along to the Devs.  From there, it's entirely out of our hands - we were only responsible for pointing out their existence, not for anything beyond that.  It's up to the Devs where that whole matter goes from here on out, if anywhere at all.

 

As for future content, that is going to be localized as well by the remaining writing team and any other writers hired onto the project in the future.

 

@Greenecat

The writers for the NA writing/localization side are all American, as far as I'm aware, though I admittedly never delved too deep into other peoples' personal histories beyond what they were willing to share in conversation.  As for the EU localization/writing teams, I can't speak for their staffing as they're entirely separate from the NA team.  There are localization teams for the French and German releases whom I've never had the opportunity to meet personally, but do speak with via e-mail from time to time.  To the best of my knowledge, the EU localization is based off the EN1 source (same as the NA version) and they'll send us queries from time to time asking about specific concepts regarding the lore and items.  But as for how they're handling the story itself?  No idea, I'm afraid.  I haven't seen any version they've done so far.  There's bound to be deviations though, simply due to the different languages and cultures, same as with the NA and KO versions.

 

@Teisho

Most of the costume names were kept in their original state or only slightly changed to better suit English grammatical structure, phrasing, and the like.  I can't speak for all the costumes since since the considerably large item database was assigned across several writers in portions.  If I recall correctly, the largest change to the written content surrounding costumes would be the flavor text some of them sport, which were generally playful Korean pop-culture references that got changed to NA pop-culture references.

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Allow me to try and phrase this in a way that may be seen as more constructive/informative:

 

To what extent is localization processing feedback on the forums? Will opinions and thoughts expressed here be taken into consideration in the localization of future content? How far ahead of the actual content cycle does your development process stay?

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LWS,I was under the impression that people on the writing staff aren't allowed to moderate the forums so could you explain to the kind folks here why post keep getting deleted? I know not everyone of these are valid post but a good few of them are,you guys say this is a open discussion thread but it only seems like you talk about the stuff you feel like you should talk about,i've been waiting to play this game for a while and i rather not feel like i would have to keep my eye on the staff

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@Yayifications & Kariya

Both of these questions have already been covered in previous replies.

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Is the english localization for NA and EU different? Does EU localization team cover english as well or just french and germans?

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@Greenecat

The writers for the NA writing/localization side are all American, as far as I'm aware, though I admittedly never delved too deep into other peoples' personal histories beyond what they were willing to share in conversation.  As for the EU localization/writing teams, I can't speak for their staffing as they're entirely separate from the NA team.  There are localization teams for the French and German releases whom I've never had the opportunity to meet personally, but do speak with via e-mail from time to time.  To the best of my knowledge, the EU localization is based off the EN1 source (same as the NA version) and they'll send us queries from time to time asking about specific concepts regarding the lore and items.  But as for how they're handling the story itself?  No idea, I'm afraid.  I haven't seen any version they've done so far.  There's bound to be deviations though, simply due to the different languages and cultures, same as with the NA and KO versions.

 

Hi Stephen,

if the european translation teams are separate from your team and you just rarely speak with each other, was the decision to change the Lycandi quests (no peeping, no sexual descrimination of PC and/or daughter of former leader) only made by your, the american team, or was this a case where all teams talked and decided how do deal with this quest together?

Or to say it differently: Is there a chance that the german version, for instance, will have another translation than the NA release? Whether it's closer to the korean version or another new one.

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