- 2010/11/16 04:54:02 PM
We don't want the expectation to be that the reason you come to the forums is to get a blue post.
I tend to confine my posting to the three role forums. I read the PvP one, professions, dungeons and raids, UI, achievements, bug reports and a few others every day or two, and even if I don't regularly read a forum, rest assured that many folks at Blizzard do. Consider for example that I don't read forums posted in languages other than English (you'd think with the number of years I spent in school that I could have picked up something as practical as a second language), yet somehow that feedback still gets back to us. :)
While forum communication has advantages, such as quick turn around and the ability to have a fairly intimate conversation with developers, it has disadvantages too. We often lose the context of a conversation when folks read only the blue response, then jump in to a thread without reading it all. Many times the blue post detracts from an excellent conversation already taking place. Blue posts are famous for derailing conversations. Smart players in parts of Europe, Asia or Latin America get to participate in the conversations only indirectly. It drives me nuts that players sometimes assume only the threads (or forums!) with blue responses are the ones that get read. Finally, I think knowing that there is a small chance that a forum will get a dev response spurs some players into saying ridiculous things in the hopes of "winning the lottery."
We think these forums work best when they are 99% defined by players communicating with other players. With the new community site going live, it gives us an opportunity to try some things differently. I still plan on communicating with players as much as I can -- it is very important to me personally and I think it's a critical part of my job to get feedback on World of Warcraft's design. However, we're going to try some different avenues for communication in addition or perhaps in place of frequent developer forum posts.
We'll see how it works out. Blizzard is nothing if not iterative on design, so if we're not happy with the results, we promise to try different things.