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Regional FlagAsk the Devs, hoodwinking?Source
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Lowangel
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#1 - 2011/05/16 06:28:00 PM
Ok I might be wrong in this, but I noticed a certain feel about the Ask the Devs. It seems like there alot of, "We like that idea.... but we're not going to commit."

The whole idea is to give the players a voice and show that Blizzard is listen. For the Q and A, they choose question based on how many times the question was asked, plus the rating the questions got. Giving the notion; this is a question a majority of what players want.

I would think alot of players, as well as the developer would expect a good idea, that the players want, would get a "you want it, you got" response from the Dev team, as long as is sound idea. That really didn't seem like that guess, if anything there was alot... "buts"

Here's one example I know a HUGE majority of players want, have asked for in dozens of threads, with thousands of posts. The Appearance Tab, which got in the Q and A

Q: Is it possible to let the players create/edit their own looks? - Zed Loft (Taiwan), Vysha (NA/ANZ), Ráchel (EU|German)A: As we said in an earlier Q&A, we definitely hear loud and clear from players that they want more customization for their character. This is something we want to provide, but we want to do it in the right way. Consider the Barber Shop feature. It lets you change your character's hair, but there’s not a lot of gameplay to it. We're not sure that feature really added a lot to the game in retrospect. Is WoW more fun for you now that you have a Barber Shop? Are you more likely to keep playing because of it? Maybe, but it wasn’t a cheap feature to add in terms of development time. Dumping a bunch of dyes on the game might have a similar effect, where some players might have fun playing around with the system for a bit, but a lot of players might change their colors once or twice and then forget about the feature after that. Now, not every aspect of the game needs a ton of depth and a lot of interesting decisions, but we tend to attract more players to a feature the more robust the feature is. We also think it's fair to argue that the game just needs more armor and weapon art. As we said above, we deliver a lot of art these days, but we also produce an enormous number of new items every expansion or patch and it’s understandably disappointing whenever items use the same art. It would be really cool if not every mage or priest converged on the same look after a given expansion or patch.


A majority of the response seemed to a counter response; on what players truly want, justifying why your not going to do it, and how it underminds the work your doing. Now this is just a observation. I'm sort of curious what someone on a debate team, a english teacher who knows about sentence structure would conclude the same idea. It seems counterproductive, and bad business sense. I get development is costly, and you can't make everyone happy all of the time. When the majority asks for something time after time, shouldn't that determine what will truly make the best change?


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Community Manager
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#14 - 2011/05/16 07:21:00 PM
The Q&As are designed so that we answer the top rated questions that the community has. Sometimes though, the questions asked aren't ones we can answer for you directly, but we try to answer what we can. So the choice is either to pretend that those questions don't exist and avoid them (even though they were highly rated) or to give whatever answer we can, even if it's just "We like it. We're thinking about it. We'll get back to you."

What we're trying to do is to give you some insight into what the development team is thinking and the processes involved. Sometimes that means giving an answer that explains why we don't want to do something or why something might be difficult to do. This is not putting off the question. It's just our way of trying to explain why we don't have a better answer for you at the time. We're trying to be as transparent as possible, but at the same time, there will always be some gray areas that even we are trying to sort out and we'd rather not mislead or give false hopes if we can avoid it. We'd much rather give what solid answers we can as we can when we can and when we get further along in design, talk about what we are able to do and doing then.

When we started these Q&As, we knew that disappointing people now and then with answers was something that would happen. But, we feel the benefits of doing these outweigh the negatives by far. We'd rather face the danger rather than run away away.


Ok I might be wrong in this, but I noticed a certain feel about the Ask the Devs. It seems like there alot of, "We like that idea.... but we're not going to commit."

The whole idea is to give the players a voice and show that Blizzard is listen. For the Q and A, they choose question based on how many times the question was asked, plus the rating the questions got. Giving the notion; this is a question a majority of what players want.

I would think alot of players, as well as the developer would expect a good idea, that the players want, would get a "you want it, you got" response from the Dev team, as long as is sound idea. That really didn't seem like that guess, if anything there was alot... "buts"

Here's one example I know a HUGE majority of players want, have asked for in dozens of threads, with thousands of posts. The Appearance Tab, which got in the Q and A

Q: Is it possible to let the players create/edit their own looks? - Zed Loft (Taiwan), Vysha (NA/ANZ), Ráchel (EU|German)A: As we said in an earlier Q&A, we definitely hear loud and clear from players that they want more customization for their character. This is something we want to provide, but we want to do it in the right way. Consider the Barber Shop feature. It lets you change your character's hair, but there’s not a lot of gameplay to it. We're not sure that feature really added a lot to the game in retrospect. Is WoW more fun for you now that you have a Barber Shop? Are you more likely to keep playing because of it? Maybe, but it wasn’t a cheap feature to add in terms of development time. Dumping a bunch of dyes on the game might have a similar effect, where some players might have fun playing around with the system for a bit, but a lot of players might change their colors once or twice and then forget about the feature after that. Now, not every aspect of the game needs a ton of depth and a lot of interesting decisions, but we tend to attract more players to a feature the more robust the feature is. We also think it's fair to argue that the game just needs more armor and weapon art. As we said above, we deliver a lot of art these days, but we also produce an enormous number of new items every expansion or patch and it’s understandably disappointing whenever items use the same art. It would be really cool if not every mage or priest converged on the same look after a given expansion or patch.


A majority of the response seemed to a counter response; on what players truly want, justifying why your not going to do it, and how it underminds the work your doing. Now this is just a observation. I'm sort of curious what someone on a debate team, a english teacher who knows about sentence structure would conclude the same idea. It seems counterproductive, and bad business sense. I get development is costly, and you can't make everyone happy all of the time. When the majority asks for something time after time, shouldn't that determine what will truly make the best change?

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Community Manager
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#26 - 2011/05/16 07:58:00 PM
05/16/2011 11:46 AMPosted by Lowangel
The old saying, "the customer is always right." should ring true a little bit shouldn't it?


The popular answer would be yes, except for the fact that you have to ask, "Which customer?" We happen to have a lot of community members playing the game and while we try to add as much variety as we can to make as many people happy as possible, it doesn't mean we'll make everyone happy all of the time.

While we could also say, "hey here's what we're thinking," that has proven to have some negative reaction as well when discussed too early on. Think about how many times we've put something on the PTR only to change it and have players upset that it was, "taken away". That same perception of taking something away would still exist even if it was something that was never had.

Let's put this simply. We're doing what we can and we're not going to have the silver bullet that will satisfy everyone either in game or here in the forums, but that sure as heck isn't going to keep us from trying.

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Community Manager
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#68 - 2011/05/16 09:31:00 PM
The Q&As are designed so that we answer the top rated questions that the community has. Sometimes though, the questions asked aren't ones we can answer for you directly, but we try to answer what we can. So the choice is either to pretend that those questions don't exist and avoid them (even though they were highly rated) or to give whatever answer we can, even if it's just "We like it. We're thinking about it. We'll get back to you."


I'm sorry to interject here when my comment has little to do with what the OP said, but it is rather disappointing when you choose to go with the now bolded section of your post.


You've misread then. I said our choice is to do one or the other and we choose to answer even if we don't have THE answer to give, not to ignore the question. On rare occassion, we may come across something we just can't answer. But we were pretty up front about explaining what those are.

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Community Manager
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#113 - 2011/05/16 10:56:00 PM
It's very easy to dismiss what we're doing as being for ulterior motives than to keep as open a line of communication as possible with the community. It gives some validity to the idea that we are an evil corporate entity of automatons which some find to be a comforting thought since it means they'd be proven right. This couldn't be further from the truth.

I thought I'd answer a question about why and how we do these Q&As. We're more than happy to take in constructive feedback in how they're done or the end results, but there are some discussions being had within this thread that are proving to be less than constructive. Please try to remain respectful to each others ideas even if you do not agree with them.

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#188 - 2011/05/17 04:58:00 PM
Just to clear up a misconception I've seen in this thread-- questions are compiled from all regions and answered as quickly as possible, but it takes time. We've been getting these out as quickly as possible, but in order to do that, it also means being selective in how many questions we can answer and get coordinated globally. While some may feel we should do more and not worry so much about it, we take our responsibility to the global community very seriously. We have a lot of information that is translated every week and this is one additional thing that we've added to the pile. We want to do this and we want it to be beneficial to the entire community as much as we can make it be.

Also, when we choose questions to answer we are looking at votes. If the votes coming in are only from the first five pages of questions, then it's up to the community to encourage others to dig deeper to find those questions that they'd like to see answered. We're leaving the voting up to you.

For those that have taken time to provide constructive feedback on the process, we appreciate it. We'll keep an eye on discussions and discuss further how we (the community team) can make this better alongside the development team. As I mentioned before though, we have no way to guarantee that everyone will be completely happy, but we'll keep doing what we can.