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Regional FlagWhat happened to improved dev communication?Source
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Rothulian
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#1 - 2017/02/08 03:27:00 AM
We were told on January 5th that all the relevant players were coming back from the holidays. Its now been a month. (For reference: http://www.wowhead.com/bluetracker?topic=20752659280)

Class balance is terrible at the bottom.

https://www.warcraftlogs.com/statistics/11#

Outlaw, Feral, Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, Fire Mage, Balance Druid, Destro Lock and Unholy DK. All struggling. This is especially true for Balance Druids, Destro Locks and Unholy DKs.

So where is the improved communication we were promised? Its been a month since ppl got back to work and yet...nothing. And this doesnt even get to the subject of legendaries. I was very lucky to get my best 2. Others are nowhere near as lucky. Still no information.

So again...where is the mystical unicorn called "improved communication"?

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Community Manager
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#66 - 2017/02/09 08:51:00 PM
We've been working extremely hard to improve communication. I'm sorry that you're not seeing all of it, so here's a short off-the-top-of-my-head rundown of what we've done in just the past month:

1) Increased Blizzard presence on the PTR forums at least 10-fold compared to 7.1.5
2) Added the Class Development forum to discuss changes that aren't necessarily tied to the PTR
3) More than tripled the frequency of responses via @WarcraftDevs compared to the 7.1.5 timeframe
4) Re-introduced the PTR Patch Notes
5) Started posting PTR Development Notes to give insight into what each build is bringing
6) Made significant changes to Community team structure, and formed a team dedicated entirely to developer communications (on the PTR and Class Development forums, that's Kaivax and me)
7) Revamped several of our internal feedback delivery processes to make sure that when you post something, the developers see it
8) Significantly increased the rate of communication between our Community and development teams, so that CM's can be much more informed on the changes to the game (and take on more of the burden of communication ourselves)

On the list to still do in the next month or so:
1) Significantly increase CM presence on the forums, now that we're more able to answer questions ourselves
2) Begin posting more direct requests for feedback, as 7.2 development has begun to reach a state where we're testing more than just stability (I'll be posting a thread asking for 7.2 Artifact Trait feedback later today)
3) Dramatically increase the rate of live developer Q&As as we get closer to 7.2 release (similar to what we did leading up to Legion launch)
4) Explore new methods for communication, especially for complicated topics like Class Balance or often-overlooked topics like RP, both of which don't fit well into a standard live Q&A
5) Improve our internal knowledge tracking resources so that everyone posting in blue text is on the same page (this sounds a hell of a lot easier than it actually is at a company the size of Blizzard)

Again, I'm really sorry and disappointed that the work we're doing isn't always coming across to you. I'm confident that things will continue to improve, especially as we grow more accustomed to our new processes. A huge part of this is also identifying pain points - you're absolutely right that there are several specs that deserve answers, and we haven't been doing enough to say "yes, that's an issue, we'll talk about it" or "no, we disagree, for these reasons."

I just wanted you to be aware that this is absolutely a priority for us, for the WoW development team, and for Blizzard as a whole. We've been working our butts off to make it happen. I'm sorry it hasn't happened as quickly as all of us may have liked, or possibly in the way that everyone was expecting, but I do think we've improved fairly dramatically since 7.1.5, and we will continue to do so.

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Community Manager
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#71 - 2017/02/09 09:05:00 PM
02/09/2017 12:59 PMPosted by Adreaver
After over a year of feedback from people talking about how much people dislike Vulnerable, we should never see a tweet like this one from Muffinus:

To clarify this - Muffinus is a great guy who does a lot of really important work on WoW, but is not on the class design team. What you saw in that tweet was him just trying to find out what the issue was so that he, as a swell dude who wants to help, could ask the class devs about it. It was very much not "the guy who makes Hunters didn't know what Hunters were upset about."

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Community Manager
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#77 - 2017/02/09 09:11:00 PM
02/09/2017 01:01 PMPosted by Frozenclaws
Also a quick suggestion to add to new patch notes: Stealth Changes. NEVER DO THIS. EVER. We will find them and call you guys (the devs) out on them. Please do document ALL changes, even if it's a 0.01% change; at least put them in an "extened patch notes" that are readily available.

This is absolutely, categorically, unfailingly and without exception, NEVER intentional. Most commonly, it happens because something simply got missed (see my previous note about revamping internal communication processes). Other times, it happens because a simple bugfix has unforeseen consequences.

I just wanted to be clear that "lets nerf this spec and just not tell them" is not a strategy we employ. As you said, even if we wanted to, it wouldn't work anyway.

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Community Manager
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#116 - 2017/02/09 10:59:00 PM
02/09/2017 02:39 PMPosted by Arnath
Can Healers please receive dev attention?

Everything we see, everything we read, all feedback, all dev posts, it is always about DPS.

Why do the devs ignore Healer feedback and focus only on DPS?


You totally read my mind. I've lately been asking this same question.

The answer seems to be kind of simple: with activities like healing or maintaining aggro or crowd control, a spec either has the capacity to do enough, or it doesn't. There's a sort of binary "working or not working" aspect to it. Yes, healing is much more complicated than activating a taunt every time it's up, but in general, you don't see many healers pointing at healing meters and feeling bad. They have the capacity to do enough healing. Also, there's constantly a cap on how much effective healing you can do.

But there are some concerns, and we're keeping an eye out for them here and elsewhere. I've observed discussion among our class designers about all six healing specs at some point over the last month, and of course, it was abundant during development of patch 7.1.5 (November and December).

Here are some threads in this forum that we've been following:

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20753355673

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20752552599

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20753336110

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20753246437

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20753215956

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Community Manager
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#153 - 2017/02/10 01:26:00 AM
02/09/2017 05:13 PMPosted by Culin

Chiming in, this is the kinda stuff I want to see more of. Curious choice of threads though.


I have huge lists of threads I keep an eye on for various reasons in notekeeping docs that I refer to when corresponding with different groups of designers. Those were just the most-recent five links in a long list.

Incidentally, that includes threads from our EU forums.

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Community Manager
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#217 - 2017/02/10 05:41:00 PM
Okay we've gotten way off topic in a thread that was already off topic for this subforum.

Let's get back to the other threads talking about class development.