Regional FlagGMs in the forums are a good thing.Source
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Trilha
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#1 - 2015/03/11 09:49:00 PM
I'm looking for Blizzard participation in the forums. I know it's not a 'directly profitable' function and probably is the first thing looked at when 'do more with less so we can pay a bigger dividend' comes up. But it's a good long term investment to engage your customer audience.

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#11 - 2015/03/11 10:22:00 PM
03/11/2015 02:49 PMPosted by Trilha
I'm looking for Blizzard participation in the forums. I know it's not a 'directly profitable' function and probably is the first thing looked at when 'do more with less so we can pay a bigger dividend' comes up. But it's a good long term investment to engage your customer audience.

We agree and the WoW CM team has only grown since the game was released ("do more with less for bigger dividends" sounds very cynical and has never been an operating procedure for us). We've taken on a host of various responsibilities over the years, but community engagement remains a primary objective.

That said, our "customer audience" expands well beyond these forums and we have to keep that in perspective. There needs to be a larger engagement strategy so our time is well managed.

On a related note, I'm not going to have much time at all today to engage the community because I'm organizing a lot of data in Excel. But that data will later be used to inform how, where, and why we engage the community.

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#12 - 2015/03/11 10:24:00 PM
03/11/2015 02:56 PMPosted by Yzzami
Blizzard has all retreated to twitter. Therefore, I nominate myself as supreme ruler of the forums. Bow down before me, peasants

Your nomination is rejected and your argument invalid. <3

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#18 - 2015/03/11 10:28:00 PM
03/11/2015 03:24 PMPosted by Gevurah
03/11/2015 03:22 PMPosted by Zarhym
On a related note, I'm not going to have much time at all today to engage the community because I'm organizing a lot of data in Excel.


Oh, fun. Drink lots of coffee!

My goal is to empty a row of Mountain Dew in the nearest vending machine before I leave tonight. This spreadsheet is a BEAST. :p

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#40 - 2015/03/11 10:48:00 PM
03/11/2015 02:58 PMPosted by Humanhaeos
03/11/2015 02:56 PMPosted by Crepe
...

The forums are just a piece of their responsibility.

They do a lot more than that.


http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/b20/interviews.html#thirdInterview

I actually read this again yesterday for a refresher.

Edit: Make sure to select the Community Manager interview.

This interview is still pretty insightful for those wondering what a typical day in the life of a CM is like. Our team has restructured a bit -- to respond to the ever-evolving game and community -- since Bashiok did that interview, but fundamentally we haven't changed much.

I mean, I do now report to Bashiok. I guess that's a little different. ;)

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#44 - 2015/03/11 10:51:00 PM
03/11/2015 03:42 PMPosted by Sighberia
Heck with the forums, I want GMs back in the GAME, and I dont mean answering tickets, I mean unleashing raid bosses in Stormsheild, turning me into a giraffe, appearing in a raid and making us all stand in line to get icecream.....(sob) I MISS them!!!

I was reading that thread too and thought about responding. I started at Blizzard as a GM back in April 2005 (I get my 10-year shield next month!), so I was involved in the initial in-game GM interaction strategy before I moved over to the community team.

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#68 - 2015/03/11 11:17:00 PM
03/11/2015 03:51 PMPosted by Fairaday
You do hate yourself don't you? You're literally inviting attacks about your time spent engaging people on twitter, reddit, wowhead, and where ever else you try to do your job.

I'm not going to attack you mind you, but we're talking about the WoW forums.

Here's the thing with those kinds of attacks. We read them when we're not as active on the forums. We read them in response to us when we are posting on the forums.

I'm just not going to let them dictate whether I can do my job efficiently. The fact is that CMs are not only here to engage the community; we're advocates within Blizzard for the community. We're here to filter, collect, and make sense of common feedback so we can foster further internal discussion and be sure your voices are heard.

If people want to spend their bandwidth posting about how we can only communicate in 140 characters, or that we're afraid of our own community on the forums, that's their prerogative. I'll find plenty of posts from people who want to talk about the game in earnest terms. :)

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#139 - 2015/03/12 06:59:00 PM
03/11/2015 03:12 PMPosted by Saninicus


Nethera: Hasn't posted hardly at all can't handle criticism and freaks when caught in a lie.



This is an incredibly odd comment. I handle constructive criticism very well. I don't know the last time I "freaked" out on anything. There was no lie told and my primary focus isn't with the forums (though I keep tabs for many reasons). I predominantly focus on reports, blog content creation, and communicating where I can when I can. Just an aside- My name is misspelled in your post.

That all said, we haven't gone anywhere.

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#144 - 2015/03/12 07:17:00 PM
03/12/2015 12:02 PMPosted by Danseis
03/12/2015 11:59 AMPosted by Nethaera
That all said, we haven't gone anywhere.

Except to find more coffee and Mountain Dew. And cookies. Everyone loves cookies.


I'm avoiding all but the coffee. Reports don't write themselves.

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#148 - 2015/03/12 07:38:00 PM
03/12/2015 12:22 PMPosted by Ikinai
...

I'm avoiding all but the coffee. Reports don't write themselves.


You know, back when I was in college I wrote a program that would write reports. Not saying they were accurate, but they did write themselves.


I'm thinking accuracy is probably pretty important. ;)

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#324 - 2015/03/13 11:05:00 PM
03/12/2015 04:29 PMPosted by Gimolos
03/11/2015 03:22 PMPosted by Zarhym

("do more with less for bigger dividends" sounds very cynical and has never been an operating procedure for us).

Never is such a strong word to use here. For example, one of the reasons for instituting the WoW token was to curb gold sellers and consequently allow you to reduce or reassign staffing dedicated to account restorations and investigations to other areas once the illicit activity decreases, much like when you released the authenticator you almost certainly did the same as account compromise incidents decreased. To not have done so and have those people standing around would be pretty ridiculous.

I know you're trying to put a good face on things, but the simple fact is that a for profit corporation is constantly trying to find ways to lower costs to increase profit. If they are not, they either go out of business or the CEO is fired by the board of directors and somebody installed who will. It's just simple capitalism.

Edit: Gotta love getting downvoted for the TRUTH. What this cm sad flies in the face of basic economics. I'm sorry, but it really is that simple.

No, it's not that simple and that's probably why you got down voted several times. You snipped less than 1 full sentence from my post and took it completely out of context to make an argument that I'm just trying to save face.

Of course efficiency is important. Of course we're a for-profit company.

I was referring to the WoW CM team, as the original implication was that our team is specifically targeted as a way to cut corners and save money. Check it in full:

03/11/2015 03:22 PMPosted by Zarhym
03/11/2015 02:49 PMPosted by Trilha
I'm looking for Blizzard participation in the forums. I know it's not a 'directly profitable' function and probably is the first thing looked at when 'do more with less so we can pay a bigger dividend' comes up. But it's a good long term investment to engage your customer audience.

We agree and the WoW CM team has only grown since the game was released ("do more with less for bigger dividends" sounds very cynical and has never been an operating procedure for us). We've taken on a host of various responsibilities over the years, but community engagement remains a primary objective.

That said, our "customer audience" expands well beyond these forums and we have to keep that in perspective. There needs to be a larger engagement strategy so our time is well managed.

On a related note, I'm not going to have much time at all today to engage the community because I'm organizing a lot of data in Excel. But that data will later be used to inform how, where, and why we engage the community.

In that context, "do more with less so we can pay a bigger dividend" is a cynical argument for why we -- meaning the community team in particular -- aren't as active on the forums as some would like. I replied to note that it's not true, we've only grown over the years, and our depth of community engagement isn't tied to some corporate financial bottom line.

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#327 - 2015/03/13 11:18:00 PM
03/13/2015 04:07 PMPosted by Ifr
03/13/2015 04:05 PMPosted by Zarhym
In that context, "do more with less so we can pay a bigger dividend" is a cynical argument for why we -- meaning the community team in particular -- aren't as active on the forums as some would like. I replied to note that it's not true, we've only grown over the years, and our depth of community engagement isn't tied to some corporate financial bottom line.
why are you blue?

like, why are there blues?

like... why blue?

why is the logo blue?

who decided this?

if you could choose another color, what would it be?

I'm not paid to ask such existential questions! Much less answer them!! :p

The Blizzard brand has always been known for its blueness. I assume at some point way early on, when the first Blizzard forums opened up, someone said, "Uh, hey, we should, like, post in blue. People will be like, 'Hey, that person's text is blue. Blizzard likes blue. They must work for Blizzard.' Let's make it happen."

... 20+ years later I share the genesis story with the world!

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#368 - 2015/03/18 09:52:00 PM
03/15/2015 10:01 PMPosted by Kanng
Every day there are constructive posts that essentially ask the same unanswered question. "Why doesn't Blizzard really care anymore?"

1. You and I must disagree on what "constructive" means.
2. It shouldn't be a shocking revelation that we don't jump to answer questions formed through false pretenses, or derived from fallacious arguments.

There are thousands of Blizzard employees who have dedicated their lives to not only making great video games, but all-around epic entertainment experiences. So many people here are so passionate and dedicated to their careers that your question is, at the very least, perplexing.

We understand people can get frustrated about things here and there. That's okay. WoW has a lot of moving pieces. Players are passionate too and we love that. But to channel that frustration into an accusation that we just don't care isn't constructive at all. To re-frame that accusation into a question is to really not be asking anything.

03/14/2015 10:19 PMPosted by Matuk
It feels like there's a barrier between the players and the devs, to the point that we often have no clue what's going on with the game changes or why. As an example I can relate to: Echo of the Elements, a Shaman talent, was totally redesigned for 6.1.
Why? We don't know. Nobody was complaining about it (at least not in noticeable amounts), and it was actually one of our better-designed talents. It wasn't used ALL the time or NONE of the time - it fit some situations better than others, as a talent should, and thus we'd change in/out of it on a fight-to-fight basis.
It didn't get better or worse necessarily - it's just a completely different design now.

03/16/2015 05:19 PMPosted by Matuk
No communication in regards to balance changes. I've seen communication on currency changes, or increasing item levels, and even "HOW TO PREPARE FOR PATCH 6.1 WHICH BRINGS NOTHING YOU NEED TO PREPARE FOR!", but usually nothing about class-specific ability changes.

As to the content, there's a LOT more to be said than that. Too powerful in what context? On specific fights? In specific pvp situations? In relation to other specs? When combined with certain spell/talent/gear combinations? What's the data showing it so powerful, that the players don't seem to have access to?
Saying something was "too powerful" is incredibly vague and is just as bad as saying nothing, without additional clarification. There's plenty of intelligent minds in this game community as well, not just mindless trolls spamming random buttons and standing in fire.

I understand that some people will always want more information on our design philosophy. But do keep in mind that a developer's primary job is to develop. That's their expertise, but we'll do what we can as an organization to make sure players have some perspective on why the developers are designing things the way they are.

To use your example about patch 6.1 and Echo of the Elements, let's take a look at the section labeled "Talent Balance" in the 6.1 patch notes:

Talent Balance

Developer Commentary: A primary focus for class changes in Patch 6.1 is improving overall talent balance. Not every talent needs to be useful in every situation; and in fact it’s often better if they have strengths and weaknesses. But we do try to have each talent be useful in some situations, and make them close enough in value that if you really enjoy the gameplay of a talent you don’t feel like you’re dragging your group down by using it.

For these changes we focused primarily on tuning (tweaking numbers), and nearly all changes are buffs to underperforming talents. The goal is to reach more variety of viable builds, without bringing down the existing popular choices.

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#375 - 2015/03/18 10:48:00 PM
03/18/2015 03:25 PMPosted by Bdm
Could one of those thousands of Blizzard employees not come to the forums look at some class post and say I see some real good Ideas and will take them to the devs.That would show one that Blizzard cares about what the players think and there are some really good Ideas on the forums.

It's not always beneficial for us or the community to acknowledge that we're doing such things, but that doesn't mean we aren't already doing that.

We're constantly reviewing and considering feedback, whether we're sifting through posts at work or logged into the game on our own time and checking out what people are saying/doing.

But to acknowledge every piece of feedback we're taking into consideration can lead to confusion or frustration if we don't end up acting on said feedback.

Acknowledgements so quickly get misconstrued as agreements, or even promises. Collecting feedback just isn't a public-facing communications exercise in and of itself.