Ask a Developer is not working.

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It's good to see that Blizzard is acknowledging how fail the Ask the Dev's Q&A has been to date. I just hope that you come up with a new avenue which actually works, and tackles the difficult issues.
I'm not going to bother getting into the specifics of what was answered or why or any fansite articles bashing the process; it's been covered many times before.

But, at the core, I think we agree it's not working. While we could (and do) lament over the reasons why a scheduled Q&A based on question popularity doesn't sit well with people, the bottom line is it can't go on as it is.

We don't expect people will ever be completely happy with any Q&A. Regardless of how they're conducted we'll never get to every question, so there are always going to be complaints that we didn't answer the right ones. But Ask the Devs is different. While there are certainly arguments that answers didn't say the right things, or didn't give a firm answer on how a problem would be resolved, the process just doesn't work because of the format.

We've spent a lot of time discussing why it doesn't work, and while that's interesting to us, the bottom line is that once we've finished the role Q&A's with healers, we will be ending the Ask the Dev series.

Our goal with Ask the Devs was always to increase interaction with the developers, to provide a direct conduit to their thoughts and process. We're in the planning stages for a new Q&A process that will replace Ask the Devs, and while we're absolutely certain people will continue to be upset we didn't answer every question, we think it will overall be a far more successful approach.


Translation: We are tired of you trying to pin us down as to why we do the some of the idiotic things we do and why everyone in our company seems to be a coprophiliac. So give us some time so we can find a way to be able to dodge even your legit questions and concerns about the game easily and at the same time make those of you with out a brain think we are actually being really supportive and helpful.
I'm not going to bother getting into the specifics of what was answered or why or any fansite articles bashing the process; it's been covered many times before.

But, at the core, I think we agree it's not working. While we could (and do) lament over the reasons why a scheduled Q&A based on question popularity doesn't sit well with people, the bottom line is it can't go on as it is.

We don't expect people will ever be completely happy with any Q&A. Regardless of how they're conducted we'll never get to every question, so there are always going to be complaints that we didn't answer the right ones. But Ask the Devs is different. While there are certainly arguments that answers didn't say the right things, or didn't give a firm answer on how a problem would be resolved, the process just doesn't work because of the format.

We've spent a lot of time discussing why it doesn't work, and while that's interesting to us, the bottom line is that once we've finished the role Q&A's with healers, we will be ending the Ask the Dev series.

Our goal with Ask the Devs was always to increase interaction with the developers, to provide a direct conduit to their thoughts and process. We're in the planning stages for a new Q&A process that will replace Ask the Devs, and while we're absolutely certain people will continue to be upset we didn't answer every question, we think it will overall be a far more successful approach.
Just unlock Ghostcrawlers account and allow him to post again.
I liked seeing some of the questions players were asking. I think the Q&A was a great way to see how people were thinking about various issues in the game and I learned a few details about classes I had just leveled to 85 but hadn't started seriously playing yet - that info was pretty insightful and valuable to me.

I think where it went south is when you have a limited number of pages and players who troll, violate the one question per reply, post off topic stuff, post replies to other people, or spam the same questions repeatedly to suck up space so others' can't get their questions asked.

I think a moderator who could consolodate similar questions together and nuke the bogus stuff would be very helpful. The final list of trimmed questions could then be submitted to the devs to guide their replies they want to make on the topic. That way the devs can choose what to talk about, hitting on what some players touched on, and give in depth insight vs feeling forced to tip toe around topics they can't answer or don't have answers for.

The dps answers would be simple to deal with since there are 10 classes and each one had at least one or two good questions with some (shaman) with a few more. So go down the list of classes and answer them. That would be maybe 30 questions max and would cover at least a little something for everyone. I would love to see a mage question answered or even some dialog on any mage changes thought about or planned for the future.

And while I love devs being playful, including stupid off topic questions just made me mad that they took a spot from a more relevant question.

Finally, I'm grateful the Q&A isn't being totally dumped and look forward to seeing how the new changes work out. I think it's important to keep communication open and I value the sense that sometimes things I care about are discussed by a dev.
06/15/2011 12:51 PMPosted by Fasc



rooofl, that's some super good logic. How about we compare divine protection to barkskin and innervate to, i dont know, divine plea? Dang it seems like we have similar cooldowns afterall, some good for tanking, some lackluster.


Irony on your part.

The fact that Paladin utility being compared to Feral utility at all is laughable, especially considering the comparisons were the strongest group defensive skill in the game being compared to... 6k mana.

Glad you can compare Barkskin to none of your own defensive CDs. You have those too remember?


you have no idea what divine protection or divine plea are do you? lol
06/16/2011 02:24 AMPosted by Calikrea
Nice way to avoid Shaman questions. You dodged that one, Blizzard.


that's because they have already answered all the shaman tanking questions. And the answer was: no
IMO the best way to handle it is to let the Devs post on the forums occasionally. Have, for example, the hunter dev pop into the hunter forums once a month or so and ask something like, "Hey guys, we have a long list of things we are working on, but we wanted to let you know that we are working on a solution to Hunters feeling focus starved in PvP, right now we feel things are playable, but we want to make the best experience possible. We have thought about A,B, and C, but that resulted in X, Y , and Z problems. We will let you know as soon as we have an update, and wanted to let you know that we are working on it! As always, thanks for all your supportive ideas!"
I wouldn't base any WOW decision based on what CasualInsider says, mostly because they're almost always incompetently wrong.
06/16/2011 07:31 AMPosted by Sdg
Nice way to avoid Shaman questions. You dodged that one, Blizzard.


that's because they have already answered all the shaman tanking questions. And the answer was: no

None of the shaman questions had anything to do with tanking.

"Ask the developers" is as loaded as surveys about management, when you take such a survey at work.

Its kind of the same thing here. People ask a lot of questions, but Blizzard often kind of "cops out" and post the ones they have the answers to (even if the answer is a longtime "no". ) This is because known questions, with their known answers, are easy to answer.

-----------------

I did not know that it was "question popularity" from the other posters here, no wonder a lot of the things I read in these Q and A's are already known suggestions that Blizzard has already answered a lot. I just assumed it was Blizzard taking the easy way out.
It's because you've lost the trust with your playerbase, Blizzard. Nobody believes you are picking the most popular questions but the most popular questions you can easily answer. Using a forum format is stupid as the first few pages will have way more popularity than the later ones. It could be circumvented by doing a page view to question vote algorithm but ultimately it boils down to trust. We don't trust you're answering the questions people actually want answered.

One of the few ways to remedy this is to create a new page for players to submit questions to. If they don't have any questions, or after the question is submitted it randomly picks 5 questions for the viewer to read and vote on 2-3. They can refresh the page all day long and vote on as many questions as they'd like, but just put a limit on the votes per page and it will keep the balance even. Also create a page that players can see what the top questions are. That way all questions get a fair amount of views and the players know just as much as the developers do which questions people actually care about. There's still some minor room for doubt, but it is infinitely better than this clearly unthought out process you have now. Ask the devs is a good idea, but not when the entire community knows they are very weary about answering the hard questions.
Seems the answers this time around are taking awhile. I'm not sure if that's good or bad...


Bashiok,

The problem is, without someone shedding light on the reasoning, it really does feel like there were LOTS of highly rated questions, and the "the tougher" questions put forth by players (that did end up highly rated) were overlooked and passed by for the "easier / softball" style questions that were answered.

Without some reasoning, it really feels hollow, empty, and flat. the questions and answers that have been given feel less like a "real" Q&A and more like a "Find the people asking very shallow questions, we'll answer those."

The problem for me, started with the professions Q&A, and went drastically, quickly, furiously, downhill with the tanking Q&A.

It is refreshing to hear a blue agree that "ask the devs" isn't working. I hope at least internally, Blizzard is able to look at the public outcry that has grown increasingly negative about it, and understand why there are sections of the community that feel this way.

With a game with ~10-11million subscribers, and a forum community notorious for being the 'sky is falling' portion of the community, you are right. It is hard to please everyone. No one is asking that you answer every question, but I think that if blizzard were really honest with themselves about the Q&A sessions (I could specifically point to Professions and Tanking as two that were much maligned), you would agree that there wasn't an effort put into answering "the right" questions.

Specifically, in the Profession Q&A much time was spent on Fishing and Archaeology, and very little to no time was given to other professions (engineering being the biggest one that pops to mind) where there was a large amount of highly rated questions. In the Tanking Q&A, it very much felt like it was written speaking to people who don't tank. Who don't see these things. Answers like "We're happy with vengeance" sell the community short, even with a large explanation behind them, because it runs so contrary to the stated design goals.

Yes. A popularity contest is probably a poor choice for how to choose questions. I was hopeful and optimistic that it would have better results. I commend you for sticking it out through the healers portion, knowing that the reaction is probably going to get worse.

Maybe, and this is just an idea here for a way to keep it interesting, and still interactive, you could move the "ask the devs" from a "popular vote" type thing, to a "interview type thing" NON-MVP posters on the boards who have a history of being respectful, knowledgeable, etc... get a chance to ask you 5 questions about their area of knowledge. Want to make it Super Interactive? Take it out of the Official Forums.

Get Prominent posters from EJ, Maintankadin, Tankspot, MMO-C, places like that, and do a collaborative effort with the community at large instead of purely the community here. Then, the interviews can be posted as blogs here as the official site, and cross posted with the community sites. Other games that I have been a part of have used this collaborative approach with "Fan Sites" when doing Previews, story info, and interviews, and it genuinely has a more positive vibe than just using the official site, or 'for profit' magazine type places.

Just my thoughts.
06/16/2011 12:41 PMPosted by Tyrion
Seems the answers this time around are taking awhile. I'm not sure if that's good or bad...


Not like it matters, since 98% of the questions are about shamans, oh wait...
Frankly the elimination of this otherwise nice feature is, yet again, another good thing about Blizzard and their games being ruined by an overtly vocal minority of immature whiners. These are the same people that if they could bring rotten fruit to a theater to throw at the actors IRL, they would do it.
yet again, another good thing about Blizzard and their games being ruined by an overtly vocal minority of immature whiners


Excuse me?

Look at my posting history. You won't find many posts from me complaining about the game or how the developers interact with us. I'm the type that just wants to play because I enjoy it. Sure, I read the patch notes and what the blues say to us because it is nice to know what's going on behind the scenes to help understand why the developers do what they do. One of the things Blizzard says they value is feedback. And they want it in a profession manner. Well, that's what I gave them. I just didn't feel the ATD bits were working. So, I told them.

"Whiney and immature?" The pot called the kettle black on that one.
The fact people are complaining about this baffles me.

Would you rather no QA? Would you rather they didn't try to reach out to us and let us know what they're thinking at all? Quite your complaining and be happy we're lucky enough to have a developer team who cares about the community and wants to share some of their insights.

Yikes!

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