How feedback works and why it matters

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While you're 'round these parts, I want to draw your attention to a well-written, insightful article by Matt Rossi over at WoW Insider. It's a great point of reference when you consider some of the statements we, as Blizzard employees, tend to consistently reiterate.

"[url="http://wow.joystiq.com/2012/11/14/how-feedback-works-and-why-it-matters/#continued"]How feedback works and why it matters[/url]" via WoW Insider

Food for thought!

With love,
[url="https://twitter.com/CM_Zarhym"]Zarhym[/url]


So basically, it's just the same things Blues tend to say, only by a non-blue.

Also contains a lot of assumptions on things being results of "player feedback", like cross-realm zones. And I have to wonder if Matt Rossi realizes that CRZ is actually breaking the game for a lot of people, or if he's noticed that holiday events are screwed up, or the fishing tournaments are gone. Oh wait, he's too busy in Pandaria to even notice CRZ exists.

It's funny to me that someone who writes an article about people complaining about a feature is so dismissive of their complaints without being aware of what the feature actually does.

Here's some feedback - put CRZ in Pandaria. Let everyone see how great it is, since you and the rest of the Blizzard blues continue to insist how terrific a feature it is.
11/14/2012 09:43 PMPosted by Därkly
Yes because you are an adult and as such, you related to Chen. But kids see the commercials and just go BOOM kung fu panda. Honestly just watch the cinematics again. Start from BC and come to now. Do you not notice that the MoP one is very childish?


The MoP one seemed asian to me. I saw an orc and human decking it out, only for a Pandaren to come out of nowhere and kick their butts. And considering that the Pandaren was a brewmaster, it didn't really come across to me as childish, seemed more 'Legend of Drunken Master' to me.

With BC and Wrath's trailer, yes they where darker, but more in a high schooler kind of way. I liked those trailers as well, but dark and demonic doesn't make something more adult.
I think if Blizzard wanted to really, truly hammer the idea home that, indeed, player feedback is of paramount importance, they would be well served actually compiling a list of specific issues that were in large part if not primarily made based around player suggestion and feedback.

... Yes, I know it would be a monumental task pouring through 8 years of development and design decision. Still, specific examples, examples that a player can go back, hold up and say "yeah! that made a definite positive impact on my playing experience!" mean a lot more than these well meaning but still largely unspecific explanatory posts.

It's really the difference between trying to explain away the doubt, and shattering it with a clear, "oh yeah, well what about the time we did this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this..." Really, you can explain and be as truthful, honest, and clear in your explanations as possible, and that still won't be enough for people. But hitting people with concrete, undeniable history which proves the idea beyond any shadow of a doubt will hit harder than any expose' on design philosophy.
Ok you showed us an article on the idea that a dev team can't design a game purely on player feedback because it would in the end be totally broken and unfun.

But the basic idea that's been recurring around here since launch day is we're sick of sitting at our valor caps. We want to buy our valor gear without this moronic quest grind. It absolutely will not make the game less fun to let us spend our valor. It absolutely will not detract from the people who enjoy grinding quests. Anyone who loves daily quests is not grinding them because they're sick of being stuck at their valor cap. They would be doing their dailies regardless of how valor worked.

The people stuck at their valor caps who don't like quests are just unsubbing from frustration. Why Blizz didn't hotfix valor rep requirements out until they could design a reasonable system that would meet their goals and stop the unsubs is beyond me.

tl;dr

YOUR GAME IS NOT LESS FUN OR BROKEN IF YOU ARE FREE TO SPEND YOUR VALOR!
It is a kind of silly opinion that Blizzard doesn't listen to feedback. Several blues that post here have a job that often consists of scouring the forums, summarizing player feedback and communicating it to the developers.

I think you may be able to raise a complaint that you're not getting a fast enough acknowledgement of your feedback or that it isn't acted on quickly enough for you or in the way you wanted, but they clearly are listening.

Beyond just listening, every expansion that comes out, it's pretty obvious that major design features are a direct response to player feedback. The whole phasing idea came from people wishing their actions had a more permanent affect on the world. Dailies, like them or not, are a clear response to players saying it's "World of Queuecraft" with an empty world and there's nothing to do outside of raiding. Even something like the staggered release of MSV and Heart of Fear with an ilvl and difficulty increase between the two strikes me as a response to people saying they liked the raid-to-raid progress in pre-WotLK expansions better where you'd have to gear up in one raid to approach another. Or early Cataclysm heroics being a response to the overwhelming popular opinion that WotLK heroics were "faceroll" and that people wanted to use CC again, more like BC, etc.

Personally, I think they sometimes respond almost a bit too much to customer feedback, or take it a little out of perspective or over-react to it, but they clearly are listening and often making big design choices based on ideas they get from it.
11/14/2012 08:55 PMPosted by Hippeaux
The author was citing the source he was referencing. In this case it seems more inappropriate to NOT name her.


Sure, the Associated Press doesn't do that, but what do they know about citations? You absolutely leave out information that could lead to the harassment of an individual. EVEN IF they posted something dumb on a public forum.

However, the article is right. The statement that Blizz doesn't listen to and/or resents player feedback is pretty insane considering what a large amount of player-influenced material makes it into each and every expansion.
11/14/2012 09:55 PMPosted by Därkly
If you have a kid around, make them watch MoP cinematic and see how hard they laugh during the fight.


So if somethings funny,it's childish, and not suited for adults to enjoy? Your kids laughing at a trailer makes the game worse for adults somehow?
I've seen feedback at work. The community managers do pay attention to what we suggest and will take good ideas, properly presented, to the development team.

Back in October, I posted a comment concerning the Quick and the Dead buff. My post was a request to compromise and make the buff a 40% increase of speed while dead. Rygarius quoted me and said he would bring it up in a meeting with the game developers.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/6934185945?page=3#45

It's only a matter of time to see if the development team does, or does not, accept my suggestion. I hope they do. But I won't be mad if they don't. There are too many good things in this game that I like to get mad over something as small as the Quick and the Dead speed.

And as for the dailies, they are a non-issue to me. I like having dailies. Particularly, I like having LOTS of dailies. I particularly LOVE that the cap on dailies has been removed this expansion. Thank you for doing that Blizzard.
I am not a regular MvP, I am part of the guild mentoring program. This is not permanent. I posted before the green text and I will post after I don't have it anymore.

Why does that make my post, or my opinions, any less valid than yours? I applied to be part of the mentoring program because I honestly care about this community, and I post also because I care. I hate seeing the nasty things people say about one another. Call me naive, but I think we're better than that.

Usually I kill threads I post in, honestly. :P


No I think what he is getting at is that many people in Green text and Blue on these forums adopt a kind of posting demeanor that is very strange and not at all natural. It comes across in a way that unfortunately exacerbates many people reading the posts. I am not saying you always post this way, but some of the posts I read in this thread had the same tone.

Draztal on the EU forums is a shining example of this behaviour. I have never actually been less impressed with the ability of a CM to handle the public on these forums - or one person that was so skilled in pissing off just about every single person reading the post, all in the guise of polite statements. It is like an uber-troll that we cannot report.

In relation to the feedback issue, as someone who spent years in CS in other jobs and was also mentor and counselor to teens that had issues I know what it is like to talk to people who are angry. One the absolute worst things you can do with someone who is angry is try to tell them that their anger is misplaced, unwarranted or un-constructive. While it is nice to encourage feedback that is the "most useful" to developers, feedback will not always be phrased as such. 100 people all referring to the same ability with just "this sucks" means that there could be serious issues with that ability. I get the feeling that in this case, all that feedback would be dismissed due to some moral impertinence attitude of developers.

Also, Blizzard has never been good with CS. I even volunteered my own time to assist in this department only to be told that they no longer accept volunteer workers, oh and that I needed to live in the US for the US servers I play on. As some have pointed out there are serious issues with Rogues that have been persisting for some time now. The same is true of mages, as it is raiding sizes and a host of other issues that continue to persist. Most are treated as though they do not exist by the CS here and thus you get angry people.

In short I see "Problem > Complaint > Silence > Complaint > Silence > Complaint > Blizzard 'We do like and listen to feedback' > Complaint > Silence" - and I have to say, I think the situation regarding feedback and community anger over some situations is entirely a bed of Blizzards own making and one that would serve them more efficiently in diverting that anger should they address that problem rather than passing the buck back to us all the time.

EDIT: Oh and just to be the complete opposite of descriptive and to make a point. I have not experienced CRZ too often however now I am out collecting pets keep running aground with this feature. A friend of mine yesterday had managed to work himself into a right angry state about CRZ and quite frankly I have not yet had a positive experience with it, only negative. So I'll just jump right on the bandwagon and just say that I think CRZ was a ginormous waste of development time that could have been better spent elsewhere.
11/14/2012 10:04 PMPosted by Därkly


So if somethings funny,it's childish, and not suited for adults to enjoy? Your kids laughing at a trailer makes the game worse for adults somehow?


-.- Quit arguing. Don't agree with me, I don't really care.


fantastic, I was beginning to think people really thought this expansion was somehow children appropriate. "Look mommy, the alliance are gunning down the unarmed horde! Oh, and the cute pandas want me to help them make beer and then drink it till my character's intoxicated!"
Did I say it was child appropriate? Nope. But are kids attracted to it? Yes.
They want people who play a lot of hours. The adults don't have time anymore. The WC3 players are grown up, maybe married with kids, work, etc... They want to get a new generation in now. You know... like teens?


Sorry, I started this least I should do is back you up. My point was that the whole back and forth and pointing out in a seprate thread is childish. And all I said was theme is pleasing to children with the fluffy pandas and pokemon pet battles. SO of course a younger crowd is going to join. Of course the younger crowd is going to voice off on the forums in childish manners. Why than argue with these people, it just makes the blue seem as childish. Than creating this thread doesn't help much.

I'm not claiming to know the age or anything about the person who made the original thread. But they made their post, a blue commented than leave it at that. No reason for them to carry it this far. If the blues and the rest of the blizz team are confident enough that their customer service is on par than there really is no reason to go to these lengths.

That all being said, I really am enjoying this expansion (no sarcasm intended).
Blizzard didn't just dump CRZ not because they hate you and are stubbornly keeping a bad feature to spite you, they kept CRZ because they believe that it's an emerging feature that they can improve with time and feedback.


See, this is the heart of the problem right there. It doesn't matter to Blizz that this "emerging" feature broke parts of the game, that there are no longer fishing tournaments, that you phase in and out of night and day, day and night, that you have no idea what realm you're on, that you suffer random dismounts and guaranteed dismounts on two person mounts, that this further fractures server community, that this causes phasing of mobs, or that this makes farming even more frustrating and a grind and a chore, that our seamless world is gone replaced by constant phasing.... none of this matters at all. Because you can SEE MORE PEOPLE IN STARTING AREAS. Isn't that great?

In fact, love them or hate them, we can't ignore that Cross Realm Zones are themselves a response to player feedback. They were born out of a desire to address players' issues with empty low level zones.


Thank you Blizzard for curing our broken toe by cutting off our freaking legs. No one, NO ONE asked to trade off the fishing tourneys, a seamless world, two passenger mounts, etc. for seeing more people in starting areas. NO ONE. Your quality control dropped the ball - and that's putting it mildly. To continue to produce a sub-quality feature that creates a mass of problems SO YOU CAN SEE MORE PEOPLE IN THE STARTING AREAS is nothing more that stubbornness. There's nothing else left.

But "in time" I'm sure you'll improve this "emerging feature." Just like "in time" I'm sure you'll fix disengage, which incidentally you broke over a year ago. Of course by then I'll be blind and living in a care home, but I'm sure you'll figure it out eventually.
So uhm yeah Mop was built around player feedback?

Okkkkkkkkkkkkk so you mean to tell me players actually did not want:
-Heirloom 1-90 gear for their alts or atleast 1 piece for the main?
-Players did not want to fly until level 90?
-Players actually wanted progression gear via only rep quests?
-players wanted the same old Raid, BG and dungeon concept?

Seems to me the article really never quoted anything except for some fool(lol dummy ur in game life is gonna be great now)

I did not see any stats in that article to actually support actual feedback from the player base to Blizz saying:

This % wanted this this and that and this % did not want this this and that...

One with half a mind would think this article is very biased and to have such a reputable person as Matthew write it makes me wonder wheres the proof because as a writer you defended BLIZZ with no proof on their(Blizz) behalf saying they went with what the majority of the player base wanted........

And Matthew you should really be doing your dailies not writing articles...

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