Some kinda inside blizzard series?

Community Manager
After reading some of the follow-up responses to Neth's and my posts, I have a slightly different, more personal angle on this discussion I want to share!

01/15/2014 10:39 AMPosted by Oratory
I'd love to be a fly on the wall in a developer meeting where various things are discussed and ideas thrown around brainstormed. And probably get bored after realizing it's not as exciting as I imagine it.

Maybe I'm being xenophobic here but I think the high production values of things Blizzard puts out with all the translations hampers the ability to do more things. Quality over quantity is usually ideal but raw dev notes would be pretty cool.

I totally understand this desire you and others have expressed. I kind of relate it to desires I have to know more about how bands I listen to get along outside of playing music (social dynamic, if you will), what their rehearsals are like, how they collaborate when writing, what their production process is when making an album, etc. I have the same kinds of curiosities about movies and the actors/staff making them.

It's pretty analogous across all arts and entertainment industries, and I think it's because the overarching goal is to create an extremely polished piece or product that moves, inspires, and/or entertains people. The audience is usually not given much of a view into the nuts and bolts of any particular project though, unless some sort of behind-the-scenes feature is released. But even then it's generally not raw video footage, or some producer's diary made public. In whatever format it's delivered, it's scrutinized, polished, and packaged for public consumption first. And that's really what I was getting at in my initial posts, including why it takes resources from around Blizzard to create any such behind-the-scenes material. Profits and revenue aside, employees are resources, of which there is a finite amount, who have any number of day-to-day tasks to keep this ship sailing. :)

Maybe this is getting too esoteric or abstract... I believe that those who pour blood, sweat, and tears into creative endeavors to ideally entertain the masses want to have a lot of control over how information about the work and its creators is presented. The process of completing the work might sometimes be boring, or even dirty, and if an audience gets to peek behind the curtain too much it might irrevocably change their perception of the finished product -- not necessarily because the revelation is damning, but because it takes impact away from the intended experience of the creation itself.

And, all that said, we still want to share with you what we can when we can, because World of Warcraft is ultimately an ongoing collaborative endeavor, in which having an engaged and informed audience providing input is incredibly important. That's why we talk everyday with the public on the forums and social media. We can talk more candidly without necessarily showing you all the nuts and bolts we use to generate the 1.21 gigawatts necessary to keep the mystery and the history unfolding. WHAT.

01/15/2014 02:07 PMPosted by Artefon

As for being "full of myself"... all I can do is smile and laugh.


That's the spirt Neth. Life is more fun if you're laughing. Also sidebar thanks for my first blue response of any sort in all these years.

P.S. If Zarhym is still sad give him a /hug for me. Candles can /hug right?

No harm, no foul! You originally said:

01/14/2014 10:41 PMPosted by Artefon
The tone from Zarhym is fitting here as I was just running through Diablo III the other day joking with a friend about how arrogant Zarhym must be in real life after coming upon our the fifth or sixth gold champion pack with a lead named Zarhym. We saw quite a few more playing through to the end of the act...

Then you think about all of their cool guy twitter pics. Selfies in shades sipping posh beverages. "Cool and aloof" take 3403. Click! Couple that image with the comment about the public show for interviews and you quickly realize there's no point in asking them to just be real people. Those at Blizzard in the spotlight seem to be too deep in the abysmal depths their own semi-celebrity nerd status and can't be asked to come up for air anytime soon.

Would be awesome to get a real glimpse of what it's like behind the scenes, but I wouldn't believe it.

If the argument is that image matters to people -- whether it's the image of an individual, a company, or a brand -- and you're not usually seeing a person at "face value" by looking at their social media profile, I wholeheartedly agree. That's pretty much inherent in social media and not exclusive to any person or group of people, be they celebrities, "semi-celebrity nerd status" folks as you describe, or anyone else. ;)
Edited by Zarhym on 1/16/2014 4:11 PM PST
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90 Human Mage
13530
01/16/2014 08:31 AMPosted by Nethaera
*Shrugs* I just want to know who to blame now GC has left.


You could always spread the blame out a bit more. ;)


Why? When we have http://www.blamecelestalon.com/
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90 Draenei Paladin
13690
01/16/2014 04:46 PMPosted by Fairadey
Why? When we have http://www.blamecelestalon.com/


This....was AWESOME....

Pat Krane has a twisted mind...
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90 Human Priest
14705
01/16/2014 05:40 PMPosted by Runnerpally
Why? When we have http://www.blamecelestalon.com/


This....was AWESOME....

Pat Krane has a twisted mind...


Ah Runner, your mind is twisted as well.. But I do love it!
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90 Blood Elf Priest
17055
May be interesting to some, maybe those who are contemplating careers in the game dev field, could be fascinating, could be mundane.

For me, I don't want to know how that magic trick really works. I'm not a child nor naive but I want to be surprised, amazed, entertained by the wonder of it all. Sure it may just be a trick but ooh's and ahh's are preciously few and far between in this world.

This is why I don't do beta tests nor watch previews of movies. Sure I can't avoid the news on these forums and some advance notice of changes is good but I don't want to watch them make those decisions.

I want to see things they create with "new" eyes and be delighted. I don't want the nitty gritty and see how human the Blizzard wizards are (and that they talk and swear just like me =P).
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90 Undead Death Knight
10270
While I agree that making a behind the scenes is usually a polished and well thought out piece of work takes time and resources I believe the best way to actually get this done would be to have one of the blizz fan sites do it with just a home camera, they can visit various areas on different days and ask a few questions....I know of a couple I would ask is to actually see what goes on during a regular maintinance on the hardware and software....and then I MUST see the power generator ( and count how many gerbils it takes to power everything ).

At the end of such a video I think everyone who takes part in WoW should get in a group in front of the camera at the end, introduce themselves and their job....including the janitor...its only right that he who keeps the bathrooms tidy of night elf stains and empty all the trashcans of worgen fur.
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71 Goblin Shaman
12395
nerds watching nerds be nerds. sounds good.
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90 Night Elf Druid
3050
01/16/2014 04:10 PMPosted by Zarhym
If the argument is that image matters to people -- whether it's the image of an individual, a company, or a brand -- and you're not usually seeing a person at "face value" by looking at their social media profile, I wholeheartedly agree. That's pretty much inherent in social media and not exclusive to any person or group of people, be they celebrities, "semi-celebrity nerd status" folks as you describe, or anyone else. ;)

It's your fault for displaying yourself in such a way. Social media has always been a competition to see who can be the biggest... well, you know. That's why I don't participate. If you don't want to be seen in that way - and seeing as you took the time to respond to it, we know it got to you - then don't display yourself in such a way. Don't blame social media for the way people think of you. You made them think that way.
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90 Blood Elf Priest
17055
01/16/2014 06:21 PMPosted by Ailida
It's your fault for displaying yourself in such a way.


Don't hate Zar because he's beautiful. He can't help being a QTpie.

¬_¬
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MVP
90 Worgen Warlock
10465
01/15/2014 10:05 AMPosted by Dethh


Sadly, there's quite a bit that can't be shared and/or you would find terribly boring. I've been neck deep in spreadsheets and planning documents as are many others. "Behind the scenes" would involve a lot of photos of people staring at computer screens, sounds of frantic typing, email notifications flickering across the screen, instant messages, and meetings involving spreadsheets and planning documents. ;) There's a lot of work that goes on and not as much shenanigans as some would like to hope for, but as Zarhym said, we do try to give more glimpses into individuals and what they do at Blizzard when we can. We'll keep working toward that end as much as possible for you.


I think you are a little full of yourself. No one wants to see behind the scenes community manager, they want to see behind the scenes developers.


I respectfully disagree. (With both you and Neth, so I am quoting both.) :) I very much enjoy all aspects of the game design process - from the design floor to the point where the CMs are hyping it up on the forums. That was part of the fun of blizzcon for me. If you're only focusing on the dev aspect, you're missing out on some wonderful parts of the game design process.

The artists, the people who create and compose the music, the voice actors/actresses even down to the people who make prop items like the chicken playing a guitar outside that inn in the vale are interesting. Why? Because they are doing something I don't do in my daily life. I feel much the same way when I watch shows like "how it's made" on discovery channel. Learning is fun. Learning about a game I enjoy is even funner.

It would be wonderful if they did more behind-the-scenes stuff outside of what they usually do at blizzcon, encompassing all aspects of the design to sales-floor process. I think people would be very, very interested given the volume of folks that went to specific panels at blizzcon. And those were only the people that could get tickets/afford to go.

But I'm a weirdo who likes watching shows about how golf clubs get made, so YMMV. ;)
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Community Manager
01/16/2014 06:09 PMPosted by Kénpachi
While I agree that making a behind the scenes is usually a polished and well thought out piece of work takes time and resources I believe the best way to actually get this done would be to have one of the blizz fan sites do it with just a home camera, they can visit various areas on different days and ask a few questions....I know of a couple I would ask is to actually see what goes on during a regular maintinance on the hardware and software....and then I MUST see the power generator ( and count how many gerbils it takes to power everything ).

At the end of such a video I think everyone who takes part in WoW should get in a group in front of the camera at the end, introduce themselves and their job....including the janitor...its only right that he who keeps the bathrooms tidy of night elf stains and empty all the trashcans of worgen fur.

We've done similar things in the past and it generally works. But it also kind of goes back to what I said about artists wanting to have control over how their art, or the process of creating that art, is presented. Even if a third party is brought in to shoot a bunch of footage and conduct interviews in order to piece together a documentary, we wouldn't just let them have full creative control and final approval. There's always the chance that something could be edited out of context and create frustration/confusion in the community, or something gets filmed we didn't intend for.

In other words we're still very hands on in examples such as you brought up. We'd have Blizzard Communications staff with a camera crew at all times while they're on campus to monitor the b-roll and interviews -- standard protocol for any media visits anyway, and why you might see me in a lot of campus tour pictures, hehe -- and the completed product would require our review and have to be given our approval before it's ever made public.

Again, that's not to say that we don't or won't consider/do this type of thing, but it doesn't reduce Blizzard resource requirements as much as you might think.
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90 Undead Warrior
9905
While I agree that making a behind the scenes is usually a polished and well thought out piece of work takes time and resources I believe the best way to actually get this done would be to have one of the blizz fan sites do it with just a home camera, they can visit various areas on different days and ask a few questions....I know of a couple I would ask is to actually see what goes on during a regular maintinance on the hardware and software....and then I MUST see the power generator ( and count how many gerbils it takes to power everything ).

At the end of such a video I think everyone who takes part in WoW should get in a group in front of the camera at the end, introduce themselves and their job....including the janitor...its only right that he who keeps the bathrooms tidy of night elf stains and empty all the trashcans of worgen fur.

We've done similar things in the past and it generally works. But it also kind of goes back to what I said about artists wanting to have control over how their art, or the process of creating that art, is presented. Even if a third party is brought in to shoot a bunch of footage and conduct interviews in order to piece together a documentary, we wouldn't just let them have full creative control and final approval. There's always the chance that something could be edited out of context and create frustration/confusion in the community, or something gets filmed we didn't intend for.

In other words we're still very hands on in examples such as you brought up. We'd have Blizzard Communications staff with a camera crew at all times while they're on campus to monitor the b-roll and interviews -- standard protocol for any media visits anyway, and why you might see me in a lot of campus tour pictures, hehe -- and the completed product would require our review and have to be given our approval before it's ever made public.

Again, that's not to say that we don't or won't consider/do this type of thing, but it doesn't reduce Blizzard resource requirements as much as you might think.

Could you tell me why dragon soul did not live up to the standards that every other end of expansion raid has had?
Edited by Flourence on 1/16/2014 7:32 PM PST
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90 Undead Warrior
9905
It felt less epic than even the starter raids that were released in Cataclysm.
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Community Manager
01/16/2014 06:21 PMPosted by Ailida
If the argument is that image matters to people -- whether it's the image of an individual, a company, or a brand -- and you're not usually seeing a person at "face value" by looking at their social media profile, I wholeheartedly agree. That's pretty much inherent in social media and not exclusive to any person or group of people, be they celebrities, "semi-celebrity nerd status" folks as you describe, or anyone else. ;)

It's your fault for displaying yourself in such a way. Social media has always been a competition to see who can be the biggest... well, you know. That's why I don't participate. If you don't want to be seen in that way - and seeing as you took the time to respond to it, we know it got to you - then don't display yourself in such a way. Don't blame social media for the way people think of you. You made them think that way.

First, it didn't get to me. If you read everything with full context I responded to him because he implied (in response to Nethaera) that he might have made me sad. I wanted to be open about it and let him know that I didn't take offense. I sometimes respond to people who are critical of me or Blizzard because this is a discussion forum, which means constructive debates are welcome. While Artefon was being a little critical in his initial rant, and hinted that he thought he might have offended me in some way, I found a bit of common ground with him and decided to point it out.

Second, I don't understand your point after reading the post a few times. I'm not sure what such way I'm displaying myself that you're faulting me for. His post about employees worrying too much about their image on Twitter wasn't directed at me specifically, which he said more directly in a follow-up post in this thread:

01/15/2014 05:45 AMPosted by Artefon
The second part was a jab at some of the guys who do post on twitter. Coming from what Zarhym said about having to put on a public face it seemed a decent place to make fun of the people who look like put more effort into their twitter pictures. I have to assume they make fun of some of each others pictures on there. The point being we aren't going to get the inside scoop at Blizzard partly because of the reasons that were stated and mostly due to what I thought was hinted at: that inside information early and out of context would cause more problems than it might alleviate and in order to give that behind the scenes look without causing those problems you can't just film anything back there. More likely you wouldn't be able to film any interesting happening development wise.

And no, it isn't fun posting when people get hurt. I'm sure Zarhym isn't though. He knows I'm only grumpy because I want to take cool Val Kilmer quality selfies myself, but I can't because I'm an ugly dwarf still... and I currently have no idea when I'll be able to get to Draenor and fix my ugly face... because we maybe need a blizzard series thing... Probably.

Third, it's not clear to me if you're suggesting that I shouldn't worry about how I'm perceived by the public on social media and the forums, or that I shouldn't be on social media at all because it's shallow. In either case, those suggestions are pretty much in direct opposition to a core component of how a Community Manager operates. Together with PR we're members of the Communications team at Blizzard and we're public spokespeople for the company. Interacting with the public on forums and social media is in the very fabric of my career, and I want people to get to know me. Showing a bit of my personality while engaging players reinforces the fact that this is a company of human beings who not only share common interests with many people in the community, but are also part of the community as well.

So when we're engaging a large audience and interacting with many people via many outlets, image matters! Blue text shouldn't come from a nameless, faceless entity. :)

Lastly, don't take my response to your post as some indication it "got to me." As I said before, this is a discussion forum. In the context of this discussion about players getting an inside look at Blizzard employees, I saw an opportunity to clarify some things after reading your assertions. It doesn't mean I took it personally.
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Community Manager
01/16/2014 07:28 PMPosted by Flourence
Could you tell me why dragon soul did not live up to the standards that every other end of expansion raid has had?

That's not relevant to this thread at all.

Please stay on topic, find a thread that's relevant to the topic you want to discuss, or (if there isn't one already) create a thread on the topic you want to discuss.
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90 Orc Warrior
13300
I bet they don't want to do it because they're hiding some dirty little secrets.

It's alright, I'll hop on my rogue and sneak in. We'll find out exactly what that evil Ghost Skull is hiding!
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51 Tauren Paladin
0
A lot of it is probably two things: 1 being the boring stuff that would be rather uninteresting and 2 being there is probably a lot of incomplete things that developers want to be more complete before letting the public see and inevitably critique.

I mean they could have a plans for something that if they showed it early fans could shout for scrapping or change when its not even close to being where the developers vision is.

We all want to see stuff, but seeing things before lets say art department wants to show, probably not best idea. (Even if we all really excited to see all the updated character models)

Lastly pardon if this is farther off-topic(or already mentioned), but the blizzcast was/is somewhat close but I haven't listened to one or heard of one recently, not sure if that ended. And I guess that was less WoW specific which is probably what OP wanted. ( I remember enjoying some of those though, vaguely remember one about the music of either WoW or blizzard games in general).
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90 Human Mage
13530
01/16/2014 09:03 PMPosted by Ellimist
A lot of it is probably two things: 1 being the boring stuff that would be rather uninteresting and 2 being there is probably a lot of incomplete things that developers want to be more complete before letting the public see and inevitably critique.


Could you imagine if we see an idea get kicked around and somehow we see someone say yes we'll put it in game and then off camera it's nixed but not mentioned ever as being nixed? Imagine the forum and fansite outrage that would erupt. /shudder
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