Ask a Developer is not working.

84 Goblin Death Knight
650
Let's just face it. In wrath, the devs were the closest to being 'held accountable' for some of their horrible decision making as they've ever been. They were still really, really, -really- far from that point where it might actually come back to bite them in the ass, but the fairly open line of communication meant that they could get a metaphoric earfull when they !*@&ed up hard - and they did.

Cataclysm is a disaster in terms of balance, and I'm almost 100% sure that they know it. However they've managed to wall themselves off from most of the community blow back, but they're still trying to give the illusion of feedback / open communication. In order to both maintain their 'safety' while answering those questions, they need to only pick 1-2 real questions, and then simply !###!-foot around those. The rest have to be silly BS stuff that doesn't even deserve the time of day, but they can use the excuse of it being popular.


Im going to assume you're joking on the bolded part. As the devs have said, cata is the most balanced this game has ever been in terms of who can do what. Every tank is being used. Every healer is being used. Almost every single dps spec is being brought. The only ones that are NOT competing properly are the "pvp" specs, because they cant be brought up too much to risk pvp overload. Dont give this bullcrap about THE MOST UNBALANCED EXPANSION YET!!@!
Reply Quote
85 Dwarf Shaman
4565
And honestly? The blog format isn't working.

Ghostcrawler has brought up some great discussion topics, but the format is terrible for discussing the actually topics. We get some weird comment system that makes a statement hard to follow, and there's no follow up thoughts in reaction to whatever is discussed.

To give an example:

Ghostcrawler: What if interrupts had longer CDs?
Us: Lots of stuff would need to be rebalanced, but it would be healthier for the game. Have you considered giving a sort of DR or immunity to multiple lockouts, to prevent melee from simply training and locking down a caster? Breathing room was a big point about Cataclysm.

And then it just ends. If GC had made a thread, he could come back and tell us if that would work, maybe discuss what a good length for a longer cooldown would be, and so on.

That is what I miss from WotLK. I do acknowledge the whiney threads asking for GC posts, but they still exist today! Nothing has really changed on the whine front, but the flow of information to players has become tainted and erratic.



The problem with this is, and I of course can't say with certainty, is that I think the way communication was going in WotLK had to be incredibly draining on GC. Trying to work on the actual development of the game and then trying to spearhead communication with the players is really just more than one person is capable.

Blizzard has definitely made strides to improve communication for both players and developers in Cata, it's just that by their own admission they haven't really found something that works really well.
Reply Quote
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2605
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.



It doesn't work because devs give "answers" that any politician would applaud. Until developers start giving thoughtful, relative answers that are honest ... they're just wasting our time and theirs.
Reply Quote
85 Human Mage
9800
Between this and the VP buff to raids earlier I'm almost starting to feel like maybe you guys are listening to us

On the other hand I'm also pretty sure the main reason ATD failed is because even the questions that were "answered" were never really answered

Edit: And I'll second a thought from earlier in the thread...what happened to Class blues? I don't remember anyone being unhappy about that system and there was definitely a lot more communication then
Edited by Soulfrost on 6/15/2011 11:48 AM PDT
Reply Quote
100 Worgen Mage
18975
It's a good time to end the series. It ran the gamut of major topics. It's also a good time to stop and let the dust settle after the drop of the 4.2 patch.

The main issue I see with the rating system was that it mostly favors those questions posted earliest. The Damage Dealing one also further displayed the flaws in the system when those on class boards rallied behind voting up every post of their class. You don't have that problem with something like a "professions" or "storyline" Q&A, but if it's class-based, people will skew the results towards their class.

A possible compromise solution I see to this to make use of the rating system is to just not general role topics and have individual Q&As for each class. We've done something similar in the past. Then people can go wild voting up whatever they want. Have a thread on each class board opened once every month or so, leave it open for a week, and take some of the highly rated questions. The downside to this is having an exact schedule makes people feel like they're left out for an entire month, so I dunno, just a thought.

GC posting regularly was still the best though. But it was rough on him to be the only one down in the proverbial trenches.
Reply Quote
85 Night Elf Druid
12205

The problem with this is, and I of course can't say with certainty, is that I think the way communication was going in WotLK had to be incredibly draining on GC. Trying to work on the actual development of the game and then trying to spearhead communication with the players is really just more than one person is capable.


This is probably the reason why, on top of just them discussing back then what would be better ways of communicating with the lot of us since even with GC posting regularly, there was still resentment and unrest and the like. I am glad they're looking into other ways to do it though, but it is hard for there to be frequently open lines of communication with people we know have the answers when those people (the Devs) have their hands full with... ya know... their jobs!
Reply Quote
85 Gnome Death Knight
1590
06/15/2011 11:45 AMPosted by Soulfrost
Edit: And I'll second a thought from earlier in the thread...what happened to Class blues? I don't remember anyone being unhappy about that system and there was definitely a lot more communication then


My understanding is that it was the players who associated certain blues with certain classes, not that they were assigned to be the CM who dealt with all issues a particular class faced. If this is true, the fact that so many people misunderstood the relationship is kind of telling as to how successful the whole thing was.
Reply Quote
The guy who chose the inane and awful questions that were put to the developers messed up. The guy who let them waffle on about somewhat related subjects while NEVER ACTUALLY ANSWERING THE QUESTION also messed up.

Ask the devs needs a personnel change. Or even better just let the devs go to the forums and post themselves again. Playing chinese whispers isn't working.
Reply Quote
62 Dwarf Rogue
730
06/15/2011 11:37 AMPosted by Tyrion
The problem with this is, and I of course can't say with certainty, is that I think the way communication was going in WotLK had to be incredibly draining on GC.


I would wager that GC wanted to keep posting but management eventually shut him down. GC strikes me as a bit of a forum junky who really enjoyed the discussions on the DD forums. Unfortunately many posters liked taking blue text out of context and use them for cannon fodder in their rants and tirades. My gut tells me that management decided the direct communication did more harm than good.
Reply Quote
90 Night Elf Death Knight
3165
The problem with this is, and I of course can't say with certainty, is that I think the way communication was going in WotLK had to be incredibly draining on GC.


I would wager that GC wanted to keep posting but management eventually shut him down. GC strikes me as a bit of a forum junky who really enjoyed the discussions on the DD forums. Unfortunately many posters liked taking blue text out of context and use them for cannon fodder in their rants and tirades. My gut tells me that management decided the direct communication did more harm than good.


I personally would love to see Ghostcrawler return; however, that may not happen overall, depending on approval from above in Activision-Blizzard, and his (GC's) personal feelings on returning to the forums.

What would be best is a working, viable model of interaction between the Dev's/Blues of all sorts and the players. Keeping things in context and explaining things better may be a lesson that can be learned from prior Blue posts. Sure, word choice is hard, and long is more time consuming, but it should all work out in the end.

06/15/2011 12:05 PMPosted by Firestyle
We ask very challenging questions to problems that we perceive. Answering the question acknowledges the problem, and expects a reasonable response.


That's a nice way of putting it: Blood DK's and Shaman overall feel like they are both in similar situations; Rogues as well. Overall, we as a community could benefit from better communication; it's the style, shape and substance of that communication that is going to determine how well this entire process is viewed going forward.
Edited by Relesa on 6/15/2011 12:07 PM PDT
Reply Quote
85 Night Elf Warrior
10285
ATD's would work better if you, I dont know, answered the questions you pick.

That's a pretty big deal I would say.

Also you've always said that votes matter but aren't the final guiding rule. Then you pick a question about taunt on the basis that it's highly rated. You act like your hands are tied and it's just silly.

There are lots of reasons why it didn't work, many cited here and worded better than I could put them. But two of the bigger deals imo a) are not recognizing a dumb question despite it being highly rated, and b) evasive answers. If you are going to duck the question, or answer it with a 1 liner, dont waste our time.

It's failing because we're supposed to be getting some kind of insight and aren't.

ps. Blizzard moved to the blog format cause any thread in which GC appeared got flocked to with a million people asking for him to answer their pet issue. It devolved into "why are you replying here instead of there!" and "why don't you reply to class x issues!" which sucked. Also, more often than not, GC - no matter how much time he spent wording things - just answered some questions incredibly poorly and just made folks even more pissed off.

So i'm glad he moved to the blog format, but there needs to be a better way of getting questions to him, and better insight from him. I actually like the Dev Watercooler/Coffee thing but the topics are too random and infrequent.

As a great case in point - is there any point in posting comments on a Dev Watercooler? Does anyone read them? Or reply? Ever?
Edited by Charsi on 6/15/2011 12:10 PM PDT
Reply Quote
85 Human Mage
5375
ATDs usually ended up sounding like ask Blizzs PR/political department anyway.

Reply Quote
90 Tauren Death Knight
11855
I really appreciate that Ask the Devs was planned and carried out. Everyone (community & Blizzard) knows that the process is broken for mundane, mechanical reasons, but I actually think Blizzard has their heart in the right place attempting things like this.

Reply Quote
85 Tauren Druid
11575
I think the fundamental Problem with ATD was frankly how open it was.

The fact of the matter is that a vast number of WoW players are supremely uneducated about their class and/or the game systems.

The result is that a large portion of the questions in all of the threads were ones the posters could easily have found the answers too themselves. Add too that the staggering amount of 'questions' that were simply pointed digs at a specific class/ability (if i had a dollar for every 'why are ____'s so OP?'...), and the actual good cogent questions were lost in the drivel.

The shaman situation in the DPS thread pretty well highlighted the problem. A relatively small group of people teamed up and spammed the thread with the same 5 or 6 questions dozens of times, until by their estimation they filled 40% of the thread. They then proceeded to upvote all of each others posts and downvote the rest. Everything they did was well within the rules of the thread, but clearly shouldn't have been possible.

What i'd like to see is ATD threads on the individual forums, open only to those people who have an investment in them. Clearly it wouldn't be weekly, maybe monthly, or even patch-ly. But i feel like an ATD thread on the druid forums open only to those accounts who have a level 85 druid would be so much more productive.
Reply Quote
90 Pandaren Shaman
11470
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.


It doesn't help that basically every answer was "Eventually we would like to do X, but have no immediate plans"
Reply Quote
85 Tauren Druid
11575
And honestly? The blog format isn't working.

Ghostcrawler has brought up some great discussion topics, but the format is terrible for discussing the actually topics. We get some weird comment system that makes a statement hard to follow, and there's no follow up thoughts in reaction to whatever is discussed.

To give an example:

Ghostcrawler: What if interrupts had longer CDs?
Us: Lots of stuff would need to be rebalanced, but it would be healthier for the game. Have you considered giving a sort of DR or immunity to multiple lockouts, to prevent melee from simply training and locking down a caster? Breathing room was a big point about Cataclysm.

And then it just ends. If GC had made a thread, he could come back and tell us if that would work, maybe discuss what a good length for a longer cooldown would be, and so on.


The forum definitely suffers for lack of his presence. Yes, there was certainly a lot of BS and GC phishing, but when it worked, it really worked. Better than anything else they've ever tried.

I respect that it was probably very taxing on him to maintain such a big forum presence, while actually doing his job, but he is sorely missed. He elevated our discourse, even though it may not always have seemed so at the time.

I hope he knows how much we appreciated him.
Reply Quote
100 Troll Shaman
9125
IMHO Bash,
It wasn't really A ask the devs to me. I know it would be time consuming and borderline impossible, but the way I would have seen it is that the threads are moderated until X pages, all the while a Dev reads a question and answers it accordingly. I don't see it being fair that some questions are lumped up into one question and even then not directly answered.
I just would have like more "interaction" than "Ok we read your questions now this one person is going to say what we said."
Maybe have a certain Dev team leader per question or something. Like if 3 questions are pertaining to Lore, a Lore team leader would answer. Or something along those lines.
Reply Quote

Please report any Code of Conduct violations, including:

Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.

Posts containing personal information about other players. This includes physical addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and inappropriate photos and/or videos.

Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.

Forums Code of Conduct

Report Post # written by

Reason
Explain (256 characters max)

Reported!

[Close]