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90 Night Elf Death Knight
3165
There's a phrase I've heard recently:

"No plan survives first contact (with the opposition)."

Basically, nothing planned ever lasts longer than the unexpected result. Food for thought, I'd wager.

The only question I have at this point is, should we wait for this new plan, or ask for GC to be allowed to post again? I know that's not ideal and he may not even want to do it; however, at least with GC he would give you what he knew at that time, and even make corrections. GC seemed human; this process, seems to take any sense of caring right out of the process itself.
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85 Tauren Warrior
7480
06/15/2011 12:41 PMPosted by Sdg
i don't see all the fuss. Everyone got mad because some of the answers were "we think it's fine." It may not be the answer you wanted because you wanted them to change something. But it is still an answer. Now I know that the devs are looking to keep things the way they are and I can take that into account.


There are plenty of hardcore people in every niche of the game, from tanking/healing, to class-specific issues, folks who level every type of character and have a first-hand look at the differences. I'm not talking hardcore raiders or hardcore PVP, I mean a hardcore WoW player that attempts to understand the mechanics of everything and how to maximize their abilities.

And these players had some well-written questions about the differences and shortcomings with certain classes, citing the reasons why, and the response was "We think it's fine".

The one about bear druid tanking and initial rage as compared to a warrior... both are heavily reliant on rage, but the warrior has a distinct advantage by building it on the charge. Part of the problem is DPS impatience, if they wait 3 seconds then they won't be able to steal aggro so quickly. But the problem still stands: out of the 4 tanking classes, all of them have the ability and resources to immediately grab nearby mobs EXCEPT druids. And from what I've seen, paladins and DKs have an advantage over warriors with Avenger's Shield and Death&Decay, respectively.

The answer "We think it's fine" is blatantly ignoring the issue. Obviously the mechanics from one class to another should be different, but when one class/spec starts to dominate as the easiest and/or most effective to play, it means that something needs to be re-tooled to level that out.
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85 Gnome Death Knight
1590
I think one of the issues is that many of the players expect an "honest" answer to have some form of definition to it. But these forums can be read by all and you know the competition is watching. So Blizzard has to be somewhat careful of what and how they answer simply because of that.

Then you consider that they have never really been big on saying "this is absolutely what we're going to do and this is what its going to look like, we're releasing it in a patch in two days." They leave room for things to change and for delays to happen and they are smart to do so.

These things were meant to give an idea of what the developers were thinking, not specifics. We think there's good synergy between this class and this other class in pvp and we're trying to make more classes share that type of synergy, for example. People expect the answer to be "we're buffing this spell to make that class better" when that was never the type of answer they said they were going to give.

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90 Undead Warrior
7870
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.


This answer is much appreciated. While I was as upset as a lot of the tanking community, I think we also didn't take into account the difficulty of picking questions from the smallest of the three PVE communities (Healers and DPS being the other two).

I'm excited to see what you guys come up with. In the meantime, may I suggest the CM's pick a couple of the more pressing questions from the tanking community and get some answers on those in the near future? It won't satisfy everyone, but it would go a long way towards mending fences with the tankers . . .
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100 Gnome Warlock
12035
06/15/2011 01:04 PMPosted by Ericdravn
i don't see all the fuss. Everyone got mad because some of the answers were "we think it's fine."


Because that is not an answer. The whole idea of this was to give us insight as to WHY they feel that way. What are the players not seeing that they are? If they took the time to actually explain their position, we might understand. Saying "We think it's fine" without elaboration comes off as condescending and arrogant and does nothing more than fuel the ire of the players.
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90 Human Warrior
11775
I said it back when it was announced GC wouldn't post anymore.

Blogs don't work. Ghostcrawler did.

I fail to see how having Ghostcrawler post on a topic somehow hurts discussion. I think some threads he posted in would ruin it when people rushed in to fulfill their agendas, but every once in a while it would be a genuine back and forth discussion and we both got a lot of information out of it.

That's why I really enjoyed the forums back in Wrath of the Lich King. Changes would be made- even serious nerfs, but Ghostcrawler would be there to explain the thought process and ideas for the future.

We don't have that now. It's a lot like praying, it's all one way.
Edited by Culin on 6/15/2011 1:33 PM PDT
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85 Gnome Death Knight
1590
06/15/2011 01:28 PMPosted by Agrippas
i don't see all the fuss. Everyone got mad because some of the answers were "we think it's fine."


Because that is not an answer. The whole idea of this was to give us insight as to WHY they feel that way. What are the players not seeing that they are? If they took the time to actually explain their position, we might understand. Saying "We think it's fine" without elaboration comes off as condescending and arrogant and does nothing more than fuel the ire of the players.


So let me ask you this, what if the answer wasn't just "we think its fine" what if the answer was "we think the players are overstating the disparity between x class and y class and that raids have been successful with both classes filling that role". You don't think that would be called condescending?

Look at what happened when Ghostcrawler wrote the "dungeons are hard" blog. He told people to get out of the fire and use their abilities and that they had to compensate for the mechanics of a fight. He was roundly criticized for being condescending but the things he pointed out in that blog are the very things the people on this forum complain about people doing in randoms; staying in the bad, not interrupting, etc.

So do we want honest answers or not?
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19 Draenei Shaman
5845
Why can't we just get class Blues again?


Communication between the playerbase and Blizzard has definitely suffered in Cata, but after the insanity of WotLK I can absolutely understand the developers trying to find a better way to communicate.

But as it stands, things are just frustrating. Players aren't really concerned about their issues being addressed, but rather are more concerned that they're even being heard.

I think if you went back to a system where a Blue tried to regularly post on the various class forums, that would build up a relationship between the players and developers a little more and we wouldn't feel so much like we're just flapping in the wind.

This is true. More blue posts in class forums explaining the reasoning behind changes, for instance, would stop a fair bit of complaining (and lead to some more most likely, but it couldn't be worse than getting no explanations/answers at all).


This would just lead to MORE QQ. Why? Because if druids got two posts in one month and DK's got none you would have all the DK's (and possibly the other 7 classes, too) screaming, "Oh blizz is just talking to their favorite class again, blah blah blah"

They have said multiple times, even recently, that they like the damage dealing, healing and tanking forums more than they like the class forums just because the level of QQ is somewhat controlled by the presence of other classes that can downvote more topics and threads if they don't see them as important or relevant.

Personally, I'm surprised the devs even do the Q&A to begin with, and that they are going to even come up with another type of format for it. People just complain for no reason most of the time. They fail to grasp that CM's aren't Dev's, and they fail to realize that Dev's have FULL TIME JOBS doing dev work, and aren't paid anything extra to communicate with the forum community. It is not Blizzard's job to communicate with the forum community, and many, many other games have no dev answers at all. Many of the people on these forums are spoiled by them and act like spoiled children when they don't get what they want.

P.S. Oh, and just watch, there will be healers making threads like, "why can't we just have the new format, why do we have to use the old broken one."

I guarantee those types of threads will pop up.
Edited by Boomshacka on 6/15/2011 1:39 PM PDT
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80 Night Elf Druid
0
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?


I think there is a minor miscommunication due to a typo, you mean divine guardian as the 'raid wall' CD, divine protection is their 1min 20% DR on self, like barkskin. But yes, there is a huge gulf between the two classes raid utility.
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19 Draenei Shaman
5845
I said it back when it was announced GC wouldn't post anymore.

Blogs don't work. Ghostcrawler did.

I fail to see how having Ghostcrawler post on a topic somehow hurts discussion. I think some threads he posted in would ruin it when people rushed in to fulfill their agendas, but every once in a while it would be a genuine back and forth discussion and we both got a lot of information out of it.

That's why I really enjoyed the forums back in Wrath of the Lich King. Changes would be made- even serious nerfs, but Ghostcrawler would be there to explain the thought process and ideas for the future.

We don't have that now. It's a lot like praying, it's all one way.


You weren't around for the Beta of cata, then. Ghostcrawler, and the other blue posters for the beta forums had to literally kick people out of the beta because of their complaining, un-constructive feedback, name calling, etc. Ghostcrawler made it clear that the Beta community, and communicating with that community, was something that he held dear and he wanted a deeper level of communication and feedback to occur without just plain QQ.

But, for the most part, it didn't happen. People still complained all the time, and others flamed others and called Blizzard stupid, called Ghostcrawler an idiot, etc. After months of developing a new game and having rounds and rounds of negative feedback it's literally not surprising at all the GC took a break from the forums and decided to go the blog route.
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85 Orc Shaman
0
Did the Ask the Devs: Healing come after or before DPS? I really wanted to see the answers for all the enh shaman questions on the DPS Ask the Devs.
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90 Night Elf Death Knight
3165
06/15/2011 01:47 PMPosted by Telenor
Did the Ask the Devs: Healing come after or before DPS? I really wanted to see the answers for all the enh shaman questions on the DPS Ask the Devs.


ATD: Healing has not even been asked yet; questions should go up whenever the DPS answers come out.
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85 Tauren Warrior
7480
06/15/2011 01:28 PMPosted by Agrippas
i don't see all the fuss. Everyone got mad because some of the answers were "we think it's fine."


Because that is not an answer. The whole idea of this was to give us insight as to WHY they feel that way. What are the players not seeing that they are? If they took the time to actually explain their position, we might understand. Saying "We think it's fine" without elaboration comes off as condescending and arrogant and does nothing more than fuel the ire of the players.


I didn't say that. I quoted the person who said that, and took the opposing side, which means I was agreeing with you.


So let me ask you this, what if the answer wasn't just "we think its fine" what if the answer was "we think the players are overstating the disparity between x class and y class and that raids have been successful with both classes filling that role". You don't think that would be called condescending?


It doesn't provide any insight because it still doesn't answer the question. Look at the bear druid issue I brought up (that plenty of other druids have complained about). Saying that they CAN tank the same dungeons and raids is not an answer. Of course they can do it, their abilities and stats give them the capability.

The question was why there is a disparity between the classes when it comes to initially tanking multiple mobs. It's much MUCH easier on a paladin when you get a ranged silence and an AOE attack that avoids CC'd mobs, all in one button. Guaranteed if you join a group and see a bear druid, you'll groan a little, and overall have to slow your pace and really manage your aggro and targeting. If you have a paladin leading the group, you don't have to worry.

The dev's answer wasn't just "We think it's fine", but also included "We're giving druids a mitigation buff in 4.2", which effectively skipped the question and moved on. I'm betting most people play this game to relax and have fun, and if certain class/specs start pulling way ahead of or lagging noticeably behind another, it becomes more work to compete and ultimately, less fun.
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100 Troll Shaman
16085
There have been some good questions and reasonably detailed answers in ATD, but I'm glad the format of it is going to be changed. Questions on the first page of each post were always highly voted no matter how stupid they were, and any good questions on page 12 or 17 were never going to see the light of day.

Also, I get why Blizzard wanted to take questions by voting, but really... You should have reserved the right not to answer questions that were based on misunderstandings of how the game works. If people voted up a question about taunts missing, maybe you should make it clearer in-game that taunts cannot miss, rather than spending time discussing it in a venue that's supposed to be for in-depth questions about the design of the game.
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100 Night Elf Druid
11575
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.

That is nice to hear, but I am hoping you don't use the forum for that again.
The current way to ask questions is very flawed....the thread can only have so many posts, and many of the posts are spam (the same person asking the same question over and over), double posts because people were in such a hurry to get their question in that they didnt see it had been asked 5 times already, or completely off topic. In one of the ask the devs, someone had a completely empty post.
By the time those posts could be looked at by a moderator, the thread was already closed and no more questions could be asked, so alot of good questions couldn't even be posted because of people violating the forum rules.

If you guys continue to use the forum format, if you could please have moderators focus on those threads until they're locked it would prevent alot of the unnecessary posts clogging up the thread so other questions can be asked. Also, tell people in the first post not to ask questions that have already been asked and tell them to vote up the ones they like...in big bold font lol

My other concern, like others here, is that the devs are picking questions then not really answering them (for instance telling us you guys have plans to work on something in the future but don't give us any further info)...or grouping questions together so it seems like they're answering more, but they're ignoring half the ones they grouped up (like the bear tanking issue for instance). If the devs don't want to give us information about a topic because it's still "classified", they shouldn't pretend to answer the question. Give us info or don't choose that question at all, even if it's highly rated, just pick a different question you actually can answer.

Another frustration is the broad topics, with focused answers. For instance the Professions atd turned into being all about archaeology and the good questions about other professions were ignored. A little extra info about archaeology was great, but an entire atd about it when other professions (engineering, leatherworking, jc, etc) needed attention too was very frustrating.
Edited by Andalya on 6/15/2011 2:04 PM PDT
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85 Gnome Death Knight
1590
06/15/2011 01:52 PMPosted by Ericdravn
The dev's answer wasn't just "We think it's fine", but also included "We're giving druids a mitigation buff in 4.2", which effectively skipped the question and moved on. I'm betting most people play this game to relax and have fun, and if certain class/specs start pulling way ahead of or lagging noticeably behind another, it becomes more work to compete and ultimately, less fun.




Ok, so lets say the answer was "Remember how kitty dps was considered the hardest rotation? Well, we wanted bear tanks to be hard mode tanking. They take more skill than the other tank classes. Its harder to tank with them because we are giving the players a class that really does take skill to do what the others can do."


Or what if the answer was (and I'm so making this up to make a point) "We feel that druids have tools in pvp that make giving them more cooldowns difficult to do while keeping them balanced. We have some ideas that we're looking at but they're in the early stages."


Now without looking at either of them being factually accurate (I know little of bears, sorry, but we're not arguing mechanics here anyway) would either of these be more what you're looking for? I'm not trying to be oppositional, I'm trying to establish what people think these Q&A's should look like.

To me the first answer shows what the devs are thinking in their design philosophy (and it would be a fair departure from what they usually believe).
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90 Undead Death Knight
10720
A good call with respect to killing the format.

Regardless of the answers themselves, the former system essentially made a popularity contest on a forum that by Blizzard's own admission:

1) Comprises a small fraction of the playerbase
2) Has an even smaller fraction within said small fraction that is constructive/objective while actually being knowledgeable at the same time.

This almost certainly dictates a disconnect between the top rated questions and those the developers deem important, and probably even more importantly will exacerbate any rifts already existing by the nature of the responses they feel (justifiably) to give from a PR standpoint.

One group is going to be looking for very detailed & lengthy responses to questions that the answer-er may or may not even think are valid (especially since the version of the game they are working on is not the version we are playing) , and even if they did, could not give that type of answer as a company from a business perspective. It was really an untenable situation from the start.

I'm not certain the margin of improvement from any new system will be significant enough to overcome the core issues by a worthwhile amount, but worthwhile is subjective, and I have to commend Blizzard for trying I suppose on some level.

EDIT: Wanted to say I appreciate Andalya's comments as well about "If you can't answer fully, then don't speak to it at all". Three questions answered in detail comes across very differently than 10, with the same 3 answered in detail and 7 others not given the same level of scrutiny. The amount of information passed is actually more in the case of the latter, but the feel of it ends up worse. Human emotion/perceptions at play, heh.
Edited by Embahlmor on 6/15/2011 2:11 PM PDT
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90 Undead Warrior
7870
I said it back when it was announced GC wouldn't post anymore.

Blogs don't work. Ghostcrawler did.

I fail to see how having Ghostcrawler post on a topic somehow hurts discussion. I think some threads he posted in would ruin it when people rushed in to fulfill their agendas, but every once in a while it would be a genuine back and forth discussion and we both got a lot of information out of it.

That's why I really enjoyed the forums back in Wrath of the Lich King. Changes would be made- even serious nerfs, but Ghostcrawler would be there to explain the thought process and ideas for the future.

We don't have that now. It's a lot like praying, it's all one way.


The issue became that the forums transformed into posts full of "GC - WTH ARE YOU THINKING WITH RET NERFS?" "GC - NEED BLUE POST ON CLAW CHANGE" . . . etc etc etc.

The forums were completely overrun with posts only designed to get a blue response, and the "discussion" that went on in these posts was primarily to mock other posters, armory troll, etc.

One of the issues is that there is a large segment of the community that is just too immature to hold a reasoned dialogue with. They just want what they want, don't care about balance or the difficulty in making a change, and throw a temper tantrum when they don't get what they want delivered on a silver platter in 30 minutes or less. These folks are the loudest and most persistent part of the overall user base, and are disproportionately represented on these forums.

Structurally, the lack of class designers (or advocates, or class CM's - whatever you want to call them) to interact with the user base sets up a very difficult situation for CMs. They can't possibly understand all the classes/specs in both PVE and PVP, but are essentially tasked with such when responding. This sets up a no-win situation where they inevitably make a mistake (Drax's comment about Aspects being on the GCD for instance) and get blasted for it. Or they just provide a very vague answer that doesn't satisfy anyone. It just erodes the overall trust.

The blogs were a good idea, but they come in a bunch, then we don't hear anything for quite a while. There's no consistency to the communication (which any good PR person would tell you is almost more important than the message).

Ultimately this is a game, we're the customers and they're the service provider. While they don't have a "responsibility" in any kind of legal way to provide info, every successful company that has such a large interactive user base must keep up the dialogue if they want to be successful long term.

While I don't think Blizz has "given up on wow" by any stretch of the imagination, I also think they've become very conservatized by their current design/feeback model (and perhaps feel trapped by previous statements that they wouldn't implement class designer/advocates). With all that said, I'm looking forward to their next attempt.
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