How feedback works and why it matters

90 Dwarf Paladin
3485
11/15/2012 10:03 AMPosted by Klaudandus


Fixt.


The same Matthew Rossi, who along with Mike Sacco, spent 45 mins criticizing Blizzard on the reputation and dailies debacle?

http://wow.joystiq.com/2012/10/25/the-wow-insider-show-episode-266-on-rep-and-dailies-in-mop/


The moment you say anything positive about Blizzard you immediately become a fanboi, regardless of whatever you have done in the past. Didn't you know that?
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90 Night Elf Druid
13785
I have I7 with 12 gigs of Ram running a SSD drive, sitting in my home city or Panda land I have around 40 latency or less (both local and world) (posted many a tracert on the Tech forums) and the Disconnects lag and such can depend on what realms you're been bounced between so calling it crap is showing how much you really know (or don't know) and saying others have overinflated the issue really just trolling.

**even in the Dev meeting notes posted on mmo-champ they acknowledged the Latency\FPS issues so maybe you should just leave now.


Its overinflated if my PoS handles it fine. That or I magically have very nice servers with no issues or disruptions. Hell half the time I don't notice it at all when I'm zoning and flying over because it takes time to load in distant objects anyway.

Funny how no one I know says a word about CRZ and some of them even wondered what the hell it was or why someone in Trade was half-heartedly whining about it.
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90 Night Elf Druid
13785
11/15/2012 10:01 AMPosted by Ratinger
How do you "use CRZ" when you have no control over it?


You mean like inviting or being invited and suddenly changing servers?
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90 Tauren Death Knight
4840
Thank you for feeding knowledge to the community Zar!
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90 Night Elf Druid
15840
That article is a joke (but it's WoW Insider, which makes a habit out of creating columns out of tripe). Yes, obviously feedback matters. Obviously they listen to feedback. But that doesn't necessitate any applause. When they discount feedback (even after listening to it) that was well reasoned and highly supported, they should offer better explanation (if they want to keep their community feeling like communication is valuable). They should be judged based upon the context of the time, and right now the context does not look good.

The statement in the article about Blizzard not following the directions of people who shout the loudest on the forums is a strawman argument (and one that, sadly, Blizzard reps and Blizzard fans like to fall back on). No one thinks that they bow down, or should bow down, to the wishes of the guy who posts in all caps and with cursing about how his class needs to be buffed. But obviously that's not the issue people are identifying as "failing to respond to feedback," and to act like that IS the issue reveals a discrediting bias in the writer (again though, not surprising, since it's WoW Insider, where the bloggers LIVE for those moments that they gain enough favor to interview Blizzard staff).

Forum trends are just not that difficult to spot. And the large trends tend to be pretty representative of the in-game opinion. As much as people like to talk about self-selection, more often than not the "vocal minority" is only a minority because they're vocal, not because their opinions about what is good or bad are out of sync with the general population - that is to say that the opinion which appears to be the majority on the forums is often the majority in the game, and the minority on the forums are also the minority in the game (again, this is talking about large forum trends). Probably the only area in which self-selection has a highly skewed result is class balance arguments, for obvious reasons. Outside of that, the skew is minimal, and failure to act on widescale feedback is worthy of criticism.

The two best examples of that are recent: CRZ's and dailies. In the case of CRZ's, the article makes the extremely unconvincing point that CRZ's were a feature developed based on player feedback. Well, no, not really. It was a feature developed to save money on server costs, but spun to the playerbase as being a positive feature to make the world feel "alive" again (cue eye rolls over the people who think "alive" means smaller chance of getting rare mobs and loss of nodes for professions while people continue to not group up for quests because it's faster to just solo the solo content most of the time). The problem? First, the "feedback" about how the world was too empty was never a notable trend on the forum to begin with. And the ones who did complain about that tended to see server merging rather than CRZ as the appropriate response. The best you could say about Blizzard's reaction to feedback here was that they used it to determine how best to make a cost-cutting measure sound like a positive development for the game.

That decision made the player communications even more irate. The players thought their task was to convince Blizzard that their feature was not fun and detracted from the game, and became pretty certain that feedback was useless and ignored when the surge of negative feedback for weeks resulted in nothing but comments about bug fixes and vague promises of upping spawn rates. Was it useless? No. But it didn't carry the weight that common sense would tell you it should carry if the subject under discussion is what is fun rather than what is cheap.

Dailies are another prime example of course of this same trend. A decision by Blizzard motivated purely by the belief that creating chores for players to do every day makes it more likely they will stick around in their subscription. It's not about fun there, it's just about tying a reward to a grind that slowly - extremely slowly - gets done on a day to day basis. They're hoping that the joy of the reward will make players stick around longer than they otherwise would. Of course the game has always had grinds, but the level of reward and the tying of grinds to solo content has never been at this level, and it kind of stumbled over that line from, "hidden grind through enjoyable gameplay" to "boring grind where players are all too aware they are in a grind and can't wait to get the reward so they can never do that boring content ever again."

Lots of negative feedback again. And the response? Silly "gotcha" comments from Blizzard supporters about "dailies not being required" with some nodding from the blues. Oh yeah, that definitely makes feedback seem worthwhile. Again, I don't think the feedback is useless or not being taken into account in some fashion.

There have times in WoW's history that I have actually held them up as an example of doing a good job in providing steady communication with players and taking feedback into account. In many ways, Mists of Pandaria does that. But I view that as their response to feedback on other issues that was probably delivered a year ago. People who wanted more challenging dungeons got challenge modes. People who wanted something between dungeons and solo got Scenarios. When looking at the questing structure (NOT counting the daily quests), you can see how they split up storylines a little more to give more flexibility to player travel across zones (something I saw many people supportive of in the past, though some linearity is still good to have and players like to have arcing stories).

At present, however, it's difficult to be anything but critical of how they are handling the feedback on dailies and how they handled the CRZ feedback (I use the past tense because CRZ is something that was pretty well set in stone). Everything should be judged based on how long it would reasonably take to respond to the issue raised by the feedback. With dailies, it really would take almost no time at all, but instead we are waiting for it to be addressed in 5.1, and even then only in a half-hearted way that has not dulled the negative sentiment from the players much. (A token to increase rep gains after revered means little to people primarily complaining about how long it takes to get to revered, not to mention that the complaints also strongly center on the inability to gain the rep outside of dailies; and the double rep gains for alts has not removed the dread players feel at working on all those rep grinds with their alts - account wide reputation for alts being the far more sensible solution, with a restriction for Horde and Alliance only reps only translating to other Horde / Alliance characters and a few notable exceptions made for neutral factions opposed to each other such as Oracle and Wolvar or Aldor and Scryer).

Anyhow, I've rambled, but to sum up, it really comes down to two things. Does feedback matter? Yes. The article is right that it does. And should Blizzard be criticized for how they have discounted feedback in their actions recently? The article seems to take a very defensive stance for Blizzard, and I think it's just not correct in that stance. I think Blizzard is well deserving of criticism lately for that. (Though the criticism chiefly belongs to the decision makers, not the forum representatives of Blizzard).


Quoted for truth.

This single post hit the mark far better than anything in the linked article.
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90 Human Paladin
9930
I wish they would stop listening to feedback from a minority of people, because the same 5-10 people that made a thread everyday about the world being empty got this CRZ shoved down the rest of our throats, you can combine every single "R WORLD R EMPTY I CANT GANK PPL" threads and wouldn't even make up for half of the CRZ feedback sticky thread we have.

I have an idea, if Blizzard has an idea why not have in-game polls for us to take? That way you can get a general idea if the majority of people like the idea or not, less than 1% I bet comes to the forums, why listen to what they want? Why not what the majority wants?
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90 Orc Warrior
4380
11/15/2012 10:49 AMPosted by Gøthîc
I have an idea, if Blizzard has an idea why not have in-game polls for us to take?


It wouldn't work unless they did it at the login screen. Posting a poll on the forums is going to get an unbelievably biased response from people who came to the forums specifically to complain about whatever the thing they're voting against is.
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90 Human Paladin
9475
But that's not the point. The article is merely parrotting the blues commentary about feedback. To me, that's exactly what fanboi-ism is. It's not like it's a unique discussion on the issue of feedback, it's merely regurgitation of the company line. No surprise blue likes it and links it here.


So anything that agrees with the devs it automatically fanboism? Suppose that makes sense if we redefine fanboy to mean someone who doesn't hate everything about something. Just seems normal that there are times where people actually agree with how a product was made.
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92 Undead Mage
10385
I wish they would stop listening to feedback from a minority of people, because the same 5-10 people that made a thread everyday about the world being empty got this CRZ shoved down the rest of our throats, you can combine every single "R WORLD R EMPTY I CANT GANK PPL" threads and wouldn't even make up for half of the CRZ feedback sticky thread we have.

I have an idea, if Blizzard has an idea why not have in-game polls for us to take? That way you can get a general idea if the majority of people like the idea or not, less than 1% I bet comes to the forums, why listen to what they want? Why not what the majority wants?


I don't understand why people like you even played an MMORPG in the first place. There are good single player alternatives out there. Then you won't have to deal with those pesky players playing in the same zones as you.

Also, it wasn't just people on PvP realms wanting the world to be more full.
Edited by Naphula on 11/15/2012 11:06 AM PST
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94 Tauren Shaman
10650
It really doesn't matter how constructive or destructive a post can be. If you aren't in some "special" idolized w/e certain 1% secret club then w/e you say won't even matter. They gonna do what they gonna do, don't matter what the "paying ppl" think.
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94 Tauren Shaman
10650
11/15/2012 11:13 AMPosted by Mcdrunk
It really doesn't matter how constructive or destructive a post can be. If you aren't in some "special" idolized w/e certain 1% secret club then w/e you say won't even matter. They gonna do what they gonna do, don't matter what the "paying ppl" think.


Hyperbole much?


On occasion I am. Truth is truth though. They gonna do what they gonna do and I agree with Palehoof which was Vote with your wallet.
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90 Dwarf Paladin
3485
11/15/2012 11:19 AMPosted by Oreooze


Hyperbole much?


On occasion I am. Truth is truth though. They gonna do what they gonna do and I agree with Palehoof which was Vote with your wallet.


If it is hyperbole it is, by definition, not truth.
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90 Human Paladin
9930
I wish they would stop listening to feedback from a minority of people, because the same 5-10 people that made a thread everyday about the world being empty got this CRZ shoved down the rest of our throats, you can combine every single "R WORLD R EMPTY I CANT GANK PPL" threads and wouldn't even make up for half of the CRZ feedback sticky thread we have.

I have an idea, if Blizzard has an idea why not have in-game polls for us to take? That way you can get a general idea if the majority of people like the idea or not, less than 1% I bet comes to the forums, why listen to what they want? Why not what the majority wants?


I don't understand why people like you even played an MMORPG in the first place. There are good single player alternatives out there. Then you won't have to deal with those pesky players playing in the same zones as you.

Also, it wasn't just people on PvP realms wanting the world to be more full.


Because I like WoW and WoW was not a single player before CRZ, it has always been an MMO so I don't understand why people like you say this isn't a single player game, my server was already full before CRZ and I always seen people out in the world before this, and it's not about pesky players, it's about zones being full, quest mobs dead, having to wait in-line as if we didn't do that enough in Queues.
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That article is a joke (but it's WoW Insider, which makes a habit out of creating columns out of tripe). Yes, obviously feedback matters. Obviously they listen to feedback. But that doesn't necessitate any applause. When they discount feedback (even after listening to it) that was well reasoned and highly supported, they should offer better explanation (if they want to keep their community feeling like communication is valuable). They should be judged based upon the context of the time, and right now the context does not look good.

The statement in the article about Blizzard not following the directions of people who shout the loudest on the forums is a strawman argument (and one that, sadly, Blizzard reps and Blizzard fans like to fall back on). No one thinks that they bow down, or should bow down, to the wishes of the guy who posts in all caps and with cursing about how his class needs to be buffed. But obviously that's not the issue people are identifying as "failing to respond to feedback," and to act like that IS the issue reveals a discrediting bias in the writer (again though, not surprising, since it's WoW Insider, where the bloggers LIVE for those moments that they gain enough favor to interview Blizzard staff).

Forum trends are just not that difficult to spot. And the large trends tend to be pretty representative of the in-game opinion. As much as people like to talk about self-selection, more often than not the "vocal minority" is only a minority because they're vocal, not because their opinions about what is good or bad are out of sync with the general population - that is to say that the opinion which appears to be the majority on the forums is often the majority in the game, and the minority on the forums are also the minority in the game (again, this is talking about large forum trends). Probably the only area in which self-selection has a highly skewed result is class balance arguments, for obvious reasons. Outside of that, the skew is minimal, and failure to act on widescale feedback is worthy of criticism.

The two best examples of that are recent: CRZ's and dailies. In the case of CRZ's, the article makes the extremely unconvincing point that CRZ's were a feature developed based on player feedback. Well, no, not really. It was a feature developed to save money on server costs, but spun to the playerbase as being a positive feature to make the world feel "alive" again (cue eye rolls over the people who think "alive" means smaller chance of getting rare mobs and loss of nodes for professions while people continue to not group up for quests because it's faster to just solo the solo content most of the time). The problem? First, the "feedback" about how the world was too empty was never a notable trend on the forum to begin with. And the ones who did complain about that tended to see server merging rather than CRZ as the appropriate response. The best you could say about Blizzard's reaction to feedback here was that they used it to determine how best to make a cost-cutting measure sound like a positive development for the game.

That decision made the player communications even more irate. The players thought their task was to convince Blizzard that their feature was not fun and detracted from the game, and became pretty certain that feedback was useless and ignored when the surge of negative feedback for weeks resulted in nothing but comments about bug fixes and vague promises of upping spawn rates. Was it useless? No. But it didn't carry the weight that common sense would tell you it should carry if the subject under discussion is what is fun rather than what is cheap.

Dailies are another prime example of course of this same trend. A decision by Blizzard motivated purely by the belief that creating chores for players to do every day makes it more likely they will stick around in their subscription. It's not about fun there, it's just about tying a reward to a grind that slowly - extremely slowly - gets done on a day to day basis. They're hoping that the joy of the reward will make players stick around longer than they otherwise would. Of course the game has always had grinds, but the level of reward and the tying of grinds to solo content has never been at this level, and it kind of stumbled over that line from, "hidden grind through enjoyable gameplay" to "boring grind where players are all too aware they are in a grind and can't wait to get the reward so they can never do that boring content ever again."

Lots of negative feedback again. And the response? Silly "gotcha" comments from Blizzard supporters about "dailies not being required" with some nodding from the blues. Oh yeah, that definitely makes feedback seem worthwhile. Again, I don't think the feedback is useless or not being taken into account in some fashion.

There have times in WoW's history that I have actually held them up as an example of doing a good job in providing steady communication with players and taking feedback into account. In many ways, Mists of Pandaria does that. But I view that as their response to feedback on other issues that was probably delivered a year ago. People who wanted more challenging dungeons got challenge modes. People who wanted something between dungeons and solo got Scenarios. When looking at the questing structure (NOT counting the daily quests), you can see how they split up storylines a little more to give more flexibility to player travel across zones (something I saw many people supportive of in the past, though some linearity is still good to have and players like to have arcing stories).

At present, however, it's difficult to be anything but critical of how they are handling the feedback on dailies and how they handled the CRZ feedback (I use the past tense because CRZ is something that was pretty well set in stone). Everything should be judged based on how long it would reasonably take to respond to the issue raised by the feedback. With dailies, it really would take almost no time at all, but instead we are waiting for it to be addressed in 5.1, and even then only in a half-hearted way that has not dulled the negative sentiment from the players much. (A token to increase rep gains after revered means little to people primarily complaining about how long it takes to get to revered, not to mention that the complaints also strongly center on the inability to gain the rep outside of dailies; and the double rep gains for alts has not removed the dread players feel at working on all those rep grinds with their alts - account wide reputation for alts being the far more sensible solution, with a restriction for Horde and Alliance only reps only translating to other Horde / Alliance characters and a few notable exceptions made for neutral factions opposed to each other such as Oracle and Wolvar or Aldor and Scryer).

Anyhow, I've rambled, but to sum up, it really comes down to two things. Does feedback matter? Yes. The article is right that it does. And should Blizzard be criticized for how they have discounted feedback in their actions recently? The article seems to take a very defensive stance for Blizzard, and I think it's just not correct in that stance. I think Blizzard is well deserving of criticism lately for that. (Though the criticism chiefly belongs to the decision makers, not the forum representatives of Blizzard
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