How feedback works and why it matters

60 Night Elf Druid
3850
[really long followup post by Zarhym]


It's posts like these that make me wish I could Like Blizzard posts.
Edited by Lorinall on 11/15/2012 1:45 PM PST
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
7560
11/15/2012 01:41 PMPosted by Prozioc
Man, beat me to saying it, so I'm just going to +1 your post. Part of the reason that we're forced to make assumptions as to the motivation behind a change is because Blizzard won't share them unless their hand is forced, so him saying "your assumptions on the matter are incorrect" is partially Blizzard's fault to begin with.


Gotta disagree. Heavily. I feel like it's been stated before that the point of CRZ is to populate what would otherwise be empty zones on umpteen servers. I think that's a reasonable enough answer, because before CRZ was implemented I would see pretty frequent posts begrudging the lonely questing experience and the lack of world pvp. I mean, honestly...HOW many "World PvP is dead" threads did we go through a day. So to me, it's more logical to go with that response while understanding that CRZ allows for more people to be in lower level zones (1-85) without overcrowding higher pop zones (Pandaria) than arguing that Blizzard spent that amount of time (and money) developing CRZ in an effort to save money...instead of just merging servers if that was what they were actually after.

So...no...I don't think anybody is FORCED to make those assumptions. Funnily enough, it's also not an assumption that I see being made among those that tend to support it. Which, to me, suggests that it isn't a lack of any other reasonable explanation being provided that results in those assumptions...but the fact that attaching such nefarious reasoning to it provides one more reason to deride a feature that you might already dislike.


Here are 3 points that I've observed purely anecdotally:

1) I've yet to have PVP result from CRZ period.

2) I've yet to interact with a person via CRZ except by having a node stolen by a person who appeared on my screen after I clicked on the node and got the tagged message.

3) The two person mount issue is the first time I've seen Blizzard aknowledge something was broken and state they didn't intend to fix it. So if you don't read the forums, be prepared to die if your riding a 2 person flying mount into a CRZ area and don't expect anyone to care. Personally I think that's rediculous and reason to roll back the change on its own.
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90 Tauren Warrior
8495
11/15/2012 12:49 PMPosted by Zarhym
is that you make huge assumptions about our "hidden" motivations for implementing CRZ


When you don't tell the whole truth, you should keep in mind that people will eventually question and attempt to fill in the blanks themselves.
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90 Night Elf Druid
13785
11/15/2012 10:35 AMPosted by Brage
So you're saying the Dev's are lying on the lag and FPS issues in their notes interesting.


Not saying it is perfect, just that much of the complaints on the forums are over inflated... which they are. If there is lag, I and others aren't experiencing it, thus it is either localized issues with user or particular servers or it was something of a off/on nuisance. But since it is hardly a universal thing, and most lag/latency/FPS issues tend to be localized issues, this goes in line with FPS issues in large cities, during heavy amounts of spell effects, etc etc. As for the DC/Dismount nonsense... yeah just more fuel to the bandwagon fire.

But trolls will be trolls, you started this entire conversation based on a single line of an otherwise multiple point response to quibble over the word seamless.

11/15/2012 10:38 AMPosted by Brage
That's real ID invites. (dear god at least know what you're talking about.)


Which still causes you to swap realms using the precisely same technology to move to my realm or to your realm. Prior to CRZ implementation and during Cataclysm, I could run 5mans with others but not join their realm. You could only meet up "in game" through instance servers.

Do you know what you're talking about?
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90 Goblin Death Knight
15040
Zarhym, every time you post I love you even more.

I know you're aware, but there are a great number of people who actually appreciate all the work you do to engage the community, and who realize it must suck to be met with so much vitriol all the time.

Anyway, I guess that's not on topic.
Edited by Okuu on 11/15/2012 1:52 PM PST
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90 Night Elf Druid
13785
11/15/2012 12:49 PMPosted by Zarhym
We come off looking very defensive purely by nature of responding to a fallacious, hyperbolic, or incredibly presumptive argument. And, yet, that somehow tends to validate a conspiracy on the forums.


You could be proudly proclaiming your meeting notes and people would read between lines that don't exist for a reason to turn you into a pariah. It is unfortunate but that's the thing of it, and the reason as you said why it is so little sometimes you guys even appear lest it just be...

11/15/2012 12:49 PMPosted by Zarhym
a colossal waste of organic material
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90 Undead Mage
10770
i doubt you even read what you quoted, instead you just came to run your mouth.
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90 Undead Mage
10770
I would like to hear about what is going to be done with CRZ. I dislike it because of rare boms and pets--there are SO MANY PEOPLE going for the same thing, and mob respawn rates have not been upped.

When you are on a PvP server this makes for a delightful PvP situation, but it is horribly annoying when I clear the mobs around a pet I want to battle only to have a fellow member of the same faction swoop in and take it--especially if it is popular. This happened last night when I was trying to get a fel flame.

Also, with my main a hunter, it is disheartening to see five or six people hovering over a Skoll spawn point. It was difficult enough to get with just people from my own realm vying for it. Now it is well neigh impossible.


I hunt and farm rare monsters, spawns and nodes all the time. It's not as big an issue as you are claiming. For 1, if it's too much, group with a friend and go to his server, or leave all parties and go to yours. CRZ is actually doing a lot to help low population servers. Which means millions every day are being assisted, and all you care about is YOURSELF. CRZ may not be the best it can be, but it will be better each time they tweak it.
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90 Dwarf Paladin
5595
Assumptions are fine, treating assumptions as facts are not.

If people don't know the answer and try to guess, all the better for them! The problem comes down to when people then proclaim this assumption as the truth of the matter.

Unfortuantely, this seems to be the trend by everyone who participates in threads such as this (look, an assumption about "everyone"!), with the result being that anyone who says something contrary to this "truth" is automatically dismissed as bad/wrong/consipriacy/lying/etc.

My advice? People need to stop treating assumptions as facts! Go ahead, make whatever assertions you want - that's how intellectual discussions get started. Just don't treat an assumption as the truth until you have actual evidence to support the assertion!

And no, drawing conclusions from a bunch of other unproven assertions does not itself make a truth to your statement.
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MVP
90 Night Elf Priest
10665
11/15/2012 01:49 PMPosted by Fasc
You could be proudly proclaiming your meeting notes and people would read between lines that don't exist for a reason to turn you into a pariah. It is unfortunate but that's the thing of it, and the reason as you said why it is so little sometimes you guys even appear lest it just be...


I used to to call that the "GC out of context effect"

i.e. GC could say "We've decided everyone should get a pony". Then you'd have a few people upset that horde were getting horses. A little further people would be upset because GC was clearly catering to casuals by giving out free mounts. A little further someone would be saying "GC said they are going to remove everything but horses."

It's like a rumor mill, but with whatever GC said being taken to laughably corrupted extremes. It'd be funnier, but people keep doing it unironically.
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90 Night Elf Druid
13785
11/15/2012 01:46 PMPosted by Batah
When you don't tell the whole truth, you should keep in mind that people will eventually question and attempt to fill in the blanks themselves.


Quantify "whole truth" when asking for something like "Why did you implement CRZ?"

The thing is there are a myriad of reasons and several forum posts alone would barely cover not only the thought process but the implementations. Never mind the alternatives considered and abandoned, alternatives considered and saved for later, and future uses and refinements of the system.

Oh and never mind competing projects, ideas, and developments that need prioritizing as well.

The thing is "whole truth" is a non-quantifiable goal. If Zar came in and said "We implemented CRZ because it combined a new technology of merging servers without actually having to merge them and we have several things down the line that can use this tech" there would be clamoring for MORE of the truth and conspiracies about why. Then if Zar came in, told us about financial reasonings, issues with other considered tech, and the like... people would STILL demand MORE of the truth... or just outright think Blizzard is lying.

Either believe them or don't, they aren't responsible for the fickle emotions of mobs with an ax to grind.
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90 Night Elf Druid
13785
11/15/2012 01:54 PMPosted by Snowfox
You could be proudly proclaiming your meeting notes and people would read between lines that don't exist for a reason to turn you into a pariah. It is unfortunate but that's the thing of it, and the reason as you said why it is so little sometimes you guys even appear lest it just be...


I used to to call that the "GC out of context effect"

i.e. GC could say "We've decided everyone should get a pony". Then you'd have a few people upset that horde were getting horses. A little further people would be upset because GC was clearly catering to casuals by giving out free mounts. A little further someone would be saying "GC said they are going to remove everything but horses."

It's like a rumor mill, but with whatever GC said being taken to laughably corrupted extremes. It'd be funnier, but people keep doing it unironically.


Its amazing how the "Phone Game" everyone remembers playing in debate/speech/sociology class is recreated here every day... and the information is in TEXT. Then again... you have folks that listen to you say "I like doing dailies" and they respond with "So you hate instances and want to force us to do dailies too eh?!"

Oh well.

Convincing others to behave more rationally or just plain carefully (check what you type before you type it) is a bit of a lost cause. It seems to just work better to BE better and actively post and not shy away from conversations that are clearly trying to be adversarial and so on. There were some awesome early threads in the Tanking boards this expansion that were pretty volatile... only to boil back down to some real information and discussion once the trolls burned out or gave up trying to incite more nonsense.

Walls of information tend to beat walls of emotion... at least given enough time.
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20 Blood Elf Paladin
150
Transparency, the problems with it:

I see this word a lot in some of the posts in this thread, but no one really has mentioned the cost, so I thought I'd go ahead and give you some run-downs of why more is not necessarily better.

There are two major points;
First let us assume that information about the day-to-day game design was public. You would get several posts each day from players saying things like:

-Why aren't you working on <feature x>?
-Those aren't the number's I'm getting, you're doing it wrong!
-I don't like that idea (or) I disagree that this is a good idea.
-You're ignoring this issue still!

This kind of posting is not useful at all. What the developers need is feedback like this:

-I tried to stun a player casting a spell today, it didn't work (bug report).
-Our guild cannot beat this boss, because the mechanic is too tightly tuned.
-This new UI interface doesn't make sense to me! Please think about making this more clear.
-These are the numbers I am getting when I dps like this, does this sound correct? (post logs)

However, if the public was given day-to-day reports on things, you would see mostly an increase in the first type of posting. This is a problem because (to address the four points made in part 1):

-The developers and the company have a content plan and schedule and prioritize the things that need to be taken care of first. Without a lot of information you cannot give accurate input on how they should adjust these things.
-Claiming their data is wrong vs your data is not helpful to anyone. Each person has their own experiences and their own playstyle and environment and can, at best, make (with some mods) an educated guess at what should be happening. The best thing a player can do is to let a developer know all of the details of their circumstances and the numbers that result from that (usually with logs). Then if there is a bug or problem in the game, it can be reproduced and confirmed.
-When it comes down to it, this game is not a "design by committee" game. Everyone is going to disagree about something, and at some point a decision must be made and the game must change (or not). Either you like it, or you don't, and it's quite rare that everyone likes a particular game. Maybe a change makes wow un-enjoyable for you, and that's good to let them know, and let them know why, but there is a plan and the game will (for the most part) follow that plan.
-Again, there is only so much time to spend each day on things. Issues will get taken care of and fixed. "But why can't you 'just fix it' and release a small patch?" So say they do. And then release it. And then that patch causes a bug, so they must release another small patch to fix that. Even assuming that's all that happened, that's still two more periods of server downtime during the week that would happen, which is time spent away from development on other features. This also doesn't count for the fact that, since this company is a global company, all these changes need to be localized and tested too. But back to just the bugs. These bugs could be major, could cause server crashes, one bug fix might cause another bug, and so on. Each time a developer must fix this and things must be patched up is less time away from moving forward on the game's development, something that doesn't happen on a test realm where a patch can be safely deployed and bugs can be fixed (without rushing to do one small change and a recompile). In addition, things going through a standard pipeline with a test realm and patch release dates means that all the changes can be distributed equally and tested properly before going out.

(whew)

So that covers the first point. The second problem with transparency is this:

"How is the information going to get to the public? Who is going do it?"

Even if you hired a specific "transparency team" or something, to follow around developers, poke their heads into meetings, and constantly interview designers, what you're going to end up with in all cases is less time developing the game.

And in the end that's what this all comes down to:

TL;DR : If you want to know more about what's going on with the game's design and development it will detract from the amount and rate that we the players receive content.

And honestly, in the many years I've been gaming, the way information goes back and forth (to/from developers) on this forum is the best I've seen from any AAA company.

Keep up the good work guys.
Edited by Kear on 11/15/2012 2:01 PM PST
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90 Night Elf Druid
13785
<3 Kear
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90 Goblin Mage
16495


I used to to call that the "GC out of context effect"

i.e. GC could say "We've decided everyone should get a pony". Then you'd have a few people upset that horde were getting horses. A little further people would be upset because GC was clearly catering to casuals by giving out free mounts. A little further someone would be saying "GC said they are going to remove everything but horses."

It's like a rumor mill, but with whatever GC said being taken to laughably corrupted extremes. It'd be funnier, but people keep doing it unironically.


Its amazing how the "Phone Game" everyone remembers playing in debate/speech/sociology class is recreated here every day... and the information is in TEXT.


Who's everyone? I went to public school. We had everything considered nonessential aside from gym gutted to 'save money'. : (

Generalizations!
Edited by Donnicton on 11/15/2012 2:01 PM PST
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90 Tauren Warrior
8495
11/15/2012 01:54 PMPosted by Fasc
When you don't tell the whole truth, you should keep in mind that people will eventually question and attempt to fill in the blanks themselves.


Quantify "whole truth" when asking for something like "Why did you implement CRZ?"

The thing is there are a myriad of reasons and several forum posts alone would barely cover not only the thought process but the implementations. Never mind the alternatives considered and abandoned, alternatives considered and saved for later, and future uses and refinements of the system.

Oh and never mind competing projects, ideas, and developments that need prioritizing as well.

The thing is "whole truth" is a non-quantifiable goal. If Zar came in and said "We implemented CRZ because it combined a new technology of merging servers without actually having to merge them and we have several things down the line that can use this tech" there would be clamoring for MORE of the truth and conspiracies about why. Then if Zar came in, told us about financial reasonings, issues with other considered tech, and the like... people would STILL demand MORE of the truth... or just outright think Blizzard is lying.

Either believe them or don't, they aren't responsible for the fickle emotions of mobs with an ax to grind.


look at the patch notes, remember what historically caused the most clamor. remember how much feedback we as a community got as to why the change was made, or how the testing was done to figure out why the change needed to be made. we've been kept in the dark so long we don't believe the light when they shine it in on us.
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90 Pandaren Monk
6655
That's my biggest problem with a lot of the negative feedback I see on hot issues like CRZ: Not that it's negative, but that people usually need to explain the unknown by formulating what I'd define as straight-up conspiracy theories. And they spread like wildfire. We are probably in part to blame for it, but sometimes all the insights and behind-the-scenes facts just can't be shared in a meaningful way with the public. There's just not a lot to be accomplished by engaging with people who say such changes are financially driven (i.e. cost efficiency > gameplay or customer concerns), or that they provide the path of least resistance for us in terms of our production pipeline.


They really wouldn't come off as defensive. I'm not a teenager, and my life experience has shown me if something seems to be "forced" by a company, it is most likely a money-saving venture.

I could yield plenty of examples, but it would be comparing apples to oranges. The point being, if a set of actions seems to spell something out for someone, and they're never even spoken about by the offending party (Lack of a better term, sorry), then what other alternative are you supposed to believe is going on here?

My wife and I both cancelled our accounts due to CRZ, we find it imbalanced the entire levelling system. We love levelling together, and we just couldn't take 30 minutes a quest in Deepholm, or never being able to do a PvP/PvE hybrid quest in Sithilis/Hellfire/etc due to ganking on a PvE server.

It busted a mount that we used extensively, and we were told that it may not even be possible to fix.

Do you realize how frustrating that is for people? To have something forced on you that you dislike, that you pay for?

I'm fine with stuff being implemented I don't like. I'm fine with Blizzard trying new, innovative ideas even if initially the playerbase doesn't like them. However, when something like CRZ is so inherently flawed and the feedback has been negative, and growing for months, well, it just seems like there is a reason for Blizzard to want this forced. Very few businesses would anger so many paying customers for non-financial reasons to boot. It is the most logical assumption given the lack of communication, the fact that it has broken several components of the game, and yet it's still being pushed on us.

Now, back on topic, I have a question about Blizzard's feedback collection processes. We all know the forums aren't indicative of any group of players except the forums and can't be used solely for feedback. However, has it ever been thrown out as an idea (I'm sure it has) to just have a page on the launcher for certain ideas that you guys are unsure if we would like?

I know CM and GC both tend to walk through some of the thought processes behind things being changed, and many times the line "We wanted to see how the playerbase would enjoy X" came into it. In another MMO I played they did that for determining certain issues. Now obviously this isn't a democracy and quite frankly, if we had that for every class balance issue I'm sure DKs would be doing 1 DPS out of spite-votes and every class would be shooting lightning bolts out of their backside while unicorns dance on ethereal summoned blades.

However, I feel as though when there IS a backlash of negative feedback over a feature, taking a poll from the launcher and posting the results would have two fold benefits. It would remind people that a loud voice on the forums does not always mean it's a majority vote, and it would be very useful for Blizzard in terms of feedback. If nothing else, no one sane could state you're not communicating.
Edited by Precordial on 11/15/2012 2:07 PM PST
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90 Undead Mage
10770
11/15/2012 01:46 PMPosted by Batah
is that you make huge assumptions about our "hidden" motivations for implementing CRZ


When you don't tell the whole truth, you should keep in mind that people will eventually question and attempt to fill in the blanks themselves.


Who's truth? the truth that disillusion people on the forums perceive? They aren't hiding anything about why they have CRZ implemented. They've been transparent.

11/15/2012 01:45 PMPosted by Haradgrim


Gotta disagree. Heavily. I feel like it's been stated before that the point of CRZ is to populate what would otherwise be empty zones on umpteen servers. I think that's a reasonable enough answer, because before CRZ was implemented I would see pretty frequent posts begrudging the lonely questing experience and the lack of world pvp. I mean, honestly...HOW many "World PvP is dead" threads did we go through a day. So to me, it's more logical to go with that response while understanding that CRZ allows for more people to be in lower level zones (1-85) without overcrowding higher pop zones (Pandaria) than arguing that Blizzard spent that amount of time (and money) developing CRZ in an effort to save money...instead of just merging servers if that was what they were actually after.

So...no...I don't think anybody is FORCED to make those assumptions. Funnily enough, it's also not an assumption that I see being made among those that tend to support it. Which, to me, suggests that it isn't a lack of any other reasonable explanation being provided that results in those assumptions...but the fact that attaching such nefarious reasoning to it provides one more reason to deride a feature that you might already dislike.


Here are 3 points that I've observed purely anecdotally:

1) I've yet to have PVP result from CRZ period.

2) I've yet to interact with a person via CRZ except by having a node stolen by a person who appeared on my screen after I clicked on the node and got the tagged message.

3) The two person mount issue is the first time I've seen Blizzard aknowledge something was broken and state they didn't intend to fix it. So if you don't read the forums, be prepared to die if your riding a 2 person flying mount into a CRZ area and don't expect anyone to care. Personally I think that's rediculous and reason to roll back the change on its own.


1) You maybe not have had experience, but I have experiences every day. Especially playing on a low pop server. Each and every day I play I run into situations with players from other realms where player vs player ensues. I LOVE IT!

2) You obviously aren't seeking interaction then. You're probably not even using who each time you hit a new zone. I meet people every day from other servers that I have fun playing with. Especially as resto, (and how quests recognize your spec) I like to party up with heavy dps and just heal the snot out of them. But each day I make new friends who I play with again. You just need to actually put yourself out there.

3) So because you don't like their answer, you decide to just get upset? Blizzard has acknowledged an issue, and perhaps it's not very plausible to fix it at this junction. If the bug requires them to take the entire CRZ offline to fix, then I'd rather a small fun aspect of the game (2 people mounts) is affected than the rest of the great things that CRZ brings to the game.

Just because you are dissatisfied with new implemented features, doesn't mean the rest of us are. CRZ, as blizzard HAS acknowledged, has some issues, but that doesn't mean that it won't be refined and tweaked. It was implemented as a means to solve population issues. And I have no desire to change my server as well. Nor should I be expected to do so because everyone else wanted to or already has.

And if you're nodes are being stolen by other people (your server or not) it doesn't change the fact that this happened before CRZ. This has always been an issue when regarding a gathering profession. If you think CRZ has effected this any differently your selfish green is glazing over your opinion and clouding your vision. I tend to have nodes stolen from me by people on my server more often than not.
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90 Human Mage
13215
11/15/2012 01:17 PMPosted by Donnicton
Part of the reason that we're forced to make assumptions as to the motivation behind a change is because Blizzard won't share them unless their hand is forced, so him saying "your assumptions on the matter are incorrect" is partially Blizzard's fault to begin with.


No one forces you to make any assumptions about Blizzards motivations, either positive or negative. And in fact you can discuss the pros and cons of something like CRZ without ever bringing up any motivation outside of game play.

Conspiracy theories do not add constructive feedback to a discussion.
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