In-Game Surveys: A better way to get feedback

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In my opinion Forums are the absolute worst way to get feedback. A tiny percentage of players will come here to post and everything will be skewed based on so many fan boys.

Having said that from my experience it seems to me that Blizzard depends heavily on these forums. I've lost count of the number of times a GM told me to come post here.
In my opinion Forums are the absolute worst way to get feedback. A tiny percentage of players will come here to post and everything will be skewed based on so many fan boys.

Having said that from my experience it seems to me that Blizzard depends heavily on these forums. I've lost count of the number of times a GM told me to come post here.

The survey I suggested would be in-game and would offer in-game incentives for completion, and could only be completed once per account. Forum surveys with biased questions (especially those where players see results immediately after voting) are pretty useless.
I wasn't saying put surveys, here. I was just responding to you saying that forums were good for developers. I don't think they're good for much.

I'm also not convinced Blizz cares what we think (even though common sense says they should be). But then I've also gotten to the point where I don't believe anything they are their reps say either.

It seems to me they go off and make decisions and then spend all their energy trying to convince us they are right (or even worse, that we all love it). The 5.3 pvp changes being a perfect example.

The thing that they would probably most find threatening about your survey approach is if a survey is put out there and goes a way they don't want it to.
If you don't think a business in the business of making money via pleasing people through content you have to willingly subscribe to doesn't care about player issues then you are demented. Just because they don't answer every piece of text with something doesn't mean they don't care. They have their priorities and I bet actively scour the internet with people and/or programs for feedback and keep it somewhere, but still have some feedback that outweighs the other feedback and needs to be dealt with first.

I was hoping the last couple sentences would kind of cover that. We don't just look at game data. And, in fact, while it's super helpful, a static list of numbers and percentages isn't nearly as useful as hearing how people feel about something. How something feels is far more important that statistical balance.
I agree with that.
Yet, it would support surveys.
The quality of a survey relies entirely on it's content type.
Of course, as mentioned when a survey has only some click options to choose from, all you get it statistical data... Percentage of participants likes feature A over feature B and C.. and so on.

If you however include the ability to survey people on certain topics, and they can express it in written words, then you get the same quality - or at least similar - result of a feedback.
The difference there is, you don't just get the feedback from us "nerds" who hanging out in forums. You get it also from those who don't use these kind of platforms.
Plus, I believe it even boosts your reputation towards customer appreciation.
I would argue surveys can be meaningful, however, basing them on what players want would be pointless.

Everyone wants a pony.

Most everyone wants to be a special snowflake (meaning they want content available to them but not those the individual deems "unworthy").

All a survey does is bullet list the Christmas list from players, and frankly, as Blizzard has stated the last two expansions have been based on player feedback, maybe players need to come to terms that they are not exactly experts on gameplay.

However, surveys can be useful if the data collected is more of a post mortem. For instance asking the player what they felt their greatest challenge to accessing content was, or finding out how many hours a week a player can reasonably expect to play, whether or not this is an increase or decrease in prior years, what does the player see as impediments to spending time in game, does the player feel they are getting quality time...etc. It's not hard at that point to come up with a list of answers and possibly an "Other" category with a short text field so survey takers are forced to be as direct as possible.

The other thing that can be done (and is done on the Myers-Briggs personality surveys) is that the same question is asked multiple times in different ways. What this does is prevent the survey taker from skewing the results.

Such surveys directed at long term players, players whose subscription history show high risk and active guild leaders could be handy at gauging temperament in a way that makes it easier for Blizzard to parse (without having to find the few pearls in the squalor that is the WoW forums). Send them out in monthly waves and collect data.

Now, for those who have cancelled their subscriptions, there is an exit survey, but frankly many of the predefined selections are too "soft" as far as feedback. On the few times I cancelled my subscription (once to send a message), I used "other" and left a long screed. But that method is incredibly awkward, and frankly Blizzard really shouldn't want to encourage players to "vote with their feet" in order to get valuable feedback.

Asking the question "what can we do to improve your in game experience could be the last question, with a larger text field, but I would still limit what could be written.

So yes, surveys can provide a lot of data that Blizzard could be missing - but as a wish list? That can be left to the forums.
Surveys can be great on getting individual's perspectives, but it can also be dangerous in creating expectations

Why do you survey people when they cancel their account and not when they are active? I have always wondered why that qualitative feedback was only valuable after a player left.
We know what PvE/PvP participation is, we know how often people are using their farms, we know often often people take talents or glyphs, we know how often people are using specific abilities, we know subscription history, we know how often groups are clearing content, we know queue times, etc.

...But do know why people love Cinnamon Toast Crunch?
Not too long ago Heroic dungeons were a big thing and a lot of people were upset and wanted more in this expansion, which isn't possible to pull off before the end of this expansion, but we did hurry to put together some challenging small-group content with decent rewards to see if we could scratch that itch with Heroic Scenarios. It will be interesting to see... well first what people think of them, and second how close it gets for people to filling that role, but also just how many people actually try them, considering how loud of an issue that was.

For the record--as someone who was very disappointed with the lack of relevant small-group content--if I'm not participating in heroic scenarios when they launch, it will be because so many of the design choices already made over the course of this expansion have caused me to seek entertainment in another game, and not because they are of themselves a bad design.
Most everyone wants to be a special snowflake (meaning they want content available to them but not those the individual deems "unworthy").

I really wonder sometimes how true this is. There are certainly always forum posters complaining that those whippersnappers aren't having to suffer enough to earn their purple text, but: the vast majority of the playerbase never touch the forums, and I wonder if they are even paying enough attention to the person next to them to worry that they aren't special enough.

And I wonder what would happen if the game were designed with less desperation to make people feel 'special' and only focused on feeling like they're having fun.
05/09/2013 02:10 PMPosted by Bashiok
Totally agree with you there, the forums, fansites, front page, and even gaming-websites as a whole is just one slice of the playerbase.

Bashiok in your own words you said this is a small majority of the playerbase that actively uses the forums, unless you are considering "a slice" to be over 50% which I don't consider it to be that. Most people don't read or post here, and from friends and guildies in game, those that don't say they feel it is useless. It either is ignored or gets trolled by people. You can't say that "This is what the majority of the players want" when you implement something, unless you actively try and reach the ENTIRE playerbase. If you admit the way you try and get feedback is through things that the majority doesn't utilize then you are making a false claim. Not saying you have made this claim but I have seen blue posters use that phrase before.

05/09/2013 02:10 PMPosted by Bashiok
Surveys can be great on getting individual's perspectives, but it can also be dangerous in creating expectations. As much as some people say they won't get their hopes up, asking people which of three new features they want to see will absolutely incline them to expect the feature they chose to be implemented. Some more than others. And - not to get into it too much, you can find all sorts of papers and articles and such on it - what people say they want and what they actually want are two different things. Sometimes it's interpreted as game developers telling players what they want, and to some degree that's true.

If this were true about surveys then why is it companies large and small use them every day? In fact a major phone company actually bases their Quality Assurance off surveys which you say are not as reliable. Millions of people take surveys for stuff every day and they don't assume that they what they say is going to be what is. Surveys are utilized in everyday life and in companies much more then forums and social media because it IS a solid way to get feedback from people. It is anonymous to other users, no worries about their choices being influenced by others, or having their opinions suddenly "trolled" by people which is what happens on forums and social media.

Surveys are a great way to get honest feedback from the entire playerbase. You pose the question, give options that you are willing to implement (I.E. I understand if people hate leveling you aren't going to give the option of powerlevel to 90), and you give the one cop out answer of "I don't care" or whatever for those that really don't care.

Most everyone wants to be a special snowflake (meaning they want content available to them but not those the individual deems "unworthy").

This is wrong. Most people want to have fun and dont care about others are doing.
Only a very small group wants content to be taken away from others in order to enjoy the game more.
05/09/2013 02:10 PMPosted by Bashiok
It's important as designers to be able to filter things down to their root causes. Sure someone says they want Dance Studio, but in fact what they're really after is ... I don't know, more character customization options, and in fact the Dance Studio is probably a pretty poor way of achieving that, and the development time investment to do it

I really hate to bring this up (or remind you guys), but the Dance Studio was advertized as a feature back in LK. I could be recalling wrongly on the exact expac. But I specifically remember it being advertized.

You guys wonder why people harp on about that particular feature: you guys were the ones that said it was going to be implemented. You don't advertize for something that isn't going to be included.

Something like that is like telling my kids we're going to Disneyland the next day and end up not doing it. It brings disappointment, harsh feelings, and isn't forgotten.
Well, I've read the four pages, of posts just so I can post in context. I wasted a 1/2 hour on just this one topic. - I could have instead filled out a survey in this same amount of time.

I believe that forums are significantly inadequate at representing the desires of the majority of players, due not only to the fact that only a minority of players use them, but that there is no way to vote up or down any single post to see what people agree with or disagree with. I resent having to come here to present an idea or opinion that risks being discounted or attacked, I could preserve my anonymity through posting on an alt, but that further serves to discount the idea or opinion. I have no inclination to defend this post from anyone that disagrees with anything I have to say because; quite frankly if they don't agree their opinions are irrelevant (to me), but that doesn’t make their or my opinions irrelevant to the topic. As an example; one of the first four or so posts alludes to the original posters opinion as self-aggrandizing, and as a vehicle for their agenda but it does so in an insensitive way. My opinion is that there is nothing wrong with a properly constructed in-game survey, and I most certainly believe that Blizzard would find great value in gathering the data from such a survey; even if it did have a "Christmas list" choice element. Blizzard could view that information to make informed decisions on what the players say they want versus what they’ve been doing. I think Blizzard has indeed missed the mark in terms of representing what I want to happen in many regards, but I believe they have missed the mark on what the subscribers want to have happen more so.

I believe that any existing statistical data that Blizzard has gathered is significantly inadequate at representing the desires of the majority of players, due to the fact that the information is subject to wild misinterpretation. As an example; server population issues in my opinion should have been addressed with free server transfers, and placing population caps on server with the last logged in time being used as a tool to determine when a character would automatically be moved from the high pop server to a “holding tank”, not by keeping me on my dead server, isolated in terms of zone chat, isolated from being able to get into a cross realm group to take on a world boss (without getting invited from someone in a different realm - even then you aren't universally eligible for the rewards), and isolated economically just to be further frustrated by having to race someone from a different server on getting to a resource before they do. (Although whoever came up with removing mob tagging to get the quest kill definitely hit the nail on the head)
I love the idea of getting to “vote” on what the dev team might work on, even if the results have no real weight; at least I’d get the feeling that I've registered my opinions and know that at the end of the survey the developers will see what the players think they want and may choose to do it. I love the idea that my opinion will be amongst the statistical information instead of in this “pit of despair” that is the forums. (Incidentally since Activision Blizzard is publicly traded on the NASDAQ I’d also love it if only shareholders got to vote, that would do wonders for their stocks after the 1.2 million subscription loss announcement.)
Back in BC developers created an entire new raid that was never meant to come to fruition because players surprisingly began clearing Black Temple and were screaming they were bored.


Sunwell Plateau was absolutely in development from the start. Black Temple was supposed to be in the game when BC launched. To keep from delaying it any further quite a few things didn't make the launch game that were supposed to, and were then added in major content patches. Sunwell was always on the feature list from before the expansion was released, and was always an intended raid.

We've gotten a lot tighter with our dev cycles, obviously, but that doesn't change that the vast majority of content you see throughout the life of an expansion is in some stage of development before an expansion ships - or in some cases just couldn't make the initial release. This go around I'd say the one big exception is the Battlefield Barrens event coming in 5.3, which wasn't something that was concepted until around 5.2 when we thought we really needed a bigger story lead up and tie-in to 5.4 as we didn't have one planned. Quests and Scenarios that use existing locations are pretty quick to turn around.
I could see it now...

*player clicks survey button.*

"make WoW suck less like BC and vanilla"

*sends survey*
In game surveys would be an extremely intelligent thing for Blizzard to do. So you know they won't do it.

I could see it now...

*player clicks survey button.*

"make WoW suck less like BC and vanilla"

*sends survey*

And you obviously don't understand how a survey works. GG on making yourself look like a morn.

You're kidding, right?
Survey Says:

Hmmm. Would the survey include questions like "What improvements would you like to see?"

I would probably answer "I want the ability to max out ALL professions on a single toon" and maybe "I want to be able to use a mount at level 10. My feet hurt from walking."

I'd like to see the option to perform PVP quests or PVE quests from level 1, or it could be the same quests there are now but the option to select pvp gear or pve gear from the very start. I usually just do quests so I can get levels fast so I can pvp anyway. I'd actually select Honor points over the gear rewards offered at the lower levels.

Will the questions be like the one above?

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