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Blizzard developers are out there

An interesting discussion went on in the Community Service forums yesterday concerning the role Blizzard developers play in those very forums. A poster was obviously attempting to troll and start some argument, asking if the Blizzard devs actually do read what people write or pay attention to the community at large. Kisirani, a Blizzard developer, responded that indeed they do.

A few interesting things came from subsequent blue posts that help outline the roles of the developers and community managers. First, it is the job of the community managers (CMs as we call them) to do just what their title says: manage the community. This includes the forums and everything that goes on in there. Kisirani tells us that they regularly collect feedback and suggestions and pass them along to the developers. Kisirani makes it a point to say that they don't have enough time to read everything themselves, and if they were to read everything the game itself would not be developed – and again, this is where the community managers come into play.

Secondly, the developers can often not respond to community suggestions because if they used a suggestion they responded to, it would mean that they could easily become tangled up in a legal battle. An example. I go and suggest that all gnomes are magically turned into dingos. A developer posts that he agrees with me, and that they'll be implementing my suggestion in the next patch. Everyone in the world wants to play a dingo, and WoW subscriptions jump to around the 7 billion mark (the extra billion is from all the multiboxers). I now have grounds to sue Blizzard for making money off a suggestion I gave them. Whether or not this lawsuit would actually stand up in court is another topic. However, this light hearted example is why Blizzard developers often do not post. Another poster later stated (correctly) that this stance of not posting in suggestions topics is exactly what J. Michael Straczynski did "back in the good old" days of the internet when he regularly interacted with the fans of his TV show Babylon 5.

An interesting topic to note for those of us that are always looking for insights into the way that Blizzard operates. I think that often times people assume things are or are not happening behind the scenes just because they can't see them. And here is a case where things we don't see are definitely happening.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Blizzard

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