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8-20-2010 @ 9:08AM
" If we can't get adequate and detailed reports from players about their experiences while testing, we'll need to find more players willing to work with us in this regard. "Detailed reports? Ooh, I can do that! Pick me, pick me!
8-20-2010 @ 9:16AM
I can as well.
8-20-2010 @ 9:29AM
I was about to say the same thing...
8-20-2010 @ 10:53AM
"detailed" certainly helps. However, every time one of the devs posts some snarky reply about how "it's not helpful" to a post that isn't the world's most articulate piece of writing, It comes across as though the devs are lazy or stupid. This kid could be 15. He is a healer. What if he doesn't know enough about the game to lay out all those details? He seems to know something, but don't assume he knows enough. It would've been soooo easy for Zarhym to turn that person's post into something constructive by responding with "What is your rotation?" or "Tell me more about how things are being pulled." All he had to do was spend a second thinking of how he could get the info he wanted out of the player. Tech support is great at taking a vague post like "my comp froze" and syphoning specific info out of the player until they know what exactly is wrong. Zarhym and GC could learn a ton about how to interact with players from the blues over at tech support, especially the Mac guys =) .It's getting old reading the exact same blue-posts reworded 4000 different ways. Ok, we get it, some of these posts aren't good enough for you. Now either reply to the ones that are, ask questions in response to not-so-great posts and turn them into constructive threads, or stfu about it.
8-20-2010 @ 11:05AM
When the way you pick beta testers is completely random, you get completely random beta testers. If you want detailed bug reports, have an application process that weeds out "bad testers"System specs are not the pinnacle of testing prowess indicators.I've tested many MMO's, Blizzard's "Total luck of the draw" system has always perplexed me.
8-20-2010 @ 11:07AM
Yeah, that post made me laugh audibly. Blizzard's public testing has always been a joke.
8-20-2010 @ 11:32AM
@Hades just from reading these blues I pretty much agree.I appreciate that they are trying to get more constructive posts, but every time I look at blue posts lately it is exactly as you say. The amount of time taken to write up that long diatribe about how to address issues has been done over and over. I know because I've seen it in these blues constantly. They could be using that time exactly like you said. it's almost like they prefer to feed trolls and ignore real issues.
8-20-2010 @ 11:37AM
@ Hades:Imagine that you wrote a book. Before publishing it, you give it to some people to read it first and tell you what they think about it. You would edit or cut off some parts the testers didn't like and only then publish it.Which kind of feedback would help you the most?1) "I didn't like chapter 6, it sucked and I was bored as hell while reading it."2) "Chapter 6 could use some work. The action is a bit to vague, you described the city a bit too much and the characters could interract more."This guy's post was a type 1) feedback. I think Zahrym gave the guy that response out of frustration and hoping that players will start giving more useful posts if they see how posts should look like rather than because he really wanted to hear that guy's specific feedback.
8-20-2010 @ 12:00PM
Blizzard sure likes to QQ about our QQ.
8-20-2010 @ 12:08PM
@ SomeoneThe issue Hades is pointing out is that they could just as easily said "Well what parts about it sucked" and helped introduce players to what it is they are looking for or how they want it presented. Instead we get yet another Blue post saying "NO!NO!NO! Thats not what we want. - read that in the XT voice.As previous posters have said unless they refine their beta opt in process to include some sort of screening you can't expect the players who got in to be skilled writers or to truly understand the underlying fundamentals of what it is they are experiencing.
8-20-2010 @ 1:22PM
@ KyleYes, they could’ve simply asked what was exactly what the player didn’t like. However the beta forums aren’t there for that specific player to give feedback. There are houndreds, if not thousands of players in the beta and Blizzard invited them for a reason – because they want to hear opinions as many and as varied as possible.I don’t agree with your opinion that them simply asking would help improve the community’s posting habits. I have been reading blue trackers for longer than I’d like to admit and I know they did ask, and did that many times. That’s not the problem here. Frankly, if an explicit post by a blue telling players their default way to give feedback is unhelpful and suggesting them how to improve doesen’t change the way posts are made, than simply asking players questions which should’ve been answered in the main post wouldn’t impact it neither.No one expects players to be skilled writers or understand complex mechanics of the game in order to write their opinions. Blizzard wants usable feedback. May it be from a 12-year old or from a person who barely speaks English, as long as they get feedback Blizzard is happy. The current way people post doesen’t give Blizzard any valuable information, and not because posters don’t have Shakespeare’s writing skills or because they aren’t skileld informaticians. No, it’s because the information given by players is simply useless when it comes to designing a game. Let’s say you give the following feedback: „I don’t like this mechanic, it sucks”. What do you expect Blizzard to do? To switch the „Sucks” button and then everything will be fine?Yes, Blizzard could’ve simply asked this guy and the thousands who will follow him questions in order to suck some usable feedback out of them, but it’s a bit easier to try and do change the posting habits of a forum rather than babysitting each player into giving information which can actually be used.TL;DR – Zahrym was right.
@Hades - I'm sure it's getting old for the blue posters reading the same posts from people who actually aren't testing. If the poster doesn't put the effort into what their concerns/issues are, then neither will the response.People are just being stupid - mindless complaining without detail is, well, the very definition of QQ. If that druid healer has issues with mana, he needs to detail his spell rotation, party makeup, when he noticed dmg spikes, etc.
@Kyle: So here's my question then. If Blizzard posters end up posting a lot about "please give us more constructive feedback", why is no one listening to them? Yes, asking specific questions woule help, but it seems like they want people to jump directly to the specifics instead of a Blue having to ask for it every time. It seems to me like they're trying to teach people how to make better feedback posts but no one is listening.
8-20-2010 @ 4:25PM
@Someone:I completely agree with your book analogy. The only thing I would critique is this: If the inadequate feedback is a result of the author selecting her "testers" completely randomly - or at best how good the lighting is in their house (aka computer specs) - then her expectations were unreasonable to begin with. Zarhym's post was great as an instructional "how-to". It would have been excellent as a sticky addressed to everyone at the top of the general forums. Singling one person out as an example, especially when it is clear that person at least believes they are being constructive, is just bad customer relations.In addition to all of that, the pseudo-threat at the end:"If we can't get adequate and detailed reports from players about their experiences while testing, we'll need to find more players willing to work with us in this regard."was an absolutely pointless generalization and empty threat to all of the beta-testers. Generalizations are terrible because they always risk alienating potential allies. The testers who are providing helpful feedback may look at that empty threat as a childish lack of appreciation by Zarhym.Thundrcrackr's short post sums it up well. "Blizzard sure likes to QQ about our QQ." Zarhym is writing about ways in which you should not communicate your thoughts when writing a beta post. I am writing a post about how Zarhym needs to take his own advice. I think the tone of Zarhym's post was worse than the one he was responding to tbh.
8-20-2010 @ 4:38PM
I think the idea that the blues are posting it and no one is listening is really the key isn't it?When you teach a subject in school, you are teaching to a wide variety of individual pupils. Each of them has a different learning ability, and a different learning style. You have the class clowns and the teachers pets and everyone in between. In the testing environment that Blizzard chooses to use, you get this same array of people.So, the solution has to be the same as the solution in the classroom. Either you try to help the class clowns grow into more participatory members of the class by asking them specific feedback and getting them more involved in the process, which (hopefully) teaches them how to be better members of the society as a whole. Or you just ignore the "bad seeds" and pay attention to the good kids.As parents, we sort of hope that the former teacher is present in the classroom. But this isn't a classroom. Blizzard is a business, and that means that the Blues are getting paid to look over at the forums and see if they can get some useful information out of them. So, they have to make a decision based on the value of their time.What is valuable: Finding good feedback and reporting it.What is slightly less valuable, but could lead to more value later: Asking for clarification from frustrated players who seem to be (at least a little bit) intelligent.What is of even less value: complaining to a poster (in a 500 word post) that their post is simply not good enough.What serves almost no value to Blizzard at all: That same Blue making the same 500 word post multiple times in the same forum to multiple posters...So, while I agree that there are a lot of posters out there who should really be more constructive about their posts. And I agree that the Blues could get more information if they asked the right questions of the "bad" posters. I completely see how that would probably take a lot more time (=money) to get what amounts to a small amount of feedback.Ultimately, I guess I agree with the poster that said that "Blizzard sure likes to QQ about our QQ."
8-20-2010 @ 8:33PM
Well said, Hades!Ways to get good feedback1. Choose your testers - screen your testers so that you are sure they will give you the type and style of feedback you want2. Inform your testers - have multiple examples of a situation and different feedback posts on the same situation, and point out the good and bad points of the feedback, demonstrating what you want3. Conform the input - require your testers to use a certain kind of form to force them to give you the style and type of feedback you wantIf you open up a general forum with no forms, no examples, and allow anyone to post, guess what, you will definitely get a lot of feedback that is not useful. It would be like going to the middle of Grand Central Station and asking people passing by to solve a complex math problem. Eventually you'll find someone with the knowledge, experience, capability and motivation to do it, but it will take a very long time, and those people will be very few and far between. WoW's subscription base is what, 12 million? With absolutely no screening, examples, or forms Blizz expects great feedback from anyone with a heartbeat and a credit card?Besides, Zarhym is a jackass. It's a good thing that Real ID thing never went live and revealed his name as I'm sure a lot of forum-goers would've been on road trips for a little 'face time'.
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