Lately I've seen some forum posts that confuse me. Perhaps it's because these posts themselves seem confused. Posts like this one
, where Librily the worgen mage accuses Blizzard and World of Warcraft
's development team of soliciting feedback that they don't actually look at. I find this especially odd on a forum where community managers regularly
engage with posters, and I wanted to address what feedback is, how it works, and why it matters now and going forward.
Frankly, it is impossible to look at the design of Mists of Pandaria
and not see how much player feedback has influenced the design of the expansion. The 85 to 90 game is everything Cataclysm
was not -- it all takes place in a seamless new land, it removed flying in order to provide player immersion, it works the Horde/Alliance conflict into the storyline. It is in every way
the result of player feedback being constructively weighted and utilized responsibly. By that, I mean that the game's developers clearly looked at what players were saying they liked and disliked and worked to find ways to address player concerns.
What they didn't
do -- what they have never
done and cannot ever do -- is simply go to the forums, see who yelled loudest, and give them everything they wanted. That would be absurd design by mob, it would produce an unplayable game full of broken classes and most importantly of all, it would not be fun to play
. Games require a ton
of work to produce, especially a game like World of Warcraft
, and the amount of effort behind the scenes to bring what we get to see and experience does not allow for that kind of design even if it were desirable, which it is not. Game design is not about giving the players everything they say they want, nor is it about doing everything they say as soon as they say it.
Let's talk about how good feedback works, the difference between opinion and fact, and why taking the time to make a well constructed argument is worthwhile even if you don't see any signs of it changing anything.