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Posts with tag Feedback

On developer interaction and behind-the-scenes info

There's an interesting thread going on right now on the official forums, concerning the possibility of an ongoing series of interviews or video content exploring the behind-the-scenes at Blizzard. CM Zarhym chimed in with a mention of the A Day in the Life series that was released during Blizzard's 20 year anniversary celebration. But more importantly, he noted that it takes a lot of resources to put that kind of feature together, which is why Blizzard tries to pair things like interviews and behind-the-scenes info with big announcements.

And that's completely understandable. It takes time, effort and resources to put together a feature -- time and resources that could be spent on better things, like improving and working on that game we love to play. But after many other inquires and suggestions on the subject, Zarhym shared another, longer post that made everything just a little more clear -- and raised some good points about developer interaction in general.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Feedback and what it does and doesn't do

For as long as I've been playing World of Warcraft (which is as long as it's been around) one thing I've seen over and over again is the constant debate between players about the forums and what they're for. Blizzard has stated repeatedly that they listen to player concerns and take feedback very seriously, but they've also stated that they don't design by committee. Still, we've seen design choices made with the player base and its reactions in place - Mists of Pandaria had a far more engaging and active endgame than did Cataclysm, and it evolved over the course of the expansion in response to player reaction. Similarly, many credit (or blame) the steep increase in difficulty in heroic dungeons between the end of Wrath of the Lich King and the neginning of Cataclysm on fanbase complaints.

One question that seems to get asked a lot is does anyone at Blizzard care about the forums, which to my mind is a strange question to ask given the evidence I just cited. Clearly, player feedback (and not just from the forums, either) is something that Blizzard pays a lot of attention to. CM Takralus gave a brief on what, exactly, the CM's do with player feedback on the forums and how it is brought to the devs' attention.

Let's talk a bit about feedback. When is it useful and when isn't it useful?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard soliciting more pet battle feedback

Blizzard soliciting more pet battle feedback
Last week, Blizzard was looking for feedback about possible changes to elemental and mechanical pets. This week, they have some proposed passive effect changes for patch 5.4 about which they'd like player responses.
Crithto
Thank you to everyone who has shared their feedback with us so far, we appreciate it. Based on some of the comments we've received, here is an updated list of potential changes we're hoping to include in Patch 5.4:
  • The Magic passive now caps damage taken at 35% of maximum health, buffed from 40%.
  • The Dragonkin passive effect now activates when the enemy is taken below 50% health, up from 25%.
  • The Aquatic passive now reduces DOT damage by 50%, up from 25%.
  • The Elemental passive effect now only affect negative, direct effects of weather (e.g. the accuracy reduction of Sandstorm won't be applied, but the damage reduction will).
  • The Critter passive now makes critters completely immune to roots, stuns, and sleeps.
Keep that feedback rollin' in!

Most of these look like pretty big buffs, but do battle pets need to be tweaked anymore? If you have an opinion, head over to the official forums and let Blizzard know what you think.

Filed under: News items

How feedback works and why it matters

How feedback works and why it matters
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.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Mists of Pandaria

No-brainer talent and cookie-cutter builds

I was reading the forums the way I do recently, when I came across this thread. In it, the original poster Strawberry asked for examples of talents in the new talent system that players would always take. In the current talent system, as an example, no fury warrior would avoid Flurry. You'd be an idiot to do so.

Ghostcrawler
chimed in, indicating that he wanted to increase people's awareness of the thread and get them participating, because the thread was useful. The reason it is useful is because no-brainer talents are something Blizzard's trying to do away with in the new talent scheme, and the only way to really know what talents are must haves is to have people tell them.

The entire purpose of the new talent system is to promote choice and do away with the cookie-cutter builds of the previous and current talent paradigm. Cataclysm actually ended up with a lot more choice than previous iterations -- you usually have a few talent points left over when you're done getting the basics down -- but Mists of Pandaria is poised to remove the concept of going elsewhere for a spec or copying someone else's build entirely.

This got me wondering. Assuming the thread does its job and helps identify talents that are too good to pass up right now and make adjustments to bring them in line, will that make the game harder or easier for new and inexperienced players?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Drama Mamas: Letter-writers tell what happened next

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

Now that's drama. That part when Onyxia lays the smack down? Squee!

Anyway, here it is: the long-delayed (by me), greatly anticipated (also by me) results edition of Drama Mamas. Woohoo! We took the responses we've received from those we've given advice to over the recent months and compiled them here, with links to the appropriate columns.

There are other results from our advice that we know of but don't have permission to discuss in public here. For example, sometimes letter-writers will post in the comments with explanations, but they've chosen not to identify themselves -- so we're not outing them here.

But that doesn't mean we're hurting for responses. Join us after the break for results from some of the most controversial letters we've posted.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

WoW Magazine polls the community

WoW Magazine is looking for some new information, helpful hints, and feedback in the form of two polls just added on the official Warcraft forums. What's in it for you? The best responses they receive will be incorporated into the magazine's features as quotes, and people whose suggestions are used will have their character fully credited for the quote they provide.

The first is a request for tips, hints, and other useful information for the "Battlegrounds Back to Basics" feature, regarding Eye of the Storm in an upcoming issue:

Bashiok
The industrious gnomes and goblins at World of Warcraft Official Magazine are currently working on the next issue. One of its regular features is "Battlegrounds Back to Basics" - this time around covering Eye of the Storm

As part of that feature, we're looking for hints and tips from EotS veterans. Is that you? If so, please feel free to post your favorite one-line strategies, tactics and tricks that help give you the winning edge. They can either be team oriented, or even class specific. The best suggestions will be incorporated into the feature as quotes - and of course your character will be fully credited. Remember – these should be straightforward one-liners – we're not looking for long paragraphs packed with intricate details.

Thanks in advance to all!


The second involves the upcoming beta for Cataclysm, whether or not people are avoiding it and what those that are opting-in are looking forward to among other things. Is this a hint that we'll see the beta for Cataclysm before we see the next issue of Warcraft Magazine? Who knows -- but check out the post for more information on what kind of feedback they're looking for:

Bashiok
The gang at World of Warcraft Official Magazine would like to know if you plan on participating in the Cataclysm beta. What about it gets you excited? What should people know before opting-in and participating? Are you purposefully avoiding the beta and all information? Do you love to hunt down bugs, do you thrive in a world of the unknown, or do you despise the impermanence of a testing environment? Tell us about your best experiences from past tests, missed opportunities, your dos and don'ts, your beta hopes, and anything in-between! The best posts will be incorporated into the feature as quotes, and your character will be fully credited.

Thanks in advance to all!


Have an opinion about either of the two topics? Check them out on the official Warcraft forums and put your two cents in -- who knows, you may end up in Warcraft Magazine!

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

[1.Local]: Do it for the e-peen Sunday

Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

The hot topic at [1.Local]'s press time was an opinion piece from Adam Holisky mulling over the unfortunate high profile of inappropriate posts from disgruntled players on the Blizzard forums. "While it's obvious that trollish parts of the community value and participating in internet yelling matches, the majority of the community does not care to hear it," writes Adam. "We bring this issue up and to the forefront on popular WoW media because it's imperative for the health of the community that this vocal minority does not control or continue to influence the quiet majority."

Urnias: Adam H. is exactly right. Forum posts like the one referenced are why I stopped trying to garner any useful information from that source. I got tired and angry of having to wade through 1) e-peen, 2) flame wars, 3) players who do zero research and 4) those who feel their drop in the bucket to Blizzard's coffers entitles them to dictate game direction and others' play styles.

Please shut up and just play the game. If you're that pissed off, quit. When Blizzard sees the thousands upon thousands of accounts leaving to play Star Trek or Warhammer, they will make the changes you need to feel better and they will beg you to come back.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Features, Humor, [1.Local]

Blizzard and how they deal with ninjas

Wojtek sent us this thread in which he posted a long series of emails between him and Blizzard about the ninja of an Onyxia Drake. There's a lot of back and forth, but eventually, the bottom line is that Blizzard was not able to help him, whether that's because he didn't have the information right, they couldn't find what they needed in the chat logs, or they just didn't want to. Later on, the thread is locked, and Wojtek is given the usual feedback address for the GM actions.

So what does all this mean? We've heard in the past that Blizzard will occasionally help with ninjas, and we've even heard unofficially that if you get the main looter in a PuG raid to state the looting conditions ahead of time, Blizzard can go back, look that up, and then reward loot based on who really deserves it. But of course, all of that is unofficial, and there are so many variations and issues in situations like these that there can't really be a hard and fast rule -- sometimes Blizzard can help, sometimes they can't.

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Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Raiding

The Daily Quest: Keep watching the skies


We here at WoW.com are on a Daily Quest to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Guilds, Raiding, The Daily Quest

Tips for raiding faster

I am definitely an advocate of the fast instance or raid -- when I played a tank, I pulled pulled pulled (according to the healer's mana, of course), and even now, mostly as a Hunter, I still get impatient. When the healer's mana is full and the tank is not /afk, I sometimes just throw a Misdirect up and go. That's probably why I really liked Naissa's tips for speedy raiding -- she lays out a few really practical things you can do to get your raid moving faster, from only marking skull and X when necessary to only worrying about the healer's mana. It's not the end of the world if the Mage or Hunter has to drink for a second after the pull. While you should always get back to full before a boss pull (and as she says, that's a perfect time to break down the basics, only the basics, of the fight), usually as long as you've got the tank and healer ready, a quick pull will give you time for aggro to settle down as well.

I don't completely agree with her DPS meter remarks -- I do think that beating the raid is much more important than trying to win the DPS meters, but as a DPS player, I like viewing the meters as good feedback on where I should be. If I'm super low in the meters, it's time to look at my gear and rotations and try to figure out why so I can get better, and I think it's valuable for DPS, as long as they can keep their attention on the raid, to do the same thing.

But all of the other tips are great, and in general, "pull pull pull" should be the order of the day. Some groups are better at rolling through content than others, obviously, but as long as you've got a solid tank and healer in play who know the instance and know how to handle what comes, most raids and groups can move through the content pretty quickly.

Filed under: Hunter, Priest, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Classes

Speaking up for what's right

This is a pretty insightful thread, from all sides, on what the forums and customer feedback are really for. Rekker on Detheroc makes a good point, and that is that while people will complain about anything, almost no one speaks up when things are working right. We talked a little bit about this on the podcast this past week: are Blizzard's decisions based on a player base that never seems to be happy, no matter what you throw at them, or on some arbitrary design guidelines that Blizzard has stuck with from the beginning?

Ghostcrawler, as you might expect, says it's a little bit of both. Blizzard doesn't just do what players say -- they consider player feedback and then make decisions from there. But at the same time, they can't ignore what players say, either. GC agrees that the forums are not the best sample of feedback, for the same reasons that Rekker gives: players go there because something is bothering them and they want it changed, not usually because they really love something in the game and want it to stay the same.

Of course, forums are not the only form of feedback from the community, and there are many places Blizzard can get feedback about things in the game that players like (ahem). But just like Blizzard does, whenever you look at the forums, you have to realize that you're looking at just a slice of the feedback. People don't make QQ posts about the stuff they appreciate and like having in the game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Buffs, Forums

Lichborne: It's been one week (of 3.1)

It's been one week. The barenaked ladies. Get it? Get it?Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column. This week, Daniel Whitcomb continues to make sense of just what the heck they're doing to us on the PTR.

So we have one week down in the PTR. We've had a chance to get more familiar with the Death Knight changes, both the documented and undocumented, and to see how they'll affect the way we play once 3.1 goes live.

Of course, by the time 3.1 goes live, they could be changed pretty extensively, but for now, it's a good idea to check out where they are right now, and not only predict where they might go, but let the developers know by our feedback, based on testing, where we think the class should go. With that in mind, let's take a look at the current state of the class on the PTR, where we're going and where we want to be heading.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

GC seeks feedback on totems, warlock spells


Since somewhat before the Wrath beta, we've been seeing a much more interactive Blizzard development team. The level of open communication with and feedback gathering from the community has been raised significantly, and with people like Ghostcrawler giving straight answers as much as he can, I'm feeling a lot better about the lines of communication between developers and players.

At the moment, Ghostcrawler is specifically asking for feedback on the following two issues:

  • Warlocks, which spells do you never use? Please don't clutter up the thread with extraneous issues. I actually think they did a pretty good job with the Spellstone/Firestone change of getting rid of two previously useless spells; I can't think of many obvious candidates off the top of my head. Eye of Kilrogg maybe, but I wouldn't want to lose that. Shadow Ward is used pretty infrequently.
  • Shamans: Totems, totems, totems. Again, please do not talk about extraneous issues in that thread - just talk about totems. They're not going to remove or sideline them, but they are interested in making them "cooler," which is certainly much-needed.

So go on and post your feedback in GC's threads (warlock, shaman). Or feel free to talk about it here, whatever. I do think totems feel clunky, but I can't think of how to fix them exactly - I guess that's why I'm not a game designer.

Filed under: Shaman, Warlock, Forums

Poll: Should 40-mans make a come back?

Peeking around the official forums, I saw a few threads dedicated to the reincarnation of 40-man raids. Do you remember the old, pre-BC epic AQ-40/MC/Naxx days? I can honestly say I really do not. I was a freshly minted 60 when BC came out. I got my feet wet in ZG and AQ-20, but that's it. Perhaps I'm missing out on something important. It's entirely possible that others feel the same way.

Since Blizzard has tuned Wrath raids to both 10 and 25 person versions, what's stopping them from rounding it out to a full 40. Perhaps they could even go for more. Many are already complaining that Naxx is too easy. They're looking for a real challenge. I don't know if Blizzard is open to the possibility of tuning up the dungeons, but we've seen evidence that the developers do listen to player feedback.

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Filed under: Polls, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Forums

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