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Posts with tag cms

Are the forums necessary?

Here's something I'd like to hear all your thoughts on. Glue from Nagrand quotes the fact that "only a small portion of the playerbase read the forums," and he claims that those people are the most important players Blizzard has-- they care enough about the game to visit the forums and voice their opinions. But I'd like to play the devil's advocate on this one. What if (and stay with me here) Blizzard deleted the official forums completely?

Do we really need the official forums? They do help-- besides giving us all kinds of fun reads and, yes, occasional insight, they're the main link between the CMs and the player base-- patch announcements and upcoming changes all are made known mostly through the forums, and day-to-day player feedback and questions are centered there. But they don't have to be-- Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot actually runs a daily blog featuring community news and game updates and changes. And it would be just as easy for Blizzard to announce things on their own website, and get player feedback and questions from sites just like this one.

And getting rid of the forums would wipe out all of the lunacy that appears on there-- all the insensitive comments, the jeering and rickrolling, the flaming, the drama (well, actually I'm down for keeping that one), and all of the other wackiness that goes down there every day. If the CMs didn't have to deal with that stuff, wouldn't they be able to spend more time communicating player ideas to the devs? If Blizzard didn't have to pay Timbal to ban rickrollers, couldn't they use that money to come up with a new 5man, or Heroic Deadmines, or any number of other ideas they've had but couldn't carry out? If we lost the forums, wouldn't we have a better game?

Food for thought. It's highly unlikely (at the very least) that Blizzard would ever shut down the official forums. But, even though they may have been necessary in the beginning, WoW's community survives in many other places now. Are the forums really necessary?

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard

The CMs ain't so bad after all

Eona from Durotan saw a picture of Drysc (perhaps via that very helpful faces of BlizzCon guide yesterday), and determined something that might surprise you: the CMs are people after all. Who knew?

But seriously, I've always kind of felt for the CMs-- they're given the responsibility of transmitting messages to the community without actually being given all the information. There might be all kinds of good reasons that your class buff didn't show up in the patch, and yet while they may even know some of them, the CMs can't just say it was because the devs wanted to wait until the Northrend expansion, or because they clashed with something you'll find when the actual patch is released in a few days, or because this really amazing item that hasn't dropped yet makes it irrelevant anyway. At times, Drysc, Neth, Eyonix, and all the rest can seem like the Iraqi Information Minister, but more often than not, I'd guess they're just not allowed to tell us the whole story.

So if you do see the CMs at Blizzcon, suppress that urge to run up and ask them why Shaman clearcasting got nerfed. Instead, give them a hug show them your support in a completely nonphysical and nonthreatening way. Because while the CMs may play as NPCs, apparently they really are people too.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Humor, BlizzCon

New Blue poster Timbal (not Tseric's replacement)

Visitors to the official forums this weekend may have noticed a new name in blue: Timbal is a brand new Blizzard poster (and he's already closing threads with the best of them). But while players are guessing that Timbal is Tseric's replacement, and all the baggage that comes with that, Drysc points out that Timbal is a forum moderator, not actually a community manager. Timbal obviously doesn't have an avatar yet, either, but I'm not sure if that's because he's a mod, or because he's new.

What's the difference? In short, Timbal and the other mods oversee the forums, while the CMs (like Drysc and Nethaera) oversee the community. As you can see from that last link, Blizzard still has the CM help wanted ad up, and so it seems to be a pretty good guess that Tseric hasn't been replaced yet.

Or maybe he won't be. According to what I've heard from players, the forums need more moderation than management-- while Blizzard's CMs have been focused on the forums, I'd suggest WoW's community isn't really there anymore (if it ever was, really). It's either in game, or on sites like WoW Insider. Lots of players have asked for a change in the forums, either a crackdown on the shenanigans that seem to take place there, or just a way to make them more relevant to the game. Hiring Timbal as a moderator might be a step towards moderation, and a step away from relying on CM activity in the forums as Blizzard's way of managing their connection with the WoW community.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Brush up on your etiquette for BlizzCon

Blizzcon is only three weeks away, and so right now might be the best time to start brushing up on your BlizzCon Etiquette-- Adriss from Skywall has written up this very helpful tongue-in-cheek guide to make sure you don't commit any faux pas at Blizzard's gigantic get-together.

For instance, did you know that you should always ask permission before punting any gnomes you see? And also, I was sorry to read that Night Elves will not be permitted to dance at the convention-- apparently there will be children there. Pretty funny.

Have any other tips for not stepping on any toes? My only suggestions would be to stay away from any shoulder-related comments when around Orcs, and by all means, do not feed the CMs. They subside just fine on their normal diet of forum trolls and customer tears.

[ via ]

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Humor, BlizzCon

CM chaos on the PTR

The community managers showed up on the PTR on Friday, and as you might imagine, chaos ensued. Eyonix appeared as a level one gnome, and he and Tseric both got invited to a player guild, where they chatted with players for a couple of hours. I don't know if any actually battleground matching systems got tested (that was originally their reason for showing up), but apparently lots and lots of people got killed by Gruul, Baron Rivendare, and even Nefarian appearing in Lower City Shattrath.

Hopefully a CM event like this (as has happened before, when the expansion beta ended) signals that the end of the PTR (and the patch going live) is right around the corner.

Gallery: CMs ingame

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends, Blizzard, NPCs

Breakfast topic: Knee-slappers

I really wanted to share this with you guys, but I couldn't think of a good place to put it. So instead, we'll turn it into a Breakfast Topic, and you guys can share some of your favorite WoW jokes.

I love this, from the EU Forums:

Q: What do a noob and a rogue have in common?

A: They both pick locks!

HA! A while back I posted another warlock joke that still makes me laugh (I guess everyone wants to pick on warlocks), but if you've got any other WoW jokes (or jokes that have been adapted to fit the WoW setting), let us hear them, the cornier the better.

Ok, one more:

Q: What do Undead Tauren say?

A: Boo.

HA! Ok, one more:

Q: How many CMs does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: None, it's working as intended.


Filed under: Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics, Humor

April's fooled? Players rubbed the wrong way

As you probably figured out on Friday, I love April Fool's Day (yes, I posted the joke on Friday, but it was Phat Loot Phriday, and if I'd posted it yesterday, no one would have fallen for it! Lots of people did, though, and I'm glad everyone liked it so much-- shout out to my good friend Tamzarian on Thunderhorn for coming up with the idea). But even though I love not believing anything I read on April 1st, there is a case to be made that it's getting a little out of hand. Everyone on the Internet is lying through their teeth around this time every year.

And some people are a little miffed. While most players enjoyed the CM/poster role-reversal on the forums (which spawned Tseric's now immortal phrase "lol wut?"), not everybody did. A few players say that Blizzard is outright making fun of their customers. Jonas over at MBAzeroth says the same thing: that the CMs are calling players, some of whom have real concerns about their gameplay experience, "trolls." What if, after waiting for twenty minutes in the grocery store line, the cashier made fun of you when you walked up to check out?

Now personally, I think that's a load of hooey. Blizzard is responding to player concerns as best they can, and no one can keep everyone happy all of the time. And even if Blizzard is making fun of their customers, it's an April Fool's Day joke on a videogame forum. Have a sense of humor, guys. As I said yesterday, the best part of the whole "blue for a day" joke wasn't when the CMs made fun of the players, it was when the players made fun of the CMs by parroting their own words back at them.

I won't tell anyone what's funny, though-- if being fooled isn't your thing, you'll just have to turn the computer off next year and come back on April 2nd. And if you think Blizzard is laughing at their customers instead of listening to them, quitting the game is still completely free. Because for some people, April Fool's is serious business.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Humor

CMs Caught at GenCon

Behold, Blizzard CMs Tseric and Drysc! (left and right) Linsha from Muradin (looking happy in the middle-- the one without the pink hair) caught the two at GenCon showing off the new WoW CCG (she also caught Eyonix and Caydiem last year). Drysc looks like he'd be a fun guy to hang out with on an MC run, but Tseric, as many players point out, looks like he's a little too twitchy on the "BANNED!" button. Unfortunately Linsha didn't get a shot of Nethaera-- apparently he she* got left back at Blizzard HQ to fend off greedy requests for loot.

As far as I know, we don't have any internal operatives currently at GenCon playing the game, but if you're there and checking it out, feel free to send a few tips our way on what you thought of it (use the "Send us news tips" link over on the sidebar). I am working on contacting one source who's there right now, but I'm not sure I can get this darned gnomish communicator working right-- it keeps connecting me to something that sounds like a robot chicken..

*Update: Whoops. Sorry Neth. That's what happens when we don't get pics of you!

Filed under: Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Odds and ends, Blizzard

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