Does Blizzard listen to player concerns?

A post up on WoW Insider today highlights a Blizzard Forum Post that recaps times in the past when players’ crying and whining have caused Blizzard to implement changes to the game.

The article was okay, but if we step away from the forum thread for a second, I think it raises a very interesting question.

To what extent do you feel the feedback of WoW players, given by means of forum threads and publicized concerns, affect the future design decisions of Blizzard Developers?

It’s a good topic for discussion. How much voice do we have? What methods of voicing concerns have the best chance to be heard? How much affect does tone and presentation have on being taken seriously?

What examples do we have of changes made to the game or the way we play that arose from player concerns?

I personally wonder to what extent the Blizzard Authenticator owes it’s existence to those that have tirelessly pushed Blizzard for greater account security.

On a more personal level, I would like to quote this section of the WOW Insider article;

TBC is released. About a month later as most people hit 70 and begin running level 70 five mans and heroic dungeons, it becomes apparent that druids are one of the best tanks if not THE best tanks for 5 mans. Massive warrior QQ ensues. Result is that druid tanking is drastically nerfed..

Funny… I don’t FEEL drastically nerfed.

Does this butt look spongy? Soft?

I block with my FACE!

Nerf my big butt. [grumbles]

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9 thoughts on “Does Blizzard listen to player concerns?

  1. I do believe they listen, to a certain extent. I mean, hats off to them, because they have to sift through the cesspool that is known as official Blizzard forums.

    If you look at druids alone, all the changes that are announced for WotLK are things druid have wanted for a long time. Indoor CC beyond Hibernate, more viability for balance druids, an out of combat rez (hallelujah!).

    As protection warrior, they are delivering one talent I have lusted after and QQd about for a long time: rage for dodging and parries. No longer will I have to cry about being overgeared and rage-starvation, the crux of a well-geared tank on trash.

    I am long-winded, I know. So yeah, I do believe they listen, they just take a bit longer to respond to demands than the player base likes.

    Also, nerf feral druids, because you make protection warriors emo. Okay, just kidding. ;)

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  2. IMO, yes they do. However the lack of communication from the Dev’s (through the CM team or otherwise) and the exceedingly long leed time into a balance change patch tends to make players somewhat disenchanted with changes or doubt that their feedback is really valued. A good example of this is the Ret Paladin changes in 2.3, a series of great changes but often seen as long overdue by those in cutting-edge content.

    In other cases their concerns can move on as they progress through encounters, to the extent that balance changes which felt well-needed in Tier 4 (for example) are unnecessary in Tier 5.

    I’m comfortable in saying that feedback is taken on board when presented properly, but I have to confess to genuine chagrin at the lack of communication from Blizz in general and the slow release of balance patches throughout The Burning Crusade.

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  3. Not sure where you where at when that bear nerf happened. Me? I had tanked everything from ZF to Underbog with absolute ease. I would run around with 2 mobs beating on me and pick up a 3rd in bear and could do that for 10 minutes at a time. Where bears really OP? as in OP for level 70 raid content? No they just got the gear much faster, But pre 70 they were very strong.

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  4. I think the perception is they don’t listen, and I guess we have little to prove that they do.

    That said, I think the quality of Blue responses has improved significantly over the years, even if it is to say “No, that will never happen”.

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  5. Blizzard’s has a nearly complete inability to articulate their goals, much less methods means it’s very easy to take what they do as kneejerk reactions.

    The Great Bear Nerf patch is a classic case in point. Through my participation on the BC beta, bear tanking ability was increased in every iteration. Right after it goes to live, they have to change talents, remove threat modifiers, reduce armor and so forth. They then offered up a terse comment along the lines of “due to internal testing” (I guess beta didn’t count?). When you consider the unending howls of the Waahhhriors it makes it very difficult to accept it as anything beyond a knee jerk reaction.

    Or gross incompetence.

    /le sigh

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  6. Ahh, I think Blizzard does just fine, all things considered. If any of you have ever tried to accomplish a task via committe you know what a nightmare it usually is. Now imagine a committee of millions, all with varying degrees of sincerity, knowledge, and interest and each with their very own axe to grind. No thanks.

    Although I admit that while I do not understand the scope of such a project, or the coding implications, the druid range bug issue should have been dealt with ages ago. ;-)

    Great blog.

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