How Can the Community Managers Improve?
A topic accidentally got huge as Lylirra decided she's going to share as much as she can about a CM's job and how it could potentially be improved in the Diablo 3 community.
to all the blues: stop talking about your cats and just focus on the development of the game...otherwise do not post anything..we don't care if your cat dies or how bad u are in diablo3.. thanks
We're going to engage with players on a variety of topics, and some of those topics will have a more casual focus -- like sharing personal experiences, participating in forum games or memes, or even showing support for awesome fan creations. The official forums are here to provide players with a place to discuss Diablo III with each other, and our primary goal is to foster that connection. We also want to provide you with information from the development team whenever possible, but that kind of communication is always going to coexist with the more lighthearted stuff. (They're not mutually exclusive.)
So, if your primary feedback is "don't post about anything except what I want to hear about," then may not be able to see eye-to-eye on this particular topic. Maybe there are other ways you feel we could improve that take into account the fact we're here to do more than just talk about mechanics?
You're seriously going to enable someone who wants to report you? Now that makes me disappointed - lock this attention troll's thread and move on..
There are certainly official channels that players can use to provide feedback about CM interactions (emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, for one), but I'm not sure very many people have or will take advantage of it. I'd sincerely like to know how the community feels their CMs could serve them better, and this may also be a good opportunity for me to provide more insight in what the role of a CM is (and/or clear up some misconceptions about what it isn't).
I might crash and burn, but I think it's worth the risk if it means positive change can come as a result.
Start by reading all the critiques made by players since release. And there are TONS of them. I get the feeling you guys are ONLY searching for positive feedback and ignoring the rest
This perception actually really confuses me given how many changes we've made to the game based on player feedback and criticisms, and how frequently we actually say that we're listening.
Here are a few quick examples that I can recall from memory:
There's also changes made to drop rates, Legendary items, reducing repair costs, reducing the challenge gap between monster types, removing Invulnerable Minions, removing enrage timers, revising CC, improving resource spenders, improving how item affixes roll, adding Paragon, adding new shrines, giving more benefit to in-game events and Resplendent Chests, AH features, and more.
Given that, I don't understand why so many players say that we aren't taking player feedback into consideration. Is there something we could perhaps do better to make this fact more clear?
Instead of responding to people being rude, and trolling, maybe give a bit of feedback on the positive suggestions.
We do that quite a bit actually. Though, I imagine those conversations might be easy to miss if you're not looking for them specifically or don't always visit the forums.
(This why we tend to repeat ourselves a lot, by the way. Not because we enjoy the repetition, but because we often see the same questions get asked quite frequently. While we could just let players fend for themselves and try to find our previous responses on their own, we usually like to jump in and either provide the information directly or point people to where they can read more about that topic.)
Well I've made alot of threads that were nice, but logical and productive too, but those just don't get popularity, and certainly no blue posts.
We try to read as many posts as possible, but the truth is that there's no way for us to read them all. (We still give it our best shot, though.) Similarly, we're not going to post in every thread, either -- even ones that we do see or find to be really constructive.
We may not always be able to respond to a specific concern for a number of reasons. Sometimes we don't have any information to share, sometimes we're not in a position to comment, and sometimes we want to see how a discussion progresses on its own. Whenever we post in a thread, the conversation will inevitably change, and there are times when it's important that we don't get involved. Usually, when a thread gets a "blue post," it stops being a discussion between players and turns into a some sort of modified Q&A. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not always the best way to get valuable feedback.
In many cases, though, we may not be in position to comment on what the developers are working on, either because they’re still working on the design process or we’re not really sure if what we have is actually going to make it into the game. Over the years we have found it is better to avoid promising anything about future content (until we are as close to 100% certain about it as possible) than to retract previous communication when something gets cut or delayed from a patch, or changed to something completely different. Even acknowledging that an issue exists is enough for some players to walk away with “they know, so something will be done immediately” and can be harmful if said issue’s resolution doesn’t make it into a patch.
So, if we don't respond to your posts, that doesn't mean we haven't heard you or haven't heard an identical concern from another player -- though it's possible we may not have gotten to that specific feedback just yet. It certainly doesn't mean that we don't care. There are just many factors that come into play when determining when/if we can post about a particular topic.
We do pass on your feedback to design team, though, and there have been many cases where that feedback has been acted on directly. (There have also been many cases where it hasn't, because our developers may not agree with a particular suggestion a player has made. We've talked about those in these forums, too.)
I mean it IS pretty sad that they can't figure out what we're looking for. There's dozens of threads that have each of these ideas separately, but still. Since they have open ears, let's tell them what we want and maybe we can get what we want implemented.
There's a difference between reading what you think and actually having a conversation about it. The latter tends to provide more insight since it allows both parties to provide context that may not be present otherwise.
Just because I'm asking a question doesn't mean I'm oblivious to your concerns. In fact, it means I'm aware of them and would like to know more.
Lylirra if you want to make the game better, go buy some wad, smoke it, and come up with some creative shat.
Interesting suggestion, but not totally applicable here.
I'm currently asking what -- in your opinion -- the CM team can do to better serve the Diablo III community. (You guys already provide us with your thoughts on how the game could be improved, and we're definitely appreciative of that fact.)
Ur a toad
Pity. I've always fancied myself more of an iguana really. =/
I've already posted a bunch of ideas on page 3, but here's the quote of it,
Thanks for sharing that, Nein. I'll make sure we pass that information on to our developers.
Just keep in mind that Community Managers aren't responsible for implementing changes or making design decisions. We're here to engage with players and act as a liaison whenever possible. Vaeflare talked about our role a bit more here, if you're interested: http://us.battle.net...55309?page=2#23
The only updates we've gotten on the future of the game have been from Jay's twitter posts. I think you can understand why people are frustrated, it was intimated that PVP would be released sometime this year this does not seem possible anymore and what ensues is the current state of the forums with people asking about PvP every other post. I personally would like to know what 1.0.7 will contain (just a hint) or at the very least if we will be getting a dev blog on that patch. Some people seem to think it will be a class balance patch, not sure how true this is.
That's totally understandable. We do want to update players on PvP once all the details are finalized. We're not at that point yet, but Jay understands that it sucks to wait and has been trying to bridge that gap via direct updates on Twitter. He's a good dude and really cares this community, despite so many statements to the contrary. =/
As for 1.0.7, you can expect us to provide something similar to the coverage we offered for 1.0.5, 1.0.4, 1.0.3, etc. once it's further along in development. Whenever possible, we prefer to talk about changes at that level only once we're sure we know what's going to be in a specific patch (since it's never a good experience to have to say that something got cut or was delayed).
There you guys go, the blue admitting they are mainly here to talk about frivolous topics.
There you guys go, a player taking a blue quote out of context.
THen again there hasn't been any real additions to the game that were meaningful other then Hellfire rings ( no mp doesn't count toggle difficulty did nothing for the game).
There are some players who would agree with you, and some players who would disagree. That's the magic of having a diverse community of players, I suppose.
Either way, since you quoted my question, can you provide some feedback on it? The concern is that Blizzard doesn't listen to its players, and that CMs only look for threads that praise the game (rather than those that provide constructive criticisms for improvement). This is despite the fact that we have made several changes based on player criticisms, and have acknowledged that fact many, many times.
How could we as CMs make it more clear to the community that we value your feedback -- positive or negative, so long as it's constructive -- more than we already do? Or better illustrate that we take that feedback into consideration and have made may great changes to the game as a result of it?
Oh my god... Bashiok hacked Lylirra's account. =( He's in ur akount, sharding ur purplz...
Hey, you sit next to Bashiok long enough (going on 2 years now) and some of his habits are bound to rub off.
Was this question seriously just asked? It's almost as if the forums have been 100% neglected. If they weren't, no blue would even ask this question at this point. READ THE HUNDREDS OF CONSTRUCTIVE AND HIGHLY RATED FORUMS. HUR DUR.
Please see: http://us.battle.net...9689?page=6#102
Weekly "State of the Game" post or blog.
I'm going to be very upfront and say that this is probably not feasible, but we could explore the possibility of more or varied types of developer blogs. No promises, though, since that honestly depends on the developers' bandwidth (their priority is first and foremost development). Good food for thought, though.
There might also be a better way for us CMs to highlight the topics we've responded on for the week/month/etc that relate directly to development, since the information we provide is usually coming from the developers in one form or another. It seems like a lot of people simply aren't aware of what we've commented on already, and if that communication isn't really visible I agree that it can make it hard to think we're listening.
I have yet to see any game changes that were said by a player, everything has been done to benefit you, not us. Like you said, you don't listen to us.. and that's a BIG MAJOR reason why this game is slowly falling apart.
Dude, really? (I mean, really?) I quoted threads where players were asking for a change, and we literally said "we agree, we're making that change."
If, in spite of that, you still believe we ignore player feedback -- then okay. I'm afraid I can't compete with willful ignorance.
(I still encourage you to share your suggestions and criticisms, though!)
You seem very distressed that most people aren't understanding what you're replying to, and what you're implementing, but don't you think that blue posts are hard to keep track of? Many players aren't dedicated enough to search for blue posts all the time, but a weekly update like I suggested would be good for everyone. It would be clear, and even CM's could manage it.
No, I'm saying that's good feedback! And that perhaps we CMs can do more to make our posts more visible or easier to access. A weekly roundup is something we can consider, absolutely.
(Also, just to be very clear: CMs are not developers.)
Your worth to the community is very questionable.
Cool. In your opinion, how could that value be increased?
(Also, I'm afraid I don't have any information to share about earlier questions. I could perhaps look into it, if you'd like, but I don't know when I might be able to respond back.)
and since you're doing surveys regarding favorite acts,quote, characters, etc...why not have a survey (class specific or not) about gameplay? that will also give you some inputs fr the player base and data that the devs can use vs their actual data .
It's a weekly poll, so there will be plenty of opportunities for different topics. Have any recommendations?
I pulled out a JD from a known social media/game company to see how close are the CMs here who is asking us how they could improve. Perhaps having a read back the 1st place you joined blizzard and the JD might remind you what you're suppose to be doing?
Thanks! I'm aware of what my job description is and what I'm supposed to be doing within that role. That's the easy part. What I'm asking, however, is what additional things players think I could be doing to make their experience better. Not all of the feedback in this thread may be useful, and there may be some requests that simply can't be honored, but that's okay. This still has been a really good discussion, I think, and I hope I'm able to make some positive changes as a result of it (they may not be immediately, but they're still worth following up on).
"How do you think we could improve?" As if we are working for Blizzard.... we paid to play the game....not make the game
You want us to listen to your feedback, but only if we don't ask for it?
All boils don't to finding a source to vent, and sadly Jay has the name big enough to take it. Because he's the hero we deserves, but not the one it needs right now...and so we'll hunt him, because he can take it.
Awesome. I just inhaled hot coffee because of this. It burns.
In all seriousness, though, good feedback all around.
Actually I wouldn't mind reading the CM's job description and understanding more about their roles. Please go ahead and post it all out. Thanks.
We don't have a posting specifically for Diablo III open right now, but this should give you an idea(ish): http://us.blizzard.c...html?id=120007O
There are multiple different positions within a single community team, though, with varying responsibilities. Some focus completely on publishing content on blog and forums, some focus more on social media interactions and fostering engagement, and some focus more managing projects.
It's my last post for the night as I don't really see this going anywhere good. I just think, once a week, the CMs should take the top one or two questions or issues plastered all over these forums to a dev and then provide that feedback back towards the players. Like i said, it should be a 2 way street. I think that's one simple way of improving things. It would be cool if the players could vote on whats being ask. Kinda like a weekly event.
We've discussed doing something like this before, but the inevitable downside is what happens if the highest voted questions were topics we really didn't have any new information for, or weren't in a position to comment?
Now, that doesn't mean we can't take your idea and adapt it into something similar or more workable (that might take some experimentation, though). Again, awesome food for thought.
Its not easy dealing with us ya? As we're all humans, and humans are such a paradox to deal with. But perhaps setting a KPI in near future, with more better time responds (if possible) to critical thread will ease the tension in the forum and build a better image for the game and D3 as a whole. I believe why ppl are questioning blues respond is that D3 is currently made to be play on line only, and with the pass experience of having expansion and so on, players had become more info hungry and demanding.
That's a pretty fair assessment, and one I tend to agree with in many ways. Appreciate the follow-up!
Why don't you do that ?? Instead of not doing that great thing , did Which Act Environment is Your Favorite? Thats totally ridiculous.
We create polls and post about fan creations and highlight community threads because they're a good way to engage players and/or promote how awesome our fan base is. Those types of posts may be not be valuable to everyone (for example, you may not find them enjoyable, and that's okay), but that doesn't mean they're not worth doing.
Even so, understanding the priorities of our players better can help us focus our efforts more succinctly, and that's never a bad thing -- so thanks.
I agree with the last statement. However, it's not what she's doing, it's how she's doing it. It'd be better of her to ignore posts where she might have to "defend" herself. It seems however, that a certain lack of professionalism is a requirement for employment with Blizzard.
I happen to disagree (but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm correct). So, harsh critcisms, but well received.
Hey, you wanted to improve, right?
And there are many different ways in which to do so.
This is pure gold. Saying, "We don't know which direction we want to go with this", is much better than not saying anything at all and leaving people guessing whether or not their concerns are being addressed.
We do this already, but not to the degree you're asking (based largely on prior experience in all three Blizzard communities). Even so, I'll see what we can do about that.
I just wanted hop back in really quickly before I run to another meeting to say that this has been awesome. Thank you SO MUCH for keeping your comments and suggestions civil, constructive, and mostly on point (again, I'm not asking for game suggestions, but rather suggestions on how you think the community team could serve you better).
You've provided a ton of useful feedback that my colleagues and I will be attempting to act on. Some things we can start working to implement immediately, while other changes may take a bit longer while we figure out how to make them happen. Either way, I sincerely appreciate your candor and participation in this thread.
Patch 1.0.6 = Fast Patch
1) We didn't make up the word "fast patch." It's a term used by software developers in general, and we've been using it since long before Diablo III released (most often for World of Warcraft). I don't imagine it's a popular term, though.
2) The patch actually wasn't the main reason for the downtime. We had scheduled maintenance for all Blizzard games in North America this morning.
Every Voice Matters
In this day and age, it’s not unusual for a community to expect that a game will have some form of continued development after its release, even if it’s a game like Diablo III (which doesn’t really have the same content model as something like World of Warcraft, for example).
A lot of you have been concerned about the lack of game-changing adjustments in patch 1.0.6 and 1.0.6a, and we can certainly sympathize since they’re not the kind of patches you’ve been used to seeing for Diablo III. Smaller patches like those aren’t unusual for Blizzard games, though, and are often needed to address important issues quickly (issues that can’t be resolved with a hotfix or really wait for a larger content patch that might be scheduled for a later date). Similarly, sometimes patches will contain a lot of behind-the-scenes changes that aren’t visible to players, but are still necessary to keep the game running smoothly or enable testing for new features that are coming down the line. This was the case for both 1.0.6a and 1.0.6, respectively. Lylirra provided a bit more transparency about that here and here. They’re a bit technical, but that’s doesn’t mean they’re made-up jargon – that’s really just how patching works.
But, just because the latest patches have been smaller, that doesn’t mean we haven’t been working on improvements to the game. We commented on some stuff already that we have planned for future patches (to provide a very recent example, here’s some info on Reflects Damage). In many cases, though, we may not be in position to comment on what the developers are working on, either because they’re still working on the design process or we’re not really sure if what we have is actually going to make it into the game. Over the years we have found it is better to avoid promising anything about future content (until we are as close to 100% certain about it as possible) than to retract previous communication when something gets cut or delayed from a patch, or changed to something completely different. Even acknowledging that an issue exists is enough for some players to walk away with “they know, so something will be done immediately” and can be harmful if said issue’s resolution doesn’t make it into a patch.
Acknowledging community’s concerns is very important, but requires some finesse when we do. Some of you will disagree with that philosophy and for very good reasons. We promise the community team is listening, relaying to development teams and working hard to make sure information is digestible and ready to go as soon as the proverbial light turns green. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Regardless of one's feelings about Diablo III and its development team, harassment directed at its employees is not permitted in these forums (especially when it comes to threats of violence). It is never appropriate to suggest real-life harm within this or any Blizzard community, and we will respond to such threats with all due diligence.
We welcome criticism provided that it is shared constructively; however, defamatory language that has a clear malicious intent and/or fails to promote positive discussion -- which you have been so kind to illustrate -- will not be tolerated, and in many cases will lead to a notable vacation of your posting privileges. Please take this time to reconsider how you communicate within this forum. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Non-Constructive Criticism Part 2
If you wish to discuss the game, its mechanics, or feedback you may have for how we can improve either, this is the best location to do so. However, if you wish only to lob insults at our development staff and not engage constructively on the topic, I'll have to encourage you to take the discussion elsewhere.
While I sincerely respect your opinions, I do not respect the way in which you are voicing them. If you want to recreate this thread and change its tone to something more appropriate for these forums, you've my support. Just make sure that your thread is civil and abides by our posting guidelines, cool?
so for me, its not a matter of omg pvp isint out yet, or omg they lied again to us....becuase apparently that is how they want us to perceive them from now on, not faith in promises or good word, but faith in little blue posts about kittys and 2 handed barbarians, that come once every 5 days, without the least little morsel of knowledge of whats going on behind the curtain.
It's convenient how you ignore all the other posts we've made simply to further your own opinion and/or agenda. Please stop. =/ (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Poll: Which Act III Environment is Your Favorite?
The weekly environment polls continue this time with Act III. You can view the first one on this link and the second one on this.
Your journey through Diablo III will lead you across a variety of environments. From corpse-laden fields, to festering underground passages, to windswept deserts and bustling metropolises, there are multiple different landscapes your hero must brave in order to thwart the advances of the Burning Hells. Each environment has its own charm, and (of course) tells its own story.
But what we want to know is, out of all these locations, which one is your favorite? Not taking gameplay into consideration and looking simply at the aethestics, what zone or area do you like the most? And more importantly...why?
Since there are so many environments to choose from across the entire game, we're going to break this question down into four polls: one for each Act. This week, we focus on Act III.
(To check out last week's results for Act II, click here.)
Bashiok - Blizzard Representative - 08/01/2011 -"So how many skill combinations are there now? Well taking into account 6 active skills, all the rune combinations, and 3 passives we currently expect each class to have roughly 2,285,814,795,264 different build combinations."
"Hey, I thought you'd like the witty irony of grub-on-glowie violence!"
Gotta give Lylirra credit. She's clearly a pro at remaining calm amidst so many terrible posters.
edit: Clever parody but did you have to chose THAT song? I can't even stand its melody...
LOL, I think is KARMA. She made so much shit in Cataclysm release, even having a secret account where she would troll people she dislike in "breaking the rules" and "accidentally give permabans, instead of 48 hours ones", that they probably put her in the middle of the shitstorm Diablo 3 is, just for her to suffer.
How well they are made, yes. But not how complete. Act 4 is not a complete act. Crafting is definitely underdeveloped and not complete. Leaving out an entire feature, PvP. Not complete.
Crafting was fine before the legendary revamp, it needs work now. It's called iterative development. Sadly almost no one but Blizz works this way and it's why Blizzard games get much better with time. Act 4 was made to be short on purpose. PvP was not a promised feature for release. In fact it was said months before release it would come as a separate patch.
It was a complete game at launch and it's only going to go up with time, making the purchase that much more valuable. Say what you will, but that's the truth.