These types of things drive me crazy. For one person who is not even in the game-making industry to call out entire company and question their work is just ridiculous. This guy talks as if he could run Blizzard better than the people doing it. As for the attacks against the diablo team, again he has absolutely no knowledge of what they are doing and makes his entire rant moot.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
Find any Diablo news? Contact me or anyone else on the News team
Of course it is dissapointing that release could still be a year away, but lets say that beta starts in july... there will be live streams all day of game play, alot more stuff will be released and then in no time the game will be in stores. We have already waited three years, what is another 8 months? Time flies.
I've often wondered why Blizzard even has a rep to directly engage people like this. Is this even common for game developers? Why not just believe in their vision and pursue the development of their game however they want and stop responding to fans like that in a forum? I just totally have never seen the point in this kind of discourse.
If fans are making a good point about the progress of the game or anything else about the game, let the fans duke it out themselves. But even when there have been less substantial complaints about Diablo 3, Bashiok has often seemed perfectly willing to engage them. I know that's his job and so he's just doing his job. But why is that his job? Like he should be there for to respond to interviews from gaming websites and the like, but why is he stooping to the level or so many of these people? Yes, I know. It's his job. But again, why does that job exist at Blizzard?
It's creating a lot of animosity in the meantime with fans. I'd rather a game developer be all like, "Hey guys, some people are complaining about the state of the game. What do we do?"
"Well, not everyone is going to be happy. And while we've paid attention to a lot of feedback from the fans and have been humble enough to incorporate some of their good ideas into the game, I think it's best we continue what we're doing and simply let the fans judge the final product."
Like Blizzard would just be way better off if they denied all this access to them. Bashiok should've just been there to be addressing people's commonly asked questions and concerns around the time the game was first announced. But at some point you gotta be like, "Well folks, that's all the time we got for your questions. We now have a game to make. Check the website for updates." And that's it.
But why they insist on having a guy respond directly to all these nitpickers is beyond me. Even the people who raise valid questions and concerns, sure, keep on eye on what they're saying but don't be so insecure that you need to jump in and defend yourself every time someone isn't pleased with the game you are making. Can someone explain this policy of theirs to me then of even having a guy like Bashiok around to do what he does?
Blizzard actually listens to their fans. Of course they might disagree with the fans, but they still listen to them.
This is the distinction I'm making. They're not just listening to their fans, they're engaging them constantly. It's one thing to pay attention to what the fans are saying, and another to respond so directly to the many things they do say.
I'm not saying their heart wasn't in the right place to begin with, but over time I've just seen many of Bashiok's replies to angry fans do nothing more than increase the vitriol and adversarial tensions between developers and fans increase. And like, since when did the relationship between developers and fans become this adversarial anyway? Yes I understand fans will always have complains, and developers may get sick of hearing those complaints, but for the most part the atmosphere between developer and fans shouldn't seem THIS negative.
And if your response to that would be they're in fact not, and I believe things don't seem that negative either, then again, why even engage people who make these comments? If you're certain that overall people are happy with the game and are pleased with about when they can expect it to be released, why waste your time sparring with some guy who comes along and calls your entire team inefficient? If everything Bashiok says to this guy is true as far as Bashiok is concerned, why the need to say anything at all?
Earlier the Blizz devs communicated with fans directly, nowadays because Blizzard is so huge and the fanbase even huger, they need to have dedicated CMs.
Whatever Bashiok's title, lots of people take him pretty seriously and about as much as to do with Blizzard as someone like Jay Wilson. Now that may not be true as far as how seriously one should take Bashiok. But it's the perception of Bashiok's importance that counts.
Like I said, I think it was admirable at first what Blizzard and Bashiok were trying to do with the community. But that effort seems to have gotten really sour and now whatever Bashiok says falls under lots of scrutiny. Admittedly, I tune in to what he says just cause I wanna see if he's gonna be sarcastic and condescending. It's funny when he is, (come on people, admit that he is sometimes), but I still don't understand why he goes on doing what he does or why at this point in the game's development Blizzard still thinks this job of his is necessary. Or at least how they define his job.
I'm an amateur when it comes to more behavioral aspects of social sciences, but generally people dissatisfied with something are way louder and more visible than the satisfied individuals. This effect probably has a fancier name, but I call it lack of a motive.
The people that are fairly satisfied with how Blizzard is developing the game (myself included) have less incentive to write lengthy posts on the official forums about how awesome they are and praising them to high heavens. They can just remain contempt with their present direction.
The dissatisfied people make a visible, but also a terribly outnumbered minority. There's a dozen or something really visibly dissatisfied people posting on the official forums, and most of Bashiok's defending statements have been discussions with these individuals. The majority of the fanbase is remaining more silent.
This is where I get confused though. Why? Why is it worth addressing the minority in such a way? If the people with such complains are in fact the minority, why for any moment is it necessary to get into long arguments with them?
As such, I can understand why Bashiok tries to defend their statements, not really to the dissatisfied people, but the general people reading the forums.
I guess this would be your response to as the why. And I guess I merely disagree with this as the reason. If his engagement with the minority is for the rest of the people reading the forum anyway, then he's making all these arguments that most people are agreeing with anyway. I fail to see how this benefits most of the people reading it. It just seems to say, "Hey! Hey everybody! Look at this troll complaining on our forums about the game! Everyone watch me burn him, okay?"
And that's only IF Bashiok's posts like these are for the general community. In that case I don't know which is more sad. That he really is just taking on this guy head on to defend his company, or if it's more for the rest of the community to observe how he handles the guy.
I agree with you that such discussions would be best not had, but with the recent misinterpreted outcry following the financial results conference call, I think there was more reasons than usually for it.
Hmm, I haven't read the news about said conference call, but I guess I should check that out.