Kezdőlap Hírek Blizzard fórum postok a jövőben

Blizzard fórum postok a jövőben

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Nagyjából egy hete, a WoW fórumokon merült fel a kérdés, hogy miért tűntek el a Blizzard developerek hozzászólásai (Pl. Ghostcrawler). A postoló azon a véleményen volt, hogy a cég kommunikációja sokkal egyenesebb és bensőségesebb volt, amíg nem erre szakosodott szakembereken keresztül, hanem közvetlen a játék fejlesztőivel tudtunk kommunikálni. A kérdésből egy elég hosszú, többnapos beszélgetés nőtte ki magát Bashiokkal, ahol ő sokmindenre választ is ad.

Az első vád az volt, hogy a cég PR-esei egyszerűen nem engedik postolni a fejlesztőket.
Bashiok kifejtette, hogy ugyan sok developer szokta olvasni a fórumot, az egyedüli fejlesztő aki valaha is rendszeresen írt, az Ghostcrawler volt. Egyszerűen csak arról van szó, hogy a legtöbben nem bírták egy nagy fórum tempóját. Ha postoltak akár egyet is, rögtön rengeteg ember (na meg troll) özönlött oda  és nem volt idejük vagy türelmük folytatni a beszélgetést. Bashiok szerint tökéletesen elégedettek a jelenlegi helyzettel: nekik nem kell a fórumozókkal való kommunikációval foglalkozniuk, így jobban tudnak a munkára koncentrálni.

A beszélgetés ezután a Blizzard mint cég változásaira terelődött. Bashiok elmeséli, hogy régebben azért tudtak többet írni a fejlesztők (nevezetesen Diablo II idején), mivel akkoriban még jóval kevesebb rajongót kellett kezelniük. Azóta a netkapcsolat is alapvető lett a világban, a fórumok is könnyebben elérhetőek lettek, így a pár ezer- tízezer fős játékosbázis helyett milliós tömegekkel kellene megbirkózniuk a fejlesztőknek és erre már nincs idejük.

Másrészről, amikor ekkora játékosközösségnek kell hírt adniuk – főleg fórumokon – az információnak nagyon sok utat kell megtennie, így gyakran megváltozik mire a tömegek fülébe jut. Pont emiatt kell nagyon körültekintően fogalmaznia minden kéknek és ez már terhére vállhat egy fejlesztőnek.

Röviden összefoglalva nagyjából erről szólt a történet. Az embereket  azért nem sikerült teljesen megnyugtatni, sokan (például az incgamers, aki a hírt is lehozta), továbbra is szkeptikusak a Blizzard kommunikációjával kapcsolatban.

A kék postok a tovább után.

It’s not a matter of whether they read them or not. They are no longer allowed to post in them (they did for SC2 and Ghostcrawler did quite a lot of chatting in the WoW forums which was neat and fun). I would wager that many of them don’t read the forums voluntarily, though. I would, myself, but I guess it’s easy to say that when you don’t work in the game industry.

Bashiok: Some of them do read, yeah. But Ghostcrawler is the only developer in the history of the company that ever posted to any great degree. Pretending like that’s a long and varied history of developer forum posting that’s now coming to an end because of the big scary PR boogie man is silly. Many developers have posted in small amounts, and as you could easily predict, many developers were either driven to madness, or just gave up and went back to work. Ghostcrawler is the closest developer I’ve seen in my time here that can actually tank forum goers like a CM. It’s awesome and I love him for it, but he is most certainly the exception, not the rule.

These forums right now are great because we have a small community and everyone kind of keeps each other in check. That will not remain so.

Anyway we are encouraging the developers to (and in fact many will continue to post) during beta and testing phases (mostly because WoW testing necessitates it) should they choose. That’s the important bit because, as community managers, a lot of our job is to be a buffer and filter. And that’s for very good reasons. Very good. Take my word for it, developers are not clamoring for blue accounts. If they really wanted them, they’d have them. They’re busy working, and they’re fully happy with us being the ones to interact here.

I know that sucks because then you have to see my ugly face, but let’s let them work, and we’ll keep talking.

I may say a lot of stupid stuff, but I can assure you I’m not a complete idiot.

Bashiok: I would never assume such things, I think you’re a bright guy. At some point it seems like you took a turn against us and I’m not sure why that was. Maybe it’s just the wear of having such a long announcement-to-release time frame. That spark of wonderment was lost, or something. I do believe it to be misplaced, though.

You (as a company/corporate entity) build the base for the community, the foundation. What we do within the community is derived from that.
Bashiok: Unless that foundation includes a change in the human condition, I think we both know exactly what will happen when these forums go from a couple hundred people to a couple million.

I remember during the development of LoD, there was a player who was very much anti-PK, didn’t want it in the game, he was incredibly logical and well-spoken. He got a response from a dev on the forums, I believe it was Rob Pardo but it may have been one of the northers. The Blizzard response was lengthy and, moreover, it was stunningly honest. We don’t see that type of honesty anymore, of a dev who can say whatever they want to say, because there’s PR mommy holding their hands telling them when they can and cannot speak and what they can and cannot speak about.
Bashiok: Take a trip over to the World of Warcraft forums and read any of my replies. I work really hard to base my communication on nothing but my own personal honesty. If you can point out any cases where I haven’t said what I wanted to say I’ll gladly take those lashes. PR doesn’t draft or review my posts.

Stuff that you write, anything from PR or interviews, it just sounds like hollow marketing bull%#*!. Because it is. Spindoctoring and empty words, a far cry from what the industry was like even 10 to 15 years ago from an outsider.
Bashiok: Well, I’m sad you actually think things I write are hollow. I mean we’re not releasing a ton of new info about Diablo III, but I do my best to be open and honest about the pieces of the game that are announced.
Be sure not to confuse “I want to know more” with a mandate PR gag-order. Jay and the developers want to keep these things a secret even MORE than any ideas PR has about making feature announcements. They want to keep it a secret so the game is a surprise, that it’s something amazing when you install it for the first time. I don’t think those ideals are hollow. I also don’t think they’re absolute, and once we get to beta there will be plenty more to discuss before release.

What’s changed? Money, of course, which is important. Environment, marketing strategies.
Bashiok: That could be partially true. For me and my thoughts on what’s changed? What’s changed is we’re no longer talking with a small subset of devout gamers (although, I’m lucky enough that that’s still largely true for Diablo III now). Devout enough to actually log on to the internet to talk on message boards about video games. Now we’re literally surrounded by millions of people, and in that crowd the simple truth is we have to be much more careful and deliberate about what we say. In the past you could get away with a lot, because the voice just didn’t travel very far. That’s not the case any longer, it travels infinitely, but is unfortunately still subject to the same misunderstandings, misquotes, and misinterpretations. Just on a massive global level. That doesn’t mean, or at least shouldn’t mean, that we’re not truthful. We’re just painfully aware of what happens when you don’t speak carefully.

Does it suck? Yeah, kind of, it was a much simpler time back then and so for that reason I miss those days. But instead of spending time looking backward, I adapted, and keep doing my job because I love Blizzard and I love Blizzard games. That hasn’t changed, because it’s still a great company to work for, the people here are amazing, and the games still kick ass.

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