There’s been a lot of talk about communication lately here in the blogosphere. Specifically, how do we want it?
Where is this coming from?
I started thinking about this a few weeks ago when I saw something on the shadowpriest.com forums. With constant revisions of talents and nerf bats coming seemingly out of nowhere, the snippets we’ve gotten from the blues have been, at times, very confusing. Someone called Koraa out, claiming incompetence, and pointed out various “oops, I meant…” statements scattered across several class forums.
Nijessi of Burning Legion responded in the thread:
Fact is if blizzard DOESNT have the man power to communicate effectively and accurately than all they are doing by attempting to communicate is creating turmoil. I would rather effective communication above all else – but if it’s not available then I would say make it a walled garden.
… none of the beta testers have seen a vision statement for each class or talent tree and instead we get limited snippits from dev from time to time. By hiding (or rather not revealing) the overall plan Blizzard minimises the chance that we can give useful and productive feedback to them.
Though this is focused on our ability to give feedback, it points out something very important – we don’t know where Blizzard is going with any of this. Wrath is like a completely new game and we don’t know what Blizzard is trying to accomplish with each class and/or spec.
[there is a] lack of transparency with the development process. We have no clear iteration of Blizzard’s vision for shadow priests, so we have no context in which to view certain decisions.
The rest of the article is fantastic, and gives a great perspective on the shadow priest-blue dynamic.
So what do I want?
I don’t expect full transparency into the developer thought process. Blizzard is a business – it will make whatever decisions it feels is right for their game. But among those millions of players, there’s a strong group of people who will theorycraft, simulate, and make alternative suggestions.
It’s just really hard to do when we don’t know where you’re trying to take us.
I don’t want a “walled garden,” but I would LOVE a little something more cohesive than what we’ve seen so far.
So here’s my wish: Give us a road map, a vision statement, or any number of other business clichés. For ALL classes and specs. What are you trying to do with each class? Where do you want them to be at level 80, at the top of the raiding/pvp/soloing game?
Blizzard, you’ve created a wonderful, insanely addicting game, and have facilitated the creation of a massive community. I wouldn’t still be playing if I didn’t like what you’ve created – so I have to trust that you have the best interests of the game at heart. But since you want feedback, please let us know where you’re trying to take us, so the suggestions that are crafted with so much love for our respective classes can match up with what you want us to be.
I don’t need all the nitty gritty details of each decision – just an idea of what it was based on.
Communication Part 2: What I Want from My Leadership
Communication Part 3: What Others can Expect from Me
Image credit: Pontuse