Over the last couple weeks I've noticed a lot of threads by CMs on the general forum which I can describe only as feel-good. They're kinda fluff things: guild traditions, favorite ruined city, having fun wiping, etc. I don't mind them, but they seem to have suddenly arrived in a high concentration and it's weirding me out a little.
Crygil: Which ruined city is your favorite? Granted the polls over time have mostly been little opinion "what's your favorite?" questions.
Zarhym: When a wipe feels so right...
Nethaera: Deserted Island: What do you take?
Crygil: How do you feel about Gnomes?
Nethaera: Travel Azeroth: What are your places to go?
Nethaera: Guild Traditions: What are yours?
Nethaera: New Player Advice: What's yours? This one is a little different than the rest, but still, this isn't exactly serious business stuff.
What's going on here? Maybe the CMs suddenly became very cheerful and outgoing and really love to talk with us. But that doesn't really seem new. I think this is a new tactic for information gathering. Ruined city? That's another way of seeing which content and lore people like the most. The wipe one is testing reactions to new content (a million flames would mean people aren't liking wiping much). Travel Azeroth? Clearly asking favorite zone and why. Guild traditions don't have immediate development value, but they help, along with the wipe thread, to figure out social patterns and how to work them in Blizzard's favor. Advice for a new players is a way to see what we hate or what doesn't work. If someone says "don't bother to train X spell" that suggests that X spell needs some work. If people keep saying "don't bother with X quest" well then X quest needs some fixing up.
Community building and customer research at the same time, those sneaky devils... I mean developers, not that I'm not calling the CMs devs.
Star Control 2: Glowy bits (NSFW)
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