Why are the CMs so feel goody?

| Friday, May 1, 2009
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.


Stabs said...

They probably had a staff meeting where this was raised as a topic and encouraged. They'll get bored soon.

Iapetes said...

I've always thought of them as kinda 'feel goody' or whatever, but if I had to guess why they're suddenly doing all these topics I'd say it was because what people thought of as their primary role got stolen by Ghostcrawler. And since people don't expect that stuff from the CMs anymore, making these topics not only gives them something to do, but there won't be 'oh my god why aren't you talking about my class' replies. And of course they probably want to make the community more enjoyable and less... whiny.

Iapetes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

My bet is that Stabs correctly describes the reason for the sudden onset. "OK, team, welcome to this week's staff meeting. Anybody have any ideas for new ways to approach the forum?"

The CM team's job is to encourage and promote friendly player-to-player discussion on the forums. The recent posts seem well designed toward that goal.

Klepsacovic said...

It just keeps on going! They've kept this up far longer than anything else I can remember off the top of my head. Stabs, this may be something far beyond mere short-term policy which ends in boredom. This may be something sinister.

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