Feedback in WoW’s Alpha

Feedback in and for WoW

Too Long, Didn’t Read: Ask from me what you want and I’ll give it to you.

Celestalon is a (or the?) Technical Game Designer for WoW. He recently endorsed a blog posting on his Twitter account. It is called Brewmasters Are In: How To Get Back Into Giving Feedback! by a very smart writer: Brewing Mastery.

Give it a read, it is good stuff. The writer makes some good points of not using slang terms which can be unhelpful. On the context of our work and about ‘anchoring bias’; it is a very thorough and well thought-out article. Bravo.

Story Time
For over two decades, I attended a weekly meeting of artists for the purpose of getting feedback. A writer might have two pages, a choreographer might show three minutes of work, a composer might play a section, a poet might read out loud. It was pretty open and interesting.

If someone were to stand in front of the group and do their stuff, everyone would say “I like it”. It takes balls to show your work. We learned very early on that if you wanted to show your work, you had to say what you wanted feedback on.

For example: an author is writing a detective novel with a gruesome murder scene. If he presents his work with no direction to the group, I think everyone would zero in on the blood, stab wounds, etc. But, this author needs and wants feedback on the pacing of the work. He knows it is bloody, he needs to know if his clipped writing style is working for the scene.

The artist has to ask for feedback about a specific thing; transition between phrases, spacing or language (for example) to get meaningful information.

In the recent 3/30 Alpha Build Design Notes:

New Specialization Unlocked – 1 more additional specialization is ready for testing. We’d love any and all feedback about gameplay, artifact quest line, abilities, etc.

Brewmaster Monk – Note: The designs of the enemies you fight in this questline are still incomplete. Also note, Brewmasters are likely very overpowered in this build; we plan to increase the base recharge time of Ironskin and Purifying Brews substantially in the next build.

I think the information on feedback asked for is very good. But, having read Brewing Mastery, I now think that the designers need to be much more specific on what they want the testers to hone in on.

It must be a huge and very broad community with an incredible range of players. Asking for feedback about what the designers need to know is key!


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