A Wild Community Manager Appears!

As time has worn on, we have seen people join and fall of the Community Management team. While we still have older faces such as DiabloWikiBashiok, DiabloWikiLylirra, and DiabloWikiZarhym, they’ve added a new punching bag to the line up: Nyorloth.

What’s different about this new CM, though, is that they don’t have the broad-encompassing presence we have come to know from the team. While we’ve grown used to the snide comments from DiabloWikiBashiok regarding a wide swath of topics, the cynicism, teasing, sarcasm, and taunting for DiabloWikiNyorloth will be more or less limited to lore and story. Nyorloth, having come directly from the bowels of the creative development team, will be providing more of a foundation regarding the story – that is to say, engaging the community with the literature behind the games. I’m just glad that he recognized up-front that he will serve as a scapegoat for all those who don’t like what is going on with the lore.

At the very least, the fact that the CM team is growing indicates that they want to communicate more with their fanbase in varied ways.

In a break from tradition, I am not a member of the Community team; long have I gestated within the Story Development division of the Publishing Team, itself a division of Creative Development. My purposes here are myriad, but to mention a few:

  • Increase the transparency of how we develop stories within our games and ancillary fiction.
  • Encourage more constructive discussions of the lore, so that we may better understand your likes/dislikes in order to shape our future projects.
  • To serve as a scapegoat for when something happens in the lore that you don’t like.

Again, those are just a few of the reasons I will be monitoring and posting on the Story Forums (WoW, SC, Diablo). Perhaps you will discover more reasons for my presence?


Is this a good sign for the community? People have been upset before based on the lack of blue responses. Perhaps this is will increase the number of Blizzard responses we get? While he is limited to lore and story development, it would be interesting to see the kind of posts he responds to.

Bashiok also had the honor of introducing their new team member with the following novel:

I remember when Nyorloth came to our department the cold, the twisted, the terrible Community offices of unnumbered crimes. Our manager had told me of him, and of the impelling fascination and allurement of his revelations, and I burned with eagerness to explore his uttermost mysteries. Our manager said they were horrible and impressive beyond my most fevered imaginings; and what was thrown on a screen in the darkened room prophesied things none but Nyorloth dared prophesy, and in the whirl of his papers there was taken from men that which had never been taken before yet which showed only in the eyes. And I heard it hinted abroad that those who knew Nyorloth looked on sights which others saw not.

It was in the cold winter that I went through the night with the restless Community moderators to see Nyorloth; through the stifling night and up the endless stairs into the choking room. And shadowed on a screen, I saw wailing forms buried under Global Writing Contest entries, and grinning faces hidden amidst ruins of cities. And I saw worlds battling against blackness; against the waves of destruction from ultimate space; whirling, churning, struggling around the dimming, cooling suns. Then the paper storm played amazingly around the heads of the spectators, and hair stood up on end whilst shadows more grotesque than I can tell came out and squatted on the heads. And when I, who was colder and more scientific than the rest, mumbled a trembling protest about paper cuts and ocular fortitude, Nyorloth drove us all out, down the dizzy stairs into the damp, hot, deserted developer offices. I screamed aloud that I was not afraid; that I never could be afraid; and others screamed with me for solace. We swore to one another that the Community offices were exactly the same, and filled with purpose; and when the florescent lights sometimes do fade we curse the electric company over and over again, and laugh at the strange faces we make.

What I know of Nyorloth is his inscrutable purpose; sinisterly sentient, dumbly delirious, only the Old Gods can tell. To look upon him now I see a sickened, sensitive shadow writhing in hands that are not hands, and whirl blindly past ghastly midnights of rotting creation, corpses of dead worlds with sores that were cities, charnel winds that brush the pallid stars and make them flicker low. Beyond these worlds vague ghosts of monstrous things; half-seen columns of unsanctifled temples that rest on nameless rocks beneath space and reach up to dizzy vacua above the spheres of light and darkness. And through this revolting graveyard of the universe the muffled, maddening beating of drums, and thin, monotonous whine of blasphemous flutes from inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond Time; the detestable pounding and piping whereunto dance slowly, awkwardly, and absurdly the gigantic, tenebrous Old Gods the blind, voiceless, mindless gargoyles whose soul is Nyorloth.

Nyorloth also posted a small intro for himself as well:

I am the Herald, the Gaze in the Dark, the Blinking Madness. Empires I rule, nations I birth, a crown I have never worn or desired.

You seek the Truths of worlds known to you in electronic glimmers, in dreams, in song. What clumsy hand draws the line betwixt the real and the unreal; that such lines exist is the fantasy.

Let us dance to the unplayed, unheard rhythms and sing the songs that will end the world.

Poetic, but a bit self-aggrandizing. Let’s hope he’s up for the job.

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24 thoughts on “A Wild Community Manager Appears!

  1. i wonder if bashiok or the others introduced themselfes as “increasing transparency”…
    but really.. what would be the downside of them sharing EVERYTHING with us? i mean except for the bobby stuff; i understand they “cant” do that

  2. I am the bunion, tilting your gait; I am the pube, stuck int he back of your throat; I am the Blizzard employee, wasting more time- blah, blah- get back to work!

    • @SavalBork Not to encourage bad behavior but this is a little how I felt after reading all that slosh. A dark twist to an intro for Dark Wing Duck, if you remember ^^ …….. lol

    • fyi chicks do not dig the red shirt, espesh if u got pimples. Try a light blue or charcoal it does wonders for your tan.

  3. they’re gonna start accepting criticism for their story/lore?

    it’s one thing to have the community involved in technical aspects, such as testing beta gameplay, but to also have the community say what they like about certain artistic aspects, is stupid! that’s when you know true art is lost

    • Why? The SC2 storyline was a great letdown.

      Two small modifications could have improved it greatly. Getting rid of the “cool” branching levels where you chose Tosh or Nova, or Protoss vs Hanson, and just force the player to help Tosh and Hanson. Then, the final conflict with Kerrigan can be improved by instead of having a magic macguffin that just magically cured the strongest infested human ever, require a antidote that Hanson worked on, in conjunction with the terrazine gas or jorium minerals from Tosh and the Xel’Naga artifact.

      Suddenly you’d have a storyline that was cohesive and interesting, instead of the stupid dead-ends that seem like the complete waste of time sideshows that they are, especially since Blizzard has already said that the “canon” choices that they will use going forwards are that you chose to help Tosh and Hanson anyway.

  4. “What clumsy hand draws the line betwixt the real and the unreal; that such lines exist is the fantasy.”

    i like this.

  5. Encourage more constructive discussions of the lore, so that we may better understand your likes/dislikes in order to shape our future projects.

    …oh so gross. Are they really this clueless?

  6. Hm… I kinda feel sorry for this guy. The directions they have gone with the Warcraft and Starcraft lore in their recent installments have already taken a lot of flak and now Nyorloth is essentially throwing himself in front of the train of rage that is the official forums. For his sake, I hope that the Diablo 3 story is epic, otherwise he is in for a world of pain.

  7. So now they’re basically resigned to co-writing with the customers the stories they want us to buy. If you want to understand what we dislike about Blizzard’s games, Nyorloth, the fact that a job such as yours is deemed important to the creative process should be a pretty big hint.

  8. “The lore is crap!”
    “Ok, lets hire someone to give your concerns some more serious treatment and listen to your feedback.”
    “How terrible, they might actually listen to us! Better Complain about the new hiring (not who was hired, but the fact that they hired someone at all) instead of giving constructive feedback on lore!” 

    Yeah, I know, I’m always whining about people whining, how meta. But I guess we all have topics that aggravate us. Please disregard me.

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