I hadn’t really noticed since we’ve been busy posting so much original content, but fans on the Battle.net forums have been growing discontent (are they ever not?) over a perceived lack of Blue community management in recent days. A thread of complaints/questions earned a few “Are you not entertained!?” replies of an explanatory nature.
Here’s an excerpt; click through for the full thread which is much longer and more detailed:
My personal primary focus lately has been gathering feedback. That includes a large amount of reading, writing, and compiling information from a variety of sources. Reports have (and continue to be filed) on over to our development team, outlining what you guys have to say. Occasionally, I also attend meetings with development to help clarify and discuss this feedback. In addition, I’ve been working on a bunch of blogs, both writing them myself and editing others for the rest of my team.
The devs stay busy dev’ing, and the CMs act in large part as their eyes and ears. Forum babysitting is only one of their many delightful daily
chores opportunities! What do you guys think? Would your Diablo 3 experience be improved by even more regular forum posts by CMs? Given that the RoS beta has no NDA and there are a ton of fans playing, streaming, answering questions about it, etc, I don’t really see the need for more Blue input of late. Do words just sound better in that cyan hue?
Obviously the Blues can give some “inside” info from time to time, but they’re not going to speak of the beta in analytical or critical terms the way that beta testers will, which I think (obviously as I’m one of the ones speaking) is a better info source at this point.
Here’s the full blue thread about what CMs are doing or not doing of late:
Big reveal inc?
Nevalistis: It’s been a busy time! We’re sorry for being on the down low so much this week. A lot of what’s been keeping us busy is related to the Beta testing that’s been going on.
At the extremely early stage of Beta that we’re in, there’s a lot of changes that are happening, and even more feedback pouring in from players to pass on. We go through blogs, videos, livestreams, e-mails, social media, and of course the forums to pass on as much as we can so our developers know what the community is thinking and how to adjust their development cycle in response. It’s a lot to take in, and we love how much constructive feedback we’ve been getting!
Unfortunately, that does mean we can get a little backed up from time to time. Sometimes we have to make a choice between fitting in a few posts vs. attending a feedback meeting or reviewing our massive Beta feedback inbox, all while balancing a slew of other responsibilities. Some of the things we’ve been working on are designed to get more information out to the community once Closed Beta starts, though, so as we get these projects wrapped up you should see us pop up a bit more frequently in your Blue trackers. =)
In other news, I really like the word slew. Sleeeeeeew.
Why didn’t the pc users get a patch to fix loot before console got “loot 1.5”?
Nevalistis: This is a topic we’ve covered before, but I’m happy to explain it again for those who haven’t seen previous responses. =)
In short, it’s because Loot 2.0 isn’t designed to be independent of the other features coming with Patch 2.0.1. The changes to itemization have been designed with other game changes in mind, especially Paragon 2.0 and much of the revisions to existing class abilities.
In addition, our console and PC teams have staggered development, meaning that they’re worked on independently and in different cycles. That can sometimes result in one platform receiving changes before (or after) the other, because an idea being worked on might be able to make one cycle, but not another.
PC is our lead platform, and it’s got a large package of changes on the way. Developing only a part of those changes as an independent patch would have not only taken away from the whole when it’s delivered, but also significantly delayed the release of the pre-expansion patch and the expansion itself.
LOL blue acts like they write code or something. So busy.. With what, please do tell?
Nevalistis: This is kind of a bigger question, as I get the feeling there’s a misinterpretation of what a community manager does. That’s okay – it’s a job title that sometimes has a different definition at other companies, so it’s more than worth explaining. There’s a general misconception that our only purpose is to peruse and post on the forums every day, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.
My personal primary focus lately has been gathering feedback. That includes a large amount of reading, writing, and compiling information from a variety of sources. Reports have (and continue to be filed) on over to our development team, outlining what you guys have to say. Occasionally, I also attend meetings with development to help clarify and discuss this feedback. In addition, I’ve been working on a bunch of blogs, both writing them myself and editing others for the rest of my team. Bear in mind these are just some of the tasks I’m currently working on, and it’s just a piece of the pie that the Community team tackles. Feedback and blogging also aren’t tasks entirely exclusive to me – these responsibilities can shift around based on our expertise and available work load, as we all have different skills we specialize in. Some tasks might be better suited to one of us over another.
Some of the other things we work on, for example, include:
We’re a big happy family over here, and work together on many of our tasks when we can lend assistance. Some things, though, we tackle independently and that can keep us all pretty busy.
Didn’t Josh admit during an interview that these were not separate teams? It’s the same guys just switching hats.
Nevalistis: Even in the context of that interview, this isn’t entirely accurate. It’s really an issue of semantics, and I see why there’s confusion. They are separate teams in terms of platform goals and resources, but they’re all part of the greater “Diablo team,” as they’re both working on the same IP.