World of Warcraft dev explains why listening to feedback is hard

The game is made up of a variety of 'minority' groups that all think their voices are more important.


Have you ever thought something was broken in a game, rushed off to give feedback, only to have your feedback apparently ignored by the devs? I'm being ignored, you think. Well, you really aren't. You just may be in the minority.

At least that's the explanation World of Warcraft dev Watcher has given in the official forums on the topic of obscenely high priced cosmetic items coming in the Legion expansion on Aug. 30. "Almost every facet of WoW is an activity that caters to a minority of the playerbase," he said. "That may sound odd at first blush, but it's true. In a sense, that's part of the magic of WoW. It is not a narrow game, but rather one that can be enjoyed in numerous different ways, by people with hugely diverse playstyles. A minority of players raid. A minority of players participate in PvP. A tiny minority touch Mythic raiding. A tiny minority of players do rated PvP. A minority of players have several max-level alts. A minority of players do pet battles, roleplay, list things for sale on the auction house, do Challenge Mode dungeons, and the list goes on."

He went on to explain that various groups tend to gather together, leading to a belief that "everyone" loves or hates something. Listening to one group over the other could end up decreasing the overall player base since more of those smaller groups would not enjoy the game as much any more, he said.

To the matter at hand regarding the high cost of cosmetic items, he said "Ultimately, the approach we take is usually to tailor different content and rewards that can feel special to different groups, rather than trying to come up with a lowest common denominator that isn't special to anyone."

It's a pretty interesting read overall, and offers a bit of insight into the balancing act devs go through to try to keep everyone happy and engaged.

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