RealID post: The full story
I posted on the official forums but what appears is a fraction of what I wrote. I wrote it then cut it all out because there really wasn’t a point to it being on the official forums.
But that’s not true here, eh? So here’s the director’s cut…
Quick question for those familiar with the forums:
Has any other policy issue generated as many replies in the forums before, either positive or negative?
Quick question for Blizzard:
What is the metric of success for this policy change? Is there a way that we can know whether the change was beneficial?
I ask because I don’t see how this policy change could be considered a failure.
The schedule and budget are (one should reasonably assume) already in place for executing this change. Unfortunately, I feel that the only thing that would influence a change in this policy is a noticeable drop in subscriptions—after the policy has been implemented—that could be definitively tied to the policy change and not confused with a separate issue. But that metric will never appear in front of decision makers.
Since the policy change is tied to the release of Cataclysm there will be no correlation between this policy change and any change in subscriptions. If Cataclysm brings in lots of new subscribers and reactivates dormant subscriptions then it’ll be judged a success and any who quit the game over this policy would be lost among the positive Cataclysm numbers.
Ergo while the statement is true that Blizzard listens to feedback, including about this policy issue, and noble intentions or not, in reality I should think it accounts for too small a percentage to be influential given the wheels of this machine have (presumably) already begun to turn.
Certainly the gross number of posts in the forum will drop after this change—but that’s the stated goal. Even if posts drop horrendously the policy will be seen as a success because the goal is signal, not noise.
No amount of feedback in this forum will change policy and the policy will be seen as a success because, essentially, it can’t fail.