Questions & Feedback: How To Write Good Feedback

Given that Hellfire Citadel is the “last” raid instance of Warlords of Draenor (quotes because I wouldn’t be surprised at a Ruby Sanctum style instance being released if the next expansion is too far away) it means we’ll probably see a new expansion announced at Blizzcon with a release of maybe April 2016 (taking a guess at this). This means now is a good time to start looking at your class/spec and thinking about posting some decent feedback.

I did say “decent feedback” there, which is important. Often on the forums/twitter/elsewhere there will be feedback posts saying that “X is a problem” or “Y is a problem, here’s my proposed solution”. The issue with posts like these is there is usually not enough information in them to actually highlight what the issue is, often skipping over that to focus on the users favourite solution which in some cases will be either impractical or overpowered.

Back to Basics

Going back to the basics for a bit, in Journalism there are the “Five W’s” of Who, What, When, Where & Why (How also gets added into this set). The important questions to answer for feedback tends to be a series of What, When & Why, ie: What is the problem, Where does it happen, Why is it a problem. Who is generally the class or spec in question, When is largely irrelevant here, and How (as in, How to fix it) should be a footnote at the end or left out entirely rather than being the key focus of the post.

Feedback Examples

A bad post would look something like this: “Elemental target switching is horrible. You should unlink the shock cooldowns to fix this!”. It briefly highlights a problem (and in this case it is a valid problem) but doesn’t explain why it is an issue. The suggested solution is also a bit iffy, as managing the shock cooldowns has been previously mentioned as a “difficulty point” for Elemental players to manage.

A good post would look like this:

“Elemental has significant problems when it comes to rapid target switching. This is because of the shared Shock cooldown making it impossible to use Earth Shock to discharge a high stack of Lightning Shield charges on a new target while also debuffing the target with Flame Shock to gain additional Lava Burst damage. In most cases, the best damage approach to short lived targets (10 seconds or less) is to simply ignore fire spells and focus entirely on Lightning Bolt & Earth Shock. Alternatively Chain Lightning can be used to cleave secondary targets down, but this is only useful when the new target doesn’t need to die as soon as possible. The reason for ignoring Fire spells is that Lava Burst is best used when Flame Shock is on the target, to the point where delaying it for 5 seconds so Flame Shock can be cast is still a better damage option.

Any potential solution would need to allow both Earth Shock and Lava Burst use on a new target within the first three spell uses. The likely candidates here would be to remove the shared shock cooldown or the Lava Burst damage bonus on Flame Shock targets, but both would remove key difficulty points for the Elemental rotation. Another possibility would be to convert the Shock cooldown into a 2 charge system, so that the player can use or save charges as needed, allowing them to use both shocks on the new target in rapid succession without removing the shock management component”

The first paragraph highlights the problem, and then explains why it is an issue in detail. Usually this would be sufficient for a feedback post, but because I know a lot about Elemental I’m able to discuss potential solutions and why they may or may not resolve the problem. It’s important to remember that there are many intentional design choices made by the Developers, so some potential solutions may run counter to their design intentions.

A Final Word

Everyone working on WoW wants you to enjoy the game, and in many cases would love to add in, fix or change everything to be exactly what everyone wants. The problem is that there is a finite amount of resources available to build the game with, and throwing additional people at the problem won’t solve it any faster (I’d guess that there’s some critical point where additional people may actually slow the process down). There’s also the fact that everyone playing the game wants different things, so it’s not going to be possible to please everyone.

So please remember to be polite. Everyone wants WoW to be an awesome game, so lets work together to do this.


About binkenstein
I'm a geek, living in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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