Saturday, April 7, 2012

Voice of the Player: Community Q&A

One of the more awesome ways that Bioware has chosen to interact with the SWTOR community is through the developer Q&As, where they solicit questions on a forum thread and then post responses. So far, there have been six of these: on Feb 10th, 17th, and the 24th, March 2nd, 16th, and the 23rd.

On March 30th and April 6th, instead of taking questions from the community, the devs answered questions they'd seen posed on the forums.

I think this change is really unfortunate - so I'm glad they'll return to the old format next week. The Q&A threads are a great way to take the pulse of the community. Just take a quick look at the words most frequently posted in each thread (as wordmaps)

I'm immediately struck by what I don't see - references to LFG don't make the wordlists (it peaks out at the 102nd most used word). Same with references to bugs, or topics related to bugs. Instead, the pattern that pops out at me is the rise of 'server' - typically as references to merges and transfers for the low-population realms.

A number of the discussion threads have mentioned the relative silence of the devs on same-gender romance options (sgra) - often claiming that it was the 'most asked question' in the Q&A threads.
Words related to SGRA are certainly frequently used in posts... but take a remarkable decline after the guild summit (March 5th) gave a clear indication that they were coming "this year". I think this is a really cool indication of how being clear and direct with an answer can ease community concerns (also, Daniel's handling of the question was brilliant.)

Meanwhile, questions about the legacy system have consistently increased... which isn't too surprising given that it is relatively untested on the PTS and that most of the information about the benefits from the system has come from third party sites.

I'm definitely going to keep working with the forum posts data... maybe explore the evolution of topics in a little more detail.

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