"I know it often can seem like we don't listen. We are -- just to many, many different voices."
- World of Warcraft assistant game director Ion Hazzikostas
A new post by Blizzard developer Ion Hazzikostas does a great job of explaining exactly what it means to cater to a huge, diverse audience of players with a game like World of Warcraft.
Posted by Hazzikostas on the official WoW forums in response to a player complaint, it's a compelling look at the game and what it takes to develop it, in response to community comment:
"It's exceptionally rare that everyone wants the same thing (despite frequent framing of "no one likes X" or "we want X" when giving feedback)," Hazzikostas writes.
"... almost every facet of WoW is an activity that caters to a minority of the playerbase. 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."
The post elucidates the difficulties of acting on player feedback, and is well worth considering by any developer these days -- given the tight connection all games share with their communities nowadays.