Ghostcrawler was apparently touched by the fan support, which you can see both in our post and the forum thread in the role forums. He's come back out and said that he will only be responding to topics he wants, rather than allowing clamoring forum-goers to push him into responding (or not responding).
This has been evident lately in the Shadow Priest QQ going on. When he doesn't respond to what is clearly inappropriate discourse, people get really angry. They think Blizzard is ignoring them, which isn't the case. The role forums are about discussion between players with Ghostcrawler occasionally appearing to offer some insight. Designers read everything on those forums, blue tagged or not.
His exact words, after the break.
From his followup:
As I said, I'm not abandoning the forums. I just want to steer them back to being more about the classes and less about the developers. There are far too many "What do we have to do to get you to buff us?" and "Blizzard is dumb because they won't buff us" posts. As I have always, always said, make good points and we will read them. You don't need a blue post to validate a good thread.
I am going to continue to respond to topics I want to discuss, not the ones you think are most important (largely because you all won't agree anyway). To those of you who think player feedback accomplishes nothing, you're still wrong. :)
EDIT: Typos. iPhone + yacht FTL.
I think that we're going to see less of him overall, but I don't want to read too far into what he's saying. The direction he wants to steer them back into is clearly a good one. Getting to know the WoW designers is great, especially in a game as massive and immersive as WoW; but the core arguments in the forums should not be about Ghostcrawler's fishy past. /rimshot.
One of the popular response both here on WoW.com and on the forums was to just mass ban everyone who voices their opinions inappropriately -- if you subscribe to John Gabriel's G.I.F. Theory, you're out (NSFW). Ghostcrawler mentions that this isn't something they're going to do, that it's "not appropriate for a community of our size." He goes onto say how trolls are not the problem, but people who don't realize that their class is being looked at even without his direct response on the forums.
He also notes, again, that while community interaction and discussion is important, Blizzard doesn't want to be placed "in a position where we have to prove our changes are acceptable to the community." Realize here that the community Ghostcrawler is referring to is not necessarily the entire WoW community, but the community on the role forums and sites like WoW.com. We are all a very vocal minority of the entire WoW population. Sure, every WoW player will probably visit the forums at some point in their time playing the game, visit sites like WoW.com and MMO-Champion; but a very very very small number will actually comment or hold and sort of grudge against Ghostcrawler or the designers. That community, while important, is not representative of the entire WoW community, they're only the ones that can yell the loudest and most often.
And allowing the vocal minority to dictate decisions is never a good idea.
l2type on a yacht.