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Nethaera's guide to getting the most from the forums

Matthew Rossi

It's no secret that even after the move to the new digs, the forums can be kind of a rough place. Part of it can be the "squeaky wheel" phenomenon, of course. People don't often stop and make posts on a forum when they're happy about how something is going. Still, it can be a bit of a slog to get through sometimes. Nethaera wants you to get as much out of the forums as possible, however.

Nethaera - Getting the Most out of the Forums
We've gone through a lot of changes in the last year together. Between a brand new community site and a brand new expansion, there's been a lot to adjust to. We want to make sure that the experience everyone has on the forums is the best it can be and wanted to take some time to remind everyone of the things that haven't changed and the conduct that is expected while in them.

Some of the suggestions made seem obvious (read the terms of service and forum guidelines, for instance), but a lot of posts get closed for being off topic or extraneous, so it's probably helpful to go over them again. It's probably also fair to say that some of Neth's points fall under the category of "common sense," or what some folks call Wheaton's Law.

Nethaera - Getting the Most out of the Forums
Lastly, while we understand that there has been a lot of discussion on Cataclysm and what the community likes and dislikes about the game, we request that you ensure your thread title and content remains constructive and clear. "I quit" as a title, "Stop whining" as a post, or "If you don't like it leave" are all unhelpful, will likely result in a deletion, and potentially even a suspension in the latter cases. These types of posts are not constructive, they don't help us learn anything, and are often disruptive to the community. If you do intend to leave the game, we of course would love for you to stay and would maybe even like to talk to you about it, but understand as well if you choose to do so. But, please be respectful of those that are here and still engaged in the game. Blue poster text.

Frankly, I'm somewhat disappointed that after more than 15 years of internet, we still can't get a handle on this basic idea. There's a level of civility required in discourse in order for it to be discourse. It's why people like Samuel Johnson and Oscar Wilde are so widely regarded for their wit, because they could insult you to your face in a civil manner and you'd have to give it to them that they did a good job. If you can't be nice, you need to at least be clever enough that it's worth reading.

The point of the forums is to provide a public space for WoW players. If you're not actually interested in making use of a public space but are just there to fling excretions about metaphorically, save yourself the effort. Let people who do want to use them do so without you making it harder for them for no real purpose. Neth's followup post in the thread is useful reading on the issue of what Blizzard actually does on the forums.

Nethaera - Getting the Most out of the Forums
This thread was simply meant as a means to remind everyone of the Code of Conduct and Guidelines and open up a better dialogue with you all on the current state of the forums. While we understand that everyone wants an answer, or to voice their ideas, we want to make sure that we make it known that we can only answer so much before we are simply repeating ourselves and that if you truly want to be heard, doing so in an existing thread is far better than creating a new thread. We read through a lot in a day and even if you don't see us actively answering something that day or even a couple of days later, does not mean we aren't discussing this here. (Though we try to at least make our presence known even if it seems non-productive to you.)

We could jump in every thread we see and say, "we hear you" but we know that doing so isn't the comfort to everyone that they would think it to be. There is always someone who doesn't like to read (as evidenced on this thread) that "we hear you" because they want action not words. Our actions are slow. Answers take time as does development. If you want us to "fix" things, we all need to be patient. What some may think is a solution, may not be the solution they think. World of Warcraft (as I've said in the past) has a lot of moving parts. It's never as easy as adding "X" or "Y" and calling it good. It's all interwoven and we have to be careful we don't pluck at the wrong thread and unravel it all.

What ultimately comes out of all this is what the forums are not, which is to say they are not a panacea to all ills you may have in the game. Posting a problem to the forums does mean it has a reasonably high chance of being seen by Blizzard, especially if it's in an existing thread so that thread becomes more notable, but it is unrealistic to expect immediate action simply because a post was made. You will have to accept that it will take time for things to go beyond the reading stage.

Forums are a public space for the exchange of information both between Blizzard and players and between the players themselves. That's a big job as it stands. If clogged up with diatribes and insults, they can't do that job, and they can't do another job like serve as a magical wall upon which your heart's desires can be inscribed and immediately fulfilled.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

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