Does blizzard actually ever read these post or are they just put here and people just argue back and forth about topics that Blizzard has no intention of reading. I think this thing is an elaborate scheme to distract us. To keep us quiet and to leave the GM's alone thats why they always refer to the forums page.
We read them. We also allow conversations to take place without our influence when it seems that it's the better course of action. Sometimes our intervention can actually skew a conversation off track if we're not careful. Then again, sometimes skewing a conversation is something we need to do too, to get people "on track" or even away from non-constructive discussion.
Sometimes we just don't have anything we could effectively add to the conversation, but it may spark some discussion internally that we can have amongst ourselves or take to the developers and producers. If and when we do have something we can bring back, we generally try to. Some may be under the false belief that it was the constant posts about a topic that made us come back to the topic, when in fact we may just need some time to discuss and come up with an answer that works and sometimes, we may have an answer that we just can't share at the time. Timing in our roles is often everything and as many know, "promising" something too soon, can be upsetting or worrisome to some people, while others don't mind being "in the know" even if plans do change. It's a balancing act.
We don't have elaborate schemes. That would mean we have a lot more time on our hands than we actually do to sit, plot and plan. In most cases, when we reply to something on the forums, we're tightrope walking while keeping an eye on the ever so dangerous ps and qs. That's not to say there isn't a method to the madness (see above paragraph.) It just means, we have to be quick on developing our thoughts and typing them out in a way that (hopefully) makes some semblance of sense.
So minding that, Neth-blue-lady, if you guys see some awesome suggestion or idea do you generally keep quiet about it on the forums and just relay it back to your cohorts?
Generally, yes. If we see some really good feedback or ideas, we will often take it with us when we meet with the developers (which is generally a weekly face to face meeting.) We don't want to give the wrong impression that feedback given equals a guaranteed change based on that feedback.
ok but you can't tell us you're just as likely to notice a thread with 5 replies as you are to notice a thread with 23 pages of replies.
Yes. We are just as likely to notice a smaller thread as we are to notice the larger ones. Sometimes, the best conversations are on the first few pages (not to say we don't read through the entire thread.) The reason being, that often, the conversation is more focused on the topic at hand and as the thread lengthens, we either see repeat discussions/arguments, or it begins to expand to other topics that may not be as relevant to the main topic of the original post.
BTW, contrary to popular belief (and not to start a moderation discussion.) We do not delete threads solely on the idea that it's saying it dislikes something we've designed or done to the game. We generally delete non-constructive threads or repeat threads since they often don't lead to good discussion or split conversation which makes it more difficult for us to sift through them for the constructive bits.