Blizzard has started taking applications for a new World of Warcraft Community Council, a platform that hopes to give a select group of players a direct line of communication with developers.
Announced this week, the Community Council is described as a tool to help the developer connect with people from all sides of the game, be it hardcore raiding, PVP, achievement hunting, gaming role-playing or otherwise, with exclusive forums (both publicly visible and private) and live discussions between board members and developers.
âPlayer feedback impacts all aspects of the game, and with such a wide range of opinions, play styles and interests, collecting and understanding feedback is more important than ever,â Blizzard wrote in the announcement. âTo help continue our efforts in this area, we are introducing the WoW Community Council. This program will add another place of communication between players and WoW developers. Our goal is to gather more detailed feedback on all aspects of World. of Warcraft from players across the world with a wide range of backgrounds and interests. “
Blizzard is currently accepting applications through this form, asking people to list which areas of the game they engage with and how long they play to bring in a wide range of perspectives. It looks like you will need to prove that you have credibility, spirit, with the form asking you to submit 3 examples of past contributions to the community. After one year, Council members will be removed and invitations reopened to bring new voices to the table.
While this is a new idea for WoW, the idea of ââa player-led council interfaced with developers is not new. EVE Online has long invited player reps to join the Council of Stellar Management, although as a more community-driven game, CSM members get pretty straightforward feedback on features planned / in development and are invited to an annual 5-day summit in Iceland. . Blizzard emphatically notes that the WoW Community Council won’t hear about new developments before everyone else, and instead appears to be a more responsive way to check the community’s temperature.
The advice comes as WoW reaches some kind of watershed moment. Amid the ongoing harassment lawsuits at Activision Blizzard and a mass exodus to Final Fantasy 14, the once unstoppable MMO has been busy sanitizing itself of problematic developer names, sexualized paintings, references to homophobic singers and more. Again. There is a feeling that World of Warcraft needs to rethink the fundamental ideas of what it means to be a decades-old MMO, and that means a closer discussion with the game’s player base.