I am unsure WHY they were so upset. But it doesn't appear like they are the only ones.
The forums are filled with people who are upset that they have been playing WoW for so long and don't get an invite to see the early stages of the expansion being developed. Comments like:
Many of us stuck around during the 14 month content drought of SoO, as well as the crapfest that has been WoD. We have supported Blizzard , while they have done next to nothing for us. Entitled? Your dang right we are.Entitlement is a funny thing. You're not entitled to anything just because you're a paying customer. In fact, anyone who actually HAS customers/clients/patients knows that the ones who do the most whinging are the ones you are least likely to want to help. It's the ones who like you and think you are great that you try your best to keep happy. So those people who whinge constantly about the game and lack of content, how Blizzard sucks, how Blizzard is driving away players - does Blizzard really want to keep them as players?
Let's look at the reasoning behind why some have alpha access.
Why do streamers get it? As someone said, they're playing the game, and people are watching. If you have 1000 people watching someone else play the alpha, that one alpha invite got 1000 people looking at it. Give it to one regular person (like most of us) who just plays with nobody except themselves watching then one invite gets one person looking. Advertising, promotion, and these streamers actually LIKE playing WoW. And probably would say nice things about it rather than trash it.
Alpha, as many people had said, is a "friends and family" testing zone. Say you make a new dish at a restaurant, and you're not sure about it. You get your good friends to come and try it out, not your customers. Imagine if your customers came to try your new dish and it was terrible. Those customers would harp on about how standards had gone down or even stop coming to the restaurant. Better to have loyal family and friends who would still come to your restaurant despite one bad dish give this new dish a try.
There are also random lucky people who get alpha access who have opted in for it. They are way down the list obviously. Many people want to be one of those, but there are how many million people playing -
If you think of WoW players like customers, you can apply some of the "customer types" to them, to understand the logic behind how Blizzard caters to different types of players and why.
- The Loyalist
- The Resentful Addict
- The Disillusioned
- The Browser
- The Bargain Hunter
Why am I talking about money so much?
Because WoW is a business, and for the game to be great, it HAS to make money. You have to pay all the people who put time and effort into developing our game, right? I want our game to continue, so I constantly think about how WoW could make money in a way that isn't by charging us $200 per expansion or something. They're already doing away with subs, which saves other players $18 per month or whatever US$15 translates to A$. In this time where subs are dropping (though a few million players are still a lot of players compared to many games, especially when it's retained this long), it still is doing OK, but it would be nice if it could do a little bit better.
I like how iTunes does it, and makes things really cheap and people are happy to pay for it. Like $1 songs. I bet most people wouldn't be fussed paying $1 for flying or something. Imagine if everyone did it. Or you could put in 20 hours of work into it. Think about that, what would you choose?
(I hear the naysayers saying they would just not fly at all, out of principle).
What I'm trying to highlight here is to have a think about why you think Blizzard does or does not listen to you. How to be someone that does make a difference when you say things. In general:
- Be an active member of the community. If you're out there promoting WoW, enjoying WoW, and find things in WoW that aren't working but feeding it back in a positive way, then you are more likely to be noticed. Twitter, podcasting, blogging, streaming, Youtube - these are ways to get noticed.
- It's not what you say but HOW you say it. Using the flying in Draenor as an example, if you said "It's stupid that Blizz wouldn't give us flying in Draenor, worst idea ever. If there was ever a reason to unsub it's because of THIS." Or you could say "I understand that Blizz wanted us to see all the content by not letting us fly. But I'm on my 3rd alt, and I've seen the content now - is there a way we could make it so those of us who have experienced the game extensively can fly, perhaps by making it attached to Loremaster?"
- Rather than complaining loudly, how about complaining and offering a solution.
- Don't swear at people. If a customer is swearing at you, are you more likely to run to them and do their every bidding or do what they ask but try to avoid them as much as possible? And besides, swearing and being belligerent is a form of bullying. Nobody likes that.
And if you don't believe me, look at me, Neri and Cymre. We even get to pics with game developers for being active bloggers and tweeters (and Cymre gets an ingame NPC).