How to Give Good Feedback

How to Give Good Feedback

in WvW

Posted by: Gaile Gray

Gaile Gray

ArenaNet Communications Manager

The ArenaNet Team recognizes that, as a forum member and a player, you may want to share your feedback about the game. We welcome your doing so! We cannot reply to every thread on the Guild Wars 2 forums, but rest assured that most are read.

The purpose of this post is to provide a little guidance about how to give thoughtful, well-presented, and constructive feedback. Keeping a feedback or suggestion thread on-topic and relevant increases the likelihood that members of the Development Team will read the feedback and share it with their team members, even engage in the thread, if time allows.

If you create a feedback thread, we would appreciate it if you monitor the thread and send reports to the moderators when things veer off-topic or when the content of the thread becomes disruptive. Moderators then can kitten post content to ensure the conversation is on the right track. Do keep in mind, though, that it’s not appropriate to report a post simply because it contains a different opinion than your own.

When posting feedback, please keep these considerations in mind:

  • Suggest improvements: “What can I suggest that will make this game content better?”
    • How do you think this particular element or aspect of the game could be improved?
    • What changes to other Guild Wars 2 content resulted in improvements that you liked?
    • How have you seen this particular problem solved in other games?
  • Give details and examples: Not a generic “I don’t like this!” but a specific “I think this could be improved by {suggestions}.” And if someone asks a question about the topic, don’t just answer it — explain why you answered the way you did.
  • Present opinions as opinions, not facts: Not “This is the only possible change” or “Your idea will not work” but “This is my idea” or “I believe {alternative suggestion} would be the better because {reasons}.”
  • Speak from experience: If you’re offering an opinion on new or changed game content, get experience with it before commenting. If you offer input on a profession, skill set, or game mode, be sure you have sufficient background in the subject to validate your opinion. Opinions are welcome, but they’re always best when they’re grounded in fact and experience and, again, when they’re presented as a personal opinion and not an immutable fact.
  • Be accurate: If your feedback includes inaccurate information, readers may discard it completely. Do some fact-checking and read through a thread before joining in. This helps you avoid making redundant or inaccurate comments.
  • Use references: If there’s a dev forum post, a blog post, an interview, or an external resource, include links in your post so that readers can see you’ve done your homework and have reviewed previously-released information before offering feedback or making a suggestion.
  • Avoid making it personal: Resist arguing with a person, but by all means debate a point being made. Not, “I think your idea is bad” but “I would prefer to see this handled a different way {details} because {reasons}.” Not “I know the game better than you,” but “In playing GW2 I have found…”
  • Don’t take things personally: By the same token, don’t be offended if someone disagrees with your opinion or suggests alternatives to an idea you’ve put forth. Also, if you make a suggestion and the developers choose to move in a different direction, don’t let that bother you or color your opinion, but review the changes with an open mind and offer your thoughts without rancor.
  • Share positives: Not all feedback involves a suggestion on how things could be changed or improved. Sharing your thoughts on things that you like in the game is helpful, because your satisfaction can help steer us in the right direction with future development.

As you can see, what you are saying is important, but how you are saying it is equally important. Your strongest points will be lost if they are delivered without details, if they’re presented in an aggressive or unpleasant tone, or if they are buried in a huge wall of meandering text.

By considering the points above, your feedback will be focused on providing solutions to problems rather than simply focusing on the problems. It will shine a light on content that you enjoy, so that we’re aware of that fact when making future updates and developing upcoming projects. These things are the heart of what we’re looking for from your feedback, and both will result in the best game possible!

Gaile Gray
Communications Manager
Guild & Fansite Relations; In-Game Events