A number of Blizzard forum moderators and community managers have recently responded to players' concerns over the past week. Some of these concerns involve hot topics, such as cross-regional play, chat channels and identifiers.
Kapeselus, one of Blizzard's European community managers, responded to a thread where players were questioning if Blizzard is properly responding to their concerns.
This is definitely not true, especially not for our developers. All development teams consist of veterans, who remember the release of the oldest Blizzard games and some of them have been with the company since day 1. Most (if not all of them) later additions also are extremely passionate guys, who played Blizzard games their entire life, got their education and joined because that is what they wanted to do in their lives. They definitely know what gamers and potential buyers want. It is not impossible that they can get a little surprised about a big disappointment voiced by players, but this is understandable in my opinion, as everyone makes mistakes sometimes. I am not saying that this is what happened with chat channels or identifiers for example, because these things have always been on our radar and are going to be implemented once features like for example matchmaking, that affect the game even more are perfected.
I agree that Facebook integration was something that some players found controversial, but at the same time I disagree that this is something buyers are not looking for. Even _if_ majority of people don't have friends to add there are still some who will welcome an opportunity to use this (even here or on teamliquid of all the places :)). I don't think that looking only on one side of the issue is the right approach, especially when you can make a case that for example majority of buyers don't care about chat channels. You just don't have the data and there are definitely a lot of people out there who just want to log in and play (I know a few myself). Does this mean that implementing chat channels is a mistake, as there are more pressing features that need to be there? Certainly not and I am sure you will agree with me. I am also not comparing the magnitude of both these features, just a hypothetical situation, especially given Facebook integration definitely didn't take priority over chat channels and wasn't hard to implement, as it is a very simple option.
Kapeselus then responded to the community in other threads where they have asked about cross-regional play in StarCraft II.
We are aware of players' concerns about the cross-region play and they are being addressed. As stated previously out long term plan with Battle.net is to allow players to play together. This unfortunately cannot be achieved at this point, due to various challenges and issues connected to it, making it more difficult to implement than in the past. On the other hand we are looking into solutions which will allow interested players to get access to different regions without buying another full copy of the game. There will be support for this on the Account Management site in the first few months after the release.
We are looking into ways of letting you switch between servers, no matter whether you buy a European or American version of the game. As for the second question you won't be able to play in the same game using different servers, as we have never had global servers for our games. It is our goal for the future, but won't be there for release.
Zhydaris, another European community manager, spoke to players about the upcoming implementation of chat channels.
As we said recently:
There will definitely be "chat channels" coming in one of the patches after the release. The system will be based around groups, where you will be able to join public channels that are based around your interests, which can be virtually anything. Also the system will include private chat channels (in plans for release in the first few months after the release), where you will be able to meet with your friends.
(Source: http://forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=25399622869&sid=3000 if you are interested).
Battle.net is constantly evolving. One year after release we'll be probably looking at a completely different version of it. We'll continue to listen to the community and take into consideration its feelings and feedback, that's for sure, but we have a clear vision about Battle.Net 2.0 in our minds and sometimes you'll just have to trust us :)
We already talked about chat channels some time ago and we already announced that they were going to be in the game after release. We didn't change our plans, we just narrowed the time frame for the release of this feature.
We're talking about the first few months after release actually, we're not talking about adding this feature in an expansion.
These private chat channels will allow players to create channels, invite friends and so on.
Our long term vision of Battle.Net includes both private chat channels and group channels.
I know this isn't very detailed, but rest assured that we will disclose more information about these channels as we move forward.
Zhydaris also replies to the community talking about their concerns with the identifier system.
Impersonating someone with our current "only one nickname allowed" system it's going to be rather expensive.
How many people would waste their copy of the game just to impersonate someone?
Let's assume that player "A" decides to choose Sixen, and you'll obviously choose Sixen as well.
One of you will be Sixen.XXX and the other one Sixen.YYY .
Once everybody will know that you're Sixen.XXX the other player will be stuck with a nickname that doesn't represent him and will also be incapable of impersonating you anymore.
How many players are going to waste their only available nickname just for the sake of impersonating someone?
Ok, I understand your worries about these features, we'll try to address your questions once we'll be able to reveal more information about the mechanics of this system. Sources: Battle.net Forums - Negative Communtiy Reaction Atn. Blizzard
Just let me remind you that we'll obviously monitor the situation and we'll look into this kind of problems, as I said Battle.Net 2.0 will be a dynamic environment and we'll always try to make it better.
Battle.net Forums - Cross Server Play
Battle.net Forums - Chat channels, before or after release?
Battle.net Forums - Battle.net II Identifier Troubles