A few weeks ago, some of us on the WvW team were chatting about how we can better connect with the community, and we came up with the idea of joining different guilds in different leagues for the WvW Fall Tournament 2014. The tournament was coming up quickly, so over the weekend I ran it past a few people and wrote up the initial forum post, calling the project Adopt-a-Dev.
We thought we would have a couple of dozen guilds sign up, but the response was so huge I was racing to keep my inbox clear. I lost count of the number of sign-ups at around 150 guilds. To handle the enthusiastic response from the community, I reached out to the rest of the company to join in and got over 30 developers from all departments volunteering their free time to leave their comfort zones and join in the fight with new guilds on new worlds.
Through the Adopt-A-Dev program, we all got new perspectives on the game and learned first-hand from our players what they love about Guild Wars 2 and what areas we can work together to improve. These discussions led to several forum conversations that Ive been participating in with the community. Those conversations, together with the feedback Ive been getting from the devs involved in the program, have become a vital part of the day-to-day discussions of the WvW team.
We went into this hoping to learn more and get information, and the devs involved didnt just report back their findings they became fiery representatives of their host guilds, big and small. They brought back not just the needs and concerns of their new guilds but also tales of amazing fights, epic sieges, and hilarious antics.
The biggest effect of this program was that we all made a lot of new friends. We have a saying here that everyone who plays the game should have a friend at ArenaNet. The Adopt-A-Dev program was definitely a big step in fulfilling that vision. I know I have made some incredible new friends in my new guild, Do More Damage. They are going to have a hard time getting rid of me.
If you want to see how Adopt-A-Dev had meaningful impact, and read the larger discussion players are having around the program, take a look at this forum post. For a behind-the-scenes look at what some of the participating devs thought about their experience, check out the Adopt-A-Dev video below!
Before I sign off, Id like to thank everyone who hosted a dev, and Id also like to thank all the devs who participated. We really got a lot out of doing this program, so we hope to be able to do it again sometime. If you werent able to host a dev this time around, be on the lookout for future announcements!
[DmD] For Death!