Thought this might be a good place to explain our reasoning on why you don't see a lot of polls from us on the forums. Some of you have already covered some of them but I thought it would be good to get some yellow text behind it.
I think the first and most important thing is that by us posting a poll, folks will assume that the winner is guaranteed to see action. If we say "What species would you like to see in SWTOR?" and Togruta wins, in your example. Everyone will assume we are definitely going to add Togruta to the game. Unfortunately, it just wouldn't work that way.
Another reason is that you have to realize how much of a minority of players actually use the forums. Without looking at the actual numbers and guessing from the top of my head, I would say less than 5% of our subscribers use the forums regularly. Keep in mind that even less than that % would even answer the poll. That is a pretty tiny group of folks to let make actionable decisions on, which is why we use a lot of facets of data (including the forums) to make decisions, and not them alone.
One time where we have used polls, like for the Party Jawa, is when we already have plans in place to implement all of the relevant choices. The Party Jawa, which won the poll (on the forums and on Facebook) was given to players for appreciation, while the other two were still available but placed in the market.
I am not saying you will never see polls from us again, but they are tricky as players tend to take them as a guarantee, as opposed to just a tool to gauge opinion.
Hopefully that makes sense!
None of your explanations hold water for me. First, if only a small number of people read your forums, then why do you bother? Why are you even employed as a community manager, if you are only helping 5% of the player base? Seems like BW could put your salary to better use by killing your job and hiring another developer/designer. That would make 95% of the player base happier, with more content for their money.
Second, you've done a decent job of saying when something isn't a "guarantee". Like today's patch, that's coming out tomorrow. The forums will talk about it, of course. But I'd rather bad news, than no news.
And that's what you are saying. You 5% don't matter enough for us to ask your opinion, because the negative backlash isn't worth it. Ummmm...honestly, is that really the message you were hoping to send? I sure hope not.