... Or you could just do what they're doing already, by the way welcome to 2020, have you heard of a defunct company called Cambridge Analytica? Or a small company called Facebook or a feature called Google Maps or Waze?
The best way is to look at actual player behavior and mine the players for information then construct profiles based on that and let that inform you while adding forum/reddit/whatever feedback as secondary sources.
Shouldn't the very fact that they have a heat map give you a hint as to what they're thinking and their capabilities? Or the fact that they know what the romance rates are or how many times people have pet a damn thing?
This is where the real data is at, not a stupid survey, not these forums, not reddit.
And no point what Larian is doing right now replaces what I talked about.
1) Never heard of Google, thanks for the tip mate. Cool website.
2) Agreed about the in-game data but I also mentioned it in my post. So yes, I'm aware of it.
3) The " real data" being from in-game data and not forums or reddit applies to analyzing impact of features on gameplay experience. That's pretty much it. You could admit players dropping the game at a given point is an indicator of the quality but players not finishing games is a way bigger subject than it seems so it's arguably not an argument for quality.
You can claim forums are only a marginal way of gathering feedback about gameplay and in the end aren't the main drive for decisions made by Larian. You will be right. Even if it stills makes sense to have it since you might see solutions to things that are an actual problems according to the data you gathered.
You ignore one aspect in what I said though.
Forums have an impact on the game's image. Those interviews Sven went through are partially based precisely on reddit and this forum.
Now the topic of impact of reviews from metacritic and interviews like the ones listed before on sales is a different subject. Precisely why I talked about the satisfaction meter being added as part of in game data. Right now you have to guess people's opinion about it. Being able to connect the end result to the gameplay experience is actually a huge thing.
Alt+ left click in the inventory on an item while the camp stash is opened transfers the item there. Make it a reality.