MMO-Champion - Coffee With the Devs - Rate of Change
Coffee With the Devs—Rate of Change
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
How the Developers Decide What Needs to Be Changed and When

My previous two blogs spelled out some upcoming changes. This isn’t going to be one of those blogs. If you care mostly about WoW news, and less about the design process behind the game, then you might want to skip this one.

A lot of game design is striking a balance, and I use that term not only to mean making sure that all the various classes are reasonably fair, but also to mean that it’s easy to go to one extreme or the other. You even have to strike a balance in how many changes you make. On the one extreme, if you don’t change anything, then the game feels stale and players understandably get frustrated that long-standing bugs or game problems aren’t addressed. On the other extreme, too much change can produce what we often call the "roller coaster effect" where the game design feels unstable and players, particularly those who play the game more sporadically, can’t keep up. I wanted to discuss today some of our philosophy on change, how much is too much, and when we think a change is necessary.

First, Some Technical Background

World of Warcraft is a client-server game. The servers (which are the machines on our end) handle important, rules-y things like combat calculations and loot rolls. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, it makes it much easier to share information across groups. When a rogue stabs your priest, it’s helpful for both your computer and the rogue’s computer to agree about when and where a hit occurred and how much damage was caused (and what procs went off as a result, etc.). Second, we can trust the server in ways that we can’t trust home or public computers.

Over time, as our programming team has grown more experienced and picked up additional talented engineers, we have been able to make larger and in some cases bolder server updates without also having to update your client. Updating the client (the game on your computer) requires a patch. This can be a large patch, such as 4.2, which introduced the Molten Front questing area and the Firelands raids, or it can be a small patch, like 4.2.2, which fixed some bugs. Client patches are fairly involved. They take a lot of time to create and test, and they carry some amount of risk, because if we botch anything, we have to issue another client patch to fix it.

Changing the game code on the server has become much easier for us. There is still risk involved, but it’s also much easier for us to fix any mistakes. We call these server changes hotfixes, because often times we are able to deploy them even while you are playing. If we hotfixed Mortal Strike’s damage, you might suddenly do more or less damage in the middle of a fight. Players sometimes call changes like these stealth nerfs or buffs if we haven’t announced the hotfix yet (or in rare cases, if we don’t intend to announce them at all). We generally can’t hotfix, at least not yet, things like art, sound or text, so we won’t for example add a new boss or swap a weapon’s art around without a client patch (though we could enable a boss that had been previously added via a client patch).

I mention all of that just to explain that one reason you see so many hotfixes these days is because we have the technical ability to do so. That doesn’t mean that the game has more bugs, more boneheaded design decisions, or more class balance problems than previously. It just means we can actually fix those problems today while in the past, we (and you) might have to wait for months until the next big patch day. Overall, we don’t think it’s fair to our players to make you all wait for things that are quick for us to fix. Whether or not players are excited about the change depends a lot on the nature of the change. If we fixed a bugged class ability, that is often greeted with gratitude by players playing that class… unless the fix lowers their damage, or requires them to swap out gems and enchants to benefit from the newly repaired ability.

With Great Power Comes…

That’s the challenge in all of this. If your hunter is topping meters by a small fraction, you might ask: what’s the rush? And many players do. But you have to consider that other players are miffed that their raid leader might sit a warlock in the interest of bringing a third hunter (since their damage is so awesome) or might be really frustrated that they are so likely to lose to your hunter in PvP. “Necessary change” is absolutely in the eye of the beholder.

We try to gather a lot of voluntary information from players, when they are cancelling their subscription for example, about why they feel the way they do. Over time, we have seen concerns about class balance decrease and concerns about frequent game changes increase. Clearly there is a risk that we can change things too much and drive players away. The rollercoaster effect of too many changes can be wearying to the community, even if each individual change is made with a noble goal. We have to balance the goal of providing fixes when we think they are warranted with the whiplash or fatigue that can come from players feeling like they constantly have to relearn how the game works. We debate constantly whether a change needs to be made immediately or whether we can sit on a problem for an extended period of time.

There are no hard and fast rules that help us resolve these conflicts, so I thought it might be easier to just give you a few examples of the kinds of things we might be tempted to change in a hotfix, patch or expansion, and the kinds of things we would not.

Example One: Spec Parity

After looking at many raid parses, we conclude that Arcane mage damage now routinely beats Fire mage damage. (There are a lot of elements to this discussion that I’m ignoring right now in the interest of keeping the scope of the decision to something I can reasonably discuss.) For example, if Fire is better than Arcane on AE fights, that has to factor into the decision. If Fire is harder to play or if Fire is more inherently random, then that also has to factor into our decision. Even if you ignore all of those confounding issues, this is still a really tricky call. Ideally, we want players who like Fire to be able to play Fire without feeling like they are holding back their friends.

The extent to which Fire can fall behind Arcane and still be “viable” is very dependent. For some players, having the two specs within 10% damage of each other is close enough. Others will swap specs for a theoretical (i.e. not even proven empirically) 1% gain. If we could make a number tweaks to Fire and be very confident that they bring Fire up to Arcane’s level, then we feel like we owe it to players to do so.

There are a number of risks with this decision though. If our buffs to Fire made them more dangerous in PvP, then we’d have to be very careful about the change. If more mages going Fire meant that some utility or raid buff brought by the Arcane mages was now harder to get, then we’d have to be careful about the change. But the worst outcome, from our perspective, is if we overshoot our goals. If that happens players who like Arcane might feel like they have to swap to Fire, which might involve regemming, reforging and re-enchanting and might make them mad that they had rolled on that item that dropped last week. It just puts players in a bad position.

When players talk about being on a design roller coaster, this is often what they mean. Last week Arcane was the spec to play. Before that maybe it was Frost. Next week, who knows what it will be. We’ve absolutely screwed this up before, where we thought we were creating more parity between say hunter or warrior or DK specs, but the actual result was that it made players feel like they needed to respec. Given enough time, we can get pretty close on our balance tuning, but hotfixes and often even patch changes can’t always benefit from sufficient testing.

Remember, it’s not about how much damage the Fire and Arcane mage do against target dummies. What matters to players (and us) is how they do on individual encounters given a wide range of player skill, raid comp and constantly shifting allocations of gear, PvP comps, etc. We will often take larger risks when there is a major difference in play style. It’s harder to ask an Enhancement shaman to swap to Elemental than it is to ask a Demo lock to go Destro. That may not seem fair to the player who really likes Demo, but we have to weigh the risk to the game and to the player base as a whole with even small changes that appear totally safe at first.

Example Two: Creative Use of Game Mechanics

A lot of smart people work on World of Warcraft, but there is still no way that we can compete intellectually or creatively with the combined efforts of the millions of you. Despite our best efforts, players are frighteningly brilliant at coming up with creative solutions that never occurred to us. There are a wide variety of examples here: A player finds a very old trinket, set bonus or proc-based weapon that works really well on new content; a raid comes up with a strategy that makes a boss much easier than we intended; an Arena team finds a way to layer their crowd control or burst damage that is virtually impossible to counter.

A lot of the fun of World of Warcraft is problem solving. Our general philosophy is not to punish players for being creative. We try to give groups the benefit of the doubt as much as we can. If a boss ends up being slightly easier because players group up when we expected them to spread out, or they crowd control adds much better than we thought they were able to do, then we just silently congratulate the players for being clever. If a boss ends up being much easier than intended, then we might very well take action. (Overall though, we hotfix and patch in far more nerfs to encounters than buffs.)

Where we are more likely to take action is if it forces players into odd behavior, especially behavior that they won’t enjoy. If raids feel like they have to go farm really old content for a particular trinket, or if the raid feels like it has to sit six players in order to bring one particular spec who has an ability that trivializes a fight, then we’re more likely to do something. These kind of changes are really subjective and involve a lot of internal discussion. Just remember that our litmus test is usually “Are players having fun?” and not “Are they doing something we didn’t expect?”

Example Three: Encounter Difficulty

With encounters, the decision almost always comes down to whether to make a hotfix or not. Waiting until patch 4.3 to make significant changes to 4.2 encounters once the focus for a lot of players moves on to 4.3 isn’t necessarily development time well spent. When new dungeons or raids launch, our initial philosophy is just to get all of the nails in the board at the same height, which means prying some up to be taller and banging a lot down to be shorter. After a week or so, we hardly ever buff encounters to make them more difficult. We tend to bundle several of these changes together, often when a new week starts, so that they tend to feel like a micro patch and not just a constant stream of boss nerfs.

For raids, we look at curves indicating the number of new players who beat an encounter each week. That slope tends to be steep at first as the most talented guilds race through the content, and then slows down as other players make progress. It's time for us to step in when the lines flatten out and no new players are beating the content. It’s a bit easier for the five-player dungeons because we want players to prevail almost all the time. Nobody wants to go back to Throne of the Tides week after week until they finally beat Lady Naz’jar.

The statistics we look at the most are number of attempts to beat the dungeon boss, how many kills the boss gets, and how long the dungeon took to complete. Bosses such as Ozruk in Stonecore at Cataclysm launch were strong outliers. Sometimes we can handle these changes by tuning alone (lowering boss damage for instance) and sometimes we need to change encounter mechanics to the extent we can via hotfixes, which actually gives us a pretty big toolbox since almost all creature information is on the server.

Example Four: Class Rotation Change

There are a couple of sub-categories here: intentional and unintentional changes. Often we make fixes to make a class more fun to play. Allowing Arms warriors to refresh Rend without having to constantly reapply the debuff was a quality of life change to make the rotation a little less obnoxious to play. It also ended up being a moderate DPS buff as well. It forced Arms players to relearn their rotation slightly, but it was an improvement overall, and not too many players complained.

Example Five: Overpowered Specs

This would seem to be a pretty cut-and-dried case, but is one of the most controversial, because the community will never agree on when someone is overpowered or when someone is so overpowered that the developers need to step in. Being nerfed sucks. Period.

Players would typically rather we buff everyone but their spec rather than nerf their spec, even if the outcome is the same. It’s totally human nature to want other specs nerfed immediately, but when it’s your own character that’s in question, you wonder: what’s all the rush, man? Again, it comes down not to the developers being cold-hearted bastards (though we are) but to whether or not players are having fun. It’s fun for you to be a one man army. It’s not fun when the one man army rolls over you. It’s fun for you to top meters. It’s not fun for when you feel like you have no hope of competing with the guy topping meters.

Also keep in mind that when we make class adjustments via hotfix, we want to make the simplest fix possible that addresses the problem so we minimize the risk of us breaking something else and minimize how much testing we need to do before we can deploy the change. This is the main reason we are more likely to nerf via hotfix than to buff everyone else, because it’s just fewer changes. (Remember, that if we buffed everyone up to the DPS of the outlier, that we might very well have to buff creatures as well to keep you from trivializing content, which adds a lot more overhead to the change.)

I also want to point out that we virtually never make stealth class nerfs these days, at least not intentionally. It just makes players really paranoid to think their damage might change from under them. At worst, our programmers will manage to deploy a change before the community team gets it documented in the latest hotfix blog, but that situation shouldn’t usually last more than a few hours.

Example Six: Exploits

There is a gray area between when players know they are doing something they shouldn’t be doing and when they’re not sure if the developers would consider what they’re doing to be crossing the line. As I said above, we generally give players the benefit of the doubt. If they found something clever to do and it doesn’t give them an unfair advantage or make other players feel underpowered, then we will often do nothing, at least in the short term.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad guys out there who attempt to break the game in the name of personal profit or just because they have a malicious nature. We feel like we owe it to the other players to stomp out these abuses when they happen. Understandably, we also don’t want to publicize these changes too much. If one guy figured out a way to solo a boss to reap huge gold profits, we don’t then want to give ideas to thousands of other players by pointing out the loophole he found and how we fixed it. These also aren’t changes that we feel like we can sit on for very long. We need to get them out quickly.

I just wanted to point this out because sometimes players scratch their heads about a patch note that we made to prevent or discourage exploitive behavior. “Was anyone really doing this?” is a common reaction. Just remember that by their very nature, these kinds of changes are going to be on the down low, and they need to stay that way.

Example Seven: Expansions

We generally save up a lot of design changes for expansions. We know even this is too much for some players who don’t want to have to relearn their character’s rotation, let alone how glyphs work or what the new PvE difficulty philosophy is. However, we feel like we ultimately have to fix the problems we perceive in the game design if we want to keep players playing the game. In this case, we think some reasonable amount of change for change’s sake is desirable.

We hear from players who say “My dude hasn’t fundamentally changed in years,” and they want something, anything, that makes them look at their character in a new light. We don’t want to fix things that aren’t broken of course, but we do want to make sure that a new expansion feels all new. Expansions are opportunities to reinvigorate the player base and the gameplay itself. Therefore, you shouldn’t always view a class revamp as meaning your character is horribly broken and adrift on a sea of designer ignorance and apathy. We probably won’t ever reach a point where a particular class has reached perfection and no additional design iteration is necessary. Change, in moderation, is healthy.

Stuff like this is why I say game design is an art and not a science. Given the opportunity, there is no doubt various among you who would make individual design decisions differently, and in some cases I have no doubt your decision might have been better. We’d love to see discussion on this issue though. How much change is good? When can a problem chill for a few months as opposed to needing immediate attention? How much risk should we undertake to bring small, quality of life changes? Are we on the right track? Insane? Is this just more propaganda from the Ghostcrawler Throne of Lies?

Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer on World of Warcraft. He has an unnatural disdain for the male night elf shoulder roll.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Coffee With the Devs - Rate of Change started by chaud View original post
Comments 73 Comments
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    "Example Three: Encounter Difficulty" is really sad. As usual, as soon as the top guilds down stuff, the countdown starts and the others can't have their own time to down bosses.
  1. Malenurse's Avatar
    WoW in vanila/tbc times always felt u always got ur money's worth of stuff. Now it's like other Activison products. Look at modern warfare series, MW3 is basicly same game as MW2 just new maps, but they charge full price. WoW is exactly same shit now, it doesnt really evolve even they COULD evolve it, because blizzard said Titan isnt wow's competitor. I havent played wow for 3 months cuz i dont like it anymore (thats nr1 reason) and subscription fee really isnt at the right price for current content.
  1. Phuongvi's Avatar
    *THIS* is .... well, anythingWoW has become to big, they can't handle it anymore
  1. romara's Avatar
    "Change , in moderation, is healthy." I agree, too bad Blizzard doesn't know what moderation means. I read the article and the whole time I had the feeling that GC had totally lost touch with the players.
  1. Kaeleena's Avatar
    Blizzard needs to take PTR data into account better. Ignoring PTR data and using live realms as a balancing laboratory is a terrible business model. It's bad enough we're paying a subscription fee for a game in perpetual beta.
  1. quras's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaeleena View Post
    Blizzard needs to take PTR data into account better. Ignoring PTR data and using live realms as a balancing laboratory is a terrible business model. It's bad enough we're paying a subscription fee for a game in perpetual beta.
    For all the data we here blizzard talk about and what they can do with it. They sure can't seem to use it correctly when designing things. Be it character balance, the most recent legendary staff nerf or any number of things.

    There is definitely a problem with blizzard and how they take what data they do have and how they use it to design the game. After 6 years and they still can't seem to use it very effectively.
  1. probert's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vongimi View Post
    Despite the fact that I dont play WoW currently.... I will eat a plate full of hats if wow becomes the #3 MMO after SWTOR and GW2 come out. Not gonna happen.
    WoW's subscription numbers are heavily built upon a) habit, b) an 'invested' player base who have 5+ years of character history and achievements, and c) brand name recognition.

    If WoW was to launch today as-is, I'm not sure it would get rave reviews or be able to recapture its user base. Even with the streamlined 1-60 content, the leveling content and questing is pretty crap and I'd argue the lore has gotten worse. The end game is basically arena/rated battlegrounds, or raiding. Its got less going on for max-level characters than LOTRO or Rift as an example. And as for the subscription fee, you're basically getting a mini-patch of content every 6 months based on the current release rate.
  1. TitanG545's Avatar
    I don't know maybe I am just going through a phase but I am just not getting pumped up for WOW anymore. I just log in to do daily PVP in hopes that I get AV to get my 25 CP. What reason do I have to continue playing if I already maxed my weekly PVP, just no draw for me. I really only play the game because of repitition of doing it over and over, I look to new expansions to give me a reason to play again. Sigh all that he said and I look forward to nothing new in the game except PVP changes that only affect PVE. Then they have to change PV because of said PVP change.
  1. Duster505's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Keosen View Post
    You cannot compare a game made on 2004 with a game released on 2011, it's doesn't make sense like there will be no point in comparing a future MMO of 2017 with Rift.
    Technology advance in a fast pace and every year they got something new to play with, a total revamp of the game engine will end up in unbearable cost and manhours and it's probably not wise to do so.

    MMO recipe for success is to keep a steady but also high number of subscribers, as long as this works for Blizzard they are fine with it.
    Yes - I can compare a a 6 year old game that has 11 million ppl paying sub for it + alot of extra money in player transfers, mounts and so on with a 6 month old game. As a true evloving MMO game - they should evolve along with tech that is awailable every time. There is nothing hard about doing that - specially considering that alot of these games are running on hubs and with instances. It would be very easy for example for BLizzard to add top quality housing with alot of fresh features. Inside you have some pets popping up running from place to place. YOu also have racks for you armor sets and chest to keep your gear and so on. Outside you could have a garden where mounts show up now and again. You could have a farming system where you will need seeds from flower pickers - and you also need fertilizer.

    And then there would be Guild castles - even many in each map. Comon the options are endless no matter how old the game is.

    No... Blizzard has failed with Cataclysm on so many fronts. Archeology for example... Good concept - horribly executed.

    Old is no excuse when the game is making this much income. You can justify it with games that have 100K ppl playing. But not with WOW.
  1. Pasture's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ap0calypse View Post
    Completely disregards the Retribution spec, when it currently has the most annoying clunky and unenjoyable mechanics in the game I daresay. I like how he mentions Arms and the rend change calling it a quality of life change. Wheres Rets quality of life other than in the gutter right now, hmm?
    This wasn't a post about specific specs. It's a post about general game design philosophies. If you were expecting an in depth look at Retribution then you've entirely missed what this post actually aimed to achieve. No doubt there'll be some ret changes in the 4.3 notes and perhaps you'll see some discussion on ret specifically there. This wasn't the place for it.
  1. Naix's Avatar
    GW2 and SWTOR will force Blizzard to revamp WoW's mechanics in a few ways.1. Graphics2. CGD3. Content 4. Increase leveling speed or remove leveling all together.
  1. Duster505's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by raggard View Post
    The only thing that comes to my mind when I see people asking/suggesting the game needs large reworking is Star Wars Galaxy and the NGE changes. Which to me proved serious reworking of any MMO risks killing your game.
    Game would not be reworked in the basic current systems that are running. They would add more features that would cater to diffrent things than just grinding 5 man dungeons. There are endless chances to do this. There are huge amount of stuff that would be reused with housing for example. It would not mean another 20 gb diskspace. Neither would improving the armor system so ppl would be able to dye the gear - even change icons on cloaks and so on with help of a tailor. That way you could add current professions into the mix.

    Its just poor work from BLizzard. They have not kept the ball rolling on any new fronts but have kept the same team working on the same features forever. And now its too late to look back cause these things take time to develop... And they are already scrambeling to get the reused armorfeatures in... cause they were forced to add something more than just few new bosses for next patch.

    ---------- Post added 2011-09-09 at 03:18 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Naix View Post
    GW2 and SWTOR will force Blizzard to revamp WoW's mechanics in a few ways.1. Graphics2. CGD3. Content 4. Increase leveling speed or remove leveling all together.
    WOW will still keep the artstyle. It will need to add more flexibility tho.
  1. Araahaiel's Avatar
    I just want to say I like how they imply they don't want one class to feel constrained to a spec, but I rarely see anything but Arcane for PVE and Frost for PVP at endgame. I'm a feral druid and in blues I pull 16k on single target raid boss encounters consistently, and that's with moving and avoiding crap. I personally wonder why they don't see anything wrong with my class (don't get me wrong I love my numbers haha) but if I was a progressive raider and got some t12 how much would my dps spike up too? Versus say someone in similar gear? I think they just don't care anymore and just want to keep us on their leash until they give us their new MMO.
  1. Ganimah's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thustra View Post
    They still have 11M+ subscribers (!)

    Now, to put this into perspective, Trion announced recently they reached the one million mark in terms of 'accounts ever created'. This includes all trial, beta, VIP accounts, etc Add to that Blizzards statement that there are more people who have played wow and are no longer doing so than are playing wow right now. A conservative estimate would put the 'ever created accounts' well over 20M then.

    Long story short, Rift is an awesome game. SWTOR, guildwars 2 have potential to be really awesome games.. but if either of them tops wows subscriber numbers in 6 months I will get a figurine made out of warlock and eat it >.>

    edit: as for the player housing thing... do we *really* want more instanced stuff? And what would you do with said player housing? Access to your bank, a place to display trophies?
    Except that if you had read the comments from the past couple of weeks, you would have found that WoW has less than half of the subscriptions it had when it was at its peak. The quote was: "There are more people that played World of Warcraft but no longer play World of Warcraft than currently play World of Warcraft".

    So much for the 11+ million people. WoW will still continue on...but they will not dominate like they used to. SWTOR already has in US retail box sales, alone, more than double the total pre-orders that WoW had.

    Just sayin'
  1. Vengfulr3ap3r's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ganimah View Post
    So this is like what, the 20th persona change that Ghostcrawler has shifted into? I guess it was easier for him to demean the customers when they had 11+ million subscriptions. But I see the conciliatory tone has started to set in, now that he realizes that his game is going to be the #3 MMO in just 6 months time. Hope he enjoyed his arrogance, while it lasted.
    Lol, This made me laugh. I couldn't agree more considering the persona change bit. It really is quite true when you go back and read the posts (assuming you can actually read it all and not think "blah blah blah..."). I mean I remember a couple months ago he was all "dungeons are hard, get better or get over it" and now hes all "we changed this for this reason here, and we're doing this and this.. and this is why we do this!" i keep seeing a mental picture of him muttering "i hope more people dont leave..." under his breath every time he posts a blog, lol. Maybe he suffers from a multiple personality disorder or something? :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Keosen View Post
    You cannot compare a game made on 2004 with a game released on 2011, it's doesn't make sense like there will be no point in comparing a future MMO of 2017 with Rift.
    Technology advance in a fast pace and every year they got something new to play with, a total revamp of the game engine will end up in unbearable cost and manhours and it's probably not wise to do so.

    MMO recipe for success is to keep a steady but also high number of subscribers, as long as this works for Blizzard they are fine with it.
    Actually, They can compare it. Because wow is an active game with an active development team. I could understand your argument if they were comparing say.... elder scrolls morrow wind to skyrim because those games are pretty much set, they never change unless its through mods or explansions or something but even then it'll only be the "expansion" portion that gets added, bug fix's get applied nothing in the "original" world changes. Then i could agree with your statement.

    But this is an mmo, its active, they get crap loads of money via wow.... So what exactly is their excuse for not "upgrading" the game with the times and tech changes? money? lol go get a calculator and figure up how much money the company has made in the last 5 years and you tell me they cant afford it. Now I will admit it would get costly to upgrade the game everytime something new comes out. But considering how much money they, as a company, get via wow and wow alone. They can very much afford to upgrade hardware, or hire on new people to refine the code and what not. I mean, Wow is getting outdone by other games not because of a lack of funds, or because the times "change" but because the dev team got lazy. because they want to get things done with the least amount of work possible even if the result is complete and utter shit vs actually trying to fix the problem even if it makes them log more hours but the end result is spectacular or because they as a company, decided to be cheap and not upgrade their tech or something or maybe the company decided to not hire on new people even thou someone suggested they needed more people idk. Point is, they have the means to upgrade their equipment, to hire on new/more devs to help with coding, artwork etc. So they really dont have any excuse for not doing it.

    Take the balancing issue for example; The biggest reason i've saw for them not wanting to develop overlays to separate pvp/pve and what not is "it would require to much dev time" But the truth is if they spent half as much time on developing overlays, think colossal smash, as they did on TRYING to balance they would actually have pve and pvp seperated, They wouldnt spend nearly as much time buffing/nerfing crap and in turn they would have MORE time to work on content, and features. But do they? no, and its their choice. So yes, they can compare rift and wow for the simple fact blizzard has been around a lot longer as well as having much deeper pockets then trion and rift still out does wow on game play, leveling and graphics.

    tl;dr - They have the means and opportunity to change anything they want at any given time, but they dont, The year its released doesnt matter because they have no excuse for not keeping up with the times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vongimi View Post
    Despite the fact that I dont play WoW currently.... I will eat a plate full of hats if wow becomes the #3 MMO after SWTOR and GW2 come out. Not gonna happen.
    Compare quality of game vs sub numbers between the three in 6 months... wow will most likely be third. That just my opinion thou.
  1. glycerethe's Avatar
    Don't yall find it funny when they say the only way to close the gap between fire and arcane was to increase fire's damage? And then fearing fire would become OP in PEEVEEPEE? YES READ AGAIN FOLKS, they are worried FIRE would be OP for PVP!
    The way to close the gap was to completely change Arcane, it's a joke of a spec, it's been said million times before.

    I'm not saying it wouldn't be nor I'm not totally worried, but with frost so great atm I don't think anyone smart enough would go fire to 'test it out'. And while we're discussing a PvE topic, the cornerns on PvP became more important then the PvE perspective and forces the dev team to ignore on fixing/tweaking a spec that is underpowered, you are simply disappointing your subscribers.

    This is a PvE based game, and for you to be so worried about a non-pvp spec to become op for pvp is really something to show that this game looks like it is going to be more and more PvP based than PvE in the future.

    Then they go into saying that the intelligent design team couldn't out-think us, because we were able to find items/procs that would grant us powers over the intended.
    These stuffs are all in the game, there's no excuses, and now to actually 'out-think' us, they give us 10 times more hit points, remove old contents, so we'd never be able to use old items, or their effects will become completely trivial and they think they suceeded.

    What they actually did was completely ignoring a brick wall they hit, and turned away into a different direction. Blizzard will keep doing that until they realise they are trapped in a small box and ran out of directions to turn.

    So now, break the wall, or you can stay in this little box forever. If you don't understand what this little box means then there's no point for me to continue.
  1. Astray's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Fiercethirst View Post
    can you prove 100% that every single *ret* pally wants this
    There are players who really LOVE the new ret. Because people love to be the special snowflake. Ret is so not fun, so annoying, so obnoxious to play~ most rets i know switches to a different class or spec. A lot of those left really suck.

    An arcane mage doing great dps? Booring theres a million of those. A ret doing that? Now that is more special. On the other hand, some rets loved the classic-ret. Judgement hitting for almost nothing, bring seal back on...10 sec of doing nothing at all...and judgement again! Well thats soo fun, right?`For every retarded version of spec, theres someone who loves it, but today ret...seriously...it sucks. ^^
  1. Noblia's Avatar
    I totally agree with seperating pvp from pve. In the long run(if they dont wreck the game like they did in this last expansion) it would make balancing issues much better for them and for us the customers.

    As for Ghostwalker I agree with the tone. I also agree with another post which stated he lost touch with what wow is. Maybe he fears getting a thankyou note like the ceo of yahoo got from the board.... Thankyou very much for your years of service... Now get the F#%* out!





    Quote Originally Posted by Vengfulr3ap3r View Post
    Lol, This made me laugh. I couldn't agree more considering the persona change bit. It really is quite true when you go back and read the posts (assuming you can actually read it all and not think "blah blah blah..."). I mean I remember a couple months ago he was all "dungeons are hard, get better or get over it" and now hes all "we changed this for this reason here, and we're doing this and this.. and this is why we do this!" i keep seeing a mental picture of him muttering "i hope more people dont leave..." under his breath every time he posts a blog, lol. Maybe he suffers from a multiple personality disorder or something? :P



    Actually, They can compare it. Because wow is an active game with an active development team. I could understand your argument if they were comparing say.... elder scrolls morrow wind to skyrim because those games are pretty much set, they never change unless its through mods or explansions or something but even then it'll only be the "expansion" portion that gets added, bug fix's get applied nothing in the "original" world changes. Then i could agree with your statement.

    But this is an mmo, its active, they get crap loads of money via wow.... So what exactly is their excuse for not "upgrading" the game with the times and tech changes? money? lol go get a calculator and figure up how much money the company has made in the last 5 years and you tell me they cant afford it. Now I will admit it would get costly to upgrade the game everytime something new comes out. But considering how much money they, as a company, get via wow and wow alone. They can very much afford to upgrade hardware, or hire on new people to refine the code and what not. I mean, Wow is getting outdone by other games not because of a lack of funds, or because the times "change" but because the dev team got lazy. because they want to get things done with the least amount of work possible even if the result is complete and utter shit vs actually trying to fix the problem even if it makes them log more hours but the end result is spectacular or because they as a company, decided to be cheap and not upgrade their tech or something or maybe the company decided to not hire on new people even thou someone suggested they needed more people idk. Point is, they have the means to upgrade their equipment, to hire on new/more devs to help with coding, artwork etc. So they really dont have any excuse for not doing it.

    Take the balancing issue for example; The biggest reason i've saw for them not wanting to develop overlays to separate pvp/pve and what not is "it would require to much dev time" But the truth is if they spent half as much time on developing overlays, think colossal smash, as they did on TRYING to balance they would actually have pve and pvp seperated, They wouldnt spend nearly as much time buffing/nerfing crap and in turn they would have MORE time to work on content, and features. But do they? no, and its their choice. So yes, they can compare rift and wow for the simple fact blizzard has been around a lot longer as well as having much deeper pockets then trion and rift still out does wow on game play, leveling and graphics.

    tl;dr - They have the means and opportunity to change anything they want at any given time, but they dont, The year its released doesnt matter because they have no excuse for not keeping up with the times.



    Compare quality of game vs sub numbers between the three in 6 months... wow will most likely be third. That just my opinion thou.
  1. kaiba1's Avatar
    Ok that ticks me off, the fact that they are saying things like "Oh we give players benefit of the doubt on things for exploitative use of game content" thats irrelevant because what if your exploring content like going to GM Island for instance because we all know its there yet Blizzard denies having any so called Island all to themselves, so you have to exploit to get over there, why is it when they still ban you even if your not hurting anyone else in the game, its not like pvp or raiding an instance, its just exploring and you found a way to get there, why punish us because we just want to explore? Blizzard is contradicting their statement on that, you can get banned for literally anything on WoW, you can get banned for standing still in a BG even after you typed in chat "bathroom, cant hold it any longer" next thing you know your getting a 3 hour to 3 day ban because you had to take a whiz.in the words of R Truth, its a conspiracy!
  1. Thustra's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ganimah View Post
    Except that if you had read the comments from the past couple of weeks, you would have found that WoW has less than half of the subscriptions it had when it was at its peak. The quote was: "There are more people that played World of Warcraft but no longer play World of Warcraft than currently play World of Warcraft".

    So much for the 11+ million people. WoW will still continue on...but they will not dominate like they used to. SWTOR already has in US retail box sales, alone, more than double the total pre-orders that WoW had.

    Just sayin'
    The 11.1M current ( or at least the latest number) of subscribers is a fact.

    so 'people that currently play world of warcraft' == 11.1M

    And then your quote says that 'people that played wow but no longer play' is larger that this. Now, seeing as this group of ' have but no longer' is by definition distinct from the 'play now' group. This means the total amount of people having played plus the ones that are playing numbers over 22M.

    The only way your way of reasoning works is if the subscribers numbers have dropped to around 5M in the last 3 months... and I doubt that ^^ but if you have a source on that I'll happily retract my words.

    Also the mmo market has exploded over the last decennium, ofcourse swtor has more preorders than wow has. they are fishing in pond that has maybe 5 times the size it used to have and it's friggin Star Wars. Hell I have mine preordered.

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