Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
What design decision do you regret the most, from all games?
I have a lot of regrets about Raid Finder for WoW. I am sure I worked on features that were much, much worse, but that's the first one that came to mind.
To be clear, the goal of getting more players into raiding is a good one. But the way Raid Finder turned out removed, IMO anyway, a lot of the epicness of what made raiding raiding. I also haven't played WoW in a few years, so it's entirely possible they have solved the problem by now. (Source
You've explained before that back in the days in WoW you wanted to nerf frost mages. How come frost mages were pretty much left untouched for such a long long time? What's the process behind getting something nerfed/buffed like and who has the final word when something gets nerfed/buffed (at Blizzard and Riot Games)?
The less diplomatic answer is that there were a lot of WoW devs who played Frost mages, even though I wasn't one of them, so there were always a lot of people to point out your potential mistakes when you try to make a change.
But above and beyond that, it was a tricky design space, because Frost mages were supposed to be good at both tankiness (emergency buttons that cover you in ice) and burst (ice lance combos). When you are good at defense and offense (especially burst), you are walking a razor's edge all the time. (Source
One of your former colleagues, Chris Metzen, just announced that he was retiring at 42. I know Chris as the legendary creator of Diablo, Starcraft and Warcraft, my childhood, but can you tell me what Chris was like in the office and how you feel about him
Chris was a rockstar. That guy you saw on stage at Blizzard? That's 100% legit Metzen. He'd call us brothers and sisters. He'd call us cats. I think once he called me baby. I can't get away with talking like that, but he didn't fake it. That's who he was. He bleeds for his story, his characters, Blizzard, and most importantly, the players.
I first met him at a party, a few years before I went to work at Blizzard. He yelled at the top of his voice in a Scottish (dwarvish?) accent the entire time.
Sometimes in meetings he would get a far off stare, and you'd know something was bubbling up inside his mind and something great was about to come out.
Once at Blizzcon, he hugged me for like a really long time in the middle of a busy men's room. We blocked the doorway and made a lot of people wait in line that much longer.
A possibly apocryphal story: when Kaplan was new to Blizzard, Metzen came into his office, crashed on the couch for like an hour nap, woke up, asked "Do you know why they won't let us drink at work any longer?" Got up and left. (P.S. Blizzard let us drink at work all the time, so I'm not sure what that was all about.)
And maybe my favorite story. At a Blizzcon party we were all at, there was inexplicably a bowl of powdered donuts with the snacks. Chris took a donut, rubbed it under his nose (so that there's this light dusting of white powder) and then left it there all night as he bearhugged and did the Top Gun high-five to everyone at the party.
He's one of the top 5 or so most authentic and yet almost supernatural forces I've ever met. I am lucky to know him. (Source