Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
What's your view on "Bring the player, not the class" philosophy from a couple of years perspective? Do you believe that ultimately it adds more to the game (better flow & acessibility) than it takes away (not feeling unique in a big game) or not really and MMOs should embrace strong class diversity
No, I'm still a fan of the philosophy. The state of the game before that was a value was one about building small groups to maximize buffs.
I do feel that under my watch that class design did get a little too homogenized. It's tough because every day players would challenge us with "Why do I have to be so bad on this one fight? Why can't I have a cool ability that makes me desirable?" We would have (and probably should have) pushed back some on that even at the cost of game balance.
I haven't been keeping up with the game so I can't comment on the state of class design today. I'm just talking about when I worked on things.
Do you think Blizzard's philosophy changed when they merged with Activision? Back in 2008, they said nothing would change, but since then, seems like Blizzard slowly became more interested/focused on the general public (and profit).
We never noticed much Activision influence down in the trenches. Maybe the execs felt it. I don't know.
Profit is a weird thing in this business. Because, yes, it is a business, and not only do we want to keep the lights on, but many of us want to feel that we didn't make a mistake going into this industry. I think we've all played games that felt like they were focusing too much in tricking you out of your hard-earned cash and left us feeling icky. But that doesn't have to mean that being successful is a bad priority.
I am exaggerating slightly here, but I get the feeling sometimes that some players would prefer developers to be sacrificing everything just to pour their soul into a game, that somehow the design is more pure and therefore better that way. In reality, that doesn't happen. World-class artists and hot-shot engineers kind of want to feed their families.
Again, you can overdo it. Since League is essentially free to play, we strive to make players feel good about spending money and not to come across as too greedy.
When you were still at Blizzard, players got used to you communicating with them, and giving them some insights on the decisions, you made. After you left some of the developers actually tried to follow your footsteps, like Celestalon. Then they opened common twitter and went silent, not good imo?
It is hard for those of us on the outside to tell what is the desire of individual developers and what is company policy.
Do you still play World of Warcraft?
I haven't since I left Blizzard. That has zero to do with the game itself and more to do with my relationship with it. I was really, really close to WoW, as you can imagine. Some space has been good for perspective. As just one example, I actually had some trouble during my interview at Riot because I couldn't speak in depth about other game designs to the extent that I could about WoW; it took just so much of my bandwidth at work and at home. I am trying to be a more well-rounded designer now and immerse myself in other games.
There are emotional reasons for the distance as well. I compare it sometimes to having a breakup with your SO. The split may have been for very good reasons, but still driving by their house or stalking them on social media brings up these unresolved feelings.
If I had to guess, I'll be back and playing again in a year or so.
Are you excited to see the Warcraft movie coming out next year and would you watch it?
Totally. I wouldn't be surprised if we took a company trip to see it.
I've hinted at this before, but players tend to extend the rivalries they feel with other games to the studios that make them, but we really don't feel it. We want the best for companies like Blizzard and Valve. I have friends at both studios. I want to see them succeed.