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  1. #1

    WoW Dev Team Now and Then (The reason WoW changed?)

    So we all know that many of the WoW developers were transferred to the new Titan team back in 2009.

    I'm suspecting this is precisely why WoW is so different nowadays from what it used to be. This is obviously subjective, but despite what manner of polished (and sometimes really good) mechanics and upgrades Blizzard brings out, it all feels rather soulless to me.

    An anecdote I often bring up is what it felt like back when you did Scholomance or Karazhan. Those dungeons were incredibly detailed and atmospheric. You could literally picture the designers sitting down in a dimly lit room with five cups of coffee and a pizza, tinkering with every little detail of the place to get it just right. To make the world come alive, as it were. Not just to produce content.

    Now, while WoW is still a good game (arguably better in many ways), it doesn't excite me or anyone I know as it used to. When Cataclysm launched, I got really excited about the return of Deathwing from the old Warcraft games, but the expansion never really immersed me. With the MoP-beta (and the so far disastrous introductory events), it seems as if though the trend continues - beautiful content and upgraded mechanics, but in the end a game which feels shallow, uninspired, and not at all like Warcraft. Too streamlined, I should add, whether you talk of talents, quests, story, or the flow of content. I think one of the strengths of a fictional world, ironically enough, is that there be some chaos for us to moan about. All worlds contain chaos, dull chores, and annoyances. Nowadays everything is so efficient and simple. Compare pre-expansion events now and then, for instance.

    If you think back a couple of years, when was the first time this change of design occurred? I dare say it was with the Icecrown Citadel. Think about it.
    A plain layout of a castle which ought to be very complex and intricate; very few atmospheric moments or scenic highlights. It was go from point A to point B in a very straight corridor, kill the boss in a big room, and repeat. Exactly like the dungeons and raids of today.

    So I suspect ICC marks the shift when many members of the team left for Titan, and had their positions filled by other devs who formerly held minor roles in the team. In short, the vision-holders for the design were replaced.

    What do you think?
    Do you know who left and what positions were filled?

    Note: I'm not at all bashing the current devs. I think they're all marvellous designers. They can't be held responsible for not sharing the same vision as the people before them.
    Last edited by Mojo Risin; 2012-09-21 at 09:07 AM.
    "Good morning!" said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out farther than the brim of his shady hat.

    Author of: Mount 2.0 (MMO-Champion Thread)
    Author of: World Enhancement Patch 1.0 (MMO-Champion Thread)

  2. #2
    Linear dungeons were introduced with BC...

    I think you're talking rubbish, all that stuff about the devs leaving for Titan.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ContentsMayVary View Post
    Linear dungeons were introduced with BC...

    I think you're talking rubbish, all that stuff about the devs leaving for Titan.
    There may have been one or two slightly more than average linear dungeons in TBC, but it was hardly the trend. Think of the Black Temple or the Coilfang Reservoir. Labyrinths, I tell you!

    It's a fact that devs left and positions were filled. The thing I'd like to know is to what extent.

    Examples:

    Cory Stockton has only been lead content designer for Cata and MoP.

    Lead designers for WoW used to be Rob Pardo, Jeffrey Kaplan, and Tom Chilton - only one of whom remains a WoW designer since after WotLK. Kaplan is on Titan, Chilton is still on WoW I believe, and Pardo is some sort of executive vice president of design, which probably means he pulls a lot of strings but has to deal a lot more with all the games and less with direct WoW design.
    Last edited by Mojo Risin; 2012-09-21 at 09:19 AM.
    "Good morning!" said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out farther than the brim of his shady hat.

    Author of: Mount 2.0 (MMO-Champion Thread)
    Author of: World Enhancement Patch 1.0 (MMO-Champion Thread)

  4. #4
    The lack of "soul" is just you getting bored of the game. It's not more complicated than that.

    Nothing is ever going to feel the same way it did when it was new, it's the same with everything.

  5. #5
    WoW now is 34 billion times better than in vanilla and TBC. This is obviously subjective, but...

  6. #6
    The entire WoW Dev team got swapped for the new one right at the start of Wotlk which is why you saw a massive shift on design, if the original dev team was still in place people will still be complaining how they have to endlessly farm to be able to play this game, how only 1 spec per class is viable for raiding, how itemization blows, how heroics are impossible, how raids are for no-life losers and the list goes on.

    I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't be exactly thrilled if this design have been kept for all those years.

  7. #7
    WoW team has changed alot and that has to do with Titan. Imagine what a beast of a game that will be...../drool

  8. #8
    OP : you will only get flamed and tortured for even thinking of criticizing Blizzard on these forums. You're warned.

  9. #9
    The Patient
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    Alex Afrasiabi was moved to Titan as well. He was the guy with Metzen that got stumped by Red Shirt Guy. He'd been on WoW since Vanilla and has several items named for him.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mosotti View Post
    WoW now is 34 billion times better than in vanilla and TBC. This is obviously subjective, but...
    obviously subjective, you´re right on this one - atleast!^^

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by i6ly View Post
    obviously subjective, you´re right on this one - atleast!^^
    Except you are both wrong. Wow now is not a MMORPG ist a Social network with few arcade style mini games you queue for.

  12. #12
    Warchief coldbear's Avatar
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    One of WoW's biggest selling point at launch was the immersive world full of danger and NO LOADING SCREENS BETWEEN ZONES.

    Now WoW's biggest most important feature is that you can log in and choose your adventure from a menu. It went from an open-world focused sandbox style game to an instance-based themepark ride. This change was driven by the players who wanted easy, convenient content that could be quickly accessed and completed.

    The devs just changed gradually. The only mad crazy effect any few devs had on WoW after launch was the introduction of arena, and that was probably the single biggest fuckup they did - putting class balance under a microscope and making developing much harder for the developers. They were not prepared for that. But then again it scored them huge publicity and subscription numbers.

  13. #13
    I agree that the old dungeons had much more flair. They looked like actual places while the newer dungeons are just functional containers for bosses. It´s all empty large rooms connected by big empty hallways. You wonder why anyone would build something like that for his headquarter/temple/whatever.

    But i think that is now because dev team changes but because of time constraints. I guess they just made all the teams smaller and so they have problems to get out content in the first place and really have no time anymore for eye candy.
    And i wouldn´t be surprised if many of the players agree and really want purely functional, easy to navigate dungeons with boss rooms connected by trash hallways and are more interested in boss abilities and loot then on the story and background of the dungeon/raid.

  14. #14
    Brewmaster Banzhe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fojos View Post
    The lack of "soul" is just you getting bored of the game. It's not more complicated than that.

    Nothing is ever going to feel the same way it did when it was new, it's the same with everything.
    Well it's either this, "the games age" or special snowflake that people usually grab for in regards to threads like these instead of actually acknowledging the persons view.

    OT:

    I can certainly appreciate where your coming from, and yes there are a few things that's better (or more appropriately, convenient) now then it was during vanilla upwards.., I think for me the most hilarious thing I'll ever see in threads like these are people claiming the game was intended to be for casuals on all fronts, that sort of streamlined thinking came about with the development team change and have been force-fed on every single opportunity ever since in hopes people would bite, yet instead of the game becoming increasingly more popular (in all age groups), it's gone the exact opposite way as a direct result of this. My opinion based on player interactions instead of looking at X number of players using X feature

    I know their trying desperately with the challenge modes, but raiders wont ever care about dungeons as it's a niche / side chore.., and people wanting to move into raiding wont care either once the first week have passed, especially not when they announce their subject to "balancing" before they are released as we all know what that means! (Not to mention they wont be as punishing as tbc-heroics was making them predictable at best)

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Toinouze View Post
    OP : you will only get flamed and tortured for even thinking of criticizing Blizzard on these forums. You're warned.
    I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the daily influx of "blizzard screwed up" threads that top the list even as you wrote that.

    A bit more of a constructive way of saying what you meant, while adding in some truth might have been: "While I agree with you, be prepared to defend your point of view as it is thoroughly picked apart by those who are happy with the current state of the game or who aren't necessarily against the new direction the game has taken since BC."
    Praise the Quest Writers for they give life to otherwise boring expansions.

  16. #16
    Stood in the Fire Useful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldbear View Post
    One of WoW's biggest selling point at launch was the immersive world full of danger and NO LOADING SCREENS BETWEEN ZONES.

    Now WoW's biggest most important feature is that you can log in and choose your adventure from a menu. It went from an open-world focused sandbox style game to an instance-based themepark ride. This change was driven by the players who wanted easy, convenient content that could be quickly accessed and completed.

    The devs just changed gradually. The only mad crazy effect any few devs had on WoW after launch was the introduction of arena, and that was probably the single biggest fuckup they did - putting class balance under a microscope and making developing much harder for the developers. They were not prepared for that. But then again it scored them huge publicity and subscription numbers.
    This is the most 10/10 post I've read recently on MMO. Couldn't agree more! Also dont forget about core vanilla palyers who still play (I am the one of them). Its getting harder and harder to surprise them. That's why I see more and more teenagers on my server who really dont have a clue what are they doing =) Cos ppl love nyan bullshit and kungfu pandas more that oldschool proverb "WOW IS SRS BUSINESS" =)
    Last edited by Useful; 2012-09-21 at 11:03 AM.

  17. #17
    The Lightbringer vian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybran View Post
    Except you are both wrong. Wow now is not a MMORPG ist a Social network with few arcade style mini games you queue for.
    Indeed, that's what it has become. Just rename it StormBook or FaceOrg.
    Quote Originally Posted by bizzy View Post
    yeh but lava is just very hot water

  18. #18
    The Insane det's Avatar
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    Wow changed because the world changes, because times change, because tastes change, because everything changes.

    You cannot sell phones today that are like phones from 2004
    You cannot sell cars today that are like cars from 2004
    You cannot sell movies today that are like movies from 2004
    You cannot sell clothes today that are like clothes from 2004
    etc...


    Okay..so to a degree you can, there are always ppl who like retro stuff - but that doesn't float for long. I think it is tiny steps. Devs produce a game. The audience buys it. devs see what people like and dislike (they monitor their servers 24/7 after all. Devs adjust game. And so on and so on.

    WoW didn't just become a different game in one x-pac. WoW is constantly changing and evolving and even their data isn't 100% accurate in all areas it seems, otherwise they would produce "the perfect game" at one point and be done there.
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    One cause is a cognitive bias called projection bias. Essentially living inside your own head your entire life makes it exceedingly difficult to understand how others do not also live your same life, think your same thoughts, and hold your same beliefs. In many cases it's quite frustrating to try to empathize and understand why you yourself may not be the center of the universe, which generally results in one 'acting out' in various ways.
    So, in short: the internet.

  19. #19
    Scarab Lord Chonar's Avatar
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    In essence, Blackwing Lair was a single winding hallway as well.

    ---------- Post added 2012-09-21 at 01:10 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Useful View Post
    Cos ppl love nyan bullshit and kungfu pandas more that oldschool proverb "WOW IS SRS BUSINESS" =)
    WOW was never SRS BUSINESS. That onliner was used jokingly.

    "Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my comrade." - Albert Camus

  20. #20
    Bloodsail Admiral
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    You bring up linear dungeons and raids. Dare I mention Firelands? That is not a linear dungeon, at all. Black Temple was more linear than Firelands. I don't think there's a raid which beats Firelands to that. Could be Molten Core. Then again. Rest of the dungeons are pretty linear.

    Change isn't bad. Change is always good. If it turns out to be bad, you get the experience from it, that you wont do it again. But by not putting in new people, and just keep on going, that is bad, that is really bad.
    "If you are going to do something, including being an alcoholic, don't half-ass it. /Cheers." - Vezrah, 2012

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