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Legion - Max Camera Distance Reduction
The latest Legion build reduced the amount you can zoom out with the camera.


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This is one of this changes that we realize will be intensely unpopular with the group of players that has used console/WTF CVars to increase camera zoom beyond what the UI slider permits. For everyone else, they probably won't see what the big deal is, since it's removing a hidden option that most never used. But for those who are accustomed to an increased max zoom, it's changing the way you're experiencing the game in a way that feels restrictive and simply worse. So why would we do that?

In a broad range of gaming genres (from RTS to Action RPG), being able to zoom out and see more of the world around you provides an objective advantage in the form of information. Due to that competitive advantage, camera-unlocking or increased zoom distance are features commonly found in third-party hacks for a variety of games. Whatever the maximum allowed, that's what competitive players will use in order to maximize performance, even at the expense of the game's overall look and feel.

We strongly believe that there needs to be parity in this area between players who are using the default UI and those who have addons or knowledge of hidden console variables. One option was certainly to just allow the in-game slider to go all the way up to the CVar hardcap. But that scale is beyond the one around which the game was designed at its core. The development team builds the world, its art, its combat mechanics, and other interactions, around the base UI experience and scale. At the 3.4-CVar zoom level, your heroic Warcraft avatar takes up about as much screen-space as one of the dozens of marines you might control in a game of Starcraft.

Basically all of us started out playing WoW at the UI-enabled zoom level, and fell in love with that world enough that we now find ourselves here posting on an expansion beta forum discussing its future. At some point, we saw a raid video and wondered how they could see so much of the field at once, or we saw a forum post or got a helpful tip from another player, and learned that if you typed "/console CameraDistanceMaxFactor 4" you could zoom out way more, and we never looked back. But was that original experience bad, or have we just grown accustomed to something different?

There may also be a bit of hyperbole in the discussion around the change. This is a screenshot I just took with the max UI-selectable zoom settings in the current Legion build: http://i.imgur.com/e8vFT6t.jpg

I'm not sure it's fair to say that this level of zoom entails your character dominating the screen, or removes any awareness of nearby threats.

Finally, why did this happen suddenly now, late in the beta cycle, seemingly without any communication? Honestly, the intent was for the change to have been in place from early alpha onwards. I believe that what happened was that one of the CVars (CameraDistanceMaxFactor?) was clamped from the start, but a second CVar (CameraDistanceMax?) was overlooked. That issue was entered and tracked as a bug, and was just fixed recently. As a development team, at this point we're fixing up to 2000 Legion bugs a week, and it's not always obvious which player-facing build will contain a particular one of those fixes. This clearly wasn't something we ever imagined could just be swept under the carpet.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Legion - Max Camera Distance Reduction started by chaud View original post
Comments 796 Comments
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zanname View Post
    It is funny when people make counter arguments that are not valid.
    The whole point of my argument was that he's anecdotes mean as much as mine...nothing.
  1. magnognomus's Avatar
    The only reason I zoom out because can't see shit on a raid. Everything flashing and can't see a thing if you zoom in. In some fights I feel I start ticking or go into goa trance from the flashes. Fix that problem than noone cares about zoom level.
  1. Ghaz's Avatar
    Omg.....
    Wtf are you doing ??
    You create a world with huge and very tall building or also huge montain, create tall boss (some or old but wdc) BUT with that shity decision (again) we are going to can't see them.
    Are you thinking about players who need to keep that range of camera for playing comfortable. And if we can't play with a little range of camera ?
    You are looking for problems where there are none blizzard... really...
    Just look the poll
  1. grexly75's Avatar
    I am beginning to wonder how many have a genuine concern, ie: health issues.. Or they are just jumping on the lets just bash Blizz for everything they do train which I believe a lot are doing just that.. The funny thing I don't know of many or any MMO's that have the zoom out feature that they desire.. And if that is the case then they are shit outta luck on that front..
  1. Blown03SVT's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Axphism View Post
    What about in a situation where you're trying to tank a large boss/bosses and then have to try and pick up adds? It's not like that hasn't happened before. It's not like that won't happen again. Going to be sort of hard to do when you see two bosses the size of your screen (their feet and knees, anyhow) blocking everything.
    I mean it's happened before, I would just put a focus on it or assist target someone. This also happens when you have to taunt a certain add in a fight and they are stacked up on a bunch of other adds. You can see all the stacked adds but can't guarantee that you click the one you have to taunt perfectly because its a cluster fuck.

    They also usually have the health bars to the right side of the screen for the boss and any additional adds that are in the fight. You can click those real quick to target an add that you cant see.
  1. mmoce3884136a5's Avatar
    I don't see what the point of this is. Your not magically gonna be better in pvp or in a raid because you can zoom out more. This change is just changing sh*t for the sake of changing sh*t.
    I always used my zoom out macro when I entered any raid cause I couldn't stand the claustrophobic default. Guess I won't be buying legion then cause all I do is raid anyway.
  1. Axphism's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nupomaniac View Post
    You guys SERIOUSLY need some situational awareness if you dont see adds coming unless you are zoomed that far out.

    Like you may rethink what your main role should be.

    Tanks need situational awareness to be good.
    Haha this guy. Some of the top raid tanks are saying the same thing as the person you quoted. Your statement is stupid.
  1. Roadblock's Avatar
    "You think you do but you don't" ... words to live by.
  1. mmoc93b0a7f85d's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by IKT View Post
    Jesus fucking christ!!

    That is some bad ass bug fixing!
    Or a sign of piss poor unit testing.

    I always smile when departments boast about how many bugs they are fixing as if its a positive thing.
  1. davidcryix's Avatar
    THIRTY-SEVEN pages of this and the dev update about the new loot upgrade system is limping along at 80 comments? If I weren't a grown up, sane person I would start to think that this camera zoom thing was just a honey pot. I guess it really does just prove that the wow fan base is a fickle, fickle beast.
  1. Medbh's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by grexly75 View Post
    I am beginning to wonder how many have a genuine concern, ie: health issues.. Or they are just jumping on the lets just bash Blizz for everything they do train which I believe a lot are doing just that.. The funny thing I don't know of many or any MMO's that have the zoom out feature that they desire.. And if that is the case then they are shit outta luck on that front..
    As far as I can tell WoW was the only one that let you zoom out this far to help alleviate the issues that people are having. So not too surprising that there are a lot of us, we had no where else to go. So yes a VERY big concern and not watching anything else at this point because if they don't change this there will be no way I can play. Plus people who never have gotten sick before started to with this change. So if any game devs are looking at this I again implore you to make or change the other MMO's so we have some place to go! Someone from ESO work with us and you will get a shit ton of players! Will gladly change my sub over if I won't get sick after less than an hour of play.
    And it really doesn't look like they are going to change their minds on this no matter what so many of their players want. Activision simply doesn't care. After all people keep buying Call of Duty even though it hasn't really changed in how long? Have heard so many jokes from my son and others about it. And remember the former CEO, had to step down from the outcry of this statement I believe, gamers are stupid as long as they keep giving us money I don't care. (Not direct quote would have to look it up again but you get the point)
  1. Asmekiel's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Spl4sh3r View Post
    For me it isn't really an issue that they are removing this since it puts me closer to my character, which is the one I am actually playing. I am not playing the world with a character in it, I am playing the character in a world.
    I don't really see how it puts you closer to your character. It's not like you don't have to option to set it to the distance, that will be the max in Legion, right now.
  1. Otimus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Valerossi View Post
    I think we found the stupid.
    Well, now that's just mean

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Axphism View Post
    What exactly is "stupid" about it?
    Maybe it's because I'm an original console gamer, or something, and having a camera zoomed out THAT far just seems weird to me in a third person game that isn't an RTS.


    I still don't think it should be removed, though
  1. lizzieag's Avatar
    Here is what I think Blizzard should have done. Because I use this setting all the time. I like it when my toon is an ANT. I can see so much more. They do this because of PVP ONLY!! It is an advantage for sure in PVP. I think though if you go into PVP Arena's or anything like that it should zoom back out to the suggested level. Once you leave PVP it will revert to your ant like camera distance. I personally like this because when you zoom out you see so much more of the world, the dungeon, the raid and so on. Also WOW is like almost 12 years old now WHY NOW? why 12 year later, ok I get it 12 years ago who really cares, but even as much as 6 years ago you could have removed it, but no. There has to be another reason as to why this change was put in so late down the 12 year road. Either someone found out that you save Server CPU cycles or memory or performance or something. Anyway you should pass on the PVP/PVE (world) idea and see what Blizzard says.
  1. metzger84's Avatar
    all the modders / cheetahs very expectedly throwing a fit. get real
  1. Medbh's Avatar
    So knowing I have the issue of getting sick a friend went searching legal counsel for me. If you pre ordered Legion and will get sick from the camera change you do have a choice. Ask for a refund. Since they changed the visual effects rendering the game unplayable by you after the fact it is a breach of contract. If they start refusing to give out the refunds they could face a class action suit. Since this has gone on for over a month now, people in the Beta told them they were getting sick at the start of May. When they figured it out that it was the camera we got that nasty post from Watcher saying they really didn't care if we didn't like it. Keep in mind those people in Beta say they have never gotten ill in the game before this change. So Blizzard is aware that the new camera distance and their action cam are causing this, yet nothing was said about that in the blue post. Still am floored that a company can ignore that many people getting sick with no good reason for the change. Seems to me a person's health should come before something they say is just to make something look better. If it is a matter that they are afraid of an advantage in pvp they could have forced a zoom distance in BG's. Not really that difficult.
  1. mmoc34c31092a9's Avatar
    Am I delusional, or has this happened before?

    Many, many years ago, during Early Vanilla, wasn't there some super-zoom out command that was causing serious gameplay issues (showing players parts of the world that were never intended for the viewing/playing public) which Blizzard was forced to break?

    Not that it excuses breaking a 12-year old console command, of course, no. Rather, if they had such a problem with the super-zoom out, why didn't they handle this back then as well?
  1. Extremity's Avatar
    What? Who decides what an appropriate level of zoom is? The more you zoom the more you deal with everything becoming relatively smaller and less detailed, which I always assumed was an acceptable tradeoff. This seems like it's just something one person with pull decided to enforce their personal opinion on. The argument given is crap.
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Alcotraz View Post
    Not that it excuses breaking a 12-year old console command, of course, no. Rather, if they had such a problem with the super-zoom out, why didn't they handle this back then as well?
    Because they didn't rework the camera system back then in a way that accidentally removed this command hence no need to make up an excuse as to why it was removed...
  1. Hibiki's Avatar
    "Fixing" something working properly for 11 years and something who is great WoW advantage in comparison to other MMORPG is plain stupid and bad.

    I want choose how much zoom I can do, plz don't break game.

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