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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. Misskittyy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by 4dahorde View Post
    Why can people not just play a freaking game because it is fun, why does it have to be made and playable EXACTLY like YOU want it to be.
    That statement is HIGHLY subjective. You cannot determine someone else's level of comfort and enjoyability without becoming THAT person.
  1. -Gr-'s Avatar
    Was just on live and it seems there was a max camera distance hotfix that actually lets you scroll further away without having to use the console cammand for it.
  1. stevenho's Avatar
    Before the change:

    90% of people don't care
    10% of people are happy to zoom out

    After the change:

    90% of people don't care
    10% of people are pissed off

    Net result: great success.

    Well spent development time.
  1. SoulSoBreezy's Avatar
    I'm curious why there wasn't an outcry for shifting the console command onto the interface UI for everyone to enjoy. I mean it's been over ten years.
    From a developer standpoint that tells me the necessity of the camera zoom is being vastly overstated.

    Disclosure: Probably about five years ago I didn't realize my zoom was set back to the "default max" and didn't notice. Hah!
  1. Grimsparkle's Avatar
    If they're that concerned about unfair advantage, why not turn off the function for arenas and other specific instanced environments instead of shutting the whole thing off?
  1. Neotaeo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by addlemanc View Post
    Not happy. I've actually always used this, even when I was new
    I completely agree. Whenever I tank, I take that camera back all the way. It really helps with the situational awareness needed and lets you keep track of the raid in situations you need more move a boss around. Limiting how far you can move a camera back will limit how well I can do my job.
  1. OGXanos's Avatar
    They still haven't given us an update on this? I figured the outrage would have been apparent by now. Regardless of how you feel, if you don't care it doesn't affect you if you do care its possibly gamebreaking depending on how severe it is (vision/motion issues).
  1. Pu3Ho's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by OGXanos View Post
    They still haven't given us an update on this? I figured the outrage would have been apparent by now. Regardless of how you feel, if you don't care it doesn't affect you if you do care its possibly gamebreaking depending on how severe it is (vision/motion issues).
    At times like this - when SHITHEADS manage to get into blizzord i thank god that ownedcore exists, download=>click attach=>write .zoom in chat and everything is fine Obviously i will be using that on release/in raids etc if idiots who are "blizzard "now don't revert this change.... To think i will be forced to use "such methods" by blizzard themselves is just hilarious ;DD It's simply impossible to play as tank right now - u can't see a SHIT in combat even on "recent" tests on bosses like Nythendra, Ilginoth corrupted heart, Valiona and Teralion v2,Cenarius - it's just impossible - plain and simple.
  1. grexly75's Avatar
    Unless it is just me but in the latest build the camera zoom looks to have been changed to be further away..
  1. Myspeld's Avatar
    This is a bad decision, I hope Blizzard will realize this soon.
  1. merlinsdemon's Avatar
    I don't think it's been so much about a "competitive" advantage for me to use this enhanced functionality since Burning Crusade.

    It's far more like, "As a melee character, I don't find staring at the bosses feet and knees as immersive". To tack on a bit of sarcasm here "Wow, the artist who designed the bosses boots even add shoestrings! If only I could see his belt!".

    Back to a more serious statement though, Google redesigned their maps a few years back and they made the tragic mistake of removing "Pin man", because "It isn't necessary anymore". Then they were flooded with complaints. As it turns out, about 10% of the population(myself included) don't 'search' in google. We actually zoom into the city to find what we're looking for; once Google discovered this they quickly added back Pin man. I think this is what you are missing Blizzard, a fair number of your players actually find the game more immersive by being above to see the giant statues you created, and tree, and bosses. I mean, take a look at your Fel Reaver screenshot above. Notice how you are in a giant open plain, with the camera sitting on the ground, and even then you can't see the fel reaver's shoulders.

    Please, do not remove this experience from the game unless you have a replacement for it other than "Zoom your camera all the way in and place it behind your achilles heel to look up!".
  1. globenstine's Avatar
    I mean its fine. if they don't admit they are wrong. someone will make a hack for it. literally every raider in the game will use it and when blizzard starts banning people the rest of the raiding player base will quit and either they will cave or the game will circle the drain. WoW is already hanging by a thread from the WoD disaster as it is.
  1. Eleccybubb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by globenstine View Post
    I mean its fine. if they don't admit they are wrong. someone will make a hack for it. literally every raider in the game will use it and when blizzard starts banning people the rest of the raiding player base will quit and either they will cave or the game will circle the drain. WoW is already hanging by a thread from the WoD disaster as it is.
    It really isn't. The profit it is bringing in per year is still very sustainable. They would have to drop way more subs before they hang by a thread as you put it.
  1. mmoc34c31092a9's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eleccybubb View Post
    It really isn't. The profit it is bringing in per year is still very sustainable. They would have to drop way more subs before they hang by a thread as you put it.
    Sure, on paper, WoW is still extremely profitable, but beyond the paper numbers, WoW subs have dropped by 1/2-2/3rds in less than 2 years. If you don't think that's caused serious internal "thread hanging" situations, you're delusional.
  1. Eleccybubb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Alcotraz View Post
    Sure, on paper, WoW is still extremely profitable, but beyond the paper numbers, WoW subs have dropped by 1/2-2/3rds in less than 2 years. If you don't think that's caused serious internal "thread hanging" situations, you're delusional.
    No doubt it has I never said that subs would cause them to rethink their design philosophy. I said their profit margins are still as amazing as ever. At the end of the day number of active subs means squat to shareholders. Profit does.
  1. Pu3Ho's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by globenstine View Post
    I mean its fine. if they don't admit they are wrong. someone will make a hack for it. literally every raider in the game will use it and when blizzard starts banning people the rest of the raiding player base will quit and either they will cave or the game will circle the drain. WoW is already hanging by a thread from the WoD disaster as it is.
    Hack was already made - ages ago But had no real need before now - and now.. it's simply mandatory to use.
  1. Mekronid's Avatar
    Right after I quit WoW, the sub numbers took a fast nosedive. I come back here lately and see idiotic changes like this, and think to myself, gee I saved a lot of heartache.

    Too bad I really liked the game and still want to play.
  1. Codezlol's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by stevenho View Post
    Before the change:

    90% of people don't care
    10% of people are happy to zoom out

    After the change:

    90% of people don't care
    10% of people are pissed off

    Net result: great success.

    Well spent development time.

    This right here is why Blizzard is losing subs imo. 90% of people don't care, then why change it? Either way, the 90% don't care, so no sub losses will be on the line if we favor it to the 10%. No lets favor it to the side where people don't care, pissing off the 10% with zero merit to our cause.
  1. Keyimin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by precious View Post
    tin foil hats on plz

    http://imgur.com/a/dcJhQ
    Why do you need a tinfoil hat for that? I feel like I'm definitely missing something, especially because I like donning a tinfoil hat every now and then :P

    (Yes, I made the album. Was kinda surprised to find it in this thread actually lol!)
  1. mmoc34c31092a9's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eleccybubb View Post
    No doubt it has I never said that subs would cause them to rethink their design philosophy. I said their profit margins are still as amazing as ever. At the end of the day number of active subs means squat to shareholders. Profit does.
    What? I'm confused, because this doesn't seem to make any sense to me at all.

    How can their profit margins (from WoW, specifically) be "as amazing as ever" when they've lost 1/5-2/3rds of their subscriptions ever since Draenor's launch, exactly?

    I mean sure, the Pet Store, the Subscription Coins, & all the other stuff offsets some of that, but overall it should barely be making a dent in all the lost income from all the un-subs.

    Overwatch may be pulling in serious numbers right now, but much like Starcraft & Diablo, those are all completely separate parts of the company. As such, while overall Blizzard might still have "profit margins as amazing as ever," that doesn't change the fact that the Warcraft IP is no longer bringing in the money it once did (by far), even with Blizzard's share of the Warcraft movie profits (which won't be all that much in the end).

    Major income-oriented companies constantly put "fat trimming" or "internal overhauling" procedures into effect once something stops making serious amounts of cash, much like WoW has, so if these numbers continue, it's really only a matter of time before someone steps in & cleans up Blizzard's ever-greater deterioration & decline.

    (Normally speaking, at least. I admit, I'm not exactly sure why someone hasn't stepped in years ago already to re-route this particular sinking ship, but it is what it is).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenho View Post
    Before the change:

    90% of people don't care
    10% of people are happy to zoom out

    After the change:

    90% of people don't care
    10% of people are pissed off

    Net result: great success.

    Well spent development time.
    Masterfully put. It's amazing how much this basic formula can be applied to oh-so-many of Blizzard's endless "we feel" changes, that it's just unbelievable.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Keyimin View Post
    Why do you need a tinfoil hat for that? I feel like I'm definitely missing something, especially because I like donning a tinfoil hat every now and then :P

    (Yes, I made the album. Was kinda surprised to find it in this thread actually lol!)
    Great album, cheers ^^

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