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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. Eleccybubb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Alcotraz View Post
    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).

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    Masterfully said. 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.

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    Great album, cheers ^^
    Because yeah subs dwindle what I meant is it still brings in a more than acceptable profit.
  1. mmoc34c31092a9's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eleccybubb View Post
    Because yeah subs dwindle what I meant is it still brings in a more than acceptable profit.
    Compared to what? All other MMO's on the market? Sure, compared to anything & everything else out there, WoW is still in the lead by a long shot.

    Compared to what it was making just a few years ago on the other hand, it's a fucking joke. The current numbers are lower than Vanilla WoW, ffs.
  1. MrExcelion's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by grexly75 View Post
    Unless it is just me but in the latest build the camera zoom looks to have been changed to be further away..
    I believe there's a command you can type to see the current scale distance or w/e it is, saw it on the bnet forums somewhere
  1. grexly75's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MrExcelion View Post
    I believe there's a command you can type to see the current scale distance or w/e it is, saw it on the bnet forums somewhere
    Ahh k thank you, will have to check on that, what I have found interesting is that in certain areas and doing certain things the camera seems to pan farther out while in other areas it is closer so who knows..
  1. globenstine's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Pu3Ho View Post
    Hack was already made - ages ago But had no real need before now - and now.. it's simply mandatory to use.
    I am unaware of one such hack. enlighten me.

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    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.
    your also not taking into account the amount of people that pay there subs purely with in game gold and not actual money. which of course blizzard gains zero profit from.
  1. Pu3Ho's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by globenstine View Post
    I am unaware of one such hack. enlighten me.

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    your also not taking into account the amount of people that pay there subs purely with in game gold and not actual money. which of course blizzard gains zero profit from.
    Tool called "EWT" among other fun/troll features - has an option called "no zoom limit"
  1. Troo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by globenstine View Post
    your also not taking into account the amount of people that pay there subs purely with in game gold and not actual money. which of course blizzard gains zero profit from.
    Umm... that token that you pay for with your gold to extend your sub has been paid for by the seller with real, actual money. More money than a normal non-token paid for monthly sub would cost. So every time someone pays for a month of game time with a token, Blizzard makes more money.
  1. Darthias's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by 4dahorde View Post
    The things you people find to complain about. Someone on the forums actually said they were "physically unable to play the game now." Really? Physically unable? Even if you try to use Epilepsy as an excuse, only something like 3-4% of elpileptic people have photsensitivity. Sure it was nice in some areas to zoom way out, I did occasionally, but this is in no way game breaking. The screenshots I have seen are really not that bad. People HATE change and when it comes to Blizzard changing something, people lose their minds. You will get used to it. 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. People already saying they won't play the game if they can't zoom the camera out...wow, everything there is to do in the game and people threaten to stop playing because of camera distance. Some of you people are unbeliveable.
    Okay well if you feel strongly that people that the game should play the game because it is fun instead of how you so eloquently put it, "playable EXACTLY like YOU want it to be." Try this.

    - Uninstall ALL your addons.
    - Put WoW's graphics settings to medium.
    - Camera distance at medium (DON'T TOUCH THE SLIDER).
    - Have only your first two action bars active (since that it is how the game is whenever you start it up with a new character).
    - DON'T touch the minimap so that you can track various mobs.
    - DON'T touch any of the UI scaling options, that includes the chat window, even if they are unreadable because this the game Blizzard wanted you to play right?
    - DON'T touch any of the options involving auto-loot, combat text, etc since we are playing Blizzard's game and since it doesn't need to be "playable EXACTLY like YOU want it to be."
    - Oh did I mention about not being allowed to change the keybindings? Nope you aren't allowed to do that!

    Once you've done all that 4daHorde, you are ready to play the game exactly as Blizzard intended and not "playable EXACTLY like YOU want it to be".

    In all seriousness though, one of the reasons World of Warcraft has always been praised and popular is due to the amount of CUSTOMISATION of it's UI as well as allowing players to make their experience tailored to what they wish it to be. As a matter of fact a lot of the game's key features WOULDN'T have been put into the game were it not for many tireless add-on creators. Things like:

    - Chat Bubbles
    - Reagent Banking Space
    - Full Chat Window customisation
    - Threat % on mouse-over tooltips
    - Group Finder / Raid Finder

    Am I saying these things wouldn't have existed at all without being able to customise the game? No. Would they have been quite as full-featured and / or implemented to the extent that they were, were it not for the WoW population wanting such things from other sources than Blizzard due to the default UI not being anywhere near as good? No, they probably wouldn't have been as fully-featured had Blizzard not seen the tremendous demand. Also you are WRONG (and I am not saying this to be facetious, it is just that you are actually categorically incorrect) in that some people can be physically unable to play WoW. Epilepsy isn't the only cause of this, but motion sickness is also a major contributor since it affects people more acutely if the camera being zoomed in. It is why people advocate that field of view sliders in first person shooters above 60 degrees should be a MANDATORY option and not something the developer puts in if they feel like it.

    If you abdicate against player choice, then you are only arguing against yourself. You will have only yourself to blame when a feature that you like gets taken away and you don't like it. Just because YOU don't use a feature, doesn't mean that people should be looked down on for wanting to be able to use said feature.
  1. ComputerNerd's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Extremity View Post
    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.
    And players saying that is too low are in effect doing the same thing, saying that x higher amount is the only right amount and a reduction is wrong.
  1. Xexurra's Avatar
    Im excited about Legion but this is the worst change
  1. Kellorion's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rikkof View Post

    I AM OUT !
    Then leave the forum too. Oh wait, the 5 or so reports i just put in for you should that.
  1. WuxianLP's Avatar
    The difference is that I can still see the whole boss while being zoomed in.
  1. reyshinra's Avatar
    The complaints over this change are utterly pathetic. Go and quit the game already while the rest of us tough it out and adapt.
  1. SL1200's Avatar
    Random change for no particularly good reason. I wonder how many of you who are complaining about this championed blizzard's cause when they did this to flying.
  1. Wormweir's Avatar
    There is a certain amount of condescension in this decision... *you don't know what you want or need... so we're going to just take care of that for you...*

    The problem I have is that I'm sick of being told how I would like to play the game. I'm perfectly capable of deciding that myself... thank you.

    There are definitely situations that are conducive to being zoomed in and others to be (way) zoomed out, and it's nice to have the option to zoom out to your liking.

    Is this a controversy troll like flying vs. no flying? Does the "no publicity is bad publicity" apply to games?
  1. Redblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SL1200 View Post
    Random change for no particularly good reason. I wonder how many of you who are complaining about this championed blizzard's cause when they did this to flying.
    That's two completely different things. Flying actually changes how you interact with the world around you. How long it takes to perform certain tasks. What dangers the developer can put in your way and so on.

    This change only alters how you see the world, the same dangers are there, it doesn't change how you do things and so on.
  1. Marlberg2963's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ComputerNerd View Post
    And players saying that is too low are in effect doing the same thing, saying that x higher amount is the only right amount and a reduction is wrong.
    Do you even read what you are writing before you post it? Or are you just a tool who is incapable of following a thought all the way through to its LOGICAL conclusion? They are not saying the same thing. You see by mandating a closer field of view you can only zoom out so far. Having the Higher amount means that there is a MIDDLE GROUND and that the PLAYER can choose what is best for him or her and NOT the developer, who's job is NOT to choose what is best for the user but to develop what the USER wants or Requires.
  1. ComputerNerd's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Marlberg2963 View Post
    Do you even read what you are writing before you post it? Or are you just a tool who is incapable of following a thought all the way through to its LOGICAL conclusion? They are not saying the same thing. You see by mandating a closer field of view you can only zoom out so far. Having the Higher amount means that there is a MIDDLE GROUND and that the PLAYER can choose what is best for him or her and NOT the developer, who's job is NOT to choose what is best for the user but to develop what the USER wants or Requires.
    The developers placed a cap on it, so they did just that.
    There has always been an upper limit. They have now reduced it.
    It was always developer dictated.

    There have always been upper limits on a lot of things.
    People like to convince themselves they have a choice until they actually run into that limit.
    In fact why was the original sufficient, why weren't there regular demands for it to be raised ?
    What amount is actually right.
    Nobody can say what is or isn't the "right" amount.
    "requires" is subjective, and no player has argued why a given amount is good or bad.
    Only what works for them.
  1. Marlberg2963's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ComputerNerd View Post
    The developers placed a cap on it, so they did just that.
    There has always been an upper limit. They have now reduced it.
    It was always developer dictated.

    There have always been upper limits on a lot of things.
    People like to convince themselves they have a choice until they actually run into that limit.
    In fact why was the original sufficient, why weren't there regular demands for it to be raised ?
    What amount is actually right.
    Nobody can say what is or isn't the "right" amount.
    "requires" is subjective, and no player has argued why a given amount is good or bad.
    Only what works for them.
    You would do well to stop posting now. You have absolutely zero concept of what it takes to properly develop software and where the impetus for that development must be driven from. Developers are never allowed to develop what they want (if they did Gold Plating and Feature Creep would be the only things ever published in the software world and none of it would be useful all projects would slip repeatedly, Heroics would run the day and every developer known to man would be as reviled for what they do as politicians are for what they do). They take their cues from BRD's and FSD's and those are usually written by PM's who listened to the BA's who in turn asked the end users how their jobs could be made easier through automation of processes and tasks. End Users are the ones who drive software development including GAMES development.

    No one CAN say what is or isn't the "right" amount globally. That much I can agree on. They can only say what is right for them. Get enough of those folks together, say oh I don't know where can I get a relatively good sample of players that might give me good feedback? Let me see Oh Yeah That's Right! BETA!!! And then you listen to them and if they say THIS IS BAD and they say it LOUDLY and REPEATEDLY you damn sure better pay attention to that else you end up having a pink slip handed to you.

    SOFTWARE IS NEVER DESIGNED FROM REQUIREMENTS GENERATED BY DEVELOPERS.
  1. ComputerNerd's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Marlberg2963 View Post
    You would do well to stop posting now. You have absolutely zero concept of what it takes to properly develop software and where the impetus for that development must be driven from. Developers are never allowed to develop what they want (if they did Gold Plating and Feature Creep would be the only things ever published in the software world and none of it would be useful all projects would slip repeatedly, Heroics would run the day and every developer known to man would be as reviled for what they do as politicians are for what they do). They take their cues from BRD's and FSD's and those are usually written by PM's who listened to the BA's who in turn asked the end users how their jobs could be made easier through automation of processes and tasks. End Users are the ones who drive software development including GAMES development.

    No one CAN say what is or isn't the "right" amount globally. That much I can agree on. They can only say what is right for them. Get enough of those folks together, say oh I don't know where can I get a relatively good sample of players that might give me good feedback? Let me see Oh Yeah That's Right! BETA!!! And then you listen to them and if they say THIS IS BAD and they say it LOUDLY and REPEATEDLY you damn sure better pay attention to that else you end up having a pink slip handed to you.

    SOFTWARE IS NEVER DESIGNED FROM REQUIREMENTS GENERATED BY DEVELOPERS.
    No, because it has been proven repeatedly there is an echo chamber effect.
    No matter the original reason for a criticism there will and have been plenty who will jump onto it for the sake of it
    It has been proven, no matter how much you want to claim otherwise.
    How much of commentary had been about motion sickness or similar ?
    Not a lot.
    Just claims the game was completely unplayable for melee, despite others saying they managed fine.

    Number of yelling voices prove nothing about the representation, as those happier do a lot less of it.

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