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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. maverick1625's Avatar
    Ability pruning, a more simplified control scheme, taking alot of what's in Diablo 3 & implementing it into WOW [Talents, Transmog system, a similar randomised loot system with Legionaries], the "Action Cam", pushing to make the game less reliant on addons & so on etc. It's all being simplified more for one reason only.

    It's all too obvious Blizzard are doing these changes in order to set the game up for consoles, & I'm suprised I haven't seen more convo about it over the forums in recent years. They've lost over 40% of their player base in one expansion alone, of course they're trying to take measures to make an extra buck, it's business right. lol The thing that will be interesting to see come Legion, & this is evident from WOD alone, is that the WOW community ain't all sheep. They will express themselves & shun the game if Blizzard annoys them enough with silly changes, & this is a silly change to say the least! Legion will be interesting indeed hehe
  1. mmocbeba583bd0's Avatar
    What the heck?

    I understand too many abilities or flying affect game in bad way, but zoom? Zoom is harmless.

    We are long past stone age when 1024x768 was amazingly high resolution. Today's displays are more than twice bigger than that. I'm playing on iMac 27 at 2560x1440, when zoomed in to default levels everything becomes huge and I can easily see ugliness of low resolution textures. Zooming out makes world more beautiful. I can only imagine how 5k display owners will feel about this change.
  1. Dracodraco's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mormolyce View Post
    Can't people just set the camera distance to the respective levels on live servers?
    Totally could if I knew how to affect the changes properly on live. I've literally only got two zoom options no matter how I combine the commands - the super-zoomed in (which isn't the right one because it got buffed slightly on the PTR) and the max distance one, and nothing between, despite setting these options:

    cameraDistanceMaxFactor to 1.9
    cameraSavedDistance to 28.5

    as are their new max values. I can only assume it's because CameraDistanceMax isn't removed yet (and it's taking priority over the other two), but I'm not sure what value to set it at to create the new effect.

  1. Dnusha's Avatar
    FUCK this awful change.
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Honestly I don't really give a shit what they try to force. I'll be zooming out. There will be a hack that allows this. If I have to pay for a bot to do this I will. Fuck Blizzard.
  1. mmoc5add4e95a0's Avatar
    Dumb as fuck. Just Blizzard pissing in the water at this point, YOU are on trial here for the failure of WoD, you honestly shouldn't be doing anything that's going to piss us off at this point. I'm not sure how much you realize your future depends on us not coming out of this next one with a bad taste in our mouth.
  1. Rafalga's Avatar
    another thing that wasn't broken got fixed , a good day at Blizzard HQ. They actually put man hours in to this shit
  1. Mormolyce's Avatar
    I do understand their point of view, they don't like people playing the game zoomed out so far everyone looks like ants. But obviously everyone who's gotten used to that (eg me) is going to find losing that advantage very off-putting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dracodraco View Post
    Totally could if I knew how to affect the changes properly on live. I've literally only got two zoom options no matter how I combine the commands - the super-zoomed in (which isn't the right one because it got buffed slightly on the PTR) and the max distance one, and nothing between, despite setting these options:

    cameraDistanceMaxFactor to 1.9
    cameraSavedDistance to 28.5

    as are their new max values. I can only assume it's because CameraDistanceMax isn't removed yet (and it's taking priority over the other two), but I'm not sure what value to set it at to create the new effect.

    I assumed that they were just disabling the max camera distance option and the current default UI maximum would remain the maximum. I could be completely wrong about that though.
  1. Xellana's Avatar
    Great change. Too much zoom takes away all the correct scaling in the word. Boss monsters that should appear extremely large are just like toys if you zoom out far enough. Of course, because it gives an actual gameplay advantage, everybody is playing with maxcameradistance. But it destroys parts of the game and should thereby be resdtricted. I like this change a lot.
  1. Mormolyce's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Xellana View Post
    Great change. Too much zoom takes away all the correct scaling in the word. Boss monsters that should appear extremely large are just like toys if you zoom out far enough. Of course, because it gives an actual gameplay advantage, everybody is playing with maxcameradistance. But it destroys parts of the game and should thereby be resdtricted. I like this change a lot.
    I might be more okay with it if they could find a way to improve the "melee range boss butt syndrome". Like, I literally can't see the shit on the ground I'm supposed to avoid half the time because the boss is taking up my whole screen.
  1. THE313's Avatar
    Well Fuck You Blizzard and any1 that is supporting that change!!! Every singe raider that plays on a competitive lvl plays it like that and only ppl that don't care about raiding will support that.....how can any1 play Manoroth with the default zoom?? or any large boss??? I am all for emergence when I am out in the world but when I am raiding???? NO i want to SEE what is happening cause how my character is moving his arms is irrelevant to me....and if they are trying to force that new action cam then plz NO..anytime i watch a YT vid of any1 playing with that cam it gives me motion sickness.
    And btw that blue post makes 0 sense it's just stupid rambling!!!!!
  1. Rafalga's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Xellana View Post
    Great change. Too much zoom takes away all the correct scaling in the word. Boss monsters that should appear extremely large are just like toys if you zoom out far enough. Of course, because it gives an actual gameplay advantage, everybody is playing with maxcameradistance. But it destroys parts of the game and should thereby be resdtricted. I like this change a lot.
    how about giving the fuckin option to play however i like? Why would i have to deal with this shit because someone somewhere decided that they don't like how much the camara zooms out? How about branching out instead of cutting down? Pruning obviously became a company policy, they are dealing every aspect of the game with it
  1. namelessone's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rafalga View Post
    how about giving the fuckin option to play however i like? Why would i have to deal with this shit because someone somewhere decided that they don't like how much the camara zooms out? How about branching out instead of cutting down? Pruning obviously became a company policy, they are dealing every aspect of the game with it
    No, in a game that has competitive aspects, you will not be allowed to play "however you like". It's something you should have understood by now.
  1. sivas88's Avatar
    I dont mind the change. Zooming it out past the slider defiantly gives you a tactical advantage (however small, though lots of mythic raiders here claiming they HAVE to have it). If they just made the slider go higher instead then everyone would be forced to use the max zoom to remain competitive. I don't need a top down view of the entire room to beat a boss and you don't either. I think most people are just salty they are loosing the small advantage it gave.
  1. Nerevar's Avatar
    Ouch. This will take time to get used to. Stupid decision. They should've just enabled the slider to go to the max so that anyone can use it instead of fucking up those who used it via console.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by sivas88 View Post
    I dont mind the change. Zooming it out past the slider defiantly gives you a tactical advantage (however small, though lots of mythic raiders here claiming they HAVE to have it). If they just made the slider go higher instead then everyone would be forced to use the max zoom to remain competitive. I don't need a top down view of the entire room to beat a boss and you don't either. I think most people are just salty they are loosing the small advantage it gave.
    So forcing everyone to play the way you prefer is okay?
  1. Rafalga's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by namelessone View Post
    No, in a game that has competitive aspects, you will not be allowed to play "however you like". It's something you should have understood by now.
    so removal of max camera distance somehow makes the game more fair/balanced for these so-called "competitive aspects" ? What are you smoking man?
  1. Gaidax's Avatar
    This was not our destiny...
  1. namelessone's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rafalga View Post
    so removal of max camera distance somehow makes the game more fair/balanced for these so-called "competitive aspects" ? What are you smoking man?
    Changing max camera is devs deciding how their game should look like. You have no more say in that than you have in what models to use. If raiders had the option, they would replace all models with rectangular blocks with hp bars.
  1. Absintheminded's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by maverick1625 View Post
    Ability pruning, a more simplified control scheme, taking alot of what's in Diablo 3 & implementing it into WOW [Talents, Transmog system, a similar randomised loot system with Legionaries], the "Action Cam", pushing to make the game less reliant on addons & so on etc. It's all being simplified more for one reason only.

    It's all too obvious Blizzard are doing these changes in order to set the game up for consoles, & I'm suprised I haven't seen more convo about it over the forums in recent years. They've lost over 40% of their player base in one expansion alone, of course they're trying to take measures to make an extra buck, it's business right. lol The thing that will be interesting to see come Legion, & this is evident from WOD alone, is that the WOW community ain't all sheep. They will express themselves & shun the game if Blizzard annoys them enough with silly changes, & this is a silly change to say the least! Legion will be interesting indeed hehe
    Action Cam is awesome dude.
  1. Dracodraco's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sivas88 View Post
    I dont mind the change. Zooming it out past the slider defiantly gives you a tactical advantage (however small, though lots of mythic raiders here claiming they HAVE to have it). If they just made the slider go higher instead then everyone would be forced to use the max zoom to remain competitive. I don't need a top down view of the entire room to beat a boss and you don't either. I think most people are just salty they are loosing the small advantage it gave.
    If you don't want the advantage, that's your choice. Shouldn't limit us, and in the end as I explained on the previous page, the end result will be raiders that needs this functionality to perform at their peak will just use scripts to quickly change the hardcoded variables in the configs of the game to get the old zoom back every single time they relog. It's tedious and meaningless but it'll become a necessary step every time we switch characters to have what we consider a "fulfilling" game experience. We'll still retain the "advantage" one way or another, it's blizzard's choice if they want it to go from "google a console command to permanently unlock max zoom" that they say "most people don't know", to "use a script every time you relog to set your max zoom for that session, and deactivate zoom buttons so it doesn't reset and thus giving you no chance of zooming in at all" that only the extreme minority will use, requiring far more input to achieve.

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