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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 ComputerNerd View Post
    Stuff...
    The problem here is that the upper limit shouldn't be dictated by the developer from any other standpoint than a technical one.

    Lets examine the "unfair advantage" argument here. A ranged raid leader who still has a good overlook of things after this change will have an unfair advantage over the melee raid leader who now struggle to get a good overlook. The player who don't want to risk he's account by hacking the game will be at a disadvantage compared to the once that don't care. And in general, some players are more comfortable being more zoomed in while other are comfortable with a wide zoom and as long as both are comfortable I'd say no one has a disadvantage. This change forces some players to be uncomfortable which in it self means they are at a disadvantage.

    Now what I think happened is that Blizzard did their new camera changes and simply screwed up and removed the old command and as such made up a poor excuse as to why it was removed. But hey that's just me. Either way it's a horrible change defended by a asinine argument that just doesn't hold true.

    If they wanted to solve the "unfairness" all they had to do was remove the command and make the settings slider cover the same range...
  1. Celestraza's Avatar
    Every person I talked to in my guild (Mythic Guild) utterly hates that this happened, both the socials and raiders.

    Risking so many subs for such a silly unnecessary thing.
    I don't see myself staying interested or enjoying WoW with such a narrow zoom/field of vision. What point is there to play WoW if you are getting annoyed and aggitated by the camera 24/7, you simply can not enjoy the game anymore. It is a reason I dropped many other games and will easily drop WoW after 12 years...

    Feels to me this change was done (together with the pruning) to bring the game to console...
  1. Shivetya's Avatar
    Hello people

    Sorry for wall of text.
    Can't post on EU forums so might be venting a bit ;-)

    ---edit---
    Found the poll, was just a firefox setting blocking it
    ---edit---

    Anyways
    Even while having a stint with that Star Wars MMORPG and later on getting hocked on Skyrim, not logging into WoW for months I kept the account running.
    Now, for the first time since 2006 I find myself without a running WoW account
    Which is sad due to quite a few old friends returning to test out Legion about now.
    Hope they are not as affected by the zoomed in play as I am.
    On the other hand there is a little egosentric bastard in me who hope they have problems, to put more off buying Legion and the change reverted.

    Its the grand scale of a fight that makes it feel epic.
    In my oppinion in every fantasy/war movie its the huge scene with tons of extras that makes it (disregarding storyline of course.)
    Its the 300 and the oposing army which is cool not the elephant the villain is riding, or for that matter its feet.
    And now they gone and made boss fights into a Deadwing fight.
    "Look at big scary dragon!" or rather its tentacle nail thingy.....
    Except now I can't see much off my army/team either.

    And thats just raiding.
    See quite a few claiming it aint that bad or fine in the open world.
    Might be for you, not so for me.

    If I wanted to play a FPS then i would be playing something else, if I wanted to play a MOBA then i would be playing something else etc.
    I keep playing WoW first and foremost due to the friends and connections I made over the years but also due to the user interface.
    Or rather the interface that used to be....

    Will probably renew and test it out some more late August without buying Legion to see if i can work with it somehow.


    *tinfoil hat
    I also think this alongside abilety pruning are aimed at console market.
    Less buttons etc.
    Believe they are making a mistake if they go for console thou.
    Might get a short term bump but then as soon the next big thing comes along subs will be gone.
    And the so called big things comes hard and fast, to soon be forgotten.

    Just my fistfull of cents ;-)
  1. Niggums's Avatar
    Not a fan of this change as most in this thread. I'll deal, but I do hope they revert this.
  1. Shivetya's Avatar
    One more thing just on the off chanse people from the official forums reading this.

    Please stop making this into a raiders vs none raider issue.
    Armoring the various forum trolls to proceed to point out they lack of mythic raiding is almost as much beside the point as the troll post itself.
    When it comes to for instance that mounted up on a bigger mount you fill up a large part of your screen.
    Unless you guys raid mounted up but then i guess its a mythic thing I never came across ;-)

    If you absolutely have to reply then rather ask them if the fact that other people can't zoom as far out as they like has in any way improved life for them.

    -----edit----
    Oh and it sucks to be a tauren
    *sniff
    -----edit-----
  1. Deja Thoris's Avatar
    Cross posted from Blizz forums - i posted this there

    They completely failed to address the negative impact the zoom has on player QoL (the staring at archimondes knees) syndrome. While I'm pleased they are *finally* acknowledging their breaking something that was fixed did have negative health implications they are still disingenuously avoiding a point that matters a lot to me.

    Also, they should drop the platitudes. It's taken them over a month to give new feedback. People that "care deeply" don't wait a month admit an issue exists that affects the well being of their customers.

    If you're going to do community engagement timing matters. Waiting till the rabble have surrounded you with pitchforks and then claiming to care is pathetic.
    Want to know how to fix this? Revert the slider change since it exacerbates it. Then start working on fixing the other underlying engine stuff you fudged up.

    Will you ever learn?
  1. Honeyprime's Avatar
    I decided to wait until I tried the pre-patch before I made a judgement. I have done that. I absolutely hate the change. I hope somebody more savvy than I am in writing addons will come up with one. I can't even look at Blook in my garrison anymore because I can't zoom out enough to see him at his full height. meh
  1. Damajin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Deja Thoris View Post
    Cross posted from Blizz forums - i posted this there

    They completely failed to address the negative impact the zoom has on player QoL (the staring at archimondes knees) syndrome. While I'm pleased they are *finally* acknowledging their breaking something that was fixed did have negative health implications they are still disingenuously avoiding a point that matters a lot to me.

    Also, they should drop the platitudes. It's taken them over a month to give new feedback. People that "care deeply" don't wait a month admit an issue exists that affects the well being of their customers.

    If you're going to do community engagement timing matters. Waiting till the rabble have surrounded you with pitchforks and then claiming to care is pathetic.
    Want to know how to fix this? Revert the slider change since it exacerbates it. Then start working on fixing the other underlying engine stuff you fudged up.

    Will you ever learn?
    Good post and I agree, it's disingenuous to say they care deeply when they sat on this as long as they have, and the only true recourse is to revert the slider change.
  1. SoulSoBreezy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Deja Thoris View Post
    Cross posted from Blizz forums - i posted this there

    They completely failed to address the negative impact the zoom has on player QoL (the staring at archimondes knees) syndrome. While I'm pleased they are *finally* acknowledging their breaking something that was fixed did have negative health implications they are still disingenuously avoiding a point that matters a lot to me.

    Also, they should drop the platitudes. It's taken them over a month to give new feedback. People that "care deeply" don't wait a month admit an issue exists that affects the well being of their customers.

    If you're going to do community engagement timing matters. Waiting till the rabble have surrounded you with pitchforks and then claiming to care is pathetic.
    Want to know how to fix this? Revert the slider change since it exacerbates it. Then start working on fixing the other underlying engine stuff you fudged up.

    Will you ever learn?
    "Completely failed?" Nah.
    https://youtu.be/8HfuU8Q22RM?t=4m30s
  1. Timberwind's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Honeyprime View Post
    I decided to wait until I tried the pre-patch before I made a judgement. I have done that. I absolutely hate the change. I hope somebody more savvy than I am in writing addons will come up with one. I can't even look at Blook in my garrison anymore because I can't zoom out enough to see him at his full height. meh
    You haven't adjusted your slider if you can't see Blook, he's a big guy, but at the current max, he's not that big homes.

    For all of you that are mad about staring a the bosses knees, you need to get a grip. You're the people who are so zoomed out, you miss the fire spawning under your feet or staring at the boss's swing animation to notice the one-shot mechanic coming from the left. I agree that the reasoning was not sound, but anyone who plays that far out isn't seeing things that are right next to their character (except for those of you pros with 50 inch moniters) I've never in my wow time played at the max distance because it completely disconnects me from the game, makes things harder to see and dodge, and offers no advantage that I can't get by simply looking around and being aware. I've watched as people stood in fire, get hit by cone attacks, get slapped by adds. All because they were more focused on what the boss looked like while he did the same swing animation 25 times rather than pay attention to thier surroundings. 70% of the wow community didn't even know you could zoom out. Stop being loud because you have to look at your character now..
  1. Adramelch's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Timberwind View Post
    but anyone who plays that far out isn't seeing things that are right next to their character (except for those of you pros with 50 inch moniters) I've never in my wow time played at the max distance because it completely disconnects me from the game, makes things harder to see and dodge, and offers no advantage that I can't get by simply looking around and being aware. I've watched as people stood in fire, get hit by cone attacks, get slapped by adds. All because they were more focused on what the boss looked like while he did the same swing animation 25 times rather than pay attention to thier surroundings. 70% of the wow community didn't even know you could zoom out. Stop being loud because you have to look at your character now..
    I'm not particularly fussed about the camera change, but this is just plain bullshit.
  1. Timberwind's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Adramelch View Post
    I'm not particularly fussed about the camera change, but this is just plain bullshit.
    Really isn't, at all. You'll get used to the changes, then eventually forget you had the option at all.
  1. Adramelch's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Timberwind View Post
    Really isn't, at all. You'll get used to the changes, then eventually forget you had the option at all.
    Oh I'm fine with the new camera distance personally. But having played at further zoom out, the part that says "but anyone who plays that far out isn't seeing things that are right next to their character" and " I've watched as people stood in fire, get hit by cone attacks, get slapped by adds. All because they were more focused on what the boss looked like while he did the same swing animation 25 times rather than pay attention to thier surroundings." (implying that the secound one is due to them playing at max distance) is bullshit. All that is because they were bad players rather than anything to do with the max distance. You could see every single thing with the old max distance (in terms of fire, cone attacks and the likes).
  1. Timberwind's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Adramelch View Post
    Oh I'm fine with the new camera distance personally. But having played at further zoom out, the part that says "but anyone who plays that far out isn't seeing things that are right next to their character" and " I've watched as people stood in fire, get hit by cone attacks, get slapped by adds. All because they were more focused on what the boss looked like while he did the same swing animation 25 times rather than pay attention to thier surroundings." (implying that the secound one is due to them playing at max distance) is bullshit. All that is because they were bad players rather than anything to do with the max distance. You could see every single thing with the old max distance (in terms of fire, cone attacks and the likes).
    People playing at max distance keep quoting that they can't see the boss, these are the people standing in fire. Just because you CAN see the effect, doesn't mean the DO see the effect, especially when the swirl beneath you (such as Xhul's purple swirls) can be hard to see even if you are zoomed in. If you've ever wondered why half the floor in Xhul's room is covered in purple fire its because people aren't seeing the swirls due to all the other crap that explodes and is purple in the room. They'd not have the problem if they weren't trying to "see the boss"
  1. Adramelch's Avatar
    These people are just not paying attention (also known as baddies). The camera distance is irrelevant here.
  1. Dch48's Avatar
    I never used that console command because I never even use the full default zoom. I have never played as a tank or a healer though. Strictly ranged dps. I do know that others in guilds I have raided with did zoom way out like that. I just never liked it. I don't even like seeing it in videos of the Boss fights. I watch those videos and it's not the game I play, or would ever want to. A full on FPS perspective would even be better.

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