1. #1

    The wildfire factor: Let’s give it its proper discussion

    Alright let’s have this talk, but let’s say the most important part first:

    Lives and livelihoods are vastly more important than the timing or even the existence of a video game, full stop. I’d like to think we all realize and acknowledge this, and just so everyone won’t have to disclaim it individually I have said it up front for all of you.

    That part said, let’s get real about it, in its own thread where the above has been made clear. How much, if at all will the wildfire situation impact Shadowlands and/or WoW’s schedule or even existence? Has this happened before with the game unaffected? I don’t recall WoWhead mentioning the wildfires before and I’d like a frank discussion on the actual possibilities.

    We can acknowledge the inherent, obvious priorities here and still discuss the issue in the context those priorities establish, so let’s do that. We can also dedicate this thread and update it as things specifically develop.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Omedon View Post
    Lives and livelihoods are vastly more important than the timing or even the existence of a video game, full stop.
    True.

    And on Topic: its probably not going to change much. Activision Blizzard is a multi-billion dollar company. As far as we know most Shadowlands devs are working from their home office. So i really doubt that it'll have a large impact on Shadowlands or WoW as a whole, if any.

  3. #3
    Who knows... It probably depends on how many people working on WoW from home were evacuated because of this, how long the danger will persist and finally on whether it will result on serious and extensive property damages or not. Most chances are that it won't impact SL development significantly.

    Still, it's a fire... It won't be raging for long, so we'll know pretty soon, unless some weird scenario happens with air changing directions, etc.

    Obviously, the important thing is not to have life losses or property damages, like with every natural disaster.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Zambajazz View Post
    True.

    And on Topic: its probably not going to change much. Activision Blizzard is a multi-billion dollar company. As far as we know most Shadowlands devs are working from their home office. So i really doubt that it'll have a large impact on Shadowlands or WoW as a whole, if any.
    I guess my major concern here maybe isn’t so much the centralized building as the potential for evacuations to affect the lives of Blizzard employees and, in the context of this specific discussion, progress on their work.

  5. #5
    This wildfire will have little, if any impact on the expansion. This isn't the 1st wildfire they have gone through an it won't be the last.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Zambajazz View Post
    True.

    And on Topic: its probably not going to change much. Activision Blizzard is a multi-billion dollar company. As far as we know most Shadowlands devs are working from their home office. So i really doubt that it'll have a large impact on Shadowlands or WoW as a whole, if any.
    Didn't some devs tweets that they have been evacuated from their homes?
    I mean given the surface area of the fire and its proximity, it have to be impacting a lot of them directly. A lot of blizzard employees are bound to be living in the impacted areas.

    Also some people will need to take time off to help family members or friends impacted by the fire.

    I don't think it's reasonable or realistic to expect that this won't have an impact. Looking at that map I can imagine that if something of this magnitude happened where I live, every company in town would be seriously affected.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Zambajazz View Post
    True.

    And on Topic: its probably not going to change much. Activision Blizzard is a multi-billion dollar company. As far as we know most Shadowlands devs are working from their home office. So i really doubt that it'll have a large impact on Shadowlands or WoW as a whole, if any.
    They posted today on twitter that many of the employees are affected by this. I assume said employees do not live that far away from the office, so home office is nice and all, but if you are literally just a few miles away either way...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Cumbersome View Post
    Didn't some devs tweets that they have been evacuated from their homes?
    I mean given the surface area of the fire and its proximity, it have to be impacting a lot of them directly. A lot of blizzard employees are bound to be living in the impacted areas.

    Also some people will need to take time off to help family members or friends impacted by the fire.

    I don't think it's reasonable or realistic to expect that this won't have an impact. Looking at that map I can imagine that if something of this magnitude happened where I live, every company in town would be seriously affected.
    This. Is debatable on how much it will affect blizzard itself and what departments, but it is very reasonable to expect that people will either be affected directly or indirectly by having family members in the area.
    These massive fires are crazy for us North Europeans. Hurricanes, Fires, Tornadoes. Worst we get is a 30cm snow or not enough/too much rain so it damages the crops.

  9. #9
    Difficult to fully know. Blizzard has said their employees are working from home, and without knowing where they live we cannot determine how its impacting their work. If they live outside the areas evacuated they're likely happily crunching away at home. Those closer are probably losing work hours preparing for the possibility to evacuate, and those that have evacuated probably, rightfully, give a shit less about the development of SL right now vs their immediate future.

    Its probably safe to assume at least some employees have been affected in category 2 and 3 above, so it would not surprise me to see this have a small impact at least.

  10. #10
    Stealthed Defender unbound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omedon View Post
    We can acknowledge the inherent, obvious priorities here and still discuss the issue in the context those priorities establish, so let’s do that. We can also dedicate this thread and update it as things specifically develop.
    Of course that has priority.

    But you are just spitballing reasons for SL delays. I have 2 people on my project that have been impacted by the West coast fires. Their situation was very scary, and my company did a really nice job helping them out.

    But that did not impact my project one bit. If WoW has any amount of reasonable resources, one or two impacted by fires will not have any impact on the program.

    Stop trying to hand excuses to a large corporation that has the resources and wherewithal to deal with such situations. If they had a widespread problem due to the fires, they would *absolutely* be shouting that out.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by unbound View Post
    Of course that has priority.

    But you are just spitballing reasons for SL delays. I have 2 people on my project that have been impacted by the West coast fires. Their situation was very scary, and my company did a really nice job helping them out.

    But that did not impact my project one bit. If WoW has any amount of reasonable resources, one or two impacted by fires will not have any impact on the program.

    Stop trying to hand excuses to a large corporation that has the resources and wherewithal to deal with such situations. If they had a widespread problem due to the fires, they would *absolutely* be shouting that out.
    ofcourse 1-2 people won't matter considering the size of the dev team.
    But that only brings up the question of "how many were affected".

    Lets pluck a completely arbitrary number of the sky and say 100 devs had to evacuate. I would assume losing 100 devs for several days will effect development. Now it might not be to the point of forcing a further delay but the game will be worse as a result (less tuning, some small features still being worked on not finished ect).
    It ignores such insignificant forces as time, entropy, and death

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by unbound View Post
    Of course that has priority.

    But you are just spitballing reasons for SL delays. I have 2 people on my project that have been impacted by the West coast fires. Their situation was very scary, and my company did a really nice job helping them out.

    But that did not impact my project one bit. If WoW has any amount of reasonable resources, one or two impacted by fires will not have any impact on the program.

    Stop trying to hand excuses to a large corporation that has the resources and wherewithal to deal with such situations. If they had a widespread problem due to the fires, they would *absolutely* be shouting that out.
    It's going to differ from person to person and company to company. I'm glad that you were lucky it didn't mess everything up for you have no idea what it's like there, you're not there in their situation. It's like people that think that homeless people are stupid and only spend money on booze when they could've also been screwed over by a spouse or a business partner. Again, you have no clue what the situation really is. How can a natural catastrophe be a made up excuse lol.

  13. #13
    Ragnaros has been summoned into our world....BY FIRE BE PURGED!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaelthon
    do i wanting my cat come the expansion due to signifying a reroll fresh scratch the night elf mage?

  14. #14
    The Insane Thage's Avatar
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    At the moment, with most of the developers working from home, the only thing Blizzard as a company would need to worry about would be removing vital hardware from the site and relocating it, should the fires spread to where they would threaten Blizzard HQ. This would likely mean 2-3 days, or at worst a week, of downtime as servers were relocated somewhere safer. As for how it is affecting development now, I imagine there is some slowdown as some devs may have been forced to relocate or relocated of their own will, but I don't foresee this being a cause of significant delays.

    The fact of the matter is that Shadowlands, as it stood in beta prior to the original launch date, was not ready for launch. The ongoing delay is seeing quite a bit of numbers tuning and even some alterations to the Covenant systems, as well as bug fixes for both the live servers and beta servers, suggesting the issues enforcing the delay have less to do with the fires and more to do with problems with the game itself.
    Be seeing you guys on Bloodsail Buccaneers NA!



  15. #15
    based on tweets, there are a fair number of employees impacted, though not sure on the impact it then has on the game.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Omedon View Post
    Alright let’s have this talk, but let’s say the most important part first:

    Lives and livelihoods are vastly more important than the timing or even the existence of a video game, full stop. I’d like to think we all realize and acknowledge this, and just so everyone won’t have to disclaim it individually I have said it up front for all of you.

    That part said, let’s get real about it, in its own thread where the above has been made clear. How much, if at all will the wildfire situation impact Shadowlands and/or WoW’s schedule or even existence? Has this happened before with the game unaffected? I don’t recall WoWhead mentioning the wildfires before and I’d like a frank discussion on the actual possibilities.

    We can acknowledge the inherent, obvious priorities here and still discuss the issue in the context those priorities establish, so let’s do that. We can also dedicate this thread and update it as things specifically develop.
    You're obviously right, but people don't care about stuff that doesn't affect them anywhere near as much as the stuff that does. Out of sight, out of mind.

  17. #17
    Shadowlands is "close" to launch, in that they thought it was there once. I'm guessing a lot of assets are ready to go. If the entire art team loses a week, for instance, is that going to affect the launch? Maybe, depending on how many new assets they still need for their Maw work, but probably not as significantly as those dealing with balance. Then, how many of those people are able to continue to work? If they have company laptops, its reasonable that they could still do some work from wherever they've been relocated. I personally would welcome doing a few hours of work in the midst of a crisis like that to give me something to focus on that I have control over. Lastly, how long does it take from them to return to their "normal" operation? I have no experience with this, so I'll defer to those that do, but I presume that any potential delay would not exceed this timeframe, and likely would be much lower assuming 50% or fewer of essential personnel for the launch are affected.

  18. #18
    The Lightbringer Sinndra's Avatar
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    i live in Southern Commiefornia. the wildfires are not much of a factor in the game development at all.

    couple of things to consider here, first.. the blizzard employees dont all live in the same small neighborhood bordering any of the hills where fires generally burn.

    a couple of people might be close, but most are in no danger other than some heavy smoke.

    this is a commuter region, many people travel a long distance from home to the office, very few live in close proximity to the actual office. Blizzard HQ itself isnt in any danger of wildfire.

    employees being "impacted" on twitter is mostly just people that can see the smoke. is the fire serious? yes, to some, but not to most. although the view of the smoke is dramatic and worth posting on twitter.

    our winds are strong right now, but expected to die down over the next 12 hrs. as the winds calm, the fire crews will be able to start containing the fire.

    basically the number of people that are actually affected by the fire, is comparable to any other company that its employees would call in sick to. its manageable. Blizzard game design doesnt hinge on any 1 individual employee.. they can handle the workload if a few people were to call in sick at the same time.
    Quote Originally Posted by ablib View Post
    I do realize that this is an internet forum full of morons, however in real life, no one questions me, people look to me for the answer, look up to me, trust me. To have dipshits on a video game forum question me, is insulting.

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