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Regional FlagIs Blizzard Done with WoW? (Show MVP Posts)Source
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#1 - 2011/06/09 09:50:00 PM
This is something I've been pondering lately. Has Blizzard decided to just cash out with World of Warcraft? It kind of feels like it lately, but hold on! Before you go and bite my head off let me get my point across. Let me explain where I'm coming from, then you're all more than welcome to rip me a new one.

My biggest concern comes in patch 4.2 with the coming of the Firelands. Yes, it seems like a promising raid but apparently it's two major content patches late. It also was supposed to include the abyssal maw instance, but that has been scrapped. I remember reading in one of the Blue Posts that they "feel the daily quests are so awesome leading up to the firelands, that they really didn't need the other instance. " I personally feel that's just saving face. From what I've heard those 'awesome' dailies are basically some of the most grindtastic quests they have put into the game recently.

Now why do I feel like the above mention means Blizzard has walked away from WoW? Quite simply it feels like the bare minimum effort. It feels token and slap dashed, which is a little bad since Firelands and Abyssal Maw were suppose, according to my knowledge, be launch included. It feels as if these daily quests are just a stall tactic in my honest opinion. It feels as if we are paying the same we have been for years for the bare minimum of content.

This recent expansion is actually the slowest in terms of content production. Burning Crusade was much faster in terms of pushing out content. It even managed multiple raid tiers in short periods of time. Why then is a game that has been around this long actually taking longer to push out content that just isn't as substantial? Is it because they have multiple projects they are working on? Well that can't be it because that would be silly to have only one team working on five different games.

4.1 was another point of contention for me. It just felt like it was something rushed onto stage to stammer and tell some stories about Trolls while Blizzard quickly tried to finish the Firelands behind the curtains. It felt like another stalling tactic, and a reskined one at that. Yes, ZG and ZA were beloved instances in their time. Yes the loot was lovely and yes everyone loves Trolls but what we'd love more than anything is fresh, new content. We would love for new instances, new lore.

It just feels, at least to me, like Blizzard has been putting as little effort as possible into all this. Sure, they remade the world but even then there are spots where it's just a coat of paint over some rust, with Theramore being a perfect example. All of the quests there are exactly the same since Vanilla. They haven't actually changed a single one. You're still discrediting deserters and fighting that kraken in the bay.

I know Blizzard can do amazing things. In fact I saw amazing things in Wrath of the Lich King, in fact I'm still exploring Northrend. Blizzard, I love you guys, you've provided a few years of wonderful entertainment for me and many others but it just feels like you heart isn't in it any more. There are things that need to be addressed and to be totally honest they have been danced around long enough.

Where is Abyssal Maw? Where is our multiple raids/instances per content? Where is the Lore? Where is Deathwing? Where is everything you've promised? Path of the Titans? Dance Studio? Updated player models?

We crave more content per major patch and we crave something more. We were promised a three course meal, and we were expecting just that. What we've been given so far has been rolls. Delicious, tasty, wonderful rolls...but they just aren't the meal we've been promised.

Community Manager
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#33 - 2011/06/09 10:41:00 PM
We are not done as you can see by our ongoing development of patch 4.2 and we have more in store after that. Whether or not it hits the mark for you is completely up to you, but unless you see us say we're hanging it up, don't count us down for the count.

Community Manager
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#63 - 2011/06/09 11:23:00 PM

Neth, do you think your voice has lost strength with the community?

No, I don't. I just think that people have concerns (of which we're aware of) and we're doing what we can to address what we can as we go.

As for having someone else speak, we've been talking and will continue to talk. Just recently Dave Kosak gave some insight on the new quest hubs. (On the blog.) Greg Street continues to share his own insights there as well. No matter your personal thoughts or feelings about what they have to say, they care deeply for the game and community.

While some may have concerns over whether their questions in the Q&As are being answered or not, we are talking there as well. We're here in the forums responding to what we can.

It's true we don't have infinite resources and that's been true since day one of World of Warcraft. That hasn't changed. I see it come up time and time again that the "good" devs have moved to the new project, but that too isn't true in the way people think it is and is insulting and dismissive to the guys (and gals) who have been on the team for years. The people working on World of Warcraft are people who have been here for years or are still being guided by those who have been here for years. The people who "left" WoW haven't really left either. They are here at the studio lending their ears and thoughts to those still working on World of Warcraft. They haven't washed their hands of the game and the company hasn't washed their hands either.

We know we aren't always going to agree on a direction. We know we can make mistakes or not anticipate every possible outcome, but there is no way I'm going to tell you that we don't care, or that the developers don't care or that we are insular from the concerns being voiced.

We are and continue to be passionate about the game and about the community. We're never going to give everyone their perfect answer, but that isn't going to stop us from trying to meet and exceed expectations where we can. We aren't beat or beaten but can understand how easy it is to buy into that idea with so many people repeating the thought. Sometimes it's hard to be positive when you only see the negative, but the positive is still there and we refuse to lay down and go with the negative flow of thought. As any game "ages" it is so easy to forget the good and the "polish" and start picking at what you see as flaws. It's also easy to take for granted all the things that are added in because they make so much sense. Eventually you forget that it was ever new to begin with because it feels like it was always there.

Again, we're totally open to constructive feedback. We're not deaf to it. We just may not react immediately or have the answer you want. It's just not always possible to. That doesn't mean we didn't hear it or think about it on one level or another and it doesn't mean that we are going to suddenly stop listening because we don't like what someone has to say. We're just asking that the dialogue stay open, honest, and most importantly constructive.

Community Manager
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#72 - 2011/06/09 11:31:00 PM
06/09/2011 04:27 PMPosted by Fayul
We are and continue to be passionate about the game and about the community. We're never going to give everyone their perfect answer, but that isn't going to stop us from trying to meet and exceed expectations where we can

Neth just as you say you and yours are passionate about this game, remember many of its player are too.

We are aware and don't take that lightly in any way. I've said it before and it always bears repeating, passionate people post passionately. It's when people stop talking and caring that I become concerned. I know people think that the "negative" posts weigh the community team down, but while that can be true at times, we understand why they happen and we do what we can to find the feedback that we can take to the development team and use. We're not forced to do what we do. We genuinely care even when we might disagree or need to disagree from time to time. That doesn't mean we've forgotten what you've said or shared with us though.

Community Manager
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#77 - 2011/06/09 11:37:00 PM
That all is very good to hear, and a much appreciate perspective Neth. I think from a perspective of repetitive topics and gripes that just don't go away it may be productive from time to time to give the community definitive feedback that perhaps sometimes the devs either do agree and are working on it, or don't agree and consider their direction to be better.

For instance, I've never heard any blizz commentary regarding the current state of sitting in the capital cities and not being out in the world. A lot of recurring gripes and threads would go away and perhaps the negativity with it if voices on high were ever to just go ahead and proclaim "Yes we realize we killed the game world and are implementing content to fix this/we intended for people to sit in cities all day and will continue to develop with this as a goal" (or whatever any one person's particular pet issue is) Either way, a lot of thread redundancy and repetition could be eliminated with some definitive feedback on what the design philosophy actually is.

We've actually responded to this in the Ask the Devs and other places as well. We could keep repeating ourselves, but I can assure you, the question will come up again and again, because people tend to hope that at some point the answer will change. Which to that end, I can't say I blame them completely since we've changed our minds before and always reserve the right to change our minds again. ;)

We of course want people exploring the world, but we also like the cities to feel full of activity.

Community Manager
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#92 - 2011/06/09 11:54:00 PM

That is true for a lot of cases, such as the issues with citys, but for a lot of complaints or unrest generated by changes that negatively impact a particular class or subsect of the game (tanking, healing, or DPS) we don't get those sorts of responses in the places where a dialogue would be beneficial.

Even in places where things could be a chance to get those questions answered the responses are either to dodge the point, or have them overshadowed by things like "DPS health is too high" or "When can we see taunts become a guaranteed hit like interrupts".

I would love to clone the team and send them out to spend time answering every little thing we can, but we only have so much time in the day. We do what we can and it's why we've been pushing to improve the patch notes, do the dev Q&As, do the Watercooler, post preview blogs with whatever screenshots and visual cues we can. We aren't idling our time away on our end and we try to be careful about jumping too far into productive threads. Sometimes we don't have the answer because sometimes the developers don't have the answer. But that doesn't mean the answer won't come at some point or ever. Sometimes we know of great things in development that will make people happy, but we need to time it right so that we make sure that a. the information is correct and b. that it's not going to get bumped due to time constraints for a more high priority item.

There are so many things that can be done or we would like to do with World of Warcraft. Just like there are so many things the Community Team itself would like to do as well, but our time is not infinite either and I can bet you that every single one of us still sneaks a look at the forums even when we're "off" of work. If you know anything about community management, it's that we have a hard time turning that off, just as the development team likewise doesn't just stop thinking about what the next move is either. It's in the blood I think.

Whether we get to the answer for you or not, the questions and feedback aren't far from our thoughts. That said, we will always keep pushing ourselves to do better.