Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews - Updated 8.26

General Discussion
Post Limit:
Prev 1 6 7 8 11 Next
08/28/2013 01:37 PMPosted by Yaegar
So your issue is largely centered around Vol'jin's regard to the Alliance player? Or that there wasn't enough content in the Battlefield: Barrens patch?


Both. They're separate, but strongly related, issues. I don't think Vol'jin should be begging and pandering for my support. But not two years ago he was sending emissaries to the Alliance capital, against Garrosh's will, to seek our assistance. Now that times are inarguable more dire, he wants to insult and threaten us? It's inconsistent characterization and poor writing.

Adding more quests would have given the writers more freedom to tell a better story and provide more motivation for both sides. You can't have good quests without a good story, and you can't have a good story without good quests. This patch gave us far fewer quests than 5.1 (the most comparable patch) and poorly constructed repeatable quest.

Maybe an Alliance-themed Quartermaster would have assisted in this? Perhaps moving the Alliance quests outside of Razor Hill, to a temporary outpost?


Or a secret rendezvous point for Alliance players and NPC rebels. Something to differentiate our contributions (at least on the player's side) from those of the Horde players. I'm not going to use the cop-out "I'm not a dev" answer here, but I haven't spent much time thinking about how to improve the Alliance player's experience because I've only recently been able to boil down exactly what I feel the issues are.
Though, as I stated earlier in that post you quoted, we should have been more involved and appreciated in the Battlefield: Barrens patch.

So your issue is largely centered around Vol'jin's regard to the Alliance player? Or that there wasn't enough content in the Battlefield: Barrens patch? Maybe an Alliance-themed Quartermaster would have assisted in this? Perhaps moving the Alliance quests outside of Razor Hill, to a temporary outpost?


I know you asked this of Marzo, but I'd like to answer it for my part, because I think we agree on how it could have economically been remedied.

Let's imagine that in the 5.3 content, Cho sent the Alliance player to the Mor'shan rampart instead of the outskirts of Orgrimmar. Instead of doing recon with a remote control cat, the Alliance player joined some prominent NPCs (say, Shandris Feathermoon, Genn Greymane and King Chynn, since he was supposed to get lots of development in Mists) at a hastily constructed outpost on the edge of Ashenvale. You discover, along with these NPCs, that the Darkspear trolls are in open rebellion against the Horde, and that the Kor'Kron are strip mining the Barrens for the resources to conduct some massive military operation.

You do some quests related to recon, do a little phased event wherein you take back Silverwing Outpost or some other hub location in Ashenvale, and at that point it is stationed with a hippo master, Alliance quest givers and a quartermaster NPC. They want you to take advantage of Garrosh having to suppress this rebellion to hit the Horde right in the supply lines. Go into the Barrens and steal crap from the Kor'kron strip miners. Take their meat, their lumber, their stone and oil. Bring it back to the Alliance for distribution to the starving humans in the Westfall and the fortification of Lor'danel and so forth.

The repeatable stuff stays the same: fly around the Barrens murdering Garrosh's taskmasters and taking the supplies bound for Orgrimmar. Only now you're interacting with Alliance NPCs, and advancing the causes of the Alliance, and let the Horde sort its own damned self out.

So for the cost of one phased outpost, a hippogryph master and some extra NPCs you've got Alliance buying into the same repeatable content. Hell, if phasing is too much bother they could've done the landing at Forest Song and included the draenei in the bargain.
08/28/2013 01:41 PMPosted by Kaganfindel
The Horde revolution and the Siege of Orgrimmar is a story the Alliance doesn't fit into.

But this establishes a level of miscommunication. Earlier, you made a point that Blizzard was wrong to place importance on the activity itself, but now you're saying that the problem actually does lie with the fact that players are besieging Orgrimmar. The core seems to be the fact that it's a siege on a faction capital of any kind, which consequentially makes your desires for the content fundamentally impossible.

This interpretation leads to a question which you've already heard: Would you have been more satisfied if the roles were reversed, and the central plot was focused on Stormwind, rather than Orgrimmar? This carries the explicit consequence that the Horde would be shoehorned into the arc, given that if this weren't the case, then the cause of the problem cannot in-fact lie with the nature of the siege arc exclusively.
08/27/2013 07:52 PMPosted by Cadenbrie
Take feedback from the forums as design gospel and an appropriate summation of all player opinions? No.


Then just where do you take your player opinions from?

Because the fan sites and the forums have been saying the same thing about the Alliance for two expansions now.

The interview was very depressing to watch since it is very clear that the people in charge don't get it in the slightest.

But that will just be brushed off as standard forum whining I guess.

We get feedback in countless ways: fansites, podcasts, streams, Twitter, Facebook, direct through email, and including (but not limited to!) the forums, etc.

The intent of my post was to address the age-old, potentially rhetorical question, "Do you even read your own forums?" Not to be confused with, "Do you even play your own game?"

The debate over faction story development continues internally here at Blizzard, as it does on the forums and elsewhere.
08/28/2013 01:54 PMPosted by Yaegar
The Horde revolution and the Siege of Orgrimmar is a story the Alliance doesn't fit into.

But this establishes a level of miscommunication. Earlier, you made a point that Blizzard was wrong to place importance on the activity itself, but now you're saying that the problem actually does lie with the fact that players are besieging Orgrimmar. The core seems to be the fact that it's a siege on a faction capital of any kind, which consequentially makes your desires for the content fundamentally impossible.


I think the point you're missing is that I desired content that is not this content. I desire content for Alliance characters that is about the Alliance doing things that benefit the Alliance. I am arguing that this content does not, cannot fit that description, and that their attempts to force it to do so have made it fundamentally unstable for both factions.
This interpretation leads to a question which you've already heard: Would you have been more satisfied if the roles were reversed, and the central plot was focused on Stormwind, rather than Orgrimmar? This carries the explicit consequence that the Horde would be shoehorned into the arc, given that if this weren't the case, then the cause of the problem cannot in-fact lie with the nature of the siege arc exclusively.


Imagine a situation where King Wrynn takes absolute control over the Alliance and alienates the Dwarves, Night Elfs, and Gnomes. He systemically ignores the Worgen and Draenei. So, those groups band together and plot to overthrow him so that they can seat Anduin on the throne and use him as their puppet in upcoming negotiations and battles. Secretly, the ruling council will contain one representative from each faction, excluding the humans of Stormwind. You, the Horde, are tasked with making this happen!

I know you asked this of Marzo, but I'd like to answer it for my part, because I think we agree on how it could have economically been remedied.

<snip>


I actually like this idea. It's incredibly more consistent with the game's lore and a logical military approach to the siege.
08/28/2013 01:57 PMPosted by Zarhym


Then just where do you take your player opinions from?

Because the fan sites and the forums have been saying the same thing about the Alliance for two expansions now.

The interview was very depressing to watch since it is very clear that the people in charge don't get it in the slightest.

But that will just be brushed off as standard forum whining I guess.

We get feedback in countless ways: fansites, podcasts, streams, Twitter, Facebook, direct through email, and including (but not limited to!) the forums.

My the intent of my post was to address the age-old, potentially rhetorical question, "Do you even read your own forums?" Not to be confused with, "Do you even play your own game?"

The debate over faction story development continues internally here at Blizzard, as it does on the forums and elsewhere.


I bet its a toughie, trying to bring great stories to both sides, in-game. I'm sure its someways easier to write for the Horde, I mean, it's main themes are a part of pop culture, noble savage, misunderstood heroes, the complexities of Evil and all that. While the ideals of the Alliance, in many ways, belong to an older generation

I find it interesting that the debate over faction story development is actually happening at Blizzard. This is a good sign, especially when, at times, it seems that the Alliance is only around to make the Horde look good.

I have hope that Blizzard can and will make something Epic out of the Alliance Story in 5.4, and I mean not just a military victory
08/28/2013 01:48 PMPosted by Marzo
I'm not going to use the cop-out "I'm not a dev" answer here, but I haven't spent much time thinking about how to improve the Alliance player's experience because I've only recently been able to boil down exactly what I feel the issues are.

That's fine, obviously. No one expects you to have a perfect insight into potential development options. But brainstorming -- within reasonable confines -- and specifying concerns or alternatives is far more constructive than vague disdain. Even if it's not perfect, it most certainly does help in the long run.

I would also note that I think a lot of players overestimate the nature of the feedback Blizzard receives. It's not enough for a mass to simply express their ire. This won't fix much, as evident by the point that so much of this expansion seems to be an attempt to address a lot of the vocal complaints that came out in Cataclysm. Blizzard experiments often with the game, and constructive feedback goes a long way.

08/28/2013 01:48 PMPosted by Marzo
Or a secret rendezvous point for Alliance players and NPC rebels.
08/28/2013 01:54 PMPosted by Kaganfindel
So for the cost of one phased outpost

So, what I'm getting is one of the best options here would be to have had the Alliance located in their own base, rather than working so closely with Vol'jin. Speaking as a predominantly Horde player, I have to agree with the suggestion. I've been enjoying the conflict narrative, but find it falling flat by the fact that, yet again, we're teaming up to defeat this expansion's BBEG.
Imagine a situation where King Wrynn takes absolute control over the Alliance and alienates the Dwarves, Night Elfs, and Gnomes. He systemically ignores the Worgen and Draenei. So, those groups band together and plot to overthrow him so that they can seat Anduin on the throne and use him as their puppet in upcoming negotiations and battles. Secretly, the ruling council will contain one representative from each faction, excluding the humans of Stormwind. You, the Horde, are tasked with making this happen!


Precisely! The Siege of Orgrimmar was a novel begging to be written. Instead, it became an unfortunate waste of content that's extremely hard to buy into from the point of view of a member of the Alliance.

Read the forums? Sure. We also send them reports of the hot topics on the forums, which oftentimes include Alliance concerns about story development.

Take feedback from the forums as design gospel and an appropriate summation of all player opinions? No.


And why exactly is the concerns and opinions of forum goers implied to be less valuable?

They're not less valuable. I didn't imply that.

Glad we could clear that up together. :)
I really want to beta test all new patches and expansions. The reason being i really want to get involved in the WOW community.

It would really mean a lot to me if you made me a beta tester for all the new patches and expansions coming out in the future.

Thanks for your time.
So, what I'm getting is one of the best options here would be to have had the Alliance located in their own base, rather than working so closely with Vol'jin. Speaking as a predominantly Horde player, I have to agree with the suggestion. I've been enjoying the conflict narrative, but find it falling flat by the fact that, yet again, we're teaming up to defeat this expansion's BBEG.


I actually enjoyed nearly everything from a story perspective in this expansion up until the 5.3 patch. This expansion has been especially enjoyable when you contrast it against the relatively light storytelling that we got in Cata. I guess, to echo your complaint, it started to unfold once we got lumped together and were forced to unite against a common enemy.
So, what I'm getting is one of the best options here would be to have had the Alliance located in their own base, rather than working so closely with Vol'jin. Speaking as a predominantly Horde player, I have to agree with the suggestion. I've been enjoying the conflict narrative, but find it falling flat by the fact that, yet again, we're teaming up to defeat this expansion's BBEG.

YES. They're forcing you to come to us for help, robbing you of the chance to recover some dignity by cleaning house, and they're forcing us to do your dirty work, robbing us of the chance to have a story of our own.

This is your show. You should be the star, and it should be your fist-pump moment as you set things right in your own backyard. It should be on a smaller scale, and we should be doing something else entirely.

That's the bitter part. It was too late for this sort of feedback by the time we were able to give it. Hell, it was probably too late for it by the time we were complaining about the content distribution in Cataclysm. I can almost wrap my head around Kosak and company seeing this train wreck coming years back, and having to spin it as a good thing anyway because it was too late to change course.
The debate over faction story development continues internally here at Blizzard, as it does on the forums and elsewhere.


If I may ask, is it debate over if it needs further development, or which direction development should go?
If I may ask, is it debate over if it needs further development, or which direction development should go?


Which part of his statement where it was not clear that they are inclusive and not mutually exclusive as you seem to portray.
08/27/2013 09:11 PMPosted by Puré
Alliance won all the wars


Its like you don't know the story at all.

The debate over faction story development continues internally here at Blizzard, as it does on the forums and elsewhere.


Any chance we can get more updates on that debate? We get constant updates on gameplay mechanics from Ghostcrawler and other CMs about their thoughts and feelings, but we only rarely hear things from Kosak and friends.

It'd be very helpful if they started talking to us and telling us what they're hearing, because right now it seems like there's a really big communication gap.

The debate over faction story development continues internally here at Blizzard, as it does on the forums and elsewhere.


Any chance we can get more updates on that debate? We get constant updates on gameplay mechanics from Ghostcrawler and other CMs about their thoughts and feelings, but we only rarely hear things from Kosak and friends.

It'd be very helpful if they started talking to us and telling us what they're hearing, because right now it seems like there's a really big communication gap.


Definitely agree with you there, Enekie.

See, Zarhym, we all know that this brouhaha (I could have used another word, but you don't often get a chance to say brouhaha. Such a funny word, brouhaha.) is not the fault of you or the other Blues. It's the fault of developers who seem to be unable or unwilling to truly comprehend the complaints being foisted upon them by the players of this game. We know they talk on Twitter or Facebook, but contrary to popular belief, there are still quite a few people who don't tweet or use Facebook because they don't really want to. In fact, for stuff about WoW, they really shouldn't have to; this is, after all, the main site for WoW and should be communication central for the developers to speak with and learn from their consumers to put out the best quality of product out there.

So why is it, then, that the Devs don't seem to want to talk to us? Instead, Zarhym, they use you and the other Blues as their messengers. But perhaps more importantly here on these forums, and I apologize if this is blunt and to the point, but they use you and the other Blues as their Whipping Boys. Why should they take the heat when they got people like you to do it for them, am I right? And for a situation like this that has been going on for as long as it has been going on, it's high time that they man up and start talking with us instead of having you guys do it for them and take the full brunt of our complaints. It's disrespectful of them to you and the other Blues that you are constantly put in the line of fires for THEIR mistakes.

So, if you'll take my advice, Zarhym, I highly recommend that you get Kosak or some of the other Devs in charge of story and what have you and get them to talk to us HERE. Not Twitter. Not Facebook. HERE. Get a dialogue open, and get this large, festering wound on its way to be healed, before it's too late! And if you say something like that can't be done, then I will have to point you towards FFXIV: ARR. Yes, we all know the original release of the game was BEYOND bad, but the new guy and his team that they brought in to save what many thought could not be saved? It was saved, but it was not done by him alone. He worked hand in hand WITH THE FANS and the end result, while certainly no WoW-Killer (not nearly naive enough to throw that term around), already has a large following despite a rocky launch due to server issues. The Devs there worked with and listened to their fans and in the end, a high quality product was the result. Perhaps it would be wise to take a lesson from your competitors before your competitors overtake you? Just a thought.
08/28/2013 11:33 AMPosted by Superdood


I won't get defensive. Here's why... THIS IS A VIDEO GAME!

It is there story to tell and no amount of crying or whining will change that. Offer opinions? I get it. Rage and threaten (both of which I have seen from Alliance players because they don't feel they are getting their due)? Not so much.

Honestly, I don't play WOW for the story. I play it because it allows me to enjoy a few hours here and there with friends/family, playing a game together. It serves as a great way to decompress.

If a game causes you so much consternation that you get your feelings hurt, enough so that you claim some kind of conspiracy of favoritism, chances are you really need to find a different hobby.


Who are you exactly that you can tell people how much they should care about something just because you don't? Stop trying to stir up good posters on this thread.


Not for anything, but... who are you to question me? See how that works?

I can care less how people feel about anything really... but once entitled players start to demand for things in a game filled with just about as many opinions of how something should be as there are people who play the game, I figure i'm just as entitled as they are to share my opinion. Sabe?
08/28/2013 01:57 PMPosted by Zarhym


Then just where do you take your player opinions from?

Because the fan sites and the forums have been saying the same thing about the Alliance for two expansions now.

The interview was very depressing to watch since it is very clear that the people in charge don't get it in the slightest.

But that will just be brushed off as standard forum whining I guess.

We get feedback in countless ways: fansites, podcasts, streams, Twitter, Facebook, direct through email, and including (but not limited to!) the forums, etc.

My the intent of my post was to address the age-old, potentially rhetorical question, "Do you even read your own forums?" Not to be confused with, "Do you even play your own game?"

The debate over faction story development continues internally here at Blizzard, as it does on the forums and elsewhere.


Are you discussing how Pro Horde you can get away with without getting Alliance players angry? Because it sure is not looking like you understand what Alliance players see when they play the game.

After the last Blizzcon where you had that "rocker" on the stage and actually played his anti- alliance rant how can we trust anything that comes out of Blizzard about fairness for the factions?

Until you start to show it in your actions it is just words meant to shut up the Alliance players and keep taking their money.

Join the Conversation