These "Hotfixes" are a no, no.

90 Blood Elf Hunter
7970
Op worry less about ""getting the max out of your class"" and more about playing what you ENJOY. holy and disc are both viable. half a precent improvement here or there is highly unlikly to be "THE REASON WE DOWNED X BOSS"

its a game. play what you like.


This is the absolute best advice I have seen on the forums in a VERY long time. It applies to so very many situations in WoW. Classes get buffed and classes get nerfed, it happens all the time but if you ENJOY your class you will still behaving fun no matter what Bliz does.
90 Night Elf Druid
17180
We actually spent a bit of time talking to the designers about this very topic, and it's something they're well aware of and realize isn't always ideal.
...
Some changes in 4.0.6 and/or 4.0.6a were just wrong.
...
While there was feedback from the PTR on what is broken, overpowered, underpowered, etc. there simply wasn't enough data and real world proof for us to make changes.
...
The third point discussed was that we have an obligation to deploy hotfixes when we feel we're making quality of life-improvements, fixing errors, or simply making good balance changes. Good balance is very much debatable among who you ask, of course. ;)
...
they also have an obligation to not use the live realms as a balancing laboratory.


It's nice to hear you've been talking about it. As you point out, it comes down to a lack of balancing testing done on the PTR. Seesaw hotfixes are expected on the PTR. But they're annoying on live and show a lack of testing or at least number crunching.

Nobody wants to go 6 months before a fix (or years in the case of things like the druid hitbox or the combat enrage bug). And you're right that you can't make decisions from QQ posts. But if you're only going to give your changes a few days or a week on the PTR (or release stuff that was never on the PTR), of course you don't have data. Take some time to gather the data you need. If you don't have the time, then at least don't try such drastic changes without testing. Also consider that while player feedback may not be justified in numbers, player dissatisfaction isn't just about numbers or data.

Communication and transparency are the other part that has been lacking. Players are more likely to be OK with changes if they a) know about the change (missing patch notes, unnanounced changes), b) know your reason behind the changes, and c) know you actually tested the changes in real encounters, pvp fights and/or the PTR. Hiding from the forums or deleting dissenting posts en masse does not build a better player community.

And at the core remember that we play this game because we find the game fun. If you need time to get balance right and keep the fun factor the take the time. If changes done for the sake of dps meters or arena representation end up making people not enjoy the game, the changes failed. (And no, I'm not saying you should leave classes overpowered because people find overpowered fun).

A few recent feral examples come to mind:

Swipe changes
In WotLK swipe patch notes suggest a 25% nerf. The actual change was more like 75%. We are told this is intended. We point out that this means that bear tanking will be horrible until level 81 when we get thrash. No further communication on the matter to date.

Result: Patch notes were wrong or the CM who said working as intended was wrong. Low level bears are still much worse at AE tanking. The tail end of level 80 was a grind for any place a bear had to pick up several adds. Still zero communication or follow up.

Thick hide changes
Bears get more armor. So some tanks rage at the extra armor and how powerful it makes bears. CMs say it's just a tooltip fix. Bears point out that a) it's not a tooltip fix and our armor did go up and b) it's largely offset by an unannouced change: the removal of the phantom Natural Reactions talent for most bears.

Net result: CMs didn't understand the change. Patch notes don't explain the changes. Devs may or may not have understood the combined effect? No communication with the players until players point out the reality of the situation.

Single target threat changes
At the same time Blizzard thinks that bear single target threat is too high. They reduce single target scaling about 20%. Bears point out that one of our moves (lacerate) already scales so poorly that that move didn't need the hit. They also point out that most bears took a large threat hit due to the phantom talent remove. We get a hotfix to undo some of the double nerf. Bears point out that bear AE threat was already a little low and was also affected and hasn't been addressed. So far we've had no communication about that aspect.

Net result: Another change that wasn't explained or in patch notes. Devs didn't consider or test the combined effects on our single target threat well enough. We still haven't heard about the change to AE threat. We still have very strange scaling differences between our single target threat moves.

PvP changes (will some pve spillover)
Blizzard decides we're too powerful in pvp (not sure why). GC says they're moving away from hard counters and feral hard counters a few classes. The combination of our mobility, ability to break fear and ability to bleed kite is too powerful.

Rather than make a change or two or make measured adjustments, they instead make many large changes simultaneously.

Net result: We go from the hardest to control / most mobile to the easiest to control / least mobile. We are now 'hard countered' by several classes. Outside of a pocket dispeller / trinket, we are left with no tools for any form of hard CC. We are left with the least productive actions to take while rooted. Without constant dispels feral pvp before very un-fun.

A better approach would have been.
1) Communicate what Blizzard is trying to balance related to pvp (1v1, battlegrounds, arenas, all of the above?)

2) Test some measured changes like:
a) Some bleed damage moved towards direct and/or dispellable damage.
b) Shapeshifting incurs a huge mana cost so that it cannot be chained to break CC.
c) Berserk breaks fear but no longer provides long term immunity.
d) Glyph of roots no longer provides instant root but does something useful.

3) Do some testing. Get player feedback including results and the feel of the changes. Adjust and repeat 2 and 3based on data and its relation the #1 and player feedback.

And it's not just feral. I've seen several players from other classes who love this game who have been quite frustrated with the roller coaster ride we've been on since near the end of WotLK.

So yes, more testing would be appreciated. If changes aren't going to be tested that well, more incremental changes would be nice. And while I can sympathize that you want to avoid QQ flame war threads, more communication is required. If it's not going to be a back and forth, at least document the changes in the patch notes so we can understand all of the changes.
90 Pandaren Warrior
8420
Well thank you Bash for the post. I didn't mean any harm, it might have been just a frustrating few months for my class that drove me to not liking Hotfixes. But GENERALLY, they are a good idea, however, I am still not agreeing with rapid Hotfixes.

I also would simply love a update on the side of the log in screen. That would be most enjoyable. I'm sure a lot of player don't check the forums.

Thanks again Bash.
90 Gnome Rogue
19635
02/19/2011 9:59 AMPosted by Opinions
From one Bash to another, might I suggest that your relationships with the player base would be enhanced by treating player intput with some amount of respect?


You are crazy if you think they will learn, just look at lead developer that was allowed to flame people, tell "my way or highway" and "l2p" causes massive cancellations and still has a job. It is institutional failure caused by profound lack of understanding that they are in the Service Industry.


Still want to see the current active subscription numbers and how many of those accounts have NOT upgraded to Cataclysm.
90 Pandaren Warrior
8420
Might I add, this was a forum topic on "Hotfixes" themselves, not druids in specific. It'd be lovely if forum chat could stay on topic, yes? I'm 100% sure there is a time and place for Druid QQ. I held my tongue to Priest QQ (I have quite a bit, my main post was nothing lol). Least you could do is hold yours here. Thank you.
85 Human Warlock
11920
02/18/2011 8:48 PMPosted by Bashiok
I know a lot of us remember the old days where classes would sit without changes for months, in some cases years for specific mechanics. A class would dominate for 6 months, and that's just how the game was.


Cool story bro, but you are talking like the devs are going to let this happen again.

02/18/2011 8:48 PMPosted by Bashiok
We fully expect them to slow down substantially from this point,


So I'm just not PvP viable anymore and this is working as intended?
50 Blood Elf Warlock
830
Op worry less about ""getting the max out of your class"" and more about playing what you ENJOY. holy and disc are both viable. half a precent improvement here or there is highly unlikly to be "THE REASON WE DOWNED X BOSS"

its a game. play what you like.


This is the absolute best advice I have seen on the forums in a VERY long time. It applies to so very many situations in WoW. Classes get buffed and classes get nerfed, it happens all the time but if you ENJOY your class you will still behaving fun no matter what Bliz does.


That only works until playing another class shows you that all the effort you have put into the class you like best doesn't mean squat week to week as your numbers are tweaked around.
70 Undead Warlock
0
02/18/2011 9:38 PMPosted by Bashiok
Agree. That was something we specifically discussed and probably should have included in my post. Expecting people to alt-tab to read a potentially updated blog isn't right. We don't have any great solutions for that yet, but it of course makes hotfixes infinitely more confusing and even potentially damaging to the play experience without some kind of in game communication. We haven't figured out what that might be yet. It's something we're concerned with too. Although we expect hotfixes to slow down substantially at this point, we need a solution for the future.


Might I recommend an in-game patch/hotfix list that can be updated it real time?

You could probably tie it into the help menu and even use something like the mail or GM ticket icons to notify players when it is updated.

It'd take a bit of programming work to implement initially but I think it could be quite helpful in the long run and can even imagine putting that same code to use in communicating other messages to players or even between players.
85 Night Elf Druid
3280
Aimed is broken not "fixed" hawk is broken also not "fixed", I am really not sure what blizz was thinking when they called it a fix. Either way they really need to stop doing all the little patches that mess with classes, you can never get a really feel for what you like about the class when they keep breaking AKA "hot fix" everything.
Edited by Lifebringer on 2/19/2011 10:15 AM PST
85 Draenei Shaman
4240
02/19/2011 10:05 AMPosted by Oddjob


You are crazy if you think they will learn, just look at lead developer that was allowed to flame people, tell "my way or highway" and "l2p" causes massive cancellations and still has a job. It is institutional failure caused by profound lack of understanding that they are in the Service Industry.


Still want to see the current active subscription numbers and how many of those accounts have NOT upgraded to Cataclysm.


The problem there is that the hope of folks biases being supported by numbers would likely be shot out of the water when they find out that most people are happy and that less than a fraction of a fraction of a % of people complaining is indicative of the overall populations feelings.

---

To the person you quoted:

Anyone who calls it a "service industry" is not a person I'd ever want to be helping.

Nobody should be getting "served" they should be getting help and support. Service is an archaic idea that needs to die.

"I am the customer, worship me."

No...

It's refreshing to see someone taking their job as community manager and not feeling that it means they must take all the immature shots at them and professionally and dryly respond "Thank you for your response, we'll look into this." A million times over.

The character of every GM I've met and of the forum staff in general have entirely been a breath of fresh air and have kept me genuinely interested in what they have to say.
50 Blood Elf Warlock
830
02/19/2011 10:17 AMPosted by Kevyne
Why I say GC can nerf Holy paladins to the ground. I will outlast him, too. :)


The most telling part is: why do you even think of it in terms of having to "outlast" a dev team lead?

Here you are posting a "don't worry, be happy" style post, but even you think of it this way...as a period of hardship to be endured and eventually overcome.
Edited by Tyri on 2/19/2011 10:30 AM PST
85 Orc Death Knight
3820

1) ...It's not just one class being effected either, it's multiple classes. It can be buff or nerf, it's confusing the player base.

2) ...I'm actually sure a lot of people are hating it, for all the classes.

3) ... I don't care if my class sucked for a month, it's a little better then having to constantly figure out whats going on.

4) ..This is the reason I don't like hotfixes. They aren't thought enough, long enough.


I love the original post. I think it speaks for a large and growing segment of the player base. I will be short in my viewpoint: things (nerfing) are now completely out of hand, far worse than in WotLK. This opinion will continue to spread.

It needs to be minimized - better thought out and do it when it is crucial. Otherwise, desist. It's tiresome.
85 Worgen Priest
1800


Agree. That was something we specifically discussed and probably should have included in my post. Expecting people to alt-tab to read a potentially updated blog isn't right. We don't have any great solutions for that yet, but it of course makes hotfixes infinitely more confusing and even potentially damaging to the play experience without some kind of in game communication. We haven't figured out what that might be yet. It's something we're concerned with too. Although we expect hotfixes to slow down substantially at this point, we need a solution for the future.


An idea: You place Patch Notes on the Launcher, why not just include latest hotfixes in that panel, so everyone knows what the latest changes are? Its a great place to check up on it, and even have a link to the site - no alt-tabbing there yet either?
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