These "Hotfixes" are a no, no.

50 Blood Elf Warlock
830
The hotfix notes in the launcher solution doesn't really work that well. Not at the current rate of changes. Better would a *class specific* message when you log into your character that tells you all the hotfixes and patch notes that affect *your class* since the last time you logged in. Then you miss nothing, even if you skip a week or two.
Edited by Tyri on 2/19/2011 10:52 AM PST
90 Orc Hunter
16920
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.


I totally agree ... in theory.

But what about a situation like this. I'm writing about the Hunter class because that's the one I know best, and I'm sure the same thing applies to other classes.

I've liked all three specs at some point in WoW. They're all kinda fun, one is usually more complex than the other, but who cares. They're all kinda fun. Or rather, they were.

When a patch or hotfix comes out that rebalances a spec's rotation so that several key abilities are better off completely ignored, such as what happened with SV in 4.0.6 where it's more effective to simply ignore Black Arrow and Explosive Shot and spam Arcane ... that's not fun. It's fun to have a complex rotation and lots to keep track of.

Sure, I could stick to the old rotation and do less damage, and not care about numbers, but then I'd be hurting my guild's progression.

There are hunter glyphs right now that simply do nothing at all. Seriously, they're totally nonfunctional.

There are loads of unfixed bugs and glitches, too numerous to list here and better covered elsewhere.

At one point in raid last Wednesday my focus bar glitched at 100 and I rattled off repeated 100k+ aimed shots for a good long while.

I don't think ... wow, awesome numbers ... I think ... damn, that just devalues all the hard work I'm doing to actually figure out how to be effective.

I completely agree with the OP. Hotfixes could be encouraging the dev team to just push out buggy patches knowing they can just hotfix problems after the fact. That's sloppy.

And it's the same problem that's plagued games like Call of Duty Black Ops on consoles ... the fact games can be easily patched makes the product managers push out incomplete or buggy code in the interest of hitting a deadline. WoW with the advent of hotfixes has made this problem even more exaggerated.

They're patching patches.
Edited by Slapswell on 2/19/2011 11:05 AM PST
94 Human Death Knight
13575
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...


Yeah, the old days, like today, yesterday, the day before yesterday...
100 Undead Warlock
11610
Balance is making pvp and pve separate, meaning when you enter an arena you get buffed or debuffed according to needs and they leave pve alone once they have damage numbers that look proper, until they learn this and figure out a way to do this we will be in a never ending nerf/buff cycle.
100 Dwarf Death Knight
15510
02/19/2011 3:21 AMPosted by Xaroy
There is a fundamental problem with the content pipeline for WoW. Tol Barad is a shining example of this.


Sorry to dredge this up, but it's worth repeating. If you want another recent example you can look at the 4.0.6 change to Crimson Scourge. It went from a mediocre AoE threat boost to something actively detrimental to a Blood Death Knight's health. It's a tier six tank talent that makes you worse at tanking.

Having my chosen spec get ignored since early beta is irritating.

Having the few changes made to it be monumentally bad ones is just depressing.
85 Blood Elf Warlock
1140
02/19/2011 2:17 AMPosted by Lefuza
Yet the Hunter's main CC, Freezing Trap, is still not addressed as to WHY it has an innate resist value. Or why Scatter Shot makes a target run around aimlessly for no balance reasons whatsoever


Isn't scatter shot the same mechanic as Blind? I think that's why the target runs around aimlessly.
I didn't have time to go over every post on this topic so I don't know if this was brought up or not.

If an issue is that there isn't enough testing in the PTR due to lack of people, then make an incentive for people to want to help test things in it. Not everyone has the time to play on the test realm and not in their normal realm. This is because for every hour spend in the PTR you aren’t developing/farming/progressing your regular character(s). You could have it where for every hour you spend helping test things in the PTR you get a bonus for your regular characters. This can be either xp, gold, justice points, game time, free vanity pet/mount or whatever you think is balanced for compensation. You could also have a bonus for people who find flaws or errors that need fixing. This way people would have more of an incentive to help make the game better.

I can't, of course, know if this would help or not, but it's at least an idea. Anyone else have thought on this?
85 Blood Elf Warlock
1140
They can never balance PvE and PvP as long as World PvP exists. World PvP means that all spells used in a PvE environment must work the same in a PvP environment.
85 Blood Elf Paladin
2690
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.

A few really great points came out of that meeting, though:

  • Some changes in 4.0.6 and/or 4.0.6a were just wrong. For a myriad of reasons the changes made in 4.0.6/4.0.6a either did not pan out as expected, or were simply mis-calculations/interpretations. Which is the reason for a number of the quick reversions and changes in hotfixes shortly after the patch.

  • 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. Forum posts always make a lot of noise. It's difficult to separate the seed from the chaff. Yes, it turned out a number of reports proved to be accurate once the 4.0.6's hit the masses and we were able to get a sample size that showed us what needed adjusting.

  • 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. ;)

  • Fourth point really struck home with all of the designers, and that's that they also have an obligation to not use the live realms as a balancing laboratory. That while the changes being made have seemed very quick and sporadic at times, that there is thought and planning going in to them, and they are consciously avoiding throwing out changes and seeing what happens. While some changes have been implemented and then reverted, it's not because a lot of thought and effort didn't go into them, but that simply they didn't work as intended.


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. While we think good, measured changes in patches is far more visible and understandable, that hotfixes allow so much more to offering immediate relief that we'd be remiss in not using them to offer a better game experience to you, the players. There's an agreement that 4.0.6 and 4.0.6a have been pretty chaotic with hotfixes, and that's due to a number of issues that we don't consider to be 'usual'. We fully expect them to slow down substantially from this point, and we really appreciate everyone who stays on top of the hotfix blog, and relates the changes as they're made to their guildies and friends.


Nonetheless this is unacceptable.

Not having enough feedback on PTRs does not make it excusable to push out changes and then obtain feedback to make tons of hotfixes.

If there were not enough feedback, then make the PTR period longer. While I agree with the previous "we don't want to leave problems existing for 6 months," the PTRs were up for around a month or so? Consider what hotfixes are done now since the patch, and upcoming hotfixes, PTRs included, this whole mess has been and will probably be ending up close to 3-4 months, maybe even more. It would've been better to keep it on the PTRs and keep "hotfixing" things there. Instead of a messy patch which extends on ptr/live for 3+ months, how about just get things done correctly the first time on the PTRS in 2 months?

Not having enough feedback - there were many other ways to address this. Give incentive for people to test out the PTRs. Urge people to test the PTRs. If I'm correct, Blizzard has employees that play WoW on multiple toons. Have them test it extensively. If they cannot provide enough feedback then hire or train them so that they have the knowledge to do so. In regards to PVE changes, if you need a few people to test things out, hire some of the Theorycrafters/Players at Elitist Jerks. They are well established in what they have done in-game and out of the game in regards to theorycraft.

Not having the "feedback" to test things live, is just simply a poor excuse. I'd rather deal with a class being somewhat overpowered for 6 months than have to deal with constantly changing the way I play every 1-2 weeks due to hotfixes. Yes, it is that different. Nerfing a shot/spell can alter your PvE rotation dramatically even making it chunky like it is for hunters now (aimed shot), nerfing a shot/spell in PvP can change the way you play it a bit like DKs(Festering strike - wtb scourge strike viability or even the overall dmg in arenas)

I'm sure what's done has been done, but don't let it happen again. Listen to the masses. Yes we hear what you are trying to do but guess what - your consumers are not happy with it.
85 Tauren Druid
9290
These Hotfixes, are like band-aids without any disinfectant.
P.S. Read the last paragraph, please. I'd like to hear some opinions.
P.P.S It makes me all warm and fuzzy that I got a Blue. :D

Example: "This just in! We're making the cost for shields in Holy Spec for priest significantly cheaper then discipline, completely allowing Holy to spam it!"
That's a no, no.

Example: "We're going to take damage away from this _____ because ____ is to powerful."
Is also, a no, no.

Reactions: "My _____ is worthless now QQ, give it back QQ." or "I'm going to play a new game now."
As a person who reads the QQ, I get a kick out "I'm going to play a new game."

____________________________________________________________________

Ninja buffing, ninja nerfing, it's all the same really. 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. My main is a Priest (Explains the first example, eh?), our class in general has been bouncing between Discipline and Holy quite a bit to get the best out of our class, frankly, I hate it. I'm actually sure a lot of people are hating it, for all the classes.

I liked patches and I liked PTRs, even though they are still there, they aren't used like they should. Doing a quick fix, is good and all, for bugs. Not overall game play. 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. I'll use my first example (I might actually do this a lot), you broke into the QQ about Discipline priests being to powerful with shield spam, now look what you've done? Without thinking to much about it, Holy now can EASILY do it. This is the reason I don't like hotfixes. They aren't thought enough, long enough.

You'd actually think, things like ____ spell being to powerful would be caught in the PTR? I don't work for Blizzard, nor do I intend too, I will never know what truly goes on during the "Class balancing stage." However, I do know, covering a mistake without thinking, can bring a new mistake. Some call it the domino effect. A PTR, a SOLID patch brings new hope for a lot of people. I remember reading up on my class during the PTR and all i could think was "Wow! I can't wait to see this in action!"

I know it will never happen, the complete removal of hotfixes, but a person can hope, yes? I'd say I'll be optimistic, but optimism is with evidence, where as hope is not. The reason I state my opinion out-loud is to hear (Read) on other opinions on these "hotfixes." So please, type away.


the main problem, especially this expansion, is that there were way too many new changes, if blizzard had their way cata would be in beta for another year so it would be up to their standard. I much prefer to be able to play now. /shrug So instead of having the game out, and properly balanced like every other blizzard quality game, they rushed it to meet a deadline(big blizzard no-no) and hence they have to use the playerbase as guinea pigs for testing and tweaking. This happens every single expansion but the changes were a tad more drastic this time around so the tweaking will happen for awhile yet.
85 Draenei Shaman
2875
A few things of note.
1. The delay from the release of the last major content change (ICC) to the release of Cata was very long.
2. Comment from Blizzard made it very clear that their priority was to move to a "bring the player not the class" model
3. Despite the time, Cataclysm represents a game that has little class balance.

Perhaps, Blizzard should learn from this mistake and focus their design and development teams around their priorities. It gives the appearance that they have heavily over-reached their development abilities and the rapid fire patches reinforce the perception that Blizzard has reached their Peter-position.

As concrete recommendation:
1. Engage the theory-crafting community more effectively to help you understand what the impact of particular changes are likely to be. Create forums dedicated to having specific dialogs between the theory-crafting community and the development teams. If you have to, restrict the posting to only those that have demonstrated contributions over a sustained period of time but make the dialog public so that the community can see what rationale is driving your decisions.
2. Abandon your "tweaked - linearization" approach to balance. This point has been articulated many times by Blizzard posters -- "we have lots of knobs to play with to make the balance the way we want." Instead, start using mathematical models that are naturally balanced and stable. For instance, having high mana cost healing spells doesn't solve the problem of ignoring mana as stacking enough spirit will always remove the problem. Instead, make spells cost scale with other stats (like Int) such that as gear increases, the system remains stable without you twiddling knobs all the time.
3. Finally, providing the community with more communications about how you perceive the situation would help the player community to provide you with information that is relevant to helping you make decisions. For instance, there was basically no feedback on the state of shaman healing so the player base was unable to most effectively help influence your understanding of the situation. Given that you have demonstrated that, in the current state of the game, you are not effective at predicting the results of changes, it is imperative that you make changes to improve your performance.

85 Tauren Druid
9290
A few things of note.
1. The delay from the release of the last major content change (ICC) to the release of Cata was very long.


blizzard also said that they wouldn't be able to implement flying in azeroth at the same time as cata release because it would delay everything and they didnt' have the time to do it, massive QQ around/during blizzcon because they said it would take at least 6 months after release, made blizzard change their mind, so if these tweaks go beyond the expected 6 months then you can QQ, until then, blame the playerbase for whining and moaning for azeroth flying with launch.

on another note, it would be nice to have more communication sure, but half the things people QQ they want information on, is already out in these forums or eu forums, and besides you agreed when you accepted the ToS/ToU terms that blizzard did not have to explain anything they modified/deleted/added/blew up in the game. The fact we even see the blue posts on a daily basis is just bonus.
Edited by Bomm on 2/19/2011 12:15 PM PST
85 Draenei Shaman
2875
[quote]
blizzard also said that they wouldn't be able to implement flying in azeroth at the same time as cata release because it would delay everything and they didnt' have the time to do it, massive QQ around/during blizzcon because they said it would take at least 6 months after release, made blizzard change their mind, so if these tweaks go beyond the expected 6 months then you can QQ, until then, blame the playerbase for whining and moaning for azeroth flying with launch.


The player base has only one decision in its power -- to continue to play or not. All other decisions are Blizzard's and they don't tend to share a lot of information about what drives those decisions. Given these facts, it seems odd to "blame the playerbase" for this situation.
Despite the time, Cataclysm represents a game that has little class balance.


Seriously? Outside of the recent Discipline screw up healing tanking and DPS seem to be +/- 10% of eachother. That's one of the most balanced MMPORG's EVER. It's balanced to the point of almost being purely homogenenous.

25 Blood Elf Priest
250
02/18/2011 9:20 PMPosted by Shiftz
I just expected all these changes, and more, to occur. Don't know if any prior expansion has had this many changes in under 3 months though.


If you parse through GC's posts pre-Cataclysm I think it's clear that one of the things they were trying to do with the fundamental design was to add the capability of making quick changes. The implication was that things went for six months because that was inherent in the way things were set up. So it's quite probable that they couldn't make many changes in short amount of time.

Hotfix capability can be both good and bad, of course, but given the choice I'd rather go a week or so with some serious balance problem than do what my frost mage did during WotLK. Sit out pretty much the entire expansion for PVE.

I imagine a lot of what we're seeing now has to do with a developer learning curve on how the knobs and tweaks they designed into the game can be used.

The main thing I've learned lately is that the PTR's aren't fully helpful in making final decisions due to sample size. I suppose that has something to do with mixed results from the beta as well. I mean let's face it, if you want even a small sample size, say 7-8%, that's like 1,000,000 players. I'm going to guess that the beta wasn't that large, with even fewer people providing truly useful information on balance, and that PTR's don't even approach that. Blizz is a victim of their own success in a way with regard to that.

EDIT: As an example of beta feedback that was less than useful, the shadow priest class pretty generally heard from beta testers that Mind Spike was totally useless and didn't even belong on an action bar. There was an enormous amount of that on spriest.com. This, of course, was wildly exaggerated and as close to incorrect as one could imagine. So beta testing is no panacea either in something this large and complicated. You just don't get the full stretch on capability until you get a large enough sample size which neither of these methods seems to quite do.
Edited by Moanshadow on 2/19/2011 12:31 PM PST
85 Tauren Druid
9290

blizzard also said that they wouldn't be able to implement flying in azeroth at the same time as cata release because it would delay everything and they didnt' have the time to do it, massive QQ around/during blizzcon because they said it would take at least 6 months after release, made blizzard change their mind, so if these tweaks go beyond the expected 6 months then you can QQ, until then, blame the playerbase for whining and moaning for azeroth flying with launch.


The player base has only one decision in its power -- to continue to play or not. All other decisions are Blizzard's and they don't tend to share a lot of information about what drives those decisions. Given these facts, it seems odd to "blame the playerbase" for this situation.


what's the difference? either path gets you absolutely nowhere.
85 Orc Death Knight
3820

I imagine a lot of what we're seeing now has to do with a developer learning curve on how the knobs and tweaks they designed into the game can be used.


Yup. This.

I think the dev team is on a hard learning curve.
25 Blood Elf Priest
250
02/19/2011 11:03 AMPosted by Khagan
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...


Yeah, the old days, like today, yesterday, the day before yesterday...


Did you even understand what you quoted? If you were in a class that needed better balancing you'd prefer to have to wait months or until there was another expansion? Really?
85 Tauren Druid
9290

I imagine a lot of what we're seeing now has to do with a developer learning curve on how the knobs and tweaks they designed into the game can be used.


Yup. This.

I think the dev team is on a hard learning curve.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/23579228@N04/2335016192/
this learning curve? site seems legit not one i normally use, use at your own risk :D
well flickr is associated with yahoo, and well yahoo used to be a good ol' spyware fest so yeah use at your own risk :D
Edited by Bomm on 2/19/2011 12:44 PM PST
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