GC on admitting mistakes

90 Gnome Mage
12045
There was an interesting exchange on twitter with GC yesterday that had me thinking. Basically, someone said that Blizz doesn't ask for help from players and admit mistakes to which GC replied:

See, I don't get that. We admit mistakes all the time: Avatar, Stampede, Exalted rep rewards, dungeon tabards, prime glyphs.


There are two things about this exchange:
First, I think those of the community that have been playing for many years, especially those who have been around since vanilla, would agree that Blizz does admit their mistakes. There are so many examples of it. The fact that we've been playing for so many years is proof that we ultimately get enough out of the game.

Second, there is an less obvious component to this exchange dealing with trust. I believe there is a level of trust between the devs and players that if something is truly broken, the devs will notice it and fix it. So many examples of this too. For most players, there is enough trust that they don't even post at the forums and just wait for the devs to take care of it, because they have in the past.

Now, you could argue that Blizz takes too long sometimes to admit a mistake that is obvious to the players and you would have some legitimate examples. Some fixes came so late that the xpack was over. You could also argue that it's hard to trust that Blizz will catch a problem when the eventual fix ends up being large, like a 20% or 50% buff or nerf. While it's just a game, there are real people playing the game and the impact and the real stress comes from it being a multiplayer game - the impact and stress is shared by the player and others they play with and their guilds.

Regardless, I think the key here is trust. That was what had me thinking and I can easily admit that I do trust the devs. In my case it has been earned. Before you say fanboy, note that I am a fire mage that is more upset than I care to admit for having to go back to arcane mid-tier.
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90 Tauren Druid
10160
Not to be classist but, it's not surprising to me that someone from the Mage community would "trust" the development team. More often then not the Devs have listened to mages concerns and, even in some cases reverted nerfed base on a deluge of tears on the forums. Other communities have less of a reason to "trust" the developers. I'm thinking about Shamans and "Bus Shock" and...Warlocks are Mushrooms.

The WoW Dev team has a long history of pandering to Mages. They also have a long history of giving other specific classes the shaft for entire expansions. So as a Mage I think your attitude is well placed and, the other classes know what to expect.

As a Warlock player I can't say that I'm not surprised about the recent changes to the class and their severity. I'd like to say I called it a few months ago but, that wasn't really an astounding prognostication. There really hasn't been an expansion since TBC where 'Locks weren't gutted out of the gate and, left to languish mid tier for the rest of the expansion.

Yes, you can trust the Dev Team. I can trust the Dev Team too...Fear Nerf INC!!! (take that to the bank)
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90 Gnome Mage
12045
12/05/2012 05:22 AMPosted by Fenmarel
Not to be classist but, it's not surprising to me that someone from the Mage community would "trust" the development team.

I play an Affliction Warlock and a Blood DK as well. Would you have taken a different view if I had posted as one of them? *sigh*
Edited by Fuzzywashere on 12/5/2012 5:34 AM PST
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100 Human Mage
14780
I don't want to give the guy a hard time, but the avatar thing was something they were warned about in early beta. I'm not sure you can call letting that ability go all of beta then all the way until the first content patch before nerfing it's immunity to snares/roots "admitting a mistake."

Just my personal opinion though.
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90 Night Elf Hunter
12805
While I can understand your general point, I do wonder at the concept of this:

12/05/2012 04:55 AMPosted by Fuzzywashere
Now, you could argue that Blizz takes too long sometimes to admit a mistake that is obvious to the players and you would have some legitimate examples. Some fixes came so late that the xpack was over.


I can certainly argue that myself, playing a Hunter: the Wrath 3.0.8 patch that almost completely destroyed the Beast Mastery spec until, arguably, the current one. It was mentioned several times, and math was provided, during the leadup to that that the changes were going to be too destructive, and yet they went in anyway... and they were not touched again, aside from a general apology from Ghostcrawler at the end of Wrath about it, along with Mages' Frost tree, Rogue's Subtley tree, and Shaman's Enhancement tree, all being subpar.

So, yes, I'm not sure how one can argue 'trust' when situations like that happen; not so much changes that are made that are detrimental, of course, as accidents do happen. But more that they're allowed to fester and remain as-is for long periods of time.

Also, I could also argue 'competitive Hunter PVP' in general regarding that, almost immediately previous status notwithstanding, as something that's STILL suffering, but I don't personally have much authority to argue on that.

12/05/2012 05:26 AMPosted by Fuzzywashere
I play an Affliction Warlock and a Blood DK as well. Would you have taken a different view if I had posted as one of them? *sigh*


Not necessarily, as it depends on what your main focus is. I can actually say the exact same thing myself, but my current character is by far the one I focus the most attention on.
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90 Tauren Druid
10160
12/05/2012 05:26 AMPosted by Fuzzywashere
Not to be classist but, it's not surprising to me that someone from the Mage community would "trust" the development team.

I play an Affliction Warlock and a Blood DK as well. Would you have taken a different view if I had posted as one of them? *sigh*


No, I wouldn't take a different view. My view isn't based on you or your class. It's based on my observations playing WoW for nearly 8 years and over 1 year of played time. My observations attending 5 Blizzcons and, meeting several members of the Blizzard Dev team.

I don't particularly have a quarrel with Mages. They are just doing what has been successful for them in the past. I would do the same in thier shoes. In the past I've even tried to do the same thing for my class through several avenues but, I know how fruitless that has been. At some point you just learn to put your head down and, deal with it. However I wouldn't suggest that Mages do the same.
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90 Tauren Druid
10160
12/05/2012 05:40 AMPosted by Kithellia
So, yes, I'm not sure how one can argue 'trust' when situations like that happen; not so much changes that are made that are detrimental, of course, as accidents do happen. But more that they're allowed to fester and remain as-is for long periods of time.


I think this is a key point.

1. We see the speed an severity that Blizzard issues Nerfs to certain abilities. Example We knew that Curse Auras where on the Radar because they made them dispelable on the PTR. However within around 12 hours after patch release they where hotfix nerfed to triple the cost to 150 Fury and have a 10 sec CD. Was all this nessicary?

2. We also see the perceived lack of consideration (ie Testing) that these changes recieved (although we see nothing of possible internal testing). As far as we know none of the Hotfix changes where tested. They even screwed the changes to Auras up slightly but, I won't go into detail how.

3. We see the suprise/concealed nature in wich these changes are implemented (wich may or may not have been intentional). Only slightly a suprise because we knew that Curse Auras where in the crosshairs. Can't really say that they concealed it because they announced it after. Unless you believe they kept it off the test realms on purpose.

4. Finally, we see the languid pace at wich fixes are implemented (some of this is due to how game developement works finite resources and all). For this lets look at the Chaos wave Hotfix. How many times have we been told that a fix to an ability had to wait for a content patch because it required a tool tip change. So you wait for months for them to apply needed changes for a tool tip. Apparently this doesn't apply to hotfix nerfs. Those don't have to wait months for a tool tip change. Those can go in right away. In this case they don't care that someone might be missinformed about the functionality of an ability because of the tool tip. This is what you call a Double Standard.
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90 Gnome Mage
12045
Lots of good points. I can't say I disagree since I started my thought process ,when I saw the tweet, in the same vein.

What changed my mind was looking back over the years. Funny thing is I consider myself really good at juggling multiple large project but I don't know if I could keep 10 million+ people as happy and entertained over so many years. Take into account the crazy diversity of players and the fact that the game is constantly expanding. With so many thread and the ridiculous number of variables to tune, one can't hope to get it all tight and neat.

(Honestly, if you are at all into software, you stand in awe of how clean their software deploys are...for a 9 year old codebase no less. This too is an important trust builder.)
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100 Troll Hunter
17290
(Honestly, if you are at all into software, you stand in awe of how clean their software deploys are...for a 9 year old codebase no less. This too is an important trust builder.)

Credit is due for this.

My personal standpoint is the major problem is the apparent double standard alluded to above. It isn't just about what kind of changes at some times, either; the target of the changes also seems to have...bias in it (granted, this is from a bias viewpoint...even though I generally try to be objective).

An old, but not too old example. DS PTR - PTR numbers (on a raid content test) kept pointing out the hunters wouldn't keep up. This was stated many times. The answer given was they wanted to see more hunters with DW weapons first.

And then Heroic attempts started benching their hunters. Shortly after, a hot-fix buff was added.

Similar is 5.0, many posts (and later those included log data) indicated hunters wouldn't scale up as good. All throughout the 5.1 PTR, nothing was added to address actual damage, just some BM burst nerfing, and some MM QoL improvements.

Shortly after 5.1, we received not only a buff to Hawk, but to SrpS as well. Not saying they aren't appreciated, but why does it have to be an apparent after thought? Is adjusting the scaling on a passive ability that difficult that it couldn't have made it to the PTR at some point?

I get it, time is limited and all that...just can't shake the idea that sometimes, these changes seem like a knee-jerk reaction, or an afterthought...
Edited by Verdash on 12/5/2012 8:23 AM PST
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100 Blood Elf Mage
18065
An old, but not too old example. DS PTR - PTR numbers (on a raid content test) kept pointing out the hunters wouldn't keep up. This was stated many times. The answer given was they wanted to see more hunters with DW weapons first.

And then Heroic attempts started benching their hunters. Shortly after, a hot-fix buff was added.


Exactly.

This happens *all* the time. All the time.

It is the same thing, over and over and over.

It happened all throughout the cataclysm beta, where resto shaman were practically screaming at the top of our lungs we were terrible. They were told by developers and forum heroes alike "oh stop, don't worry this is just the beta." After resto shaman hit 85 and noticed they could barely heal, we kept hearing over and over by developers that we were fine. They kept saying this, right up until all of our heals were hotfix buffed by nearly 15%. And frankly, likely the only reason resto shaman got that massive buff is because blizzard's favorite high end progression guilds literally refused to bring shaman.

So yes, trust is an issue.

The bottom line is ghostcrawler, the developers, the blue posters are not trustworthy in any way, shape, or form.
Edited by Taymage on 12/5/2012 8:55 AM PST
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90 Gnome Mage
12045
I have to agree that the PTR process is a little broken. I don't know why it's so. If I had to guess, I would say it's because there are decisions that are made in a business and it often has to do with time and money. You never have enough of either so you have to pick one or the other. Delay for 3 months or go as is and fix it later?

Also, in the decision process there is often a catch-22. (In real life these are the decision that your boss makes that make no sense to you) That's where people like GC earn their keep. The normal up/down decisions are easy and frankly you don't need to be brilliant to make most of them. (these are the decisions that make you think you could do your boss's job :P)

Let me give an example....bearing on recent fire mage nerf, in fact.

You see a spike in data that shows fire mages doing crazy dps. Unexpected! You missed something! You decide that quick action is needed because the alternative is risking problems that can't be reversed later. If you don't act soon PVP players will lose their ranking to mages getting Pyro! chains and huge ignites that they can spread easily to other players and blow it all up using Combustion. You can't figure out the perfect number, you don't have time to PTR test, but decide to go safe and make it more nerf than too little nerf. Meanwhile the PVE fire mage stands in front of Elegon and can't down his orbs in time because he can't get a Pyro! proc.

Given those two scenarios what would you have done? Fixing the PVP problem after the fact would have been next to impossible. The PVE problem could be dealt with momentarily by the tank helping the fire mage - embarrassing for a pure dps class but not disastrous. You then tell the PVE fire mage that you will look at the data over a week and adjust again if needed.

(it's an example. I don't know what actually happened.)

Just pointing out that in a complex environment such as wow and a huge community, there are few decision that occur in their own discrete universe. It's often a smorgasbord of conflicting and counteracting choices. The trust is in knowing you will get enough to make you happy and not that you will get everything.
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100 Worgen Hunter
12530
12/05/2012 05:26 AMPosted by Fuzzywashere
Not to be classist but, it's not surprising to me that someone from the Mage community would "trust" the development team.

I play an Affliction Warlock and a Blood DK as well. Would you have taken a different view if I had posted as one of them? *sigh*


Um, Warlocks have been overpowered in PvP and PvE almost as consistently as Mages have (with very few periods of being terrible) and DKs have been pretty much fantastic for almost their entire history. So no.
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12/05/2012 05:26 AMPosted by Fuzzywashere
I play an Affliction Warlock and a Blood DK as well. Would you have taken a different view if I had posted as one of them? *sigh*

well , yeah kinda. Mages are like Bieber. Big success = lots of haters. Goes hand in hand.

* note : i hate Bieber more than mages. Which i don't hate. Envy , but no hate.
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32 Troll Hunter
1760
The problem for me is WHEN they admit their mistakes.

Something gets nerfed/buffed/changed, reason given.
Community reads, tests, parses, simulates.
Community replies that change will not have desired effect.
Blizzard says it will
Back and forth
Wait weeks
Parses come in/season rankings start to play out proving community's points
Blizzard wants more data and confirms that their tests/metrics say they are right
Back and forth
Wait months
Class over/under performs in way originally flagged by community
Season ends/xpac comes out
Blizzard admits mistake.

Doesn't help anyone now does it?
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100 Night Elf Hunter
6785
Here's my take, why does Blizzard even host a PTR? I honestly cannot recall a time when they used the information gleaned from PTR to any positive outcome. I am starting to believe it is just a stall tactic to "show they are working on things".

Shouldn't they just have a large in house test team that represents and PLAYS each class in all venues (PvE and PvP) exhaustively and then make their decisions based on that data? I know they have "class developers" but why then do they have so much trouble understanding some very basic Class issues and performance models? If they need to hire that talent, they could certainly find many qualified "class specialists" on these forums.

There are ALWAYS threads of complex, thorough and well thought out information posted by some long time players every expansion, detailing the effects of the proposed PTR changes that they choose to ignore. It's basically like having an Algebra major doing your algebra homework for you and then disregarding those answers in favor of answers from a guy who took a half semester of phys ed before getting expelled for selling weed to minors.

I can recall multiple threads by some highly talented and respected Hunters prior to Cata that explained EXACTLY what the outcome of the Dev's proposed changes would mean to the class. These were not only ignored, but in some cases deleted from the forums. Yet lo and behold the things people were warning Blizzard would happen, DID happen in exactly the way it was foretold. Not to mention the many, many bugs we suffered with the entire expansion.

In response to things occurring exactly as the players warned, Blizzard did absolutely nothing to help / undo / improve the class until the VERY end of Cata (which by then, who cared?) We literally never got a SINGLE Blue post in response to the thousands of posts we put up in DDF, Bug and Class forums.

So, when you talk of "trust"...TRUST ME they do not have mine. While I also have an Alt (Paladin, which is also not great) I have hoped for YEARS that one day they would spend a little development time on my primary class. To date I am still waiting....
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100 Blood Elf Mage
18065
The problem for me is WHEN they admit their mistakes.

Something gets nerfed/buffed/changed, reason given.
Community reads, tests, parses, simulates.
Community replies that change will not have desired effect.
Blizzard says it will
Back and forth
Wait weeks
Parses come in/season rankings start to play out proving community's points
Blizzard wants more data and confirms that their tests/metrics say they are right
Back and forth
Wait months
Class over/under performs in way originally flagged by community
Season ends/xpac comes out
Blizzard admits mistake.

Doesn't help anyone now does it?


EXACTLY. EXACTLY. EXACTLY.
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81 Human Warrior
9530
It's hard to trust Blizzard when we get responses like "Haste will fix it
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90 Human Paladin
7915
12/05/2012 04:13 PMPosted by Cortland
Here's my take, why does Blizzard even host a PTR? I honestly cannot recall a time when they used the information gleaned from PTR to any positive outcome. I am starting to believe it is just a stall tactic to "show they are working on things".


I don't think you understand Blizzard's intent for PTR - it is there for testing new content and new abilities and ensuring that the client is stable before shipping - if they get number tweaks in - good and well, or if something is completely broken or op - it will get fixed.

I got myself banned for getting emotional with GC before the Retribution changes of 4.0 went live - we all told him the outcome of the changes before they were put in, but he and the devs, ignored the feedback - 2 weeks after live they had to once again fix Retribution to make it remotely playable.

Having said that though - I don't think the Mage changes are as bad as players are making out, I still see them topping charts, along with locks and dk's - so as far as trust goes, I think I sort of (not completely being a Ret Paladin) trust the Devs to get the PvE side of things pretty much right - I no longer PvP on any of my toons (and I had 7 level capped toons at the end of cata) and i certainly do not trust the Devs to get PvP right...
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90 Night Elf Hunter
9205
As long as this statement exists they look clueless...

Will we take steps to adjust hunters if they continue to be weak in Arenas? Yes. This is absolutely a concern of ours. To some extent my reputation is on the line here because I keep trying to assure players that we will make adjustments, and I know you’ll throw it back in my face if we don’t deliver. The game has only been out for a few days though, so it’s just premature to make sweeping changes yet. I realize some knowledgeable hunters are convinced the changes we made were not enough. At the end of the day though, it is us, not the players, who need to make decisions about game design. We will always listen to your feedback when making our decisions though.-GhostcrawlerNov 14, 2008

He also went as far as asking not be flamed...the definition of insanity.
Edited by Retnuh on 12/5/2012 8:05 PM PST
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100 Draenei Mage
8910
It's hard to trust Blizzard when we get responses like "Next exp will fix it"
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