Blizzard, you're doing it again

General Discussion
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08/20/2015 01:25 PMPosted by Grummulthrus
08/20/2015 01:05 PMPosted by Lore
Regarding the transition from 6.2.1 to 6.2.2: we actually had two potential plans that were dependent on how things fell in terms of development timelines, which is why some of what we've said seems contradictory.

The core of it comes from our PTR testing process, and the fact that we are blessed with some extremely savvy fansite operators who are capable of combing through patch data, finding nuggets of information, and drawing educated conclusions based on that information. If we'd put, say, the Illidan-themed Murloc pet into the PTR data before Legion was announced, that would have been a pretty big tip-off. At the same time, we needed to get PTR testing for flight underway as quickly as possible, so that we could make sure we found all those silly obnoxious bugs I mentioned in my earlier post.

So, our strategy was to create two separate versions of the patch. 6.2.1 would have all of the relevant patch features (including flight), and 6.2.2 would have everything in 6.2.1 plus the upcoming stuff that the art team has been working on. In the unlikely event that everything went EXTREMELY smoothly with flight, we'd have the option to go ahead and push out 6.2.1, and 6.2.2 would come separately. If not, we'd just carry on with 6.2.2, which was basically the same patch plus some stuff that other parts of the WoW development team had been working on. As you're all aware, things did not go extremely smoothly with flight, so the latter option was what ended up happening.

I'll make a silly analogy. Think of the patch like a bus. This bus is waiting for a high-profile dignitary (flying) to finish up some negotiations, and as soon as she's done with those, she needs to leave to get to another conference. That bus will not leave without the dignitary, and it will leave immediately once she's on board.

That said, the bus is also capable of taking on other passengers (who for the sake of the analogy we'll assume are headed to the same place). The longer the dignitary's negotiations take, the more opportunity there is for other passengers to hitch a ride. The other passengers, in this case, are things like Mercenary Mode or the new pets and mounts. If the dignitary had finished unexpectedly quickly, there would be another bus coming by later that could take those passengers, but since she hasn't, the bus company decides to just take one trip instead of two. Make sense?

One other note: 6.2.1 was briefly labelled as a "Release Candidate" on the PTR prior to the switch to 6.2.2. "Release Candidate" is an internal term we use to basically mean "we think we might have fixed everything." As it turns out, we hadn't. In this case, if we hadn't had the transition to 6.2.2, 6.2.1 would have just stayed as "Release Candidate" until September 1st. But since we had this weird extra "hide your kids" strategy going on with the Legion stuff, the title was switched back as part of the changeover. I completely understand why that looks like "Blizzard delayed the patch to add some pets" to those who aren't familiar with our internal workings.


You knew flight was a complicated issue, likely to require a lot of QA testing...

...so...

...you added some ill-conceived knee-jerk features that required even *more* testing (e.g. the "mercenary system")?

Who thought this a smart idea?

Why are you surprised, given the complete bull!@#$ that you're passing off as "logic", that you're being accused (correctly, imo) of using stall tactics to delay flight?

Did you read his post at all?

Also, I'm sure they don't have a vendetta against pro-flyers.
08/20/2015 01:15 PMPosted by Slant
08/20/2015 01:05 PMPosted by Lore
Regarding the transition from 6.2.1 to 6.2.2: we actually had two potential plans that were dependent on how things fell in terms of development timelines, which is why some of what we've said seems contradictory.

Why was flying bundled with mercenary mode, timewalking rewards, new DMF pets, and new Halloween rewards? Most of that stuff was in 6.2.1 also. Would they have been disabled somehow, if 6.2.1 had gone live?


What better time to release flying than when you can push a new Legion themed flying mount onto the store?

Cynical maybe. I'm sure that's how some people will take it. But either Blizzard is just daft and oblivious to how its player base will react to such a maneuver, however "unintentional", or they're doing it on purpose and trying to milk any and every dime left in their last 50% of the community. Either way, we'll get a:
"We made a booboo with our communications. Sorry. That's all we can do now" comment a month down the road.
08/20/2015 01:05 PMPosted by Lore
Regarding the transition from 6.2.1 to 6.2.2: we actually had two potential plans that were dependent on how things fell in terms of development timelines, which is why some of what we've said seems contradictory.

The core of it comes from our PTR testing process, and the fact that we are blessed with some extremely savvy fansite operators who are capable of combing through patch data, finding nuggets of information, and drawing educated conclusions based on that information. If we'd put, say, the Illidan-themed Murloc pet into the PTR data before Legion was announced, that would have been a pretty big tip-off. At the same time, we needed to get PTR testing for flight underway as quickly as possible, so that we could make sure we found all those silly obnoxious bugs I mentioned in my earlier post.

So, our strategy was to create two separate versions of the patch. 6.2.1 would have all of the relevant patch features (including flight), and 6.2.2 would have everything in 6.2.1 plus the upcoming stuff that the art team has been working on. In the unlikely event that everything went EXTREMELY smoothly with flight, we'd have the option to go ahead and push out 6.2.1, and 6.2.2 would come separately. If not, we'd just carry on with 6.2.2, which was basically the same patch plus some stuff that other parts of the WoW development team had been working on. As you're all aware, things did not go extremely smoothly with flight, so the latter option was what ended up happening.

I'll make a silly analogy. Think of the patch like a bus. This bus is waiting for a high-profile dignitary (flying) to finish up some negotiations, and as soon as she's done with those, she needs to leave to get to another conference. That bus will not leave without the dignitary, and it will leave immediately once she's on board.

That said, the bus is also capable of taking on other passengers (who for the sake of the analogy we'll assume are headed to the same place). The longer the dignitary's negotiations take, the more opportunity there is for other passengers to hitch a ride. The other passengers, in this case, are things like Mercenary Mode or the new pets and mounts. If the dignitary had finished unexpectedly quickly, there would be another bus coming by later that could take those passengers, but since she hasn't, the bus company decides to just take one trip instead of two. Make sense?

One other note: 6.2.1 was briefly labelled as a "Release Candidate" on the PTR prior to the switch to 6.2.2. "Release Candidate" is an internal term we use to basically mean "we think we might have fixed everything." As it turns out, we hadn't. In this case, if we hadn't had the transition to 6.2.2, 6.2.1 would have just stayed as "Release Candidate" until September 1st. But since we had this weird extra "hide your kids" strategy going on with the Legion stuff, the title was switched back as part of the changeover. I completely understand why that looks like "Blizzard delayed the patch to add some pets" to those who aren't familiar with our internal workings.


You're still artfully dodging the underlying question that none of you have seen fit to address. If flight was planned since the release of WoD as indicated during the initial sales pitch, why weren't these issues sorted out during the initial zone passes as they were designed? The APPEARANCE we all get is that the developers had no intent to put flying in (even though they said they would) and this whole mess has been a reaction (the right one) to massive player outrage over a failure to deliver something that was sold with the offering of WoD.

Defaulting to "we said too much too soon" isn't a valid argument. The fact is they DID say it, knowing full well they had no intention of doing it. If they HAD originally planned on doing it, would it no have made more sense to handle this in the original zone construction?

I understand bugs, I understand unforseen complications as illustrated in your previous post. But Flying is 8 years old. How could these zones not have been tuned with these issues in mind?

The logical conclusion that the community has drawn (rightfully or not) is that this whole thing has been a smokescreen to cover the fact that the developers failed to deliver on something. The difference is that the flight issue was such a huge p.i.t.a. for the developers that they really had no choice.

It's not an issue of "saying too much too soon". It's an issue of the devs selling us something they had absolutely no intention of delivering on until their hand was forced.
Thank you, Lore, for the information.
We appreciate it.
From my experience fixing computers for people who don't know how to computer.

People get mad at the situation and take it out on the people on the front line.

WoD is a piece of crap and the Community managers are on the front line and take all the abuse. dont let it get to you its not your fault, it's the company and its marketing department who got us all to pay more for less while false advertising.

we were told that flying was just a flip of the switch at Blizzcon when we shouldn't have. Hopefully the company learns from this and is more careful with their words this November.

PS. Be upfront like VERY upfront about concepts and state these are concepts and repeat your selves like a broken record while presenting your ideas for legion this Blizzcon.


So, our strategy was to create two separate versions of the patch. 6.2.1 would have all of the relevant patch features (including flight), and 6.2.2 would have everything in 6.2.1 plus the upcoming stuff that the art team has been working on. In the unlikely event that everything went EXTREMELY smoothly with flight, we'd have the option to go ahead and push out 6.2.1, and 6.2.2 would come separately. If not, we'd just carry on with 6.2.2, which was basically the same patch plus some stuff that other parts of the WoW development team had been working on. As you're all aware, things did not go extremely smoothly with flight, so the latter option was what ended up happening.


Can I ask what your QA department was doing in testing for flight in Draenor?
[quote="186843897957"]
Come on dude, you're writing these big posts when all you really need to say is "Yeah we screwed up when we put that article up, we shouldn't have set things in stone like that. Sorry."


Again. Still. After 10 years. TEN YEARS aspects of the community seem to not grasp the FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH that ANYTHING Blizzard says about anything comes with a big, fat asterisk* that points to "unless reasons….".

"The Patch will come out on September 9th*"

"Legion will have Shaman Buffs*"

"Garrisons are going to be great!*"

"Maintenance will last until 11am PST*"

The only thing you put even the most remote amount of faith in to is the patch notes that come out the day after the patch. And even then there have been issues in the past.
08/20/2015 01:27 PMPosted by Sacriel
Did you read his post at all?

Also, I'm sure they don't have a vendetta against pro-flyers.


Yes. Did you?

Critical thinking is a real problem with fanboys.
Get flying and people still find a reason to complain/Rage.
Blizzard, this is why you should have never compromised with these brats. It will never be appreciated.
Regarding "you should have designed the world with flight from the beginning!" We actually did, we just had to do a lot more development after that, and some of that stuff broke flying in ways we didn't fully anticipate.

For example, when Warlords released, our servers were unable to handle the massive numbers of players trying to log into the game. Our server technicians pulled some absolutely crazy magic to dramatically increase the number of players who could be on a given server at one time. That solved the load issues, but ended up creating a large number of the dismount/de-instancing issues that players who have been testing flight on the PTR will have noticed.

Another example: a few weeks later, some exploits surfaced that were allowing certain players to fly in clearly unintended ways (such as Druids being able to leave Ashran with the Flight Form book still active). We hotfixed those exploits as they came up, but some of those hotfixes broke flying in Draenor in ways that continued even with flying properly enabled.

Obviously, we knew that both of those things were likely to cause some issues, we just severely underestimated how widespread (and difficult to resolve) those issues would be. And we didn't want to delay rolling out those fixes, because they had major implications for the live game (especially the server stuff), where no one was supposed to be able to fly at the time anyway.

Given the choice between letting thousands more people actually play the game and potentially breaking something that (at the time) we weren't sure was even going to matter later, it was an easy decision. But even easy decisions have consequences, and now we're having to deal with those in 6.2.1/6.2.2.
08/20/2015 01:29 PMPosted by Grummulthrus
08/20/2015 01:27 PMPosted by Sacriel
Did you read his post at all?

Also, I'm sure they don't have a vendetta against pro-flyers.


Yes. Did you?

Critical thinking is a real problem with fanboys.


So does disagreeing with someone now = doesn't critical think. Maybe you should do some more thinking yourself as well
08/20/2015 01:25 PMPosted by Grummulthrus
You knew flight was a complicated issue, likely to require a lot of QA testing...

...so...

...you added some ill-conceived knee-jerk features that required even *more* testing (e.g. the "mercenary system")?

Who thought this a smart idea?


Honestly, the mercenary system is something designed to fix a problem that is equally as important (OR MORE) to some people as flying is to you. There is also nothing 'knee-jerk' about a feature that likely took months or years to work out before they could implement it into the game to fix PVP faction balance problems that have plagued the games since the very beginning of WOW. It's not easy or trivial to group together people from different factions when the game was never developed for this to actually be possible. This feature also didn't delay flying's implementation - if anything, flying delayed the PVP system fix.

In general, I have faith that their QA team is big enough and smart enough to work on more than one complicated feature at a time. All the steps involved in a patch (including translating any text to other languages and preparing for deployment across the world) are complicated enough to take time to develop even with a tiny number of features. All things considered, only around 3 months between "no flying ever" and having flight available on the live servers is a really tiny amount of game development time on a major feature that impacts a tremendous amount of how you interact with the world.
08/20/2015 01:29 PMPosted by Adami
Get flying and people still find a reason to complain/Rage.
Blizzard, this is why you should have never compromised with these brats. It will never be appreciated.


Pay attention to Blizzard's PR department for any length of time and you'll see the outrage is rarely focused solely on "we waited a long time to fly". It's their communication "Errors" that have been driving people up the walls. Don't call them brats or demean them. Much like your opinion of the issue is allowed, so is theirs. Disagreement doesn't require knee-jerk insults. Look deeper at issues before assuming it's misconstrued entitlement.
Some people really don't read the patch notes do they?

PTR Disclaimer
Please keep in mind that the notes below are not final, and details may be subject to change before the release of Patch 6.2.2.


Your first link and 2nd link are the exact same thing if you actually read them. Both announced a Sept. 1st date and both say things can still change between now and then.
08/20/2015 01:31 PMPosted by Lore
Regarding "you should have designed the world with flight from the beginning!" We actually did, we just had to do a lot more development after that, and some of that stuff broke flying in ways we didn't fully anticipate.

For example, when Warlords released, our servers were unable to handle the massive numbers of players trying to log into the game. Our server technicians pulled some absolutely crazy magic to dramatically increase the number of players who could be on a given server at one time. That solved the load issues, but ended up creating a large number of the dismount/de-instancing issues that players who have been testing flight on the PTR will have noticed.

Another example: a few weeks later, some exploits surfaced that were allowing certain players to fly in clearly unintended ways (such as Druids being able to leave Ashran with the Flight Form book still active). We hotfixed those exploits as they came up, but some of those hotfixes broke flying in Draenor in ways that continued even with flying properly enabled.

Obviously, we knew that both of those things were likely to cause some issues, we just severely underestimated how widespread (and difficult to resolve) those issues would be. And we didn't want to delay rolling out those fixes, because they had major implications for the live game (especially the server stuff), where no one was supposed to be able to fly at the time anyway.

Given the choice between letting thousands more people actually play the game and potentially breaking something that (at the time) we weren't sure was even going to matter later, it was an easy decision. But even easy decisions have consequences, and now we're having to deal with those in 6.2.1/6.2.2.


So, again: if you suspected that the new content would cause problems with flight, then why did you choose to heap MORE features on top of flying in his patch, knowing that would cause delays and thus upset people?
08/20/2015 01:31 PMPosted by Lore
Regarding "you should have designed the world with flight from the beginning!" We actually did, we just had to do a lot more development after that, and some of that stuff broke flying in ways we didn't fully anticipate.

For example, when Warlords released, our servers were unable to handle the massive numbers of players trying to log into the game. Our server technicians pulled some absolutely crazy magic to dramatically increase the number of players who could be on a given server at one time. That solved the load issues, but ended up creating a large number of the dismount/de-instancing issues that players who have been testing flight on the PTR will have noticed.

Another example: a few weeks later, some exploits surfaced that were allowing certain players to fly in clearly unintended ways (such as Druids being able to leave Ashran with the Flight Form book still active). We hotfixed those exploits as they came up, but some of those hotfixes broke flying in Draenor in ways that continued even with flying properly enabled.

Obviously, we knew that both of those things were likely to cause some issues, we just severely underestimated how widespread (and difficult to resolve) those issues would be. And we didn't want to delay rolling out those fixes, because they had major implications for the live game (especially the server stuff), where no one was supposed to be able to fly at the time anyway.

Given the choice between letting thousands more people actually play the game and potentially breaking something that (at the time) we weren't sure was even going to matter later, it was an easy decision. But even easy decisions have consequences, and now we're having to deal with those in 6.2.1/6.2.2.


Then maybe you should not delay flying in legion, if these "hotfixes" and such cause so much issues, because than you'll just have the exact same thing happen again!
That's all we want, Lore. Honesty. Good or bad news, honesty is the best policy.
I think we'd all be a lot more open to various reasons for cutting things, changing things, adding things if we are just given the full truth right off the bat.

Because we know when an answer is BS. I know a lot of people with a consumer base in any company tend to look down on their customers as clueless idiots all the time, and then proceed to treat them like that. (See: Russ Peterson)
Hearing bad news is one thing, but being purposely lied to for any reason whatsoever will always field a negative reaction. So next time you guys have to cut the majority of an expec out, or you guys decide to just give up on an xpac before it's even half way done, just tell us the truth.
"Activision has set deadlines that we just cannot get." is MUCH more believable than "Farahlon just didn't fit into the story." or "Maybe it's Ashran, who knows."

My 2c.
its just flying...I don't get it. Never mind the real issues with the current state of the game that involve actual mechanics. We need to spend all of our time complaining about how we can't fly our welfare sparkle ponies across Draenor. It's JUST flying, I don't understand it.... I really don't. There are SOOO many other problems with the game that don't get nearly enough attention because of this little thing that wasn't even in the original game. And not to mention how badly it breaks the game and the social aspect of it.

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