Camera Distance and Game Theory

Dungeons, Raids and Scenarios
I normally stay off the forums, there have been decisions in the past that I've been upset by but I typically just swallow my opinions and keep on going. I thought I would be able to do this with the new camera distance change, but after last night's raid I had to say something.

Raiding with a closer Camera Zoom
I've raid led since Burning Crusade. I've built and helped build several guilds from almost nothing to top contenders. I mention this because I've spent the better part of 8 years understanding that people have different UI preferences, play styles, skill levels, game interest, and even zoom levels. I really tried to reason with myself that this change would not hurt on live as much as me or everyone else wanted to believe it would. After raiding HFC last night it was clear that I was kidding myself.

I couldn't see the rest of the raid's positioning, I couldn't see our tanks positions, I couldn't see where imp's spawned on Mannoroth to determine whether we should use our 1 grip. I couldn't locate black holes on Xhul'horac, couldn't find rogue bombs on Iron Reaver, and I couldn't see what in the hell was going on under my own feet. If I can't see these things, how are my raiders going to?

Not only was my broader view lessened, but the only way that I can describe what was happening in the world around me at max view distance was motion sickness. I had developed a severe headache within an hour of our raid, something that I can honestly say has never happened to me before. My ability to do my job in the raid was incredibly limited.

Camera Distance as an Art Style
This is something that always puzzled me about Watcher's original post. You're artist's aren't all designing the game for this zoom level. I feel like this must have been a debate that arose when the art team took upon the large task of recreating all character models. I can hear people bewail "Why even bother with this detail, everyone is so zoomed out they won't even see it!" And there right, but we all zoom in often to see things closer, to inspect our characters (in the game world and UI), and to view the details of the world that help make it so beautiful. But the only thing that the rest of your art team designs and places with a camera distance that close is... foilage. For everything else, they are making grand buildings, huge pathways, overhanging trees, and terrain that feels organic and leads you through a zone. The ladder you completely miss out on with this view distance. I find myself playing my UI instead of the game far more than ever before.

Your motto used to be
"Dedicated to creating the most epic entertainment experiences...ever."

Nothing about being zoomed in and missing all the grandeur of the game's largest monuments and creatures feel epic. I don't find anything epic about my camera being clipped into boss models and viewing their low poly count crotch.

Camera Distance as a Choice and Advantage
I firmly believe that the biggest reason WoW has remained at the top of the totem pole of MMO's is it's level of customization and choice. You let us choose everything from the game world to our UI. And us creating our own tailored experience is what keeps us attached to WoW, and averse to forced change in the newer MMO's. I develop LUA interfaces and addons for the game and the first thing I ask about any new MMO is "do they let you program your own interface?" And yet - having a UI is a huge advantage. Having addons like BigWigs, DBM, or WeakAuras is a huge advantage.

Advantages are where the game theory comes into play here, and I get that you make careful choices over what advantage you allow to remain. The camera distance has been used in the game for nearly a decade. You could argue that newer players don't have access to this very easily, but they don't know about a lot of what makes this game competitive. They don't know about wowhead, guide sites, or how to unzip and find the location for the wow addons. A lot of addons do the camera distance CVAR change for you, and it's included in some of the most popular UI compilations. This change paired with the numerous changes to help with motion sickness seems about as intuitive as removing a knife from one leg, only to sink it into the other.

Conclusion
The in game slider still starts with a camera distance factor of about .8. If you want that parity, then put the max somewhere in the middle. I understand the sentiment behind reducing max camera distance, but not this much. You went from 3.4 to 1.9, that's almost half distance. And it is painful, actually very painful. Can you put the max value on the in-game slider to a factor of at least 2.5?

I will keep playing the game, I'm not going to threaten with quitting over a flawed change. But I've never seen so many people say they'll quit over totally legitimate problems with this change.
07/20/2016 11:42 AMPosted by Nodis
But the only thing that the rest of your art team designs and places with a camera distance that close is... foilage. For everything else, they are making grand buildings, huge pathways, overhanging trees, and terrain that feels organic and leads you through a zone. The ladder you completely miss out on with this view distance. I find myself playing my UI instead of the game far more than ever before.


Agreed. Closer zoom was supposed to make us see more of the world and all its details. But it's actually harder to see anything, and the scope and majestic feel of the open world is horribly diminished.
Definitely enjoyed staring at archimonde's loincloth, nice work art team. Unfortunately this wont get a fraction of the outrage the no-flying choice did because 95% of the game's population doesn't look out for fight mechanics anyway.
<---always used blizzards UI max distance and never had issues tanking or having visibility issues.
this isnt some trpg where u need an overhead view of the map.
<---always used blizzards UI max distance and never had issues tanking or having visibility issues.
this isnt some trpg where u need an overhead view of the map.


You are not doing content that requires you to pay attention to it.
<---always used blizzards UI max distance and never had issues tanking or having visibility issues.
this isnt some trpg where u need an overhead view of the map.


Sadly, people who cba to actually participate in content past the "you can afk this and be fine" level of difficulty are the taget demo for WoW now. What a clown fiesta.
07/21/2016 09:01 AMPosted by Furor
You are not doing content that requires you to pay attention to it.

I've never had any problems either, and didn't have any problems this reset.

I don't really care one way or the other about the camera change, but there are people out there that haven't been affected by it.
Right, of course not everyone has been affected by it. That's not what anyone is saying. But a lot of people have been affected by it, and for legitimate reasons.That's what this post is about.
Their reasoning for changing it was the worst part and oozed pure lies
07/21/2016 06:12 PMPosted by Flytan
Their reasoning for changing it was the worst part and oozed pure lies


That's the big thing. I was hoping they'd revert on it (like they did with Overwatch FoV settings) and just make the slider in interface options have an extra "advanced" distance, or something.
I'd be fine with these this zoom distance if you gave me a FoV slider, 100-110 would be nice but I'd be perfectly happy if you just gave us 90 if you're worried all the elitests would demand nauseating settings.
Did you know you can actually sign a petition about this issue?
https://www.change.org/p/mike-morhaime-keep-max-camera-distance-in-legion-and-beyond?recruiter=251290406&utm_source=petitions_share&utm_medium=copylink
Watcher's comment about character size at max zoom supremely pissed me off. Hey buddy, why not think about the REASON we zoom that far out? It isn't because we like being tiny or gnomes would be the #1 played race.

It's to see around the room better and keep track of what's going on. It's to spot incoming adds and target them because tab-targeting is still stupid. It's to not have huge boss models blocking your view of everything. Do you see a pattern here? Zoom is a blanket fix for a bunch of things you won't fix.

Bosses can feel huge and powerful without being 3x the size of the viewport. That's obnoxious and makes tanks unable to see their own feet because melee swings are blocking the view for 20yd behind them. There is still a sense of size and scale when something is 5x bigger than you, regardless of how far you zoom out to see the whole thing.
07/20/2016 11:42 AMPosted by Nodis

Conclusion
The in game slider still starts with a camera distance factor of about .8. If you want that parity, then put the max somewhere in the middle. I understand the sentiment behind reducing max camera distance, but not this much. You went from 3.4 to 1.9, that's almost half distance. And it is painful, actually very painful. Can you put the max value on the in-game slider to a factor of at least 2.5?


This is a reasonable compromise. Currently being forced to be zoomed in, makes me nauseous during raids when there is a lot of adds or spell animations. It changes the look to the game entirely for me. I've played at a little less than max 50 for many years now. This doesn't feel look like the game I've played anymore. Its not enjoyable at all.

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