Blizzard, You Rushed Battle for Azeroth

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07/23/2018 06:03 PMPosted by Snowfox
Iunno. I felt like my class change this time was very small.

Maybe that's just how it is for disc priests though.


Must be nice being brokenly OP in the prepatch and assume it’s like that for everyone.
07/23/2018 06:03 PMPosted by Snowfox
Iunno. I felt like my class change this time was very small.

Maybe that's just how it is for disc priests though.


Yes, that's literally just how it is for disc priests...obviously. No one should even have to say this; dozens of people are not referencing the ACTUAL CHANGES TO THEIR CLASS for no reason.
It's dumb they rushed it but there's a reason. You'll find it in the future at this link:
https://investor.activision.com/financial-information/quarterly-results
07/24/2018 09:32 AMPosted by Deadbeatdon
07/23/2018 06:03 PMPosted by Ramshad
Believing that most of the developers have a great deal of say in when/how an expansion is launched is naive. The major shareholders, board members, and business leaders are the ones who make these types of calls in any publicly-traded company (unless, of course, the developers are also these same people!).

For reasons we do not know (and cannot know without insider knowledge), they estimated that the financial gain of releasing BFA at this time was higher than delaying it. They likely also estimated that any potential loss of subscribers due to early bugs would be either: A, temporary; B, not enough to cancel out the positive cash flow of releasing the expansion now.

So, while you can say, "Oh Blizzard, please take your time and release games later when they're perfect" all day long, that completely ignores the real and infinitely more pressing financial concerns of the company at large. The only way the company will change its policy is if, and only if, the drawbacks to releasing games "early" (in whoever's opinion that is) are more financially deleterious than any positives from releasing "early."

EDIT: By the way, I am an investment analyst and I have "retired" early due to my own investments, primarily in publicly-traded companies (and some land). Suffice to say, I understand how corporate governance functions, and if for some reason someone doubts the above---well, that person is wrong and clueless. Also, just for disclosure, I do own shares of Activision-Blizzard.


This is the absolute truth.
...and the whole problem with games released in the last few years. They're pretty much all throwing out buggy pieces of garbage and copies of a handful of successes in order to hit the deadlines the boards have set up due to financial projections.

Blizzard used to be better than this. They used to delay things because they weren't ready. Now they're like everyone else.
07/23/2018 06:03 PMPosted by Ramshad
Believing that most of the developers have a great deal of say in when/how an expansion is launched is naive. The major shareholders, board members, and business leaders are the ones who make these types of calls in any publicly-traded company (unless, of course, the developers are also these same people!).

For reasons we do not know (and cannot know without insider knowledge), they estimated that the financial gain of releasing BFA at this time was higher than delaying it. They likely also estimated that any potential loss of subscribers due to early bugs would be either: A, temporary; B, not enough to cancel out the positive cash flow of releasing the expansion now.

So, while you can say, "Oh Blizzard, please take your time and release games later when they're perfect" all day long, that completely ignores the real and infinitely more pressing financial concerns of the company at large. The only way the company will change its policy is if, and only if, the drawbacks to releasing games "early" (in whoever's opinion that is) are more financially deleterious than any positives from releasing "early."

EDIT: By the way, I am an investment analyst and I have "retired" early due to my own investments, primarily in publicly-traded companies (and some land). Suffice to say, I understand how corporate governance functions, and if for some reason someone doubts the above---well, that person is wrong and clueless. Also, just for disclosure, I do own shares of Activision-Blizzard.
Yep former analyst and hedge fund guy here. Spot on. And in an era where most releases are buggy but the community accepts it this isn't going to ever change. That ship has sailed. Games are too expensive to make to delay six months to do it right.
07/23/2018 05:56 PMPosted by Neall
You rushed Battle for Azeroth. You’ve been rushing it since you announced it at BlizzCon in November.
And you call yourself an MvP! LOL. Just kidding.
07/24/2018 11:09 AMPosted by Asmonparse
07/23/2018 06:03 PMPosted by Snowfox
Iunno. I felt like my class change this time was very small.

Maybe that's just how it is for disc priests though.


Must be nice being brokenly OP in the prepatch and assume it’s like that for everyone.

Well, I mean.. it certainly doesn't predispose me to complain about class changes.
07/23/2018 05:56 PMPosted by Neall
Blizzard:

You rushed Battle for Azeroth. You’ve been rushing it since you announced it at BlizzCon in November.

The breadth and depth of the systems changes in this pre-patch were ambitious. As I consider the changes in the pre-patch, it seems this was the largest set of systems changes ever made to the game at one time. I understand that Cataclysm’s Launch re-worked the old world and re-worked all the quest lines in the old kingdoms. But this pre-patch was larger, I believe.

Systems changed in the pre-patch:
Class and Spec Changes for all Classes and Specs
Stat Squish for all Players, NPC’s, Items and Spells in the game
Loot changes for current and legacy encounters
Artifact Weapon removal
Rework of all quest lines requiring a number of Artifact Traits
Professions
Removal of First Aid as a Profession but not quests that require First Aid items
Removal of PvP Servers / Addition of War Mode
Conversion of Prestige System to the Honor System
Making Honor Gains Account Wide
New Guild Interface
Introduction of Communities in game
Introduction of New Achievements and Rewards
Removal of Full Screen (For . . . Reasons)
New User Interface
Pet Charm Currency Changes
I’m sure I missed some of the changes

Most of these changes had serious issues at pre-patch. Many of these changes still have issues, a week later.

Legion’s content rollout was amazing – one of your biggest successes. To have content rolling out on a consistent basis was probably a big boost to your confidence regarding how quickly, efficiently and effectively you can roll out new content. I think you have that down pat and look forward to the content roll out of Battle for Azeroth. Unfortunately, pre-patch is not a content update, it’s a systems update.

I imagine there should be a NASA like “Go / No Go” meeting before every major step in the launch process. And every group touching the launch should give a “Go” or “No Go” to move forward with the current launch time line. If you are having those types of meetings, then they failed you this time around. I feel like Ragnaros should have been somewhere saying, “Too Soon!” All the random Pandaren you interact with should be saying, “Slow Down!”

I thought that the Battle for Azeroth announcement at BlizzCon was very light compared to the Legion announcement at GamesCon and especially the presentation at the subsequent Blizzcon. I thought at the time, the earliest launch could happen were the Fall, if Beta started right after Blizzcon. Alpha did not start until January and Beta did not start until April. I believe all of your other Betas started at least 6 months before launch. Legion was announced at GamesCon, presented at Blizzcon, had Alpha released right after Blizzcon, Beta by the first of the year and released in September. Battle for Azeroth’s launch timeline was super compressed. And yeah, you have more people working on the game than ever before but this is also the largest set of systems changes ever made to the game.

With the number of systems changed, some bugs were to be expected, but the large number of prominent bugs in the major systems should have kept this pre-patch from being delivered. It seems many of the major systems were not even fully tested or evaluated. Specifically, the tuning of Legion Dungeons and Raids, the tuning of Mount Dropping Legacy Raids, the Profession Levelling changes, and the new Guild Interface stand out as major failings. There are probably others. I’m sure you’re working on fixing them and I’m sure you’ll eventually get them all fixed. This too, shall pass. And you’ll get back to developing the next content to be rolled out and the next expansions. We may not see this amount of systems changes to the game ever again. We will likely see a stat squish in the expansion after the next expansion (2022) along with other systems changes and class and spec redesigns. Please learn from this and use these lessons for all subsequent pre-patches.

Give yourself enough time. Plan for a long tail to the expansion. Embrace a long tail to the expansion. Give players something new to do in the tail of the expansion. Create crossover content in other games with in game WoW rewards (Primal Flamesaber, Graves, etc.). Introduce a new dungeon or raid (Ruby Sanctum). (Could the Silithis quest line have been a dungeon with replayability and sweet loot rather than a quest line?) Introduce a new brawl. (Could Seething Shore have a new Brawl associated with it?) Introduce a “Loremaster Buff” that gives you four times (or ten times) the experience in specific regions of the world (Eastern Kingdoms or Kalimdor, Outlands or Northrend, Cataclysm or Pandaria, Draenor or Broken Shore – not the whole world so people can choose to take advantage of or to not take advantage of the buff). These are just a few ideas. Don’t rush the pre-patch, again. Don’t rush the launch again. Don't make these mistakes again.

I’m counting on you and believe in you.

Neall on Medivh


I have been frequenting these forums for many years and I have never seen a green post so brazenly.

I agree with all that was said. This rush feels a lot like WoD era.
07/23/2018 05:56 PMPosted by Neall
Blizzard:

You rushed Battle for Azeroth. You’ve been rushing it since you announced it at BlizzCon in November.

The breadth and depth of the systems changes in this pre-patch were ambitious. As I consider the changes in the pre-patch, it seems this was the largest set of systems changes ever made to the game at one time. I understand that Cataclysm’s Launch re-worked the old world and re-worked all the quest lines in the old kingdoms. But this pre-patch was larger, I believe.

Systems changed in the pre-patch:
Class and Spec Changes for all Classes and Specs
Stat Squish for all Players, NPC’s, Items and Spells in the game
Loot changes for current and legacy encounters
Artifact Weapon removal
Rework of all quest lines requiring a number of Artifact Traits
Professions
Removal of First Aid as a Profession but not quests that require First Aid items
Removal of PvP Servers / Addition of War Mode
Conversion of Prestige System to the Honor System
Making Honor Gains Account Wide
New Guild Interface
Introduction of Communities in game
Introduction of New Achievements and Rewards
Removal of Full Screen (For . . . Reasons)
New User Interface
Pet Charm Currency Changes
I’m sure I missed some of the changes

Most of these changes had serious issues at pre-patch. Many of these changes still have issues, a week later.

Legion’s content rollout was amazing – one of your biggest successes. To have content rolling out on a consistent basis was probably a big boost to your confidence regarding how quickly, efficiently and effectively you can roll out new content. I think you have that down pat and look forward to the content roll out of Battle for Azeroth. Unfortunately, pre-patch is not a content update, it’s a systems update.

I imagine there should be a NASA like “Go / No Go” meeting before every major step in the launch process. And every group touching the launch should give a “Go” or “No Go” to move forward with the current launch time line. If you are having those types of meetings, then they failed you this time around. I feel like Ragnaros should have been somewhere saying, “Too Soon!” All the random Pandaren you interact with should be saying, “Slow Down!”

I thought that the Battle for Azeroth announcement at BlizzCon was very light compared to the Legion announcement at GamesCon and especially the presentation at the subsequent Blizzcon. I thought at the time, the earliest launch could happen were the Fall, if Beta started right after Blizzcon. Alpha did not start until January and Beta did not start until April. I believe all of your other Betas started at least 6 months before launch. Legion was announced at GamesCon, presented at Blizzcon, had Alpha released right after Blizzcon, Beta by the first of the year and released in September. Battle for Azeroth’s launch timeline was super compressed. And yeah, you have more people working on the game than ever before but this is also the largest set of systems changes ever made to the game.

With the number of systems changed, some bugs were to be expected, but the large number of prominent bugs in the major systems should have kept this pre-patch from being delivered. It seems many of the major systems were not even fully tested or evaluated. Specifically, the tuning of Legion Dungeons and Raids, the tuning of Mount Dropping Legacy Raids, the Profession Levelling changes, and the new Guild Interface stand out as major failings. There are probably others. I’m sure you’re working on fixing them and I’m sure you’ll eventually get them all fixed. This too, shall pass. And you’ll get back to developing the next content to be rolled out and the next expansions. We may not see this amount of systems changes to the game ever again. We will likely see a stat squish in the expansion after the next expansion (2022) along with other systems changes and class and spec redesigns. Please learn from this and use these lessons for all subsequent pre-patches.

Give yourself enough time. Plan for a long tail to the expansion. Embrace a long tail to the expansion. Give players something new to do in the tail of the expansion. Create crossover content in other games with in game WoW rewards (Primal Flamesaber, Graves, etc.). Introduce a new dungeon or raid (Ruby Sanctum). (Could the Silithis quest line have been a dungeon with replayability and sweet loot rather than a quest line?) Introduce a new brawl. (Could Seething Shore have a new Brawl associated with it?) Introduce a “Loremaster Buff” that gives you four times (or ten times) the experience in specific regions of the world (Eastern Kingdoms or Kalimdor, Outlands or Northrend, Cataclysm or Pandaria, Draenor or Broken Shore – not the whole world so people can choose to take advantage of or to not take advantage of the buff). These are just a few ideas. Don’t rush the pre-patch, again. Don’t rush the launch again. Don't make these mistakes again.

I’m counting on you and believe in you.

Neall on Medivh
I will drop you a like good sir. Greetings from Ravencrest. Keep up the good fight!
07/23/2018 06:03 PMPosted by Clobberntime
07/23/2018 06:01 PMPosted by Vercalis
I expect more than doom and gloom and pessimism from an MVP.

Prepatches always have bugs. Most things have already been smoothed and worked out.

Yes, there are problems, but to decry and entire expansion and prepatch as a mistake is below your station. Be better.
They're not saying the whole thing is a mistake. They're saying Blizzard tried to roll out too much too quickly and a lot of it wasn't even properly tested.

Blizzard flew through their testing phase like a whirlwind, were overly ambitious, and there's now a lot of pretty severe bugs or rushed changes that affect everything from actually playing the game to how the game looks. More than we've seen in pre patch than the last few expansions.
I have to agree here.
The bean counters aren't dictating anything. They do not micromanage day to day operations. The majority shareholders probably couldn't even name the top games that Activision produces.

All they expect is a return on their investment. How that is a accomplished is up to the producers. Obviously the strategy for WOW is to get its customers to play longer, spend more in the store, and as more often is the case, spend time trying to recover things which have been stripped away from them.

We shall see if the strategy succeeds. Short-term, it might. Long term, I have my doubts.
07/24/2018 11:16 AMPosted by Berrye
Blizzard used to be better than this. They used to delay things because they weren't ready. Now they're like everyone else.

In this respect. At least they haven't yet - here anyway - descended to loot box casino royale for non-cosmetic gear or DLC to patch in things that should be included in the base product. Yet.
07/24/2018 01:19 PMPosted by Dliver
they haven't yet - here anyway - descended to loot box casino royale for non-cosmetic gear


Legiondaries? BFA's M+ chest, that can proc 1-3 items weekly? Titanforged? That's pretty much the definition of playing the roulette but we don't pay for chances in money, we pay for it in time. For a DPS, getting lucky with TF and M+ chest can be the difference between bench or core.
The bean counters aren't dictating anything. They do not micromanage day to day operations. The majority shareholders probably couldn't even name the top games that Activision produces.

All they expect is a return on their investment. How that is a accomplished is up to the producers...


LOL. First of all, scheduling release dates is not "micromanaging". The main income stream from (most) videogames are releases; WoW, even with a subscription, has been no exception. Scheduling release dates for major titles, products, etc. is one of the central foci of (successful) businesses, and yes, the owners of the business---that is, the investors and others who hold shares---either influence or directly make those calls.

If you seriously believe the nonsense you are saying, you know absolutely nothing about business, and for your own good fortune I hope that you will educate yourself about how the market economy functions so that you may benefit from that when you invest sincerely. Believe me: any serious investment group and/or individual investor knows the company, inside-and-out, and cares a great deal about important, major events such as releases of products. A casual glance at literally ANY investing material, whether in paper form or online, will tell you as much, without you even needing to be an investor yourself. (For educational purposes, peruse, among many other options, Gurufocus, Morningstar, Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool, etc. Try to find a single serious, major investor who "can't name" the top products that Activision produces. Such an investor or investment group that performs little to no research, and who cares nothing about exerting influence on a cash flow stream, would not be in business or have any sort of success within a year or two.)

This is why publicly-traded companies function as they do. This is why shareholders have rights and votes. They are the company's owners. They make decisions either directly (as majority holders), or via a voting bloc / representative that they select (a board of directors). The CEO and literally everyone else at the company are employees, and you had better believe that the employees will do exactly as their bosses, the owners, desire. If investors "didn't care" about the timing of the major cash flows of a company and were just "beancounters" as you say, then LOL...capitalism wouldn't function, the market economy would not exist, and of course shareholder rights and votes would be nonexistent because there would be no point whatsoever.
Pretty much everyone knows something is wrong with BFA and how things currently are on the live pre-patch, likely due to rushing the products.

Those that say nothing is wrong will keep playing even if their hands were chopped off.
07/23/2018 06:12 PMPosted by Velara
07/23/2018 06:03 PMPosted by Ramshad
Believing that most of the developers have a great deal of say in when/how an expansion is launched is naive. The major shareholders, board members, and business leaders are the ones who make these types of calls in any publicly-traded company (unless, of course, the developers are also these same people!).

For reasons we do not know (and cannot know without insider knowledge), they estimated that the financial gain of releasing BFA at this time was higher than delaying it. They likely also estimated that any potential loss of subscribers due to early bugs would be either: A, temporary; B, not enough to cancel out the positive cash flow of releasing the expansion now.

So, while you can say, "Oh Blizzard, please take your time and release games later when they're perfect" all day long, that completely ignores the real and infinitely more pressing financial concerns of the company at large. The only way the company will change its policy is if, and only if, the drawbacks to releasing games "early" (in whoever's opinion that is) are more financially deleterious than any positives from releasing "early."

This philosophy is the opposite of how Blizzard started.

I don't think BfA sales will live up to expectations.


while sales will probably not slow down enough, the reputation for quality has taken a MAJOR hit. We have come to expect Blizzard standard of "Soon" so most of the game comes out completed. Bugs and a broken patch is to be expected, But the decisions for the game by the executives/shareholders and not the developers and Blizzard internally is really starting to show. Like EA's executive decisions level bad showing.
Well said.

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