Blizzard, You Rushed Battle for Azeroth

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After watching a few of the other greenies on here do nothing but attack forum goers and defend blizzard without exception, I am VERY impressed with what Neall here has to say.

THIS is how MVPs should behave.. Constructive, critical when needed, and polite in response to others.

I also believe that he is entirely correct in his criticism. It is very important that we speak our minds as players whether blizzard listens or not. I am an investor in ATVI(activision-blizzard), as well as a lifelong fan, and it is entirely too obvious that they are releasing unfinished products and pushing MAU hours so they can boost their quarterly revenue. This will help the share price in the short term but repeated instances of this behavior is VERY bad for both company image and the companies future as their customers become tired of receiving unfinished products priced at a premium. While its true that the suits may be forcing an early release of an unfinished product, it still doesn't excuse many of the poor decisions the team has made with this expansion.

My faith in Blizzard as both a shareholder and a player have been shaken quite a bit over the past year or two, and this certainly doesn't help. Blizzard exploded in popularity because it was gameplay first and focused on the player before the profit, and that goodwill will only last so long in the face of poor development decisions and greed.
You get a +1 for since I agree and the fact that you are the first green I seen that is being critical to Blizz and not just a mouth piece trying to keep your color.
07/23/2018 06:01 PMPosted by Vercalis
Prepatches always have bugs.


At this point in the lifecycle of a more than decade old system and development team, this is absolutely damning and it should not be simply accepted by consumers.

Bugs aren't the result of bad/sloppy programming: they are the result of bad or absent processes. Honestly, I would lose my job in hours if my team released a product with this defect rate.

There's a saying where I come from: if you catch a bug in test, you caught it too late (because to fix it once in test is costly, as opposed to earlier). Bliz treats Pre-patch like UAT, but there's no choice to participate.

I know it's always been this way--hell, I've lived it since the beginning--but that doesn't mean it's okay and we should accept it as being so.
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.


Pretty sure anybody that was going to buy BfA has for the most part already done so via pre-order. I do remember an almost daily thread complaining about BfA and the refusal of refunds after using the included boost.
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


+1, an actual MVP
For those of you who didn't read the post for the content, and instead only read it for something to complain about, let me elaborate on Neall's post.

His criticism offered both problems/issues AND potential solutions,

He spoke honestly despite being an MVP so that he could help the COMMUNITY of this game (that's all of you!).

His post is not anti-Blizzard, as much as people keep trying to pin that on him.

Neall has helped countless people get the achievement [Show Me Your Moves], one of the most rage-inducing achievements in the game without tilting ergo we can be confident that this whole post was thought out and not rushed. He spent his hard earned patience finding an amazing and eloquent way of informing both Blizzard and the player base the message he wanted to get across.

Could he have been "nicer" about it? sure.
Could he have sugar coated the feedback? Of course, but it wouldn't have this same impact.

TL:DR
Have some faith in the MVP that made the post, he did it without ill-intent or malice.
This thread fell too far off the front page.
07/24/2018 01:23 PMPosted by Ceris
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.

That's an enormous difference though. You always pay for loot in terms of time, and always have in RPG games.

Paying for loot boxes in cash, especially loot boxes with actual power items, is a new and disturbing trend in gaming that Blizz at least hasn't dived into the muck about.
..and if for some reason someone doubts the above---well, that person is wrong and clueless.


wait, what?
How dare you sir!!
And I can just imagine the complete and utter shartshow that would have commenced if there was an announcement akin to "yeah, um, we're not ready...gonna have to delay...get back to you soon with a date." Bugs happen and then get fixed. Tweaks eventually happen. Everybody's never satisfied and nobody's ever satisfied. Life goes on and folks keep clicking that "Play" button.
07/24/2018 05:38 PMPosted by Cyphon
And I can just imagine the complete and utter shartshow that would have commenced if there was an announcement akin to "yeah, um, we're not ready...gonna have to delay...get back to you soon with a date."

I don't think it would've been that bad, especially if they threw players a bone in the form of some kind of compensation like a free month (if that was the delay) or what have you.
07/23/2018 06:05 PMPosted by Wenwei
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.


It only alpha
It only beta
It only pre patch
It only live
It only first patch
It only second patch
It only third patch
It only Final patch

Repeat...


And the entire time they ask for our feedback. We give it but do they listen?
I think I found my favorite green.
Honest and to the point.

#1 to you MVP for providing honest feedback.
I knew things like this would happen when they announced expansions every couple of years. It's the main reason why I only play a couple of months here and there. After WoTLK, so many things started falling apart. The story and lore went out the window. Everything is rush, rush, rush to the point where healers don't even rez people in dungeons anymore and expect them to run back. Now they're gating story lines like a tell tale game and think people will be ok with it. And battle royale coming soon.

Both the consumer and blizz are guilty for the state of the game. Either way I'll do the same I've been doing for years. Play for a few months, get bored of the grind and toxic players then quit. Come back for the last couple months of the expac and catch up with whatever. Most of the people I used to play with have moved on, not because they wanted to, but because the game isn't what it used to be.

It's being tailored as a children's game. Definitely not an "RPG" anymore.
07/24/2018 05:00 PMPosted by Dliver
07/24/2018 01:23 PMPosted by Ceris
...

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.

That's an enormous difference though. You always pay for loot in terms of time, and always have in RPG games.

Paying for loot boxes in cash, especially loot boxes with actual power items, is a new and disturbing trend in gaming that Blizz at least hasn't dived into the muck about.


thank god they didnt, that would be the end for me playing
If I could just use my mouse buttons that no longer work thanks to the forced windows full-screen change, that would be great.
07/24/2018 04:07 PMPosted by Tetronian
For those of you who didn't read the post for the content, and instead only read it for something to complain about, let me elaborate on Neall's post.

His criticism offered both problems/issues AND potential solutions,

He spoke honestly despite being an MVP so that he could help the COMMUNITY of this game (that's all of you!).

His post is not anti-Blizzard, as much as people keep trying to pin that on him.

Neall has helped countless people get the achievement [Show Me Your Moves], one of the most rage-inducing achievements in the game without tilting ergo we can be confident that this whole post was thought out and not rushed. He spent his hard earned patience finding an amazing and eloquent way of informing both Blizzard and the player base the message he wanted to get across.

Could he have been "nicer" about it? sure.
Could he have sugar coated the feedback? Of course, but it wouldn't have this same impact.

TL:DR
Have some faith in the MVP that made the post, he did it without ill-intent or malice.


Sure, if OP sets his own business model with honesty - sure - go ahead and criticise and “teach”.

The stink irony is he doesn’t. Businesses care about profit and cost. That’s it. If he had acknowledged that and know, then his “criticism” makes no sense at all.

Several finance experts here have explained why Blizzard makes the decision that leads to retail of Today. They have to do things that is of the best interest to the company.

In case the Clueless dum dum here do not know, they are all working with Red tapes in the company. Anything related to increase cost by a large margin needs approval. And yeah that includes time too.

You want the whole DEPT of R&D to tell their Board that they want to, need more time to make things perfect so that their Fanbois will be happy? No f way will that fly. Delay = less cash flow for that financial quarter

More so, by delaying, they are jeopardising their own career because now that they have a history of delaying- means they are inefficient.

Why else would Big Twitch Streamers like Sodappopin, Asmongold, joked about buying Blizzard. While it seems like silly Banter, they know that the only way for Blizzard to completely put the players first, is to get them off the backs of being a Public listed company - because it is then will they have complete Creative freedom to do and release things as they see fit.

So yeah, it has been discussed previously that moving forward - an expansion will be 24-26 months with no more than 3 major patches. (Each major patch last about 6-8 months).

They also convinced the board that they will no longer use sub numbers to measure wow success - although they didn’t reveal (or maybe they did), the new metric system will be game time played per user and avg micro transactions engaged by a user.

Thus it’s clear now. They are not going to design the game around helping players achieve their goal in the game ASAP - you do that - you lose revenue. And don’t tell me the loyalty BS - they have consumer behaviour analysis- your loyalty doesn’t dictate other players will be loyal.

———————-
They said their piece and they let it go.

You want to have a say in changing the direction of the game - here is 2 way

1) Garner 50% of their subscribers to boycott the game until they change it to your whim

2) Buy Blizzard from Activision

—————-
IMO, OP is an opportunist here, he sees Blizz F up and use it as a stepping stone to get more recognition.

Like I said if he wants the company to be honest, how about doing some self reflection to his own Patreon Business Model.
From my perspective it's not a matter of taking more time or slipping the date. Software companies typically have big wish lists that have to be prioritized. Can't do everything. And sometimes technology has to move on. In this case it seems that Blizzard felt they couldn't prune the list of changes as much as might have been needed to reduce negative impacts.

For example, I understand the desire to implement new infrastructure around stat squish code. But it seems they could have done it in stages or held it until the next major patch especially if Dev, QA and Beta tester feedback indicated a major problem. Hopefully they will sort it out and people will continue to see more positives to playing than to moving on to other things.
If you were playing the beta over the last couple of months, you'd realize that it's not being rushed. The game is very polished on the beta servers.

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