Dear Devs: Re: Pet Charms

General Discussion
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First things first:
- I've already gone through the process to open a ticket and try and discuss this with Customer Support. They directed me here.

With the BfA pre-patch, you made a change to Pet Charms. You converted existing Pet Charms to Shiny Pet Charms and introduced a new type called Polished Pet Charms that are as-of-yet unattainable. Additionally, you made some items purchasable via Shiny and others via Polished. Things that you could buy with regular charms before the patch cannot now be purchased until we gain access to Polished.

If I had known this change was coming, I would certainly have spent my Charms on Battle Stones before the patch. But, since I don't regularly read the forums and I don't typically read posts on WoWHead, I had no idea the change was coming. Thus, I sit with about 1,000 Shiny Pet Charms that I personally have no use for. (Yes, I know I can use them to buy toys and pets. I already have all those, and I hate playing the AH.)

I would like to bring your attention to 3 issues around this situation:

1) This change was implemented poorly.
You could have easily left existing Pet Charms as the items they were, and removed any way of getting more of them. Then added your new versions and put in the ways to get those. Thus players could still have used their old charms the same way they always had, they just couldn't acquire any more of them. And at the same time, your new charm system would be in place for the future.

2) Communication of changes like this is not done well.
During the ticket process with Customer Support I was sent a link to a WoWHead post about the change and told "we made this public here". First of all, WoWHead is a 3rd party website. Why would I expect to hear about changes to the game from them, rather than directly from you? Second, the post was from 3 days before the patch went live. 3 days notice is not good communication.
When I made these points to CS, I was then linked to a forum post from May. That post was in the Beta section, and the relevant post was FIVE PAGES into the thread. If I'm not participating in Beta, why would I read that thread? Let alone scour 5+ pages of posts. I know there are a lot of people who live and breath WoW and read everything they can about it. There are also plenty that do not. We enjoy the game, but we don't feel the need to keep up on every single detail every day.... nor should we be expected to.

If you're going to make a change like this, and you're going to do it the way you did (which again, you shouldn't)... why would you not communicate that change IN GAME to the players that obviously would care about the change? Just send an in-game mail to anyone who has Pet Charms and inform them of the upcoming change. Why would a change to something in-game not be communicated in-game?

3) Customer Support directed me here to ask the devs for help.
I'm a software developer, and have been for over 20 years now. And I have never seen a process work that way. Never would I expect a customer to talk directly with the software engineers to resolve their problem. Customer Support is the interface with customers.... hence the name. They should be the ones helping the customers. If a developer needs to be consulted, then CS should do it, not the customers themselves.

Summary
I feel like this change was poorly implemented and poorly communicated. And as such, I was striped of weeks (if not months) of work for the Pet Charms I had accumulated. I am requesting that you identify how many I had before the patch, and convert those directly to Flawless Battle-Training Stones or Ultimate Battle-Training Stones.

I am also requesting that you review your change processes and communication processes for improvement.

Thank you for your time.
This change was in the patch notes long before the change was implemented. Always know what's in the patch notes for an upcoming patch.
I just re-reviewed the Patch Notes and I do not see this listed anywhere.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/patch-notes/

More over, I shouldn't have to review Patch Notes constantly in order to not lose something I worked for. Again, this change should have been implemented in a better way.
OP is right, this change was communicated very badly. Pet Battles have always been their own little world without the same gearing issue that causes gear resets in the main game. It wasn't in the patch notes, but in some corners of Blizzard's forums and wowhead, people apparently knew about it on the PTR.

Blizzard knows exactly how to get people's attention about time-sensitive things. Leading up to the patch, Blizzard had a link to an announcement post on their website about "things to get done" before the pre-patch launched. It would come up on the launcher. They didn't mention, anywhere in that post, the major change coming to pet currencies.

There's a temptation people have to jump onto those who complain about something happening in a patch and act like they have no grounds for complaint because if only they had been paying close attention to the PTR and PTR discussion they'd have known everything coming. But that's not the right way to look at it. OP is correct, this devalued a currency a lot of players had collected a lot of, and given how separate pet battles are from gearing issues, Blizzard should have included a warning about it in their big BNet launcher post about "things to do before the pre-patch."
08/01/2018 08:16 AMPosted by Wilee
I just re-reviewed the Patch Notes and I do not see this listed anywhere.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/patch-notes/

More over, I shouldn't have to review Patch Notes constantly in order to not lose something I worked for. Again, this change should have been implemented in a better way.


Sorry, but if you expected to be able to hoard a currency from a past expansion to have a head-start on buying new things in the new expansion, that was not a realistic expectation. Honor points, valor, justice, etc...have never carried over. I rememebr when we used to get a nice gold conversion from unused points.
I happened upon a note the morning before the patch hit so was able to spend my existing charms. As I've posted elsewhere on this topic, I had thought I'd read something about the change but when I went to search for it I came up empty. It wasn't in the patch notes either so I thought I'd either read it wrong months before or the change wasn't implemented.

This was poorly communicated, the new charms are not available, and I suspect many are in the OP's shoes having hundreds or thousands of now, largely, useless charms.
08/01/2018 08:16 AMPosted by Wilee
I just re-reviewed the Patch Notes and I do not see this listed anywhere.


There are masses of changes which are never listed in patch notes.

It's not unheard of for currencies to change with new expansions.

If there are aspects of the game which you have a particular interest in, it's always a good idea to check forums and/or fansites prior to a major patch or new expansion.

It was posted in the beta forum back in May.
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20762158027?page=5#post-82

It was mentioned on the warcraftpets website, this forum, wowhead, and various other fansites.

08/01/2018 08:16 AMPosted by Wilee
I shouldn't have to review Patch Notes constantly in order to not lose something I worked for.

You did not lose them.

If you don't want to play the AH, ask people in your guild if they'd be interested in trading stuff for the pets/toys.

(and yes, i have a bunch of them too.. i was in and out of hospital, and didn't get a chance to offload them.. no biggy, I'll just buy a few pets/toys for friends who don't have them)
What?!? I had no idea this change happened. :(

I have almost 200 in my bags. WTG, Blizz! Always fixing what isn't broken.
08/01/2018 08:33 AMPosted by Tarc
08/01/2018 08:16 AMPosted by Wilee
I just re-reviewed the Patch Notes and I do not see this listed anywhere.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/patch-notes/

More over, I shouldn't have to review Patch Notes constantly in order to not lose something I worked for. Again, this change should have been implemented in a better way.


Sorry, but if you expected to be able to hoard a currency from a past expansion to have a head-start on buying new things in the new expansion, that was not a realistic expectation. Honor points, valor, justice, etc...have never carried over. I rememebr when we used to get a nice gold conversion from unused points.


They're not talking about getting a head start on new things, they're talking about using old currency for the same stuff they used to be able to use it on.

I knew this change was coming (don't remember where I saw it), but I wasn't after the stones anyway so I didn't care much. I wanted the mirror that cost 1,000 that I was a little short from buying. I saw that I'd still be able to buy it so I just continued what I was doing. I thought about blowing all my charms on stones, but since those would be available with the new currency, I figured I'd be able to get them later if I wanted.

Very different situation from what you describe.

While I knew about this, OP is correct in that it should have been communicated better. NO ONE should be forced to go to a 3rd party website that's overrun with viruses and malware to learn about important changes to this game.
Glad that I'm not the only one that was feeling the way the OP was concerning this. I'm really not one to do much on the forums, either. I also don't visit the WoWHead site consistently for news about upcoming changes.
08/01/2018 08:33 AMPosted by Tarc
08/01/2018 08:16 AMPosted by Wilee
I just re-reviewed the Patch Notes and I do not see this listed anywhere.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/patch-notes/

More over, I shouldn't have to review Patch Notes constantly in order to not lose something I worked for. Again, this change should have been implemented in a better way.


Sorry, but if you expected to be able to hoard a currency from a past expansion to have a head-start on buying new things in the new expansion, that was not a realistic expectation. Honor points, valor, justice, etc...have never carried over. I rememebr when we used to get a nice gold conversion from unused points.
I was not hording them to buy something in the new expansion. I had no idea the stuff that was coming in the new expansion. I was saving a fair number of them to buy either the +1 or +25 level stones. I didn't know exactly how many of each I would need, so I didn't want to spend them all. Any time I got over 1000, I would spend down to ~900. Eventually, I would be few enough pets left to level that I would know exactly how many +1s to buy and and how many +25s to buy.
08/01/2018 08:39 AMPosted by Nobully
08/01/2018 08:16 AMPosted by Wilee
I shouldn't have to review Patch Notes constantly in order to not lose something I worked for.

You did not lose them.

If you don't want to play the AH, ask people in your guild if they'd be interested in trading stuff for the pets/toys.

(and yes, i have a bunch of them too.. i was in and out of hospital, and didn't get a chance to offload them.. no biggy, I'll just buy a few pets/toys for friends who don't have them)

I wasn't talking about losing the Charms. I was talking about losing the ability to buy the +1/+25 stones with the Charms. Like I could before the patch.
You can still buy the toys and the pets that the Dal pet vendors have. You just can't buy battle stones.

----------
Iggnatz for Warchief, 2018
07/30/2018 06:35 AMPosted by Owie
This change was in the patch notes long before the change was implemented. Always know what's in the patch notes for an upcoming patch.


Issue with this is, ever since Rygarius left, official patch notes for WoW are released less than a week before the patch goes live. Any other changelog is unofficial and needs to be taken with a grain or two of salt.

08/01/2018 08:33 AMPosted by Tarc
Sorry, but if you expected to be able to hoard a currency from a past expansion to have a head-start on buying new things in the new expansion, that was not a realistic expectation.


I find there are two issues with this reasoning: first, Pet Charms havn't changed between when they were introduced in Warlords to Legion, so there was no expectation that they would change between Legion to BfA. Second, to the best of my knowledge, if the currency in question wasn't replaced entirely, currency changes in WoW didn't upgrade the purchase method of existing items. So why were existing things like the Mini/Mega Pet Treat upgraded to cost the new currency?
The only reason I found out about it was I spend way too much time here while I'm in the office... when they make a currency change like this they really should be a bit more communicative.

(puts out a little tray of cookies for all to enjoy)
Yeah, I was a bit bummed as I had been sending my followers out to get these charms so I could upgrade a few more pets.

I'll buy the few pets and toys I don't have but I would have liked a bit of a heads up. Or a note. A post-it?
It would have been nice if you could still buy upgrade stones and whatnot with the old currency. But most people were just hoarding the charms until the next new toy or pet was added.
08/01/2018 08:16 AMPosted by Wilee
I just re-reviewed the Patch Notes and I do not see this listed anywhere.


There are masses of changes which are never listed in patch notes.

It's not unheard of for currencies to change with new expansions.

If there are aspects of the game which you have a particular interest in, it's always a good idea to check forums and/or fansites prior to a major patch or new expansion.


The mass of changes in patch notes left out has never included a change in currency like this as far as I'm aware. It's one thing for a new currency to become "relevant," it's a different thing for a currency to cease being able to purchase the things it has already been purchasing. Old currencies typically become useless only because the things they can purchase are no longer the current ilvl of the game. It's especially less reasonable given that when the game transitioned from Warlords to Legion, they didn't do this type of change.There's no excuse for leaving it out of the patch notes. We're not talking about some random attack or spell functioning in a slightly different way among a massive wave of balance changes. We're talking about a currency being made largely defunct for things it was already able to purchase.

And just because something is a "good idea" doesn't make it a reasonable expectation. They should not expect players of the live game to be keeping up to date on all PTR talk or forum talk on 3rd party sites. If they're going to make a change to a currency people were investing in, they should actually draw attention to the change, they have plenty of tools to do so, and do it regularly with plenty of other things.

Patch notes is just the minimum thing they should have had it in. Bottom line is if Blizzard can't even say, "well, you should have read the patch notes," then the failure is on Blizzard's side.

08/01/2018 08:39 AMPosted by Nobully
08/01/2018 08:16 AMPosted by Wilee
I shouldn't have to review Patch Notes constantly in order to not lose something I worked for.

You did not lose them.


He in fact did lose something he worked for. He worked for a currency capable of buying upgrade stones. The currency lost its ability to buy upgrade stones. You can split hairs over semantics, but he lost the value of something he worked for. Telling him he didn't lose them is like telling someone whose currency was devalued, "well, at least you still have the same amount of that currency, so you didn't lose anything!"

08/01/2018 09:47 AMPosted by Rankin
It would have been nice if you could still buy upgrade stones and whatnot with the old currency. But most people were just hoarding the charms until the next new toy or pet was added.


I don't think this is accurate. People steadily sending out missions for these stones often already had the pets and toys, and weren't hoarding them for the next pet or toy to be added to the vendor. They weren't sure another pet or toy would be added to the vendor at all. No one would have felt cheated if Blizzard put in a new vendor that used a new currency, as long as the old vendor functioned the same.

The reason you saw people (who had bought the pets and toys already) with lots of stones wasn't that they were hoarding for a potential new pet or toy, but more that they just built up a supply of stones to use for leveling stones later. Buying the ultimate leveling stones takes up more inventory space than the charms did (which stacked to 1000). And often people just weren't sure what they want to use the leveling stones on and waited to see what next pet challenge would come about where one of their pets (at level 1) would be particularly useful if it was level 25.
08/01/2018 08:16 AMPosted by Wilee
I just re-reviewed the Patch Notes and I do not see this listed anywhere.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/patch-notes/

More over, I shouldn't have to review Patch Notes constantly in order to not lose something I worked for. Again, this change should have been implemented in a better way.


Why a change at all. I don't think that was necessary.
Hey guys! Just some clarification that this was a communicated change and we posted about this on the beta forums.

Here is a link to the post on it when we made that change on the beta and some follow up from Muffinus on some philosophy behind it:
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20762158027?page=5#post-82
05/24/2018 04:52 PMPosted by Muffinus
What this means for you: always-useful items will eventually move to the new currency, so you don't feel obligated to do older content. If you still need pets from older content, they are purchasable with that content's charms.


This was something that was communicated on the forums and was repeated by lots of fan sites and individuals on social media as well as our own accounts leading up to the 8.0 patch.
https://twitter.com/warcraftdevs/status/999801175212933120?lang=en

However, you're right it wasn't in the patch notes and we do apologize for that as it should've been in there too and I'll make that a note in the future that we shouldn't miss things like that. In the mean time you can still use the Shiny Pet Charms to buy the existing pets and toys, and the new Pet Charms will be available once we get into BfA.

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