These "Hotfixes" are a no, no.

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they already responded to that question


Not with a legitimate answer, no. Read through previous posts on here and you'll clearly see why.


There is a middle ground between "Public Test Realms result in 100% flawless patches that fix everything with no adverse side effects" and "Public Test Realms are a meaningless waste of time."

Hotfixes doesn't mean the PTR wasn't helpful. It means that the PTR wasn't perfect. When you are dealing with a small testing population and a lot of noise in feedback, it can be hard to act on everything because its hard to tell if there is a real problem or if there is just a perceived problem. People only pay attention to the predictions that turn out true, but there are plenty of predictions that have yet to come to pass. People are happy enough to just forget about them though so they can tell Blizzard that every problem in WoW would be blindingly obvious if they just listened to the players (not the ones that disagree with me, but the ones that are right IE me).
02/19/2011 4:21 PMPosted by Bashiok
The PTR does not exist solely for balance feedback. They provide crash reports, bug reports, having the patches simply live on a test environment with people actively playing helps us catch a great number of issues that no one would even need post about. Beyond that though the bug reports that are posted are extremely helpful, and overall the PTRs lead without a doubt to a more stable patch than it would have been were there no public test.


can we have an explanation of hunter multi trap being removed without any patch notes or hotfix adressing this?

(multi trapping is refering to having multiple targets frozen by using mulitple freezing traps)
02/19/2011 4:21 PMPosted by Bashiok


So what's the point of having a public test realm if you don't listen to the public testers, or the info they provide?


The PTR does not exist solely for balance feedback. They provide crash reports, bug reports, having the patches simply live on a test environment with people actively playing helps us catch a great number of issues that no one would even need post about. Beyond that though the bug reports that are posted are extremely helpful, and overall the PTRs lead without a doubt to a more stable patch than it would have been were there no public test.

In direct answer to what you're referring, unless there's new content, the number of people on the PTR is really pretty low. Too low to pull reliable metrics to base balance changes on. Unless there's new content to drive people to the PTR there generally just isn't a sample size. Which is fine, because we can make changes after the PTR once the patch hits the live realms. Issuing hotfixes after a patch is by no means something new. We've used hotfixes for quite a long time, but since Cataclysm and the new community site, hotfix changes are front page news through the blogs. Which is awesome. Before we were throwing out pretty much the same amount of hotfixes we were after 4.0.6. Difference being we didn't have a great way to tell anyone about them. So now hotfixes are very visible and it makes it seem like we're going crazy with them, when really it's just increased transparency into the changes we're making.

Going back to your question, the PTR does many great things for the patches, and it should be expected that we're not going to make balance changes based on forum posts alone. The designers don't believe their own play experience is reason enough to make balance changes, although it can be one part of the puzzle, and the same goes for us reading about yours.


So, you don't really design the game based of PTR forum poster, you don't really design the game based on posts from the live realm, the designers themselves don't believe their own opinions on game balance are actually good enough to balance the game.

I hate to ask cause I doubt you can actually answer but;

Given the designers and game posters (While you say you read the posts and take them to someone) are taken and given such little credit when looking at game design and balance. Just how is this game designed?
02/19/2011 4:34 PMPosted by Aloeverra
Given the designers and game posters (While you say you read the posts and take them to someone) are taken and given such little credit when looking at game design and balance. Just how is this game designed?


Game balance is ideally based on as many sources as possible, that's forum feedback, that's fansite forum feedback, articles, blogs, personal play experience, play experience of other designers, actual data of real world class performance, mixed by an attempt at taking these things and making intelligent changes to focus the classes.

Class balance comes from no single source. And while forum feedback is part of it, it's not enough to drive a change alone.
Just a thought but... why not make the PTR free to the public. It would serve two purposes in making a larger player base as well as getting people into WOW.
True Sakiri , but maybe a few thousand people playing for free is ok for the greater good. Limit the amount of people who can play on the ptr and also hold back some content, that should push people to join the real thing once they get a feel for the PTR.
02/19/2011 4:39 PMPosted by Bashiok
Given the designers and game posters (While you say you read the posts and take them to someone) are taken and given such little credit when looking at game design and balance. Just how is this game designed?


Game balance is ideally based on as many sources as possible, that's forum feedback, that's fansite forum feedback, articles, blogs, personal play experience, play experience of other designers, actual data of real world class performance, mixed by an attempt at taking these things and making intelligent changes to focus the classes.

Class balance comes from no single source. And while forum feedback is part of it, it's not enough to drive a change alone.


And after gathering all those small pieces of information to decide a change, we are given the most recent patch and quick reversal or generally looked bad patches that need to be hotfixed?

I would have thought you guys would have had a more stable way to resolved and fix game issues than the randomness I'm seeing.
02/19/2011 4:41 PMPosted by Inept
Just a thought but... why not make the PTR free to the public. It would serve two purposes in making a larger player base as well as getting people into WOW.


The PTR is free to the public(well you have to have a current account). You have to download the PTR client and then copy your characters over. Both of these things can be found on the warcraft account management page.
02/19/2011 4:47 PMPosted by Esredarksun
The PTR is free to the public(well you have to have a current account).


I think you might be confused lol ;)
02/19/2011 3:58 PMPosted by Lefuza
If you don't want to keep up with changes, play a different game.


The point is, if you'd be a little less antagonizing, that people shouldn't have to read mmo-champion every day before they log in just to know whats going on with their class.

Why should they? I'd say it's the responsibility of the company and developers to make sure their game isn't confusing in the slightest. Sure, it's our responsibility to L2P, but having to do homework for a video game is asinine.


Bingo. It really is at a point right now where you're checking MMO Champ or the official WoW site every day to see if something changed for your class. I'm not sure what's more surprising (especially after a PTR)... the bug fixes that still need to be done (and were reported on the PTR, or even before it), or the adjustments (also in spite of PTR reports).

The Blue reply here basically said "yeah, you raised all these concerns on the PTR but we ignored them, because we figured you were over-exaggerating." If you're not going to put faith in your testers (and maybe not push a patch live as quickly as you first planned) then why even offer a PTR?
I'd like to vent a little of the frustration of things being done this way.

Not everyone "studies" WoW, and they come to guild leadership to explain why things are changing. When tooltips say one thing, but the spell does another, they are baffled if they don't do offline reading. This leads to certain people -- usually ones with low playtime, but plenty of time to read the websites and learn current events -- being inundated with questions and expected to explain what all happened.

Please, at the very least put a notice on the login screen as you do with maintenance notices to at least let people know that another round of hotfixes are happening and to check the community site. Doesn't have to be super detailed, just that more hotfixes went live. There needs to be some in-gem notification system, even if extremely basic.


Agree. That was something we specifically discussed and probably should have included in my post. Expecting people to alt-tab to read a potentially updated blog isn't right. We don't have any great solutions for that yet, but it of course makes hotfixes infinitely more confusing and even potentially damaging to the play experience without some kind of in game communication. We haven't figured out what that might be yet. It's something we're concerned with too. Although we expect hotfixes to slow down substantially at this point, we need a solution for the future.


You want a solution? Here is one that requires little effort.

Release a client side patch! Oh noes, I said it.

You update the tooltip, fix the bug, and patch it. Yes, you would have a lot of smaller patches being downloaded and installed, but it's really not all that difficult. Other games have done this for eons now, and it worked fine.

I think blizzard needs to get away from the whole we must release a huge patch every so often mentality.

Why should they? I'd say it's the responsibility of the company and developers to make sure their game isn't confusing in the slightest. Sure, it's our responsibility to L2P, but having to do homework for a video game is asinin


THEY DO! They give you a LINK! When you start the game! With big letters that say Hotfix and the DATE!

You don't have to go read MMO-Champion to just play the game. You can read a hotfix list for 20 seconds, from a link that is right in front of you when you START the game itself. THAT's my point.

It's patronizing and self-absorbed to expect them to, what, send an e-mail? In game mail? Require a patch so a little window pops up telling you what changed!?

I don't get it. It's lazy and self-serving, that's it. I antagonzied because that's what the people who complain about that crap are doing. They are taking something that is easily solvable and not even a real problem, and calling it one. They MAKE it a problem by not clicking a freakin' link. They are *@@@*ing about 20 seconds, and it's repulsive.
Please, at the very least put a notice on the login screen as you do with maintenance notices to at least let people know that another round of hotfixes are happening and to check the community site. Doesn't have to be super detailed, just that more hotfixes went live. There needs to be some in-gem notification system, even if extremely basic.


THEY DO! Again. On the launcher, there are links that say "Hotfix" with the date etc. Click that. You'll be fine. If you are really wanting this to be easier, I don't know what to tell you.

The Blue reply here basically said "yeah, you raised all these concerns on the PTR but we ignored them, because we figured you were over-exaggerating." If you're not going to put faith in your testers (and maybe not push a patch live as quickly as you first planned) then why even offer a PTR?


I think what worried me most was that they don't even think their own opinions are all that credible.

Now that worries me.
Reserved.

The PTR does not exist solely for balance feedback. They provide crash reports, bug reports, having the patches simply live on a test environment with people actively playing helps us catch a great number of issues that no one would even need post about. Beyond that though the bug reports that are posted are extremely helpful, and overall the PTRs lead without a doubt to a more stable patch than it would have been were there no public test.

In direct answer to what you're referring, unless there's new content, the number of people on the PTR is really pretty low. Too low to pull reliable metrics to base balance changes on. Unless there's new content to drive people to the PTR there generally just isn't a sample size. Which is fine, because we can make changes after the PTR once the patch hits the live realms. Issuing hotfixes after a patch is by no means something new. We've used hotfixes for quite a long time, but since Cataclysm and the new community site, hotfix changes are front page news through the blogs. Which is awesome. Before we were throwing out pretty much the same amount of hotfixes we were after 4.0.6. Difference being we didn't have a great way to tell anyone about them. So now hotfixes are very visible and it makes it seem like we're going crazy with them, when really it's just increased transparency into the changes we're making.

Going back to your question, the PTR does many great things for the patches, and it should be expected that we're not going to make balance changes based on forum posts alone. The designers don't believe their own play experience is reason enough to make balance changes, although it can be one part of the puzzle, and the same goes for us reading about yours.


You didn't answer my question.

Basically, what you're saying is that the PTR exists only to find out bugs, because posts do not provide useful and unbiased feedback which can be used to make balance choices. That's fine actually, I can respect that you want to have a higher number of people giving stress tests and inadvertantly stumbling across bugs.

However if the PTR is for stress and bug testing, then why not simply religate them to the... Bug forum? You know, that handy forum which tells us to post any bug we find there? The very fact that there is a ptr forum seems to imply that its there for more than just bug squashing, and that thoughts on balance also belong there, which you have clearly illustrated as not being the case. By extension, why do we have damage dealing, tanking, and healing forums at all? Only like 5% of the wow player base actually comes to the forums (or so we're told) and from that base its damn near impossible to get 0.5% to actually agree on something.

With all the different ways that everyone is going on the forum in terms of balance its hard to get even 100 people behind even the most glarring of errors, and I imagine that a mere 100 is far short of "significant numbers" in terms of making the devs actually take notice of our posts and think about implementing them, or perhaps thinking that we might have a clue what we're talking about.

This brings me back to my original point on page nine: The devs are either understaffed, stupid, or just flat out unable to balance the game properly due to being unable to dig themselves out of the veritably !*@& storm they've already brought down upon their heads. I, for one, don't actually believe they're 'biased' in terms of favoring some classes over others, I personally just lean towards them being very ignorant on how some things should probably work, and with some of the balance decisions we've seen made by them (hello s5 DKs, s5-s7 ret pallies, hunters in their current state, rogues through out all of wrath, ect, ect) I don't see how anyone can mount a viable answer otherwise.

So, I ask again, if you're unable to have enough posters that we qualify as a 'suitable sample size' then why do you even have a ptr forum, and not just a bug report forum? And, as per my new question, why do you have the damage dealing / healing / and tanking forums?


The bolded is what gets you banned from the forums. If you are going to argue do it in a respectable manner. There is no need to bash the devs

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