Yes. End of post.
Sarcasm aside, this long wait between content releases has to be hurting the bottom line for the company and their stockholders and I am not sure how a business that has been around as long as Blizzard has and been as successful at what they do as they have can continue to back themselves into this corner.
I said a long time ago when it was first realized that we would be stuck with this over exposed 3 lock out a week raid that it would cause burn out and was, quite honestly, not a very compelling raid tier story wise or encounter wise, that this could have all been avoided if just one person in charge at Blizzard learned how to read a calender.
Developing content takes time. I don't know if anyone reading this has ever done any sort of coding or art but any that have will tell you that it takes not only a fair deal of skill but a great deal of time to get it done. Even longer when you want to get it done right and for as much as we might say about bugs and the such blizzard does get it done right, for the most part.
With that said, they had to know what they had planned, they had to know what would be involved in making those plans a reality, and they had to know how long it would take to carry out said plans. So why are we in this content drought again?
It is not like none of this was expected. It is not like any of this came as a surprise to them. Sure, they decided to change garrisons functionality to be involved in the game more, most likely because they realized that outside of a few new levels that garrisons were the only thing this expansion was offering and to warrant the 50 dollar price tag of a new expansion their only selling point for warlords, garrisons, needed to be more than just an advanced version of farms. Sure, their artists have taken a lot longer to redesign the character models than perhaps they had expected, but they are not a selling point for the new expansion, so they are not a reason to delay it.
Side note: For those that might argue that the new character models are a selling point for warlords I will tell you the same thing I told the people who thought the redesigned old world was a selling point for cataclysm. You do not need to own warlords to get the new art. You did not need to own cataclysm to get the new old world. It is a standard upgrade of old parts of the game, everyone gets it, it is not something tied to an expansion. If you do not need to own the expansion to benefit from it, it is not part of the expansion. It just so happens it release coincides with it and they say it is expansion material so gullible people will think they are getting more than they really are. Back to topic.
Now, being blizzard knew how long it was going to take, they knew that there would be a large gap, why did they do nothing what so ever to avoid it?
Some might say that is easier said than done because of what I mentioned earlier. Development of new stuff takes times. It is not like they can just throw together a small patch to tide us over on a whim. I agree, but they could have planned things out better but staggering release and/or making a 5.5 ahead of time because they knew they would need it. They made a conscious choice to leave us in this drought.
But they could have delayed the release of the content they did release. Mists had amazingly quick content patches, faster than we ever saw before and it gave all us players hope it would continue and if it did that would have been great for the game. That was not to happen of course and as such they did not need to push it out that fast as they had absolutely no intention of keeping up with that release rate. So they could have delayed those releases and even if they delayed each and every one of those patches 1 month they still would have been releasing content faster than they ever had AND they would have decreased the drought we have now. If they delayed the release of each patch 6 weeks, it would have been perfect.
Think of it for a moment, we are looking at a possible 14 month span with no new content. If 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4 had all been released 6 weeks later than they had been, it still would have been a fast release schedule and it would have effectively eaten up 6 months turning that 14 month wait into an 8 month wait which while it might still seem long, for a last raid of an expansion 8 months seems quite reasonable whereas 14 months does not.
I said that before, I said that many times. If only they would have looked ahead, if only they had known how to read a calender, if only they had one person in charge that knew anything about project management, we would not be in the drought we are in.
There was another option as well, one that many people do not even think about, and that is making a 5.5. No really, I know that development takes time and you can not just throw something together, I even said that myself, but they could have planned ahead for it, you know, the way a big company with so many years of experience should work.
If it were part of the development it could have been something they had worked on so it would be ready when needed. It could have been a quest hub or two and maybe a few 5 mans in the caverns of time with some fun type "what if" scenes from various timeless that were opened from us playing around on the timeless island. Have it drop 496 gear that could be used to fill in for the timeless pieces that people did not get, or better versions maybe, and have them have baggies with a chance of a burden for those timeless pieces being it does involve timeless it would fit. And maybe add a part where you can do a quest line instead of the 3000 valor to speed up the cloak quest line for late comers and alts. So many ideas, so many things that could have been done, just to give people something instead of of giving them a drought.
This content drought was avoidable. Blizzard knew how long it would take to do what they wanted to do. They knew this would happen. Delaying content release or developing a 5.5 could have easily avoided some of the problem, but even after all the years of experience they had, all the knowledge they have from that experience, they did nothing.
So who or what is the blame for the content drought?
Who gets hurt by it?
Everyone, the company, the stock holders, the players that left, the players that stayed because they had fewer people to play with.
Now with the advent of 3 different raid lock outs, soon to be 4, people are going to burn out on content faster and this means, to keep them happy and playing and paying, they need to be releasing content faster and not letting us sit around for 14 months.
Blizzard just needs new management. Someone that can read a calender. That is how you avoid content drought.
The Raiding Paradigm: part II - Yesterday I mentioned the two core assumptions that make up the WoW model: the endgame paradigm, and the myth of parity . In that first part, I describe Bl...
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