Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ch Ch Ch Changes: What Would Be Your Last Straw?

Please excuse that little David Bowie changes stutter at the beginning, for some strange reason every time I think about changes lately the song changes pops into mind.  Now on with the post.

I've been saying, quite often lately, I am not really fond of changes for the sake of changes.  There are some changes I can get behind like the coming stat squish because it was needed even if the way they are doing it is not exactly going to fix anything.  As I said when they first announced it, the undertaking will be huge and if they really wanted to do the stat squish correctly we would not see warlords for another two years.  But it is a change that I can get behind, even if it is being done halfheartedly like it is now.

Some changes were done for quality of life purposes and those too I can get behind.  Who thinks that the removal of soul shards and their related bag space consumption and bullets and arrows an their related bag space consumption was not a good thing?  Sure I might have some fond memories of arrows and a few funny stories to tell because of them but their removal was more about quality of life and it was a good thing.  A change, but a change for the better.

Some changes are bigger and each time you make changes like that you really take the chance at upsetting people.  Some changes seem like changes for the sake of change.  Like when hunters where changed to focus.  It was one of those "if it ain't broke don't fix it" things.  Hunters were fine with mana, they did not need the change to happen but it was done anyway.  It seemed like change for the sake of change to a great many, me included, and it chased away some people for playing hunters and others from playing the game entirely.

That is the danger you run into every time you make a big sweeping change like switching the resource of a class like that.  That is a huge change.  Like most hunters I went with it and learned how to deal with my new resource even if I was not behind this change.  I would have rathered to leave well enough alone.  In the end I am glad I went along with it because the change to focus worked out well.  For the losses of not having mana (such as burst on demand as long as you had mana) we gained so much more (no need to ever sit in viper to regain mana).

Some times you just need to ride the change out.  Some times we have to believe that the people making the game know better what their intention is and where they are going with it and give them a chance to get there with it.  Focus still has its problems, but nothing is without problems, hunters never really felt natural with mana because they are not casters, so a resource all their own did make sense.  Just like the stat squish makes sense.

Reading the patch notes coming from alpha is it easy to get distracted by seeing all those "X has been removed" and just having your jaw drop and think wtf?

Just like my recent remarks about the gutting of the marksmen spec for hunters.

I know what they are doing, they are breaking the spec down so they can rebuild it.  It is not going to be released that way.  Not even blizzard and with how much I question their intelligence sometimes is that stupid.  Marksmen is not going to be stuck as the shell of a spec with no heart when it gets released.  It will be rebuilt.  I am sure of it.  Doesn't mean we will like what it becomes, no, but it certainty will not be released as a spec that will just be remembered as an entire list of "X has been removed".

But the question is, how will it be rebuilt and what would be the last straw before you just quit?

Some change is good, change for the sake of change is not.

Even if all the intentions blizzard has are for the better of the game, reading those lists coming out, the lists with removing all my arms warriors abilities, removing all my disc priests abilities, removing all my marksmen hunters abilities, when is the point going to come when I just say enough is enough.  I know they will be rebuilt, sure, but I do not want everything I do to be changed just for the sake of change.

This will be the third expansion in a row with sweeping changes to our abilities and can even arguably be an even larger change than the loss of talent trees because they are stripping abilities completely, redesigning others, and then adding new ones.

They are basically changing everything we know about our classes, but really not so much outside of abilities and rotations, at least for the damage dealing classes.  But the healers with their cast times and mana regeneration and tanks with resolve instead of vengeance are in for some serious changes once again.

Just like some hunters quit playing hunters or quit playing the game when they made the switch to focus and some healers quit at the beginning of expansions because they seem to put all the pressure on healing in the first tier and tanks that quit because they did not like when vengeance was added people will quit playing their class, role, or the game entirely because of these coming changes, whatever they might end up looking like.

Which brings me to the question, what would be your last straw, what could make you quit playing your main, what change could they make or are they making that has or could have you thinking it is time to find another class or another spec or maybe even another game to play?

Changes can be good for the game but constant changes just for the sake of changing things can be bad for the game.

Next up on ch ch ch changes:  When will blizzard stop adding things they know they have to change as soon as they add it. 

Such as the draenor perks.  You know come the expansion after they are not going to leave a chunk of new abilities just sitting in that small 91-99 leveling range, so why not add it over the course of all 100 levels now instead of having to change everything again the expansion after to fix what they added this time when they know what they are adding will need fixing later.


  1. Strange fascination, fascinating me
    Changes are taking the pace
    I'm going through

    1. At least you know what song I am talking about. I would bet a fair deal of people that play the game do not even know who david bowie is nevertheless the song.

    2. sure I do. I is old, almost 60 :) Heck I evem know what album (yeah, i said it, ALBUM) it is - hunky dory, 1971. This became his most request song thru out his career (and if I am not mistaking, it was his last song at his retirement concert). It also became one of his songs when he was Ziggy Stardust. What weird and crazy days those years were.

      Good post btw. Some are good changes and some just suck. It's like they have no idea how to fix anything as the fixes tend to break other things. I myself don't believe we should have gone to focus, but left it alone as mana. Why? Because some shots still are "magical" in nature. When they went to focus, they didn't remove the magical shots.

      But the one I miss is still the barrage (can't remember the correct names right now) where the arrows when up in the air and hit the ground.

    3. Volley. I miss it too... It was such a great spell.

  2. Don't know about last straws with changes to classes, my last straws are somewhere else - primarily with the amount of content and the store, but I will say this: I am tired of changes to classes and abilities. Every single expansion, the changes are too large to be ignored, so for each spec that you played, you have to relearn a significant part of it. And for what? Quality of life? Yes, I agree some changes bring a bit of quality, but looking at the big picture - was the gameplay of, say, DKs - or hunters - as of mid-LK really so much worse (not just "different", but actually "much worse") that the gameplay of the same classes today? No. No, no, no. For each spec, there is a big difference in gameplay between mid-LK and MoP, yes. It's a little better now, yes. But much better, no, absolutely not, it's not much better.

    I think constant changes to classes and specs detract too much resources from the devs and force too much relearning upon players for little results. It's bad ROI. And yeah, the immediate effect of large changes yet again in WoD for me is going to be that I will likely restrict the specs I play seriously to maybe two, which is already less than in MoP, or even one. On other specs I will join the endless sea of noobs and other guys who are tired like myself - too tired to learn to play a spec yet again properly, and so do suboptimal DPS or healing. The latter bit will have an effect on groups, I suppose.

    1. I think all these changes ae going over board too. Do you see how poorly most people play as it is now? How will they ever learn to play if their entire toolkit changes every single expansion. Add and remove, sure, adjust, absolutely, but do not completely redesign every expansion.

  3. OT: Saw on MMO-C.

    oQueue. SoO 25 normal. The raid leader wants ilvl 570+, folks with that ilvl - or pretty close - flock to the raid because they think it is going to be smooth (I do that as well, with all PUGs, I much prefer runs with ilvl requirements as close to mine as possible) - and then someone discovers that the raid leader SPAMS HIS TRADE with ads for paid carries.

    LOL, that's brilliant. :-)

    No, really, with all the stuff people do, PUG groups have no chance at all. Next time someone horribly underperforms and the raid leader doesn't kick or at least sternly warn them, I will suspect that this might be a carry. It sucks when "two wipes, and I am out" is the rational best (or close to best) strategy.

    1. I saw that post too. It is brilliant. If they guy got 20 people on OQ that all knew the fights and pulled in 4 others that would pay him from his server, he could make a pretty penny while pugging.

      But I would be like you, seeing someone doing 40K on all bosses would piss me off. If I needed 570 then he should have it too and if he is doing 40K at 570, kick him or I am leaving.

  4. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    The changes from expansion to expansion are not anything new, but I am so very tired of having to relearn my class each release. Blizzard however would rather devote resources to massive class redesign rather than develope the other aspects of the game.

    Why? I have no idea aside from the native desire to tinker with what is not broken and to redo old things that are not quite to the current thinking of the developers. I think that passes for game design work at Blizzard's shop, and truthfully, I suppose it is game design work but it is largely unnecessary work. As PVP anon noted, it seems like a bad return on investment to spend so much of the time and money and effort on redesigning things that already work well enough to start with. Blizzard does not, NOT I repeat, know when to stop screwing around with something and get on to other things.

    That to me is the biggest failing the company has. I know it means the product they make becomes more refined over time and that is a good thing by and large, but at some point the constant change for the sake of change becomes old. Very old and tiresome to say the minimal polite thing about it.

    I have heard engineers are told that at some point they have to stop tinkering with the plans and just build the damn thing. Well I wish sincerely that Blizzard would stop fixing unbroken things and work on releasing new content instead. That would seem to be a more profitable return on investment for both the company and more importantly, the players too.

    1. That is my point. Changes are fine, even needed at times, but having to relearn your class every expansion is not the best idea. Even more so when most people don't know how to play it as is, you are just going to make them worse.

      I agree with the engineering analogy there. Just stop fixing it and build it. It would be in the best interest of business to keep releasing new content. Sure, fixing things is great, but fixing things at the expense of content is not.