Thursday, August 20, 2015

Patch 6.2.2 Coming Sept. 1st... or Not?

Let me start this by saying I am confident that the 6.2.2 patch will be coming September 1st because blizzard has been overly cautious lately with so many of their "broken promises" complaints, and other public relation screw ups, this expansion.  I believe they would not have announced a set date unless they were pretty damn sure that is when it would be ready.  The last thing they need is more bad press.

It seems that I am not the only one that thinks that way either.  Lore, one of the more liked of the community managers, seems to believe the same based on a recent post that warned us that it is possible it might not be on September 1st.

He, like myself, (I believe) is most likely sure it will be on September 1st, but he felt it necessary to protect the company he works for from more bad press and mentioned that unforeseen circumstances could happen that might delay it and for us not to take the date as set in stone.

The sad part is he should not have needed to say that, but he did.

I agree with what Lore posted, I agree that what he posted needed to be said, even more so now than ever before.  Any time there is any sort of release like this there is always a chance that unforeseen circumstances can pop up and cause the patch to be late.  That is just he way things are and we, the players, all know that.  We have always known that.  We have always excepted that and accepted the fact that maybe it might be delayed because it has happened before, rarely, but it is not unheard of.

I honestly believe that before this expansion, and the public relations nightmare it has become, they would have never needed Lore to come out and say that.  If something popped up that delayed it they would have just made a post saying the patch was delayed a week.  There would be some grumbling of course, and a few people calling for their heads on a pike, as always, but most of the community would have been willing to accept that "shit happens", which quite honestly, is the complete and total truth, shit does indeed happen sometimes.

So what has changed?  Why did Lore feel the need to state something that everyone should know without the need of it being said?

Blizzards handling of issues this entire expansion and its communication with its player base has been dismal at best, and calling is dismal is being polite.  There have been so many "promises" that were broken, so many hopes built up that were let down, so many ideas spoken about that went no where, and so much double talk and back tracking from representatives of the company that the player base just does not have it in them any more to just accept that something happened that would delay the patch.  Even if they do know that it can happen in the back of their head, they can not, will not, (and perhaps should not) believe anything any representative of blizzard says any more.

The people have learned not to trust the company any longer and rightfully so.  Blizzard, in a whole, has done nothing to inspire belief in what their representatives say.  In fact it is quite the opposite.  The player bases trust level is probably at the lowest it has ever been in the company.

So please, do not worry about the September 1st release date, it will most likely be fine.  And please, do give Lore a break for warning people that shit can indeed happen.  He is just telling us what we all should already know.  The only difference is, that now, if he did not say that, people would all jump on blizzard saying they "lied" and all Lore was doing is protecting the company he works for from having to deal with that possibility, no matter how slim.

As I said, its sad that he even needed to say that, but he did.  And he needed to say it because before this point, so far this expansion, all blizzards representatives have done is burn all the bridges of trust the player base had with them that had been built up over the last 10 years.  That trust is gone, wasted, thrown away for no other reason than bad communication or misleading communication.  So now, even the little things like this, the possibility that a patch could be delayed, which in the past went by unsaid because everyone understood that, need to be said. 

I see people on the forums jumping on Lore for saying what he said and I can only scratch my head.  People, you wanted honesty?  He is giving you honesty.  Sure, what he said should not need to be said, but he was right for saying it.  Get off the poor guys back.  The only thing he is guilty of is being honest with the player base with that statement.  I know the player bases is not used to the representatives being honest with us so they forgot what honestly looks like, but Lore does not deserve crap for warning us of something we all should have been smart enough to know on our own.

Now, all I need to do is give myself a reminder to repost my flying post on September 1st.


  1. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    I read Lore's blue post that you are referring to, and I found it quite reasonable. He is right to emphasis that sometimes things happen and the best of intentions can go astray.

    Would that Blizzard made Lore its official spokesman, for compared to most these last couple of years, he has been about the best to my way of thinking. I really have no idea how he sounds so perhaps he would or would not be a good spokesman, but based on his reasonableness and his willingness to admit things had not gone well recently, I would sure nominate him for the job.

    The subject of flying is again at the heart of this and knowing I have from now till probably September 1 to finish up the pathfinder is almost discouraging. I did the Loremaster and the exploration and the other thing about the missions from the garrison, but I still have 25-30 treasures to find and the stupid reps in Tanaan are irritating me to no end or at least to not want to play them out. Personally I wish they would come out and say, "we decided to eliminate the Tanaan reps as part of the Pathfinder achievement."

    1. Download handy notes for the treasures and just get all the ones in shadowmoon, that should almost get you there alone. So 30 minutes max.

      For reps, just do all the dailies each day. I reached revered with all on the first day of the third week. So that means it takes 15 days of dailies to get it done.

      But remember to go over to the saberstalkers area and get that one a week quest. There is no lead in, if you do not find that on your own you will not be getting saberstalker rep all that fast.

      The loremaster, explorer and maybe even the treasure finder makes sense for flying. I do not think the rep part makes much sense, so if they removed it I would not mind at all.

    2. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

      Eh, my problem is that I lack the drive I had for most of my WoW career. Doing the rare thing is a study in frustration to me. They are almost never around when I am playing, and I don't care what type of timers they are on, I almost never see them. For those few I do find, not all rares evidently drop the needed item, which after I slowly beat a 2.5million rare down (ret pally, ilevel 659) to not find anything at all is rather disheartening.

      To be honest, I would at this point spend a LOT of gold to be done with it. Not a good design decision on Blizzard's part including those reps, mostly as a final thumb in the eye of those who wanted to fly in my opinion.

    3. Are you hunting for rares to get the 10 fragments? If so there is a quick & easy way to get 6 of the 10 every day: go to the pit where you fight the three Saberstalker rares each day and kill them (solo or in a group depending on your strength). It's then pretty easy to come across the other 4 while you're doing the rest of your dailies.

      Grumpy also posted a neat trick a while back about not looting the fragments to they go into your post box. Then after you dailies simply removed enough to complete that day's quest and leave the rest in there for when you're rushed or just get unlucky.

    4. To much RNG in the game right now in my opinion and it seems like you are suffering from the same let down that this expansion has been placing on me all expansion long too.

      It is hard to have the drive when you keep putting in the effort and never see the reward. Raiding has been like that all expansion. My items level drop from bosses, I never win on bonus rolls, I just can not catch a break and it wears down on you are really defeats the drive to continue.

      So I can not blame you at all for lacking the drive. I too feel the same. I used to be an achievement hunter, not so much any more. I don't care as much as I used to because I do not feel as invested in the game as I used to and that has to do, mostly I believe, with the fact I don't feel like I am getting anywhere thanks to RNG.

      RNG has killed the game for me and you see it too, taking all the time to kill something over and over and never seeing any rewards can really do that.

    5. @Grumsta

      Good point with the frags, that trick does still work. I am surprised they never fixed it. They are usually quick to fix anything that makes our lives easier.

      Another easy to get rare is the one in the treasure chest in ironbeards cave. The chest is always there and even when it is not it respawns really fast. So there is another place you get get frags quick.

    6. As long as you don't yet have ten of the fragments and are not in a raid group, all of the jungle rares should drop 1-2 fragments. The four "boss rares" can drop one, but don't always. They can drop a medallion though that gives rep to all WoD factions. Those still sell for about 6.5K gold on my server -- and used to sell for 40K -- so I sell them. However, you might want to use them for the bump. And if you do want to use them, you might want to wait to do so until the next DMF to get the carousel rep bonus.

      I personally find that -- at least on my server -- rares are easier to come by in the early AM. If you are up for work and can pop on for thirty minutes and do some area circuits, you should find at least five or so up. Combine those with the chest mentioned above and you should get your ten. The three summoned rares are also a good call.

      Good luck.

    7. There is also a cave to the Northwest of the Saberstalker arena that has a chest called Ironbeard's something or other. It respawns every day, and when you click it a little mob pops out that you can kill for I think 2 more.

      That leaves just 2 more fragments to find. Look it up on Wowhead, or just use the Handynotes addon and you'll find it a couple thousand yards to the NW of the arena.

    8. @To Bee

      I think they need to ditch that raid group thing. At least allow people to get quest credit for the "big 4" because lots of people use raid groups for those.


      Yeah, I mentioned that cave one. I love that the chest is always there. And easy rare kill and never have to wait for it.

    9. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

      Thanks for all the reminders of how to get those fragments. I haven't given up yet, and will try incorporating these ideas into my next search. I will also be looking on the AH for medallions.

      Like I said earlier, I would at this point rather spend money than do the rep quests to the degree that if I ever wanted to buy gold, this is finally one spot I would consider it for. Grumpy can confirm that is about as major a reversal of how I think things should be done as possible. I won't of course actually buy any gold, legally or otherwise, but that is how frustrating I am finding the rep grind this time around.

      I could follow up with a rant about Blizzard but to what purpose? They are a business and if they can't see me as a customer, potential or in reality, then they are being very short sighted. Things like the additional reps to revered makes me feel like they are myopic indeed.

    10. always the maps that are sold that show all the treasures. :)

    11. Those medallions were a good addition on their part. Having an out for the people that did not want to grind rep was a good idea. I am surprised they thought of it, good idea and blizzard are not exactly things you use in the same sentence all that often lately.

    12. There are also chests scattered around that contain the fragments, the best part is that they usually have multiple fragments. I've found the best place to look for them is the ruins of kra'nak.

      In the ruins they look like little pointy rocks. They may be on the ground or on the side of a pillar.

      Took me forever to see them but once you do they are usually easy to see.

    13. When I started to read what you said the ruins of Kra'nak was the first thing to pop into mind too. There is that cave way back in the middle of nowhere that usually has at least 1 and sometimes 2 or 3 in there. Unless someone else recently passed by and cleaned it out.

  2. @Grumpy

    That's the fundamental problem with RNG based systems that don't have an alternative work progressed path or RNG safety mechanisms built into the framework of the RNG system. I am in some ways like you, a 10,000 mile run but I know I'll get my prize at the end of 10,000 miles? Ok /start jogging.

    I'll make the assessment if its worth the work, and decide. But with RNG you are not in the slightest bit of control about the result. You can't wish harder, work harder, do a little dance and make your chances better. Inevitably you will lose far more rolls than you win, which results in far more feel bad moments.

    Well if I'm playing a game to have fun, and I see nothing but more feel bad moments than feel good moments, and I have no way of protecting myself, working progressing, then WHY would you feel motivated to pull the slot machine lever again. Especially with how much work goes into maintain team relations, composition, mgmt, etc.

    Personally, I think they should design the personal loot system like this: You have a 20% chance of getting a piece of loot off of a boss the culmulates until you get a piece of loot. So 1st kill, 20%, 2nd kill 40%, 3rd kill 60% and so on. After 5 kills you are guaranteed a piece of loot off of that boss's table. Furthermore, once you've received a specific piece of loot, you cannot loot that piece off that boss again until you've gotten the other pieces.

    So if a boss has 4 potential pieces of loot you can use, after 20 kills on that difficulty on personal loot, you will have gotten all the loot you could off of that boss as a worst case scenario. That's 20 weeks of playing, but I know after that 20 weeks I will have gotten that tier piece.

    You know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Currently, there is none. There's just a neon slot machine that keeps saying, "Uh uh uh, you didn't say the magic word!"

    1. I know people have thrown this idea at Blizzard before and know of no response to it. I'm sure 20% would be too much for them, but 10% or even 1% might be better than what we have now.

      As with many things, if they could at least give us a reason WHY they might not like it we could at least talk about it. Maybe they would fear people would run it too max too quickly and then never run again. And so when slower levelers or new players get there, they don't have as big of a pool of people to draw from to help them. Which is a fine concern, if it is one.

      But I'm sure there are ways around it other than just RNG.

    2. @Thuggs

      That is why I have said here, at least a hundred times since the expansion came out, we need valor gear to come back. Nothing bad can come from it really. It gives people an alternative method if they are unlucky. It allows even alts to slowly get some raid gear so if they are called in they are more prepared. It gives the dungeons more life as people will start doing them for valor. Valor, in general, creates content where there is none buy giving people a reason to redo what would otherwise be considered unattractive content.

      Of all the mistakes blizzard has made in warlords the removal of valor and how it used to be implemented was the largest one. I am sure the pro fliers might disagree saying flying was a bigger mistake but I disagree. Sure the flying part was big but the valor part killed dungeons and much more by not being in game.

      I do like your personal loot idea if they insist in staying with the random system. It would make it that even with random, 1 out of every 5 kills would guarantee something for even the most unlucky of people. I guess that is better than 100% random. But would still love the "work for it" approach over the "luck into it" approach of RNG.

      @Casually Odd

      The last I heard from them on the subject is that they liked the "excitement" factor of RNG when you get something and they wanted to work off that.

      While it is true that the "excitement" factor is huge and can get someone hooked because of that excitement, with RNG, the lack of winning can also be a larger turn off. I don't think they realize that. For many of us, that is exactly what is happening now.

      Last night I used 4 coins for tier pieces. Won none. So how long have we been in this raid tier and still no tier? Unacceptable. Not one on a coin or on a roll from dropping. Completely unacceptable.

    3. The crazy thing about limiting availability of gear is that there is no upside to it at all for anyone that I can see.

      The "good" players nuke through bosses and get the gear they need because they can repeatedly down bosses and get the tier pieces they need. With enough rolls luck *should* balance out.

      At the other end are guilds like ours who take all night to drop one boss, and maybe a couple of usable items will drop between 11 to 13 people. Even if we ALL dropped a piece each, we wouldn't tromp through to Archimonde the next night; the mechanics see to that! :-D

      It makes progression for casual teams like ours incredibly tough, and it overly-penalises unlucky players in strong teams. I'm sure we've all come across players who lost their spot on their guild's HC or Mythic team simply because they didn't have a four piece tier set?

      I strongly believe that everyone who downs a boss should get a token. Exchange tokens for gear. Weapons and Tier pieces need more tokens. Keep the bonus loot system as it is. Effort directly matches to reward.

      Blizz need to take the RNG dog out to the barn and put us out of its misery. Losing 90% of the time is not fun, and that's the reality of RNG.

    4. Limiting "some" stuff has an upside, it gives people something to aim for. Limiting everything, has no upside and more so gear, has no up side.

      You make a great point. A guild like ours that is not stomping all over the content to begin with is not going to turn into world beaters if it lets us have a little more gear. So why not let us have it and feel like we are getting stronger instead of having us kill the same bosses each week never getting what we need and disenchanting 95% of what drops. Valor would solve so much.

      RNG will be the death of the game for me. I can not take it much any more. I am beaten and can not take much more abuse. I want to go play a game where even if I do not win something off the boss, it dropped some sort of currency that will allows me to buy something else sooner or later if I kill it and other things enough. FF14 here I come?

  3. Saw a graph on MMO Champion that showed less than 20% of players have pathfinder. My wife will never fly in Draenor unless I do the apexis dailies and Tanen rep for her. She's not a very good player and don't do well until she outlevels a zone. I just think the requirements are a little too steep for a little old lady who just likes to wander around behind the little animals.

    1. I know I've said this a million times so one more won't hurt...

      This kind of play is what Blizzard seems to have forgotten or outright rejects. What to many of us is a perfectly valid and FUN way to play the game is not Blizzard Approved (TM) and thus neglected or invalidated.

      And is a real loss to the game.

    2. Have to take that with a grain of salt Oldcoot. Even if MMOC said they did not count different characters for the same account. They can not be sure.

      I have 11 chars, only one has the achievement. A guild mate has 32 100s, one 1 has it. A few others have 5 or 6 and have it only one 1.

      So that 15% they said could really be closer to 90% for all we know. Their guess, while with some data behind it, is really no better than mine or yours. Only 2 people I know of in my guild do not have pathfinder. One just returned to the game so you can not even count him. So most people do have it already.


      You have to remember, this is the "raid or die" generation of blizzard. They seemed to have forgotten that what made them as huge as they were are the people that do other things, not the people that raid.

    3. yeah, that wildwood weed is something, ain't it. :) You don't have to fly up to the top of the windmill to get her down do ya?

    4. Just remember she doesn't need to do those items solo. Nothing like spending time with your wife, running the various 'dailies'. You don't even need to wait for it to come up, you can visit your garrison quartermaster and pickup the quest for a few silver (IIRC).

      The TI 2.0 rep will be a bit harder to complete as those 100's hit hard if you're not paying attention. It's at a point that I think Blizzard is encouraging grouping. Grouping for the Bleeding Hollow zone, group for the Throne dailies. Dailies to do more dailies.

    5. The only garrison daily you have to wait for in the garrison is the pit, for some reason you can not buy that one, which seems a little odd. Maybe that is because the first few weeks of the expansion I think the pit was one of the options nearly every single day.

      Oddly enough I do not see many groups outside of throne, and as people keep getting gear I see fewer and fewer of them. I usually try to find someone to piggy back with on my healer and it is getting harder.

  4. I guess I'm not as down on blizzard as you are as I don't follow them in the forums. I just quit and play some batman when I'm bored instead of continuously subscribing. The way you talk make it almost seem like some sort of relationship that is in a bad patch and I just can't really relate to that in regard to corporations.

    1. Actually that is the way I described it to someone in the comments yesterday. It feels like a relationship where you are in a rough patch. You about to break up but you still love the person and are trying to work it out. That is exactly what it feels like.

      Still like the game, upset with some decisions they made, but we are trying to work it out. ;)

  5. I feel like Lore has been told he will walk point for Blizz whenever there is bad news or potentially bad news to deliver, and that is a really tough job psychologically. Like you, I do think Sep 1 will be the launch, but someone had to deliver the "tamp down expectations" comment, and Lore is the guy.

    I found his post to be very informative and reasonable, but my question is, why could Blizz not have done this early on in the patch testing, instead of the dismissive "tech challenges" non-information?

    Given Lore's position as a CM, it is probably appropriate that he be the head-explainer-in-charge. But in the past (pre-WoD) GC had taken that job on himself, and he was pretty good at it, mainly because he was not afraid to take heat when there was bad news or when lots of players disagreed with him. But he had a great deal of credibility. Watcher, in my opinion, proceeded to destroy every bit of credibility GC had built up, and Watcher is not interested in communicating with the players in anything other than a scripted setting. He "has people" for that. Watcher has to be the final decision maker on much of the game design, by virtue of his position, yet he refuses to take any of the heat for the unpopular decisions. Worse, he cavalierly makes comments like "weeks not months" and "small" target patch, when he apparently had no idea what he was talking about, then leaves it to others to clean up his mess.

    Though I was never a great fan of GC, I do think the game has not yet recovered from his departure. Watcher has proven himself completely inadequate to the task of replacing him.

    1. If indeed he is put into the "bad news guy" position I wish him luck. It is not an easy place to be. I used to be that guy when I ran my own thing. Then again, I was the only guy. I wrote it, coded it, developed it, did the lore for it, designed the battle system, the weapons, etc. So it was easier on me as it was my baby, but even then it was hard work being the one that has to take all the abuse. So he will need to keep a think skin if he gets stuck in that position.

      The problem is that being he is a CM he does not have all the information. Someone else should be doing it. CM is the bottom rung of the ladder. It will make it a lot harder on him trying to handle all the issues with none of the data needed to handle it.

      I was never a huge fan of GC either but at least he said it like it was even if we did not like it. I am learning to appreciate him a lot more as the years pass and there has been no one to replace him.

  6. Okay, I've now actually read Lore's post and I agree with you that given the state of where we now stand that he was saying something completely reasonable. However, I say this only "given the state of where we are now."

    The issue of flight really isn't a good example for his post because to my way of thinking, flight should have been tested for most of the lands of WoD during beta and for Tanaan during its time on the PTR. Even if flight wasn't toggled on for those areas at release, it should have been tested as part of their betas. This is what a beta if for, no? Saying "we're not ready" months -- or in the case of the rest of WoD, a year -- after all should have been ready and bug-free doesn't go a long way with me.

    The launch of WoD only continued its beta in a more public way. The delay of flying for technical reasons only continues this f^%k up.

    1. This all would have been a non issue if flight had just been included at launch as it should have. Really that is what I would love to say, and get through, their heads. None of these issues that put the game in the state we are now would have been issues to begin with.

      Blizzard made its own bed with bad decisions and they are doing it again with legion by not including flight from the get go, which is what every other expansion had. I see no reason to change it.

  7. They really need to get official PR people...

    Hubby and I were talking about this... well, we've been talking about this on and off for months now. When we heard flying was back in "weeks not months" our first reaction was "yeah right, we'll believe it when we see it"

    My husband used to be a software dev - for medical billing software of all things [and that's something you really can't afford to get wrong] . He's been particularly appalled at how things have been handled, but also, most of the headaches he experienced were the result of middle management. So while the Devs have not handled things well, perhaps management is where the frustration needs to be largely aimed [though no saying anyone should be rude by any means]

    I mean we're the long term type fans and our trust is run out. And while delays happen and are understandable, they really need to work on communicating in general if they want to rebuild the reputation/trust. They really squandered 10 years of that for nothing. I realize they can't do the minute by minute communication that was expected on major issues in medical billing software but more regular communication and being clear on what they mean rather than vague would be a start.

    1. I agree. I believe Lore is doing the best he can but right now he seems to be the only one trying and he is not a PR person, he is simply a CM.

      I've been saying this is a management issue since the beta when they did not listen to all the concerns us testers sent their way. We expressed concerns with server stability, we expressed concerns with no content at 100, we expressed a lot of concerns with garrisons, professions, etc. for them to do nothing about it. There is no other reason for that than bad management.

      For many people I hear the trust is gone and for a game like this that lives and dies based on die hard fans, trust is a huge thing. They have burnt a lot of bridges this expansion and I do not see them making any efforts to repair them. With the billions the company rakes in you would think they could hire one spin doctor to do their PR.

    2. @Grumpy: Here's my tinfoil theory: Robert Kotick had wanted WoW to be broken, at least its stranglehold over Blizzard's success.

      Let's be brutally honest: WoW makes good money, but the precondition is that good money must be invested in it first. As a CEO, Bobby doesn't like that. Gaming is changing, and he doesn't like the possibility of failure even when good money has been put into WoW, no matter how small that possibility is. Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone showed that cost effectiveness in raking in money is not (and I argue, has never been) WoW's strong point.

      Also, after WoW was released, it took Blizzard 6 years to develop something non-WoW related. (Wings of Liberty, released 2010) Again, as a CEO, Bobby could not have been unaware of how dangerous this is to a company. If you have a too-big-to-fail franchise as your company's only support, you are in trouble.

      Therefore, my argument is that WoW's bad management is "working as designed", to an extent. The "working with whatever budget that is given" theory which you have mentioned before is but a part of this. To shareholders, the report just released basically confirms to them that Blizzard can now survive (or even thrive) even if they feed WoW to the dogs.

    3. It actually doesn't seem like a wild theory. It makes perfect sense even. Why spend 50M to make 60M with warcraft when you can spend 5M to make 60M with hearthstone. Only made up numbers for example, but it does make sense.

      That could be why they keep decreasing the budget, to try and increase the bottom line, and that is also why they want to push for more boxes every year, because a new release is a nice bump to that quarters numbers. So to make the game more profitable, they need to release more boxes which in turn means less content in said boxes, so they can move from working on one to the next.

    4. When I was in the Cataclysm Beta Test [and taking it seriously], every bug I reported, was in release. So it doesn't surprise me that happened again. I mean Beta is just a pacifier now and has been since at least Cata imho.

      They really could get serious testers. There are many college age players and stay at home parents like myself who could carve out an hour here and there [especially at odd hours]. Offer Bnet credit or something and screen some testers? If I actually believed it would make a difference, I'd be happy to do some testing.

    5. It makes me wonder why they even have a beta if they are not going to use the majority of the feedback from it. I'll admit a few of the bugs I reported were fixed before it went live and they were the bigger ones, but many of the small ones were not.

      I am sure if people were asked to do it for free there would be a great many that would do it for free. Just to have the fun of being the first to see the stuff. So it is not like they even need to pay. Heck, they could give 1 month free to all the testers and they would probably be very happy with that.

      I've been in a few betas for different games and asking for something to do it never even crossed my mind. I look at it as doing something for myself quite honestly, I report bugs so they get fixed so I make my life easier. So that is why I never would even consider payment. I do betas for selfish reasons, to make my gaming experience better.

    6. I only suggested it because they have complained that people just come to look. And honestly, that is all I do now - for my needs.

      When I got in the beta test in Cata, I took that seriously and none of it mattered. If it doesn't matter, why bother?

    7. Then again, if people felt it mattered, you might get a lot more testers...

  8. I work at a software company as the senior platform architect and am essentially responsible for the release dates and keeping those releases on schedule. I'm an engineer who can code, so I understand the user side and the coding side. I've also done technical support and sales, so I've seen it from all angles.

    Anyway, I constantly have to remind our customers/sales/support/upper management, etc, that release dates and feature sets are never 100% guaranteed. There are the "shit happens" things where something breaks and you don't find out about it until late in the QA cycle, but the worst are the "mandates" from upper management that some change "must go in" at the last minute. So in my experience, it's rare that you actually release something on schedule...

    So I'm not surprised by Blizzard's reluctance to announce release schedules nor their inability to keep things on schedule. However, I kind of expect them to be better at it than the tiny software company I work for.

    1. They have a lot of practice at it and are usually fairly good at it after they do announce a date. I only recall a few times something was pushed back after the date was announced.

      I think now, more than ever before, they have to be careful with things like that. The last thing they need is even more bad press. While stuff does pop up and can hold it back this would be the absolute worst timing for them if that happened. Too many people don't trust them as is, and even if it is a real an honest delay, they will not believe them.

  9. I not did read Lore’s posts that way at all. This may be more of an emotional response but I immediately associated it in the context of everything else the coming from the company. It came off as legalize, like I was reading part of a case brief and not feature notes on a game I enjoy playing. What he was fine, the tone of how he said it and when he said it, a full month after expecting to have this, came off as someone I can not and should not trust.

    A lot has come out over the 24 since Grumpy posted this and the 36 hours Lore posted his Patch notes response. So I don’t want to be unfair and apply a standard of perfect 20/20 hind sight.

    But in summery, 6.2.2 may get delayed, Lore detailed issues involving phasing implemented 10 months ago around 6.0 in order to handle the massive number of subs. These changes in architecture/phasing have created dozens possible and known dismount locations. As a result implementing flight has been more complicated than a reasonable person could have expected, so complicated in fact, that work to be done on implementing it has repeatedly been pushed back, assumedly because only features known to be added in the future could justify the amount of resources needed in order to fix flying.
    So as it turns out they have known flying is not an easy fix as far back as 10 months ago. When they said it would be a matter of weeks and months in June, it was either an intentional mistruth to ease sub losses, irresponsibly hoping for the best case scenario, or an internal miscommunication (senior executive) ordering an announcement without knowing the scope of the project.
    Regardless Lore’s response can not be called honest, it followed a staggering 8 weeks of radio silence and really only amounted to a feeble attempt to hide company miss-steps as part of the “software development world”. It was sent out because Blizzard had not been communicating with its customers, even after missing a deadline, even after it miss-lead the customers on the work being done. So possible blow back if flying was removed is the only reason this was posted. People expectations rise when you take twice as long to do something and say it’s finally ready. And blowback did come and it is the only reason a honest update, about what was going on with flying ever came. (just cycle thru the blue posts)

    1. It most definitely did appear to be something he prepared and took time to do so. It is not just a quick response he typed out as he read the post like my replies usually are. So of course it will feel "professional". I think that is exactly what he was intending to do. He was doing the job a company PR person should be doing, but as blizzard apparently does not have one of those he jumped into try to play the part.

      I agree with your assessment and will go one step further. None of these problems that are delaying it now should have never happened. All of this should have been fixed on the beta before the game was released.

      The game was released however in a beta stage, we have been playing a beta game from the day it was released. It will not really truly leave beta until we have flight which should have been included, or at the very least 100% working, at launch.

      The reason I give Lore props for being honest is because 1) it is not his job to be talking but at least he is trying and 2) he is telling it how it is, blizzard messed up and 3) that type of honesty, that blizzard screwed up, is a breath of fresh air over their "working as intended" mantra.

      Sure he is towing the company line, there is no doubt about that. But the bottom line he did not have to. He is doing it because no one else will and he feels the people deserve to be clued in. And he is right, we should have been from the beginning. It shows a stunning lack of management on blizzards part that a CM, the lowest of low levels in the business, needs to be the one saying this stuff to us.

    2. I think his is exactly what Lore, Josh Allen’s job is. He is the liaison between players and the development team that’s the official description of a CM. This is development team info and its on the player forums. Lore was also at June 13th Dev Q&A, where Watcher gave a time frame and scope for the implementation of flight. He is the most prolific blue, and closest tied to the flight issue. So I think is he the one responsible for communicating about it, at least where player forums are concerned.

      There isn’t a PR department at Blizzard that I see, so talking about flying has to pass back to the DEVs or the CMs. I infer communication issues between the DEVs and CMs, is where Blizz as a company thinks the main issue lies, but I think it’s in the Marketing. The Market department is the one demoing content at BlizzCon 2013 most infamously, but elsewhere for sales. The DEVs and CMs have collectively shrunk away from defending, responding, answering any concerns from what Marketing says. There is no other way to reconciling, showing content directly before accepting pre-orders, then cutting that content and responding with “We never promised”, “we never said”, unless the DEVs and the CMs think they are in no way involved with how the game is sold and marketed….. (this might also explain how they often don’t treat subscribers as customers)

      Regardless, I don’t think your wrong per say, the DEV CM communication seems to be less broken then a lot of other things at Blizzard. But that is the soft bigotry of lowered expectations. If this were any other company the standard to meet would have been a DEV water cooler posted to the main page, not the forums and no later than 6/20/2015 after a full week of development which would determine the date was un-reachable. The tone would have been apologetic, and accepted blame head on. Comments like this being the nature of software development would not have been made, because in truth this is the nature of bad software development.

    3. In most games the CM is there to provide information, answer questions, moderate, and be the all around helpful nice guy/girl. It is not their job to be the PR person. It is not their job to "smooth out problems". It is not their job to provide information that is not already common knowledge. And most of all they usually have absolutely zero contact with the actual developers.

      Now I do not know if this is how blizzard works, but every other game company I know out there (at least the ones where I read job listing) it is how they work. A CM is a bottom of the rung employee. You or I could just as easily step into that position right this second and be just as qualified as any of the CMs are and never need to leave our living rooms or venture to Irvine. Blizzard just likes its employees to live there, but for a CM job, as it has nothing to do with the actual interaction with the making or development of the game, it is not important.

      Once again, not sure if blizzard handles the position different from every other company out there, game or not.

      But, with that all said, and the general knowledge that they do not have a PR person, it is quite possible they ask their CMs to go above and beyond their job description and act as one.

      I do agree that perhaps I am being too easy on him because I have lower expectations now. But I do still feel he is doing a fair job filling the role of a spokes person when he is not one. He is just a CM there to answer questions, clean up the forums, and make some idle chit chat with people so they feel as if blizzard cares.

      As you say, if they did have an actual PR person whos job it was to handle it, we would have had better communication and a forum post around june 20th no doubt.

      I say they need to hire one. I also say they need to stop digging themselves into holes by not adding flying and then telling people it is there but just not activated. It is all the lies that got them in trouble in the end. If that does not show them they need a real PR person, I don't know what will.

      Maybe Lore is trying to push them into promoting him to that position and I hope he gets it too. He seems to be the only one trying. He is the first in a long time to actively admit blizzard did something wrong. Sadly, knowing blizzard, they will end up firing him for it, because they are stupid that way.

      I can picture it now, a voice in the blizzard office right now...

      "Did you see what the CM Lore posted? The people are starting to like him and he said we did something wrong. We have to handle this quick before he tells people other things that they actually want to hear. Fire him."

    4. A chicken pecks at the piano and lights up a light that tells Blizzard what to do. Chicken gets food, blizzard has a goal to reach. Simple.

    5. I think you are correct in that he definitely put himself far out on a branch when he posted his initial response to the patch notes. CM’s from what I can tell actively communicate with each development team, but must get approval for any information that they post. If anyone could be called the PR department at Blizzard it would be that approval body.

      That is likely why his initial post said so little. There was nothing in that initial post that needed approval, sometimes planned features get dropped, that’s common knowledge. Josh heard concerns from the DEV team than this possibly might not make it into the September 1st patch which prompted him to post.

      Since his initial ambiguous post, he has communicated a lot of details for which he likely go approval because the initial post caused an uproar. I think he is the best CM they have, but they definitely recruited him because of his PR skills. He is in part liked by the wow community because he already had a media presences at tankspot, Legendary and several wow related shows. He is popular as a CM because back in 2013 he was already popular. Between the interviews, twitter and forum posts I think they are heavily weighted for a “PR presence” was a major decision in hiring him.

      That said I am a bit worried about the guy, he is my current favorite, and reminds me a lot of Bashiok who was my favorite CM before he got burned out, stopped asking for the answers people were asking on the boards, and instead began to only respond in snarky comebacks.

    6. I think you are correct in that he definitely put himself far out on a branch when he posted his initial response to the patch notes. CM’s from what I can tell actively communicate with each development team, but must get approval for any information that they post. If anyone could be called the PR department at Blizzard it would be that approval body.

      That is likely why his initial post said so little. There was nothing in that initial post that needed approval, sometimes planned features get dropped, that’s common knowledge. Josh heard concerns from the DEV team than this possibly might not make it into the September 1st patch which prompted him to post.

      Since his initial ambiguous post, he has communicated a lot of details for which he likely go approval because the initial post caused an uproar. I think he is the best CM they have, but they definitely recruited him because of his PR skills. He is in part liked by the wow community because he already had a media presences at tankspot, Legendary and several wow related shows. He is popular as a CM because back in 2013 he was already popular. Between the interviews, twitter and forum posts I think they are heavily weighted for a “PR presence” was a major decision in hiring him.

      That said I am a bit worried about the guy, he is my current favorite, and reminds me a lot of Bashiok who was my favorite CM before he got burned out, stopped asking for the answers people were asking on the boards, and instead began to only respond in snarky comebacks.