Thursday, May 28, 2015

Watcher to Field Softballs on June 6th.

After the recent announcement last Friday that we will not be seeing flying this expansion and possibly ever again in current content lead content designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas, is going to have a live Q & A on June 6th at 2:30 CEST.  One where he will most likely avoid any confrontation, avoid answering any of the burning questions, and try to make himself look like a good guy by fielding easy softball questions only that he knows will be met with only positivity.

This is an attempt at covering their butts based on the fact they screwed up royalty with the content, timing and placement of this previous release of information on Friday and the community has called them out for not only what it seems to majority disagree with in the removal of flight moving forward but also the timing and place of such a huge announcement.

By Watcher releasing the interview on an unknown to most website, late on a Friday before a three day holiday weekend in the US, where blizzard is based, and that interview dropping a bombshell that directly contradicts his very own words on twitter early that we would be getting flight in the first major patch of warlords lead to a lot of people being upset, and rightfully so.

But do not mistake the timing or placement of that interview on Friday as an error on blizzards part or watchers part.  This was an extremely well planned out move.  They wanted to drop the bombshell on another site, not their own, so that site could be the victim of the venomous feedback from people that were reacting to their initial knee jerk reactions instead of their own, and usually with some very spicy words I usually tend to try to keep away from using here.

They also decided to make such an announcement near the end of their work day so they had a reasonable explanation as to why they did not address the issue right away.  Not saying I agree with it but it was a calculated move.  They did not want to address the issue. To a player that might seem rude and disrespectful to drop such information and then not be around for any follow up, and that is part of the reason for the venom some people are throwing at watcher no doubt.  But there is a solid business reason, agree with it or not, why they made the announcement when they did.

Which brings to the next part, the three day weekend worked as the prefect frame for them to do this and not need to respond to anyone for three full days.  To avoid the issue completely for three full days.  To let people cool down so those knee jerk reactions had time to settle down with hopes that the three day period might lower the amount of F words being flung at them.  It also allowed them to read a full three days of input so they could come back and release a formulated response.  Formulated... not honest, please recognize those are two totally different things.  And that is another issue people had, they are a little tired of being lied to and many, even some previous blizzard can do no wrong supporters, are starting to lose trust in them.

And this is what the Q & A will be.  Watcher answering well planned out questions with already predetermined answers.  It will be a series of softball questions that will not press the issues that are on the players minds right now.  I am sure none of us will come away from the June 6th interview feeling better because that is not what it is for.  It is to make it seem like the hot button issue for many, flying, is a non issue.

It is another well planned out event.  Just like releasing a bomb shell announcement on a no name web site at the end of the work day before a three day weekend was.

So my question is this, being we know that Watcher will not answer any questions he is not comfortable answering and already have a planned answer for, what would you really want to see him answer?

Here are some I would like to see answered, honestly, if he is even possible of such an action.

1) How do you feel having lied to the entire player based about flying when you previously told them that flying would be reintroduced with the first major content patch?

2) Do the stock holders know that you routinely lie to your customers in an attempt to keep them playing?

3) Trust is hard to earn and once lost even harder to get back, or impossible, so do you feel like breaking the trust of the players as you did recently was worth it?

4) Why should I, as a player, ever believe anything you ever say again?

5) Give one good example to support your "opinion" that no flying is more immersive for you hold more truth than flying is to someone that finds it more immersive?

6) Why not add more things like the attacking birds over halfhill (before you removed them) to add more interaction and danger to flying instead of removing it?

7) Do you honestly think removing content and features (flying, reforging, valor, justice, old raids, etc) instead of adding new content and features to the game is really good for the game?

Those are just a few of mine, I do have more but have to leave some for you, what questions would you like to see him answer instead of the predetermined softball questions he will most likely be answering?


  1. When did they remove old raids? And if you are talking about lieing to the player base, then there are numerous examples of them "lieing" such as the aborted dance studio. Sometimes, they change their minds on decisions. It just seems that you are really mad this time.

    1. ZA and ZG were removed for the 5 mans. I am still rather bitter about that. Was running for drops for years and they removed them for no reason other than they wanted to redesign them as 5 mans. So they could not have had them both?

      And what of the original naxx? I don't see that around anywhere either.

      Dance studio I do not consider a lie. As far as I can recall that was something they "wanted" to do. That is not something they were doing.

      Yes, I am upset with the issue. But my opinion on it doesn't matter at all because it doesn't change the fact that outright lying is not a good thing to do to your customers.

      Are you aware the crapstorm this would be if a company lied to its customers that was not a "video game" because no one takes them serious. It would be the lead story on the 11 o'clock news.

      Lets say a new car was released, it was said that it could hover on water, or some other "feature" and people purchased it with that in mind, then on the day the car came out it could not hover on water. Think about that for a second. Blizzard is lucky they are a video game and not a business taken seriously by the mainstream or they would be in deep trouble of telling people our item contains "this" and then when it was released it doesn't.

  2. The recent quarterly drop is the largest in the game's history, with player involvement falling from the top of its cycle to the second-lowest point in 9 years, over just three months.

    While the cyclical component accounts for perhaps 20%-30% of that, to what do you attribute the rest of the unprecedented fall-off in activity?

    1. That is a good question. I would like to see that answer, but I believe he already addressed that with something like there is an expected fall off after an expansions release, it is nothing big.

      Another complete lie. How could anyone say that it is nothing big to go to the lowest point in the history of all expansions after just one quarter. I too would like to hear a real answer to that. Not a press released designed to deceive.

  3. I have already done all your quests, killed all your rares, collected all your treasures and explored all your land.
    What content is the 'no flying' decision supposed to protect?
    Why can't completing that content be a requirement for flying? It might actually make people want to leave their garrisons!

    Changing the Apexis gear from Apexis Crystals to Gold encourages my alts to play the auction house instead of the actual content. Discuss.
    Or is it just a way to sell more gold/tokens?

    Questions about lies/trust are a waste of time as I doubt he intentionally lied and, if he did, there's no way he would admit it... but I suspect you knew that.

    1. Nice questions, I will answer them my way, of course with a spin supporting them. ;)

      That is my question. It is also why I think flying should require the loremaster achievement to unlock. Once you leveled and did everything, and on my main I did everything, even every single treasure, what "content" does the ground still hold for me that I am not already bored of or done with? None. But he will never admit the ground offers nothing, so don't expect him to say anything other than, you can do apexis dailies.

      I believe it is an attempt to sell more tokens. The prices of the apexis gear, for the item level of them, is substantially over priced. So I do not see buying them even on alts and I am someone that was over gold cap before this expansion started to rain down gold. I doubt he would ever admit it is a cash grab however but maybe you could get him to admit they are a little over priced, gold wise.

      I know he would never admit it, but it would be nice to see him squirm and even more so let him realize that people are on to his crap. He might not admit anything was a lie, but it will surely have an impact on him to try to be more truthful in the future.

      Or he could, you know, as odd as it sounds, tell the truth. Say something like "it was our intention to add flying back but after much deliberation we decided against it, sorry for saying it was going to be added."

      A little bit of humility goes a long way. Sadly no one at blizzard has any.

      If he did say that I would love to see the "what does the ground offer that makes it worth disabling flight for" over and over and over until he can give one single answer that is not opinion based. I would just want one actual fact.

    2. Apexis dailies... we've had no flying zones before as you say in your question 6. (I did wonder why those birds stopped chasing me, didn't realise they had actually been told not to)
      There was also another part of an island with no flying, far west of Townlong Steppes which was only used for one set of dailies.
      They've done it before, why not do it again?
      Or even, why bother? Flying in those areas would gain you virtually nothing anyway

      I would love to see them admitting mistakes and taking some responsibility for a change.

      I fully buy into their vision each expansion, metaphorically speaking, and if such a staunch supporter of them can see the flaws, then surely they can too.

      "Losing 3M subs was just the natural cycle..."

      Humility? I can't see it happening, can you? :-)

    3. They stopped the birds from attacking because some people whined. As in so very tiny a portion of people that if you searched for it you might find it, but it was nothing of consequence. Wonder why a tiny portion of people complain and they get what they want and a large portion complain and they tell them to go screw themselves. Makes no sense.

      Loved those birds personally. Thought they were funny and fun and they made flying a bit of an adventure.

      It would make sense to add some play to flying but it is easier to just remove it. Blizzard seems to be taking the path of whatever they have to do the least work to do. So instead of making the game better by "adding" to it, they decided to remove from it.

      No, I do not see humility or honesty out of them.

      Losing 3m is played off as a natural cycle, but anyone with a brain knows there is a lot more to it.

  4. To capitalize on Blizzard stance and backlash, Wildstar announced they are going free to play. However you feel about that game, it's no coincidence that they are trying to "steal" disgruntled WoW players. So just as Blizzard typically releases an expansion or patch to coincide with release of a big name MMO, Wildstar is Trying something similar.

    1. Cool then I will not need to pay to reactivate my account. :)

      Wildstar was really good and I could have seen myself leaving wow for it if I had friends there and wanted a slight bit more of hardcore game, but as it turned out the more hardcore type of game and no one I knew playing it meant I left. But I will say, I did really like the game.

  5. Looks like this is now pushed back a week. Ducks needed more to get in a row.

    1. How long does it take them to pick some softball questions and have a PR rep write a response for you to read?

      Seriously, blizzard is becoming a joke with things like this.