Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Why So Much Change in Legion?

Change can be a good thing.  When there is a system not working, having it redone is not a bad thing.  You need to make what isn't working work and the only way to do that is by change.  The key to successful change however is that you leave enough that is familiar behind to make adapting to the change an easier transition and that the change is not a change for the sake of shaking thing up only, it has to be something that is needed.

Blizzard, in recent years, have become the poster boys for "change for the sake of change".  Each expansion they change things for no other reason than to shake things up.  Some of these changes are good.  Some are bad.  Some we can argue about for days because they are both good and bad at the same time.  But they have made sure that every expansion comes with enough changes to make people, possibly, feel a little overwhelmed by it.   Or perhaps even a little put off by it, such as I am with the complete dismantling of hunters and everything they have always been with the next expansion.

Ghostcrawler has not been with blizzard for a long time now but still to this day he answers many questions about warcraft.  Some years back someone asked him what was the number one reason he saw on the exit interviews.  The exit interview is that thing they ask people to fill out when they are canceling their subscription in an attempt to find out why.  Good companies use these exit interviews to try to make some changes so that the people that are leaving because of those reasons won't leave.  He said the number one reason why people quit was change.

So basically what blizzard needs to make is a change to stop making changes.  Sounds odd, but it is a fact.  People leave because of changes, it is the number one reason people leave.  So perhaps stop changing so many things and keep to adding to the game instead of changing what is already there so much that it alienates the players and makes them feel they have fallen behind and can't catch up because "so much has changed".

Basically what Ghostcrawler pointed out is what everyone and their mother already knows, you did not need an exit interview to know it, but it is quite telling that change was the number one reason people left even if we knew already that people do not like change, more often than not.  They do not like their favorite actor leaving a television series, they do not like their favorite ballplayer signing a contract with another team, and they do not like the class they have been playing to change so drastically they feel like they are stating all over again.

People can adjust to change, they always have, but they do not like it.   Minor changes and adjustments are fine.  But when you have been playing a class for 5 or 8 or 10 years and then suddenly it feels as if you know nothing about it and are starting brand new there is something wrong, the change went to far.  This is the type of change that scares people off.  When you have invested 10 years in something there is an expectation that you know what you are talking about.  Changing an ability from instant to cast time, even if people rebelled over it, is acceptable change.  Removing a key ability that has been with your class for 10 years and adds to the flavor of the class is not acceptable change.

Over the years I have seen many players come and go.  Many that were main raiders for years that had quit return.  These are good players, smart people, could adapt to nearly everything.  But even with me and others in the guild willing to help them catch up, willing to answer all their questions, willing to make sure they did not feel lost because of all the changes, they still ended up quitting again because the game changed too much and they did not feel like playing catch up.

Change, at least sweeping large changes, are bad for the game, bad for sports teams, bad for television shows, bad for your family life, bad for your bowling team, basically bad for everything.  Change is not always a good thing, more so when it is change that changes everything.

So my question is this...

If change is the #1 reason people quit the game, why is blizzard so intent on pushing more change than we have ever seen before down our throats?

So do they actually want people to quit or is this some sort of social experiment to see how much crap you can get people to put up with before they do quit?


  1. While I agree with you that too much change, especially change for the sake of change, can be bad, it may be that they are too afraid of being "stale". If they don't change enough perhaps they will lose more than they do now. I don't know enough of things to support or reject that idea, but it has been a concern other games have talked about.

    But, for me, I am getting weary of the change for change sake. And of changes that only a few want and the rest hate. I was reading a little about the Marksmanship hunters and was really feeling disappointed. I don't get their idea of class fantasy there. It feels like they want hundreds of Sylvanas clones running around. Which might be fun as a character fantasy but it isn't class fantasy to me.

    And all of the stuff being removed for Holy Paladins surprised me. I don't even play mine much but all of the stuff being's a really long list.

    Something else that has been bothering me lately - healing specs have never been great for solo leveling but they have been possible. The VERY few things I've read make me feel like it's go to be even harder in legion to level a healer if you are not in a group. Am I missing things and need to read more?

    Apologies for the scattershot comments, I'm a little rambly today.

    1. They can make changes to the game without changing how we play it to keep it from being stale. Add content, add questions, add dungeons, add raids, add scenarios, add objectives otherwise, add add add, not change, and it will keep things from getting stale.

      MM changes are change for the sake of change. And way to much of it.

      Lets take some of the basic abilities my MM hunter uses now. Aimed shot (instant), chim shot, steady shot, kill shot and stampede. All are gone. Aimed shot (cast time) comes back in a different version, the rest are all gone, as is my ability to use a pet, my explosive trap, ice trap, freezing trap, masters call, and so much more.

      So, looking at my bars, what do I have there that I often use that will still be there. My 1 key bind, aimed shot, and my shift 4 key bind for barrage, but that is only IF I decide to still use barrage.

      So my entire bar changes with the exception of 1 single ability and even that 1 single ability that remains is changed.

      That is, without a shadow of a doubt, too much change. Way too much change.

      If they changed steady as our focus generator to arcane as our generator and maybe took away our ability to call stampede as we can no longer have pets, and made only those changes, that is called "change". It could even be called adding "archer type flavor" to the class. Doing what they did is called "removing the spec.". There is no MM left in the MM spec any longer, even the signature shot of the entire spec is being removed. It is too much change.

      It is all change for the sake of change. Nothing more.

      They said they are going to make leveling as a healer more viable. Lets see if that actually happens. We hear it every expansion and it never happens.

      Hate to do this, but I am about to make you feel even worse about healing in WoD.

      If you want to be a healer at end game, you better level as a healer. Because if you level as DPS, as many healers do, and switch to healing at level 110, you will then need to get the healing artifact. So you will be 110 with a level 100 healing weapon, with no levels, no bonus, no increased stats, because you leveled up your DPS weapon while leveling.

      Have fun healing level 110 dungeons that first week, when things are always much harder on healers, with your level 100 weapon that has absolutely zero boosts to it like your DPS one does, that you might never use because you only used your DPS spec to level.

      This makes the artifact leveling system yet another bad change for the sake of change.

      But at least this one could be easily fixed by making it so you only get one artifact and it switches specs with you so you only need to level it once, not once for each spec. They can keep all three artifact spec quest lines, you have to do it to unlock the use of other specs, but it should be one item that switches with spec and one item only.

      Question is, will blizzard do the right thing and fit it to work like that? Based on over 11 years of their history, I say no.

      I do not mind going off topic, it gives me something to talk about.

  2. Yes, this. Just exactly this. The irony, I think, is that while massive, sweeping, constant changes cause existing players to leave, the exponentially-increasing complexity of the game tends to discourage new players from joining. Which makes you wonder who exactly is the game's intended audience? I have said it before -- Blizz seems completely unable to see strategic big pictures with this game.

    Unless the intent is to drastically prune the player base so as to lessen the outcry when WoW is mothballed.

    1. I think blizzard is trying to trim down as much as possible because they want to get it to the point where they can port WoW to xbox and playstation. They are "testing" it now and if they ever make a WoW 2.0, which they will when they feel they can port it, all the hell we were put through was as live server test subjects for that game, and not the one we play.

  3. While I will agree that some changes are needed in this game, you hit the nail on the head Grumpy. Leave enough of what was (and what worked) in place so that people do not feel overwhelmed. As it stands right now, this is yet ANOTHER expansion that I (and others) will need to completely relearn their class and spec.

    As you said, change is not necessarily a bad thing. For example, I like the Artifact weapon "talent tree" idea. It leaves the current system of talents in place with the addition of what looks and feels like the old talent trees (that many wished would return). It seems like it adds to the game instead of taking away from it. Another change that I personally like is the change to PvP with the option to Prestige (similar to the Call of Duty system). I don't PvP much if at all, simply because it's historically been unbalanced and favors certain specs/classes over others. Also, PvP changes to help balance PvP often had negative side effects in PvE. That just made me not want to PvP. I saw no reason for it and hated the system. Now it looks like they have FINALLY separated these, PvP and PvE, and I might actually try PvP out now. So some change is welcome, but others are not.

    I know Blizzard thinks that if players don't feel like they are getting something new with the next xpac, the players will feel slighted. But that doesn't mean we all want to relearn our class/spec. Just once... JUST ONCE... I would like to see an xpac come out that doesn't change class/spec abilities - just increases the damage or healing or threat (whatever). Just once! Just once I would like to play a new xpac and carry over the knowledge I currently have of my class and spec... and still have it applicable. Is that really too much to ask for?? Seems like it is... but it would be nice.

    1. As in the example I used above for MM. There is 1 single ability MM has now that is still there next expansion. 1. Just 1. That is the perfect example of too much change.

      The one issue I have with artifact weapons, and really the only issue, is that we need to level it for every spec, and it becomes an annoying grind on alts. We should have 1 single weapon that changes with us when we change specs, and alts should have a REALLY fast catch up system if you have one already higher than it.

      Both those things will never happen because blizzard plans on using leveling our weapon as "content" for the new expansion. They figure having to level it multiple times will keep us busy. They need to learn the difference between "fun" and "busy work".

      I do like the idea of the PvP changes, way over due, but there are still some built in problems with it. But they seem easier to work out now. I like that PvP will be more about skill and less about gear, as it should be.

      I am 100% with you. I would like to not have to relearn my class and my alts every single expansion. It is beyond frustrating. It is like, "do I want to relearn everything" or "if I am going to have to start learning all over again, might as well just play a different game.".

  4. Grumpy as well as a couple other posters here say "change for changes sake can be bad" or similar. I think this idea needs to be pulled apart a bit to really understand what is happening, and why some might feel bad about it.

    What is it about change that threatens so much? We are getting all these new abilities and capabilities, so shouldn't it be a time of hope renewed? Change is upsetting, I believe, because it signifies that there is a risk of loss. You know what you have and know what you can do with what you have. The experience and education you gave yourself in your class gives you access to abilities and capabilities, that with "change" coming are uncertain. At the end of the day, will I have lost more than I gain?

    Its understandable. What makes this this all the more troubling, is that it is NOT an equal battlefield. Adding 5 good new things doesn't equal the loss of 5 good things we liked. Then factor in that, these "new" abilities and capabilities aren't always obvious, as it took us months if not years to learn how to maximize our capabilities, you have nothing but a new ability and a vague possibility it could do something for you at some point in the future. Consequently, the loss of our former selves hurts all the much more. Furthermore, this dynamic actively hinders engagement in the new rebuilt class. You are struggling to get back to parity with where you were with new unfamiliar systems and constantly reminded of what you've lost.

    Some people say, I love big changes. It keeps it fresh, new and exciting. Perhaps for a certain segement of the population this is true, but is it true for a majority of wow players? Most of those players, the need new toys players as I call them, already moved on to Heroes or Hearthstone for that "edge" of playing. After 10 years, the need new toys crowds, have already moved on. The people that remain are the, I like this comfortable familiar setting to do x y z. Their long tenures speak of vast experience in the game, and with each overhaul, each revamp, Blizzard diminishes that investment. Suddenly, these altaholics, these 6+ year players, have less and less drawing them in. And as it has been said, once you hit the critical point, you lose another player.

    1. What is it about change that threaten us so much?

      I will try to answer, from my own perspective of course.

      1) We work hard to get good at doing whatever it is we do. Even when you do well there is always room for improvement. So I am always improving. I have yet to master what I am currently doing. I do not want to be pushed back to the starting point so I have to learn all over again like it was the first day, or like I boosted the character and have no idea.

      2) I enjoy knowing what I know, playing how I play, doing what I do. I enjoy playing my class because I like my class. If they change my class too much, it is no longer the class I like. I do not want to be put in the position to have to find something else I like if they changed too much.

      3) I spent X years with this character. If I am going to have to start all over again maybe I should just do it in another game where at least there is a damn good reason I feel like a noob and no end up feeling like a noob on a character I have played X years on.

      4) From vanilla to BC to wrath the classes all changed, slightly. A bit here and there, but you always knew what your class would be. And the game grew. Since cataclysm each class went through changes, big ones, not minor ones, and the game has been losing subs since. I, perhaps like those that left, liked that I grew with the expansion in the first half, and lost in all the expansions in the second half, and I don't like losing.

      5) Last but not least. Comfort level. I am comfortable with my class and that is why I play it better than any of the other classes I dabble in. Change of this magnitude removes me from my comfort zone and I do not like that.

      Bottom line is, as you mentioned, people that want something different, big changes, already moved on. And if they come back, will switch really fast.

      What made warcraft so huge was that people got connected to it. It did not change too much, just enough to make you feel as if you grew with it. And people felt connected to the game, to their class, to people they play with, and that is what kept them coming back.

      The crowd that always wants change will always move to the new hotness when it comes to gaming. But the crowd that like feeling in their comfort zone will stay with a game that lets them live in that comfort zone, forever.

      Blizzard is going to lose both types like this.

  5. I'm really excited for the mage changes it will be one of the reasons that I'm coming back. That and the transmog changes.

    1. Transmog changes are a huge + to the game. Even if you are not a mog person that is a good change.

      You are not alone, there are many players that look forward to change. Nothing wrong with wanting to try something new, we all like that. In this case however I think it is more so those that already quit.

      They come back just because of change. Thy remember they liked the game and are hoping the change will bring back that old feeling. But usually their return is short lived. Once they realize that instead of pushing 1 four times and then 2 that you now hit 1 twice, 2 twice and then 3, they will leave again because they got bored with it.

      The concept of the game has not changed, just the iconic abilities and what people are comfortable with has changed or been outright removed. That is the problem. If they changed the classes to change the game it might work. But they are changing the classes for no real reason.

      The game will still be the same so why remove people from their comfort zone to get others to come back, test it out, see it is more of the same, and then leave again?

    2. shrug I disagree one of the things I'm super excited for is the change to combustion no longer will I need an outside mod to help me and no longer will your scourge RNG make me weep over the shitty combustion I had to settle for. But it is a change that some mages are whining about it takes away skill from the game! why change it it's not broken.

    3. The things you mentioned are all things I could call good changes, changes that were needed. When they change something to not need an addon, like combustion helper, that is a good thing. When they change things to not rely on RNG, that is a good thing. The people that are complaining about taking away RNG removes the skill, no offense to them, but they are complete idiots. There is no skill involved in RNG, it is only luck.

      So the examples of the changes you mentioned you liked are all things I agree make the class better and were needed. So if I were a fire mage I too would be excited about those changes at least.

  6. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    Quite frankly, I think the Blizzard developers use the class changes as job security. I can think of no other valid reason to be making the wholesale changes to various classes that have occurred over the years.

    In the first year of WoW, every class got an overhaul from the release version. In some cases, such as the paladin, it was basically a rethinking of the class to make seals actually work. Perhaps no other class was released quite as broken as paladins were, but all of them needed repair and fixing compared to the release versions. That is the good side to change.

    The bad side is that once each class was actually playable, Blizzard was not satisfied with tinkering around the edges. Come an expansion, this bad trait comes out in force. Why? I suspect it is because the developers are in a mindset that changing a class is actually game development.

    Which it is, but it is the least important part of what really goes into developing a game. New ideas that cover new ground, whether adopted from some other game or truly innovative to the house developers, that is what developers should be concentrated on. But that is hard, Very Hard indeed. Redesigning something already existent is easier and they both pay the same, so which do you think gets priority? I know where I would bet my money.

    1. Change as you mentioned with paladins is fine, it was needed. Something did not work so they needed to fix it to make it work. No one would ever claim that they are upset they fixed an ability that did not work. Everyone embraces change that fixes broken things. (unless it is broken in their favor, then they complain, but that too is a good change to fix things)

      Blizzard needs to understand they do not need to "change" classes to keep the game fresh. Just release new content on a regular basis, every 3 months add something, and the classes could stay the same forever, and no one would complain. Changing classes instead of adding content, just to add new "content" is not good design.

  7. Here, I have to disagree. Change it.
    I work in the IT, meaning I support email for a large user base (100k mailboxes). If we were forced to continue working on software that was designed back in 2005, we would not have smartphone support, we would not have rich web clients, we would not have highly sophisticated anti-spam/malware detection algorithms built into our email clients. I embrace change. I live for change. When something doesn't change and I am forced to live with a broken system, I demand change.
    The game is broken. People are dropping off right and left because they hate the current state of the game. The WOD expansion-sub spike and then immediate decline is a perfect example of this. "It's no longer fun." 9+ years and they no longer want to play a simple MMO, they want something more, they want change.
    Blizzard has resources they aren't sharing with us. They may be looking at their current player base and finding that 95% of all people playing a one or two spec's over the third. Why change demonology so much? Because only a small portion of the population is playing it in it's current form. Let's "revamp" this one and make it different. Demo locks will no longer cast spells, but summon waves of pets, I mean, minions to do their bidding.
    Expansions are the perfect place to do changes. Here you have the new players (coming off the movie release this "summer"), the reminiscent players who left for something new but still love the game, and the die-hard players who are still paying their monthlies. Why not take this opportunity and change game play? Aren't you happy to not have to use a build tree to assign your 52 talent points (and that was at level 70)? Aren't you glad that you no longer need to equip a quiver in your off-hand slot and make sure you have soul-stones, um, ammo? I really miss hitting those Panda bosses for 2 million crit damage, those numbers were FUN! What I don't miss is having 3+ button bars of spells that I 'needed' as part of my complex warlock spell rotation and still be one of the worst dps of all.
    It's still in Alpha. Remember when they said "We're creating something we're calling the 'Path of the Titans'. it will be awesome!", then the expansion hit and 'oh, sorry, didn't work out'. Just because they're throwing out ideas now about something, doesn't mean it will happen in the final build. A 4th hunter build is still possible. On the other hand, adding a 4th build is complex. IMHO, They’re probably sorry they created a 4th build option for druids, and wish they could simply 'oops feral is a guardian sub form' and get rid of it completely. I know from my professional experience, I hate one-off's. (Druid having 4 'unique' builds is definitely a one-off.) After I've found that something was continually unpleasant to support (talents, dps balancing, one more model to support, etc.), I wouldn't want to add a slightly different version of the same thing again. In fact, I would do like Blizzard is with your favorite class. "Sorry, that one that is now going to be this one."
    If Blizz only added content, there are a number of classes that would never get played. Eventually you'd have servers upon servers that only had the best classes for raiding/pvp. No one in their right mind would pick ___ because it's so broken.
    By thinking of change as bad, you are missing the opportunity. (Trying to think of a good analogy. ) Think of each expansion as a brand new bag of candy. All of the new changes are mixed in with your old bag of candy. You shake that big ole' bag up and grab one out. Sometimes you really love it, it's an exciting and new take on your beloved candy. Sometimes you absolutely hate it, but then you take them to your office and give it to someone else. Just saying, maybe you don't like how it sounds now, but maybe a melee hunter will be fun. And then again, maybe your tank will get more play time.

    1. sorry for lack of formatting in my word wall, hit 4096 character limit?!

    2. I understand what you are saying but I think that is a completely different situation.

      Changes in the back end, how the game runs, what it does behind the scenes, those are all great changes which allow it to move forward. Changing a class for no other reason than to say "look this is new" is not good.

      If they wanted to play with classes, 4th specs would have been the way to do that. They could easily make a new spec and then dabble all they want with it and no one would complain. I doubt any hunter would have complained if a 4th spec was added and it was melee, but when they removed one spec to make room for a melee spec, people complained, and rightfully so.

      Change for no reason is not good change. What you use as an example is good change to move a system forward, there is nothing wrong with that. How did removing one of the hunter specs move the game forward? Hint: It didn't.

  8. I have no problem with your general question, but I don't think the exit interview justification is valid. We don't have enough information. What if for every 10 people that quit for change, there are 9 that quit because of reasons stemming from not enough change?
    Or from another point of view, there's no "enter"/ongoing interview to capture those that return to the game and stay because, in their view, the game had changed for the better since they last played.

    I'm also not sure that this is change for the sake of change like people are saying. They have specified they are doing it for spec identity and differentiation. If you don't agree that it needed to be done, fine, but I don't think they have ulterior motives.

    What I would hope is that Blizzard had gotten better at adding things to the game that plan for the future, so they don't need to significantly change or remove them in the future. The garrisons and draenor perks in WoD, and the artifact weapon implementation proves they haven't imo. They will be rewriting and rebalancing all the specs again at the end of Legion when they decide artifact weapons aren't the way for the future.

    1. Sure we do not know what the second most reason for people quitting is. It could very well have been "the game is stale because it never changes". This is true. But this is about the #1 reason. If the number 2 reason, whatever is was, was even close to the #1 reason I'd like to believe he would have said something like "and so and so was a close second", but he did not say that.

      You do not need an entering interview, people return to see what it is like now. No need to ask them that. Perhaps asking them if they stayed for 6 months would make sense. But usually, if they do stay for 6 months there is one thing for sure, there were no changes in those 6 months. Ever think that is why they stayed? They came back because of change maybe, but they stayed because they liked that change and it did not change again.

      This is a change for the sake of change. No reason to be "not sure" about it, it is pure change for the sake of change.

      They are not doing it to create identity and differentiation. The specs already had that for the most part.

      They are not doing it to help class and spec identity. Lets face is, removing MM's signature shot does nothing to reinforce its spec identity. Removing MM's kill shot, which perfectly fit the sharp shooter idea of the class does nothing to reinforce MM's spec identity. So no, they are change them for the sake of changing them. Anyone that thinks otherwise is lying to themselves.

      I am with you 100%. I had hoped blizzard would get better at adding things but they seem to have no one that works at the company that ever has any forethought. I have complained about that a few times. They make things as if "this is the last thing we will ever make" and then have to scramble to figure out what to do with it later because it was not the last thing they ever made. Artifact weapons are the next example of that. They will make us so powerful, give us more abilities, bonuses, etc. It is like the last weapon we will ever have. And what will they do next expansion? They never think of the future. You would think over all these years someone would point out while developing, "Hey guys, you know this is not the end, what are we going to do with X next expansion?".

      You are right that we are due for another complete make over next expansion as well. And that I dread even more than the coming change. Because I will have to learn everything all over again knowing that whatever I learn will be useless soon again. Not a promising thought.

    2. >>Ever think that is why they stayed? They came back because of change maybe, but they stayed because they liked that change and it did not change again.

      Nope, never thought that. Conversely, we always see people leave when nothing is changing. eg balance. Large time between patches. No new arenas/bgs.

      >>No reason to be "not sure" about it ...

      I've noticed you like to state your opinion as fact. Do you honestly think Blizzard just go, f it, lets mess things around for no reason, with all the work that entails, for the hell of it? They always have reasons. They may not fully divulge them. They may come from the top and the devs just have to implement the direction, resulting in something you don't agree with, but it certainly isn't for no reason, and it certainly isn't to bend hunters over. And I'm not lying to myself.

      Like I said, if YOU are upset with the changes that are being made, I get it, that's what you do on this blog. But it's a long bow to draw from what was likely a GC tweet (or tweet lengthed answer) on a survey that only captures angry/disillusioned players leaving the game, and your definitive conclusion about change and what the playerbase thinks about it.

    3. You are using balance as your example. That means you are talking PvP for the most part. PvPers are a whole different type of player. I've heard them refereed to as fair weather players. When it is nice for them, they play, if not they move along. So if their class is not powerful, they reroll or quit, it is as simple as that.

      Not to mention this is a PvE game, not a PvP game, so what I am talking about I do not even take PvP into consideration. (although I do like the look of those changes, but it seems PvPers hate them, but that is an entirely different topic) I honestly would not be upset if all PvPers quit this very second. It would mean PvE stops getting screwed over for the sake of PvP and I would be extremely happy about that.

      Saying it is change for the sake of change is not stating my opinion as fact. I am stating fact as fact. There is a difference.

      Saying I dislike or disagree with a change is an opinion. I agree with that.

      Saying it is change of the sake of change, is fact. Here, let me reword that line so you better so maybe it fits what I am trying to say.

      Changes for the sake of shaking things up. Which really is change for the sake of change, but perhaps it is easier to accept it said that way.

      There is a simple way to determine if something is a change that is needed or change for the sake of change. If a reason is given for said change.

      With reason = we voice our opinions about said change.
      Without reason = a change made for the sake of change.

      See the difference?

      So blizzard changing how combustion works so it no longer needs an addon, as someone mentioned above, is good change.

      Removing signature abilities from hunters, locks, paladins, etc, is not good change and only change for the sake of change.

      So yes, I do believe blizzard say "f it, less play around with some stuff and see what happens" without thinking about it.

      As for the comment that started this. Yes it was a twitter response I believe. Yes it was short because of it, but you do not need a lot of space to say people left because of changes, and not only angry / disillusioned people leave the game. People that are bored with it, can no longer afford it, no longer get joy out of it, busy with real life, and hundreds of other reasons, I am sure, leave the game.

      So, with that said, and knowing a little something about human nature, I can make a definitive conclusion that most people do not like huge changes and that includes the people that play warcraft.

      So unless you are suggesting that warcraft player are somehow different from every other human being that walks the face of the earth, which you never know, it could be possible. Then maybe I am wrong and they do like change. But I am going to go with human nature and the facts and say, people do not like big changes.

    4. Not really adding anything to the discussion here, but you're saying (Grumpy) "removing MM's signature shot does nothing to reinforce its spec identity".

      Well the thing is chimera shot as MM signature shot stopped making sense in cata and the removal of most stings. In that sene for me Marked shot makes much much more sense.

      Right now I have more fun playing my MM hunter on the beta than on live, it's a much more nervous playstyle.

      As well the big talents on the artifact makes for intersting twist in the gamplay, especially in the execute range.

    5. I guess as old school I still see it as MMs main shot. I am not saying marked shot is not a decent replacement. From the early looks MM seems to be okay thus far on beta even if it is completely changed. But it still fits into the change for the sake of shaking things up, or change for the sake of chance category.

      I really would love to see the sting and chim combination return. I liked that design, it made sense for the class in my opinion.

      I think the removal of kill shot is even more of a removal of identity than the removal of chim. Kill shot fits perfectly, even more so now with no pet, into the marksman feel. Its removal makes no design sense what so ever. It is perfect for the long ranged sniper / archer feel they are trying to give MM.

      I worry about the artifact weapons more so because next expansion they will once again need to do a huge skill update once more because we will be losing them, and thus most of the power they will give.

      It is not good design to build a chance that you know will only require you to change it again. It is why the skill shake up makes even less sense. Why change something you know ahead of time will need to be changed anyway? It is change for the sake of change. It is not fixing any problems, just creating more for the future.

  9. All of the class changes in Legion have me completely turned off on WoW. The entire hunter class is being redone; the result is 3 specs that are nothing like their past versions.

    Blizzard has been making changes over the last two expansions that have pushed me away from the game (raid or die doesn't fit for me) and it seems like Legion will be the last nail in the coffin of my WoW career.

    If I couldn't buy game tokens for gold, I'd have unsubbed already. Maybe the circumstances will change to the positive, but it doesn't seem that way.

    What will I play after WoW? I don't know. I may just take a break from MMOs for a while and stick with single player games.

    1. BM is the only one close. SV, nothing need to be said there. MM, is now SV lite and no longer resembles what an MM hunter should be.

      Not to mention removing pets from MM and removing traps from MM and BM, and removing lots of other stuff from all specs along the way.

      They crushed the class. So much it actually makes me want to cry if I think about it. All that time spent on a class I will end up hating because it is no longer the class I have played. I feel as if I wasted all those years playing it now.

      I like single player games more so. The game you play is the game you are playing. No stupid changes for stupid reasons. It is what it is like it or not. Makes it easier to decide if I want to play it or not. At least that way I will never feel regretful having spent time playing it because they changed something for no real reason. That is one reason single player games will always be better than multi player ones.

  10. As an aside, and food for though.

    GC did say that the number one reason ppl leave is change, but taht doesn't mean the number 1 reason ppl stay is change aswell (and you can't really know why ppl stay).

    I for one love change, it's one of the reason I've always looked forward to expansion, to see how they would change my class (doesn't mean I always liked it)

    1. I'd say, being a smart ass here for a second, people stay because they are enjoying themselves.

      The real question is, what is it that they are enjoying. It would be interesting to know. Did they come back and like the removal of flight at the beginning. Did they come back and like that they added flight back in 6.2, We will never know.

      I like change too, to an extent. I like chance that seems like it is moving me forward. I do not like change that is moving me backwards. For me personally the chances to hunters are one major jump backwards. Legion hunters are going to be a weaker class over all than even vanilla hunters were. It should not be that way. We should be moving forward, not backwards.

    2. Tbh right now in the alpha my hunter feel stronger than on live. I'm already so used to the new aspect of the cheetah taht on live I'm wondering "where the hell is my speed boost?"

      But again, to each their own, they could change all the abilities on my hunter I wouldn't mind aslong as they're not tuned into a caster that doesn't use bow and arrows.

    3. It is on a three minute cooldown now. They changed it.

      Remember, if you like something, blizzard will remove it. If you are having too much fun with something, they will remove it.

      Glad to hear you were having fun with it however. I never said that hunters were no longer be fun. What I said was the hunter I fell in love with will no longer exist. This remains true.

  11. Through my history in WoW, I've learned to play the same frost mage 3 times from scratch due to "changes", and once I get the grasp of the new style it becomes even more exciting than the previous one.

    Just think about it: people could raid or kill mobs with a cup of coffee in one hand and watch some TV series in the process. They perfectly feel their abilities, their cooldowns and whatevs. So any changes when you have to learn any new buttons, add some effort could be challenging your laziness and comfort zone, and yes it becomes more challenging with age, a medical fact. Even if you didn't some things about your class, they are YOURS now. It's my old rag, I'm lying on it, and I got used to the smell! It's eccentric and it has exotic flavor! A new, clean couch doesn't have enough curves to fit your body curves yet, and its smell is not exactly yours and unusual - yet, but we should give it a try and a test.

    I'm excited about spec fantasy pushed to and beyond the stars in Legion.

    1. I already raid and kill bosses with a cup of coffee in one hand. :P

      I like the feeling that I know my character so well. And I too, as a hunter (the most changed class throughout the history of the game) am very used to change. I've always adapted, because that is what I do. But there is a difference, for me at least, between change that advances game play, and change that removes it.

      I am actually excited for a lot in Legion, the changes (and artifact weapons) are not one of them.

    2. I'm not that experienced in hunter part as you are of course, but my second alt was exactly MM hunter from the beginning. And I've immediately dropped my pet upon reaching level 100 and taking Lone Wolf talent at once. Glad that it's a must in Legion.

      Promised class fantasy also makes sense with how you feel your hunter. Should it be a sniper (or, in my case, the bazooka girl dwelling in bunker), should it drive the beasts forward while shooting the foes from afar (BM) or share the sweat and blood with your pet as a proper stalker? I couldn't think of it any other way but improvement.

    3. But don't you think it should remain an option? I've always thought options were good for a game in my opinion. There are a great many players I know that refuse to go MM because they can not have a pet. Even if it is the best spec at the moment DPS wise. Some people just like to run around with fluffy at their side, and I can not say I blame them. I know for a fact I will want a gnome hunter with a mechanical bunny. I've wanted a bunny as a pet for as long as I played and I'll take a mechanical one if that is my only option.

      Remember, the sniper could still have a pet. Send it to sniff out or scare out the opponent in hiding. Heck, real life hunters have pets and they are basically snipers in a sense as they stand back and wait for their pet to scare the birds so they can shoot them down. So no. A sniper without a pet does not completely fit the fantasy. It is part of what could be a much larger fantasy with the option to have a pet or not.

      But I digress. In the end people will just play whatever is the best spec and talents. The reason lone wolf is so popular is not because hunters did not want pets, it was because it offered the most DPS.

  12. There's people who ask for changes. People who get bored and want to try a new thing. People who weren't interested in a certain class when it played in a certain way. And then there's those who play to 'win', choosing every expansion / patch / whatever the most 'OP' class. Both for PvP or PvE.

    TBH, I feel I'm too old for this. I have mediocre skills on most alts because I can't be bothered, I have to write down stat priorities for each because they don't come natural and it's just busywork. And even for my main, it's getting tiresome relearning to love my char. I absolutely hate the changes they are making to 'my' class and I'm sure I'll make it work eventually but why... what is the point. Might as well let me choose a role for a character and not a class, because it's definitely a different class than the one I picked at one point.

    1. I am right there with you. I am mostly mediocre at beat on most of my alts. Only slightly better on the alts I keep geared as raid back ups. Mostly because, as you said, I just can not be bothered any more. To many chances too often to keep up with all that crap.

      I too am sure if I stick with it I will adjust just fine to my class. Always have. But like you I ask, why? Next expansion they are going to need to have to redesign all the classes again because now they will all be balanced around a fully upgraded artifact weapon, which will be gone in the expansion after. So why bother learning and mastering what we know will be gone soon again anyway?

      It is a completely different class for hunters. They should not even be called hunters any more. They do not even remotely resemble hunters as they are described in warcrafts own manual. I hear that many paladins are not all that excited either and you play a paladin correct? I think you do at least. So I surely feel your pain.

  13. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    A bad sign to me is the new buzzwords Blizzard is using of "class fantasy", which is simply "immersion" repackaged. It would be interesting to know how long that new marketing phrase took to come up with, for it surely qualifies as development by current standards.

    More over, I would hold it depicts well what is wrong with Blizzard. The use of a buzz phrase instead of real work. The "oh, I know what to do, lets kill a bunch of leaders to make it seem like this is a really important crisis" moment in setting the stage. And this time, "lets really make immersion into the class and spec all about the fantasy of the class..." moment followed shortly after, and a marketing phrase was born?

    And there you have WoW:L in a nutshell. This is the expansion that should have followed Cata, not WoD. But we got a parallel universe time traveling story line that had to be shoehorned into the main story of Warcraft.

    They have doubled down on their traditional ideas for an expansion in Legion, wrecking classes and rebuilding them because to the developers it makes sense to do over again and again the same things and call it brand new. That fails to be very innovative when you really stop and consider it.

    I would much rather all the development of the revised classes had gone into adding a fourth spec. A holy dps for priest, a melee for hunter, a ranged for both rogue and warrior are all decent fourth spec suggestions right off the top of my head. I do not pretend to speak for others, but I know that I would rather have that type of development rather than classes always being wrecked and rebuilt again and again.

    1. Their new "class fantasy" idea is really destroying class fantasy and class identity in the game. So not exactly sure what they are aiming for but they are not doing anything to help the class fantasy in my eyes. Removing staple abilities I have had since the start of the game is not helping the fantasy any.

      I am with you 100%. All the work on breaking down and rebuilding specs would have been better spent just creating 4th specs instead of dismantling what people already love.