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8-06-2009 @ 2:35AM
Do you really think another month or two on the PTR would have made a difference? Most of the problems that pop up are never discovered on the PTR, because it's just not a reliable test platform. It's hard enough to beta test a new product, let alone beta test every single patch to an existing product, especially patches of this magnitude. The PTR has repeatedly proven itself to be a flawed testing method, for two main reasons. One, not enough people utilize it. Second, the way people play on the PTR is not the way they play on live servers. Bugs go undetected, scenarios go untested, and things fall through the cracks. Using the PTR as a way to recruit volunteer beta testers just doesn't seem to be sufficient. Unforunately, that leaves us with the current situation: test the patches the best you can on the PTR, then deploy to the live servers. One week on live servers uncovers more issues than 6 months on the PTR. To Blizzard's credit, they are *usually* quite proactive about deploying fixes in the weeks following a major patch.Is it fair to the paying subscribers that their play experience is negatively impacted in the weeks following a major patch? Probably not, but one thing is for sure: I'd rather play a game that changes and evolves. In its 5 years, WoW has undergone some radical changes, some good, some bad, but at least I'm not playing the same game I installed in 2005. Sure, Blizzard needs to work on their patching and maintenance strategies, but I don't buy into the sentiment that they are incompetent and deliberately sloppy. Running an MMO with millions of players is the kind of undertaking few companies are capable of, and I genuinely believe that on the whole, Blizzard has done an outstanding job.Remeber this: there's a reason thousands of people vocally complain when they can't log into WoW. It's because WoW is a game they *really* want to be playing. That in itself speaks volumes to me.
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