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Posts with tag Ghostcrawler

Most of Ghostcrawler's ideas were terrible, and that's awesome

Greg Street doesn't work at Blizzard anymore, but that hasn't stopped him (at all) from talking about game design and general product building concepts. As a industry nerd I find what he has to say incredibly interesting. A particular exchange recently happened:
Greg Street
My humble suggestion is that if you're not on board with a change, explain why, not that it was "promised."


And even if it was a promise, you should still be thankful if bad ideas get killed.


To underline even more: most of our ideas will be TERRIBLE. You don't want them in the game! Some will survive.

I absolutely love this. Designers fail, they're not perfect -- far from it. They're much like the artist who tries different combinations of things dozens of times until the music is perfected. And even then the song could be just a little bit better with just a little bit of a tweak. What Greg says here is entirely true and relevant, especially with today's issues the community is having with Blizzard.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

WoW Archivist: Expansion gaps

Gap in the bridge on the Timeless Isle
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Expansion gaps are the most reviled of all content gaps. It's not just because they are the longest -- it's because at the other end of the gap lies so much to look forward to. Expansions change WoW from top to bottom. They usher in brand new worlds to explore and bring us new ways to play the game. That's part of why it takes Blizzard so long to release them.

In the meantime, we wait, mired in the old, but excited about the new.

We are experiencing what is likely to be the longest expansion gap so far in WoW's 10-year history. But what about the expansion gaps of the past? How do they stack up? What did Blizzard offer and what were players' reactions to them? Read on to find out!

Classic WoW to The Burning Crusade

Dates: August 22, 2006 to January 16, 2007
Duration: 4 months, 25 days
Subscriptions: Rising
Mood: Excited

The first expansion gap was also the shortest. It felt like a long time to players back then, since classic WoW offered patches and content at a blistering pace for the first two years of the game. Players were impatient, yes. That never changes. But we knew WoW was a hit and we were thrilled that the success of the game had made an expansion possible. We couldn't wait to roll a blood elf or a draenei, or take to the skies and fly for the first time. Plus, most raiding guilds hadn't conquered every boss (or even close), so they had plenty to keep them busy.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

EU class role forums are now closed [Updated]

The class role forums have closed their doors. Takralus posted on them yesterday that they're doing so to concentrate the discussion into existing forums (which I'm taking to mean the class forums). The role forums are currently in read-only mode, and will remain that way until April 8, when they are removed entirely.

The role forums were launched in October 2008 with the original intent of replacing the class forums. Blizzard backtracked on that quickly after the player base revolted, and they left everything in place as it is today. Ghostcrawler was a big poster on the role forums and used them extensively before he made his switch to Twitter. However, as we all know, the forums were not always a happy place.

Takralus' full announcement after the break.

Update 3:22 p.m.: Bashiok let us know that this only applies to the EU. They have no intention of closing the US class role forums at this time.

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Filed under: News items

Lichborne: The pitfalls of class balance arguments

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

By the time this column is published, it will be official. Greg Tiberus Street, the man formerly known as Ghostcrawler, will no longer be Lead Systems Designer for World of Warcraft. For many years now, even if his job encompassed so much more, he was pretty much the target for class-based arguments. The most passionate, angry arguments for class changes were directed at him. In his final days as Ghostcrawler, I noticed he did a lot of tweeting about some of the aspects of his job and how the dev team saw class feedback from the community.

With that in mind, I want to take a look at the forms of class feedback and some terms that come up again and again as discussed by Ghostcrawler, not just as a tribute to Ghostcrawler, but as a way to hone our toolkit for when the Warlords of Draenor beta test drops and it's time for us all to give our feedback on the future of the death knight class.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Reminder: Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street joins us live tonight

Just in case you missed the announcement on Saturday, the WoW Insider Show will have a special guest this evening! Former Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street will be joining us on the show to look back at his time spent designing WoW along with a variety of other fascinating topics like crustaceans and the chilly weather we've all been having. The live show begins at 8pm PST/ 10pm CST / 11pm EST.

This week, instead of taking your usual round of WoW questions, we'll be taking your questions for Greg. If you've got a burning question for Ghostcrawler, be sure to pop by the announcement post and leave a comment with your inquiry. Keep in mind, however, that there are topics we won't be discussing -- questions about future plans or confidential information likely won't be asked. We hope to see you all at the live broadcast tonight on our page. But just in case you happen to miss the live show, we'll be posting the recorded version Tuesday afternoon.

Filed under: WoW Insider Show

Ghostcrawler joins us on the podcast Monday at 8pm PST

Monday evening Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, the recently departed Lead Systems Designer of World of Warcraft, will join us on the WoW Insider Show. Beginning at 8pm PST / 10pm CST / 11pm EST we'll sit down with Greg to take a look back at his time spent designing WoW, talk with him about his favorite crustaceans, and the weather.

In lieu of our normal show format, we'd like to take your questions now for Ghostcrawler. There's obviously a lot he can't talk about -- things like future design plans, confidential info, Titan ideas -- we're not even going to bother bringing those up just to hear "no comment." But if you've got a question about his design philosophy or how he handles the multitudes of trolls, let's hear 'em! We'll sort through all the questions on Monday evening and pick a few to ask.

Our live broadcast and chat will happen on our page, and the podcast will be up Tuesday afternoon on the site and iTunes.

Don't forget to come a half-hour or so early to the show as we get started with our pre-show mic checks. There will be horses, gin, and at least one burly warrior in attendance.

Filed under: WoW Insider Show

The Ghostcrawler Experiment Concludes

In early 2009 I wrote about The Ghostcrawler Experiment. In it I asked the question if Greg Street's (aka Ghostcrawler's) unique communication has helped or hindered World of Warcraft. Today, five years later, he departs from Blizzard as their Lead Systems Designer amongst the cheers and jeers of the community. Now is a good time to revisit the question as the experiment conclude: was Ghostcrawler's presence good or bad?

It's my contention that overall his presence has helped not only World of Warcraft succeed but has also evolved the level of discourse in the industry. Prior to Ghostcrawler's prolific writing, developer communication was often scant for AAA titles. There'd be the canned press interviews (notice that gaming press interviews are almost always the same), the short blog or video post saying nothing revolutionary and just acting as a marketing tool, and a series of social media interactions that only showed off a few new graphics.

While Ghostcrawler was not the first game designer to provide an abnormal level of insight behind the scenes, he is the largest and most public. The stage given to him was gigantic, and he took control of it unlike few people could. Ghostcrawler's words, quite literally, reached more people than the nightly news some days. Tens of millions tune into the Warcraft media sites for BlizzCon, and he was front and center with the nerfing of paladins.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Some forum advice for the next Ghostcrawler

With Ghostcrawler's departure from Blizzard Entertainment on the horizon, one of the burning questions in everyone's minds is "who will be his replacement?" Well, I personally have no idea, but no matter who it may be, player Lubricious has taken it upon himself to offer some advice for that fortunate (or unfortunate) soul, endorsed by the man himself.

The titles of the six helpful hints are as follows:
  1. Everything is your fault.
  2. Performance expectations are 100%.
  3. Sometimes, the players are right. Sometimes.
  4. Anything you ever say is a promise
  5. You can't make everyone happy.
  6. Don't try to force fun.
Click on over to Lubricious's original post and check out the complete context for yourself--I think the entertaining and thoughtful advice will strike a chord with anyone who has worked in a broadly customer-facing position. We wish Ghostcrawler himself the best of luck with his future endeavors (Liz Harper's and my guess is on an Oceanography-themed MMO featuring playable giant isopods), and to whoever does step in to fill those large, crustacean shoes, we wish them luck too!

Filed under: Humor

The Daily Blink returns with a tribute to Ghostcrawler

The Daily Blink
WoW-centric webcomic The Daily Blink -- which called it quits this summer -- has returned from retirement to comment on Ghostcrawler's retirement with a new comic. Though it doesn't seem like The Daily Blink is returning for good, you can enjoy at least one more comic -- though if you haven't seen Tron, you might not get the joke.

So, bye, Ghostcrawler -- but won't you come back to us, Daily Blink? We've missed you and no doubt Zahrym has missed you, too.

Filed under: Humor, Comics

Ghostcrawler to leave Blizzard [Updated]

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street shocked the entire WoW community with his announcement today of his departure from Blizzard Entertainment. After six years with the company, he has decided to move on.

We will miss him. More than anything, to WoW fans, Greg was a bastion of community interaction, someone who worked tirelessly to improve the dialog between the developers and the community. His Twitter page has almost 70,000 followers, with whom he interacts on a daily basis, providing a direct line from community to devs. Regardless of the trolls, the criticism and the unpleasant behavior, Greg has kept at it, and done so with a pleasant demeanor and unerring focus on making the world's largest MMO the world's best. He's also been happy to admit when that has gone wrong, taking the often difficult role of messenger for the entire WoW dev team.

Even back in 2009, when he'd been with Blizzard just a couple of years, WoW Insider was posting about how he was providing a link between community and developers, and that this "Ghostcrawler Experiment" was something new and refreshing, and good. A glance at our Ghostcrawler tag here at WoW Insider will show anyone just how committed he's being to keeping us informed over the years.

Greg has been good for the health of the game, too, whether you like the latest set of changes to your class, to talents, to gear, to PvP, and to anything else where he's had an influence or not, his input as a designer should not be dismissed. But it's his accessibility and belief in the power of community that will be remembered. Now, who's going to get us that pony?

Updated Editor's Note: We've verified this information from multiple sources.

Hit the break for the official announcement post.

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Warlords of Draenor's gear system and spirit as a secondary stat

There has been some discussion recently, on Twitter, between Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street and several players about some elements of the new gearing system, and how it applies to healers.

First up, I feel like, before we get into the specifics, I should quickly wrap up how the new system will work. You won't understand the rest of the article without this knowledge, so let's rattle through it. The new gearing system works as follows:
  • A piece drops.
  • It is plate, mail, cloth or leather.
  • It has crit and haste as secondary stats.
  • Its primary stat will change according to your spec, so if you're a caster it will be intellect, melee DPS could be strength or agility and so on.
  • As you change spec, the primary stat changes with you.
  • The secondary stats (in this example, crit and haste) will not change.
  • There may also be tertiary stats on gear, such as +run speed, or -durability damage.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Blizzard wants yearly World of Warcraft expansions

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, World of Warcraft's Lead Systems Designer, dropped a key hint into the inner workings of Blizzard's mindset concerning the future of WoW. In an interview with DigitalSpy published this morning, Ghostcrawler said:

We really want to get to a cadence where we can release expansions more quickly. Once a year I think would be a good rate. I think the best thing we can do for new players is to keep coming out with regular content updates.

That's quite the interesting tidbit. Previously Blizzard has produced about one expansion every other year, and it seems that they want to double the rate. Ghostcrawler also reiterates in the article something that he's said before: patches don't bring back players, expansions do.

This push for more expansions isn't completely surprising given a few facts:

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Filed under: News items

Ghostcrawler: "Feels like we are farther along for WoD than we were for MoP"

There has been rampant speculation as to when World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor will be coming out -- and all of it is just that, speculation. We have very little evidence of anything being said by anyone. However, there have been some off the cuff remarks dropped here and there.

One such remark was made by Ghostcrawler tonight. He compared the development state of Warlords of Draenor to that of Mists of Pandaria. Put simply, he feels that they're further along in Warlord's design and development than they were in Mists at this time.

Take that for what you will, or won't. Don't read into Ghostcrawler's tea leaves too much, or he'll start posting this picture on Twitter.

Filed under: News items

Bonus rolls are likely not going anywhere

Mythic Raiding
We already know that there are some major changes coming to raiding in Warlords of Draenor -- specifically the shifting of what LFR, Flex, Normal, and Heroic raiding means to us right now. With raiding changes often come loot changes, and folks are understandably nervous about how loot could work in the future, considering that all new raiding modes save Mythic will have a cross-realm option.
Never fear, it's Ghostcrawler to the rescue, with loot question clarifications. It seems likely that bonus loot rolls aren't going anywhere. Right now you can roll for bonus loot on any boss, including Heroic, and it looks as if at least that will continue. We don't know about it continuing into Mythic level raiding, however we have no indication either way.

Filed under: News items, Raiding

Warlords of Draenor: 5 cool things you may have missed at BlizzCon 2013

Warlords of Draenor trailer
There has been so much news over the past few days that it can be difficult to keep up. I'm still finding little bits of information here or there that I managed to miss amidst the onslaught. Here are a few interesting things that may have slipped under your radar.

1. The in-game group finder is being expanded

No, I'm not talking about random matchmaking with the dungeon finder. I am talking about Blizzard's answer to the oQueue addon. According to Ghostcrawler in the gameplay and systems panel, they recognize this is a feature players really want, so they've decided to add it to to the base game. You'll be able to create and browse for groups of all types and sizes. Want to PUG a cross-realm RBG team? No problem. Want to set up a group to do an achievement run in Icecrown Citadel? You can do that. Maybe your guild raid group is short a healer and you're looking for another? This is all possible since normal mode raids (soon to be heroic mode) will work cross-realm out of the gate.

Blizzard would prefer if you pugged and made new friends rather than use random matchmaking, so they've added a new mechanic called "stacking the deck" which will earn you bonus valor for every member of your group who isn't added via random matchmaking. Random matchmaking via dungeon finder and raid finder will still exist, of course.

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Filed under: BlizzCon

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