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Posts with tag expectations

Managing expectations and the evolution of discussion

In the run-up to Warlords of Draenor, we're seeing news of a lot of class and systems changes - discussion of what's being changed or removed has been one of the things we're very concerned with over here, for obvious reasons. It's also a subject of major interest on the forums. In fact, some people are accusing Blizzard of only posting the bad news in an attempt to create negative feedback, to get people talking. Bashiok addressed this idea recently, and it got me thinking about how we interact with game news in the first place.
Bashiok - Simplifying currency? That's the grand plan?
Well, actually, good news doesn't really create much interest, if you want to dissect it. But that's beside the point. We're obviously not intentionally releasing bad or angering information to try to get people riled up. That'd be silly. We do want to try to manage expectations. Letting people know far in advance that currencies are being streamlined gets that into people's brain meats early, and gives it time to sink in so that when they start seeing or playing that change it ideally isn't jarring and upsetting at that moment.

My point was that people discussing a change they have partial information about, debating the specifics, and questioning what it means, are not necessarily negatives. In cases where those are becoming destructive we'll generally try to provide some guidance to at least direct it back to a constructive conversation.


It's this idea of managing expectations that interests me, because over the years, I've come to see quite a few examples of people not doing it. To this day I'm convinced that much of the negative reaction to Cataclysm wasn't to the expansion's flaws (and yet, I admit it had quite a few) and more to the expectations people had for the expansion - expectations it didn't meet, because it wasn't trying to meet them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

We need to manage our expectations about Mists of Pandaria

Our sister site Massively has covered a recent concern posted by savvy dude Bashiok regarding Diablo III. To make a long story short, Bashiok worried that players' expectations were getting all out of proportion. Bashiok makes one heck of a good point.

Diablo III is going to be awesome -- but it's not going to cure world hunger, solve the economic crisis, or cause shiny-happy rainbows to shoot forth from computer monitors. Most of us around here have played the beta and followed the game's news as if we write about a Blizzard game for a living. And we all love it. Really, the game's really cool. But there's no way it can live up to some of the hype it gets.

Star Wars: The Old Republic suffered some of the same problem from over-hype. By the time Bioware released the game, everyone expected a next-generation, MMO-redefining experience. That didn't happen. SW:TOR is awesome, but it's not the nirvana of MMOs. It is, essentially, an MMO like any other, but it's based in the universe of Luke and Vader. And that's good enough.

I fervently hope we don't end up doing the same with Mists of Pandaria. Everything about the expansion is incredibly exciting. Pandaren look cool (if you're into pandas), the new talents look exciting, and MoP promises a lot of new experiences. But let's not set it up for failure by expecting it to be WoW 2.0. It's still going to be a WoW expansion. It's still going to involve killing mobs, questing, and slaying bosses. Because that's the point of the game.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone here. I really, really love WoW. I'm just saying that we shouldn't put our expectations for Mists so incredibly high that there's no way Blizzard can meet them. It'll do an astounding job, as it always does, but let's not make it impossible for Blizzard right out of the gate.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is the next expansion, raising the level cap to 90, introducing a brand new talent system, and bringing forth the long-lost pandaren race to both Horde and Alliance. Check out the trailer and follow us for all the latest MoP news!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

We have a Tabard: New kid in town

Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back for Amanda Dean talking about guilds and guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

So you've got goals for your guild, and you've been working very hard toward recruiting new members. One of your next big challenges is keeping them around. Turn over is a plague among beginning and middle-tier guilds. Sure, guild dynamics like raid rules and bank privileges play into who stays and who goes from your guild, but it is more important to help make someone feel a part of the team.

Think about your own experiences in joining guilds. Have you ever been in one where nobody seemed to talk to you, except to ask if you could make them a flask? What about the guild that shifts their raid times, and doesn't make it clear to all members. WoW is a social world and new guildies are subject to the same anomic forces that someone might feel during their first few weeks at a new job.

First things first. Let your new guildies in on your expectations. It's helpful to have guild policies posted permanently on a website so that they can quickly learn what to do and what not to do. Be firm, fair and consistent with enforcing these rules for new guildies as well as established guild members. For example, loot systems can be daunting at first. Have a clear explanation and be prepared to answer questions. You may consider appointing an established member to helping your rookies learn the ropes.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Features, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

We Have a Tabard: Gone but not forgotten


Looking for a guild? Well, you can join ours! We have a tabard and everything! Check back for Amanda Dean talking about guilds and guild leadership in We Have a Tabard.

Over the last several weeks, we've talked about everything that guild leaders need to do to try to maintain peace, order, and progress amongst your ranks. I'm going to let the rest of your guild in on a little secret: it's like a job, except you don't get paid.

Theoretically it should be a job that your GMs and officers love. Your leadership has less flexibility when it comes to scheduling than rank and file members. When it comes to raiding or other activities, your leadership doesn't have the opportunity to slack off. They are working hard to make sure things run smoothly and to set a good example for their members.

Is it better to burn out than to fade away? I am currently on a wee bit of a leadership hiatus. After struggling to fill raids and going over the same fights countless times, I kind of snapped. I told my team I needed a break. I have to admit that while I feel a little bit guilty, it's been blissful. I've slept more, had fewer migraines, and generally enjoyed WoW more for the last couple of weeks than I have over the last several months. It won't last though.

Let me offer you a few suggestions to avoid getting to the place where I was:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Features, (Guild Leadership) We Have a Tabard

Breakfast Topic: Great expectations


So as BlizzCon fades further and further from view in the rear window, I'm getting more and more excited and impatient for news of Cataclysm, so much so that I've sort of forgotten to get excited about Patch 3.3. I want Worgen, and new conflicts, and new lore, and a redesigned old world that offers a massive leap forward in the story as things change forever and the Horde and Alliance finally shrug off all pretense of peace and rush headlong into a war that has really never truly ended.

But then I start thinking. The combo I really wanted to play, Worgen Paladin, looks like it won't make it in. It seems like Worgen may not get their own capital city (instead, said city will become a battleground under siege by the Forsaken), which may put a damper on how much their awesome quasi-Victorian scenery and architecture actually features in game. While some zones are getting complete revamps, others are only getting minor tweaks, which makes me fear there may be some zones that still feel out of place and some old lore story lines that still remain unresolved or out of place.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Lore, Worgen

Zul'Aman bears to disappear with next content patch

The Zul'Aman bear mount has been a popular treat -- popular enough that folks offer paid runs to get the bear mount. We already knew the chance to get the bear was going away when Wrath comes out. However, in the bad news category, Zarhym revealed over the weekend that bear mounts will no longer be obtainable when the content patch comes out.

While I know a lot of folks already have their bear mounts, in my opinion, this change kind of sucks. I have a small raiding Guild who I've been working with to get our bear mounts (with a few bumps along the way). Since we knew the earliest we'd lose our opportunity would be November, all of our planning has been focused on getting the bears this month and next. And now, that's changed without enough warning to alter our plans. Heck, I can't even plan since all I know about when the patch is coming out is "soon."

To be clear about it, the problem isn't that the chance to obtain the bear is going away. That's fair -- the timed event would be stupid easy after level 70. The problem is that Blizzard set one expectation (when Wrath comes out), and has now vastly reduced the opportunity without warning. That's a problem for me.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Mounts

He Said/She Said: It's a man's WoW

Welcome to another edition of He Said/She Said where Amanda Dean and David Bowers take on some of the deepest gender issues in the World of Warcraft universe. This time we discuss the expectations of men and women in guilds and how WoW reflects the larger society.

Amanda:
I don't know how many times I've heard of women flirting their way into raids or excellent gear. Perhaps this happens in some cases, but these are the bad apples. I find myself growing kind of tired of the stereotype that girls can't play WoW. The truth is that many women play WoW, and many of us are very good at it.

Because of the stereotypes, A lady has to work considerably harder in a guild to earn respect. It's like being guilty of being a twit until proven otherwise.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, He Said She Said

Breakfast topic: Class consciousness

Day 1 of the World Wide Invitational has been filled with exciting news for WoW players, and well as some fascinating displays of entertainment. Blizzard hosted panel discussions with information about changes for each of the classes in Wrath of the Lich King. In case you've missed it, here's the good news for each of the classes:

I'd like to know what everyone thinks about these changes. It looks to me like some classes are making out better than others. I, for one, am nearly giddy.

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Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Enchants, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

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