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Posts with tag takralus

Feedback and what it does and doesn't do

For as long as I've been playing World of Warcraft (which is as long as it's been around) one thing I've seen over and over again is the constant debate between players about the forums and what they're for. Blizzard has stated repeatedly that they listen to player concerns and take feedback very seriously, but they've also stated that they don't design by committee. Still, we've seen design choices made with the player base and its reactions in place - Mists of Pandaria had a far more engaging and active endgame than did Cataclysm, and it evolved over the course of the expansion in response to player reaction. Similarly, many credit (or blame) the steep increase in difficulty in heroic dungeons between the end of Wrath of the Lich King and the neginning of Cataclysm on fanbase complaints.

One question that seems to get asked a lot is does anyone at Blizzard care about the forums, which to my mind is a strange question to ask given the evidence I just cited. Clearly, player feedback (and not just from the forums, either) is something that Blizzard pays a lot of attention to. CM Takralus gave a brief on what, exactly, the CM's do with player feedback on the forums and how it is brought to the devs' attention.

Let's talk a bit about feedback. When is it useful and when isn't it useful?

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

How easy should it be to gear an alt?

That's been the question this expansion, ranging from "The daily quest rep faction grinds lock gear away, I can't get it fast enough" to "The Timeless Isle makes it too easy to gear up my alt" and I'm not sure where I fall, but the EU forums had an interesting discussion on the issue this week. CM Takralus weighed in with an opinion as well, and it's one I figured we could chat about.
Takralus - Way too easy to gear up alts now
I dinged a fresh 90 on Monday, and yes I went straight to the Timeless Isle. However, in questing greens & blues, I had a very hard time. Also, I still have to go through all the old raids in LFR to unlock the latest content, not to mention get my item level high enough to enter.

I've picked up a few purples on the Timeless Isle, but I'm still nowhere near high enough yet to enter SoO LFR. Sure, if you go for it really hard and prepare with crafted goods, Valor gear etc. I'm sure it can be done. But that's why the system's good IMO, if you put in the effort you can be caught up quickly, if you're more of a casual player like me it's going to take a while, and I'm fine with that personally.

I much prefer this to the alternative-getting my alt to level 90 then having to go through the exact same content I spent months on with my other characters.

This is hardly new to Mists of Pandaria - we've been walking a balance on gearing up alts forever, with some expansions (Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King) having a see saw between difficulties similar to the one Mists is now showing. It was much easier to level an alt in Wrath than it was at the beginning of the expansion, as the improved Dungeon Finder debuted and multiple tiers of heroic dungeons were released with better gear in each. Without new five mans in Mists, we've seen LFR and Heroic Scenarios trying to do the work that dungeons did in Wrath and Cata to an extent, and now the Timeless Isle has made that process much easier.

For myself, I'm actually running the Timeless Isle on my main, whose rotation I have down cold and who I know backwards and forwards, for gear to send to my shaman alt, who has been neglected this expansion. Since I can send any mail drops and any cloaks and rings his way, boosting his iLevel while not even playing him has become possible, and I'm not sure how I feel about that - I was very fond of it at first, until I realized I'm not getting any practice in on how to make his rotation work, and that's a big counter-intuitive to me considering it's always been Blizzard's stance that you should have to play a character to get it geared.

So how about you? Are you gearing up your alts via the Timeless Isle? Do you have to catch yourself from calling it the Timless Isle, as if its major characteristic was its lack of Tims? Where are all the Tims? Sorry, digression. What are your feelings about the ease of gearing this patch?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Would we want content that hasn't been tested?

Would we want content that hasn't been tested
Lately, the EU forums have been on my must-read list due to posts like this one. Poster Ask (no sign of Embla) posed the question, as it is right and appropriate that Ask should do, of whether or not Blizzard could or should release new content without there being a PTR or beta for it.

I wasn't even done sputtering yet when CM Takralus pretty much said what I would have, were I not busy sputtering.

Takralus - "New" content and an idea
New content must be tested. Many, many players enjoy being able to test and give their feedback on upcoming new content, and we put that feedback to good use. But, many more people do not test it, and first experience it when the content is actually released.

The simple truth is that if you do not want to see maps and tactics for upcoming content, it's not too hard to avoid. Neither of those are things that will burn into your mind, never to be forgotten.

The day WoW launched, even that had first been through an alpha and then beta test, where people could play and give feedback for months :P

Even with beta tests, bugs get through. Anyone remember Sinestra? At the time Paragon killed her, they talked about the fight and its issues. One of those issues was that Paragon was one of the first guilds to really see Sinestra, and as a result, the fight had bugs that were not discovered until after Paragon began seriously pushing for the kill. In other words, not testing Sinestra on the PTR had consequences that may be acceptable with a single fight that only a few players will even see while it is current and that will be fixed by the time other guilds go back while outgearing it.

These consequences would absolutely be ruinous if they were felt by everyone attempting to do normal-mode raiding content. To a degree, not running a PTR or beta test is irresponsible on Blizzard's part, especially with content meant for the majority of players. I really think the responsibility for walking into a raid fresh, unspoiled by tips or beta testers, is on the players. Better we have some spoilers than untested content.

And yes, we had both an alpha and a beta for World of Warcraft. They didn't translate to having everyone know everything when it went live. Heck, half the time, it just confused you because stuff changed so much. I really fall on the side of those who appreciate beta testing.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

New Blizzard community website, forums begin testing in November

The announcement came out this morning on the EU forums that Blizzard is getting ready to roll out its new community website and forums for World of Warcraft some time in early November. Anyone who has been to the community site for StarCraft 2 will already be aware of some of the new features including a more advanced forum system than what we have now. Features will include the ability to report a post for trolling or spam without changing pages, being able to see a quick summary of the thread by mousing over and letting players up- and down-rate responses.

The current forums will be set as locked during the beginning of the transition and then will be completely removed toward the end. This means that if there are any old guides, posts or fun things from days of old that you want to see moved to the new forums, you should copy them to your own computer now.

One thing that is curiously missing from the announcement is what alternative Blizzard has developed to its original Real ID forums concept since it was thrown out. StarCraft 2 has a centralized handle that is associated with your Battle.net login, and it is the same handle/avatar that's used for multiplayer games. Hopefully, they'll provide more details on issues like this as things start to lead up to the changeover.

The full blue post is after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

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