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Monday, August 17, 2009

Blizzcast

Blizzard has had it's own Podcast for a while now. It is named Blizzcast. Since I got an iPhone last week I've discovered this. Listened to the first 3 podcasts already, 7 more to come.

The reason I am doing this though having stopped playing is that I am in heart a fan of their stuff, WoW still is the greatest game ever, and I am now working in the gaming industry. So by this I have a chance to learn some stuff from the, in my eyes, absolute masters.

It is really great to listen to some people who have a job that you would literally kill for, and you get to know them a bit better.
Then again listening back to what is being said I am a bit sad of the way Blizzard went with some stuff, being able to view the information given to me from a year later in time.

A few things I wanna talk to you about are in the 3rd podcast. I am really bad with names. I could not even identify a barbeque for a minute last friday. I kept on saying: That thing! and pointing towards a black oval shaped object. So you will have to forgive me if I do not name the person. Listen to it yourself or look it up. you will find it ;)

The words that inspired me to write this entry went something like this: "I would not panic if patchwork dies early on in the expansion, that's what he is there for"
Sure, ok, fine. I get that. But we took him in week 3 and others on our server took him in week 2 of WotLK and that included leveling to level 80, and I did not even play on one of the best servers there is. I don't know when Patchwork went down first, but in my turn I would not be surprised if he went down in week 1 of WotLK. After that the rest of the bosses were pretty easy and only tactic dependent, not so much depending on gear (which was what stopped my guild from killing Patchwork in week 2). So looking in hindsight, me currently not knowing when he went down, I, at that point would have been willing to bet that Kel'Thuzad went down in week 1.

Now these words spoken came from one of the lead instance/raid designers/developers from Blizzard. I think it is kind of sad that they apparently let a lot go of the ideas which they had for WotLK at that point in time (around the release of 2.4).

He also added that he often saw people in /2 going: "We absolutely need a shadow priest, or a frost mage to go blablabla..." He didn't like that aspect and thus later at a point came to the conclusion that CC was no longer something you would want in an instance, nor a raid and it resulted in the least amount of CC I have ever seen since the days I played. Making in fact the game boring instead of challenging tbh.

He also said: "We definitely want to do some unlocking of instances in some form". Seems he didn't find out what form. The instances are not as much aligned to factions as in TBC so that was hard to figure out (and in hindsight got scrapped). Attunement quests also got scrapped though. Unless I am mistaken there is 0 attunement in WotLK. So I feel bad they didn't get to do what they intended to do.

One of the cool things to learn is that, something I actually already knew, is said often in the Podcasts. "It isn't finished until it is finished". Meaning: we will not release it unless we feel it is ready. Kinda though feels that on some points they caved on that philosophy. They do not cave to the media, investors or whatever, but they do cave to the players. They give them what they want instead of making a good game.

That however must be taken in perspective. It has been a while since test versions could be played of Starcraft 2. They still have to set a quarter in which it will be shipped. They haven't picked a date yet, but they can't even say if it will be playable this year or the next or that we have to wait even longer!?
This all does build a myth. A myth they have to live up to not to disappoint a lot of people the day of the release. However it is something that I think they feel up to. And I believe they are. I have heard Blizzard people say that Starcraft 2 is gonna be the best game ever... Though that might be a lie, I think he wasn't lying.

World of warcraft is a bit different. It is a game with a LOT of people playing it already. They want new and more stuff. Blizzard says they can develop stuff much faster now then in the past, but that in my opinion is no reason to make easy mode on all content. I do understand it now though.

I would like to end with a quote, but it is hard to find the right one, so I will write my own quote. I am pretty sure some philosopher in the past said this before. If you can point me to that guy I would appreciate it.

The quote: "If you give a person too much of what he wants he becomes unhappy."

To clarify; I think Blizzard gave in to the wishes of people too rapidly without really thinking it through. Thus changing the game, removing a lot of challenges and handing all desires on a platter. As a result, for me, there was nothing left to want. What do you give a man who has everything? More of the same!... but in the end it is worthless.
I wonder how, compared to 2.x, the satisfaction of the people playing WoW is now. I think it is less. A cookie a day is better then a truckload of cookies delivered in your front lawn that will last the rest of your life. Dull lazy and bored is the result.

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