Thursday 28 July 2016

Caving in

An aside from "Alternative Chat" (in You're history) caught my eye today:
"... the moment last year when Blizzard caved on allowing flying in Draenor. That shows a group of people that if they complained long and hard enough, the Company would realise the error of their ways and simply concede to demand"
The precise moment when I realized that Blizzard will always cave in was back when patch 3.1 got to the PTR, and people discovered that Blizzard had fixed a particular abuse of instances that was called "ghetto hearthing". Prior to patch 3.1, if you joined a group, entered an instance and then left the group, after 60 seconds you would be teleported to wherever your hearthstone was set to. Of course this exploit was a terrible abuse of the adventurers in the instance, who would then be forced to find a replacement, or try to 4-man it.

This was before the dungeon finder and queuing for instances, so if often meant that one person had to leave the instance, head to Dalaran or another city and ask in LFG* (or trade) for a replacement while their comrades waited patiently at the summoning stone.

You might wonder what sort of self-important, entitled ass-hole would inflict such a hardship on their fellow adventurers just because his hearthstone is on cooldown and wants to get home quickly. Well, it turns out that it's exactly the sort of self-important, entitled ass-hole who sees nothing wrong in this exploit and whines on the forums for it to be retained! I could hardly believe that anybody who actually did this would be shameless enough to demand its retention; but lo, the forums were full of whines and complaints.

But instead of just telling these whiners that this was an exploit and the exploit has been fixed (well, to be fair, they did repeat that line for about a week), the developers decided to halve the cooldown on hearthstones instead, teaching everyone that whining works.

It was therefore no surprise to me at the start of the Cataclysm, when instances were "too hard" for the poor babies, that they would whine about it and demand that Blizzard fix it so that they could enter instance and get loot without having to work for it. Blizzard held out.  They made the point that at the end of WotLK instances seemed easier to complete simply because everyone was overgeared for them, and these new Cataclysm dungeons would get easier as people upgeared. To nerf them would make them just too easy once people actually had appropriate gear. I was proud of Blizzard, sticking to their guns for a change. They held out for almost a month before they caved in and nerfed the instances.

With Draenor flying, I knew it was just a matter of time before the whingers got their way.

Of course, there is another way of looking at this: Blizzard are responding to their customers. Or at least, they're responding to their whiny customers. Perhaps I need to get with the program and start complaining more on the forums.

*The "Looking For Group" chat channel.

Friday 15 July 2016

Lost lands

Pearl River, Dragon Ridge, Province, Hidden Village, Severogorsk, Komarin, Northwest, South Coast. I miss these battlegrounds in World of Tanks. All withdrawn and no longer playable in public random matches. I have fond memories of playing them. Even Port. 

Unbalanced? I don't know. What I do know is that I'm bored seeing the same few maps pop up again and again. I'd like some variation. A little variation is better than a little imbalance. Or how would it be if were to tweak these maps to ameliorate them, rather than ditching them.

I wonder if I'll ever miss Overlord and Stalingrad, though. I doubt it.