Friday, March 4, 2011

Internal Blizzard Policies

Most of this is not based on facts, just ideas.

Blizzard is a company and as such has policies and management dictating decisions. One policy I firmly believe in currently is that each expansion class spells are strictly limited in order to make classes feel equal. I've heard my guildies talk of BC spells being unequal, according to WoWWiki classes got 5-6 new spells. Some felt they deserved 6 when they only got 6 or some were completely useless; arguments ensued. Now in cataclysm every class got three spells.

Perfectly equal with every class getting exactly three new things. Which is why, although I think it would work amazingly, we won't be seeing a new druid healing spell, although making shrooms have a heal might work. Then again I could be completely wrong, Spirit Link Totem, grats shamans! Really, we both need fixing. I guess your new spell made it through the management levels faster ;) I'm hoping we get something similar since there are still issues.

I have also noticed a change in the way the game has been handled recently. I have an idea that this translates back to something within Blizzard that has changed. The change I've noticed relates to the distribution of patches. It's true I've never been through a previous expansion, so perhaps I am wrong. However, I have been through a lot of patches.

Previously patches were something I dreaded, and still do, full of bugs, addon updates, hours of unexpected downtime, and just eww. But since the release of 4.0 the patches have seemed smoother. This may just be coincidence and Blizzard might not be doing anything different. I at least think they are though. It seems patches on the PTR stay there longer. The bugs get worked out, and the patch goes live with a lot fewer issues overall. There are lots of hotfixes I attribute to it being an expansion, but there aren't many major bugs.

I've also been rather bad at predicting when patches will come out lately. I'm normally on target or off one week rarely, and I've been consistently off by two weeks. In fact I've given up predicting when they come out. The patches seem to be lacking in extended downtime or server crashes. There's been fewer server crashes and lag outs since 4.0 than the few patches before in wrath. Also, I believe, the expansion was playable. I've heard that didn't happen when wrath came out. I wasn't there though, so I can't say anything for sure.

What does this all add up to? I can't say for sure, but being in the software field, especially a tester, I think they could be focusing on quality. Before I'd say they were focusing on keeping people interested with new sh-ahem, stuff. I've felt that they didn't need to do that at all through all of wrath and maybe they caught on. Maybe they are focusing on quality now. Or maybe there's a new boss. Whatever the case, I'm glad that when a patch comes out I'm not hating the fact that I have to raid cause that's where peoples schedules line up.

incoming extended downtime to prove me wrong

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