Please stop crying

| Sunday, April 11, 2010
First off, I want to offer apologies if my mind appears to be taken over by thoughts of baby Lily (that's my new niece). I will refrain from posting photos of a screaming parasite recently extracted from a woman you don't know and then expect you to think they're cute.

Tonight she was in a terrible state of catch-22. She was hungry so she cried. But she was crying too much to eat. So she was hungry. What are we supposed to do?

In a sense we are the developers. More specifically, we are the 'b-team', brought in to take over after the initial creation (the first 9 months). And we have one whiny playerbase. Just like the devs.

What do they want? We nerf this and they cry. We buff that and they cry. We make funny faces and they cry. What do they want?

It would help if they had some semblance of communication skills. The players, I mean. The baby we can at least check the diaper. But the players, they complain and complain and it's not quite certain why. They scream words like "unabalanced" but then we change and they scream "homogenization." Can you imagine an infant screaming because her diaper is too clean? Sometimes they go on long rambling complaints which might be nostalgia but they they are PvP complaints but then PvE and next thing everything is purple and you're confused because they always smiled when you showed them purple.

What do they want?

7 comments:

Sven said...

The problem here is that, to use your analogy, there is more than one baby. Baby A is hungry, baby B is tired C wants a change of nappy, etc. Blizzard doesn't have a single child, it has dodecamegatuplets

For example, homgenisation is good for PvP - it prevents a single class with a special power from dominating, but it's bad for PvE, because it makes all the classes feel bland and samey.

To an extent, this is a problem of Blizzard's own making. In taking that decision to balance for both PvP and PvE simultaneously, they've put themselves in a position where they simply can't please everyone. Add that on top of simple differences in what players want (e.g. I think tree-form on a timer is a terrible idea, because it takes away from the feeling of being a shape-shifting druid, whereas some others think it's great because it allows them to show off their nice gear) and you have a problem.

People do make a noise, because if they say nothing those who hold a different view will dominate when Blizzard "takes the temperature of the community".

Is there a solution? I'm not sure. Do what I'd like (balance for PvE and tell the PvPers to go play Darkfall) and you'll alienate those who enjoy different aspects of the game.

Klepsacovic said...

Blizzard's fault for not using a condom when they made WoW.

Why would homogenization not make PvP seem bland? Or not homogenizaing causing PvE to be dominated?

Okrane S. said...

the point is that with so many people playing, any choice you make will have supporters and opposers. You cant escape it.

Sven said...

@Klep

"Why would homogenization not make PvP seem bland? Or not homogenizaing causing PvE to be dominated?"

It's not that homegenisation doesn't make PvP more bland, it's just that priorities are different for players in each form of the game. Perceived fairness is king in PvP, so homogenisation is seen as a price worth paying to achieve that.

PvE, thanks to the "holy trinity", automatically enforces a certain degree of divergence, which is reinforced by the relative dumbness of bosses compared to players.

For example, consider two classes that do equal damage over a long encounter, but class A does it in infrequent bursts and class B does it a slow, sustained way. In PvP, where the targets are smart and have relatively low health, class A is clearly better. In PvE, there's no reason to prefer one to the other. Balancing around PvE allows more opportunities for diversity.

Klepsacovic said...

@Okrane S: It would help if the children were more mature and realized that candy bars for dinner are a bad idea. From what I've seen, there are very few truly philosophical divisions compared to those who hate everything, those who love everything, those who

@Sven: Perceived fairness matters in PvE as well, and it's often easier to measure: healer output, AoE capability, tank health, etc. Those all matter and are pretty easy to measure. The power death grip is much harder to stick in a spreadsheet.

Is that an add fight? Class A is going to work much better with burst damage than the sustained damage of class B. Are there any aggro dumps? Those could make class A undesirable if they're potentially bursting right during a transition.

PvE can be just as varied as PvP. More predictable, certainly, but that doesn't mean there's less variety.

Stabs said...

Grats on your new niece :-)

Klepsacovic said...

omg, stabs, no derailing my theads! deleted!

Thanks. :)

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