WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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Civil War Man
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

Post by Civil War Man »

Apparently at a talk at MIT. Came out around the same time Nintendo was catching flak for not allowing same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life.

Link to the opinion piece about the talk that started the incident
Blizzard's Dustin Browder, much like Nintendo in its statement regarding Tomodachi Life, positions "gameplay" and "fun" in direct opposition to producing socially-conscious content.

When pressed on the sexualization of women characters in MOBA games, Browder argued "We're not sending a message. Nobody should look to our game for that." The message just below the surface here is: why can't we just have fun? Why do we have to be responsible for being respectful?

After his talk, I asked Pardo to talk about how Blizzard's values — "epic entertainment experiences," emphasizing the Blizzard brand, focus on gameplay and de-emphasizing narrative — and the company's perception of their audience might impact how they portray socially progressive content.

His answer was disappointing. "I wouldn't say that's really a value for us. It's not something that we're against either, but it's just not something that's ... something we're trying to actively do."

His subsequent list of justifications, reasons and examples became increasingly problematic. Pardo argued that Blizzard works primarily in sci-fi and fantasy because they're "kids at heart," reinforcing the idea that games — specifically Blizzard games — are not a place for "real world issues" to be discussed:

"We're not trying to bring in serious stuff, or socially relevant stuff, or actively trying to preach for diversity or do things like that," he said. His example of a place where Blizzard struggles is portrayal of women.

Pardo notes that "because most of our developers are guys who grew up reading comics books," Blizzard games often present women characters as a sexualized comic book ideal that "is offensive to, I think, some women."
The general rundown is that Dustin Browder (one of the Starcraft devs) is asked about oversexualization of female characters in games, and his response is basically that he thinks it's fine because they aren't trying to send a message (though "we don't want to send a message" is itself a message). The guy who wrote the linked article asked Pardo to clarify, who then puts his foot in his mouth with a badly worded response. He acknowledges that they do not portray women well, but seems to indicate that they are also not really interested in fixing the problem.

Morhaime ended up apologizing for the comments last month.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

Post by Highlord Laan »

I cancelled my preorder already, so fuck them with a rake. Two expansions in a row of being treated like a second class player for not rolling with the company's favorite has turned me away from WoW permanently. Even without the bullshit Alliance players have to put up with after metzen's WoD splatters all over the game.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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I've been laughing at recent news, such as deleted tweets in the vein of "we'd do X, but no resources, here's more mounts we're releasing. Only $30." The mounts are dumb as fuck, but the actual work put into them is way over the top in what they're doing for just the normal game. Honestly, 7 million subs should still have Acti-Blizz all smiles, but their current mentality seems to be "We had more subs, why don't we have more subs now? Why isn't the game continually growing to eleventy billion subs? Quick, play up our 2008 player model updates!"

As for Blizzard writing women, I think a lot of that has to do with them thinking women are hard to write, so they think "What motivates a man? Honor? Duty? Empathy? Ok, what motivates a woman? Men, also nagging, but they should do things sometimes so give them 'You go girl' moments that make them look insane because we can't allow them to actually accomplish anything."

See, Varian comes off as a douche because of Blizzard facilitating the gameplay and Loktar Ogar, but Tyrande and Jania comes off as nagging girlfriends and/or psychotics. They're like the 3rd string. Varian can't do shit without primarily Horde involvement, but Alliance women can't do shit without Horde bullshit and Varian involved.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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TheFeniX wrote:Honestly, 7 million subs should still have Acti-Blizz all smiles, but their current mentality seems to be "We had more subs, why don't we have more subs now? Why isn't the game continually growing to eleventy billion subs? Quick, play up our 2008 player model updates!"
Have they been doing that? I've been getting the opposite impression. The executives don't really care because the revenue brought in from Hearthstone, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, and the WoW cash shop more than make up for the loss in WoW subscription revenue. The devs, meanwhile, seem to fall into the "we are still bigger than everyone else" mindset which, while technically true, is flawed. 6.8 million is still a lot of players, but that's compared to a high of about 12 million at the beginning of Cataclysm. They don't have to be obsessed with constantly growing, but we are still talking about the game losing over 40% of its subscribers in less than 4 years. Any company, regardless of size, should show at least some concern when their biggest moneymaker hemorrhages customers that quickly.

Fun fact: The last time WoW only had 6.8 million subscribers was sometime after the release of Vanilla Naxx over 8 years ago.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

Post by Spekio »

Civil War Man wrote: Have they been doing that? I've been getting the opposite impression. The executives don't really care because the revenue brought in from Hearthstone, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, and the WoW cash shop more than make up for the loss in WoW subscription revenue. The devs, meanwhile, seem to fall into the "we are still bigger than everyone else" mindset which, while technically true, is flawed. 6.8 million is still a lot of players, but that's compared to a high of about 12 million at the beginning of Cataclysm. They don't have to be obsessed with constantly growing, but we are still talking about the game losing over 40% of its subscribers in less than 4 years. Any company, regardless of size, should show at least some concern when their biggest moneymaker hemorrhages customers that quickly.

Fun fact: The last time WoW only had 6.8 million subscribers was sometime after the release of Vanilla Naxx over 8 years ago.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

Post by TheFeniX »

Civil War Man wrote:Have they been doing that? I've been getting the opposite impression. The executives don't really care because the revenue brought in from Hearthstone, Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, and the WoW cash shop more than make up for the loss in WoW subscription revenue. The devs, meanwhile, seem to fall into the "we are still bigger than everyone else" mindset which, while technically true, is flawed. 6.8 million is still a lot of players, but that's compared to a high of about 12 million at the beginning of Cataclysm. They don't have to be obsessed with constantly growing, but we are still talking about the game losing over 40% of its subscribers in less than 4 years. Any company, regardless of size, should show at least some concern when their biggest moneymaker hemorrhages customers that quickly.
That's fair. I just get the impression that they didn't bother to keep pace after the insane popularity of the game and maybe now they're still in "fuck it" mode because, as you said, other IPs are raking in cash, so why bother doing anything but nickle and dimeing their WoW playerbase? Honestly, I don't really see myself returning for Warlords at this point.

There isn't anything that really pisses me off about the game, but I know exactly what endgame is going to be and I'm not looking forward to another grind through 3 levels of difficulty that Blizzard seems to love. And I can't see the story being engaging at all. At least with FFXIV (or even Rift) there's holes in the story that the developers either haven't or can't explain that at least give it some intrigue while they're beating old cliches to death.

Warlords isn't going to have that.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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TheFeniX wrote:That's fair. I just get the impression that they didn't bother to keep pace after the insane popularity of the game and maybe now they're still in "fuck it" mode because, as you said, other IPs are raking in cash, so why bother doing anything but nickle and dimeing their WoW playerbase? Honestly, I don't really see myself returning for Warlords at this point.

There isn't anything that really pisses me off about the game, but I know exactly what endgame is going to be and I'm not looking forward to another grind through 3 levels of difficulty that Blizzard seems to love. And I can't see the story being engaging at all. At least with FFXIV (or even Rift) there's holes in the story that the developers either haven't or can't explain that at least give it some intrigue while they're beating old cliches to death.

Warlords isn't going to have that.
My impression is that the "command team" at Blizzard has been trying really hard to keep/get subs, but are at the same time completely disconnected from their actual customer base. The devs at Blizzard are old school, hard core raiders from the days of Everquest and it's ilk, and probably cannot comprehend how that sort of gameplay doesn't appeal to 90%+ of their subscribers. I expect raiding, largely unchanged, will continue to be the only endgame in WoW until the game dies because to the devs that's the only reason for the game.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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Civil War Man wrote:I've heard speculation that one of the reasons they are requiring people to log in as one of their characters in order to claim the Horde chopper is to keep subscription numbers buoyed through Quarter 3, since Warlords is probably not going to be released until September or October at the earliest, which would put it in late Q3/early Q4.
Not happening.

OK, I'm not a programmer nor a game designer, but I have been following Beta developments on the very, very slim chance I might pick WoW up again, and the speculation by people hoping the game will be released in September or October is just...I sincerely doubt it. The WoD Beta has only been open since the end of June, and in order to make a release date in September it would have to be basically done by the end of August, which I don't see happening at all - especially since I'm fairly sure that would make it the shortest beta in the history of WoW. (MoP started its beta on March 21 and released September 25, for reference).

I doubt it will release in October either since Blizzcon is early November, and the last thing Blizzard wants to do is bomb a release by packing up major portions of the team for their annual show-and-tell while WoD is still struggling with the bugs that routinely plague launches. I foresee another December launch, personally, possibly as late as January.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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Kuja wrote:
Civil War Man wrote:I've heard speculation that one of the reasons they are requiring people to log in as one of their characters in order to claim the Horde chopper is to keep subscription numbers buoyed through Quarter 3, since Warlords is probably not going to be released until September or October at the earliest, which would put it in late Q3/early Q4.
Not happening.

OK, I'm not a programmer nor a game designer, but I have been following Beta developments on the very, very slim chance I might pick WoW up again, and the speculation by people hoping the game will be released in September or October is just...I sincerely doubt it. The WoD Beta has only been open since the end of June, and in order to make a release date in September it would have to be basically done by the end of August, which I don't see happening at all - especially since I'm fairly sure that would make it the shortest beta in the history of WoW. (MoP started its beta on March 21 and released September 25, for reference).

I doubt it will release in October either since Blizzcon is early November, and the last thing Blizzard wants to do is bomb a release by packing up major portions of the team for their annual show-and-tell while WoD is still struggling with the bugs that routinely plague launches. I foresee another December launch, personally, possibly as late as January.
Hence why I said at the earliest. An October release is the best case scenario at this point. If I recall correctly, this is already the longest content drought the game has ever had, so a December or January launch date for Warlords would absolutely shatter the previous record.

That would also mean that they are looking at all of Q3 and most of Q4 before they can expect any uptick in subscription numbers at all, since there are a lot of people who are letting their subscription lie fallow until the release of Warlords, leaving it nowhere to go but down until then. I would not put it beyond them to rush the expansion out the door in October or November, even if it is a buggy and half-finished mess, in order to get it out before the Christmas rush, avoid an even longer content drought, and keep 2014 from ending with another precipitous drop in subscriptions. That's essentially what they did with Cataclysm, after all.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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Has their been anything new released for the game since SoO? Any new scenarios, dungeons, anything? Hell, the last patch notes I can see are from 5/20/2014, which makes sense because of Blizzard's lame ass "we don't want to touch X until the next expansion." This being a main reason PvP continues to be shitty.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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TheFeniX wrote:Has their been anything new released for the game since SoO? Any new scenarios, dungeons, anything? Hell, the last patch notes I can see are from 5/20/2014, which makes sense because of Blizzard's lame ass "we don't want to touch X until the next expansion." This being a main reason PvP continues to be shitty.
According to wowpedia, 5.4.0 (Siege of Orgrimmar) was launched September 10 2013. Since then, there's been 5.4.1 (bug fixes), 5.4.2 (cross-realm mail for heirlooms, updates to the non-LFR raid browser to allow cross-realm, and an in-game interface for the cash shop), 5.4.7 (start of Season 15), and 5.4.8 (changes to upgrading item levels on SoO drops).

So unless you count the start of a PvP season, no, there's been no new content added for about 11 months now.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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I hadn't even thought of that: 11 months without even the barest of a content update. And SoO had lost it's luster for people months before that. We were getting ready to start in on Heroics seriously and I just couldn't fucking stand it. Yea, the mechanics had changed up a lot in the fights, but it's still the same tired dialog and phases.

I really thought LFR was a good way to get the general community into end-game content, but in retrospect, it really just let the WoW devs be incredibly lazy. At least Cata had tiered Heroic dungeons, as an alternative to raiding and/or a way to get geared up for current tier raiding. But now with everyone getting funneled into LFR to get raid ready, it's really just making the entire experience stale. I thought Scenarios would change that up a bit, and they do because they are generally really fun, and break up the monotony of the Tank, Healer, DPS mold (my Retadin is killer in them due to the off-heals and other utility that is wasted in raids/dungeons). But Blizzard seem to only want to now use them and dungeons for early expansion gearing up which is a fucking waste.

Replacing tiered Heroics with Challenge Modes can fuck off.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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LFR exists as a replacement for 5 man dungeons and a way to justify more raid budget by pointing to the inflated number of people using them. The only reason we got the old heroic modes was because they couldn't funnel people into raiding and had to give them something to do. I don't expect much in the way of 5 mans anymore, though I do hold hope for scenarios, as I've grown to hate the healer/tank/dps trifecta.

As far as the content drought, the worst part (to me) was that to a lot of people the original patch waves were coming too fast. Seems like a lot of this could have been avoded by Blizzard admitting it takes 2 years to make an expansion and just spreading out the content patches evenly.

At least they are planning something significant for their 10 year anniversary, instead of just another letter and tabard.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/151076 ... t-8-6-2014
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

Post by Lord Revan »

I'm not normally very nostalgic person but a max level MC does sound tasty, it's a shame I won't able to level my pally to max (be it 90 or 100) in time, as that was the character I raided in classic level 60 MC back in the days.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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Darmalus wrote:LFR exists as a replacement for 5 man dungeons and a way to justify more raid budget by pointing to the inflated number of people using them. The only reason we got the old heroic modes was because they couldn't funnel people into raiding and had to give them something to do.
That might make sense if they are planning on getting rid of 5-mans entirely. At the moment, though, it almost seems like the devs who returned to WoW after Titan got scrapped are trying to kill LFR instead. Last I heard, LFR no longer drops tier pieces, and the gear is the same level as stuff dropped by Heroic 5-mans, which would make LFR a strictly inferior way of gearing up.

As far as Scenarios go, they are a good idea, though Blizzard seriously screwed up their initial implementation. They seem to work best as quick instanced group quests, and would actually do wonders in being able to provide updates on neglected stories. However, of the 7 scenarios available when Mists launched, 4 were about helping random Pandaren make beer, one was the Theramore scenario, one was a random thing in a Mogu crypt that didn't really have anything to do with anything, and one was the new Ring of Blood. And it didn't help that the next patch also gave us A Little Patience.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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Civil War Man wrote:
Darmalus wrote:LFR exists as a replacement for 5 man dungeons and a way to justify more raid budget by pointing to the inflated number of people using them. The only reason we got the old heroic modes was because they couldn't funnel people into raiding and had to give them something to do.
That might make sense if they are planning on getting rid of 5-mans entirely. At the moment, though, it almost seems like the devs who returned to WoW after Titan got scrapped are trying to kill LFR instead. Last I heard, LFR no longer drops tier pieces, and the gear is the same level as stuff dropped by Heroic 5-mans, which would make LFR a strictly inferior way of gearing up.
Dropping the rewards to match the new lower difficulty of LFR in WoD is fine. Flex fills the old LFR difficulty niche better than LFR ever did. Random groups and any level of difficulty at all is a bad combination, both Cata and Mists proved this. With new LFR NPCs to do the heavy lifting, this change is simply separating out the AFK gear leeches and tourists from the low end raiders who were shoved into LFR till Flex came out.

Make no mistake, LFR is still replacing the niche tiered 5 mans had. In terms of man-hours a 5 man boss and a raid boss cost the same, so if you are making a new raid tier every LFR boss is "free" but any 5 man bosses cost you a raid boss. Scenarios slip by since they are made by the quest team and there is no expectation of new art assets.
As far as Scenarios go, they are a good idea, though Blizzard seriously screwed up their initial implementation. They seem to work best as quick instanced group quests, and would actually do wonders in being able to provide updates on neglected stories. However, of the 7 scenarios available when Mists launched, 4 were about helping random Pandaren make beer, one was the Theramore scenario, one was a random thing in a Mogu crypt that didn't really have anything to do with anything, and one was the new Ring of Blood. And it didn't help that the next patch also gave us A Little Patience.
I'm pretty sure they outright said scenarios were replacing group quests. Apparently the vast majority of people just skipped group quests or didn't complete them until they could be soloed.
Lord Revan wrote:I'm not normally very nostalgic person but a max level MC does sound tasty, it's a shame I won't able to level my pally to max (be it 90 or 100) in time, as that was the character I raided in classic level 60 MC back in the days.
It just won't be the same unless I can spec into wand mastery and wand the entire raid because no one told be the entire place was fire immune! /nostalgia
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

Post by Civil War Man »

So release date for Warlords is November 13th. Not a huge surprise there. They don't have enough time to make an October release, and December or later would have been considered not an option.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

Post by Darmalus »

And the 10th anniversary currently starts 4 days after release with limited duration max level events. Either they want everyone to rush the content or are aimming for the lowest possible participation rate.

What I want to know is when the 6.0 pre-patch happens, since that's my deadline for CMs and brawlers guild.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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4 days after the expansion? That seems highly unlikely considering it's going to be an LFR meat-grinder: pandering to the insane people who power level immediately upon release doesn't fit into that.

CMs weren't worth the effort to me. Where you stuck on on Brawlers? Loved that shit... you know, except Hexos.... It's the one thing keeping me from doing it on another character because it's hard enough as it is, but it's also bullshit because of even the barest of latency/hit detection. The snake game had me for a while too, because Blizzard hating melee and all that jazz.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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I'm just doing silvers for the mounts, the transmog award for my main don't really tickle my fancy. The effort for silver is really no different than when we ran these at <463 ilvl, just pay attention to mechanics and don't dilly-dally and you make it with a ton of time to spare. The hard part is finding groups, as usual.

Currently stuck on the final boss of rank 9, the draenei paladin whats-his-face. Really frustrating since I seem to be on the razor edge, I've died twice at the same time he did.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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With the Anniversary event timing, it must either be scaling (that is available for all levels 90-100) or they'll extend it. I can't see them requiring people to power level to 100 just to experience MC.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

Post by Kuja »

Hahahahahahahaha
hahaha
hahahaha
hahahahahahahahaha
hahahahahaha

Chilton blurted out WoD's final boss
Spoiler
It's Grom.
Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

fuck wow
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

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Darmalus wrote:Currently stuck on the final boss of rank 9, the draenei paladin whats-his-face. Really frustrating since I seem to be on the razor edge, I've died twice at the same time he did.
Yea, he got me a few times. It's nice on those fights to have an ability like Purgatory (with Death Pact) for a get out of jail free card. I don't know if I ever bothered buying the Brawler mount. Got my Argent Charger and Crimson Deathcharger, so I'm good on that front. Kyle is the mount collector.
Kuja wrote:Chilton blurted out WoD's final boss
Spoiler
It's Grom.
Spoiler
Honestly, saw it coming. Even Blizzard isn't creatively bankrupt enough to put Garrosh at the end of the expansion again, but his daddy was never off limits. At least the developers who still play can continue jerking it to their Loktar Ogar shit for another entire expansion.
I never even used my free 90. Jokes on me for pre-ordering WoD. I got the free month, so hopefully this time I remember to equip my Legendaries before I log out the last time. This is providing a multi-million dollar MMO development team can ever fix the fucking armory.
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

Post by Civil War Man »

Minischoles wrote:With the Anniversary event timing, it must either be scaling (that is available for all levels 90-100) or they'll extend it. I can't see them requiring people to power level to 100 just to experience MC.
It's level 100 only. Bashiok said their intent is to "ensure people have ample time to level from 90 to 100 and experience the anniversary content," which might mean having it available for a while. Or it might not. At this point, it's pretty much impossible to figure out whether what they say will turn out to be even remotely true, given all of the times they've said one thing and then done the exact opposite.
TheFeniX wrote:
Kuja wrote:Chilton blurted out WoD's final boss
Spoiler
It's Grom.
Spoiler
Honestly, saw it coming. Even Blizzard isn't creatively bankrupt enough to put Garrosh at the end of the expansion again, but his daddy was never off limits. At least the developers who still play can continue jerking it to their Loktar Ogar shit for another entire expansion.
Spoiler
The funny thing is that earlier they said that the final boss wouldn't be "just another orc", so either Chilton is wrong, or he meant to say that Grom would just be a boss in the final raid and someone else would be the final boss, or whoever said the final boss wouldn't be an orc lied just so they could be all "fooled you! Grom is not just another orc! lol we're so clever!"
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Re: WoW: Warlords of Draenor

Post by Kuja »

Civil War Man wrote: Spoiler
The funny thing is that earlier they said that the final boss wouldn't be "just another orc", so either Chilton is wrong, or he meant to say that Grom would just be a boss in the final raid and someone else would be the final boss, or whoever said the final boss wouldn't be an orc lied just so they could be all "fooled you! Grom is not just another orc! lol we're so clever!"
Spoiler
This kind of pseudo-internet-legalese and lying by omission has really come to characterize the Blizz team in the last couple years - especially the lore department. Kosak has been the slimiest about it, what with stuff like "the new warchief will be someone you won't expect" and after it turned out to be Vol'jin which everyone expected he threw up his hands and defended himself with "well of course you expected it now we spent the whole expansion building him up." And of course the business with the legendary. And Lore's flagrant ass-covering about Karabor and Bladespire on the forums. The Blizz devs have really become an untrustworthy lot.
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