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A Buttery Pastry
Sep 4, 2011

Delicious and Informative!
:3:


Furism posted:

They don't need WoW2 to be honest. When it comes to WoW, they just need to get their poo poo together by listening to their players. They have a ton of quality feedback on how to fix the game and what to do (or not do) in the future. The issue seems to be they don't really seem to listen, and a lot of people are putting that on account of Senior Game Designers (or whatever their title is ; basically the people who call the design shots). Is it ego? Is it "we know better" ? Who knows. But numbers and, ultimately, money talks.

We know they know because in the next patch they're going to make a lot of things go smoother, and make the grind a lot more easier by cutting out a lot of the bullshit. It feels like it was ready to go. "In case of emergency, release that patch" ; and maybe we just reached the emergency? Who knows.

But my point is, they could totally salvage WoW, they don't have to release a whole new game. Releasing a whole new game but repeating the same mistakes would not salvage poo poo. They need to change their attitude, and if they do, they could do it in WoW.

Of course, releasing a kick rear end WC3 or SC3 wouldn't hurt. Or maybe a smaller scale, turn-based RPG in either universe. They have a lot of options besides releasing new "seasons" for existing games.
I suppose it depends on what your perspective is on WoW, but an ounce of retention is worth a pound of cure. The amount of effort required to keep people playing/engaged would've been a lot smaller than that required to bring them back, and the latter will just keep growing until they really convince people it's worth coming back.

Obviously releasing a new game would not fix poo poo on its own, but the visionary required to lead them into a proper WoW renaissance would be the same visionary who'd do it as a new game.

SubponticatePoster posted:

That or "you people have hosed this so badly from front to back that there's no salvaging it and I would like to work in something other than retail the rest of my life."
Yeah, if your superiors won't listen to you when you do the job you're paid to do, and their behavior can permanently tarnish your professional reputation, there's really no choice left but to leave. Not like she can just go full blast on them and expect to get a job somewhere else.

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KrunkMcGrunk
Jul 2, 2007

Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit.

Buckwheat Sings posted:

Games are a big deal but yeah guessing the numbers dropping spooked shareholders and they want blood.

definitely. A/B hid an on-going state investigation from their shareholders. if their stock went up, the vast majority of A/B shareholders wouldn't give a poo poo. but now that it's tumbling, they're probably afraid the stock is going to hit the floor, so they're gonna try to get a piece of something while they can.

Ra Ra Rasputin
Apr 2, 2011


Good post.

Heran Bago posted:

All work on WoW halts pending the active lawsuit. References to Alex Afrasiabi are scrubbed from WoW, marking the best content update the game has seen in years. “Those of us in leadership understand that it is not our place to judge”

Fun little footnote to this, from what I heard after the NPC named after him ended up constantly spat on and/or killed depending on players faction, blizzard coded it in that whenever people would group around the NPC in protest it would go invisible until people left and would unstealth, which was very on the nose.

Craptacular!
Jul 9, 2001

Fuck the DH


HonorableTB posted:

I have seen a lot of people saying there is a correlation between the general declining quality of Blizzard games with the wave of veteran departures over the last few years. Yet, the lawsuit tells us the people most responsible for the harassment and it's uh..it's the veterans that left. The veterans who created a global juggernaut with WoW, redefined the RTS genre multiple times with Starcraft and Warcraft, redefined ARPGs with Diablo, and were widely known for the high quality bar for launching a game.

I think when people talk about Blizzard veterans they’re talking at minimum about the days when it was a division of Cendant alongside Sierra. Mike Morhaime, Chris Metzen, Bill Roeper, and Samwise Didier are ‘veterans’ of that era.

For WoW, they brought in a whole new stable of people. J Allen Brack was a Verant/SOE guy since EverQuest was the game everybody was trying to kill. Many people had no little or prior game industry work in their histories since MMOs were an emerging new genre and it was often considered that the most thoughtful and best spoken customers of the earliest MMOs could probably build a better one than the ones that were already there. Verant felt like a company that stumbled rear end backward into success, and the only reason they hadn’t been taken down is that everyone who tried stumbled in various ways (servers on fire at launch, horrendous bugs, terrible community feedback loop, hostility to critical players. EQ had a director with a real “because I said so” attitude.)

Not that these other companies aren’t nothin’, but the Activision one is stunning to me because Activision is this big huge company with so many studios yet it’s seemingly all Blizzard-related. In some ways I’m not surprised because companies like Blizzard (and Valve among others) that have been around since the 90s often hire from the community. Early boomer FPSes and early MMOs brought more occasions of “guy with blog ranting about a game is hired to work on said game he gripes of” than I can remember. People who made free maps and mods for the original Quake were quickly hired for full priced games, Valve basically built it’s foundation on buying the IP rights to free community mods and giving them real monetary value.

Now don’t get me wrong because some of these are good people. I know a guy who used to bitch about shooters on a self hosted blog who has worked in games for 20 years now and he’s a better person today than he was then. The problem when you do this poo poo is that college guys behind a screen are often not corporate tested. You are giving them their first real career experience in an industry that is all to often seen as a year-round party. So I’m sad to see that of the many Blizzard employees that exist I recognize Dave Kosak who is formerly Fargo from GameSpy, but I’m also not surprised because the dude’s previous job was being a PG-rated Lowtax clone in the years of Web 1.0. Alex Afrasiabi is another guy who was basically hired for being a Very Important Figure in the EverQuest community.

Like at the very least aspiring art hires have to show they’re a competent artist to get a job, being a middle manager director at a gaming studio seemingly only required appearing very devoted to the company’s product in the days before the internet consolidated into three social networks. When you set the bar there, it’s not always going to work out.

Craptacular! fucked around with this message at 16:36 on Sep 21, 2021

Kith
Sep 17, 2009

You never learn anything
by doing it right.




Double Bill posted:

I'll have to do actual legal stuff? gently caress this job I'm out

I've actually talked with Blizzard's legal department as part of trying to monetize some of the mods that I worked on for Starcraft II. Their job is to pressure modders into accepting lovely contracts, bully fan projects, and serve cease and desists, not contest genuine legal battles. The last major thing that Blizzard's lawyers had to do was the DOTA debacle. From what I heard, the overall opinion after the dust settled was "man that was entirely too much work for too little gain, if we have to do that poo poo again we're walking".

Rogue AI Goddess
May 10, 2012

I enjoy the sight of humans on their knees.
That was a joke... unless..?


Most lawyers tend to have a good sense of what an hour of their time is worth, and are less likely to accept the "work for passion, not money" line.

Craptacular!
Jul 9, 2001

Fuck the DH


edit: whoops just repeating something already said


EDIT: VVVVV

Zil posted:

Which is interesting about their legal department in that they used to show up personally to serve notices to cheat devs. Like not hiring a process server to do it, but paying their highly paid lawyers to knock on the door of some German teenager and serve them cease and desist papers.

Really quite an evolution of the industry can be seen in how they handle cheaters. UO used to have a guy who published exploits and bugs (today, he's ranting against vaccines or whatever.) OSI eventually banned him, smaller MMOs tried to make nicer with him. I remember some of the after-rans would have a position of, "we won't ban you for exploiting that dupe bug we just fixed, because it was our fault for ever allowing a dupe bug to manifest to begin with."

These days, they just try to get someone thrown in jail.

Craptacular! fucked around with this message at 17:15 on Sep 21, 2021

Zil
Jun 4, 2011

Satanically Summoned Citrus





Which is interesting about their legal department in that they used to show up personally to serve notices to cheat devs. Like not hiring a process server to do it, but paying their highly paid lawyers to knock on the door of some German teenager and serve them cease and desist papers.

Mordiceius
Nov 10, 2007

I was terrified at first, but I think I'm okay with it.



People often talk about WoW2 and the thing you'd have to remember is that WoW2 would be made by.... the current people at Blizzard. The ones being blamed for all the bad. So... why would anyone be asking for a WoW2?

Craptacular!
Jul 9, 2001

Fuck the DH


Mordiceius posted:

People often talk about WoW2 and the thing you'd have to remember is that WoW2 would be made by.... the current people at Blizzard. The ones being blamed for all the bad. So... why would anyone be asking for a WoW2?

The people being accused of the worst poo poo has already left. Activision can restructure the teams however they want. Vicarious Visions made some pretty good Destiny content, and were re-orged into Blizzard after Bungie left. There's a lot of work but a lot of potential with people who aren't accused of being scum.

Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang


Mordiceius posted:

People often talk about WoW2 and the thing you'd have to remember is that WoW2 would be made by.... the current people at Blizzard. The ones being blamed for all the bad. So... why would anyone be asking for a WoW2?

A Buttery Pastry made a good response to my post about the perceived need for a WoW 2. It wouldn't have so much "taint" associated to it. But, sex offenders aside, the problem is the way they perceive game systems: lots of grind and farming to achieve anything, longer and longer time between new content patches, and just bad writing.

Edit: I mean, it's fine to have daily quests you have to do again and again if what you get is a nice mount or transmog at the end. It's not so cool if it's mandatory for raiding.

Double Bill
Jan 29, 2006



I have a hard time imagining what WoW2 would even be about, in terms of story and setting. They've been scraping the bottom of the Warcraft lore barrel for years now, and any new stuff has been increasingly uninteresting and dumb.

Rogue AI Goddess
May 10, 2012

I enjoy the sight of humans on their knees.
That was a joke... unless..?


Mordiceius posted:

People often talk about WoW2 and the thing you'd have to remember is that WoW2 would be made by.... the current people at Blizzard. The ones being blamed for all the bad. So... why would anyone be asking for a WoW2?
WoW2 with the story written by the Hearthstone team could be pretty fun.

External Organs
Mar 3, 2006

A cheerful person, he is known as the king of vulgarities (cursing?)

I have never done warcraft but what about like a Knight's of the old republic 1000 years ago thing. Could be cool I guess.

Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang


Double Bill posted:

I have a hard time imagining what WoW2 would even be about, in terms of story and setting. They've been scraping the bottom of the Warcraft lore barrel for years now, and any new stuff has been increasingly uninteresting and dumb.

I found this video pretty insightful for ways to "fix future extensions." It could very well be applied to a potential WoW2.

Minrad
Sep 26, 2007



A Buttery Pastry posted:

I suppose it depends on what your perspective is on WoW, but an ounce of retention is worth a pound of cure. The amount of effort required to keep people playing/engaged would've been a lot smaller than that required to bring them back, and the latter will just keep growing until they really convince people it's worth coming back.

Obviously releasing a new game would not fix poo poo on its own, but the visionary required to lead them into a proper WoW renaissance would be the same visionary who'd do it as a new game.

I mean I think something like Shadowlands is entirely salvalgeable if they just focused on not wasting the player's time. That was all that was really wrong with BFA, Legion, and to a tiny extent WoD as well. (WoD had a lot of problems with a lack of endgame content and class design I won't get into)

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, these expansions keep launching with the goal being to explicitly waste players time and keep them tied to a single character and logging in every single day. Flying is probably the best example of this: it's almost universally enjoyed by players, makes things easier, and saves time. So of course Blizzard has been actively trying to remove it from the game or massively delay when players can access it or gatekeep it for this entire time period, to the point they decided they would never do flying again in WoD until almost the entire playerbase told them to eat poo poo and threatened to quit, and they begrudgingly added flying gated by a huge rep grind.

This is now the regular modus operandi: Flying gets gated by a huge grind and time delay for no reason except some spreadsheet guy noticed that drip feeding player QoL causes a resurgance of player subscription numbers when people think their time might no longer be wasted and come back to the game to see if they're allowed to have fun yet.

This ties back around to every other system: raids are intentionally released over a >1 month period in lfr to boost subacriptions, loot is tied to weekly chests instead of being given at the end of the dungeon/raid to encourage you to renew your subscription so you can see what it is you actually won, each expansion comes up with some new resource to grind every single day to encourage you to login daily to stay ahead of the competition (or to keep caught up with your guild, because 20 man raiding is pushed as the only endgame)

Once you see past the veneer of the great job the art team did, the whole game becomes a bunch of predatory psychological abuse by losers with spreadsheets to get an optimal number of subscription counts, and people see past that veneer now. They don't want the drip feed of QoL anymore, they just want the game to be good in the first place. Simple as.

peter gabriel
Nov 8, 2011

Hello Commandos


Double Bill posted:

I have a hard time imagining what WoW2 would even be about, in terms of story and setting. They've been scraping the bottom of the Warcraft lore barrel for years now, and any new stuff has been increasingly uninteresting and dumb.

I always liked the idea of just the original WoW but made with modern tech / engine. Iron Forge done right in a modern engine used to get me all excited.
I shitcanned my blizzard account last month after playing since release, so now I don't really care but that's what I would have loved, Stranglethorn Vale with ray tracing or whatever, that would have rocked imo.

16-bit Butt-Head
Dec 25, 2014
Probation
Can't post for 17 days!


Double Bill posted:

I have a hard time imagining what WoW2 would even be about, in terms of story and setting. They've been scraping the bottom of the Warcraft lore barrel for years now, and any new stuff has been increasingly uninteresting and dumb.

it would be about orcs and humans killing each other with spaceships and laser rifles OP

sharknado slashfic
Jun 24, 2011



New Super Metis posted:

That's an incredibly stupid perspective, frankly.

You have a lot more faith in people and the US Justice system then I do apparently. The only way anything ever gets done in this country is if there's enough of a public outcry and bad press, and even then it's rare.

(Meaning the SEC attention, not the lawsuit. Obviously the lawsuit would have gone forward regardless)

sharknado slashfic fucked around with this message at 17:51 on Sep 21, 2021

Foodchain
Oct 13, 2005



Minrad posted:

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, these expansions keep launching with the goal being to explicitly waste players time and keep them tied to a single character and logging in every single day.

Remember how they stopped announcing player numbers and said that wasn't a good metric for measuring the success of the game? Well, that got replaced with MAU as a metric. So now you have a game designed around wasting your time as much as possible.

Blizzard is doing the equivalent of running sims for a patchwork fight and wondering why the same classes aren't at the top for some mobility heavy encounter.

Minrad
Sep 26, 2007



MAU is a loving plague on the entire industry as a whole. Once every single game demands I log in to it every day OR ELSE I just stop playing all of that poo poo collectively.

16-bit Butt-Head
Dec 25, 2014
Probation
Can't post for 17 days!


Canine Blues Arooo posted:

For a lot of reasons, I want to avoid posting in this thread, but I do want to clear something about this particular narrative:

A lot of these old games were good because the swath of individual contributors on the projects were good. In fact, I'd go as far to say that a game like WoW was good *despite* Alex's uh...'contributions'. Most of these people are not famous, but their contributions to the quality of the games were huge. It is my estimation that there has been a higher rate of migration away from Blizzard by a lot of these individuals over the past 5 years. More importantly, the vast majority of these folks are good people. To that end, while there are some prominent sex pests that definitely existed in the past, throwing all of those people under the bus is unfair at best.

this is something people forget about when it comes to game development imo. most games arent good because they happen to have a group of rockstar developers that hog all the spotlight and steal all the credit for themselves. they are good because there are genuinely talented people working behind the scenes to make the games good.

A Buttery Pastry
Sep 4, 2011

Delicious and Informative!
:3:


Minrad posted:

I mean I think something like Shadowlands is entirely salvalgeable if they just focused on not wasting the player's time. That was all that was really wrong with BFA, Legion, and to a tiny extent WoD as well.
There's a lot more wrong with WoW than them wanting to waste people's time, and a lot of it isn't new - it's just more obvious in hindsight or put into focus by later developments. It obviously doesn't help, but you're still left with questions like:

- Why am I supposed to care about all this "cosmic" poo poo?
- Why has the game been boiled down to just being about fighting?
- What's the point of the faction divide at this point?
- Why do they put less effort into the in-game A plot writing than they did for any of the longer vanilla leveling storylines?
- Why should I care about a game whose basic structure/plot is one that justifies genocide and exults racial holy war?

Point 1 would be solved by a reboot bringing everything down to earth, point 2 would be much more easily fixed by designing the game from scratch to be open to more varied playstyles, and point 3 would definitely be easier to fix in a reboot. 4 and 5 could be dealt with in current WoW, but it would definitely require a lot of work, and probably result in a rain of death threats (or worse) directed at the people trying to fix that poo poo. Remaking the game so the nastier bits of the setting get excised or the proper framing would likely be a lot easier for people to swallow.

Furism posted:

A Buttery Pastry made a good response to my post about the perceived need for a WoW 2. It wouldn't have so much "taint" associated to it. But, sex offenders aside, the problem is the way they perceive game systems: lots of grind and farming to achieve anything, longer and longer time between new content patches, and just bad writing.

Edit: I mean, it's fine to have daily quests you have to do again and again if what you get is a nice mount or transmog at the end. It's not so cool if it's mandatory for raiding.
I want to add that the lack of "taint" might also be an advantage internally, since the new developers and writers wouldn't be asked to try to fix all the problems that the sex offenders caused*, which is probably a better environment for fostering new ideas and encouraging new perspectives on what a WoW could be.

*Probably while harassing the employee in question

Rogue AI Goddess posted:

Most lawyers tend to have a good sense of what an hour of their time is worth, and are less likely to accept the "work for passion, not money" line.
The ones working for passion definitely wouldn't gravitate towards a private business like ABK, they'd be public defenders or district attorneys, passionate about defending the innocent/putting the innocent in jail.

evilmiera
Dec 14, 2009

Status:Perpetually fearful

Grondoth posted:

D3 was bad at launch. It also had awful writing and it was clear that Blizzard did not understand the tone or themes of the story.

Yeah, Blizzard has not had a really interesting story since like the Vivendi era. I'm continually amazed at how stories could just get continually worse over the years.

ErrEff
Feb 13, 2012

Have you heard the good news?

Look deeply into my eyes.

STADIA!


Double Bill posted:

I have a hard time imagining what WoW2 would even be about, in terms of story and setting. They've been scraping the bottom of the Warcraft lore barrel for years now, and any new stuff has been increasingly uninteresting and dumb.

Soft reboot of the entire game and WoW's storyline.

"It's WoW, but not as you know it!" Same characters environments and factions and races and classes and all that, but mixed up. It's Elwynn Forest, but now in UHD and a little different! Then they slowly release more and more remixed content as they go along, in yearly installments.

Brand new Reboot flavor! Time to do the grind all over again.

Double Bill
Jan 29, 2006



ErrEff posted:

Soft reboot of the entire game and WoW's storyline.

"It's WoW, but not as you know it!" Same characters environments and factions and races and classes and all that, but mixed up. It's Elwynn Forest, but now in UHD and a little different! Then they slowly release more and more remixed content as they go along, in yearly installments.

Brand new Reboot flavor! Time to do the grind all over again.

- Can we make Molten Core a bit more brown?
- Surely that's not possible
- We have the technology now!

Rogue AI Goddess
May 10, 2012

I enjoy the sight of humans on their knees.
That was a joke... unless..?


Let the Hearthstone team write the story.

Bentai
Jul 8, 2004


NERF THIS!




God yes. The hearthstone team would breathe amazing life into the setting of a reboot.

thehandtruck
Mar 5, 2006

An alien race's sociological experiment.



Orv posted:

WARCRAFT - because of course they stylized it that way - is an hour and a half of the writers desperately wanting to say "corruption" and not being allowed to.

This is pretty interesting, why was that the case?

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



https://twitter.com/jasonschreier/status/1440397042749100041?s=20

anime was right
Jun 27, 2008

death is certain
keep yr cool



this has gotta be like the third fork in the company this week jesus christ

Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003




you think he didn't want his name on a game that was described as 'hopefully we can get it into a playable beta state by the time exec-mandated OWL switch to OW2 happens'??

Ash1138
Sep 29, 2001

Get up, chief. We're just gettin' started.



peter gabriel posted:

I always liked the idea of just the original WoW but made with modern tech / engine. Iron Forge done right in a modern engine used to get me all excited.
I shitcanned my blizzard account last month after playing since release, so now I don't really care but that's what I would have loved, Stranglethorn Vale with ray tracing or whatever, that would have rocked imo.
i thought the same thing while playing the new world beta. all this fidelity wasted on some real generic-rear end landscapes. even something like valley of the four winds would be amazing with modern rendering tech

Craptacular!
Jul 9, 2001

Fuck the DH


Double Bill posted:

I have a hard time imagining what WoW2 would even be about, in terms of story and setting.

No more faction split is a big enough carrot for me.

Heran Bago
Aug 18, 2006





Activision Blizzard's update for investors in the whole SEC... you know...
https://investor.activision.com/news-releases/news-release-details/activision-blizzard-provides-update-workplace-initiatives


quote:

Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, said, “We are deeply committed to making Activision Blizzard one of the best, most inclusive places to work anywhere. There is absolutely no place anywhere in our Company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind. While we continue to work in good faith with regulators to address and resolve past workplace issues, we also continue to move ahead with our own initiatives to ensure that we are the very best place to work. We remain committed to addressing all workplace issues in a forthright and prompt manner.”
Jesus Christ

Handsome Ralph
Sep 3, 2004

Oh boy, posting!
That's where I'm a Viking!




At this rate, would not be shocked if the game gets cancelled by the end of the year.

I mean the writing has clearly been on the wall for the last several months that Blizzard is circling the drain (it will always be around as a trademark like others have said) but stuff like this only picking up steam kinda seals it for me. :rip:

Disargeria
May 5, 2010


GOTY 2016 to vaporware in just 5 years with this one simple trick!

peter gabriel
Nov 8, 2011

Hello Commandos


Ash1138 posted:

something like valley of the four winds would be amazing with modern rendering tech

My fav zone ever, drat I'm imagining that and it's awesome :v:

ErrEff
Feb 13, 2012

Have you heard the good news?

Look deeply into my eyes.

STADIA!


OW2 has be ready for OWL in mid-April... or maybe even late March.

I can't even imagine the pressure the dev team must be under.

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I said come in!
Jun 22, 2004



It would probably be for the best really if Blizzard just cancels Overwatch 2. Move that team over to Diablo IV and work on one new game at a time, in this case Diablo IV.

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