March 14, 2008

Talk Is Cheap

Drysc, Blizzard poster, dumped a wall of blue on an "I quit!" post. I've captured the post for posterity below:
It happens, but I'll try to touch upon each of your points and maybe give some small amount of insight and reassurance that they're all points we're either aware of or actively working to resolve.

Regarding spec viability we would definitely like to see every spec at least partially viable, that doesn't mean however that each spec will be equal in a very cutthroat PvP environment like the arenas. A prot warrior or shadow priest or what have you should though be able to jump into a battleground or arena and be able to do something with some small amount of success. How much success that should be is really the question, but our general philosophy is that we're ok with some specs not being as viable as others, we sort of have to be.

There's a synergy within the classes for PvP, as well as PvE, that doesn't lend itself to a model where every spec is exactly the same, exactly as viable as the other, in every situation. At that point we start watering down classes, watering down abilities, copy and pasting, the focus of the game is lost, dogs and cats are living together... mass hysteria.

Moving on to battlegrounds I don't believe we've ever stated that we have fewer maps to keep queue times short, that's not an issue. The issue is the amount of time it takes to create a battleground, and balancing that work time with other areas of the game. Battlegrounds are very labor intensive, Warsong Gulch which is probably the smallest of the battleground maps still has some terrain issues here and there. Playtesting, balancing, making edits, all require a very large amount of resources to ensure a successful battleground.

Now, that's not to say we aren't willing to put in the time, only that we have an entire game to put resources into, and those resources have to be delegated appropriately. The entire team is now working full force on Wrath of the Lich King, and the new battleground it also includes. Hopefully there will be some time to get additional battleground maps into the mix even after it ships. Personally though I think I'm most excited about Lake Wintergrasp just to see how it turns out.

In any case I'm sure the people you've been playing with have appreciated your time with them in the game, and I think you'll be pretty excited with the stuff going on in Wrath once we get a bit closer and can start revealing more and more.
But I hope you had fun, and see you around maybe.
Talk is cheap and I'm just going to come out and call bullshit on this entire post.

First, the idea that Blizzard can't make all specs viable in PvP. I guess he wasn't around when Warlocks, Warriors, Druids, Hunters, and Rogues all were turned into PvP powerhouses. I think what he is meaning to say is "... not all specs will be viable in Arenas."

Secondly, the idea that battlegrounds are too tough to develop alongside expansion packs. I don't see any problems with them pumping out new PvE zones, instanced or not. I don't see any problems with them adding new Arena maps. I don't see any problems with them rebuilding Alterac Valley a dozen times over.

It is well documented that other battlegrounds were in development at some point, but dropped for whatever reason. Fact is, Blizzard dropped the extra battlegrounds to develop Arenas. Blizzard does not care about battlegrounds. They are in it for Arenas and the e-Sport now.

Lastly, I just had to laugh at the Lake Wintergrasp comment. Lake Wintergrasp will be a world PvP objective that will feature siege warfare and procurable objectives. Looking at the history of world PvP objectives it will end one of two ways.

1. The rewards will be extremely popular and everyone will flood the zone. Non-Alterac Valley battlegrounds will pretty much end up at a stand still, until Arena Season 2 gear hits the honor vendors.

2. It will be forgotten after the initial rush of levelers have passed the zone by, just like nearly every single world PvP objective in The Burning Crusade.

I do not see Blizzard toning down the Arena rewards and therefore the majority of PvP rewards will center around Arenas. This eliminates almost any chance that Lake Wintergrasp can fit into the end-game reward structure. Lake Wintergraps will be another epic PvP fail for Blizzard.