Legion Feedback

Idgie Threadgoode: See, now is a time for courage. I guess you already know that there are angels masquerading as people walking around this planet and your mom was the bravest one of those.
Fried Green Tomatoes


Legion Feed Back

We, as players, have an avenue to giving feedback on how we are playing our game. It is in the forums and, I suppose, via Twitter.

The response to feedback might be a quiet hotfix which could go un-noted or a “blue” response in the forums or in the Developers Q&A, of which the most recent one is here.

There can also be a rare follow up to the Q&A in the forums as noted here. In this case, specifically to Warlocks and how pissed-off they are.

Also note that 90% of the players do not know that the forums even exist.

I read with interest the post by Misdirections called Tantrum Tactics and I agree completely.

The thorn in my side (with apologies to St. Paul) is that I watch Mr. Watcher and Mr. Lore complain about the forums and try (unsuccessfully) to tell us what is “good” feedback and what is “bad” feedback. This is because, I feel, that they have not asked the right questions!

“Give us your feedback on Warlocks”, they might say. And they will open a forum page for feedback. This is so beyond a general question, it is almost a universal question and invites comments with a very broad range. I think that they are smarting from the volume of bitter invective for the most part because they did not ask the question that they wanted feed back on.

If they had opened a Destruction Warlock Combat Mechanics page, the volume of responses would have been reduced by at least a third. And the volume would be even less as it is not about anything except combat mechanics.

Clearly I know almost nothing about Warlocks. But I can see that having a Hunter Feedback page without dividing (at minimum) melee and ranged that the replies will be staggering in shape and form.

Even with the bile and invective, one can see that the players want to help. The players are willing to take a tough road by entering in the forum scene and try to articulate their concerns. Not shaping a decent question leaves the players spinning, lost and eventually angry at the lack of an obvious response.

At least say, “We will review the responses in bulk in three months and collate all the information and then make a targeted response. Our goal is patch 7.2”. Let us know when and if our work is being looked at.

The players blow up and become louder and louder. They have stepped into a murky trap of a poor request for feedback; so generalized that way too many are responding about things the developers have no interest in changing because the players simply do not know the question.

It is on Blizzard, not the players.

We expect a professional response and considered actions whether the player base is an angry mob or a patient group of repentants. We need Mr. Watcher to not look smug because the Launch went well and not see him try to be “cute” with replies. If the call for feedback is about information gathering then we need to know the parameters of the discussion.

Legion Content

fa·ce·tious
adjective: facetious
definition: treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant.


Legion Content


NB: Most of the commentary today is a reflection on the Developer Q&A posted over at MMO Champs.


Once upon a time, I was designing for a dance concert in Los Angeles. I knew that we had brought in a professional photographer to document the work and so a few days later I went to visit him.

Me: Hiya. Did you get any good pictures of the concert?
Him: Oh, we don’t take good pictures.

I stepped back and realized that I had offended him. Yikes, how dare I even suggest that he might not be doing his job?


The designers at Blizzard are known to be sensitive and to react harshly. Witness the complaints about too many Dailies in Mists of Pandaria. “Oh? You don’t like Dailies? Then you get none. Zero. How do you like the game now? Happy?” Of course we were not happy, we wanted the good Dailies.

The designers have declared that “Don’t worry, we got you!” on the topic of not enough content to play and will specifically be dumping content on us for Legion. They’ve said so. It will be non-stop potential for game play.


We players have developed an Alt Culture over the years. This is because there was not enough “content” to keep one character active and moving. The culture shock, I think, will be profound; the reality has yet to be seen but one would guess that our Army of Alts will slowly lag behind until almost forgotten.

Watcher has said, “An Alt should not support a Main.” In my defense, this culture has evolved of Main support by Profession Alts only because it could be done within their game design.


“Bring the player, not the class” has been the mantra for three full expansions. It has given us relief and the belief that we could play any class and be welcome in any group content.

That design philosophy is being removed. Which class you play will be important because of the class and the decision of whether you get to play will be in the hands of another player.

Watcher was being cruelly facetious when choosing the hunter for his example because in Legion, no one will want a hunter.

The team would like to get back to a place where if you are a PuG leader, you are looking at your raid comp and saying, “We could really use a Hunter, let’s look for a good hunter”, rather than “Let’s look for any ranged DPS, especially the flavor of the month that is 2% better and thus is the only viable one”. Obviously this isn’t the case literally right now, but it is what the team is thinking about and would like to move towards over the course of patches and future content.


What IS a “good” hunter anyways? Or a “good” healer or tank that people ask for. Define a “good” standard and we can have a conversation; until then, stop using the word. Like my photographer, it easily offends.


Misdirections took on the section on Game Development in Timing and Content. It is, as ever, a very good read. Go take a look.


Conclusion.

It will be a shock not only how much content there is to do in Legion but how long it takes to complete said content whether it is a profession or an artifact.

I can already guess that our “new complaint” will be that so much of our progress and play effort should be account-wide to support our Alts.

We became completionists because we had so much time in the game without any new stuff. We will now be leaving a lot of things “at revered”, so to speak, as we move into the new areas; fearful of falling behind the herd.


Embrace the new paradigm, it will be a radical shift to absorb into our Gaming DNA in the World of Warcraft. It should be more than busy, it should be fun.




Ready for Raiding 17

”Maybe it is only I, but conditions are such these days, that if you use studiously correct grammar, people suspect you of homosexual tendencies.”
Dorothy Parker (1925)


Ready for Raiding 17

Like flipping a switch, I am now very relaxed going into Legion. Like Misdirections says, it could be a three year expansion and even if only two years there is a ton of time to do whatever we want and however we want to play.

Still, that does not mean sloppy or indifferent play. No sir, no way. There needs to be direction and intent. Also, there is cleaning your shop before logging out and sweeping the floor before you go home. Be an Amateur Professional!

You must set your own standard. As ever; food, pots and bandages. I think you should only gem and enchant pieces that you expect to have for a while, sometimes gearing can bring in new stuff pretty fast.

I will be honor bound to:

  • Have up-to-date buff foods via fishing and cooking.
  • Have a fair stack of Potions and Flasks as soon as reasonable and then forever on.
  • Have my “group content” spec ready to go and practiced.
  • Be repaired and prepared so that I am not impaired.
  • I think Bandages will be the expectation in dungeons.
  • Aware of the latest patch notes.
  • Within reason, have clear bags.

No one should have to wait for me if they ask me to play.

I think that we will want to pace our secondary professions along with our leveling up in the Broken Shores; a reasonable player would do such a thing.

It is a matter of gaming pride. Even if we decide not to raid or to take our time or laboriously finish each zone before moving on; at base, we should be ready to play.

Guessing at Professions

Professor Roy Hinkley: I want all of you to know that the attaché case is missing and until it is recovered you are all suspects!
Gilligan: Does that mean none of us can leave the island?


Guessing at Professions

My Dad once used a term called “an educated guess”. It would suggest that having only limited facts that one could claim a conclusion based on the facts given and then supported by past experiences. Inherent in that is the qualifier “guess”!

My Educated Guess for Legion is that Crafting Professions will be a mini-game as time demanding as being a Raider or a PvPer or any of the other major time sinks in the World of Warcraft. We know as Raiders, for example, that stepping into the PvP scene that we are seriously out-gunned by the full-time players. They have spent the time, practice, effort, macros, action bars to finely tune their skill set. I admire all of that from afar as I choose not to invest what game time I have to play in that arena.

Therefore, I have chosen to vastly limit my Professions; even though I don’t really know the full extent of the time involved in honoring the crafting professions offered in Legion.

My two “mains”, a hunter with mining and engineering. And a druid with herbing and engineering. It is my suspicion that engineering will be just as demanding in gathering as leatherworking or blacksmithing in that our stuff will be consumables to support our gadgets.

If the Crafting Professions are not as a weighty burden as I imagine, then I will branch out my other Alts into action. My fear, again, is the endless cycle of creating gear and burning it for the upgrades; with no end in sight.

My desire is to play the game as an activity more than crafting up for the opportunity to play.

Like Misdirections wrote in the beautiful piece Philosophical Thoughts on Endings and Beginnings; we are right on the teetering edge of jumping into Legion. No one, not even Blizzard, knows how the expansion will play out. My Educated Guess is that Professions will be a debilitating time sink that could pull me away from my favorite thing: group content.

And so, I act on that now; leaping out with hope that my educated guess is right.

Silence Penalty: The Community Standard

“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”
Justice Potter Stewart


Silence Penalty: The Community Standard

Misdirections wrote Time Out For Trolls, discussing the Silence Penalty.

Alternative Chat wrote as well with The Sound of Silence.

Both of these writers bring insight into the topic, go read their stuff. Having done so, it will help shape your understanding of this new system; soon to be in place.

Now, Alternative Chat used a term “real cockwombles”, of which I have no idea what it means. This writer lives in a Land Far Away and so has different language.

Which brings me to my point and that is: it is the community that sets the standard.

The quote at the top of this page is from a ruling on pornography in 1964 and the decision on if something is obscene. The Justice said (now famous for it), “I know it when I see it.”

It will be up to the community to keep their realms clean. What is offensive in St. Petersburg, Russia might be very different than in London, England. I’ve never been called a cockwomble (yet!) but in London, this might be hilarious and not a bother.

If the community works at it, it will be kept clean. We will have to trust Blizzard to “know it when they see it” for all of the reports by us.

It will be regional, by realms. Some realms might get a “reputation” for loose play and require much gossip and a visit; much like Goldshire in Moonguard if they survive this Silence Penalty. It will be timely; daytime will be much stricter than night time but the Nighters will get more bans, I betcha by golly.

However, I think that we are all delighted. Absolutely delighted.


cockwomble ‎(plural cockwombles)
1.(Britain, slang, derogatory) A foolish or obnoxious person.  [quotations ▼]


See, that wasn’t offensive at all!

Legion: Professions in the Balance

“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”
Pablo Picasso


Legion: Professions in the Balance

I’ve done what research that I can. If you can think of it, I have done it: websites, blogs, videos, data-mining sites and the rest. Sometimes I see information and wonder but what does it “mean”? When it comes to things like professions, there is the broader context of game play: ease of access, hefty or simple quests, even class choices come into consideration.

Some information is coming out like the Twitch Dev Chat and luckily we see writers like Misdirections responding and trying to figure it out. There will be a Profession Dev Chat on Twitch on June 23rd. This is the interview that will, hopefully, resolve and give us some direction on how to move forward.

The fulcrum is the Bind on Pick-up crafting material: Blood of Sargeras.

Even though we are not playing Legion yet, they have promised “more”. Gotta laugh at that one! It isn’t just that single material, of course; we have to get the other crafting mats, recipes, recipe ranks and so on.

Imagination One:
Legion is easy! Anyone can take an Alt quickly into zones and farm up a ton of mats; the skinner can stack mobs with aoe and skin easily, herb and mining nodes are plentiful and on clear pathways with little mob resistance. Respawn rates make us giggle and we path up and down watching our XP and Artifact Power go up, up, up. The profession quests are speedy and rewarding, plentiful materials make it easy to create and then burn to ash our goods. Flasks and potions are mailed to our Mains.

Imagination Two:
Legion takes forever! The Artifact line, the slow rep grind in each zone and pathing mobs won’t let you breathe: each zone has only one Inn to change talents. Every mining node gives small but precious xp and you had to fight to get to the node. It is a savage land, yet again! You don’t dare bring an Alt over as it will distract from the need to level, get powerful; grind the zones one single trudging step at a time. It is so frustrating that you begin to cue for dungeons.

Imagination Three:
Legion is balanced! It is balanced for healers who are questing to level up their Artifact, get zone rep, gathering mats and it is challenging but freaking fun! Tanks, melee and ranged are confident and will see you questing and party up with you on a whim; you make new friends. You don’t get lost, each path is unique and you soon anticipate what is over the rise. You can feel the progress. Everything is meaningful.

The Profession Dev chat will answer some questions and it will be great. But, choosing to drop your second crafting profession for a gathering profession on your Main (do it right now, it will take forever to level gathering before Legion) needs information that we simply don’t have.

How long does it take to get to level 110?
How long does it take to finish each and all of the rep zones?
How long does it take to max professions?
How easy or hard are the leveling zones once you get gear on your 110?
Can the BoP mat drops support two crafting profession without feeling starved?
Will the crafted profession gear be worthwhile for an extended time?
Will the next patch blow up all of our efforts?
Will a 20 minute dungeon replace your 5 hour investment in crafted gear?
What is the intention with crafting professions? Are they designed for non-raiders?

With all of the leveling zones (not Suramar) being set to “scale” the experience is always the same. You can’t go back to the level 102 zone in 109 gear and trash the place. In other words, you never “arrive”. Those funny achievements called Ready for Raiding will mock our experience in Legion.

There are so many questions, unknowns and variables at this time that making an informed decision is impossible. Guessing and hoping feels terrible. Being wrong and changing your choices in mid-expansion is a nasty bitter time sink, moving backwards.

Finally:
When you visit an Art Gallery opening, you can visit with the Artist. The first question is often: what is your intention. The second question is: do you have something to say.
Looking at professions without knowing the intention is looking at mere blobs of color on a canvas. Not knowing the goal for End Game, the viewer could easily dismiss the work and move to the free drinks station.

Pre-Patch: Players are Busy!

“Your Majesty, I am like you. I do no work. I do nothing, but I am indispensable.”
Sergei Diaghilev


Pre-Patch: Players are Busy!

It has been a treat the past few days and weeks to see the surge of excitement (and trepidation) for the upcoming expansion.

Misdirections is posting on the experiences from the Beta and PTR and tackling the worries that we all have with professions. Following other players concerns and decisions will help me decide on my choices: which might be best dealt with soon.

Gnomecore is also on the Beta and PTR and posting on the frustrations and experiences of getting into scenarios and also reporting on the feel of three DPS classes. Thankfully, he is also writing on Transmog, which we are all very interested in.

Alternative Chat is a bit of a nut and very fun to read. We are reminded to prepare (today!) for titles and toys and, of course, a whole lot more.

Bodhi Rana, sensibly, has bailed. That’s all folks! I guess we’ll see him in Legion.

So, players are busy. The Devs are busy, now hosting a weekly chat on Twitch covering expectations, news and rationale for Legion decisions. It helps shape in our imagination the way that we’ll be playing soon.

We are all looking to the pre-expansion patch and planning while also putting pieces in place for when Legion drops. It’s fun.

I was watching a preview/overview of the Marksman Hunter on YouTube. The channel seems to be FinalBossTV. Since this guy is the only guy posting this type of material, I looked in since I hope to play Marksmanship in Legion. I also watched his Resto-Druid piece and in both cases I got “I don’t play this spec”.

Even though FinalBossTv doesn’t play the spec, we do get a video over-view of the Artifact, Talents and Spells. We also get his impressions, which are useless. And, since he’s the only guy doing this stuff: it is worth it to me to look in.

Which brings me to my burning question. Will the Class Guide sites like Icy Veins be posting class guides on the day the pre-expansion patch drops? Icy Veins has worked hard to dominate the click market for guides, I hope they are prepared!

I think that what I want to know immediately is: what is stat priority? Since everything changes at the pre-expansion patch and we carry our “geared” characters into Legion; having a solid understanding of Mastery and the stats is crucial. We need to understand our classes!

Like everyone, I’ll have a great time learning rotations and I’ll play with Talents a lot: it is fun. Still, I can do something about stat priority … if I know the information. If we don’t get at least a basic class guide out of Icy Veins or some other source; I think that they have failed. If I solve that problem on my own, then there is no reason to look to their site in the future having released myself from dependence on a third-party fan site.

What makes me worry is that there is been not even a hint that someone is working on it. Even Ask Mr Robot seems to be vamping with no hints.

C’mon guys, now is the time!

Legion: Expansion and Collapse

“Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.”
James Thurber


Legion: Expansion and Collapse

I don’t know how Legion will play out. I only have my impressions from following bloggers and the data-mining sites. Players are planning by prepping their Alts for the move to the Broken Isles. Players are researching on Battle Pets in Legion. Players with the Beta Key are exploring and reporting their findings.

Warlords of Draenor was such a wonky expansion. I now have 13 characters at level 100; many of them with maxed professions, some with doubled-up professions for making bags, for example. WoD rewarded us big time for leveling up Alts, we got rich beyond imagination.

Legion is not Alt Friendly. The synergy between the characters on your account is broken via BoP signature crafting mats and, really, a monstrous Artifact leveling grind that will take months. Investing time (it is really simply time) in your Artifact is mandatory if you want to explore group content: the cornerstone to a MMO.

Today, it feels like I’ll collapse my empire down to one character! At first pass, I think it will be my Resto-Druid with the hope of welcome arms in many group adventures.

There are Alt-ernatives, bringing up my entire army until level 110; chasing profession quests and then World Quests. But, I fear that a set of “daily” world quests even on one character will take two hours due to travel time on the ground.

I’ve always loved my hunter. I imagine that he’ll do the Exploration and Loremaster stuff eventually with the assumption of getting flying after a year in Legion. I’m sad for him.

In WotLK, I had my hunter and healer with “matching professions” meaning a gathering profession to compliment a crafting one. In Cata, ease of leveling Alts led me to bringing up Profession Alts, dedicated to serving my Mains. In MoP and WoD, I had a factory and was filling the guild’s raid tab with flasks and pots.

What about professions. My mind-set in the past was assembly line industry. I don’t know any more what to do.

WoD was like a ice cube tray, filling up all the squares at the same time; easily and encouraged. Legion, at this stage, feels very Loner Against the World. Mini-games like pet battles, crafting toys, making profit in the AH will all have to be pushed back to much later in the expansion when things ease down (if they ever do).

Legion is designed to support the Main. Can Blizzard give me enough stuff to satisfy me as a Loner? How long before they can’t sustain my interest and I look to my Alt? How long before I dread entering the same Dungeon again, no matter the reward? Can they balance us in group flexible content?

If the patches release like MoP, then I’ll be scrambling to keep up on my sole Main. Getting that rep trinket, for example. This is THE test for Blizzard, do or die.

The design is friendly to support a second (up to fourth) spec with catch-up mechanics on the Artifacts on your Main. Imagine starting at ZERO with a brand new Artifact! It will be like molasses puddles, all up hill.

Filling my ice cube tray with attention to Alts, I fear will take way too much time. I may end up with gear having no enchants or buying flasks; that makes me sick.

So much to learn, so much to imagine; come on Legion, come on pre-expansion patch: let’s get it on.

Starting Legion

“I never tell an audience what they can expect. I never have and I never will. I’m an entertainer for 75 years.”
Jerry Lewis


Starting Legion

Misdirections had an interesting recent post. It was a detailed layout of the concerns and choices when starting Legion. The factors of choosing a Main, Professions, Artifacts and more are all measured.

In conclusion, Misdirections sums it well:
“As I said above, this is not really a decision matrix I have faced before. But the twin factors of artifact weapons and what appear to be drawn-out profession leveling processes in Legion mean that it is now something to be dealt with.”

Using this Selections Begins article as my foundation, here are my decision elements as well. Go read the article, smart stuff.

I am also over-whelmed by the choices and lack of knowing how things will work out. I am fearful of the commitment to a single-spec Artifact which may put me months behind if I do not choose wisely.

My anticipation is as follows:

  • With the pruning of spells; the pre-expansion will show us a very slow play-style. Even with our tier sets, slow mana or focus regeneration will make it feel like we are crawling. One assumes that our Artifacts and future tier will make the game “more exciting” to play.
  • The zones in Legion scale to our level, not our gear. If Beta is offering 680 gear to new characters, then my 720 gear should give me an edge (and some forgiveness) when learning my play-style. I’d guess to level 102 or 103 before rewards begin to trump my set pieces, hopefully much later.
  • The Artifact quest takes about 45 minutes. I am lucky in that I have a dedicated Skinner and Miner Alt (a hunter, of course) and that zones will scale. I can stick that guy in some area and gather forever, slowly leveling the Artifact while gaining mats for my Profession Alts. In fact, I may not want to level quickly as my current gear will make me stronger as a lower level character.
  • Choosing between Beast Mastery and Marksmanship on my hunter will be painful and worrisome to the bitter end.

I am biting the bullet on my Resto-Druid. I’ve stood in the dark dreary shadow of the Disc Priest for two full expansions. The last kid called when playing volleyball, it has been horrible to watch those disc priests strut.

Whatever it takes; questing as Resto with Balance Affinity, chaining dungeon runs, anything that they throw at me; I will climb that mountain. Those bastards at Blizzard had better balance the healing classes!

There are even more considerations: what about my raid team? Do they have a raid composition that needs a certain class, spec or role? I know one of our tanks is going Demon Hunter.

As to Professions; I fear that my Alts will slowly drag behind. I’ll ask my Guild Master what things that the guild will need; should I push Alchemy first?

There are so many changes, so so so many changes, that we are being buried. Imagine losing raid buffs. Imagine Flask Cauldrons. Imagine few or limited speed buffs like Pack or Stampeding Roar, no speed boost enchant on our cloaks — it will feel so different and, I fear, slow.

Save those trinkets from Kazz! Some of them have Speed as a tertiary, unless that is being changed too and we simply don’t know. We simply do not know.

I understand on some level why Legion (to begin) will be a bitch; Blizzard needs new subscribers to stick around for more than a month — spreading out the leveling process and the Artifact process will give enough time for them to get “hooked” and into the habit of logging in. Why they don’t re-inforce the guild experience and the social aspects is beyond me; a staggering tripping bad step.

Wardrobe Transmog: The Mini-Game

“Champing his gilded oats, the Hippogriff will stand in our stalls, and over our heads will float the Blue Bird singing of beautiful and impossible things, of things that are lovely and that never happen, of things that are not and that should be.”
Oscar Wilde


Wardrobe Transmog: The Mini-Game

Misdirections posted on Mini Game Creep. I like it (go read it). It discusses the many side games “creeping” into WoW and the pitfalls of tying those games into our needs, like profession recipes.

The big mini-game coming down the pike is the Wardrobe function. With a tab next to our other mini-game collections (mounts, pets, toys, heirlooms), we get to choose how involved we want to be when playing the side game.

It is a matter of taste and decorum. And it is a matter of time-sinks, achievements, grinding, vanity and titles.

We know that we will earn whole sets. We know that there are titles like Fabulous. We know by delving into infuriating tweets that slip into a bygone daily post that can be easily missed.

We are anticipating, champing at the bit, for character transfers in Alpha (or Beta). This will unveil the mechanics of the Wardrobe function, the interface and a sense of volume that we current players will begin with in Legion (or 7.0, the pre-patch).

What we don’t know is there is a reward for sets; “glimmering plate” or “tier 8 warlock”. We don’t know how far the completionist expectations are designed into the game. We don’t know if we’ll make items (besides shirts) via our professions to soulbind or sell. We don’t know the relative value of farmed pieces.

I have started pushing my Salvage Yard for crates. The Devs tried to be coy with their answer but got pushed into telling us that gear will still be had in 7.0. So much for being cute.


WarcraftDevs
‏@WarcraftDevs
The Salvage Yard transmog gear will still be available in Legion.


For some, the Wardrobe mini-game will be a monstrous undertaking. I have a player in my guild with his own guild storage dedicated to transmog gear right now.

We are waiting (and waiting) for more information from Blizzard on the Wardrobe game. This is because we can get started now!