It Only Hurts Because We Love You

Posted: 27 April, 2010 in Cataclysm, Druid, Rant

I came to World of Warcraft from Star Wars Galaxies, as a result of which I think that Blizzard are the most honest and open game developers in the history of everything.  Ever.  Okay, that probably requires some explanation.

Star Wars Galaxies used to be a fantastic game.  The only problem was that the developers are Sony Online Entertainment, and SOE are the nastiest gang of double-crossing, lying sons of bitches ever to be handed a development deal.  They would routinely sneak massive, game-changing nerfs into the game and then basically lie about them, and keep repeating the lies until the player base either quit or got tired of protesting.  As a result, the player base of SWG right now consists of three students from Hammersmith who are so stoned they think they’re actually playing Runequest.

The problem was, SWG was a pretty fundamentally broken game.  Once you’d reached your profession masteries (like hitting the level cap), received a standard buff package from any player Master Doctor and kitted yourself out in a standard set of high level armour (easily available from any number of player Master Armourcrafters) you were pretty much unkillable in just about any PvE content.  I would routinely go hunting nests of Rancor and spend an hour or so carving a bloody swathe of destruction across the surface of Dathomir to earn cash.  To put this into some kind of perspective, it’s the equivalent of a fresh level 80 soloing heroic dungeons one after the other.  Obviously, something was wrong, and a substantial portion of the playerbase insisted that stuff needed to change.

Here’s the thing, however.  SWG was not and never will be a PvE game.  There was no PvE content, there were no real “dungeons” to speak of.  SOE pretty much just designed a few iconic Star Wars worlds and left everything in the hands of the players.  Everything, and I really do mean everything, was made by the players.  Your armour, your vehicles, your weapons, your clothes, your furniture, your food, your home…  everything was player-created.  The only “dungeon loot” were components used by player crafters to make higher quality versions of the items that players used.  The only real “game” in SWG was either crafting or PvP.  That didn’t stop people from trying to play it like a PvE game, and it was these “PvE players” who were the ones complaining that it shouldn’t be so easy for people to solo PvE content, completely missing the point that there was almost no PvE content of any note in the game anyway.

SOE had been planning to rewrite the way combat worked from the ground up, and they siezed upon this as the excuse they needed to batter opposition to their planned “Combat Upgrade” into the ground.  The Combat Upgrade was released and suddenly people who’d been slaughtering nests of Rancor the day before found themselves fleeing in terror from irate Jawa.  Predictably, there was a shitstorm of biblical proportions, and SOE’s response was of course: “Players asked us to do this, we’re only giving you what you wanted.”  It wasn’t the fact that they’d changed the way the game worked at a fundamental level, it was that they simply didn’t have the balls to stand up and say why they were doing it, and instead hid behind a tissue of lies and half-truths.  I mean, just look at the title of the nerf: The Combat Upgrade?  Please!

What the CU did was to force people to group up in order to go out carving up nests of Rancor, and this of course ended up being even more profitable in terms of cash and xp than doing it solo.  Then one day on the Public Test Realm, players noticed that they were suddenly gaining xp at a much slower rate than before.  Comments went out on the forums asking for others to test to see if they were experiencing the same thing, and within two hours of the first forum post, a patch went live.  Suddenly, group xp gains on the live servers were half what they’d been the day before and SOE refused to comment.  For two days the forums were in an uproar without a single official response.  The community managers were at their wits end, they didn’t know what was going on, the devs weren’t telling them anything, and so they had nothing to relate to the furious players.  This went on for two days, before another patch went live reverting xp gains to previous levels.  SOE then finally made an announcement, claiming that a patch had gone out “by mistake” with a “bugged xp gain”.  In some weird alternate reality, perhaps there was someone who even believed this massive, contemptious lie.

The level of contempt in which SOE held their player base was simply mind-boggling.  This is why I laugh my ass right off whenever I see a “Waaaaah, Ghostcrawler promised me a pony!” comment on the forums or MMO Champion.  You guys really have no clue how good Blizzard actually are.

However, stuff like this makes me wonder.

Raising the cooldown on spells like Wild Growth and Circle of Healing are good things for healers. It’s one of the few* things that will buy you GCDs to actually cast other spells. With a 6 sec cooldown, you really only get to cast maybe 3-5 other spells before you need to hit that magic button again.

A nerf is a nerf, alright?  Grow some balls and call it what it is, we’d respect you more if you’d just man up and say what you mean instead of trying to dress it up as a buff.  Yes we know you want healing to be more than just spamming the AoE heal button (something which it hasn’t actually been since Black Temple by the way, do try to keep up Blizzard) we get it, alright?  No need to lie about it, we’re not idiots.  And while we’re on the subject, you can stop shit like this, right now:

Our feeling is that druids rarely actually get to show off their armor, so it would be nice to have at least one spec that looked like a night elf or tauren (and soon troll or worgen) for most of the time.

There druids, you see?  Blizzard are taking away our Tree form because that’s what we all asked for when we said we wanted our gear to make a difference to the way we look.  It was what we wanted all along!  Bless you, Blizzard.

Hey, can anyone hear a slapping noise?  I can hear a slapping noise.  Hey Ghostcrawler, what are you doing behind us with your pants around your ankles?

  1. Shintar says:

    Huh, what’s that about raising the CoH and WG cooldown? And why haven’t I heard anything about that before? Any more info on that beyond that GC quote?

  2. ReversionLFM says:

    You have nailed what bothered me most about the tree change. More than anything else I was pissed off that Bliz could so ignore the player base and then give us BS reasons.

    Thanks for the run down on SWG. I was playing EVE at the time and we saw a HUGE influx of people bailing on SWG and trying EVE out.

  3. zelmaru says:

    I came from SWG too, and yeah… I hear ya. I think they ignored players way more in SWG, but still… sometimes I want to scream “DO YOU HAVE A CLUE?”

  4. Kurnak says:

    Lately Blizz is announcing very lame changes for Cata. And they’re digging their own tomb. The raids flat-out, the tree form, nerfing skills and then providing lame excuses… Seems they have a lot of pressure to bring Cata out on time. And this is hurting the game more than they imagine.

  5. theanorak says:

    Urgh. What a lovely mental image. WTB brain-bleach.

  6. dwism says:

    I do not play a druid in any sort of endgame (i stopped because it bothered me that I looked like all the other druids no matter what the level), but as a DK we are getting *all* of our abilities slowed down, and not just one measly little magic trick.
    And I am applauding it.
    Do you really think that Blizzards goal here, is to make druid healers weaker than all the other healers? Do you think its a long term grudge the developers had ever since you got tree-form?
    “dammit GC, why do they get to look so fun, and be able to heal?? Nerf them I say!!”

    No. For DK’s and for trees I am happy with this change. You will never be allowed to be behind on the healing curve, just like we are never going to fall (further) behind on tanking and dps.
    So it means that you will… hold on here:
    More. options. less. spamming. more variety. more FUN playing.

    Oh noes the sky is indeed falling!
    -Yes indeed, I am taking all my pent up rage about people whining about nerfs, and taking it out on you calli!!

    • ReversionLFM says:

      You have perfectly illustrated what bothers us about the change but not ‘getting it’. If it had only been a nerf I would have been FINE with it. Instead it was some random changes with nonsense excuse reasoning that change certain intagible things about the class that many of us really like. All the reasons they gave had people saying “but I don’t CARE about that.” I don’t care about seeing my gear, I don’t care about casting damage as a tree, or any of the rest. What pissed us off was that they were pissing on our leg and INSISTING it was raining and that rain was going to make our class better and more fun and noooo it was not PVP rain.

      It was all obvious BS which made it insulting and it made us feel ignored. EVERYONE who has said ‘stop whining already’ has shown a lack of understanding of just what we are bothered about.

  7. Calli says:

    What nerfs exactly am I “whining” about? I’m taking offence at being lied to and manipulated. It’s pointless complaining about any nerfs at this stage, the expansion’s not yet even in alpha, everything can and will change. All of which is kinda why I didn’t “whine” about any game mechanic. On the other hand, being lied to and treated like an idiot, that I do object to. Of course if you feel players have no right to object to that, Star Wars Galaxies is still taking subscriptions, I checked.

    No, the only thing set in stone at this point is that the Devs have said they want rid of Tree form, and every reason they’ve given is 100% bollocks. “Tree form doesn’t do anything special!” Well apart from the 6% extra healing to the entire raid, no. “You can’t dps in Tree form!” Yeah and Bears can’t heal in Bear Form, your point is? I rolled a healer, why would I want to dps? You don’t hear Shadow Priests complaining they can’t heal in Shadow Form because they’re not… you know… healers. “But you can’t see your armour in Tree form!” True, so… fix it so that we can, perhaps? “We want to give druids a healing cooldown that makes them situationally imba as healers and we want to tie it to Tree form.” Ok, now at least you’re being honest, but this is going to upset a lot of players when you just don’t need to. If you want to give druids a healing cooldown you could just… give them a healing cooldown. Make the Tree sprout flowers and singing birdies if you like, you just don’t need to take the Tree itself away. I cannot understand why Blizzard are drawing the line in the sand and choosing to fight over this one. It’s nothing more than a skin at the end of the day, but it happens to be a skin that a lot of players are very attached to. They gain nothing and risk everything by taking it away.

    And what’s this “more options” shit? Did you notice that we’re the only spec in the game that’s not getting any new spells? It’s because the one thing we’re not lacking is options. And we’re perfectly fine with that. I’m curious how the only thing that we 100% know is changing – Tree form being removed – is somehow going to give us more options, less spamming, more variety and more fun playing.

    The sky is NOT falling, that’s the point. Druids are fine, we have plenty of great spells, some of which are even getting minor buffs. Our Masteries are interesting, we’re getting more raid utility for Ferals and Laser Chickens. Hell, put if like that and I can see exactly why Tree form needs removing.

  8. Calli says:

    Ugh.. I guess the TL,DR version is this:

    A nerf isn’t a nerf if everything’s being “nerfed” and the whole game is going to be rebalanced around these very “nerfs”. Which is why it’s pointless to a) complain about them, or more importantly b) try to lie about them to forestall people complaining.

    And don’t mess with my Tree form, damn it! :p

  9. Dwism says:

    I was picking up on the wild growth and CoH added cast-time, complain. Guess we are not reading that the same way.
    Tree form removed however, is weird. – and I agree with you on that one, totally.

    • Calli says:

      I see what you mean, but it wasn’t a complaint about adding a longer cooldown to Wild Growth. It was about adding a longer cooldown to Wild Growth and going out of their way to try to portray it as anything but a nerf. Grow some balls please Blizzard. Nerf if you must, but don’t let your community team be dictated to by the shits in marketing. If it’s a nerf, call it a nerf, it’s not an “exciting new opportunity to use a more varied spell selection.” It’s a nerf and that’s fine, you rarely nerf stuff that doesn’t need it*, but it is what it is.

      *Except for, you know, the entire Mage class throughout your entire first expansion, but I’m not bitter or anything.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s