What we have here, is failure to communicate.
We hear it time and time again with the little coffee talks from Ion, be it during a Twitch stream, Developer Blog, or even the Reddit thing they did awhile back. We get it, we understand you feel that you are not communicating well to us. Maybe you aren’t in some respects, maybe we are not asking the right questions, maybe we all are at fault.
While I know they are not listening to me personally, I do feel they are just not listening. I feel like they look at us like we are Mateo trying to explain what we are frustrated with.
Sorry, I had to watch that 3 or 4 times. LOL
Ok, here is what I am thinking. I believe that at some point in the past they gave up listening to us in the forums, certainly in social media. There was a noticeable point where the Community Managers (CM’s) vanished from the forums. Greg Street was very active, he understood how to talk to players. Sure he may not have given the answers players wanted, or was able to answer everyone, but he was there. There were many notable names that for a great deal of time were commonplace in the forums. And one day, the walls went up. The flow of interaction was just cut off, replaced by notes on Twitter profiles stating, these are my opinions, not my employer, if you want to talk WoW you need to direct your questions to the @WarcraftDev account. And to be honest, that was about the time that WoW Twitter started to become a different place. Gone was the atmosphere of just a bunch of gamers and nerds talking about video games and replaced by a something else.
I think, and again, just my opinion, that they have focused on the data, not what people are saying. They see a specific class being played significantly more in a Tanking role, or that high end raid groups are stacking a certain class healer, or DPS to beat encounters, and they will say something like, we hear you, your class is being underrepresented, we are working to balance things more. They are not on the forums reading 20 page civil discussions on the issues with the class, they are just looking at raw data that we will never see. If fights are blocking too many according to their internal reports, they tune the encounter so that more people can advance, if one class is performing too well and making things too easy, they tune them down, a class not doing enough or not being played, they boost damage or abilities. They are not talking to the players about why they are not playing. If 3 members of the development team were to call me on the phone to ask me why I am not raiding, surely my 350 gear is good enough to raid Heroic Uldir, my character sims over 10,000 DPS, what is the issue. How come I am not participating. How would I tell them that it just feels off, that the style of playing doesn’t feel right. I don’t have any logs showing how I play, all they would show is that I don’t play correctly, or am not doing things to the optimal. You cannot put data to a feeling that the class is clunky. I am sure a top player could destroy Mythic raids with my character as he is. I understand that they cannot factor in, you are not doing well because you are old, or too exhausted to play at top levels where the level of stress is too much to handle.
I get that they cannot design for everyone, that there are millions of players having fun and think this is the best expansion ever. It isn’t for me because it is a challenge 110% of the time. There is no longer a point where you become powerful enough to deal with things on your own without thought. You have to bring your A game just to get from one side of the map to the other. We all love having the whistle because it means we can get the heck out of there without having to fight our way through again. I get that they want content to stay relevant for as long as possible. But not everyone plays at the same level, not everyone wants to be challenged all the time, most will just hang out in town talking to people and complaining about the game. Me? I only log in a few nights a week just to go through the motions, send out missions, make bags, do a few World Quests for an Emissary reward to disenchant or scrap. Ion has made it clear that getting a reward finally should make you feel great about getting it. All the rewards I get make me scratch my head trying to evaluate whether or not it is worth equipping or to sell it. There is no joy in it. I personally would rather collect a currency like Valor to go to a vendor to buy a piece of gear I want, rather than farm content over and over for a chance to get something I don’t need.
That is about all I have to say. This blog is going dark for awhile. There is no point writing or talking about things, because in my mind it is only reaching the few wonderful people that poke their heads in to read what I have written. So thank you to those that are here. Have a great rest of 2018.