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Content delivery in WoW


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#21 Sunder

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 04:37 PM

I think the main problem of content delivery is you can never satisfy the hardcore gamers. It is simply impossible (short of cockblocks/player competition) to design and release content faster than the hardcore can consume it. The more casual crowd took a few months before they were complaining about DM being boring. The hardcores were ready for something after BWL in a few weeks.

I attribute most of this to a lack of gear progression. We had that progression from 5-mans -> MC and from MC -> BWL. Since then, we have not needed any kind of gear progression to succeed in AQ, and with the gear dropping in AQ, we won't need anything better than BWL gear to be successfull in Naxx.

Where Blizzard really screwed things up was trying to balance PvE gear progression with PvP gear. In hindsight it was a terrible design decision. It handcuffed them in the end-game progression area and really restricted what they could release as raid content rewards. If Blizzard really wanted to keep PvP and PvE realatively equal in gear power, they should not have used the PvP rank system. They should have gone with a straight Points system (i.e. LDoN) and then just introduced new, higher point required loot when they released the next raid zone. As it is, they have painted themselves into a corner that they really cannot get out of.

#22 Praetorian

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 04:44 PM

Balancing PvE and PvP is probably possible, but insanely hard and perhaps not worth it. It might not be the most elegant solution, but I wonder why you couldn't come out with special item modifiers that only affect PvP. Have BG and PvP Honor Rank weapons have a % increase to damage done to other players, and PvP armor have % reduction to damage received from other players. Now you could have some sort of parity between raiders and PvPers on the battlefield, while still allowing for robust PvE progression, and not letting a High Warlord or Grand Marshall jump right into the high-end raiding game without any other PvE buildup.

The problem is that there really is no way to please the people who want to do high-end PvE so that they can dominate in PvP, without angering those who have no interest or ability to raid.

#23 Shlomi

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 04:45 PM

I get the impression that a good old-fashioned management consulting firm would have a field day with Blizzard's production infrastructure. I'd love to peek behind the curtain and see for myself, but based on a lot of the results and communication observed, it really seems like half the time the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing.

Agreed. Some of the stuff they break is bizarre, and really makes me wonder whether they have adequate QA (sounds like they don't) and automated testing (you mean I can *test* this combat code by seeding the RNG the same each time and checking for expected outcomes?!?).

Given the number of servers they've got you'd think their code/build/test/deploy cycle would be highly automated and bullet proof, but in reality it's probably something that kinda worked day 1 and has been hacked and patched ever since.

Look at the datacentre thing - I heard they originally signed some deal with a hosting/networking provider and couldn't get out of it, and only now are they migrating to a new datacentre. I often jokingly blame my crappy ping times on the fact that I'm in Canada, but the traceroute shows clearly that their AT&T network is borked bigtime.

#24 Dricen

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 05:05 PM

From a recently new player's perspective, the game does have variety, and if the current content the game has now would've been available at release i'd say WoW's content options are amazing, but it isn't, game has been out for a year and some months and it has the same amount of content i'd say EQ2 had at release, and EQ2 has since release a lot more, which is imo their way of trying to complete with blizzard.

As for the PvE > PvP balance issues, there are ways to do it , blizzard just didn't seem to focus so much on it. As gurgthock said, you can adjust combat mechanics to work differently in PvP, one example of this is EQ2, their newly introduced pvp system has every single PvE ability (even stuff like taunt and -threat abilities) work in PvP in a different way.

In EQ2 for example, when you taunt someone in pvp, you force them to target you for a brief second, rogue's -threat abilities make you lose target for a brief second also, and DPS abilities which are focused for PvE and would do insane amount of dmg in PvP are scaled down to create balance. And i wouldn't be surprised if in the long future Blizzard would copy some of these concepts from EQ2. Of course then there's actual , the honor system problem, PvP gear vs PvE problem , BGs, and overall i'd say PvP in WoW as a whole needs a lot of rework.

#25 Wodin

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 05:19 PM

There's actually a really interesting side effect of the PvP system on new pvp servers. By the time people start raiding, your average guild has most people in the blue pvp armor, with at least one epic weapon, and possibly better. So they skip directly over the strat/scholo gearing phase except for a few key people and the progress is greatly accelerated. I remember specifically this happening with ZG and the Maelstrom server, where the guild that got the firsts in ZG was kitted out with R9+ gear.

#26 Digo

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 05:29 PM

Totally off topic and maybe not deserving of its own thread...

Gurgthock, how many hours to you bill while posting on these boards? About now I'm wishing I bothered with the LSAT.

#27 Praetorian

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 05:43 PM

Not enough. :( I probably spend 20-25% of any given hour at my desk on some forum or another (not billed, obviously). Pretty much everything can be done from home these days, so I fit in extra hours on weekends. And I don't sleep.

#28 subscience

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 05:50 PM

And I don't sleep.

Truly the key to raiding success. :laugh:

#29 Lailla

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 05:52 PM

Not enough. :( I probably spend 20-25% of any given hour at my desk on some forum or another (not billed, obviously). Pretty much everything can be done from home these days, so I fit in extra hours on weekends. And I don't sleep.

Where can Relwin and I fit in meeting up with you to eat lunch or drink? :(

edit: ...now that I have learned how to take the Metro without getting lost, assaulted, or kidnapped

#30 Lurchington

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 06:18 PM

No love for the Alexandria crowd? :-(

Old Town actually is semi-nice this time of year.

#31 Lailla

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 06:26 PM

No love for the Alexandria crowd? :-(

Old Town actually is semi-nice this time of year.


Hey, I am all for a DC area goon meet. Relwin lives four hours away til August and I am lonely when he isn't around. I have a few friends I graduated with that work for the Patent office in Alexandria, they've mentioned how nice Old Town is, though I've never seen it.

edit: I live in Germantown, MD, so I'm somewhat out of touch with you Viriginians and your cities.

#32 Digo

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 06:46 PM

I probably spend 20-25% of any given hour at my desk on some forum or another (not billed, obviously)


What kind of self-respecting lawyer are you?

#33 Praetorian

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 06:54 PM

Overbilling probably happens to some extent, but it's really more a thing of the past and/or Grisham novels. Most large corporate clients have billing auditors that will go over law firm bills with a fine-tooth comb and dispute absolutely anything that looks suspect. Attorney A billed 20 minutes for a phone call to Attorney B discussing the case, but Attorney B forgot to bill it? Must never have happened! A says the call lasted 40 minutes but B only billed 25 mintues for it? 25 minutes it is! And so forth. After law firms started getting large chunks of their bills disputed by clients, they in turn started being much more meticulous about billing internally. Having to account for all my time is the most annoying fucking thing about this job, though. Makes me yearn to work in the public sector again, where all that mattered was that I did the work that needed to get done, and did it well.

This thread is officially dead, of course. Sorry Greybone. :P

#34 Wodin

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 06:58 PM

Yeah, billing time is probably one of the most frustrating things about any job. Thank god mine is in 15minute granularity chunks rather than 5 now. Though with how uncooperative Datalog is being today it doesn't really matter. :ghostfire: :V:

#35 Lurchington

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 08:02 PM

I work for the DoD as an engineer, and it's essentially get in your usual start time +/- 10 minutes, and then just work your assigned hours. I work on the AWS (alternate work schedule) system, so I work 9 hours Monday through Thursday, then a normal 8 hour day on one of the Fridays, with the other one being off.

Every day I'm in though I have to take the mandatory 45 minute lunch. So on normal days I'm here from 7:30 to 5:15, yuck!

The net result, is that if you don't finish it by the end of the day, you just push it on til tomorrow.

#36 uruloki

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 08:26 PM

LD, you're one of those gloating (lucky?) civs that tell me I can't get anything from you since it is your RDO tomorrow, aren't you?

:pop:




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