[World of Warcraft] The latest patch notes via WoW’s Test Realm have Priests, Druids, and Paladins crying foul, although as of last night some of the nastier changes for Priests at least had been undone. That said, there’s any number of other places on the web you can debate the pros and cons of the patch, so I’ll skip that and instead focus on a different issue I used to bring up with developers I interacted with: communication of said nerfs.
It’s all about tone. Remember Office Space and the TPS reports bit? There you go.
Ages ago in EQ, back when we used tin cans and string to communicate with the servers, nearly every change made to the game would be documented in the patch notes, including an often somewhat normally written comment about why. This would of course be greeted with applause by the community, and they would send the devs chocolates and ponies.
Of course not.
The player base as a whole would deconstruct every word of every sentence, and complain about it. One of my favorite complaints as a long time player, or victim as it seemed at times, of the Test Server was how people who never even so much as rolled a newbie on Test would say that we didn’t test X change, and/or the change was too extreme. It got to the point that it became easier to simply document the bigger, and often less inflammatory, changes made. This became a long-standing tradition with the patch notes – the lack of “why”.
WoW’s recent alterations, some of which seem somewhat odd, on the Test Realm have been presented without explanation or excuse. There’s no given reason for the changes, thus igniting the “Play your own game!” type of posts that these always incur. Changes this big, including many of the item ones, which are at least annoying, deserve an explanation. You’re never going to please everyone, so don’t try. However, you want to at least try for a majority. I really felt for the poor community relations’ people who had the bad luck to log in on Sunday to try and quell the flames. All they ended up doing is fanning the flames more.
One other small note: there is no such thing as “2.0.10”. The version after 2.0.9 is 2.1.0. I regulate software releases for a living. Trust me on this.