Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Blue Post: GC's 4T8 Follow Up

If you remember, last Thursday, Ghostcrawler sparked a firestorm of QQ by saying the increased proc rate for 4T8 was to compensate for the "bug". You can find my original comments here.

Well, GC took a little bit of time out of his holiday weekend to respond to a few more of our comments and give us a little more detail. If you want to see all of the comments I suggest you use a Blue Tracker like MMO-Champion. Here are the highlights.

The Technical Issue:
I know exactly how Nightfall works and how the new set bonus works. They work differently. The reason they work differently is that Nightfall is a talent so it is okay, in our minds, to muck up the spell with a lot of special cases since those cases will largely exist forever. Messing with Starfire to make the tier set work better is unattractive because then the spell is laden with this special-case stuff that will only be relevant for a few months in 2009. Yet we will have to live with the risk of that code breaking or falling out of date forever (or at least as long as WoW endures, which I suspect will be longer than 2009). :).

I make mistakes sometimes, and WoW is a very complex game, but assertions that the players understand the mechanics better than the developers are almost always going to be incorrect. (source)
There are a couple of things I take from this quote. First is GC's explanation of the technical issue. It is easy for us as players to think: "You can do it for Nightfall. Why not 4T8." It seems like such a simple fix, but I think their reasoning for not doing it that way makes sense. There is no reason to make the code more complicated for a set bonus that is only going to be used for a couple of months. We also have to remember that even though most people will only be using 4T8 for a couple of months, the code has to stay there forever, because the item will be in game forever.

Secondly, I completely agree that it is dumb for players to assert that they know more about the game technically then GC or any other Blizzard employee. If coding WoW was so easy then there would be dozens of MMO's just like it and just as successful.

That doesn't invalidate our opinions or mean we should shut up. While Blizzard has a lot of very smart people on staff, it is impossible for them to see everything from all angles, but +11 million players are very good at finding the loop holes. We just have to remember to express our opinions appropriately, with numbers and examples. If we habitually fly off the handle they will eventually ignore us.

GC's Take Away:
Ghostcrawler made two comments about the lessons of this thread. Here is the first.
My take home from this thread is not to respond next time. My trying to share some information did nothing to improve the conversation. We could have fixed the bonus and players would have eventually noticed. When we spend time to moderate a thread, that is less time we have to work on the game. (source)

I hope this is just the frustration talking. I think his second comment is the true lesson of the thread.
I constantly learn on these forums that quick answers are seldom sufficient.
Here is the true wisdom. As Murmur's pointed out in his apology, much of the emotional response would have been prevented if a few more details were given up front. It sucks for GC, because we players hang on his every word. Having to worry about every little comment you make is probably very stressful. However, I think I speak for most players when I say that the increased interaction with the developers since TBC is one of the best developments in WotLK.

The Status of 4T8:
We have a fix for the current set bonus to make it work the way you imagine it should at a 7 or 8% proc chance. It's our policy not to announce patch dates ahead of time, but it will be long before 3.2. (source)

This is good to hear. I wouldn't expect this to be fixed really soon, but I think it is possible that it could be fixed in the next couple of weeks. My guess is that it will be at least two weeks.

I'll also be running some numbers on what the reduced proc rate would mean. I have some numbers for it at 15%, but obviously those aren't valid any more. However, at 15% the 4T8 was about a 6% increase to DPS, so my guess is that at 7% it will be about a 3% DPS increase. That isn't bad.

The Name Drop:
Blogs like Graylo's had a lot more influence than this thead (even if I did piss him off). :)

/Happy /Dance

Is it sad that I can be won over by a simple name drop? Just kidding. Once again it makes me feel good to know what I am being read by influential people and that they listen to well reasoned arguments.


Anonymous said...

Nice post man, thx for all the info. Recently i start reading this moonkin blog and its nice indeed. Gz for they mention your name :)

Anonymous said...

Graylo's Vestments of the Moonfall imo!

Anonymous said...

A decrease of the proc to 7% still wouldn't make it as good as other offset cloth pieces though, would it? The 4pc T7 bonus was a bigger dps increase.

Phil said...

As a noob, and I am sure there are a lot of people like me, I wish I just had the 4T8 set to get any bonus. I think I have only one true T7 piece so be grateful for what you got and be sure that you know how to use your toon to the best of its ability. Most of the time, I beat out other Moonkin’s with better gear just because I know how to use my druid better than they do. [Some times topping the DPS chart isn’t the best, if you can IS a group of NPCs and up the DPS of the others in the group through your de-buffs for example: the DPS meter willn’t show how much your thorns and de-buffs add to the other people’s DPS under your name…]

~Gargen of Vek’nilash (A noob who isn’t afraid to be wrong or learn)

Jormundgard said...

Gratz on the shout-out, mate :). They ought to hire you as a consultant (anonymously of course) so that you get compensated for all the work that you do.

As for the tier bonus: WoW is a better place because of GC posts, and I understand (even if I don't agree with) his argument that it's not worth creating special cases for tier gear, but by starting the argument with "Blizzard has the best coders in the world, so you're wrong", a typical GC tactic, he set the stage for this conflict.

I guess we should sympathize with him and remember that he isn't a paid PR person. But I also think that puts the burden on him to be more careful about what he says, or for Blizzard to hire someone to monitor him, rather than him blaming the players endlessly for taking his ambiguous statements out of context.

Ivan Moreira said...

Seens its going down to 8%:

* Druid Tier 8 Balance Set: The 4-piece bonus no longer has its effect consumed by Starfire casts in progress when it triggers. The chance for the effect to be triggered has been reduced down to 8%, as it was originally inflated to compensate.


Lissanna said...

fix is going live in the next mini-patch. I'd rather have them decrease the proc rate & have the proc actually work...

Anonymous said...

Getting a fix would be great, and I don't think the reduced proc will be bad. It will still reward good players who can keep IS up on multiple targets, and that's a good thing. For reference, on last nights Yogg, i got 62 procs over 14 min. I suspect 15-20 were lost do to how it works now.

Raysa said...

only 15-20?!?!?! solar rotation, he?
with my lunar rotation and nearly perfect use and uptime of IS, i think its at least 80%, that the proc is eaten by a casted SF.

Kayeri said...

Grey, blogs like yours probably beat the forums hands down, simply because while you DO express your emotion (he pissed you off), you back it up with solid reasons WHY you feel that way and how it will effect your game play.

Thats why GC reads here and why he's smart to do so. :) Get used to it, you're good. :)

Dorgol said...

What's funny about all this comparing-to-Nightfall...

In vanilla WoW Nightfall had the same bug. Nightfall would proc, and the buff would disappear as soon as you finished casting your current Shadowbolt. :)

Anonymous said...

Raysa: It was yogg-saron with 3 keepers. It's not a stand and nuke fight. Lots of movement, lots of targets. You are going to use wrath a lot more than most other fights, and you'll get to utilize a full eclipse less than normal.

I wouldn't dream of using 4p T8 for any other fight.