Lately I've been getting more and more worried/concerned/confused at how blizzard functions internally these days. I am convinced the development team is suffering from a lack of communication on several levels.
The new priest talent on the test realm is what epitomizes this (though it just happens to be a recent example). The first version of it was just so weird and so broken that I simply don't believe that there was ever a conversation held regarding the talent. It just strikes me as something some random individual came up with late at night without telling anyone. And I know this is a stupid whiny thing to say, but judging by how it looked, that person has no business designing priest talents. So why were they? Talents are a big fucking deal to a lot of people who play this game, especially pvpers, so why was this one just added seemingly without any serious consideration? Yeah, it's the test realm, but 99% of the things that get on the PTR eventaully end up getting published to live.
But it "slipped through the cracks", and obviously there had to be a few people to code it, make an icon for it, get it published to test, etc. None of them stopped and wondered if that talent even functioned? If there hadn't been such a collective "wtf?" from the players would they even have given the talent second thought?
I hope that I'm wrong, but some of the developers seem to know less about the game than most people on these boards. The blizzcon videos I have watched are mostly uninspiring. MANY of the devs do not seem very passionate about the game in general. Obviously some are great, Jeff Kaplan is awesome and exceptionally talented, but I think he is devoting all his attention to WotLK these days. Also Slouken is notably awesome and communicative as well but only deals with UI stuff.
Then there is the whole issue of communication with the players which is just... nonexistent? Tigole used to post on here (I think) and FoH (and furor as well), posting things that were obviously a little more intricate than what would usually be posted for the regular wow community to take in, but A LOT of people complained, so he decided to stop. Then there are the community managers on the forums who are, for the most part, totally uninformed and out of sync with the devs (or just playing dumb). They are also often very wrong about very important things. Is it supposed to be okay that we get all our information from leaked patch notes form Europe rather than the devs themselves?.
I disagree with how a lot of things function in this game. Everyone does. My main problem is that I simply don't know the devs' feelings about them, at all. Do they think it's balanced? Do they realize it may be unbalanced? Do they know people care? Do they give any thought to it at all? Is it even a priority to be looked at? Who knows- certainly not the players.
I just re-read everything I wrote and I sound a little bit angsty-mouth-breather-upset. I'm really not trying to be that way. I honestly love this game and I'd love to see it just get better. Mostly, I would be overjoyed if the devs would actually TALK about their philosophies on why certain things are balanced in certain ways in this game. I especially wish Tigole, an excellent writer, had a blog. I wish the devs would just communicate more.
but A LOT of people complained, so he decided to stop.
Evidence? People said this the last time Tigole posted here too. Then he posted again. He just doesn't do it very often... kind of like his approach to the official forums. Not every developer can be or should be a forum troll.
Considering that Blizzard is business, and in fact part of an even larger corporate machine (Vivendi) - the lack or dwindling of passion is a very real possibility.
WoW is a behemoth and you cannot expect to have passionate people at all development levels and at all times(this is most apparent from the quality of Customer Support we have experienced).
The funny thing with passionate people is that their passion whithers away after sometime. Because passion is merely a state of mind that every person is capable of maintaining; and not an individual human attribute as some confuse it to be.
However the solution is simple: Blizzard should recruit Evangelists. Learn a thing or two from Apple...
None of them stopped and wondered if that talent even functioned? If there hadn't been such a collective "wtf?" from the players would they even have given the talent second thought?
The people who made the talent did not know of the resilience. My kneejerk reaction is that this speaks of a lack of communication between different teams, or a lack of documentation of game mechanics.
Large development teams on large development projects always suffer from a lack of communication. World of Warcraft is a grand example of a large development project. There's more than enough information to go around, developers has to "specialize" in their branch of the development.
As for external communication regarding development, it's just not going to happen. Zero chance. Now can we stop bringing it up? It's simply not feasible for Blizzard to explain AND defend their development cycles to the general public. Nor is it any business of the players how Blizzard runs their shit. If you want to know how they plan projects, how they run their development teams, how passionate their developers are, how much time they spend on the john; get hired by them. Until then you're just another customer paying $10.
And you get what you pay for, it's that simple.
But it "slipped through the cracks", and obviously there had to be a few people to code it, make an icon for it, get it published to test, etc.
One person could probably script it, grab a premade spell effect and icon from their internal library and push it to their source manager and voilĂ*; it's on PTR.
I agree that it should at least have gone through a person responsible for various classes, but it is PTR after all.