| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (45)

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 3:35PM EuchridEucrow said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
Should have photoshopped Kotik's head in the panda's mouth.

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 3:37PM (Unverified) said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
I wish ghostcrawler would crawl off a cliff into the unemployment line. Their mantra of completely revamping all the talents for every expansion is a huge turn off and has completely robbed most classes of some of the best talents in the game.

STOP. MAKING. MORE. CHANGES. It is okay right now in Cataclysm, stop changing things just to change them. Why they feel anyone is yearning for a complete talent re-write is beyond me. How about focusing those dev efforts on building things like LFR, designing new and unique encounters, or giving us more social features like a better calendar, a native chat app that doesn't suck, or raid UI features that actually matter.

I freaking hate this guy and I know I'm not alone. It seems he needs to do these horrible revisions just so he has a job or something.

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 3:48PM Felnor said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified) - How about modeling new and exciting Boss models instead of rehashing all of it?

I'll be honest I'm glad Blizzard did this as it will only drive more people away from the game.
Reply

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 4:19PM Kalex716 said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)

Your comment about substantiating the job is not as far off of the mark as many would think.

Lots of times, designers are hired in on projects for particular features/balance, and are on it for longer than they should be.

It would be silly for a designer to ever say "my job is now done", so they often go around and around the design gauntlet forever iterating and balancing and tweaking unneccesarily until someone pulls things out from under them and points them in a new direction.
Reply

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 4:32PM (Unverified) said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@Felnor Yeah I entered LFR last week and was like, sheesh, these models AGAIN? I know a high quality model can take a week to make, another week to skin, and possibly another week animating but seriously - why is everything a clone in this game? And go ahead and nix the animation work since they practically rig every model using the same skeletons they've had for years.

I know the majority of their artists are working on the next expansion, but think about ICC which contained practically a unique model for each encounter. Their current work just smacked of laziness to the nth degree.
Reply

Posted: Dec 9th 2011 5:11AM Snichy said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
@Felnor. Yeah the only thing that will bring me back to WoW is if they improve the WHOLE visual element of the game - that means improving the graphics to bring them into this century. If Trion can do it, why not Blizzard?
Reply

Posted: Dec 17th 2011 11:07PM scorpianne said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified) Devs basically keep making changes in the name of 'balance' with an eye on introducing new disparities and breaking things that will call for future 'rebalancing'. Wow just takes it to a whole new level with completely throwing out talents, trees, and skill systems with each new expansion so the devs have a reason to stay employed and come up with fixes and patches for another year or two before they announce a new system with the future expansion.

Of course by also trying to make one system where pvp and pve use the same skill system and trying to keep both happy, they give themselves endless job security.
Reply

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 3:42PM edgecrusherO0 said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
Marine Biology, the best preparation for working in the gaming industry.

I have no idea how he still has a job -_-

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 3:53PM rhorle said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
@edgecrusherO0

Greg Street also worked for Ensemble Studios designing maps for Age of Empires. Since he had no background he likely got into the industry due to creating a scenario for the Age of Empires he submitted with his application that appeared in the Rise of Rome version of the game. Working his way up to Lead designer.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Street

I do however prefer "Deathshrimp" to ghostcrawler. It would have made for a much better hunter pet ingame.

Reply

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 7:38PM Mikx said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
@edgecrusherO0

He made not just every class in the game viable, He's pretty much made every spec viable. He's doing a good job. And I love the Cata talent trees, the only problem with them is everyone in the class is choosing from the same skills. 1-2 of the tiers should change depending on your spec.

The new talents make resulting abilities a much more immediate and lasting (in a way) choice in the game. With a standard tree, you chose your skills and you can pretty much stop thinking about them. That hopefully won't be the case here.
Reply

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 7:59PM (Unverified) said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@edgecrusherO0

He's going to be known as the lead systems designer for the largest subscription loss in MMO history. Maybe that's what he's shooting for because it sure looks like that's what he's trying to do.
Reply

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 8:59PM Vanir said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Mikx

You are correct.

With the Current Talent Trees and with Previous Talent Trees going all the way back to Vanilla WoW -- You can see my pet Zergling if you question how long I've played this game -- There might as well have been no choices.

@Faction 3

If you played Vanilla wow, you would have known that not a single Druid ever spec'd into Feral or Balance for raiding.

Shamans never spec'd into Elemental

Priests rarely spec'd into shadow

There were simply a ton of talent tree's that went completely unused because they were just... Not viable.

Then came Cata with a Talent revamp. It made some of those unused specs viable. Then Wrath, with better, then Cata, with better... But... Altho these talent trees made the other specs viable, they caused 1 issue.

No spec was original. If you were Unholy, you had "THIS" particular talent build. If you were shadow you had "THIS" particular shadow build. That's true today. There are "Acceptable" talent builds in wow and there are "Unacceptable" talent builds in wow.

With the new system coming in Mists of Pandaria, the talent system allows for players to be viable no matter what their talent choices. Their talent choices feed off of the players play style. Instead of this, I'm getting this because it's easier for me or I understand it better.

The Talent system coming in Mists of Pandaria is by far the most logical system I've seen come from Blizzard. No more "wasted" talent points because you needed "this" skill. Now all talents are viable and it does not affect the potency of your class, simply the playstyle.

- End
Reply

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 9:20PM Mikx said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Faction 3

Right... He did a lot of revamps, and I will get down on my knees and kiss ghostcrawler's claw for revamping the shaman, paladins, druids and frost mages into something raid viable. That is something that the raid heavy original design team didn't even attempt to do.

Trash him if you want, but this is one of the best things to ever happen in the game. For years WoW was called the most polished MMOs around, but a great number of the specs were absolute jokes, and they were *intended* to be jokes.

The mop talents take a lot of theorycrafting out of the game, which I enjoyed and I'll miss. Part of that complexity contributes to the long term adventure/epicness that a persistent world can offer, but the mop talents also add more moment to moment fun, and that can be good in its own right.

As for classes getting F'd up, cata pretty much destroyed what I loved about my beloved arcane mage.
Reply

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 9:48PM Rialle said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@Vanir

BS about Cataclysm making everything viable. Most specs were viable by mid-BC. Ghostcrawler spent tons of time in WOTLK tweaking things that weren't broken and introducing absurd gear inflation with every raid. He also oversaw nearly every aspect of the game being dumbed down in the name of accessibility. His idea of "balancing" for Cataclysm was to take the the easy route and just eliminate choice. And MoP is even worse in that regard.

I'll grant that Classic's only true flaw was that certain specs were not viable for high end play (feral druids were not one of them, my raid had a feral.) However, I would go back to WoW in a heartbeart if Blizzard released vanilla servers. So long as I don't have to play Ghostcrawler's watered down vision of WoW.
Reply

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 11:07PM Mikx said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Rialle Late BC Moonkin were okay, they were still weak and shunned but they were better than they ever were up to that point. But you still wouldn't want more than one of them. One moonkin aura goes a long way.

"Yeah, we need 8 more players to fill out our weekly raid group, but we already have a balance druid, so we can't accept either of you." That just doesn't work for most guilds who need good, dedicated players and it infuriates anyone who dared play the class/spec.

That's just awful design, period, and WoW was infected with it.

"However, I would go back to WoW in a heartbeart if Blizzard released vanilla servers."

I wouldn't go for a vanilla server, too many problems and zones that went useless and unfinished (northern kalimdor) but I would do BC.

If you want someone to blame for the MoP talents, I'd look directly towards newer and upcoming MMOs that offer on the fly customization. If vanilla WoW released in today's market it wouldn't do nearly as well, and many that loved it in 2004 would dismiss it today.
Reply

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 11:35PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Mikx
Blizzard only did so by homogenizing the classes, they didn't make them better. They also shuffled everyone into cookie cutter specs. Honestly, the changes for MoP were unneccessary, unless of course perhaps they are trying to go for the preteen market with pandas and pokemon like so many suggest so want to give as little choice and variation to the talent trees (or at this point, talent twigs).
Reply

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 4:22PM Kalex716 said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)

Your comment about substantiating the job is not as far off of the mark as many would think.

Lots of times, designers are hired in on projects for particular features/balance, and are on it for longer than they should be.

It would be silly for a designer to ever say "my job is now done", so they often go around and around the design gauntlet forever iterating and balancing and tweaking unneccesarily until someone pulls things out from under them and points them in a new direction.

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 4:37PM sandals said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
Marine biologist --check
Makes underwater expansion - check
Does not like pvp - check
Pandas -check.


Maybe the investor meeting for Activision/Blizzard should have Ghostcrawler sitting front and center.

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 4:46PM Daeths said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
God, again? I thing the talent trees need a roll back, not a revamp. They were great in WotLK and now when ever i think about going back i go to the talent calculator on their website and see how lame it is now and just think, no way in hell.

Posted: Dec 8th 2011 4:47PM hereafter said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
I'm not sure I agree with his assessment of what constitutes a "meaningful" choice. A choice to add a second point into a talent that increases the duration and shortens the cooldown of a CC ability can feel quite meaningful, especially if the same point could instead be spend on increasing the damage of a DPS stance. If you create synergies between the early talents by making them useful to several builds, you add even more choice for any given point. I'm thinking of TOR's trees in this case, which despite probably being imperfect, are better than WoW's current implementation precisely because they hearken back to its earlier talent system.

It's true that a single talent upgrade can seem inconsequential, but when paired with other benefits and compared to other available upgrades, the choice can be both meaningful and satisfying. I hope for their sake that they don't fall into a trap of over-simplification for the sake of making every choice big/"meaningful."

Featured Stories

The Soapbox: In praise of SWTOR's 12X experience

Posted on Nov 21st 2014 12:00PM

The Think Tank: Assessing Draenor's launch

Posted on Nov 20th 2014 9:00PM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW