World of Warcraft > Rants

If I suddenly have no more account, this is why...

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Shadowwolf:
http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=27401640205&postId=272900922643&sid=1#0

In case it gets deleted or something, Ill post what I wrote here:

QuoteFirst, I want to start by saying that I am fully aware you are and have gotten a ton of posts complaining about this 4.0 patch. At the same time, there are a few who are great at sucking up and tout how "wonderful" it is. I know that it is likely what I have to say will never go anywhere nor be seen by anyone in upper management at Activison Blizzard, but at this point I don't care, getting this off my mind will make me feel a little better having at least said my peace in the slim chance maybe someone who does care will see it and it will have an impact.

To start, this release of patch 4.0 has been a disaster by any measure. To call this a success is foolish and wishful thinking. What I mean by a disaster has nothing to do with the attempted improvements and changes to the game. So if you believe this is just another QQ post about how the game isn't the way I like it anymore, it isn't. I for one love a lot of the changes and am welcoming the ones not yet here that Cataclysm promises to bring. My gauge on failure is the smoothness of the deployment and the follow-up fixes of any potential bugs or errors it created. About the only smooth part of this patch was the rollout where the servers were only down for an extended few hours and in times past we've seen the servers down for days. The problem here is now that we sit more than a week after its deployment to live, there are still umpteen holes and bugs within the game which border on making it unplayable at times.

I've seen posts basically calling this live deployment a beta test, and quite honestly, with the amount of bugs and problems its created, sadly I would have to agree. I saw rebuttals to those posts by players from Blue's stating things like "this is the largest patch we have ever released to date, there are bound to be problems." and "this patch introduced a lot of new game changes for Cataclysm which just take some getting used to", neither of which are adequate excuses for this. If this were any other type of software company that attempted to roll out something of this magnitude with this many problems to paying clients, they'd be out of business in no time or at the very least be shelling out countless refunds and comps to paying clients to try and salvage the mess. Unfortunately, over the years the attitude that seems to have been taken up by Activision is "good enough". Its "good enough" for deployment, we'll work out the bugs later, its "good enough" for release, we'll patch it later, etc etc. Sooner or later you as a company will have to start answering for these "good enough" decisions when your player base starts to migrate to another game down the road. I think the main problem is that attitude has developed because you've sat on top of the MMO market for so long that top end management doesn't even consider the possibility that you could be unseated from that and so the general attitude toward the consumers is "too bad". Its almost as if management is taking for granted the fact that people subscribe to this game and put in a lot of hours in the game where they would never just up and walk away from it no matter how bad things get in quality. I think if that is in fact the attitude, some folks should wake up soon because in the video game market, you are only as good as your last title release, and while Starcraft 2 has done a lot to boost income and Cataclysm looming around the corner with hopes that will as well, I can tell you from someone who has played this game for 4 years now, you are steadily losing people from the game. It may not be apparent right now, but I am watching a lot of long time players depart WoW for other games and if Cataclysm isnt up to snuff to hold them back to WoW, you will likely lose them for good. If the Cataclysm release is anything like this 4.0 patch, I can say with the utmost certainty its going to happen.

Aside from the simple quality of releases, the quality of fixing seems to have taken a shot for the worse as well. Here we sit more than a week after this patch of huge changes and bugs went live and we passed a maintenance day with absolutely no follow-up patch. As a Guild Master of a pretty large guild, I saw countless people ask the same question come Tuesday evening and in these days following of "No patch to fix all these problems still?". Thats a good question, why? Why a week after with all these issues is there no light at the end of the tunnel? I see a few hot fixes on the server end here and there to tidy up some things, but the tooltip client crash bug for example has been present for over a week and we have to rely on 3rd party addon developers for solutions to overcome it before Blizzard. What kind of message does that send to your customers where it takes less time for a 3rd party to develop a workaround than the people who design the game. The problem here is you KNEW it was a large patch and something you havent done before and that means that somewhere someone had to have known it would be riddled with bugs and problems, yet because its right before Blizzcon, it almost seems like no one there gives a damn about these countless problems until the convention is over. Why stop there? Lets go so far as to say forget fixing any of this till Cata is released. I mean this is insanity to be over a week into 4.0 and still be crashing the game to tooltips on a holiday event and elsewhere, be unable to purchase items like spices from the cooking vendor, etc and it seeming like no one there cares right now because Blizzcon is more important. Whats even more upsetting is the "List of known 4.0.1 problems" posted on the forums is nowhere near as long as it should be. I have to ask why that is because honestly if its an attempt to downplay the problems publicly, people play this game, they know what the issues are, so keeping the list short isnt going to make it appear any less of a problematic patch.

To sum up, I have played this game for over 4 years, creeping on 5 as I have mentioned above. I have watched what this game was when it started to now and I have also watched the development and QA cycle of this game fall into a steady decline. I know you cant be aware of all problems before they appear, I am a developer myself, but you should have counted on there being a lot because of the sheer size of this patch and all the changes it incorporated in it; having a large team of troubleshooters and programmers at the ready to combat and remedy these problems as quickly as possible in preparation. Instead we sit here trying to enjoy a game we pay for that only half works. I have a feeling that some of these issues we are experiencing now are probably fixed and awaiting 4.0.3 deployment which also marks the start of the Cataclysmic events for the expansion, but again, thats poor marketing and development decisions if that is in fact whats going on. People play this game NOW, we dont want to wait 2 weeks to play it like we should be able to now because of a timeline or a production date in your offices. As far as I am concerned, as a company which provides an online software system you have no excuse for this type of customer treatment. If it were anyone else attempting to do this, they would be out of business in a hurry. Because this game comes with ties to friends and involves a lot of time and effort in characters where most people wont want to just walk away on a whim, you are taking advantage of that and it will come around and bite you in the end eventually.

Unfortunately this thread will either be buried like most negative PR is on these forums, or be cluttered with immature nonsense from other posters. Im sure ill see posts from your most staunch supporters attacking me and defending you, and other posts praising my stand and adding unproductive things like "Blizz sucks" and whatnot. If anything is taken from this post, let it be that the development and QA cycle of this game needs to be improved. In addition, your outward company appearance toward your customers also needs improvement, because both of those things are still important, more so than a production deadline on someone's spreadsheet somewhere. Without your customers, you have no company. Maybe it would be nice to start showing them some respect for a change instead of acting like Apple does where you dictate how things will be and just expect them to roll with it.

Thank you for your time.
--- End quote ---

Shadowwolf:
/sigh, it saddens me to see how many idiots exist in the world. Truly it does...didnt take long for them to start replying.

dharq:
You made some really good points, but the problem is, it's too far above reading level for many of them.

You should have said something like:

Quote from: Blizzard staffBugs bad. 4.0 bad. Release when ready instead, k? Cookies!
They would've been able to follow everything you said then. :D

Cottonbaler:
It truly is sad how they totally missed your point.

Many of the comments were inane. While I would love to have the time to roam boards tossing my $.02, I think I would have something better to do than toss out the useless drivel most of them put up there. 

jalenos:
It always makes me cringe when people reason with absolutes, ie. you signed a term of service agreement so stfu.

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