Google+
.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Back for Good


There you go.

At 6pm BST, Blizzard dropped the E-Bomb.

Needless to say, unless you didn't know, the company will be announcing the next Warcraft Expansion at Gamescon at 18.00 CET on August 6th, 2015.

Well, there you go.



Needless to say, that means a few things are going to be rescheduled, but it's nothing we can't handle.

If you want a Countdown to E-Day? You'll find one here.

Thanks for the Meme-O'RLY?


And so, it begins :D 

As it is now established this is proper Silly Season, I feel it is time we celebrated as such WITH A CONTEST. I hear that this is all the rage on those there talking-type Internets, and so we will firstly present you good people with a Carrot, and then tell you what you'll need to do to crunch down on it. And yes, it will be the juiciest of carrots indeed.


Yes OF COURSE I'm serious ^^

We don't know what it is, but it's coming Soon (TM) and the prize for being crowned overall Winner of this Contest is simple: I'll buy you a copy of the new Expansion. If you're reading this you're gonna need one anyway, right? So really, what's the worst that could happen? Right, so that's all sorted let's get on with the Rulez, shall we?




1. Pretty much anything goes, with the obvious exception of targeted abuse, sexism or anything that might be considered as deliberately offensive. Yes you can swear if you so desire but honestly? Real humour will win you this contest, not a cheap shot at someone for the sake of being a dick. Yes, I know offensive's a subjective term, but I think we can all agree that there are some things that are gonna get you rejected. So don't do those.

2. You may enter as many times as you like, because I know some of you are creative fonts with this sort of thing.

3. You will need to be on Twitter to participate (which makes shizzle easier for me to compile and keep track of, mostly) and each meme you want to enter MUST BE ACCOMPANIED by the hashtag #WarcraftMemeContest. Just to recap?

HE KNOWS, YOU KNOW

4. You need your entries to be viewable on Twitter by Friday, August 7th. After that I will pick what I consider the best five submissions and while I am on Holiday you, the readers of this Blog, will be asked to vote for a winner. That means the overall victor will be crowned on Friday, August 28th. You'll receive your prize as soon as it's possible for me to gift a copy of the game and if that isn't possible? I'll arrange some means by which a copy of the game gets delivered to you. Because I'm nice like that.

5. The Judges decision is Final. Feel free to add your Disclaimer of Choice here.

==

So, what actually makes a good Meme, I hear you ask?

Know your Meme Time ^^

For me, a good Meme is the subtlest of combinations: knowing your audience, grasping what the source Meme originally set out to achieve, and combining the two into a nugget of Pop Culture that encompasses the point being made. I'm a bit of a purist, so I like to see elements of an original idea being used creatively in a derivative. Just doing a Warcraft gag and sticking it on a picture? Gonna be a hard sell. I'm looking not simply for humour but an understanding of the Zeitgeist.

Mostly, just make me laugh like a drain and show me you get the idea, k?


Past Expansions are fair game. EVERYTHING AZEROTH is fair game.

So, what are you waiting for? If you want to know how to make a Meme? Type 'meme generator' into Google and you'll have a decent starting point. If you want to be clever? Spend your lunchtime browsing today on Know Your Meme to get some handy pointers.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

PS: In the event of Blizzard not actually releasing another Expansion, I'll find you summat else as a prize. But you know, actually? NOT GONNA HAPPEN :P

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Your Town

P.S.: There's a Coda to the last post... 

Warlords taught a lot of people how game development can pan out when you're doing everything in the public eye, especially when social media becomes a design tool. As a PS to today's post, lets put some actual numbers on the table, and explain why waiting for November could be too late if Blizzard want to meet their target for a tie-in release with the Movie. It's very simple: we only need three key dates in last Expansion's Development Cycle:


Expansion announced at Blizzcon November 2013
Alpha Testing began April 3rd
Game released November 13th


That means it was a whopping five months from the Warlords 'concept' before we even had an Expansion to play, one which many of us watched being built from the ground upwards (looking at you Garrisons.) Then I have to remind you of the myriad Blogs and Artcraft features we were shown in the lead up to that period that allowed the player base to react to the changed Blizzard intended plus gave the company vital understanding where they were going to need to amend the plans. That meant seven months to release, and many would argue the game wasn't actually ready to go at the end of that anyway.

Oh, and has anyone forgotten about the Launch issues with Warlords? Oh, you had? Well, I bet you any money you like Blizzard won't want anything of that ilk happening in the opening week of the movie. I'd say that means having your game stable and as bug free as possible at least a month before release. So, if they announced Beta in November? We'd go from zero to release date in six months.


Of course, it is possible, if all the artwork's already done and dusted, but we all know how long it currently takes Blizzard to get themselves to that stage. If Blizzard are serious about this Expansion debuting with the Movie?

We need to start announcing content RIGHT NOW.

The Other Side


Lots of classes, but not enough for Mythic ^^. 

There's a discussion I've had a lot in the last few days: some people are quite polite about it, others are just damn rude. Because for some, all these rumours that have sprung up of an Expansion announcement that won't happen at Blizzcon are totally ridiculous. That's not how the company works: Expansions are ALWAYS announced in California, to the 40,000 or so faithful and unwavering Blizzard Fanbase. Doing it elsewhere? Inconcievable!

WHUT HE SED.

Except there are some harsh home truths I think some of the most rabid Warcraft fans maybe don't want to hear, but need to be said. No, America is not the centre of the Universe for Blizzard there is finally the realisation that they've built a WORLDWIDE NETWORK of support staff, that localisation and marketing offices have been established across the Globe. Having the Heroes of the Storm Launch Event in London shocked many, but that's likely to dissolve into insignificance should we get an Expansion Announcement in Germany. The facts are stark: as every other Blizzard title is on the rise, there's been a dramatic and unmistakeable fall in Warcraft subs. Frankly it doesn't matter if that leaves you still as the #1 MMO Worldwide, without a steady and sustainable influx of new players the game will stagnate and eventually die. The Movie release next year gives the company an undeniable platform to relaunch the title back to being front and centre in a marketplace that is now filling with game Designers cashing in on movie tie-ins.

You might want to wait until November for an announcement, but Blizzard needs to have this game in everybody's mind as soon as conceivably possible. Waiting three months in this market? That's an awfully big platform to effectively dismiss. Announcing an Expansion at the biggest Gaming Expo of the year in Europe? It's not really as ridiculous as you seem to believe it is.

YOU ARE NOT THE TARGET AUDIENCE.

What I feel many people have failed to grasp in the quite obvious changes that are being wrought in Azeroth is that the people currently playing simply aren't the target audience to sell an Expansion to any more. Blizzcon will be all about the Movie, and getting you ready to spread the good word to all those people who used to play but went away. But again, you don't need convincing this game is worth playing. That's what Gamescon and an Expansion announcement would be for everyone else outside your bubble, away from your immersion in the game. The strangers, those who never played an MMO, families who see the film and then want to live in Azeroth themselves. EVERYONE IN THE WORLD WHO DOESN'T PLAY WARCRAFT RIGHT NOW is the potential audience Blizzard could reach if they do this right, and I have to believe that if the company are serious about doing the tie-in properly? This is why an event for devotees three and a bit months from now is not the right way forward.

Announcing now means more people will pick up the Virtual Ticket in November to watch for news, that players will come to the game RIGHT NOW in a fallow period to try it for themselves. Not waiting will give a chance to spread the word about what is coming ahead of time. Failing to capitalise on an opportunity this expansive, at least to me who sees a bigger picture than just the current Playerbase? It would be beyond foolish. There, I said it. The current playerbase will get it's money's worth in November, of that I am absolutely certain, as you'll be the ones able to play the beta as it goes live after three months of preparation we all know we're going to get after the last Expansion paved the way. This move gives Europe a moment in the sun after years of the US being the only place where significant Warcraft news is released. It's only brief, don't worry.

You'll get yours soon enough.

PS: In answer to the assertion that not only would Blizzard not announce summat at 3am US time but they'd choose not to do it during a 'closed' press briefing? There is an answer for that as well:

Where 7pm = Central European Time.

All things are possible. All we have to do now is wait.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Look Up




There's been a trend in parts of my social media circles of late to highlight just how big Azeroth has become after over a decade. This video that I picked up from Massively yesterday is a great way of pointing this out in under five minutes. There's an awful lot of backdrop in Warcraft, over many continents that covers a huge range of potential activities. Travelling is only one of them. Instances, Raids, Crafting, Achievements... the list of back story is massive and the scope of possibilities is considerable. How much you know? Well we touched on knowledge on Friday, and how what I might know about the game will vary wildly from somebody else.

No more was that obvious to me than yesterday.


OH NO :(

This was the moment yesterday when my mate Mara realised there are upgrade patterns for Professions on Vendors in your Garrison. I know this feeling, far too well, when somebody who clearly has known something since launch and considered it common knowledge tells you. Who obviously didn't. The more data you add to your database, the more stuff there is to retain and learn, and frankly? It's not getting any easier. Taking stuff away and streamlining the issues won't work either if you leave behind 10 years worth of legacy content virtually unchanged. That means you need to remember all that stuff too as well as all the new things on top.

I'll be honest, I've stopped trying.

What you recall over time will vary.

I'm a very visual person, and as a result facts get lost, but images don't. I remember a lot of things from the air, as it happens: whether via traditional flight points or my mount. The look of things sticks around far longer than how I made them work, and when remembering the past it is always done with a nod to a place or an item I was wearing (ironically some kind of gun or bow.) But remembering details is lost, because ultimately as this is a game keeping those details front and centre isn't nearly as important as remembering a birthday (still working on that, sorry Julia) or being on time for Sports Day. What matters on most days is just connecting with friends online or, in my case, simply being in game and doing something I enjoy. Only when things get quiet do you get a chance of reasoned reflection, and the pace of change now is making that hard.

But please note, that's just for me. My kids soak up information like brilliant little sponges and don't blink. I am older, and the speed at which I take things in will naturally be slower, and harder. When I grasp that those people who crave constant change are consuming the content at a vastly accelerated rate to me I think it is probably the right idea for designers to pick a faster pace as opposed to a slower one, simply because that's the yardstick these days. If Blizzard continue to work at a slower pace, millions more people will leave because they will perceive nothing here for them to do. Just because I've not done everything doesn't mean I'm the norm any more, I am very much the exception, and that fact becomes more and more apparent every day I play, because I'm not logging on at 9 am any more and doing 5-6 hours a day. I don't raid competitively. I am as casual as it is possible to get without falling off the planet altogether. Knowing my pace of change puts an awful lot of things into perspective as a result.

No patience, these youngsters. BE WORKING DAMMIT!

So, when you complain at the pace of change, be aware that what you consider fast and what another person defines that term as will vary vastly. That's not just true for new content either: those of you who feel there's a constant game of catch-up and hoops to jump through to keep up with the level of content often compete only with your individual notion of progress and not anything laid down in the auspices of 'Proper' gaming conventions. This has always been the way things have happened however, and that is unlikely to change as long as all Raiding is defined at its core by a set of numbers. If you learn something you didn't know? Chalk it down to experience and move on, and if you have a Blog? Write it down and tell everyone you know so that actually, that knowledge does get spread around.

Every day really is a School Day if you teach as well as learn.

Rollercoaster of Love




It was inevitable: as soon as someone major pointed out what's happening at Gamescon on the 5th, the floodgates would open. I woke up this morning to find my Twitter Inbox full of rumours and speculation, of a 52-page thread on Servers already being live... and realised this was it. Until that 'press briefing' as Wowhead are so politely calling it actually happens, nothing is sacred. Everything is on the table. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to a Possible Countdown to Disappointment.


For everybody else, it's just the last week in August, but for those desperate for a glimpse of news on their MMO of Choice? Silly Season is up and running (though I think I much prefer the phrase cucumber time because I can at least eat that and it serves some kind of actual use.) There's nothing to do, let alone play the game, but what this does guarantee is that if anything DOES emerge from Germany? It's gonna pretty much own the entire news cycle.


This is true indeed, but it's not a benchmark. As evidence to this, I would like to point out that the Eye of Azshara 'registration' that happened last November, and that was widely reported in news at the time, ended up as a big old fake. So really, nothing historical will work as a reliable marker in these situations any more. We all now a good bit of Photoshop tomfoolery when we see it now, and even registering an online patent isn't gonna cut it any more. Basically, this is all you need to know until August 5th: unless it's a Press Release from Irvine? Don't waste your time.




The merry-go-round of ideas and leaks will continue though, as it always does in Forums and on social media, because most of you people have nothing better to do with your time. For the rest of us, it is the moment we stop and reflect on what has gone before, and what may come as a result.

Even if there is no news, there's still an awful lot to talk about.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Unbelievable

It's the Bat signal. 

Occasionally, something happens in game that takes your breath away. Today, I had one of those moments, and I wanted to share it with everybody. Mostly because I think that if there were more things like this in game? A lot of the criticisms that people have levelled at the Expansion this time around would vanish. What this story hinges on is me not knowing where every Rare spawns in Tanaan, and not having looked at any guides anywhere. How I start this story?


I've managed to upgrade my legs to the maximum Stage Six level for crafted gear, and now it's time to do my belt. As I'm a tight git trying to be frugal I'm attempting to grind for all of them and that means skinning in Tanaan, which can be quite a trial when everyone else is doing the exact same thing. So, I'm getting fed up of just killing snakes and raptors in the Swamp. Everybody else is doing the same thing. Looking up? Oooooh, there are bats :O When I kill one? It drops this.

ZOMG :O

Suddenly, it's like Christmas :D I discovered something I didn't know, it wasn't spoilt for me by having it on a Website to mark off a checklist, and suddenly it is Open Bat Season. If I pull anything extra as I chase them around the Swamp? I don't care! I have a job to to, I need to get 10 of these things and cover myself in musk because HELL I'M A BLOODY DWARF HUNTER AND I LIVE FOR THIS SHIT! 

Not long afterwards, I am ready. I find a nice spot and clear mobs away because I am also a cautious Dwarf.

I cover myself in musk and I wait.

BLOODY HELL IT'S A BIG BAT YOU SUMMON.


This Dwarf is small, that Bat is CHUFFING HUGE.

As a point of order, you can only loot it once a day, but what marks this bat out from other Rares is that it is summonable with a decent reward for someone like me who crafts. I have 10 more Glands in my bag and I'll see if they still exist when I relog, because if I can pre-farm for them, so much the better. The mob didn't drop anything special, and I'm not that fussed if it does, what makes me more happy about this is that I discovered the secret for myself.

Sometimes, it isn't about having all the answers. Sometimes the real joy is truly from the unexpected.

Lonely Boy



I tweeted this yesterday, and by the responses the comment garnered in the hours that followed? I don't think this line of thinking is either isolated or unfair. What this single tweet does for me is focus on what is both right AND wrong too: it is deliberately not a condemnation of failing, simply an observation on what has happened since November. As we're accepting of the fact this Expansion at an end, there is inevitably a need to consider that has passed and where we will travel in the future. What this game does, and has since it was created, is cater for those people who are capable of organising themselves well.

However, these people are not the problem the game currently needs to solve.


The problem is in the subjunctive clause.

The static population of this game is well aware of how everything works, and can exploit all the aspects of game-play that is encompassed in that sphere, whether it be raiding, crafting, collecting or achieving. The reason why I've heard so much criticism from so many static players this time around is tied to our opening tweet: Blizzard have got raiding construction honed to a fine art. The mastery of the mathematics behind both that and Dungeons appears to be sound and can be manipulated both up and down now with a fair degree of success (see 5 Man Mythics, Timewalking Dungeons) and therefore, everybody's happy, because the balance of effort and reward is tuned correctly. Where that equation falls down is where complaint emerges: either too much effort for not enough reward, or the trivialisation of the entire equation for gains that do not clearly reflect the time spent.

Here is where we now place Plot, Lore and Immersion into our equation. Because if there is one word that I've heard used almost to death now when it comes to what Warlords has been missing since the majority of players hit L100 it is


Everybody seems to agree on this one point: it doesn't matter what physical diversions you are given, if the story that is supposed to hold them all together is not doing the job? It doesn't matter how good the product is, you're doomed. This isn't about people who can organise themselves, this is all wrapped around the time when people don't want to be organised at all. This is for the times when the game won't ask you to write a spreadsheet so you can complete an Achievement. You shouldn't need to camp for 90 hours to snag a mount. Ironically too, many of these lessons have not been learnt from the last decade either, because I sense that someone in Blizzard genuinely believes the sole reason anybody plays this game is to raid in the end, and the game should encourage people to do this above all else. Because it is in team play that eSports lies, and it is in the fostering of a 'team' mentality that long-term allegiance to the Flag of Blizzard will be fostered.

Except somewhere between 2004 and here? Gaming changed.




Of course, eSports matter now, and Blizzard are clearly pinning a very great deal on that particular avenue for not simply long-term game development, but revenue too. However, when a game like Hearthstone can be such a massive success, it is abundantly apparent that the single-player enterprise is big business. For many, Warcraft has become that game, and I sense that Blizzard simply has not grasped the change of attitude in their flagship title. This is where solo and group play combine, and there is the distinct feeling, at least from this chair, that Blizzard cannot adequately reconcile the two play styles any more. That's why we've seen the employment of Game Designers who clearly grasp how the changes in gameplay have been wrought in the last decade. That's what has happened in the last nine months: Blizzard fixed the group content but can't understand why some people refuse to take part. Now they understand that their audience comes in two distinct chunks? They are planning accordingly.

That means NEXT TIME? Everybody gets what they want.


Parenting, as I have learned to my cost in the last 14 years, is not an exact science. There is no hard and fast rule book. What works for one child may not even matter with another. Blizzard are parents of a child that has grown and is now standing at the start of a decade where change is inevitable and acceptable: there are two distinct issues to address, and one of them has already been sorted. This child understands discipline and order, is happy with routine and effort. But all work and no play makes Azeroth a dull continent and that is where the effort must now be directed. Blizzard, to give them credit, are aware we have no hobbies and we stopped reading stories. The question now becomes whether as good parents they'll meet us halfway and suggest we have some key parent/child time, or whether they'll just keep pushing the discipline until we rebel and leave.

It might be an odd metaphor to grasp, but trust me when I say I can see a whole distinctly divided. Having existed in both halves of the equation over the years, experiencing both the hardcore and the casual, you can exist on both without issue, but you'd be better off with both.

Because if you only live half a life, you may as well not live a life at all.

For the TL;DR Crowd? YOU'RE WELCOME:

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Fight the Power




You already know I'm Neutral in Azeroth, for all manner of reasons. I'm beginning to get the sense that I am not alone in this mindset, and that an increasing number of people are getting hacked off with it always being about the Other Guys. The Pedants, of course, will tell you it wouldn't be this game unless War was involved, and there's going to be an entire movie next year to (I suspect) quite forcibly reiterate the point. But war is great from a distance: it's a way to maintain a grip of fear on your populace. It's useful for keeping people busy. In fact, war generally is a fantastic means of ensuring nobody notices everything that's wrong around them because they're too busy worrying about their lives being destroyed by a rampaging horde of undesirables.

War as Entertainment though? Your mileage may vary.

BRING IN THE CROWESTER

Here, in essence, is the problem with Draenor: we all got together to sort Garrosh out in Pandaria, and then we all piled into the past and suddenly, there's bother again. Because certain leaders understand and foster the value of permanently having an aggressor to counter, for all of the reasons stated above, now we're having faction aggression pushed back onto the agenda. Except, as my good dear friend Mara stats above, when you're still basically attacking a common foe? What's the point? If you're gonna win regardless of who strikes the final blow, then you may as well sit back and let the other guy do the work, as the end result will be largely the same. Here is where the incentive to fight breaks down, but it also highlights one of the most worrying issues that this Expansion has illuminated, especially for players like me. Your modus operandi has to be absolutely watertight whenever you tell a story. To incentivise a reader to finish a book, a moviegoer to stay to the end or even make it to the Theatre at all and not wait for the DVD/streaming release? You need a reason.

The thing keeping many people tied to this game is getting flying back. Is that right?

Hands up who wants Flying now?

Here is where all the hard work from 90-100 breaks down, and where the 'great story' in Tanaan that's going to make all this make sense is pretty much a complete sham. There is no momentum. Attacking Naval Blockades is neither exciting or compelling storytelling when you never actually do it, is becomes simply implied. The rewards become all that people fixate on, and if there's a chance their boats will perish, they simply won't commit. On the flipside, there are those who will continually build and rebuild ships to gain exactly the right combination of crews and vessels and that too isn't engrossing, that's not being lost in the importance of the process, it's min/maxxing. Blizzard, you taught millions of raiders that this is the best way to play and now they do it with everything and it's just not the point. You took flying away and now you're giving it back that's all many people are obsessing about.

What the game provided to players makes them play like this.


Calm and balance, people. TAKE A BREATH.

A longtime reader and impeccable human being linked me this blog post on the notion that MMO's have become too easy. Although I'd happily agree it is the journey that matters more than the mechanics, for many MMO's are as complicated as the players themselves make them. If you want to destroy every boat to get a boat you don't think the Game can sink, then who am I to stop you? It's no different from a high-end Guild selling a Mythic Boost or a canny crafter selling a 1-700 Levelling kit for that tricky Profession. Everybody has an angle, everyone's on the take, and when there's a war on the Spiv is the master of all he surveys. You enjoy things in a completely subjective manner, that much we have comprehensively established, so whatever Blizzard give us, there is always going to be at least some measure of dissent.

Except, depending who you ask, that wasn't always the case.

Blizzard are still trying to learn the lessons of how to use Nostalgia to their advantage, and with Timewalking I think it is fair to say they'll be learning some interesting lessons. For instance, I'm betting Wrath dungeons will be more popular than TBC ones, for instance (I suspect because it's not more Orcs) but when a CM posted a picture of Karazhan on his feed this week? Many got all a-flutter about the possibility of a Timewalking Raid there. This is the problem with trying to second guess developer motivation from a point outside of Irvine where they have all the numbers on who does what, and when. Blizzard know what's popular. They know I won't be in a Battleground this weekend, 500 Conquest reward carrot or not. Some things are, in that regard, reassuringly predictable. Battle Pet Weekend however and I'm SO THERE.

The Horde and Alliance went to sea in beautiful *BOOOOM*

What patch 6.2 has done for many is simply reinforce the unhappiness they felt pre-patch, and it's not really a surprise, when new diversions fail to provide a strong enough hook to maintain their interest. We're all treading water, marking time, before the next flashpoint erupts and troops are inevitably deployed:

This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don't know what you're talking about. War is a terrible thing! (read this)

War is hell. However, it is what this game is all about, when all is said and done. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Learn to Love Again




Those of you paying attention will know I'm a Bond Fangirl. When the new trailer for SPECTRE above was slated for an 8am release on Wednesday morning, I was torn: if I watched it early I could guarantee that no work would get done for most of the morning, and that was not good. I made a promise to myself the night before: no watching until I'd done something productive for the day. The trailer hit on the 22nd and I resisted. Links flew through Twitter and I retweeted, but didn't succumb. Being the last day of Summer Term for both kids, I was good enough to run them to school by car, and as I turned on the radio after dropping off the youngest? I got spoiled.

BBC Radio 5 Live spoilt me.

This is a problem in the Modern World. The speed at which information is transmitted and the rate at which we choose to interact with it is vastly different for each individual. It isn't just speed either, it is availability that matters: knowing the data is out there to absorb, understanding that what we're given is often only a smaller part of a far bigger picture. Places where you can pick up data are ten a penny, but what many of us crave is a precise dissection of the information we have, often so we don't have to do the work for ourselves. Me? I'd suggest Den of Geek's breakdown of what you see above, with a side order of Digital Spy's Easter Egg Guide (they missed loads but that's not the point.) The issue here? Everybody has their own choices for disseminating information online.

Blizzard have their work cut out for them when they want people to learn anything new, and not simply because how they transmit that information can be accomplished in a vast number of ways.

Start with the obvious

This week I discovered that I'm missing a ton of stuff by not having my Legendary Ring Quest up to date: I had NO IDEA that the Shipyard held a Legendary element. Yup, that's me: finger on the pulse of gaming changes, always up to date with what's going down... except even I now miss stuff. In a game this vast, with so much going down on any given day? Being That Person who Knows Everything would change what I am, in ways that make me uncomfortable just thinking about them. It would require me to spend pretty much all my life taking in the Game and what it does and honestly? You wouldn't like me if I became that. The ability to not be 100% knowledgeable at everything is no bad place to exist. But what it does mean is that what you don't know can often come back to haunt you. Lore is a good example of that, especially in the current climate. On the flipside, I'm betting Blizzard hope that not everyone is 100% au fait with everything because it makes the business of change considerably easier.

Except, of course, when it comes down to stuff that matters to the majority of the playerbase.

It's all in the Details.

A lot of the sting of That Flying Argument could have been removed had Blizzard considered how their PR was being handled. Much of the objection to the announcement that we're in a Two Patch Expansion [*] might have been lessened by an Official Press Release. Sometimes it isn't all about the amount of dissection or instruction that a company provides, but more about when that actually happens. Timing is everything, as I'm sure 007 would attest to. You have to know when to pick your moments. When you're on a Global stage, you also need to be grasp where you make your announcements is almost as important as when. I know that there will be many for whom the thought of an announcement at Gamescon is something they simply cannot comfortably accept, because that kind of thing always happens at Blizzcon. It did, before the company lost three million subscribers in a quarter, and before a Worldwide movie release was slated.

Times change, despite what the memes might have you believe.

memechose.jpg

In the next few weeks, there is the potential to be spoilt by an awful lot of stuff, to become overloaded with data from numerous sources... or simply not to care. Whatever you choose to do, please be mindful of other people in your dissection of information. Understand that not everyone's seen or heard what you have.

Most importantly of all, remember some of us have lives away from Warcraft.

==

[*] 6.2.1 Coming soon from Gamescon. PLEASE NO.