My “blizzplan”

There were a couple of blue posts over the weekend that, taken together, amount to more info coming out of Blizz than we have had in months. This is good because at least they are still talking at us, but also sad because, well, months go by when they just stop speaking to us, like when you have a fight with your significant other, and it ends up with them spitting out “Fine!” and stomping off and giving you the silent treatment for weeks. We the customers are left in the position of pleading with them day after day, “Aw, c’mon, what’s wrong? Let’s talk about it, can’t we at least discuss it? Please?”

The two blue posts were from Watcher and Muffinus. I am not going to talk much about the one from Watcher, which was a very reasonable explanation about the Blizz logic behind how they are going to implement the final legendary ring. I don’t agree with their idea, and consequently will not pursue the ring further on any character but my main (which incidentally I will probably never get to actually use directly in any raid because I am ranged DPS) but at least it was a detailed thoughtful explanation. Even if the bottom line was “We really don’t care what you think, we know best what you want in this game. Run along now, don’t you have some garrison chores to attend to?” Check it out here if you want to read it, and check out The Grumpy Elf for some commentary on it.

The post from Muffinus (same link as the one from Watcher) was from a short series of Twitter exchanges on the topic — once again — of flying in Draenor. Unlike Watcher’s thoughtful response, this one was what has become the typical snarky, obtuse Blizz non-answer. I quote, highlighting the tweets from Muffinus:

You know, last time i told a dev i like something, it was flying. Take a guess what happened short after.
Is your point: I’d like flying back in WoD? (Muffinus)
Yes, i really would.
We love feedback, don’t be afraid to give it! No one is ‘not listening’ to you. Sorry if that hasn’t been conveyed. (Muffinus)
Dont worry. I just would love to see a statement as like “Yes, we bring flying back in 6.2” or “No, we dont bring flying back”.
Specifically, would like to hear what you miss about it! How would you ideally implement it? (Muffinus)
I miss the ability to start and stop when i like. Flight pathes take you out of the game.
For me, flying often felt the same. Fly up -> point self in direction -> afk. Agree/disagree? (Muffinus)

Wow. Muffy — may I call you Muffy? — I mean this in the most concerned way, sorry if that is not what I am “conveying”:


Do you really expect people to believe that you don’t know all the reasons people miss flying? Have you read none of the forums you claim are so important to Blizz? Because there are probably at least ten thousand pages written in forums, blogs, and even tweets detailing every aspect of flying that people miss.

Oh, and yes of course Blizz must have no idea how to implement flying, so it’s a great idea to get one of the players to suggest implementation plans in 142 characters or less. Because then you can say, “Well, one of our devs asked for implementation feedback and didn’t get anything specific, so we’re just stumped about what people want.”

And, Muffy, maybe you should brush up a tad on your reading comprehension skills, because pretty much every fifth grader taking one of those standardized tests would figure out that the player who tweeted you DISAGREES with your last comment.

This feigned-surprise non-answer has become the standard, snide, Blizz response to legitimate questions. This person tweeting Muffinus was asking for something very reasonable — yes or no on any more flying, ever, in the game. It’s not a hard question, Blizz. Yes, no, or you are not sure. If yes, when and under what circumstances? If no, why not? If you are not sure, what are the factors that will determine the final decision — technical considerations, manpower constraints, what?

But no. Instead this poor player was treated to a round of “OMG!! You want flying back? Gosh, why? We listen to everything you tell us, but this is the first I’ve heard of this! How could we implement such a thing? Me, I think it would be boring, are you sure you don’t agree?”

I am thinking of opening an ice cream shop on the Blizz business model:

Me: Is this your first time in here? Let me explain how we operate. You enroll in our ice cream club and pay $15 a month for all the ice cream you want.

Customer: Wow, sounds great, sign me up!

(Two months pass.)
Me: Welcome back, haven’t seen you for awhile.

Customer: Yeah, heard you got some new flavors. I’ll try a couple, but what I really want is some of that great chocolate I used to get in here.

Me: Yeah, well, I don’t have any out just now, but try this great new spinach flavor. I know once you’ve immersed your taste buds in it that you will realize how much better it is than that awful chocolate.

Customer: Well, ok, just a taste. (Makes face.) Yuck! Nope, don’t like it, I’d like my chocolate back, please.

Me: Hey, have you noticed our new jukebox? We just knew it was the one thing that would bring you back into the shop.

Customer: Um, yeah, it’s nice. How about that chocolate? I really like the taste of chocolate.

Me: Here, have another scoop of the Spinach Delight while I tell you about our new ice cream token. You buy an extra month’s membership for $20, then when other people come in wanting to cancel their membership, they turn in all their used sporks and get to stay a month on your $20. In return, you get all their sporks!

Customer: Pass. Chocolate?

Me: Want to see some plans for our new addition we’ll be opening up soon? We will be featuring not only Spinach Delight but a couple new flavors I know you’ll be excited about — Broccoli Barrage and Rutabaga Roundup.

Customer: I’d like some chocolate ice cream, please.

Me: Wow! You’d prefer chocolate to all this? You know, I listen to all my customers, but I am not a mind reader, if you want something you have to tell me. Out of curiosity, why do you prefer chocolate? Could you maybe bring me a recipe for how to make it? I personally find it kind of tasteless, don’t you agree?

Customer: See ya.

Me: Hmmm, been getting that reaction a lot lately, can’t figure out why. I mean, I know how to run an ice cream store, my customers certainly don’t. (Shouts after departing customer.) Oh wait!!! Did I tell you about the ice cream movie we’re making?

Clearly the path to success.

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