“Small follow-up patch”

Okay, I have been patient. But it has been eight weeks since Ion Hazzikostas made his begrudging reversal on flying in Draenor. In a DevWatercooler piece on June 10, he promised flying in “a small follow-up patch (6.2.x)”.

Come on, Blizz, we all get that you did not want to do this, and that you are still having your little scream/cry/throw yourself to the ground and kick your heels and hold your breath until you turn blue tantrum over it, but sheesh. Over 8 weeks to implement a “small” (your word, not mine) patch? Especially when you proclaimed over and over again that Draenor was designed for flight? What did you do, hire one part-time intern to make it happen? If this is your dev pace, then we are probably looking at a new expansion sometime around 2018.

Except it’s not your usual pace if it is something important to the company. I guarantee, if this patch were implementing a new, oh, say, TOKEN, it would have been out so fast it would make everyone’s head spin. But flying? Well, um, you know, complicated computer things and stuff…..

In addition to dragging their heels because they are pouting, I suspect Blizz is also trying its usual thing of cramming everything into something that was supposed to be small and direct-purpose. (Think: garrisons.) So as long as they are doing a “small patch” for flying, why not overload it with everything else every department wants to fix? In fact, just today they announced they are adding the new PvP mercenary mode to the PTR for 6.2.1. Surely that will take more than a week to “test.” And by then they can easily think of something else to add, plus of course another couple of weeks to test whatever the new thing is. And so on.

Again as usual, Blizz “fixed” their huge problem over flying by promising us something just to shut us up. They bought themselves time, and they are going to push that break to the limit. I am certain they believe that the Thursday Gamescon announcement will buy themselves even more time to delay flying. They have such disdain for their customers that they think — sadly with justification — that dangling little play-pretties in front of us will distract us enough that we will stop annoying them.

I will be listening very closely Thursday to see how they parse their words about flying in the new expansion. Because I suspect their intention is to only make it available at the tail end of the expansion, just like this one. Not only does that prolong the period before people unsub, but it saves them a ton of development time, the idea being that they can push the xpac out the door in largely 2-dimensional play format, and work on fleshing out the 3-D aspects over the course of the xpac.

And, as I mentioned a few days ago, we are back to what amounts to no meaningful Blizz communication with the player base. So we have no word on when we might hope to see the “small” but ever-growing patch. Because of course the crack Blizz communications department is hard at work on last-minute tweaks to Michael Morhaime’s rosy comments for later today at the Q2 earnings meeting. Not to mention they are overloaded hyping the hype for Thursday’s announcement. Who could expect them to be bothered with such little niceties as giving their customers an update on a promise made two months ago?

This is a big news week for Blizz. I hope they are making a profit, I want them to stay in business, so I want their earnings report to be good. I also hope the Thursday announcement is over-the-top boffo, I want it to be fun and exciting. But I also want them to stop treating their customers with disdain, to stop taking us for granted.

Blizz, you promised me flying two months ago, dammit! If you are not going to give it to me, the least you can do is give me a decent reason why, beyond “It’s complicated.” And a good faith estimate of when it will be available.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

5 Responses to “Small follow-up patch”

  1. Casually Odd says:

    Okay, so I admit, I kind of like it when you get the fire-in-the-belly posts going 🙂

    I’ve been so focused on getting my achievement done and with my completely irrational need to get it done before the patch comes I was “happy” that it hadn’t happen yet. But yeah, if I can get your achievement done before you have it out, you are probably taking too long.

    Your sentiment about Blizzard and trust seems pretty common, and that’s sad. It seems that any good will they’ve built up has been pretty well burned up. And when that’s the case, the developers will feel under attack, possibly justifiably, and that will make their work more miserable. Which can further erode the relationship between players and developers and drag down the game.

    That’s a bit “the sky is falling” but perhaps accurate nonetheless. For their sake and ours, I hope they really work on improving the player-company relationship.

    • Fiannor says:

      Yeah, I put a big effort into finishing my Pathfinder and had it done after 2 weeks of 6.2. I hurried because Blizz had said they expected the T2 reps to take people about 3 weeks, so silly me thought that meant we would have the “small patch” within a month.

      I do not understand why Blizz absolutely refuses to explain these kinds of things to the players. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being transparent about glitches like this. Secrecy does nothing but cause distrust and resentment.

  2. Grumsta says:

    When I saw the “weeks, not months” line for flying I figured 6-8 weeks, so I didn’t rush through Pathfinder.

    We’re now into months plural so once again reasonable expectations have been set and then missed.

    Either as you say they’re bundling a lot of other stuff in, or the PTR has thrown up issues that are taking even longer to address than they’d thought. Maybe a bit both. If we still don’t have flying by the end of August I’ll be both seriously worried and annoyed.

    • Fiannor says:

      The really mind-boggling thing about it is, Blizz deliberately led us to believe we would have flying by now if not sooner, and they certainly know how important it is to the players. So how can they be either so incompetent or so disdainful and arrogant as to remain silent about why we do not yet have it?

      No wonder their subscriptions are sinking faster than my naval mission ships.