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7.1.5 PTR Feedback: Warlocks, Class Communication, and Nighthold Testing
01/12/2016 em 09:35
Following the news that
Nighthold was open for testing on the PTR
, Watcher made a series of posts on PTR feedback threads explaining how the raid testing allows Blizzard to also get data on class mechanics. He then apologized for the lack of communication surrounding 7.1.5 class changes with the long holiday weekend, and sympathized with Warlocks, notably that something was lost when Embers were removed from Destruction, and mechanics like
, while fitting the fantasy of a spec, are cumbersome to play.
If you are interested in testing Nighthold on the PTR, check out our boss pages for more information on their abilities:
Watcher explain why we should test your dungeon you don't listen to feedback
Well, part of the point of opening Nighthold and leaving it open for a longer period of time is to let groups get in and give contextual feedback on class mechanics, as well as to gather data to help with tuning. If we were solely interested in polishing the encounters, we'd be doing short 1-hour tests that could be observed by the encounter design team in their entirety. But this approach lets a lot more people get in and try things out.
Basically no numerical tuning based on 7.1.5 changes has been done yet: in test builds and development, the primary initial focus tends to be on qualitative design changes, both to allow for time to iterate on them, and because there's a much smaller development window during which we can make large changes to text in tooltips (since everything needs to be translated for the game's different regions before a patch can be finalized). Numbers changes are best done when designs are closer to final (there's little point fine-tuning something that may get ripped out entirely next build), and can be done very late in the PTR cycle. Raid tests like this help tremendously with that process.
The past couple of weeks have been full of distractions, with a long holiday weekend in the middle, and we haven't done a great job of communicating regarding the 7.1.5 class and systems changes. We'll be working to correct some of that in the coming days, but I understand that there's more than a little frustration and distrust to overcome.
In the meantime, I'll rename this thread, and make a new one for Nighthold. Please try to keep that one clear for feedback and logs from the instance, so that everyone can have a more polished experience in the long run. Thanks.
Feedback: you're leaving the warlock community out in the cold. Please communicate with us. We are extremely desperate.
We agree with a number of the core concerns raised, but don't have immediate solutions (or those solutions will take more time to design, implement, and test than the 7.1.5 PTR cycle affords). A couple of examples off the top of my head:
Steady/predictable Ember generation suited the
well, and something important was lost in the course of unifying the class to use a single shared resource, but fixing that at this point isn't just as simple as rolling everything back to Embers.
are cumbersome to manage and while they have strong spec-specific theming, the actual gameplay of using them drags down their respective specs.
We're probably too reluctant to acknowledge problems for which we don't yet have a solution to present. But the fact that we haven't yet changed something doesn't mean that we think it's perfect as-is.
Edit: devolore on Twitter and Reddit followed this up with several posts on increased communication:
To maybe give a little more hope, we had several meetings and discussions yesterday about ways to improve our internal processes so that we can converse more freely and immediately on in-development changes. Some of those improvements have already been made, and I'm personally hoping the difference will be noticeable over the next few weeks.
I imagine the holidays are also playing havoc on the overall ability to respond, what with everyone going off on vacation/time-off.
As a guy who works in Dev, the amount of reasons for silence, from "We have no solution and don't want to bring it up without one" to "Policy to not talk about changes until finalized", is sometimes ludicrous.
We've typically shied toward the former more than we probably need to. Historically we've wanted to be able to say how we're fixing an issue before we say anything, but I think that "we're going to fix this, just haven't decided how yet" is still a good message to get across in the meantime.
Just a side suggestion: Why not follow the HotS, OW and SC model, and do small explanations with each change in the changelogs? Is it because there are just too many different specs in wow and too many changes for it to be viable?
That's part of it. We typically do add those explanations for major hotfixes or release notes. Agree that we need more of that for PTR changes.
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