Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blizzard sucks at planning.

I heard in an interview somewhere that I can't recall at this moment, that Cataclysm is planned to have only three raiding tiers at 85. This is one tier shorter than Wrath, which itself was one major patch shorter than BC. "One expansion ever 12-14 months" is the long-stated intention and... I'm sure they're still working on that one.

This is the Blizzard perfectionist, "when it's ready" philosophy at work. The timing is secondary. An odd thing about this philosophy is that it goes both ways. ToC is the perfect example. It was a really short, simple raid and of course it was ready in no time.

Look at the timeline of Wrath and tell me the game would have been any worse from ToC being released two months later. Two more months of Ulduar being the top tier raid might sound boring for those who had already completed Firefighter at the time, but compare that to the last two months of nerfed Icecrown. Or two months of ToC's "twenty" bosses.

From a simple planning decision, we could have had two more months of what I consider to be the best raid Blizzard has ever made, and two less months of "God, I am so sick of this place. When is the next patch coming?" -- but they didn't, because ToC was ready.

It's not really apparent unless you've been watching the expansion progress over the months just how fucking much work they set themselves up to do for Cata. I have to assume the devs themselves didn't really understand what they were getting themselves in for when they pitched it.

I don't have an issue with being patient. I see it as the ground work. They're basically rebuilding the game as a solid foundation to iterate upon through future patches and expansions. Maybe we might actually reach that 12-14 month goal.

Maybe Blizzard will even start planning ahead. Maybe, y'know, they'll plan a schedule and give themselves enough time to have content ready ahead of it. I don't think any lack-of-resources argument really stands up to the hundred million dollars we're paying them every month, only lack of planning.

So I'm still patiently optimistic for the future, assuming its going to be ready soon.

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