You know, sometimes I don’t understand you people at all. Activision Blizzard announce Patch 7.1 in good time, with a Q&A in tow yet as soon as this is apparent…
… nobody’s ready for it.
I think what Friday’s announcement comprehensively proves is that social media’s great for telling people stuff, and brilliant for allowing you to then react to it. What media fails with is allowing reaction to remain objective. I can look at the two tweets above and know I’d be hard pressed to distil the basic issue down any further than these ‘soundbites’ but I’m smart enough to know that both the people who said them aren’t using the media as a way to express displeasure or amazement, they’re simply reacting to the moment.
Objectivity can get lost really fast when those using social media decide they don’t like what they’ve seen. You only need to watch the ongoing trainwreck that’s the US Presidential Election to grasp that. Pretty much anything becomes criticism, and then some. Then we’re into the realms of clickbait journalism and nobody in their right mind’s going there, AMIRITE?
Then, by simply pointing this out, other people assume a huge amount of shit about the person tweeting rather than spending considered time to reflect on what they’ve heard, and then the floodgates open. It is REALLY dangerous to say anything as a public figure without due care and consideration, especially when your fan base is more than a little obsessed with your product. Exhibit A? This tweet from @Muffinus:
So, I read this yesterday afternoon and my first thought is ‘ooh, is that a clue to where the stuff is that nobody’s found?’ It transpires, having come to this tweet about ten hours after it was first sent, I’ve had the same thought as a few people on Reddit. Needless to say, it wasn’t long after this that I saw a follow up:
This sums up Twitters limitations quite succinctly: if you’re in a position where people hang on your every word? You gotta make every one count, or face the consequences. All of that also played out in approximately 12 hours, start to finish, because of the extremely limited nature this platform has. That’s why this morning I decided to come back to 7.1 and undoubtedly lots of podcasts will be reflecting on the decision with a measure of hindsight. Time ‘works’ for different people in vastly differing fashions and no more obvious is this in the reaction to many who, by no fault of their own, haven’t even hit 110 yet. What matters most in this equation, believe it or not, will be the realisation that a Mythic team cleared the Nightmare in less than 24 hours.
Now we need to see if Blizzard really is capable of keeping up with the pace players are setting.
Someone, I think Mr Feasel as it happens, made the assertion in a Q&A prior to Legion that he thought it would take ‘some time’ for players to do the 500 Dailies achievement: I’m pretty certain I’ve seen that in my timeline this week, from someone who then garnered a ‘wow that’s amazing’ response. Not everyone’s a Russian team with multiple legendaries or a committed solo player with a ton of free time. These people however are now without ‘progression’ content on the main streams that the game provides: I’m not talking about pet battles or mount farming or maxxing out anything other than just what needs to be done to make sure the raiding and the World Quests keep coming. Just because you are overloaded with content? That’s never going to be an issue, because this time ActiBlizz are reacting to metrics that tell them how many people idled in Garrisons. They know EXACTLY how many people have cleared the Nightmare on Normal, have switched to Heroic and now are heading for Mythic. The next raid won’t be thrown at us until they are sure there’s enough people in the right places.
You may not be ready, but I can bet lots of other people are.
More importantly than that, this means that the game is absolutely rammed full of stuff to do for the holidays: Thanksgiving in the US, Christmas for us all. It also gives the Blizzcon guys a chance to lay out the foundations of 2017 going forward, which I think might well be significant. Part of me wants to think that if we got new content every three months or so? That would be amazing and probably doable. I don’t mean raiding content every 12 weeks, but if the plan is to use September 30th as the effective start point, having the NEXT raid hit in January or thereabouts would be peachy. Then the patch after that is another 5 man and more additions to the casual content pile, giving ActiBlizz until May/June time to pull out the next raid… and so on.
I’m not sure that timescale is doable, but know this. We saw designers poking around in Karazhan a LONG time ago. They were also playing about in the Black Temple too, and that place’s significance in Illidan lore is not to be underestimated at all. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb. Because I KNOW how popular Karazhan’s gonna be? They’ve already got a plan for that too.
Just because I’m not ready doesn’t mean Warcraft stops moving. Far from it. I think they’ve been ready for quite some time. Now all the rest of us have to do is catch up…