30 October, 2005

BlizzCon's over!

BlizzCon's over now and the expansion is now finally announced. To be honest, there wasn't that much info released that we already didn't know. The leaked Italian article basically had all the info already, except a couple of little omissions. Nevertheless the cat it out of the bag and it's finally time to move on and roll our thumbs for 1.9!

Both Paxx and Jonichiro emailed me, as well as Lord Vir and Nemof who wrote in the comments below -- looks like there's some info in the upcoming Paladin improvements! (courtesy of Atomic MPC)
Staying with Paladins, they will definitely be getting an upgrade in patch 1.9. [WoW Lead Designer Tom Chilton] has said that some blessing, seals and judgements will be combined so that they can be improved with less talent expenditure, and a group blessing spell that when cast on a character in a raid or group will cast that same blessing on all other characters of that class. There was also talk of extending the duration on all blessings to 10 minutes (or even 15).
And continues with the points...
* Paladins were designed to be the game's easiest class. This was done because the designers believed (correctly) that it would be a popular class (warrior and healer in one) and didn't want new gamers to be put off by a tricky class.

* Ironically, one slide at the presentation said that druids are the only true hybrid class, going against common thought (rumour really).
Already angry people at Chilton's comments on the class. Heck, this guy even found a screenshot of the presentation where it said "easy class".

Also... our Tier 2 set will get a deserved facelift. Here's a screenshot, and here's another screenshot.


Anonymous nemof said...

does no one else find this disturbing? "Blizzard plans to add digital signature checking for mods, to prevent the use of mods like Decursive. Details are not known at this stage as to when this will be implemented but designer Rob Pardo said that 'they're close'." As quoted from atomicmcp.

Now I'm not sure about all you other palys, but I pretty much am dependent on decursive for cleansing duty in MC ect. Now unless Blizz are prepared to give me a sensible way to cleanse 40 people I'm not really happy at the idea of one of the most useful and important addons I use - next to ct_raid - being taken away. Arguably I should be able to see debuff icons on everyone but when you are watching 40 people it ain't that easy. I could of course just watch my group, but its in my interest to be aware of everyones state, not just the 4 others i'm grouped with.

Also, more disturbing than my lovely decursive being taken away is simply the idea of digital signing. Now, I'm sure some of you will have heard of DRM, Digital Rights Management. Of course if you have you will know how despised it is by a lot of people, simply because they see it as an attempt by large companies to have utter and complete control over everything you do with your media.

Why do I bring up DRM? Well simply put, one of the few things that could be meant by digital signatures is that in the future - and yes this is a hypothesis on my part - to be able to use the addon you wrote for WoW you will then need to submit it to blizz for approval. If it's approved then it will be allocated a signature. I can imagine the signature will include a checksum, and that addons will be packaged in the future so that WoW can checksum them and compare them against the signature. If they match then the addon will be loaded, otherwise it will be deemed illegal and not loaded.

Now of course this is only a hypothesis on my part, but if I was a developer and I wanted to stop people writing addons I didn't like (and was too lazy to fix the problems the bad addons stemmed from), I might do something like this. However logical this seems as a solution it is morally reprehensible for a couple of reasons, one of them being it will be a big fuck you to the addon community as you *will* find a lot of addons we currently use will be blacklisted by blizz. Why? When blizz decided to open the UI API they didn't really realize what they were letting theirselves in for in terms of modding and so it's been poorly written from day one. As a result of this it's been used/abused in ways they could never have thought of, and has lead to some marvelous addons and terrible gaffs. Now Blizz want to turn tail and implement these Draconian measures rather than do the more sensible thing and sit down, think about what's wrong with the API - or indeed the user interface which means that we have code custom ui's to make up for the deficiencies of the vanilla one - and fix it.

It's already been confirmed that WoW is scanning all the dll's on your computer when you load it. I didn't agree to that when I bought wow, I didn't agree to let Big Brother Blizz into my front room and my privacy. I may run their product but that doesn't mean I give up total rights to freedom and privacy does it?

Blizz's heavy handed tactics are well known, and it's penchant for ignoring the very loud voice of it's user base as it careens like a wrecking ball through every aspect of the WoW world, with all the logic and common sense of some of the more dense GM's we've had to put up with. If there is any proof of that it's in the existence of the dressing room feature, which while a nice little feature wasn't really the must-have thing we needed to make the original user interface compelling again, so we didn't need to resort to customising it. Look at how vocal Paladins have been about the problems with our class, and how long it has taken for us to be acknowledged.

Simply put, I'm very uncomfortable with the lack of trust that Blizz puts in us, the WoW community. There will always be cheaters, whatever measures are implemented, they are a tiny minority though. Will those thoughtless people at blizz spoil all our experiences of WoW simply because of a lack of foresight on their part. It's not as if they are the first gaming company to open their API to the community, they should have learnt the lessons of the past from games such as quake and counterstrike about how to allow people to have fun making addons/mods while having stuff locked down enough to prevent nasty surprises.

One question I find myself frequently asking these days is, if Blizz was running something else like they did WoW, perhaps a service like electricity or water, would their level of customer service and recognition be acceptable. I feel as if whatever I say or do, Blizzard really doesn't care because they already have my subscription fee. I think I will wait around and see what 1.9 is like before I decide whether to cancel my subscription, but I can definately say I'm not happy with the way things are at the moment Blizzard. Do you care?

3:30 AM  
Anonymous kyosei said...

No more decursive, eh? Well I never used it so I can't say I could ever use it. However I will miss certain other mods if they suddenly become blacklisted.

For instance, on my druid I love using this mod called wardrobe. It helps me to organize my equips into outfits for a situation. When I'm just healing during normal clearing mobs I put on all my plus to healing gears. For the boss fights I throw on my int/spir gears. It really helps to throw it on really quick as I don't have enough time to go into my bags to manually switch.

I hope they don't black list self-cast or fishing buddy. I acutally live off of those mods 0.o And if they ban lootlink I will sorely miss it ;(

6:13 PM  

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