• 7

    posted a message on Development and Delays
    Quote from Molster

    I think we are running low on tin-foil hats..
    Do me a favor, stop callously insulting people on this forum for trying to have an intelligent discussion. I personally expect more from moderators, but maybe I shouldn't.

    Quote from Molster

    Most companies dont even bother to give half the information blizzard does. Blizzard cares about keep us up to date, and people that seem to not understand things change, that cause blizzard to give "time frames" instead of dates now.

    Keep believing that Blizzard is so great for "graciously" providing us such a priceless wealth of "information." For a large group of customers, their "information" is anything but informative; it's frustrating, misleading, and un-necessary. In my experience, this kind of continual, intentionally vague, vapor-speak is intended to keep an immature, un-empowered customer base ignorant but engaged. I've worked in software a long time, as a technical marketing engineer, test engineer, development engineer, and in sales. There isn't any paranoia at work. They are literally not allowed to say anything of substance without going through a serious approval chain (just read a day in the life of Bashiok).

    I find it particularly cynical your opinion that corporations are impervious from any criticism or accountability to their paying customers. If Blizzard is going to engage their customers by announcing a game 4 years in advance, they have a responsibility to effectively inform their customers, or else their customers are going to get pissed off... which is exactly what happened. Why is this such a travesty to you?

    Where there's smoke, there's fire. Where there's a ton of pissed off customers, there is a company that needs to improve their marketing and PR. In my opinion, most people don't think that highly of Blizzard as a company, they only think highly of Blizzard games. That's a fairly fragile brand loyalty.

    Now you might argue that in order for them to keep making great games, they will always have to alienate their "impatient" customer base. That could not be farther from the truth. Again, how cynical do you have to be to believe that Blizzard can't have both great PR AND great games?

    Quote from Molster

    You know back in the day, blizzard gave exact planed dates, 100% exact to what they were hoping for, but they have to push them back and people would complain over and over about this, so what is the solution? blizzard no longer gives us exact dates until the game is pretty much going gold. And when they try to give "basic ideas" and "thoughts" about a release goal, we STILL get people QQing about everything they can about how they are giving us no information now, and how everything they are saying is to just "keep us happy"...
    It's a good point to bring up, that people holding Blizzard accountable to their release dates is what caused Blizzard to STOP giving release dates. But don't be naiive. The PROBLEM was Blizzard missing release dates because they suck at project management they don't value discrete project management deadlines like most other companies do.. The problem was NEVER the customer, because all we ever did was hold Blizzard accountable to their own word. Guess that's a giant inconvenience to them.

    The conversation goes roughly like this:
    Us: "Hey Blizzard, you said the game was gonna be released <date1>. Now you're just gonna push release to <date2>? How can I trust you now?"
    (2 weeks later)
    Blizzard: "Trust us. Oh, btw, we're gonna miss <date2>, it's <date3> now. Aren't you glad I communicate with you so much? You should be thankful!"
    Us: "Why? Some companies announce a game is in development, give concrete dates, meet those dates."
    Blizzard: "Because we give you waaaay more information than those companies, and we make better games than them."
    Us: "Well, you do make better games. But maybe I don't need information if it's not accurate, reliable, or even really saying anything we didn't already know..."
    Blizzard: "But we really want to engage our fans, we love you guys!"
    Us: "Cool. Well in that case, I have a few questions. How far along are you guys in development? What's going well? What's not? How's testing going?"
    (2 weeks later)
    Blizzard: "We're making design decisions and polishing the game, it's looking great. We're in the home stretch."
    Us: "um.. you MUST be aware that you didn't answer the question at all."
    (2 weeks later)
    Blizzard: "Well runestones are pretty weird, it's possible we've made a decision about runestones now. We're in the home stretch of runestone decision making."
    Us: "You guys are re-writing runestones? Ok. Well, what's the verdict?"
    Blizzard: "We have several solutions and we're polishing things up, it's looking great and we're really close. Home stretch."
    Us: "So, hey how about a release date? I mean, we know you are very protective of quality, but you MUST have internal deadlines, right? C'mon, gimme a little something.. you love me, remember?"
    (2 weeks later)
    Blizzard: "Early 2012."
    Us: "What does that mean? Q1? First two months? First half? Jan 17th? wtf?"
    Blizzard: "It means we pushed release back to 2012"
    Us: "Ok that's actually MORE vague than 'early 2012', which is an amazing achievement in vagueness."
    Blizzard fanboy: "Wow dude, stop being such an entitled, whiny little bitch. You should be kissing Blizzard's hairy beanbag just for talking to you at all."

    I could keep going.

    Quote from Molster

    ps: you should reread the guy's post I replied to, as I understood it.

    I tried to understand your point of view, I just can't extract your opinion out of his words.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 3

    posted a message on Development and Delays
    Quote from Molster

    Quote from Nightblaze1

    I'm sorry OP, but you clearly don't understand one vital and significant reason for all the complaining all the time. The reason is that Blizzard is always misleading us. Everything they have said about the games development has been wrong on almost all occasions. They never give us a clear answer. If they don't know something, why do they always pretend they do and end up being wrong, they should just stfu and give us an clear and concise answer to the development process when they are 100% sure themselves instead of lying to us all the freaking time! This is what makes this long wait soo much more unbearable.
    And the rest of us know that its a changing game lose on on inside information? no thanks.
    Just because you dont understand that things can change, and that you can't handle it, does not mean the rest of us, that like knowing this kind of information should suffer from not getting it.

    Excuse me but that's not what he's saying. At all. Assuming he's too stupid to understand things can change during development is condescending and rude. Maybe you need to re-read his post.

    Most of us are upset not because the game is changing and/or being delayed, but because Blizzard is continually pretending to keep us in the loop with misleading, open-ended language. They do not want an informed customer base, yet they keep feeding us information. This requires misdirection on Blizzard's part, and causes a psychological dissonance in certain among us.. we feel engaged and informed, because we get a lot of information, but the information itself is absolutely worthless, ethereal mist that evaporates at the whims of Blizzard PR. In a word, we feel manipulated, because what Blizzard says doesn't match what Blizzard does.

    My point is this: Some people get seriously offended by the way Blizzard handles PR. Some of those people are vocal about it, and seek redress of grievances here, on Blizz official forums, and other ways. Other people don't mind and support Blizz. One view point is NO BETTER than the other. If you think your tolerance of Blizzard is in ANY WAY more valid than other people's intolerance of Blizzard, you need to step back and try to see the world through someone else's eyes, cause yours need a rest.

    Now, I will say, the OP did have some good points, and he was striking out mainly at people who extrapolate strange paranoid conspiracies from Blizzard vapor-speak. Fair enough. Myself, and many others in this forum, are the type of people who speak out, sometimes passionately, when something is bothering us. I respect people who don't prefer that type of discourse. What I don't respect is when those people try to say it's not a valid conversation, it's pointless to engage in, and those that do are idiots.

    Maybe we should have an official sticky "venting" thread or something.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on Development and Delays
    Quote from Jaelzadeon

    Great post! I completely agree. People are getting so impatient and all they want to do about it is complain. May as well do something else that will keep your mind off of it instead of making it worse for yourself.

    As opposed to complaining about complainers. Way more constructive.

    Frankly, the OP pissing and moaning about people pissing and moaning is about as useful as a Blizzard tweet. Next thread.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on Sign Of...Delay? *The New Sweepstakes*
    I'll be honest, upon reflection, it's possible Blizzard is having some serious technical problems. The beta bug dashboards are still pretty scary in terms of defects/week, I guarantee their bug backlog is massive right now. By my estimation, even if they froze code today (which they won't, they are not yet feature code complete!), it would take at least a month of hardcore bug fixing to get D3 stable enough to release. Probably more.

    You're also dealing with a huge bnet upgrade, including really tricky API's that work between Paypal and Blizzard (I doubt Paypal uses python or lua, more likely java/php). When you're writing API's between vendor, especially ones that need to be this reliable and secure, you can encounter HUGE problems that are unforeseeable until they're found. Bliz is likely peeling back the onion of defects, and who knows how many layers there are (severe defects tend to mask other defects which won't be seen until the current defect is fixed). Often, this stage of testing shakes out the really difficult, time-consuming bugs.

    The fact that Blizzard is being so obtuse about release dates and info doesn't help by damn sight. Their PR department is as laughable as it is dishonest.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 2

    posted a message on Beta: I just do not get this game at all
    OP: Look, not everyone is going to like this game. If you don't like it, just be thankful you got into the beta and don't buy it.

    I'm not sure why you're posting this here though... Your opinions seem resigned that nothing will change in the design and gameplay, so you're just venting. Good for blogs, not so good for forums.

    If you want to have a conversation voicing your concerns for a game you believe in, constructively criticizing the parts you dislike, with potential solutions, by all means. But as it stands, you seem perfectly stoked with D2, and perfectly happy to fart in D3's general direction. Basically your post is a troll, so do us a favor and keep it to yourself, eh champ?

    As for this thread de-volving into another D3 is going to be better than D2 clusterfuck troll bait topic, www.nope.com
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 3

    posted a message on Sign Of...Delay? *The New Sweepstakes*
    I think we all knew this in our hearts, sad as it is.

    Thing is, they wouldn't delay the Dec 2011 release because they just needed a few more weeks. By pushing into "early" 2012, they were sending a clear message that they needed a few more months to release. And you know that Blizzard will take the maximum amount of time their window allows, if not push back the window entirely. They've always been this way.

    Why do they need that much time? All speculation. But for my part, I'm really starting to believe they are doing this purely for business reasons. It seems like the devs are mainly just dicking around with un-necessary iteration because they have time to kill. Certainly doesn't look like there's much of a crunch over there. "Oh yeah, we're just playing around with runestones. The original way we had it works great, but we're just trying other stuff out because the runestone tooltips don't scale well." Yeah, sounds like serious crunch to me...

    That, or they're just flat hammered with high-severity bugs and integration problems with bnet.

    Frankly, Blizzard needs to get with the times. Gamers have changed, and this "when it's done" shit just doesn't fly with the modern gamer any more.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on Coming Soon: Battle.net Balance
    Double post. Two different discussions. I'm fine with it.

    Quote from Verity

    I don't get the big fuss about this, it's been happening for a long time already with other platforms such as Steam. It's just a very good way for the companies to be able to "secure" income.

    This isn't the end of the world. But here's what I don't like: This decision is clearly not motivated by customer demand. We've never had any trouble paying for Blizzard services. We don't need a Blizzard balance that's transferable only between RMAH and Blizz "bucks." It seems to me that most people would prefer the option to cash out your earnings whenever you like.

    But if you can cash out whenever you like, then you won't be enslaved by their banking system. They have no interest in your convenience. What they want is dependence and addiction, since "I have to keep playing, I still have a balance..."

    Anyone who sits and thinks about it will come up with this model, provided their motivation is convenience for the user and not simply profit: Use paypal for everything. If you buy something from Blizzard, or from the RMAH, that amount is withdrawn from paypal. If you sell something on the RMAH, that account is credited. This technique is used constantly with online vendors of every make and model. But Blizzard doesn't want the money sitting in Paypal's bank accounts. They want it sitting in their OWN bank accounts. That's why they have to use a bunch of convoluted legal trickery to escape being labeled a bank.

    Bottom line, it's motivated by profiteering reminiscent of large financial institutions... the same ones who literally invented collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps out of thin air, lobbied that they not be regulated, and subsequently used them to ruin our economy for the foreseeable future, and created new financial instruments during the crisis to profit from the very ruin they created!

    Unrelated rant? Nope. I see the same instruments at work here, and would be fascinated by what the SEC has to say about all this, and how the legality was handled. I wonder if Blizzard account balances can be bundled and securitized, and traded on wall street? Hey, if you were a new hotshot MBA working for Blizzard, who's been educated by the very same people who systematically de-regulated and de-frauded American economics for ruin and profit, wouldn't this sound like a great model to increase gross margins with little-no downside risk?

    Sorry guys, but I have no remaining trust in American Capitalism as it is practiced today. We've been burned black and bled dry. I, for one, am sick of it.
    Posted in: News & Announcements
  • 1

    posted a message on Coming Soon: Battle.net Balance
    Quote from Greyhorn

    My first reaction is to not like this... At all. Not sure why, though. Maybe because it was so unexpected.

    Same. Here's what bugs me:

    "Once funds or Diablo III auction house earnings have been added to your Battle.net Balance, you are not able to convert that Balance into cash? Battle.net Balance can only be used to buy designated Blizzard Entertainment products or to acquire items from Diablo III's currency-based auction house."

    They are very obviously making it purposefully inconvenient to convert RMAH money into real money. They have made it IMPOSSIBLE to redeem blizzard "bucks" or lol "value" back into cash. So, if you "load up" your "balance," it's the exact same as spending the money in the first place.

    I find their language disconcerting: "Battle.net Balance is a new Battle.net feature that will allow players to store value in their Battle.net account"

    They are trying to make you forget your "value" is actually real money. Why? So it can sit in THEIR bank account un-used. Every real-money dollar that sits in their (ahem, sorry, your) account is literally profit they have created out of thin air.

    Blizzard is trying to manipulate online gaming currency so they can become a pseudo-financial institution. Their (ahem, your) unspent "bucks" are surely accruing interest, and more probably are re-deployed through accounting tricks into higher yield investment bundles. Meanwhile, it is literally impossible for you to get your money back out.. How is that acceptable?

    Imagine a bank that only allows you to deposit, and never withdraw. That's what this is. Imagine that bank justifying what is essentially share-cropping practices by "selling" you 5 or 6 items of your "choosing". Such as: WoW time, um.. starcraft 2 maybe? Um, t-shirts, don't forget oh and hoodies. Did I say WoW time? Maybe this Titan IP when it comes out in 2018?

    Look, it's their right to do whatever the hell they want, within the boundaries of law. I'm willing to bet they've been hard at work lobbying congress to allow some of this stuff to be legal in the first place. But as Gheed said, I'd much rather see them use this intellectual energy on new game products, rather than new financial instruments.

    Gold AH for Life.
    Posted in: News & Announcements
  • 1

    posted a message on How does 2 1hand weapons attack?
    It would be wonderful if all weapons could attack together forever. But sometimes two weapons can love each other very much, but still need to attack separately. No, no honey, it's NOT your fault! Sometimes weapons can just grow apart.. no, they CAN, honey. I know it doesn't make sense to you right now, but they just grow apart and need their own space to swing and kill things in.. Not all weapons were meant to be together forever. Don't cry honey, you can still swing each weapon, we're not going anywhere. You just swing that one wednesdays, thursdays, and every other weekend, and swing me the rest of the time! We both love you very much.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on Is January 17th still viable?
    Here's a couple more things that I've considered in making a hopeful March, more likely April prediction.. Again, these are just the opinions and insights of a software engineer who has worked both inside the gaming industry and out. Opinions are based on incomplete information, I cannot be held liable for correctness, heartache, rage, sadness, glee, or any other associated emotions or intimations. Peace be with you. And also with you.

    First, how is the Beta going? I answer this a couple of ways:

    1. There still seems to be a non-trivial number of severe/catastrophic bug reports coming in from beta players. This is based on my lurking the bug forums on bnet. These kinds of problems require a dev to:
    a. reproduce
    b. debug
    c. troubleshoot
    d. think up a fix
    e. code the fix
    f. code review the fix
    g. unit test the fix
    h. do a new build to smoke test the fix internally
    i. release the fix in a new beta build

    That process typically takes about 3 days minimum to a week or more (depending on severity and complexity).

    I'd be surprised if all of those bugs have already been fixed internally, and simply haven't been patched into the beta yet. I can't be certain where they are in that process, but you can take rough guesses at bug backlog based on how many bugs are being filed. I'd say they're at least a month out on bugs, give or take. I'd be shocked if they could resolve all bugs in less than a month.

    Now, as some of you have rightly pointed out, beta builds aren't necessarily representative of current dev build progress, but different companies handle this differently, and usually, the latest code is the most stable (assuming there is good sanity/smoke testing to handle bad code fixes). This may not be the case with Bliz, as it seems they have many parallel builds running simultaneously in order to test specific components individually.. but that means they still have to do integration test, which can shake out some serious issues.

    2. They have been dealing with battle.net crashes, which might be minor, but are usually more serious infrastructure problems that can be difficult to root cause and troubleshoot.

    3. They still haven't done very large scale/stress tests (from what I can tell) of their public game infrastructure (refer to the SW:TOR stress tests they did in their beta recently), which they stated as one of the primary reasons for the beta. So that tells me either they're having trouble getting the scale numbers they want, or they're dealing with lots of severe, system-test level bugs of high complexity, which take a while to fix, and may be blocking said boundary/stress tests.

    Second, how much more time did they need when they pushed back the DEC 2011 date? This is different across companies. The company I work for has to push back internal dates all the time, but we very rarely push back external dates. (By the way, most software companies have internal deadlines that are weeks before the actual, committed external deadlines). When we push back internals, they are on the order of days or weeks, and on rare occasions, months. But when we have to push back external dates, it's usually because something major shifted (resources, change in business strategy, workforce reduction, etc) OR something fairly major is needed (i.e. re-writes, need to integrate more features for competitive reasons that aren't complete, etc).

    In my view, Blizzard was going to have to make a lot of concessions on major features in order to meet a Dec 2011 deadline. When they finally said "No, let's get it right the first time and push the date back," that means they chose to really take the time to iterate, focus on quality, get the necessary re-writes done correctly, and get the product super-solid, so they wouldn't waste the first month of release patching an inferior product, all the while alienating a fan-base who's waited years for the game.

    I think they made the right choice. I also think that making this choice bought them additional months, not additional days, from the original Dec 2011 push.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.