New Tree of Life Model: Confirmed

by Lebeau | 13/10/2010 14:39:21

Lebeau

Confrimed on MMO.

http://media.mmo-champion.com/images/news/2010/october/druidtreeoflife.jpg

Thoughts on the design?


Q u o t e:
Probably the worst thing you can do to a person who loves this game, is let them win.
- Snowfox

by Ghostcrawler | 13/10/2010 17:52:57

Ghostcrawler

Art is very subjective. We're very used to the phenomenon of half of a class loving say their tier set art and the other half thinking they are the worst thing ever.

Messing with player models is always risky and we know the current Tree of Life model is one of those things that is either loved or hated. That is why, as promised, we are offering a minor glyph if you just prefer the older, treant-based, version of ToL.

Ghostcrawler
Lead Systems Designer

by Ghostcrawler | 13/10/2010 23:40:25

Ghostcrawler


Q u o t e:
Oh, I remember that line quite well. My point is that to the best of my knowledge there isn't anything else that GC could have been talking about. Given how often he brings up the need to add a "no promises" clause to everything that he says, it's positively confounding that the man would specifically add in an "as promised" callout when delivering something completely different than what he originally mentioned.


I was poking fun at the fact that I never promise anything. Sorry. Text-based communication isn't as effective as spoken words.

Ghostcrawler
Lead Systems Designer

by Ghostcrawler | 19/10/2010 21:56:12

Ghostcrawler


Q u o t e:
There probably "ain't no womens" on the development team, or at least not in positions able to influence such decisions. Diversity is a good thing.


Not true! But I agree about the value of diversity.

Ghostcrawler
Lead Systems Designer

by Ghostcrawler | 19/10/2010 22:00:02

Ghostcrawler


Q u o t e:
It's one of those lines that should be remembered for a long time. It's a pretty good lesson for real life, too. When someone tells you, "We were starting to wonder if this thing you like is actually any good, but don't worry because no changes are on the way and we may never change it," do not believe that person. That person is lying to you, because if they weren't already plotting changes, they wouldn't be posing the issue in the first place. They're just trying to convince you that you don't need to stand up for what you want. Never again.


That's also not true. At the time of the quote, we had no plans to change Tree of Life. (It was around 18 months ago, if I recall correctly.) Player feedback was one of the things that helped convinced us to take another look at the ability.

I have no real motivation to lie to players. I feel like we are pretty honest about changes, even we know they won't be popular. I totally understand if you don't agree with us on something, but we're really not trying to be deceitful and wouldn't have much to gain from it anyway. It's not like players won't eventually figure it out when they discover the change.


Ghostcrawler
Lead Systems Designer

by Ghostcrawler | 19/10/2010 22:07:20

Ghostcrawler


Q u o t e:
"You don't have any evidence of that though. Even within this thread, there are plenty of players who like the change. It's not like we design around public vote anyway, but if you look at the old "Is Tree form fun?" thread, there were a lot of players on both sides of the argument. It was a change we wanted to do anyway, but we tested the water to see if the change would be unanimously hated. We concluded there were plenty of players in favor of it. I don't know if the split was 50 / 50 or what, but it doesn't really matter because it wasn't a poll. It was just to take the community's temperature. " -Ghostcrawler, "Cataclysm Class Preview: Druid, 04/09/2010", 04/09/2010.


This kind of text lawyering is why it takes so long for us to write anything. :(

I said in the post that we thought cat and bear were fun but we weren't sure about tree form. We wanted to see what players thought. If we had already made up our minds, there would be no reason to make that post it all. We don't think players are so transparent that asking them for their opinion somehow makes the medicine go down better when they don't get their way. In fact, it's usually the opposite. Players feel ignored when they don't get their way or don't understand why we asked them if we ended up going a different way.

This mechanic, of seeking feedback, is something that I've struggled to explain a lot over the past few years. Players seem to have a hard time grasping it. The best I've been able to come up with is that we like to make informed decisions. That doesn't mean everything is up to a vote. But it also doesn't mean that we hand down pronouncements from the mountain in a state of complete ignorance about what players actually want. Most companies worth their salt listen to their customers. That doesn't mean they give their customers full control over design decisions.

Ghostcrawler
Lead Systems Designer

by Ghostcrawler | 20/10/2010 05:39:55

Ghostcrawler


Q u o t e:
GC, do you ever look at threads like these and imagine all the players are secretly wishing this was Phoenix Wright and that they can DEFEAT YOUR DESIGN DECISIONS by pointing out exceedingly small holes in everything you've said?



Yes. :)


Ghostcrawler
Lead Systems Designer

by Ghostcrawler | 20/10/2010 05:42:28

Ghostcrawler


Q u o t e:
I'm not going to say you lied. I won't be dishonest and claim that it doesn't feel like you weren't entirely honest with the playerbase - please bear in mind that I said feel. That's how it comes across, that's how I feel about it. I don't want to accuse you of something that you haven't done, because god knows your job is hard enough as it is. It's just how it feels from my position, seeing only part of the picture.


That's cool. I'll try harder to be specific about things we are or are not likely to change. But in this expansion, we changed some things I thought we'd never change.

Ghostcrawler
Lead Systems Designer

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