World of Warcraft developers are always on the go and never get tired of publishing new content. After copyrighting the word “Cataclysm”, which is probably going to be the name of the next expansion, Blizzard is already releasing new content for Patch 3.2. For instance, players can already purchase the new mounts at the Argent Tournament. Once again, there will be big changes in classes dynamics.
World of Warcraft customers were used to see slow classes development. During The Burning Crusade Paladins were left broken for almost two years, while druids were so overpowered that almost every player re-rolled a druid alt. Druids were everywhere while Paladins were almost extinct. Blizzard hired a new developer, Ghostcrawler (known as GC), and things changed drastically. Now players complain that they do not even have the chance to get used to their character before its class dynamics mutate again. Ghostcrawler is really active and determined to find some sort of “class balance”, and this is why he keeps changing the game.
Unfortunately, sometimes he ignores good advice and feedback from the community making mistakes so huge that he is forced to fix them in a matter of a few hours. This is what happened when he implemented an instant Exorcism that Paladins could use on players. Some weeks before that, he had nerfed the amount of damage Paladins could deal because the burst was too high. Now, defying any logic, he gives back some damage under the form of burst. Well, after a few hours, during which players spent some gold purchasing Exorcism glyphs, he reversed his decision and restored Exorcism to its normal PvE version. Players did not receive any refund for the gold spent on the glyphs. With Patch 3.2, Exorcism will be usable on PvP but with a cooldown of 1.5 seconds. The point is that this (hopefully) final version of the spell had been suggested by players since before GC was hired. If he listened to the community he would have spared customers some frustration and himself some bitter criticism. Every time something like this happens, World of Warcraft loses fans and Blizzard loses money.
There is another mind-boggling attitude of the developers that is bothering customers. Each class is supposed to have its unique characteristics. Apparently GC is really supportive of this uniqueness and never misses a chance to tell the community that he is working hard on differentiating the ways in which the various classes work. Unfortunately, it is sufficient to read the official forums to understand that players feel his actions sometimes contradict his words. The new mana regeneration mechanics seem to confirm players’ concerns about this issue.
World of Warcraft is changing and it is changing fast. New developers, like GC, have a positive attitude and are active more than ever. There is only one thing they still lack. They need to listen to the community and become capable of discerning between good advice and mindless whining. But that is a skill they will acquire with time, a skill which will grant a prosperous future for the most successful MMORPG on the market.