This isn’t in reference to any new defections or anything.
My question is: With the class of high level Blizzard employees that have left to start their own companies… how much will that affect the over excellence of the future World of Warcraft design?
To me WoW exceeds not because of any one thing, but because of the cohesivness of all its individual parts. The success of WoW is how all this blends together. So if the primary people who are responsible for WoW’s success (in that single respect) are gone… do you think the people who replace them have the talent to fulfill Wow’s future to the extent the original WoW delivered?
See I can choose lots of little things that bother me about the game. But when I look back at the “WoW experience” it’s one I greatly enjoyed. That overall “experience” was more enjoyable than EQ2, CoH, Eve Online, Dark Age of Camelot, etc. In fact the only other “overall experience” that compares was first year Ultima On-line (when it worked). But I felt the experience of Ultima On-Line became warped and rotten as the people who made it great left. I have the same concern for WoW.
People leaving blizzard, a good part of the wow team leaving blizzard, is all very old news. So, to answer your question, ask yourself has WoW suffered since its release? I think they have done a lot of good things and nothing really bad. So the conclusion Id come up with is that these defections have not hurt blizzard’s quality at all.
Losing creative people always hurts, but I think the key ingredient to Blizzard’s recent sucesses is their (relatively to the industry) high dedication to polish and playability, with a second factor being their continued support and patching of pretty old games. So long as this remains the corporate philosophy, and they can avoid rushing things out the door way too early, they could be able to hire new talent and continue to excel. (Note: I am not claiming that all Blizzard games are perfect on release, or even a year afterwards, this is the point of the “relative to the industry” disclaimer.)
I found a box of about 50 old CGWs in a box in my basement last night. There was an advertisement for Warcraft Adventures in one of them, with screenshots and everything. Maybe that will be the next game from Blizzard. I hope not.
Incidentally, what genius at Ziff Davis thought it was a good idea to put all these columnist’s pictures in with their columns? Holy cow, we computer guys are not photogenic at all. Desslock and whoever else hangs out here exempted, of course. :)
It has already affected blizzard in the form of slow patches, slow content updates, and lack of fixes for necessary game problems.
I have a friend working at blizzard, and WoW has been running on a skeleton crew of programmers for nearly six months now. Problem was, blizzard expected all the people who put four years in to finishing WoW to continue working on it forever. Few people weren’t willing to accept that, so that’s what caused the exodus.
It has nothing to do with hiding authorship. It’s got everything to do with being part of a team of a massively hit game and capitalizing on that to get funding to start your own company and take a shot at making the big bucks.
No one cares about the technical crews that work on movies. Few care about the people who work on games, and beyond the lead designer and producer, I doubt anyone cares about the programmers, artists, etc.
I think Blizzard will be fine. The foundation for WoW is solid. The other games they have in the works might be delayed if they really are understaffed, but I’m sure they’re working to correct this.
That’s because they removed Brad McQuaid and “The Vision”*. I don’t know of anything similar regarding WoW.
*I actually have fond memories of the vision… it was kind of neat to see someone stand up for what he or she believes. But I’m not signing up for another McQuaid game… too painful for weekend warriors.
Yeah, it was great fun being stomped on by a sand giant or griffin with no hope of survival and losing four hours of experience and having to do a naked corpse run with a damn good chance of dying again…
…when said four hours consisted of sitting with five other fatass losers in a group killing the exact same mobs in the exact same spawnpoints every 2 minutes hundreds of times in a row because you couldn’t solo worth a damn…
…in the hopes that a rare 10% spawn will pop that has a 10% chance of dropping your haste sash that you have a 16.7% chance of winning the /random against the other 5 people for…
…and when it finally spawns a wizard walks in, nukes it down, loots and gates…
…and you finally got into the group after advertising that you were looking to group for six motherfucking hours sitting at the zone in doing absolutely nothing because the ENTIRE ZONE was camped and your class was gimped…
You fudgepackers forget what the Vision™ really was like.