Velkommen to another week’s edition of the Warcraft Street Journal. This time we’re going to hit on something that not a lot of players tend to experience, the PTR. Why should we waste time playing on the PTR instead of doing hours of dailies on the real servers? Simple: you can help fix the game. But wait, the game isn’t broken! Well, it might not be right now, but if a bad patch is implemented, then some of the blame still falls on our own shoulders.
Let’s take a moment to reflect on our (WoW) lives with the below comic from The Daily Blink.
You may think that it’s solely the developers’ job to to make changes to gameplay, balancing, and raid tuning, but the way I look at it, the WoW community is the strongest tool they have at their disposal. Despite some preconceived notions about Blizzard, they really do listen to their players when they speak up. If you follow the patch notes at all and blue posts you should have seen some major changes to the PTR that came about solely from player feedback. There’s one specific part I’ll point out on this note: the Kil’jaden’s Cunning talent for warlocks. Blizzard took action on this literally within 2 weeks of announcing the change and it sounds like a great middle ground for everyone.
If you haven’t heard, or simply didn’t want to sort through a list longer than the Constitution, Blizzard wanted to give a nerf to Warlock damage and bring mobility down to that of obese person on a Rascal scooter. Kil’jaden’s Cunning was originally going to be changed to a 15 second duration and 90 second cool-down talent instead of the current passive effect that’s in play now, but due to overwhelming player feedback, it was scaled back to a much happier middle ground. Warlocks will always be able to cast on the move, but only with certain spec-dependant spells. What does this mean? It allows top tier players to still put out great numbers, and with proper planning, lose only a little bit of damage. This change also benefits new or less-skilled players as well. Keeping track of an additional cool-down and knowing when to strategically use it would be a lot more complicated than the current live version. The surprising part is that, as I mentioned above, this was all done within 2 weeks of the 5.4 Patch Notes.
You could argue that this has nothing to do with the PTR and that complaints were a large part of it, which they probably were. But Blizzard is going to take complaints a lot more seriously and take a harder look at changes when there are good factual numbers behind them. In cases like the announcement to nerf the Hunter ability Readiness, this is going to be an integral part in re-balancing the class. Beast Master Hunters will no longer be able to chain two Bestial Wrath’s in a row at the start of the fight and again 5 minutes later. This will result in a major drop in burst potential, as well as a substantial loss in overall DPS. Blizzard needs our help to simulate how players’ damage will be affected and which abilities should be compensated in order to make up for that lost ground.
We don’t have room to complain if we don’t try to make our voices heard, so let’s pull a Good Guy Greg and continue pushing this game in the right direction. Let’s not just hop on the PTR to screw around for a few minutes, but rather, take time to look up your class and experiment with the changes on the PTR. Post your experiences on the official WoW PTR forums and be concise and detailed with what you have to say. Let’s pick up the WoW community by its bootstraps and hurdle ourselves into an unknown future where we attempt to control our own destinies.
Make sure to stop by next week for the next edition of the Warcraft Street Journal. Let me know in the comments if you partake in the PTR, or if there are reasons you don’t. Maybe we can pass those reasons onto Blizzard so that it becomes more attractive for players to join in.