It’s going to take a little while to get the balance right on how frequently I should post here vs. what I have to say. Right now I don’t feel like I have anything substantive to discuss, especially given that I really should be hacking up the site with those new creatures. But I did implicitly promise content by starting this blog. But my local Perforce connection is down and I’m waiting for my husband to reboot the server. So it’s not like I could be working on the site anyway.
Yes, I run Perforce at home. How geeky is that? :>
I did think it was interesting, however, that Blizzard changed the lion model. If that happened in a game I was responsible for it would be a bug — one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t go changing the look of the character (and that includes weapons, armor, and pets) after players have gotten invested in it. But this isn’t a game that I am responsible for, and Blizzard has often changed appearances well after the fact. I remember when half the golden scorpids in Silithus became silver, for instance. Or there was the time that a bunch of moonstalkers changed from stripes to dark stripes … or was it from spots to stripes? At any rate, there were an awful lot of mortally offended night elves until it was changed back. That change was apparently a bug, though, whereas the scorpids were not — so we will just have to wait and see what happens with the lions.
(And the crabs. Poor crabs. Although to be honest that change I think has the highest likelihood of being a simple bug. The crabs lost the “hairy” spines down their backs and under their swimming legs, which is the sort of detail that artists can’t resist and rarely remove.)
Regardless, this opens up one of my favorite questions: how important are the little touches — like respecting players’ investment in their characters’ appearance — in the long run success of a game? WoW does just fine (to say the least!) even though they continue to break most of my cardinal rules of MMO development. But would they do even better if they were a tad more respectful?
Or if, for instance, they developed a fully-functional pet skill system full of meaningful choices? Ah, well … an orc can dream …