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Blizzard's Lost a Great OneFollow

#52 Jan 17 2014 at 12:31 PM Rating: Good
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Bigdaddyjug wrote:
If anybody was still wondering, GC is now Lead Game Designer for Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends.


Be prepared to be BALANCED.
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#53 Jan 17 2014 at 12:35 PM Rating: Good
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It's actually sort of funny, since LoL isn't really known for balance. Smiley: lol

Do we know if he's on LoL or a new title?
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#54 Jan 17 2014 at 1:54 PM Rating: Good
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Seems odd that they'd stick him on LoL if he was looking for greener pastures. Isn't Blizzard working on their new MOBA at the moment?
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#55 Jan 17 2014 at 2:34 PM Rating: Good
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Well, it's technically the same title he had at Blizzard. I mean, at his level in the industry, there wasn't actually too much promotion potential left. It's pretty much just executive work above lead design.

Plus, I'm doubting GC was in a great place to negotiate for higher pay/benefits. WoW still a big money maker, but its profits are falling, and that sales forecast isn't changing anytime soon. That really just sets a cap on his earning potential. You know Blizz is deep into development on whatever they expect their next money maker is, and if GC wasn't lead on that project, now's as good a time as any to move to a new project in a different company, where he can ride the profit projections to new places again.

And it's worth noting that working on WoW has to be incredibly boring for someone who has been on the project for this long.

Final note is that he and his team probably have a lot more creative license on whatever project he's on now, even if it is LoL, since it's far less of a franchise than WoW is.
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#56 Jan 20 2014 at 8:28 AM Rating: Good
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I remember lengthy discussions calling people mouth-breathing morons for thinking that ghostcrawler was, in any way, directly associated with a change they didn't like. He might be the lead systems designer, but he doesn't personally make decisions on those things. Everything involves a team discussion that determines if something is an immediate problem, what their various options to fix it are, the pros and cons of each, what else will need to change, etc.

Ghostcrawler reported the final results of that discussion. You can also be **** sure that all their decisions went through someone like Metzen, QA, etc. before they ever made it into the game.

Thinking he's, in any way, directly responsible for changes you don't like is stupid as hell. Most major changes you don't like are almost certainly in response to a directive from above his head. The lead project manager would be the one with the ultimate and most important say in things like balance prioritization ("Oh, this class has one highly functional PVE spec, two highly functional PVP specs, and a tree only good for leveling? Well, we have classes in worse positions, so ignore it for now.")


Sorry but I have to chip in here. I won't pretend to know exactly everything that Ghostcrawler was in charge of, but I will tell you are at least partly wrong here. Ghostcrawler was the Lead System Designer and was in charge of and had final authoritive say on A LOT of the changes ( particularly balance changes) that were made for the game. The " Head Honcho" for systems design. For you to say he did not have the ultimate authority on some game changes (good and bad , I'll give you that much) is just silly. And do not fool yourself into thinking Metzen has ANYTHING AT ALL to do with the design and implementation of game systems. He is solely the creative director. He is the man in charge of the stories and NPC character development. I can guarantee he has nothing at all to do with game systems or balance.

I agree a lot of the rabid fanboys might hold Ghostcrawler accountable for too much that went wrong with the game, but the other side of the coin does not put enough of the blame for unpopular system design changes where it belongs: squarely on Mr. Street's shoulders. Honestly, believe it or not I do not have a stake in this at all anymore as I left WOW a handful of years back now ( in the final weeks of WOTLK ) and will never be back. But some of what you saidis just plain wrong. I in no way mean this as a flame, nor am I entering into a passionate argument. I just think some who do not know should get the straight answers, unfettered by biases from either camp. A little google-fu can show you who is in charge of what, and as Lead Systems Designer, Ghostcrawler had final say on things involving game mechanics and class balance among other things. Sure, I'm sure there were times when his group (which he lead) sat around the conference table spitballing and he would say something about the way a spell should work and all the other designers groaned and threw pencils at him and the idea was shelved, BUT he DID have final say and was DIRECTLY responsible for some of the changes we saw over the years. Like I said, some of them were very good, and unfortunately a lot of those get overlooked, but he is also to blame for some god-awful changes that were put in.

Again, I repeat, I do not have a horse in this race, but let's keep both sides of the issue on point and grounded in fact. Saying he is NOT responsible for some of the bad changes is the part that is "stupid as hell." (Your words.)
#57 Jan 20 2014 at 8:43 AM Rating: Good
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Ghostcrawler was the Lead System Designer and was in charge of and had final authoritive say on A LOT of the changes ( particularly balance changes) that were made for the game. The " Head Honcho" for systems design. For you to say he did not have the ultimate authority on some game changes (good and bad , I'll give you that much) is just silly.


You have a fundamental misunderstanding of how game design works. Lead Designers are essentially senior coordinators for a project. Their job is to keep the team on track and moving forward. In general, Lead Designer positions are essentially the exact same as other designer positions, but they have additional administrative responsibilities, and they have to be the main liaisons between the design team and the executives funding the project.

Every single balance change ever made to the game was the result of the systems team sitting down and having a discussion about what was working, what wasn't, and possible fixes for that. Every single one. And I'm sure the department handling market research was producing data that set the tone of those discussions, and I'm also sure that plenty of that data was skewed by the vocal minority. On the other hand, I'm also betting the design team approached most issues with the assumption that the vocal minority could skew things, and therefore tried to look at the issue as objectively as possible.

What I'm absolutely positive of is that, at no time, would GC be sitting in one of those meetings and say "this is what we're doing, I don't care what you have to say."

There are certainly times where it would have been his job to shoot down suggestions (because his job was to keep his eye on the entire project, as well as whatever specific systems area he did most of his work in, rather than the smaller parts other designers would be working with exclusively).

It's just not how game design works. GC might tell the team that they had to do something, because the suits said they had to. But it's not the sort of position that's authoritatively above other designers in the same way the President would be.

If there was ever a case of GC walking up to someone's desk and saying something like "That stun is too long, lower it by 1 sec" and that was that, I'd be shocked.

It's just not how design works. You don't take a multi-million dollar franchise and put major decisions in the hands of a single person. I don't know why anyone would delude themselves into thinking that happens.

Then again, it's an incredibly common problem in fandom to attribute way more power to certain people in the production efforts, for good and bad, so it's not exactly surprising.

[EDIT]

Oh, I also forgot to add that literally every change that goes into this game almost certainly goes through a peer review process. That generally means that will produce a mock-up of the change, which then gets looked at by other people in the design team (possibly all), as well as project heads from the other departments (like art, for instance, depending on what the change is).

They'll each have a turn giving their input, and if it's positive, they'll move to the second build where they can actually implement it. That probably also gets reviewed. And then they'll be a FINAL peer review for the whole patch, taking everything into account.

There may be more peer reviews in there that I skipped, depending on what they're doing.

My point being, game design structures and procedures are designed to maximize the amount of input from the teams, and ease the channels of communication there. GC wouldn't have kept his job if he wasn't taking his team's input.

Edited, Jan 20th 2014 9:50am by idiggory
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#58 Jan 20 2014 at 12:50 PM Rating: Good
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