The art of not listening made Blizzard not just the most successful mmo developer, but sustained-stability mmo-developer, and wall-separation-design-spread there will ever be. Blizzard’s problems started when Activision decided they would break Blizzard’s rules about not listening, and start listening to the top 13% (the “elitist” players); following this, Blizzard felt it had a free hand to replicate the same culture in their company, where now the opinion of only the top 5-7% of their workforce would matter; it was the Trump era too so the top “anything” was to some degree much “freer” in feeling that entitlement. This mean they would immediately do away with the following:
(ironically the uncensured data that was eventually released showed that these were the most successful things Blizzard had created)
- they would reduce the emphasis of Jaina, pirates, Murlocs, humor, towns like Boralus, water, scenic locales, anything relaxing in nature, anything with a rich storyline, and reduce dungeons like Freehold.
This circulated among the elitist players and was the only material from which Blizzard would be allowed to make Shadowlands, with the rest of the staff being fired immediately.
It was found out later that, in fact, it had cost them a difference of about 7 million subscriptions from what they would have had on JUST:
the continuation of Boralus or towns like Boralus
the doubling of pirates and adding more pirate ships and scenic locales
making Jaina the only heroine, and tributing the entire next expansion to her; continuing the award-winning “Daughter of the Sea” storyline, and even prequelling and sequelling it in the same expansion
the supposedly most hated island adventures pvp thing had the sealed reviews released, reception, and favorability statistics, and happened to be the best thing every created
another voice like N’Zoth
numerous dungeons like Freehold and even a sequel-type dungeon of it
increased goblins and another instance or sequel, or continuation of the goblin dungeon
Of course, by the time all this was found out, they had become far too invested in their destruction, in more ways than one…
Lesson: Have a development team that never listens and a hotfixer that fixes quietly upon investigation, with minimal impact possible.
ABOVE ALL, emphasize RIGID stability and availability of the dopamine mechanics of ur game and preserve them as though they are sacred. That means no long patches, no frequent patches, no overreactions to whose staff blew up and killed a town or who has a set of void armor hanging out of their as*, and u by definition, WILL succeed. If not, well, good luck.
But if u know WHERE ur numbers came from (WoW Pacific and Pirates Steam), then this is the minimum they will need, and them having only 14k or so left on the WoW side shows it very loudly. Thanks.