Speculation is high that patch 4.0.6 will drop Tuesday, and hopefully it will bring some much-needed balance to World of Warcraft's Cataclysm, as well as some welcome changes to a variety of areas.
However, in the developer's haste to put out this first major patch in the expansion, I have to wonder if they have gotten careless and complacent.
There are two main gripes that I am hearing from many WoW players, both in the game and on forums across the Web. Too many bugs, and a number of flat out errors that could easily have been prevented.
Bugs and glitches are to be expected, and most players understand that. However, recently, there have been more and more problems of this type slipping through the cracks. While the overall release of Cataclysm was a bit more smooth than Wrath of the Lich King, it seems to be taking longer to find and fix some of the bugs. And in the meantime more seem to be discovered.
One test of any developer is not so much how many bugs there are, but how they handle the ones that happen. It is my opinion -- and that of many others -- that Blizzard simply is not handling them as well as they did in the past. Perhaps it was a bit of a trade-off, with a smoother release but a bumpier aftermath. Yes, bugs do happen, and I don't usually complain too loudly, but these days they seem to multiply faster, and the developers seem to be just a bit behind on squashing them.
“Love Is In The Air” is a perfect example. There were several bugs that occurred when this event started this past weekend, and some of them are preventing players from completing quests and achievements. Particularly when you have a limited time to do things, as with holiday events, it is crucial that there be as few problems as possible.
This is also the second holiday to have plain and simple errors. Two of the quests, one alliance and one horde, require you to make and give an item to an NPC that is no longer accessible (in the case of the horde, the NPC is actually dead). The only way to describe this is careless.
Someone should have been checking these things, making sure that nothing in the game, holiday or otherwise, points to dead NPCs, and that if someone has moved, things are also adjusted accordingly.
There are a number of great things that will come in the next patch, be it Tuesday or whenever it hits. More justice points, tweaks to the guild achievement/reputation system, class balancing, and many other fixes, changes, and additions. Yet, I have to wonder if maybe the developers should have slowed down a bit and been more careful with what was already there.
If waiting a little longer on some of the patch changes would have allowed other things to be fixed quicker, or other errors to have been caught before going live, I think it would have been worth the wait.
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