More on the Ghostwolf Nerf

Looks like I’m not the only one peeved by this hotfix:

  • Several hunters wasted a lot of cash getting the needed items to make it possible, based on the blue statement that this would stay as it was a creative use of in-game mechanisms
  • Big Bear Butt Blogger feels like me but writes it a lot better: “There was nothing… just no reason at all to do this, except out of spite that the cool kids figured out a way to have fun that some idiot at Blizzard didn’t think of first.”
  • Time Well Wasted (discovered through BBB) goes to the heart of the issue: “We’ve seen this time and again: a player discovers an inventive use of a spell or an item or a game feature, and has a lot of fun with it — then Blizzard comes away and yanks the fun toy away because they didn’t mean to do it on purpose. Sure, sometimes that toy causes imbalance, but when it doesn’t, it makes no sense that Blizzard should get prickly about it. Your game just got MORE FUN for its players. You have unintentionally SATISFIED a paying customer. What business model sees this as a bad thing? Instead of hotfixing it, Blizzard should be wholeheartedly embracing this quirk and turn it into a supported feature: rare-looking pets that take significant effort to tame, sort of like an epic hunter pet quest.
  • Tzia at Have Bow, Will Travel, points out the matter of consistency and credibility of the CMs: “Am I upset? YES. I had no intention of taming this thing, since it would have taken a specialty meta gem, and a few people to help me just to get, and then I would have had to go through the horror that is grinding up a lowbie pet. However, you do not say one thing and then do the other.

Expect more backlash to come within the next hours. Frankly, I’m not into disruptive actions or whatnot, but I hope that everyone who spent the gold to aquire the gems and mats and is now sitting on them petitions a GM for a refund, so that there is at least some kind of feedback into the system that this was a crappy decision, to say the least.

Beyond that, though, as Tzia stated, the really stupid thing is that this dev decision diminished their Community Managers’ credibility (again). Considering the state of the o-boards at the best of times, as well as the rampant paranoia, nerf-calling, trolling, venting, ranting, crying, whining, lashing out, trolling and whatnot which makes the bread and butter of the interaction between forum posters and the CMs, this decision sends out the message “our CMs are really a PR function, not Community Representatives”.

Moroagh has spent some time discussing about the input designers can get from their community. Tobold expanded on the notion, differentiating between listening to the wanton noise and taking the pulse of the playerbase. CMs ought to be one of the tools the devs could, should (and sometimes do) use to take player input into account. When you basically make them liars on a cosmetic but extremely visible and popular symbol, you make their job of getting the pulse that much harder.

Definitely one of the poorest design decisions in recent times.

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14 Responses to More on the Ghostwolf Nerf

  1. One Among Many (8 comments) says:

    As she also noted (Have bow, Will travel), she was around for the serpent nerf. As was I. This reminds me of that quite a bit without the inability for existing wolves to be fed. I know a few people (or used to) that I would run with 3 years ago. They had serpents. I had a bear. Then the day came where they said NO. And they couldn’t feed their serpents anymore. Eventually they all ran away. It forces me to remember my own “sob story” involving my bear.

    Blizzard doesn’t ever really seem to like hunters. The moment we’re happy, it’s ripped away. Could they be more childish? OMG hunters are having more fun! We can’t let this happen!


    It’s just a shame. I’ve seen quite a few people quit the game and leave their lvl 60 hunters on the shelf. A friend of mine recorded his deletion of his hunter with serpent when that happened. He never played the game again.

    Isn’t it all supposed to be fun?

    They seem to have lost sight of so many things…

  2. Gwaendar (217 comments) says:

    I think it’s not as much about not liking hunters (after all, there’s been a lot of hunter love spread out in patch 2.3, including a lot of stuff hunters didn’t even ask for in the first place) than missing what makes part of the players “tick” – hunter DPS and / or CC is just one aspect of the class. There’s a vast proportion of the dedicated players to whom pet ownership and taming is a very important aspect of the game.

    And while every so often they take good pet decisions, this recent example (as several older ones like you cited) shows a lack of understanding this particular motivation.

    Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure things like normalizing speed, giving Dash to raptors and removing several unique features to different pets was actually driven by a simple statistical analysis which showed that level 60 (at that time) hunters were either using a cat, a ZG bat, or the shadow wolf (exact name escapes me at the moment, the one which dealt shadow damage), not a keen understanding of pet-mania.

    The game is poorer for that.

  3. One Among Many (8 comments) says:

    Well the “not liking hunters” was just a general statement from 3 years of various love and hate arguments. Granted, I’ve been on the side of other classes and gotten loved and nerfed as well. It just seems to hit harder in regards to your pet if you’re a hunter. They made us a pet class…they give us pets…then they rip them away in a friggin STEALTH hotfix?!

    I understand buffing and nerfing classes but come on, that’s just bad form.

  4. Pingback: A Tale of Two Pets « Time Well Wasted

  5. Someone (31 comments) says:

    I could go on and on, but you and others described it perfectly: needless, un-called for nerf for NO reason!

  6. Someone (31 comments) says:

    As for the “hunter love” in a comment, it’s even worst as this is NOT the first time a hunter STEALTH hotfix nerfs something! Then they’ll say it “slipped” from the patch notes… Kind of makes us wonder what kind of NON-Quality Control Blizzard has in place… Maybe they’ll come around and un-fix it as they did to double-trapping, but even so, it doesn’t give them more credibility for doing needless nerfs back and forth for no good reason…

  7. Pingback: Mania’s Arcania » Ghost Wolf Removal Roundup

  8. Galoheart (46 comments) says:

    It sounds totally uncalled for and even more so if the coding for the Ghost Wolf is not having any unintended effects on anything else. At minimum Blizzard should explain this to the players. But seem wrong to me to remove something thats harmless but fun for a class that can have fun obtaining a unique pet.

    Blizzard at times just don’t seem to like players having fun at something that wasnt at first by intended design by them. The game is suppose to be fun to play and enjoy. Removing the pet just goes totally against that fun factor. Just like when you think of War of Warcraft sometimes you wonder, where is the war? Its bad that Blizzard just shot down the credability of their CM who did not too long ago said the pet would remain but which on reverse course is now removed by Blizzard. I won’t be surprised if in the end Blizzard reverse course again on this pet issue.

  9. One Among Many (8 comments) says:

    Well they did change Volley’s graphic back to it’s original state. I assume enough people complained or spoke up about the new graphic that it was changed back to it’s old self. My guildmates were happy to no longer be subjected to my “sparkly pee”…

    So perhaps Blizzard will change it’s stance again and say Fine, Have your ghost wolf!

  10. Windstrider (1 comments) says:

    I play a hunter and i now that thay did giv us hunters a big boost whith the close range decres to 5 yards thats good in instances but for god sakes not only do thay nerf pets but thay giv us usles ones like the spiders,tallstriders,and spore bats of whitch r usles to us hunters but a lot of hunters like thim its about time thay give thim somthing more

    FEI:me persanaly i would like a mor of a veriety of pets and thay need to fix the creatchers that say beast and cant be tamed plz so u dont get the hopes of all the new commers to the hunter world.(FEI=for everyones information):P

  11. Krispy cow (1 comments) says:

    Digit on the WOW hunter forum made a post on the topic that caught me off guard.

    Oh Blizzard, why do you do these things? I really hope somebody is reading all these posts.

    I’m a long time player. I’ve been here since the beginning. Every nerf, and tweek, and patch, and hotfix kills a little more of that kid in me that once reveled in wonder at this game.

    You know, that feeling we all had when the game was new and fantastic and full of potential? When anything seemed possible, and a lot of it was. Where you felt really immersed, and thought… this place is huge! Its amazing! You were filled with respect for the power of human imagination.

    These days, that feeling is about the size of a mote of dust. Something you can only see when you stop and look at the light just right, then you remember what it used to feel like. We’re now under this oppresive lockdown. Everything has to be fair. Everything has to make sense. Things that aren’t intended MUST be removed.

    You’re breaking my heart Blizzard. One slow thud of the nerfbat at a time, and with each passing fix or nerf I find myself glad I can still logout and leave whenever I want, and that there is still a free place where your control can’t reach. I used to be so happy in this game…seems lately, I’m happier out of it. Just add this ghost wolf to the pile… It’s all adding up.

    Removing the spirit wolf is a bitter irony, the spirit of the game seems to be leaving as well.

    It stung, because its so true. Hey Digit. I don’t know about blizzard, but I’m reading and I know where you’re coming from all too well.

  12. Forro (1 comments) says:

    I disagree with the general opinion on this.

    First of all “a player discovers an inventive use of a spell or an item or a game feature, and has a lot of fun with it” – the player(s) who discovered it had a lot of fun with it and moved on to the next thing to have fun with. Why feel bad for the hundreds of copycats who HAVEN’T discovered an inventive use of anything.

    Secondly whenever something like this goes public, Blizzard has to react. Either they have to fix it, or they have to include it into the game. The second would mean to fix the running animation of the wolf, etc. The number of people screaming “why do I have to spend hundreds of gold to get a pet?” or “this is not acceptable Blizz make Ghost Wolf Pets available to us casuals” would have been much higher than the number of those screaming now. Plus those who acquired it the hard way would have complained when the acquisition of the pet was made easier.

    Thirdly I don’t see why anybody still doesn’t know that gamemasters don’t/can’t speak for the devs. They do their job and help people, answer questions, but they don’t anything about such delicate matters. When people go “Blizzard lied to us” I can only laugh and think: “No, a GM told you something from the top of his head and you trusted that because it was what you wanted to hear”.

    And finally I want to add that there is (maybe are?) an other transparent pet that no one ever uses, so why whine about this one?

    If you want to be special, find out about something yourself and enjoy it while it lasts. Please compare this incident to the first guy who got a mount from another faction.

  13. Gwaendar (217 comments) says:

    While I appreciate the counterpoint, let me specify that it was a CM, not a GM who posted that the Ghostwolf was there to stay, an important distinction. CMs are presented as the interface between players and the devs and supposedly speak for the devs. When a CM tells you “we have pondered this and decided it will stay because it’s a creative use of game mechanisms”, he isn’t talking out of his arse, he is a spokesperson. Reverting that decision lessens the credibility of the CMs on all issues, and turns them into pure marketroids.

  14. Matty (1 comments) says:

    You can stand there are argue about it all day it wont change a thing. Mayb you should of researched into it alot quicker like erm… mayb 2months before it got nerfed… Id like to say Grats to all the wise hunters out there got theres before it got nerfed. i hope your enjoying your ghost wolf, i know i am ;)

    Hunter, Thunderhorn.