I was reading through various posts about the upcoming 4.3 patch on some different forums and it seems that not many people like this guy. I read his justifications for death knights (for instance) and my impression is that this guy is just reactionary in terms of how he approaches class design. Meaning that these small fixes, which don’t seem well thought out, exist to pacify a small percentage of people in the game.
What was more interesting was reading on a wowhead forum how this guy came from Microsoft and screwed up the Age of Empires series. I don’t know exactly what that was about, but I’m not getting a good impression of him as a game developer. Perhaps, he has the unenviable duty of acting as a buffer between the game community and Blizzard/Activision, but I’m not impressed by the results thus far.
Apparently, he got the baton when Cataclysm came about. So far, I’ve been less than happy with the vast majority of the game changes that continually go on. A lot of it I would have to say could be directed at Ghostcrawler because he’s the lead developer on this thing so he needs to take responsibility for the garbage that is being put out. For instance, his vision of “fun” is basically making people jump around more in the game. Sure, the original version of WoW was kinda stale in the basic mechanics, but now it feels more like a 3rd person shooter as opposed to an FRPG (which is what my impression that the game ought to be).
Not surprisingly, the game has lost subscribers. I think once they started to make an attempt to appeal to old time veterans, they narrowed their audience considerably. So rather than expanding on the game content, they focused mostly on re-doing how the game should be played. This to me was a HUGE mistake. I think the game itself was fine with WOTLK, minus the emphasis on gear.
What Cataclysm needed was an emphasis on content. The content thus far, though revamped, seemed more like stupid pop cultural references that demonstrated what a bunch of no life, movie watching fat geeks Blizzard/Activision employees are as opposed to people who have great insight into what makes an excellent FRPG.
Content, not gear, not game mechanics, and immersion are the two key elements that make a successful FRPG. Right now, there’s very little to get excited about in Cataclysm except more grind fests. That’s why the game has taken a serious plunge. Doesn’t Blizzard/Activision have good FRPG visionaries?
Either way, I don’t think Ghostcrawler knows a lot about FRPGs. That’s why the game is suffering big time. The game shouldn’t be an action oriented game. The idea for this type of game simply should be what the old AD&D Friday night games was: just a bunch of friends getting together to have some fun. Jumping up and down and making continuous pointless changes to a game just to appease corners of a limited community are not what FRPGs and a good Friday night is about.