Blizzard has been revealing newly-revised classes recently. The Priest has a new power that sounds pretty fun:
Leap of Faith (level 85): Pull a party or raid member to your location. Leap of Faith (or “Life Grip”) is intended to give priests a tool to help rescue fellow players who have pulled aggro, are being focused on in PvP, or just can’t seem to get out of the fire in time. Instant. 30-yard range. 45-second cooldown.
But some priests hate it:
The main problem with Leap of Faith is that the raid member who can’t learn to get out of the fire in time now is able to point the finger at the healer and shout “I died because you didn’t pull me out of the fire”. /facepalm.
And on and on; this is horrible because players will hate it, why didn’t Blizzard think about whether players will hate it? How stupid are they? Think for a minute, damn! What players mean is, “My initial impression is one of fear, and I am afraid of this (and most) change,” and they should be ignored.
Now, I don’t mean they should keep getting ignored forever… they just need to be ignored until they have in-game time with the actual changes. If you’ve come up with a potentially very fun new game verb, you should try it out and let players use it for a while. If there are social problems with it, you can usually fix them, and if you can’t, you can always remove the power.
Why bother? Well, think about what your goal is here. If you’re even considering adding new game verbs to a live, launched game — in an old class to boot — it’s because you’ve decided that the gameplay of said class needs to be “more fun”. Assuming number-tweaks are not adequate for the task, you need new verbs — new fun things for players to do.
And there are no interesting game verbs that do not cause alarmed panic among some part of your audience. Most of the time, it turns out the verbs work fine after minor tweaks. Not always, but usually. It’s definitely the way to bet. Fun verbs that work in your engine are precious and should never be thrown away unless their problems are absolutely insurmountable.
Of course, fine-tuning this during beta-testing would be sane… which looks like what Blizzard is going to do, anyway.
[I am having a hard time finishing any of the vast, overly long articles I wanted to post next, so I figured I'd just do some really short blog posts for a few weeks. And even this post is based on weeks-old news. Blogging is hard! I blame all the really good games out these days. And sun spots.]