If you've ever worked at a big IT/gaming company (circa 2,000 employees), either as a programmer, developer or data analyst, you would know that it's not simply a case of "X needs Y". There are extremely long, complex processes behind everything and every suggestion before it can even be considered being implemented into the game. That's not to mention the approval process.
Blizzard Entertainment do not have single developers for single classes, they have an entire team for all the classes. From which, they have to balance all classes, in all situations, for all specs, whilst keeping it easy to understand for the end user. That's far from an easy task. Changing Frostbolt to do 200% damage in PvP but 100% damage in PvE isn't as simple as changing a bit of code and adding some information to a tooltip - They have to consider:
- How are we going to tell users about this change
- How easy is it for a user to understand the change
- Is the tool-tip going to be bloated
- Does this open the doors for further changes to also be done
- When can we get the translations done by for all supported languages
- Does it require a client build? If so, is it a high enough priority to warrant a client side patch
Even once you've done all that, you need to implement the change on an internal build, do internal QA and tick off every box you've ever known to ensure that no other bugs are introduced with this minor fix. In development, it's not uncommon that changing one minor things, can affect something major elsewhere. There was a post from Blizzard in 2009 about a hot-fix they implemented for class balance, which ended up breaking Onyxia. Completely unrelated, completely separate part of the game, but such is the way of code, especially with a game which now stretches over 50,000,000 lines of code.
Just because it comes out that X has been broken for Y months, doesn't mean anybody knew about it. Even if somewhere, at some point, a user reported the problem, it first of all needs to make it to the ears of the developer through the QA process for it to be delt with. If QA took a look at the issue and decided that there was not a problem, it would never have even made it to the developers. Your bug reports do not go straight to Holinka's inbox, they go to a general repository to then be broken apart, verified and assigned as tasks from team leaders, when/as required.
Put simply, sometimes at work I spend an entire week doing particular tasks, but if you asked me to quantify my results for the week in terms of something visual, I probably wouldn't be able to. It doesn't mean that you've spent 40-60 hours a week doing nothing, it means that you've been working on tasks, investigating, meeting, or even just doing code behind the scenes for future applications. Don't forget that all of these changes that are in the WoD alpha notes, for the most part, are class balance changes. They weren't dreamt up over night, they will have been months of number crunching, decision making and organization to attempt rebalanced across the board.
Take from this what you will, but this is coming from hands on experience in the gaming industry and this field.
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