Friday, September 23, 2011

What if there was no PTR?

So last night, after the nerfs had been live for about 2 days, we got our 2nd kill on Alysrazor which really put a shine on the nerfs.  First kill last week ended with our mage ice-blocking at about 3kHP while DoTs finished her off.  This week - we finished her off with 2 healers dead.

So the nerfs helped, and I think this is definately pointing to new content coming out "soon".  We're 4 weeks away from Blizzcon, where we're going to be dazzled with Diablo 3, SC II Swarm, and the latest patch stuff.  Now, this is kind of a mixed bag, because there's two giant WoW announcements that have to happen at the same time.

First, there's the Demon Soul patch.  The culmination of the Cataclysm encounters, we've already been shown  some information on the Deathwing encounter.  Now while there's nothing saying that they couldn't cut the raid until after 4.3 has been out a while, the odds are good that we'll see it launch on time.  So, Blizzcon will probably be used to preview this raid pretty heavily.

Second, Blizzard is probably going to give us a good view of the next expansion.  I can't imagine that they'd wait until spring/summer of 2012 to announce the new xpac, and waiting until Blizzcon 2012 would mean close to a year (or more) of 4.3x being live.  That's way too long, and would result in some kind of SWP or worse Ruby Sanctum type filler raid.

So what to do?

I would really like to see 4.3 launch without a full PTR for it.  While this has the potential to present us with some buggy encounters in the raid, it's not unprecedented for Blizzard to release gated/winged content, giving them more time to finish the polish on the Deathwing encounter.  Since the raid is only 7 or so bosses though, this seems like it would be some really small gates.

Blizzard was also recently hiring game testers for in house testing, which may indicate that they are at least doing more internal testing.  We know that fights are released broken even after weeks of PTR testing, so I wouldn't be 100% opposed to no PTR.  It would help keep down a ton of spoilers and would bring back some of that feeling we had in MC where there were no real strategies or videos to watch at the beginning.

My bet

I'm pretty sure that we're going to see 4.3 launch extremely close to Blizzcon, like the Tuesday immediately following.  With D3 and the SC2 expansion coming out later this year/early 2012, it would be a good time to announce the next expansion as well.

Here's hoping for no PTR, and Demon Soul going live in just 4 weeks.


  1. The last thing blizzard can afford to do right now is release a buggy, unpolished, and unprofessional content patch. Player dissatisfaction is as high as I've ever seen it, and nothing riles up like a broken instance.

  2. I think they'll still test it, but that doesn't mean they need a PTR

  3. Internal testing doesn't find half the bugs that a PTR does, which doesn't find all the bugs that a live launch does. Nothing beats turning it over to a few thousand players who are intent on breaking the coding.

    They need the PTR, not only to ensure a smooth release build, but also to build up excitement over the patch, which I will bet dollars to donuts is scheduled to go live on December 20th.

  4. Never forget BWL, where all the prieview shots showed them fighting all the bosses in vaels room, and guess what on release the door out of vaels room did not work except for one guild.

  5. It has already been announced that D3 isn't coming out until 2012.


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