Dear Devs: Re: Pet Charms

#1 - July 30, 2018, 1:27 p.m.
Blizzard Post
First things first:
- I've already gone through the process to open a ticket and try and discuss this with Customer Support. They directed me here.

With the BfA pre-patch, you made a change to Pet Charms. You converted existing Pet Charms to Shiny Pet Charms and introduced a new type called Polished Pet Charms that are as-of-yet unattainable. Additionally, you made some items purchasable via Shiny and others via Polished. Things that you could buy with regular charms before the patch cannot now be purchased until we gain access to Polished.

If I had known this change was coming, I would certainly have spent my Charms on Battle Stones before the patch. But, since I don't regularly read the forums and I don't typically read posts on WoWHead, I had no idea the change was coming. Thus, I sit with about 1,000 Shiny Pet Charms that I personally have no use for. (Yes, I know I can use them to buy toys and pets. I already have all those, and I hate playing the AH.)

I would like to bring your attention to 3 issues around this situation:

1) This change was implemented poorly.
You could have easily left existing Pet Charms as the items they were, and removed any way of getting more of them. Then added your new versions and put in the ways to get those. Thus players could still have used their old charms the same way they always had, they just couldn't acquire any more of them. And at the same time, your new charm system would be in place for the future.

2) Communication of changes like this is not done well.
During the ticket process with Customer Support I was sent a link to a WoWHead post about the change and told "we made this public here". First of all, WoWHead is a 3rd party website. Why would I expect to hear about changes to the game from them, rather than directly from you? Second, the post was from 3 days before the patch went live. 3 days notice is not good communication.
When I made these points to CS, I was then linked to a forum post from May. That post was in the Beta section, and the relevant post was FIVE PAGES into the thread. If I'm not participating in Beta, why would I read that thread? Let alone scour 5+ pages of posts. I know there are a lot of people who live and breath WoW and read everything they can about it. There are also plenty that do not. We enjoy the game, but we don't feel the need to keep up on every single detail every day.... nor should we be expected to.

If you're going to make a change like this, and you're going to do it the way you did (which again, you shouldn't)... why would you not communicate that change IN GAME to the players that obviously would care about the change? Just send an in-game mail to anyone who has Pet Charms and inform them of the upcoming change. Why would a change to something in-game not be communicated in-game?

3) Customer Support directed me here to ask the devs for help.
I'm a software developer, and have been for over 20 years now. And I have never seen a process work that way. Never would I expect a customer to talk directly with the software engineers to resolve their problem. Customer Support is the interface with customers.... hence the name. They should be the ones helping the customers. If a developer needs to be consulted, then CS should do it, not the customers themselves.

I feel like this change was poorly implemented and poorly communicated. And as such, I was striped of weeks (if not months) of work for the Pet Charms I had accumulated. I am requesting that you identify how many I had before the patch, and convert those directly to Flawless Battle-Training Stones or Ultimate Battle-Training Stones.

I am also requesting that you review your change processes and communication processes for improvement.

Thank you for your time.
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Community Manager
#20 - Aug. 1, 2018, 8:29 p.m.
Blizzard Post
Hey guys! Just some clarification that this was a communicated change and we posted about this on the beta forums.

Here is a link to the post on it when we made that change on the beta and some follow up from Muffinus on some philosophy behind it:
05/24/2018 04:52 PMPosted by Muffinus
What this means for you: always-useful items will eventually move to the new currency, so you don't feel obligated to do older content. If you still need pets from older content, they are purchasable with that content's charms.

This was something that was communicated on the forums and was repeated by lots of fan sites and individuals on social media as well as our own accounts leading up to the 8.0 patch.

However, you're right it wasn't in the patch notes and we do apologize for that as it should've been in there too and I'll make that a note in the future that we shouldn't miss things like that. In the mean time you can still use the Shiny Pet Charms to buy the existing pets and toys, and the new Pet Charms will be available once we get into BfA.