Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fare Thee Well, Ghostcrawler

You may have heard the news already -- Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street is leaving Blizzard.

He was the Leads Systems Designer which basically meant he was in charge of how mechanics work in World of Warcraft.  He's not responsible for raid or dungeon design.  He's not responsible for PvP.  He's not responsible for Lore.  He's not responsible for a lot of other stuff too (though sometimes he works with other leads when things overlap) -- yet from the attitudes of some people you'd think Ghostcrawler sat alone in his cubicle and plotted to ruin WoW, instituting any change he wished without caring about the opinion of any other person.

Nothing could be further from the truth, of course -- not only was he not in charge of many changes in WoW but he had an entire team to work with.  He was simply the face for the team and often represented changes in general since he was already interacting with people!

Or, to rephrase things, people disgust me on the internet.  Some of the vile things said about Mr. Street are despicable but, sadly, I am not surprised.  Just disappointed in people.

On my end, Mr. Street, I've always respected you and the tremendous amount of effort and dedication you put into your job.  I appreciated the way you attempted to engage the players via the forums, Blizzard blog, Twitter, and more.  I didn't always agree with you (like, say, the rep grind at the beginning of Mists of Pandaria) but I never doubted you and your team were doing what you thought best for WoW.

Best of luck to you.

P.S. If you're ever in my area I'd be happy to buy you a beer.  Or a Scotch/Gin, since I think you said you preferred those.  Or whatever.


  1. Should ask him to swing his yacht by ;)

    As a software developer, I can empathize with Ghostcrawler a lot. I get friends and family all the time saying, "Why does suck so much?" and I can only respond, "I don't even work on that product, let alone that feature." People just don't seem to understand how that works for some odd reason, despite it being explained many times. Though, it doesn't seem to be much different with folks blaming the President of the US for all sorts of things when it's really Congress that created a given law or bill, so I guess that's par for the course?

    Still, his line of communication and his slightly snarky attitude will be missed. I hated the uncommunicative Blizzard of old, with their inscrutable patch notes coming from upon high.

    1. He might have trouble bringing it to Missouri, though I suppose he could sail it up the Mississippi!

      But yeah, people tend to blame/credit the President for everything that happens -- most people have no idea, for example, that it was the Republicans who got the Civil Rights Act passed. The Democrats couldn't get enough votes despite having a majority because of the Dixiecrats.

      But who gets the credit? JFK or LBJ.

      And yes, I'll definitely miss stuff like "Watercooler with the Devs" unless someone else steps up to the plate on that.