The perils of progressive testing

After Skellum of Dalaran posts on the forums asking just where all these PTR changes are coming from, Nethaera sobers us all up about what the PTR is all about: progressive testing. She says that Blizzard has said from the beginning that there will be changes in the notes, and that things we thought were the end of the world in the beginning have changed or been completely removed. Welcome to the perilous world of progressive testing.

And it occurs to me that I've broken my own rule about patience on the PTRs. When those Shaman notes dropped with only a Stormstrike icon, it didn't occur to me (or almost any other players) that Blizzard wasn't done yet. And while the latest changes still aren't done (we're still waiting for an Elemental buff), things have been fixed somewhat since then.

But is this really just players doubting Blizzard? They posted the patch notes with just one small disclaimer -- would they have been able to quell the furor a bit more if they'd made it more clear that what's posted on the PTR notes has almost no connection to what will show up on the live realms? But then again, Neth never really answered the question of where these changes are coming from -- if Shamans hadn't QQ'd so much over the Elemental Mastery and Nature's Swiftness nerf, would it ever have been reverted? Blizzard seems to be simultaneously telling players to be patient and also give feedback. If players had been patient when the EM and NS nerf came down, and it hadn't caused such an uproar, would it have been changed back at all?

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.