Hello Leu, This post is meant to illustrate how the design process can go bad so that hopefully, future design processes can be improved. The case study is pet ball changes. The first step in a design change is realizing the need for a change. Some times this happens inadvertently (more on this later). In this case, the first inadvertent change which necessitated a design modification was the introduction of the super dragons. Having super dragons in Destard and giving dragons back their place among feared monsters was an admirable goal, however, allowing them to be tameable quickly brought taming and more specifically petballs to the forefront. Petballs had been abused for years, but by introducing the super dragons, the abuses quickly came to the forefront. Hence, the three part petball changes were introduced. The concerns about petballs were: 1. Hidden tamers were using them to summon in pets to... 2. Use as part of an offensive combo then... 3. Spamming the petball while chasing down opponents. The fix to number one was to prohibit the use of a petball while hidden and additionally display a message that it was in use. The fix to number 3 was to introduce a 15 second delay between uses. The fix to number 2 was to introduce an interruptable casting delay. Number 2 is where we run into the next example of an unintended outcome which will require a further adjustment. The unintended outcome of introducing an interruptable casting delay intended to stop the use of petballs as part of an offensive combo is that the same delay will now prevent the defensive use of petballs as protection against dismount. In another thread, the use of bolas and teleport has been illustrated for you and you now realize that this is a problem. However, for every time someone is dismounted by a bola throwing teleporter, 100 people are dismounted by a heavy crossbow, usually from a hidden archer. The unintended outcome of the casting delay will be that the only viable escape available to any player regardless of template has now been removed. Dismount which is already very,very difficult to escape, will now become an automatic death sentence. Why am I telling you this? Well, I'd like design resources to be spent wisely the first time. That way, we can get more positive design changes and less wasted time fixing bad ones. Let me simplify this. A) Super dragons introduced--petball changes now required. B) Pet ball changes introduced--dismount changes now required. Do you see the pattern? We are repeatedly getting poor design decisions which immediately impact the game in ways the design team did not anticipate. Thus, further changes become necessary almost immediately. How can this be avoided? The arch cure changes are a good example of a poor design choice which did not make it into production. The changes were created without player input (more on this to come) and then put onto test center where even before testing was done, players quickly realized that this was a bad design decision. The cost was the time wasted designing and implementing the arch cure changes. That time could have been spent on something players asked for or needed if only someone had taken the time to ask player's opinions before the design and implementation time had been wasted. In the example of the superdragon spiral, introduction of the super dragons without player input has now resulted in petball changes which in turn will necessitate dismount changes. Again, this could have been avoided by consulting players before introducing another even more ridiculously overpowered pet. At least in terms of the petball changes, player input was solicited. The mistake that was made in this case was in not taking the time to fully understand what players were saying. Numerous threads explained that with the effective removal of petballs as a defensive measure, dismount would become insanely overpowered. Numerous suggestions were made in these numerous threads to allow for the prevention of petballs as part of a combo while still preserving their defensive use. My personal favorite is lengthening the delay between the use of a petball and the ability of a tamer to give the "all kill" command. Currently, this delay is about one second. By lengthening it to two seconds, you would have the same delay that is being tested now but the defensive use of petballs would be preserved. The only difference is that summoning as currently proposed is interruptable, which of course is the inherent design flaw. Let me explain this simply, in an attempt to fix something, you broke something else. It was bad design, it was also a failure to listen. I have two take homes for you. 1. Always solicit player input when contemplating design changes. You don't have to make a post on Stratics. Form focus groups (and treat them professionally this time), PM players who know what they are doing, ICQ someone, do something, but get player input. UO is not a game that can be designed by the numbers, Mr. Tact proved that over and over. It must be designed by those who actually play the game or at least, those who play the game must be asked. 2. Listen to player input. Consider not just the direct impact of changes, but also the unintended impact. That feedback in this case is in multiple threads, it was there for consideration, it just wasn't adequately understood. I'm not sure what else to say other than, I hope this helps you design better. Understanding where mistakes are made is a good way to avoid them in the future, even if it is already too late for the "super dragon spiral".