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Suggestion: Profiler Status and Road Map sticky
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Love the Profiler, but since Mists' release I haven't used it much because of the bugs. Answers are littered in various pockets of these forums. It would be great to see a sticky topic (can be locked) that has a status report, road map and FAQ on the site feature. That way I can see at a glance if what I'm experiencing is a wide-spread problem or something that I can fix myself.
I know there's already a sticky with the term "Profiler" in the subejct line. But there's very little there about the Profiler. And it's a big enough feature to merit it's own sticky, I think.
Thanks for reading. Cheers.
These are the most recent updates regarding the profiler:
We're currently trying to evaluate what we feel is actually useful and viable from the profiler to salvage, but the project is not going to exist as it currently exists for much longer.
The problem with the profiler is it's not easy to use and it was always a colossal mistake. Since its inception, it was low traffic and very hard to use effectively. Unfortunately it's not a low traffic thing that's easily fixed, either; if it breaks, it can take 1-2 months of dev time to fix back up. If a forum breaks or a guide breaks (all of which get much more traffic than the profiler), it will take usually under a day to identify and resolve the issue. This means the profiler is our lowest traffic item on the site and is also the highest developer time sink on the site, something which mixes extremely badly for Wowhead.
Features that I think the profiler has that are good are its quest tracking and item tracking. :) However, nearly everything else about it has been made redundant by the Armory or was hard to use in the first place. So like I said, we're trying to evaluate what we would like to reuse and implement again separately, but the profiler in its current form has not been functional since release and isn't worth the time repairing. It's putting a bandaid on a cut that needs surgery, basically, to fix it at this point.
It's disheartening to have a few passionate people who love the profiler try to draw conclusions that the profiler's failure means other things about Wowhead. It doesn't, it just means the profiler is a problem we've been having to deal with for years. Since I've worked here, people have been talking about retiring it. So now we're thinking about how to move forward on retiring it, but keeping many of its tools available to the public--just in a better form :)
To reiterate, I just feel like the profiler is something every staff member has hated since forever. And we have applied band-aid fixes, we've tweaked with it, and we've put a lot of energy onto it that could have gone to other things.
However, with MoP, a lot of things changed datawise--and 5.1 came right after the expansion launched. This meant we needed a lot more dev time for the datamining, for the actual database, and it becomes really hard to justify spending a week on another bandaid patch if the profiler is about to die again in 5.1. As disappointing as it is, the traffic it gets does count into it too, because it it's like 1 million to 1, data will always win out. It's not even a business choice at that point.
That said, one of our goals for November/December is to take the quest completion (+pets/etc)/gear wishlist aspect of the profiler and add it directly to our site. Since this is probably 90% of what people who did use the profiler used it for, it should work out well. The reason why we didn't retire it sooner is because we didn't want to take something away without a solution in place. :)
As you can see from this fact it would make little sense to make a sticky regarding the status of the profiler at this point. However, I just wanted to make sure you were aware of the future changes coming to it.
If for no other reason, a sticky highlighting the above would be useful because I couldn't find this information easily, not even via searching, and it's important to someone who likes the feature (like me, and I doubt I'm alone, however minuscule my group may be) to know these things. I kind of feel stupid now for continuing to visit the profiler and hoping to see it "fixed" soon, when in fact it never will be (apparently). Perhaps a notice should also be put up on the Profiler page with links to other services (Askmrrobot, wow heroes, etc) that provide the same service, perhaps in a better way.
Also, I would like to point out in case any Wowhead staff read this that perhaps the biggest reason I bought into the premium service was because of the Profiler work. I was really impressed with it. Now that this is not a high priority, I'm likely not going to be continuing the premium service past the current cycle. I understand their reasoning for where it sits in their queue. I wanted to make clear why I would not continue supporting Wowhead, so they can understand at least one member's stance.
I'm planning on making a newspost later today with the 5.1 features the team has been focusing on. After I finish writing the weekend guide, I ideally would like to make a feedback-forum specific post (in the style of the
March dev blog
) talking about various fixes the team has been working on in MoP and what we plan on improving now that Item Upgrade and tooltip features launched this week.
We actually brainstormed some ways to repackage the popular features of the Profiler last week and work began on that yesterday. We think that we can take the aspects that users liked and redo them so they're less buggy and better integrated on Wowhead.
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