Thanks for your post, seems like you put a lot of thought into that. However, you still overlooked a few things:
1) Diablo 3 is not a subscription-based game. You cannot expect weekly updates. The reason why PoE gets weekly updates are because it's in beta, there's no money involved, and they don't have a million players that just play and leave for good if a patch in one week breaks the game.
I just had a feeling someone was going to take that sentense out of context. I never stated that Diablo 3 was a sub based game, I mearly stated that that sub based games are affected even greater by it. And yes, we can expect and we should very well expect weekly updates if they are relevant, like bug fixes and completed features. This is a problem that companies have done well to confused the playerbase about, and thats how frequent content updates can be.
Just because something doesnt have a monthly monetary fee, doesnt mean its value is any less; and if anything most monthly fees dont reward players with better value for their game, its very much an up and down curve depending on what part of a very long development cycle the company is at. This is why having frequent updates makes that monthly value reasonable.
The other problem is that companies dont feel required to further update a game if they are not recieving a possible profit from it, ala monthly fees, dlc, in game transactions, etc. This still doesnt devalue the need for frequent updates, it just means that companies have refused to support their game honorably after the initial release. How many companies shovel out a bad or unfinished game and then just quietly disapear, usually with a "we cannot afford to further develop the game" ? A metric ton. How many games can honestly say they are "complete" at release? Almost none of them. There are also games, like Diablo 3, that have stated that they will continue to develop the game for the years to come. So there is no clause that says "We do not have to be professional about our game support, you are not giving us money" . And yet they are recieving continued monetary support, just like a free to play game though via the RMAH.
Also, PoE hasnt been in beta for months and it has a ton of players. Also, LoL has a much higher player base than Diablo 3, and it has an almost annoyingly frequent amount of updates. The amount of games that actually do frequently update their game is not some small number, and not one thats religated to only niche genre or money.
Thats a rather funny and ironic statement to make, considering you saying that shows that you do not have an idea in how programming works, or that your "expertise" in the field is fed solely from what game developers have told you in PR talks and what "a friend of a friend" have said. I in fact know very well how programming "works" . I do not claim to be the be all and end all of all things software, but I very well know the very basic rule that every computer science student or enthusiest learns when they start on the path for software development; you're code is only as good as you make it to be.
Just because blizzard made a lot of mistakes, and a lot of companies, in their coding process, who the hire, how they treat their workers, etc. does not mean that the "physics" of coding is some sort of unrulely dragon that you cannot fathom to saddle, that only god himself has the knowhow to write beautiful code. Changing 1 line of code does not break another line of code, unless you improperly wrote all the code. Giving a sword +5 to str accidently does not create 100 black dragons to spawn in a noob friendly zone, unless something went horribly horribly wrong in designing the game. Now, you can argue things like: causing memory leaks, runtime errors, eronious movement / controls , etc. , those are valid issues that come up with improper code and/or bad design. Having your armor turn blue when you pick up a rock does not qualify as "just how it works when you code".
Bad programmers make bad code, bad teachers make bad programmers, and bad bosses make bad workers. Code, only does what you tell it to do.
Again, propper coding negates the need for heavy Q & A . Do we live in a world where everyone writes beautiful code? A lot of people do, but if someone who doesnt messes something up, of course things will break. Do I think having a testing phase is important? I sure do. I never stated it wasnt important, I only stated that that Blizzard's Q&A is laughable, and they still release errors that have been pointed out to them for weeks, and break things in the game that have no relation at all to what they were working on. Again, this is not something that "just happens" as a result from programming, its a result from poor workmanship. Q&A, as well as frequency of errors, can be improved by doing the job correctly the first time around, or at the very least focused more heavily on doing a propper job.
Im sure there are employees at blizzard that do their best, and some that dont realize that they are making mistakes or making unnessisary bloat to their game. Its still the job of blizzard and the employees to put forth an effort to correct and improve the quality of work, as well as comprehend preventative skills to keep things like this from becoming a hinderance.
I don't believe you understand the statement you quoted, or the context of where you quoted it from. Blizzard "postponing a release as long as they want" , ' reset a development" and "cancel a game" are exaclty the issues I was talking about. Blizzard postpones releases of things "to create the best quality content" sure, but thats not even half of the real reason.
They postpone because they cant get a grip on what it is they are trying to create, they try too many different iterations of the same thing, the coding / development becomes a much bigger job than the workers can accomplish in the given time, someone changes thier focus part of the way through because of a sudden development, etc. etc. Preaching quality is a very admirable thing, but blizzard has been far from "quality" work for years now.
They have also admited several times (as shields against people getting angry about features not being released) , that they spend a lot of time reworking the same thing over and over, even to the detriment of the feature itself. They also spend a great deal of time trying to create features that either dont pan out as well as they had hoped (or us hoped) for , or dont even make it to finish. These are design resources that countless companies waste and get lost "in the heat of" when developing games, especially before a release of one. These are not examples of "making the game better" , they are examples of "going overboard in design" and creating development bloat.
Is it great and good for companies to want to experiment? Sure is. But you dont sacrafice the overarching progress of the game "to feel something out." . Too many companies, with kickstarter for example, create these huge stretch goals to "improve the game with better funding" , and bottom out shortly after wtih all that extra funding. They dont know how to properly manage their resources, and know when to "stop" or "let it go" , if even temporarly until a better time to work on it.
Titan is a great example at blizzard tryin to create something without a propper focus and desgin, and wasting a lot of manhours and resources (leaving the rest of their franchises with less manpower) , only to scrap it and start over with a smaller team. Does this happen? Yea, it happens, and its unfortunate. But blizzard has done this too frequently (ghost, diablo 3, content updates for wow, etc.) , that its no longer a "Hey, cut them a break, stuff happens." and its entirely "Hey, get your development teams and higher ups heads out of the sand."
They've shown full well that their last several years, and their comitments of "getting better" , have fallen flat. They need to actually change up and create a new system for development, or they will continue to waste time, effort, money; and delay, reset, and cancel games/content for the forseeable future.
Its a choice, not a condition, to stay the course when you are doing poorly at something.