I used to chat with Hazzikostas regularly in Vanilla. We played on WOW TBC Gold the exact same server. He was among the most friendly and intelligent gamers I've ever met. I can't fathom he is genuinely incompetent. There is just no way. He came into the gambling industry via guild management like Pardo and Kaplan.
This is what I remember of him. He was one of the posters who convinced me not to get involved and contribute something to EJ - just be a lurker and utilize other people's math to my advantage. Ion was real big on jumping down people's throats for daring to oppose him, even though he was obviously wrong. He was a prick and he's a prick now.
They never developed for the game they played, they went from EQ to WoW. WoW's current state might be his attempt to fix all the issues he had with early WoW for a raider, which caters to his specific expertise and tastes, which could just flat out not work in an present game. It means he's molded it to exactly what he needs, which involved cutting off chunks and stitching on brand new ones to attempt to get it to match.
However, in the instance of both Pardo and Kaplan, they had been designing a new game that was new. They were able to take all their experiences from EQ forward and apply them, but they weren't hacking apart an existing game. Perhaps if they were hired to work on EverQuest, it would have had similarly catastrophic results.
He could be the most intelligent player but the very incompetent game director. They aren't mutually exclusive. I'm not saying he definitely is incompetent, but my impression from the interviews he did is that he don't know what the players need or he's in a position where he is at the point of no return and wind up doubling down and cheap Burning Crusade Classic Gold defending the match layouts.
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