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Interviews with Greg Street, Cory Stockton, Tom Chilton, and J Allen Brack
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We had a chance to sit down with Cory Stockton and Tom Chilton for exclusive interviews about Mists of Pandaria. Lore from
got to sit down with Greg Street (Ghostcrawler) and J Allen Brack. Their answers are great and we've transcribed all of them down below.
However, in case you just aren't
into reading, we've also uploaded videos of all four interviews as well!
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J. Allen Brack
Question: I noticed that Prime Glyphs were removed while playing today, and there were some new fun glyphs--like the one that turned druids into a ridable stag. What's the direction for Inscription in MoP--and can we plan on seeing more fun cosmetic glyphs?
There's definitely going to be more cosmetic glyphs in general. It's something we wanted to do more of initially--and even more important now. Major glyphs have more prominence without primes, so minor glyphs take on more cosmetic stuff to feel more cool and meaningful--almost like a form of transmogrification. It's really cool for druids--if they want to be in tree form all time, you can now. I think we made a few glyphs for mages to modify polymorph too.
As far as it affects how it hits the profession--I don't think it will change too much, with specifically how major and minor glyphs align differently. Most things we're doing is fixing gaps and holes in places that it was too hard to get the next skillup. We changed the skillup system a little bit in Cata by items that give multi-skillups.
And also the Darkmoon Faire profession quests too now…
Yeah, the Darkmoon Faire has been great--those final five points can be really big for people.
Q: I guess that tied into one of my other questions--everyone is looking forward to pet battles, but we haven't heard much about the other professions at the press event. Archaeology was cited in one of the post-mortems as needing some reworking, so just curious if the other professions are having any cool perks on the way--BlizzCon mentioned a jewelcrafing mount--and if there are any concrete solutions to spicing Archaeology up. The Lorewalkers seem to have a lot of promise.
Yeah, we're actually looking for a way to hook the Lorewalkers into all Archaeology. There's a concept of doing Lorewalkers and getting faction reputation there there could give you skillpoints--we haven't figured out how to completely do it, but it makes sense.
We have new factions and lore in general for Pandaria--it will help archaeology feel very specific in linking in to the history. It's a way for players to learn more, if they like learning about that kind of stuff. It will feel more specific than just finding a random area, and bring some focus to the profession.
In regards to some of the other professions, Cooking got a lot of work here. There's different types---steaming, frying, broiling, for example. So there's different types of cooking, and you can work down the recipes, kind of like a sub-tree, with one specific type of buff. the way we've set it up, if you max-level in one sub tree, you can make max level food for a group. Rather than learning all of the recipes (which you can still do and get an achievement), you can pick one--say for Agility stats--but then if you max it, you can get the recipes that work for a whole group. Cool way to give it more flavor, but works for everyone.
Q: Bit about mounts--everyone loves them, and I liked hearing about the Wintersaber-esque Cloud Serpents today. Will there be more PvP mounts besides the Gladiator ones? Also, when I interviewed Dave Kosak back in October, he talked about a potential quest to modify your mount's appearance--any updates on that? What cool mounts are in the works in general?
Yeah, if you like the Wintersaber mounts, you'll really like the Cloud Serpents.
We have a ton of mounts that we're planning to give out--more than in Cataclysm as far as what we can give out across the game. There's mounts from rares, achievements, and dungeon bosses. One thing we're adding is world bosses--raid bosses--we're bringing that back, and one plan for the rewards is that each boss will have a unique mount in their loot table.
However, mounts are sacred--one of the only things left that's visual prestige. So we do want to make sure we give them out for the right things, like the Challenge Mode achievements Tom spoke about. That's one we think will look super epic and cool and we want to make sure it stays just for that--you can't get that look anywhere else in the game.
Q: Is there going to be a new level cap, and if so, any examples of perks in the works?
Well, there's a couple things that are going on with guilds. We're still figuring out if we're raising the cap or not, to be honest, Still figuring out if we want the cap to be at 25 or not. I think it really comes down to it, it's if we feel there's enough perks that feel right at the time. If we felt there weren't any additional perks that felt convenient without adding 'player power,' we'd leave it as it is, but continue to add other features we'd been talking about for guilds, like new rewards. We're also going to have challenge modes and scenarios play into guilds.
We've also been looking into changing how quest/guild xp works, so you get flat amount of xp on quests that are green at a minimum. A complaint we've had is that lower-level players feel that they can't contribute much to a guild, since you get such a small amount of xp then. So something we thought about doing, if that if it's green minimum, all quests contribute the same amount.
A lot of work has gone in, even though we can't show the new results yet--but the guild system is one we really liked. For cataclysm, we felt that people loved the rewards and that feeling of a group.
With some many people playing with real ID friends now across servers, it's good to know that people in guilds feel there's something exclusive there as well.
For sure, one thing I can say is that we're removing the cap--no weekly reputation or daily XP cap. That will all be gone.
Q: It's been mentioned a few times that mounts would possibly be BoA in the future, as well as achievements. Any word on titles and details on that in general? A lot of people want to have old titles so they don't feel they've lost anything if they reroll Pandaren. As for achievements, will past ones count retroactively, or just moving forward in the future?
That's a great question. We're talking about a whole bunch of different ideas. For titles, what we're thinking of doing--nothing final--when you reach the level at which the title could initially be obtained at, then you can use it. For example, let's take Kingslayer. If you got it on one character, you couldn't show it on your other characters until you reached the min level of 80.
So basically, no bank alts.
Exactly, so you still own it--we haven't made the decision, but what would the game be like if everyone ran around with Kingslayer? It wouldn't feel as cool anymore.
As far as things like rewards, those are always going to be shared. So 5 players could contribute to A Long, Strange Trip--and they'll all get the Violet Proto-Drake.
As far as mounts go, it's the very next thing we want to do. We've learned a lot from making the pets account-wide for the battle system, which we're pretty deep in right now. The very next system to get this treatment will be mounts. We're not sure if it will make it in for launch, but if not, then definitely a patch right away.
Q: Back up to titles for a sec--what will be your policy on BoA server first ones, like Death's Demise?
Server-first titles are something that would probably not be shared across an account, specifically because that's something you want to keep as rare and to the name of the exact character as possible. But again, one of those decisions that we'd need to talk about a little bit, figure out where to go.
Q: Moving onto Transmog--something we've loved doing site features on at Wowhead--back at BlizzCon, you guys were talking about different cosmetic enhancements such as Paladins with visible librams or Hunters with staves. Has there been any progression on that?
Also, are there also plans to keep introducing new hooks for players that already found their 'perfect' mog outfit--things like bringing back old sets such as Tier 3, or lifting some weapon restrictions? There's a ton of gorgeous BC fist weapons, but hardly any current weapons. And will monks get any unique class-specific sets to make up for the fact that they have no previous tiers--kind of like Death Knights at least getting distinctive starter-zone armor to mog?
Let's start with monks--they'll have tier sets starting forward in Tier 14, and challenge mode sets, but nothing from the past. We're probably not going spend a ton of time going back to balance things out--but we have some fun looks for the future.
As for restrictions, we are planning on opening up some transmog restrictions in the future, perhaps weapons--we prefer to start narrow and open up, rather than adding restrictions and taking stuff away from players. We're also looking into having some of the guild items be moggable.
As for the librams and the quivers--that's totally something we've been working on, it's come up a number of times. What we've been talking about is how it will actually fit in--how you'll acquire these items and how they'll be displayed. Would this end up being another armor slot, or would it just be an item that would appear on your character thus forward? Feature is still definitely in the works, but the biggest question is will it make it in time for Mists? Hard to say, right now it's a lower priority.
Transmog is so new, if you add something or lift one restriction, it's still huge and opens up so many more new options.
Q: Tier 13 was the test run for LFR--what do you think worked and what could be improved upon? There's been a lot of discussion about the early exploits, and also guilds thinking they legitimately had to farm LFR in order to have the set bonuses to seriously progress.
Also, how do you show players new to raiding that there's more to raiding besides the loot? Some players think that LFR is impersonal, but those that already have existing communities like queueing up for it with friends. How do you keep everyone happy and refine it in the next tier?
LFR has been huge for us--one of the most successful features in the game, similar to when we implemented the Dungeon Finder. We can watch the numbers exponentially grow--the number of people that are raiding now, compared to before 4.3, is incredibly dramatic--it's so much more. We can't tell you the exact percentage, but it's massively larger. And not only that, they've continued to raid, and these are players that have never raided before.
We feel awesome about the feature. That said, there's a number of issues to tinker with as we move forward. The biggest one is loot--we feel that some players think the loot rules aren't completely fair. So the biggest change is that we're moving towards an individual, per-player loot system. Quite similar to how loot works in Diablo 3, roll loot for each player and you have a chance. Now, this doesn't mean everyone's going to get a roll each time--you'll win a roll, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll win an item. You might just get gold instead. But I think it will hugely impact the feeling of LFR.
One other thing going into LFR--a bonus roll. That concept is, when you do things in the outside world, such as daily quests, you'll essentially get a buff. And when a boss drops something in LFR, you have the option to use a bonus roll. which give you an extra roll, even if you haven't won anything on your per-player loot. If you win an item then, it's generated from the bonus roll and doesn't impact anyone else. A lot of people just roll need on everything and I think a lot of the issues stem from people feeling things are unfair or that they didn't win anything. If we can solve loot issues, LFR can be even more successful, especially because we're putting it on every raid and have so many bosses next tier.
Q: One last question. Watching Arthas fight Illidan today for pet battles was awesome--but the battle itself seemed kind of short. What's still in development for pet battles? Also, at BlizzCon, you were talking about complex ways to get pets--some only spawning in cities, some in the rain? Is that still in the works?
All of those things are still planned. What you saw today is what the actual battle will look like and working in game. But we're currently totally in development on the abilities and how everything works in the back and forth. We just got the game up and running in real time, but what you're not seeing is all the gameplay. We've actually been playing a paper version--we cut it out and that's how we've been tuning it for things to be in the game.
As far as depth goes, it's a pretty deep game if you really want to get into it. There's different abilities you can pick and stats--those stats can be random when you catch the pets.
Will TCG and Blizzard store pets also work?
Absolutely. We plan to have the majority of pets work, almost all of them.
As far as your questions about PvE, all your details are making it in. There's a number of pets you'll just find in the world, but some will only spawn when it's raining, or the winter time, for example. I just put one in the other day that only spawns between 9 pm and midnight--during that time he pops every 15 min. It's a really limited period, and you can imagine people in town talking about it when it spawns.
Pet battles are something we look at as totally optional content that's also really deep if you want to get into it.
Question: To start off, previewing a monk today was awesome--their abilities looked great and distinctive. Any plans to update animations for other classes or even racial abilities? Monks, as well as worsen and goblins to a certain extent, have more interesting racials, then say, a tauren with herbalism.
We have traditionally done a little bit of incremental changes on the racial abilities each expansion. Honestly at this point, we're so focused on getting the talents set up and really good for every class--they're at varying levels of quality--that is consuming most of our time. There will probably be some time left over for incremental changes, but after everything else is done.
Q: In addition to the linear nature of Cataclysm questing zones, many players felt that it was hard to feel completely engaged in a zone due to heirloom/guild xp bonuses. They'd outlevel a zone before completing a lot of the major plot arcs. The revamped 1-60 content is complete, but was there anything to learn from this in designing future zones? Especially now that Pandaria has more zones than we first heard about at BlizzCon.
Well, actually, we are very deliberately trying to set it up so you can skip some amount of content on the way to 90. We feel those decisions make the World of Warcraft seem like a world. If you look back to original WoW, we had Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, for players to quest in at any given time. There was an amount of choice in what you did--sometimes that choice diminished somewhat, but generally speaking, there were different options.
We'd like to capture that as much as possible, so not only is the quest flow itself a bit less linear, but also your zone choices is a bit less linear. That inherently means you won't get to do all the quests on the way to 90, but it does mean that if you play the game on an alt, you have an option to do something new.
I think the problems you've described with heirlooms or guild xp bonuses and everything stacking becomes worse when it's linear, because when you end that linear experience before you're supposed to, it's a lot more noticeable.
Q: A lot of players loved the Isle of Quel'Danas and Darkmoon Faire, but found the dailies in the Molten Front more of a grind in spite of the more subtle phasing allowing you to quest with friends. The Molten Front has been referenced frequently as a model to reuse in Mists--what do you feel worked in this zone and what do you plan on tweaking in similar future hubs?
Well, I think that what has worked was the concept of having a large area--where it's all about the daily quests--and that there's a progression through the daily quests. You don't just unlock them all on day 1 and do them all for however long.
What didn't work is that it's staged out to take too long for the number of quests you need to do. I think that to get all the marks you needed to get was excessive amount of time. It's really just a question of tuning--I also think that it shouldn't be a one size fits all solution. If the Molten Front is the only daily thing that's available, then it's not as good as if you had a combination of a better-tuned Molten Front along with stuff like other factions--like Tillers or Brwemasters. If we create a wider breath of different content for daily quests--which we're doing on a huge scale, compared to other expansions--then it will feel much better.
Q: We've seen some new directions for battlegrounds today at the presentation, it seems you're really committed to finding new types of gameplay--are there any further developments on world pvp and/or battleground scenarios with that? Will PvP play a role in upcoming patches as things ramp up?
With world PvP, what we're trying to accomplish is identifying what will naturally emerge with world PvP and then have the game support that better. In the past, I feel our attempts to create an area for world PvP haven't been particularly successful, at least from the standpoint of them actually feeling like world PvP. Wintergrasp was a neat zone, and it was cool for the first time to go knock down a fortress with a tank, and Tol Barad was…alright, in that it gave players things to do as far as going out there in huge numbers and taking over these bases, but it didn't really feel like world PvP. Really, what it felt like was a big battleground, and as you saw, kind of over time, it became more and more like an instanced battleground, because that's the direction things take when you have a natural push for objectives.
World PvP is kind of best when it happens on its own, when the conditions of the game naturally encourage the PvP to happen. What we're hoping to do is identify places where that naturally happens, and then give players a bonus for winning those areas--the conquest point cap will be raised. An example is, back in the day with vanilla wow, we would have done something along the lines of 'oh hey, if you take over Soutshore or Tarren Mill, we'll give you an increase to your conquest point cap for the week.' It gives you a reason to engage in world PvP without being really heavy-handed. Instead of 'ok this is the only way to get your awesome armor,' it's 'hey, taking over Southshore is fun.'
Q: As for scenarios, some large ones were compared to battlegrounds at BlizzCon--is there still a PvP angle to them, or are they more for PvE now, tied to NPCs like the wandering Brewmasters?
The scenarios are really mostly for PvE--they're just an extension of PvE group content, it's a way to do group quests in a more elegant manner.
Q: I was really happy to see the revisions to Scholomance today, especially Lilian Voss appearing. I was curious how you went about updating an old dungeon for a new remake. Lots of people really loved Deadmines and SFK, but not so much Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub. What's your goals and philosophy when redoing content, and what have you learned from the hits and misses of Cataclysm?
Well, we've learned quite a bit. When we revamp a dungeon, we look at it to determine what worked, what was popular about it--and identify what wasn't popular about it. And then really try to make sure we retain the soul of the original--keep what's magical while fixing what's goofy or didn't work very well, or just was downright crappy.Aan example would be Scholomance--Mercer this morning gave the example that as soon as you enter the first large room in Scholomance, everyone completely skips it. We're subtly changing the flow so you can experience all the same rooms, but in a different order. The cool bosses are still there, but with new and updated mechanics that we've developed years later.
With Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub, they got a worse reputation than they deserved. A big mistake was going from a tier of content that had 9 instances to run, down to a tier of content where you only have 2 instances to run and no raids. If you run people through the grinder of the same two instances over and over, it ends up feeling much worse. If you take any instance and say 'these are the only two instances you get to run for many months,' then that ends up feeling pretty bad.
Q: As a side note, how do you plan to transition these instances--Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery--into the context of Pandaria? When Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep were redone, they had Worgen lore and updated Westfall for context--but revising 1-60 content is pretty much complete now.
The story connection is pretty loose--there isn't any direct connection to the events of Pandaria. Really, more than anything else, we're saying that these instances are the after-effects of Cataclysm, which changed the zones that the instances are in. As a result, as time goes on, things evolve and the changes in those outdoor zones eventually affect those instances. But really, mostly we're doing it just because those instances are really cool, and players love them, so we'll do it.
Q:What do you feel was the most successful encounter from both a designer and player point of view in Cataclysm? What lessons from Cataclysm's dungeons & raids will you be taking into Mists of Pandaria design?
Interesting question. It depends sort-of on how the question is being asked, because if I think in purely in terms of high concept, I'd go with the Spine of Deathwing. It's the most epic concept that we've ever gone after for an encounter, but I wouldn't argue of course that it had the most interesting mechanic of any encounter we'd ever designed. It really depends what way you're looking at it. I think there were a lot of aspects of the Sinestra encounter that were cool, but part of that was due to it being a hard-mode only encounter. Overall, I guess if I looked at the grand scheme of it all, I'd say the coolest encounter that we did, including both mechanics and concept, would be maybe the Ragnaros encounter--that was pretty awesome.
Yeah, I remember Atramedes being cited in some blogs as being a cool encounter, but it went through several iterations on live before players experienced it correctly, so it wasn't successful from all standpoints. And I also thought Conclave was a neat concept, but the RNG loot for Justice Point slots made new raiders less motivated to go in there and try something new and intimidating. Rag was a good mix of making old content cool, like the Sons of Flame, with new abilities--and the loot also had a fun tieback to old instances and memories.
It's interesting how much of a direct connection there is to players about the quality of content and loot--sometimes the loot distorts the quality of the content in either direction. If the loot is bad, it can distort the encounter so players think it's bad as well--if the loot is incredible, it can make the encounter seem better than it actually is.
Yeah, when an encounter has items with flavor text, that definitely stands out--like Reforged Sulfuras or the Lich King encounter having loot with quotes that referred back to parts of Arthas' lore.
I love items like that--definitely lumping that in with the 'awesomeness' of the loot, beyond itemization. I think the original Blackwing was memorable particularly for things like that, such as Ashkandi with its flavor text.
Q: Last question--about community in WoW. There's been a lot of changes with people coming back and playing together, and using tools like Real ID and Looking for Raid across servers. How do you balance player-created communities across servers with pre-existing raiding guilds, that are facing challenges now like downsizing from 25s to 10s or dealing with real life and scheduling conflicts among older members?
I think that is an important balance to try to achieve. Over time, we've gone in the direction of making the game accessible to a lot of different people, such as queueing up for dungeons and raids with friends--which have impacted these guild ties and such. So I think that for us, one thing we're hoping to do is get guild community back with challenge modes, without excluding your average player from content. Certainly with challenge modes, we don't plan for you to queue up. We feel that if you queued for a challenge mode in Dungeon Finder, that would cause a lot of problems. That guy being yelled at by his wife for 15 seconds will make everyone else pull their hair out and panic that they're going to miss a medal. It's an interesting opportunity for us to really emphasize both playing with your guild and friends without it feeling like the average player is missing out on seeing an instance.
Challenge modes also seem good for former raiders like myself that no longer have the time to consistently raid, but still want something that can test their skills.
Yeah, that is precisely the idea.
J. Allen Brack
Question: So a lot of the stuff we’ve seen so far with Mists of Pandaria, with the focus on “getting the War back into Warcraft” etc, it seems like PvP is becoming a major focus. Is that accurate, or is that just the storyline that the game is taking?
J. Allen Brack: I don’t think it’s accurate that we’re focusing more on PvP as to exclude PvE. I think there are definitely PvP elements that we’re introducing, but I think it’s much more about the story and the tone that we’re gonna have with the expansion as opposed to any kind of specific content or system decision.
Q: The Annual Pass was extremely successful. Are there any plans for a future Annual Pass after the 1-year term is up on the current one?
We haven’t talked about that. I think the WoW Annual Pass came out of just sort of thinking about the opportunity for Diablo coming out, and thinking there’s gonna be a lot of loyal WoW players who want to play Diablo and thinking about how to make that a compelling offer. Will we do something like that in the future? I’m sure we will. What is it? I have no idea. We haven’t really even started thinking about what that would be like.
I think people might say “Hey, we need to do a Starcraft and WoW ”. I don’t know that that makes too much sense. I think the venn diagram of overlap between Starcraft players and WoW players may be a little bit smaller than Diablo.
Q: World of Warcraft has been out for 7 ½ years now, and obviously in development even before that, but still extremely successful. How does the game having been around for so long, and so established at this point, affect the sort of design changes and direction you need to take the game?
I think that kind of goes back to how we ended up with Mists of Pandaria as this expansion. We’ve done three expansions in a row where there’s been a focus on a huge, malevolent evil -- a huge bad guy who wants to do terrible, terrible things to the player. We wanted to change the tone of that, and say “Hey, we’re not gonna focus on this bad guy as the ‘big uber’”. We’re going to focus on a new land, and it’s about exploration, and it’s about adventuring in this new land. It’s about “what’s over the next hill, in this new continent I’ve never seen before?” with the background story of “we need to claim this territory, and we need to harvest resources from it, because we need to fuel our war machine back in Stormwind or Orgrimmar.” So that’s kind of going back to your first question about the PvP aspect of the storyline. It’s much more about the land grab, and if you sort of think back to colonial times with the discovery of the new world and what happened there, that’s the kind of pieces we’re thinking about.
Q: One of the things that was mentioned during the presentation earlier, Chris Metzen was talking about how the “box product” was going to basically be the theme that’s been talked about so far with the voyage to Pandaria, and then content patches would be furthering the story beyond that. What kind of release timeline do you think that would be along the lines of? One of the things that had been talked about around patch 4.1 was the idea of “smaller patches, more frequently” and that kind of fell by the wayside with Dragon Soul and so on. Is that something you guys want to get back into?
It’s definitely something that we’re interested in. I would love for us to be doing patches significantly more often. Right now we’re averaging about every 4 months. I would love for us to do more frequent patches than that. I think it’s kind of hard for a number of reasons, the biggest one being that we’ve got a lot of history of WoW, and there’s a player expectation and a community expectation of “What does it mean to release a patch?”, but I’m very interested in changing that dynamic and changing that expectation so that we can have big patches, we can have small patches, and we can have medium sized patches which we don’t really do right now.
Q: And then obviously when you have a smaller patch people go “Is this all that was in this patch?” and then you have a big patch and they’re like “Why did you wait so long?” I’ve been around the community a couple times myself, I know exactly what they do.
Yeah, that’s exactly the kind of feedback we get.
Q: So PvE scenarios were talked about a little bit. I’m still a little unclear on the idea. When they were originally announced it sounded almost like a public quest sort of thing, like out in the world you’d come across these and have to do something, but from the presentation it sounds like they’re going to be instanced.
Yeah, they’re going to be queued. You’ll queue up for them and they’ll be instanced. The difference is, when you think about dungeons, sometimes we’ll have a dungeon that’s just a very small hole in the ground, and then you go in and you’re in the dungeon. Our thought right now is that you won’t have very many dungeon-type things -- you’ll actually have this area in the world that you’ll learn and have a quest from and maybe it becomes a scenario for you later on, or something in that area becomes a scenario for you later on. But you will queue and you will be matchmade with various players in order to complete scenarios.
The idea is that it’s a very small, kind of 20-minute little adventure that happens irrespective of role. So there’s no real consideration for tank, or dps, or healer. It’s just “are there 3 people who want to do this? Great!” and they’re on their way to the scenario.
Q: So it’s more of a drop in/drop out, sort of instant “I’ve just logged in to World of Warcraft and would like to play” sort of thing.
Q: Along those same lines it was mentioned that there was going to be a relationship between the scenarios and the Brewmasters, like finding Brewmasters out in the world.
So that’s an example of a specific scenario, where you have that Brewmaster who’s trying to make the special ale. That’s just one specific scenario. But there’s a lot of different ideas that we have for scenarios. The thing that we talked about back in the day was like “What if there’s an invasion of Goldshire, and the gnolls are invading and you have to save the children while the gnolls invade” in this little Goldshire scenario. That’s something we could definitely do. That doesn’t really have anything to do necessarily with... like, whatever comes up that makes sense from a story perspective for a scenario and is going to be a fun adventure for players, we can do that with that system.
Q: It does seem like something that you guys can put together a lot quicker and easier in certain situations, so you guys can put them out more often. That’s the impression I got.
Yeah, I think that’s something that we’d love to do, is to figure out how to release scenarios a lot more frequently.
Q: It was mentioned in the presentation earlier that there would be 3 raid instances and 14 bosses, which is a very nice number I’m personally very happy with as a raider. Is there anything more you can tell us about that? It seemed like it kind of got glossed over in the presentation.
Yeah, that’s because we haven’t done a lot of the work yet, and so we’re reluctant to commit to a whole bunch because things may change for us, but we’re working on spawning out the dungeons, we’re working on spawning out the various raids, and building those out. Those take many, many, many months to be built out from an artist’s perspective. Then we’ve got all the itemization, and all the character art that has to happen, from weapons, and armor, and bosses, and trash mobs that we have to make and dress up in order to make that happen.
We also have a new raiding philosophy that we haven’t finished designing yet and haven’t really talked about. How lockouts are gonna work, how are valor point caps going to work, that type of stuff. We haven’t really spent all the time we need to really figure out what that’s going to be for this expansion yet.
Q: So you are in discussions about possibly changing how the raid lockouts work?
Sure. I think we’re gonna look at how the 10/25 person lockout worked as a shared cooldown. Was that the right decision, or do we want to do something different? I don’t really know what the right answer is yet. We haven’t decided.
Q: You also mentioned that you’re doing LFR right out of the gate.
Yeah, so that was something that we thought would be really successful with 4.3. We’re really happy with the performance of it. We’re really happy with the idea of having this easier mode that you can just kind of get in, and be matchmade automatically, and go on and be successful with. And then having the normal mode for players to do and then the ultra heroic for the hardcore guys, and have special rewards for those and those type of achievements.
Q: Awesome. Yeah, just as a side note, tier 11 was one of my favorite tiers of raiding ever, and I actually think that it would have been completely perfect if there had been that LFR mode also because that would have given the more casual players a lot more to do.
Q: So everything looks to be at least mostly along in development. One thing mentioned during the presentation was that 4 or 5 of the zones are already fully quested out. Does that mean we could be looking at a beta sometime soon?
It does, yeah. We’re still trying to figure out when the beta is actually going to happen, what the rules for that’s going to be, how we’re going to invite all the people that are going to be invited into the beta, but it is something that we’re interested in getting into players’ hands as soon as possible. We’ve got zones that are fully quested out and we feel like we’ve got a couple in the pipe at this point. We’re starting to think about “when can beta be, what can be the timeframe for that? What do we need to do in order to get ready?”
Q: That brings up another question. Like I mentioned earlier, there was like a million people who signed up for the annual pass. How does that go into beta?
<grinning> Uhh, I don’t know today... <laughs> but I will be smarter later as we figure that out and kind of decide and discuss exactly how we’re going to do that. It’s definitely going to be the largest beta we’ve ever done for any Warcraft expansion, so on one hand that’s very exciting, on the other hand... how do we get a million people in? I have no idea right now, so that’s definitely something we’re talking about. We’ll figure it out.
Q: It’s almost like, “How would you like to launch World of Warcraft again?”
Yeah, it’s a pretty challenging prospect actually to think about that many people all wanting to play at once.
Q: One thing that a few of us have been talking about is the idea of World of Warcraft as an esport, especially since Starcraft 2 has been so immensely successful as an esport. Is that a direction that you see the game moving in at some point, or trying to help facilitate?
I think we do try to help facilitate it, and we do try to help have it grow. It’s challenging because, from a design standpoint, we are not in the same league as Starcraft in terms of competitive . There’s a lot more dials in Starcraft in terms of competitive tuning and that being what that game is about than there are in our game. So I think Starcraft will probably be a superior esport, but we definitely have interest in WoW as an esport. We do have the Blizzcon finals every year, we do have the qualifying tournaments, and we do have the WoW arena pass which allows players to instantly compete in a pure, even skill type basis for that stuff. So, it’s definitely something we’re excited about and try to invest time and energy into.
Q: Has there possibly been any thought along the lines of putting like a... well, now we have cross-realm matchmaking especially with the BattleTags system coming into place. Has there been any thought into putting in like a spectator mode in that sort of situation?
We have. It’s challenging to do, and then it opens up all kinds of questions like “How many spectators can you have? How does that work? How do you control yourself? Are you just a floating camera?” So there’s a lot of things that come up as ideas for what the potential challenges for that are. But yeah, we definitely would like to do that. It’s something that Starcraft does better than most games out there. The replay system is incredible.
Q: Yeah, I actually cast Starcraft matches myself from time to time, so it’s something that for the record, I’d love to push World of Warcraft in the esport direction.
Yeah, so I mean... like right now we have the videos as really the only way to do it because we really don’t have the ability to kind of capture footage, and capture stuff in the way that Starcraft does, because Starcraft was engineered from the very beginning to have that. WoW was not, and so the technical hurdle on a replay-type system in the vein of Starcraft is crazy challenging.
Q: So the female Pandaren model looks great. Actually, the first thing I thought when I saw it was “Well, that looks like a female Pandaren” which I’m pretty sure is what everybody was going for with making a female Pandaren, so...
That’s great to hear. It’s one of those things where you talk about it and debate a lot in terms of where that right kind of balance is. I’m super happy with the model as well. I think it turned out fantastically. There’s definitely a subjective element to it, if you think about “What does a female Pandaren look like?” That’s kind of a weird question to think about from an artistic perspective, so yeah. I’m really happy.
Q: Is there any possibility of maybe the pre-Cataclysm player models getting some updates?
That is something that’s been on our list and the list of the art director for many years. We would love to do that, because if you look at like the Cataclysm, or even the Burning Crusade -- the blood elf and the draenei models -- they’re just so much better than the original models. So we would definitely like to figure out a way to have the time to do that. One of the problems is our character models are probably one of the hardest things for us to do, because they’re your player, so everyone has a lot of opinions. Some of them are subjective, some of them are objective, and it just requires some of our most skilled artists that we have to do it.
Q: Yeah I actually played an orc back when there was the orc shoulder model bug, so there was like two months where I was like...
Q: It just looked so incredibly wrong.
Sad panda has a whole new meaning now...
Q: You can actually play a sad panda if you want.
Q: Speaking of pandas actually, I had a level 85 Pandaren Monk that I was playing around on earlier, and I noticed that there was still a lot of like “what is this world, where have we come to” when I was questing around... as a Pandaren, who presumably would know what Pandaria was. Is that something that is just going to kind of happen, and is just kind of weird, and we kind of have to deal with?
Yeah, it is, because the idea that we have for the starting Pandaren is that they start their life, and they grew up on the turtle, and then they migrate to Pandaria. So native Pandarens, who are on Pandaria, will obviously have knowledge of the world, but you, as a new Pandaren, coming from having lived on the back of a turtle your entire life, don’t have any knowledge of that traditional home.
Q: Is there anything new coming for the World of Warcraft Remote in the future? Personally I was looking at the Pet Battle system and going, “I would love to play that on my iPhone” or something like that.
I think that’s a good idea. It’s something that we definitely have talked about and I would love to do someday. We did introduce the guild chat as the most recent feature we’ve introduced to that. Pet Battle is definitely something we’ve talked about.
Question: I think I asked you about this last time I interviewed you several months ago, about tanking changes that are coming up. There’s been a whole lot of talk about reworking the tanking rotation to be more focused on the defensive. Are there any sort of updates along those lines?
Greg Street: Yeah, you can kind of figure it out from the last talent calculator that we released, but to talk about the Protection Paladin specifically, there’s Shield of the Righteous and Word of Glory, which are both off the global cooldown, and a lot of ways to generate Holy Power, so Judgement generates Holy Power now, and they can use the Holy Power to heal themselves if that’s the most appropriate thing, or if they want to improve their block, they do Shield of the Righteous instead. So, almost all the Holy Power will be used for survivability for Protection, because there aren’t a lot of damage abilities they have that consume Holy Power. So all the generation should be targetted towards survivability that way.
Q: There was a blogpost you did recently where you were talking about stat changes, and in terms of block capping and mastery, and all that stuff that’s going on like block moving to a two-roll system. Are we going to see more things in the tanking rotation that have to hit? Like, should tanks be looking to get expertise and hit back on their gear again?
Yeah, in fact that was part of the point of moving towards a more active role in self-defense. Previously, tanks would say “You know what, threat is not an issue for me, I don’t care if I hit or not, I just want to be able to hit my cooldowns.” But, using Protection as an example again, you want Holy Power, but you need to hit to get the Holy Power. So we’re hoping that hit and expertise become more attractive stats to tanks, which then lets us put them onto gear, so that the gear doesn’t always look like “Stamina plus Dodge or Parry” and then we can do some more things with that. We changed it to make it a little easier hit those caps, and we talked about it in the blog that we put up, so that it shouldn’t be totally unreasonable to try to get there.
Q: So it should be possible through like spells and abilities to still hit the block cap?
No, I’m sorry, to be able to get hit and expertise capped. The block cap will be almost impossible to hit unless like you have two mastery trinkets and they both go off at the same time or something like that.
Q: So I was playing the Monk a little bit, and I noticed a couple things that were different from Blizzcon. There’s no more dark Chi.
<some debate about how to actually pronounce “Chi”>
Q: So there’s no more dark Chi...
Q: There’s no more dark balls, yeah. What prompted that sort of change?
It was a couple of things. Originally, the way we designed the Monk was they had a fairly involved resource system and very simple abilities, and as we got deeper into design we were having a lot of fun kind of going crazy with the abilities. So the Monk doesn’t have many, like, “hits for 10% weapon damage and that’s it.” Almost all of them do something else crazy. Even their basic attacks, there’s one that does more damage above 50% health and one that does more damage below 50% health of the targets, so even that basic attack they want to switch around, and when you start to look at some of the tanking and healing abilities they can be quite involved.
So we thought, philosophically, maybe it’s more fun to have all of the depth and interest and complexity be in the abilities, and not in the resource system. As we were playtesting and we were trying out the Monk, players were often telling us, “I don’t understand. Am I supposed to build up light and dark? And am I supposed to have abilities that cost light force and dark force?” And we felt like we were making the system complex just for the sake of having something different. With the Death Knight, we iterated a lot on the resource system before we found something we were really happy with, and even today players want parts of it improved and changed and stuff like that.
So we went back to a system we understood pretty well, which is they have energy -- and the reason we like energy is otherwise the attacks have to be on a cooldown, but with energy they can cool it a little bit -- and then that delivers just one type of Chi, but then we have some abilities cost 1, some cost 2, some cost 3, some cost 4, and then weaving those together is what gives them an interesting rotation. You might start with a 3, and then a 2, then a 1, then another 1, then a 2, then a 3, and that chaining together should help it feel different as opposed to like a Rogue or a Paladin that’s like, “build up to max, and then do a finisher, and then build up to max, and then do a finisher.”
Q: Yeah, that was actually something that I’d noticed, now that you mention it, when I was playing at Blizzcon last year. I kind of looked at it and went, “well alright, I’m just going to look up what some theorycrafter says on how to do this because I can’t figure this out right now.”
Exactly. If a guy like you, it isn’t intuitive, then we’re doomed.
Q: Well, that’s what I do with everything anyway because I prefer to not have to think <laughs> but yeah, I definitely was noticing that it felt a lot smoother. I also noticed that the Monk has regained the ability to punch things without me pushing buttons.
Autoattack. Yeah. So, we tried it without autoattack, and it sucked, and so we said we’re not going to keep it just for the sake of being different. It was weird for a couple of reasons. One of the very first quests in the Pandaren starting area says, “Go up to this target dummy and attack it.” So you’d go up and click on the target dummy, and as a World of Warcraft player you expect him to hit the target, but he goes up and he does this. <pantomiming a fighting stance> And he sits there. And if you left for 15 minutes to get a beer, and came back, he’d still be doing this. And that feels really weird.
It was kind of lame, when you were fighting a target, and you’d have it down to like 10 health, and you couldn’t kill it. And now you have to blow a special attack and lots of resources just to hit for 10 damage, whereas a Warrior’s just going to autoattack the thing down once it wass wounded. So that felt weird.
Those are the main reasons. We were kind of relieved, from a balance point of view. I don’t want to make it sound like the balance concerns were driving it in this case, but autoattack damage for melee classes is something like 30-40% of their damage, which means that we know that the worst player in the world will at least do 30-40% of the best player in the world. Once the skilled player’s doing 100%, and the worst player’s doing like 1%, it makes it really hard for us to balance the class. In addition, when there’s no auto attack, it means that that 30-40% needs to all get baked into the special attacks, which means that a Monk would hit for like 400% weapon damage, which you can see could have PvP ramifications. So, it’s just a safer place now.
Q: That makes a lot of sense.
And nobody misses it. No one who’s tried it is like, “Man, the Monk was so cool without autoattack.” They’re like, “Yeah, this feels natural now.”
Q: Yeah. I actually had to point it out to one of the guys who’d been playing a Monk the whole time. He was just like, “Oh. You’re right, I actually am autoattacking. Interesting.”
Glyphs was one system I was looking at and trying to wrap my head around the changes. I think you guys had said something about this somewhere, but prime glyphs are basically gone now.
Yeah. We apologize for prime glyphs. They were a bad idea. At the time, we were worried that, say, a Paladin who didn’t have a glyph for Crusader Strike would be like, “What the hell? This is my most important ability! I need to glyph Crusader Strike! I don’t want to glyph... I don’t know, Turn Evil or something like that, because I want a glyph for Crusader Strike.” So we did that, and it ended up just complicating everything because now we have to imagine that, “Oh yeah, everyone has stupid prime glyphs that give them 5% damage or crit or something like that.”
Since we were pulling out a lot of the passive talents, we were like, “Lets just get rid of the prime glyphs at the same time.” It allowed us to focus a lot more on the major and minor glyphs. Paladins had like 10 minor glyphs, and I think 9 of them were, “And it costs less mana!” Which was terrible. We apologize for that too. The new Paladin minor glyphs I think are pretty cool. There’s some actual interesting stuff in there. Again, minor glyphs are all about cosmetic things. You’re not going to find a lot of power in there, but there’s some legitimately interesting things. I think players will be like, “Oh, this is a fun glyph.” And then we did the same thing with the majors. Rather than just taking the prime glyphs out and having fewer glyphs, we converted all the old prime glyphs to major glyphs, so everyone... I think the Paladin has like 26 majors and 10 minors. And, you know, Prot doesn’t want the glyph of Holy Shock and stuff like that but there still should be some real game changers. I think we’re closer to delivering what we originally said glyphs would do.
Q: Yeah, I noticed that a lot of at least the major glyphs I was looking at when I was poking around on the Hunter I had were things that used to be talents that you might take as well.
Yeah, that was another source of... when we had talents that we thought were interesting, but weren’t solid enough to just be core class spells, we made them glyphs. I think I mentioned once before that we now have a Glyph of Rude Interruption, which on a Warrior, increases your damage when you successfully Pummel. That feels like a fun glyph. You have to give up one of your three major slots to get it, it theoretically can increase your damage if you’re like an interrupting machine, but it didn’t feel like they should just always be rewarded for interrupting without making a choice there. So, that’s cool.
I’m trying to think of some of the Paladin glyphs, since you didn’t get to actually see them, but I think there’s some decent stuff in there... Oh, okay, one of the ones that I really like is the Glyph of Consecrate. So, Consecrate now is Protection only. Ret and Holy don’t need it and don’t have it, and it’s very much down to a core rotation ability now because it has a 9 second cooldown and a 9 second duration. So they’re hitting it fairly often. The Glyph of Consecrate allows you to target it. So, it gives you a targetting reticle and you can just Consecrate wherever you want. So you can see, that feels like a real game changer, but do you want to give up a glyph to have that?
Q: <grinning> See the grin on my face?
<laughs> The Glyph of Divine Plea, which Divine Plea is Holy only now, changes it from a “for the next X seconds you’re a bad healer” to a cast time, and then at the end of that cast time you get all the mana right away. So you have to pay the cast time, and while you’re casting you’re not doing anything, but at the end of the cast time you get all the mana and there’s no self Mortal Strike that a lot of Paladins hate.
Q: Almost like the actual original implementation back in the Wrath of the Lich King beta. I remember it was something that you used to like, you kneeled down on the ground and you channeled it for a few seconds.
Q: Theoretical question. What would you say the differences are now between the talent and glyph systems? What sort of defines each system as being its own thing instead of almost like two takes on the same general idea?
I think they are two takes on the same general idea. The biggest difference is the talents are bigger and more important. They actually do provide a lot of core functionality. You can do really powerful things. We’d never give you crowd control as a glyph, for example. We actually talked about an implementation where there were major talents: and minor talents, and we’d just turn all the glyphs into minor talents, because that’s kind of how they felt. The main reason we didn’t do that is we didn’t know what the hell to do with the Inscription profession then. <laughs> We’d have to come up with entirely new content, or just remove it from the game.
But it does really feel like that. You get six major talents:, and then three major glyphs, which are kind of like minor talents, and then the minor glyphs which are very trivial. Glyph of Righteous Retreat is one that I’m very happy with. That decreases the cast time of Hearthstone when you have Divine Shield up.
Q: Legendaries have been a hot topic for basically forever. I have several questions regarding them. The first one is, do we know when we might see the first legendary in Mists of Pandaria, and what sort of theme it might be around?
We won’t do it in 5.0 and the initial launch, because we figure that’s just... you know, players are getting used to everything, we don’t need to spice things up at that point because everything’s so new. We might do one in the first raid after that. We haven’t completely decided yet, and don’t know what it could be yet.
Q: They’ve been kind of, especially with Dragonwrath, mostly because everybody and their cousin had one... the joke on Eredar is, “oh, nobody got a Dragonwrath today.”
<laughs> There’s no dragon sitting in Stormwind or Orgrimmar
Q: Yeah. But even with the Fangs of the Father... I love the Fangs of the Father questline, I got to do the first part on my Rogue. Just the first part, because I’m not cool enough to get legendaries, but I got to go through the whole sneaking around thing, and that was really fun, and that class-focused thing felt really cool. But what do you think about the effect that it tends to have on like, over-reliance on one class in a raid group? Like, especially in a 10-man where maybe you don’t have a Rogue, and then the 10-man feels gimped. Even if it doesn’t end up making a huge difference in the long run, they just feel like, “Well, we’re not working on a Rogue legendary right now.” Especially if you guys are going to be looking towards more focused legendaries in the future.
I think part of that is because almost every raiding Rogue had an expectation of getting a legendary. That’s something I’ve talked about a little bit recently. So, one dark secret that players have probably all figured out by now is that Blizzard designers tend to careen from one extreme to the other, and so, when we decide something doesn’t work out, we go to the complete opposite, illogical extreme, and then we reel it back in a little bit. So, we were kind of reacting against the Warglaives model where, “You have a tiny percent chance of getting a legendary! Congrats!” to trying to make it a little more predictable, and the way we did that was with the style where you need so many parts, and the parts have a fairly predictable droprate, and eventually you’ll have your legendary, which then led to the opposite problem of they’re super predictable, people could point to a calendar day and say, “April 20th! That’s when I get my legendary!”
So, the model I think we’re going to try next is a compromise between the two where you can imagine, instead of it just being a Warglaive or a binding, you need 10 pieces, but the 10 pieces have a very low drop rate. So, some guilds will get all ten and they’ll be happy, some guilds will get five, and they’ll be unhappy, but the legendaries will be a lot more rare. They won’t be entirely RNG, but they won’t be entirely grindy either.
Q: How do you feel about the advantage that would give to the lucky guilds in terms of raid progression?
They would be lucky. <grins>
Q: Well, I guess that’s a fair answer. Has there been any consideration, especially now that the transmogrification feature is in place, of maybe making it not an extremely better item, maybe a little bit better, but something you can transmog into so you can say, “I went through this heroic, awesome questline” and have it as more of a badge of honor than anything else?
We might allow transmogrification of legendaries at some point. We wanted to start that feature off super conservative and open it up later. We thought that one of the things that made the legendaries so cool was that you didn’t see them all the time, and we thought that once everyone was running around with Hand of Ragnaros, or Warglaives, legendaries start to feel a little cheaper. So that’s why we haven’t done it. I know a lot of players want to see us do it, and maybe we will.
The other part of that, I feel is kind of arguing “Should we have Legendaries at all?” and I think you could make the case, “No, we shouldn’t.” But, if you just take them out, just for balance considerations, I feel like a little bit of the game is lost. We sacrifice so much in the name of balance that it would be sad to think we could no longer make orange weapons because they’re so hard to balance, and by their nature they’re going to be impossible to balance. To ever say, “here’s a super powerful weapon that a small percentage of people can have” is inherently a balance problem, and at the same time, to make legendaries gimped or just barely better than epic weapons, I feel is sad, and I think ultimately the game would feel a little smaller if we had to go that route.
Q: That’s definitely an argument that I myself have been making, that they should be.
Yeah, I see the other side of it too. It’s not cut and dry at all.
Q: I totally get it.
I could tell you how looting works. I want to make sure someone gets it who understands it. So I could tell you that while you think of the next .
Q: Go for it.
So a couple of things we’re doing that are a little different this time is, in Raid Finder and for the world bosses, we are not having loot rolls. We’re having per-player loot. So what this means is, the game will decide that X number of players, say it’s 3 to 6 in a raid, are going to get loot this time, and then it gives them loot that’s appropriate for their current spec, whether that’s their main spec or offspec. We feel like loot works really well in organized groups who can sit there and decide who’s gonna get the item, and when you’re with your guild or group of friends, even if you don’t get the item and they do, you know that still helps your progression ultimately.
None of that happens in Raid Finder, and there’s a lot of drama, a lot of hard feelings, like, “He just needed that item because he could! He’s not going to use it! I could use it, it was a huge upgrade for me!” So we feel like just going to per-player loot, almost in a Diablo sense, will help with that, because then, if you get a sword, I don’t get mad that you got the sword instead of me. Maybe we both get the sword. Maybe neither of us did.
Q: Or maybe you just say, “Well he got lucky, and I didn’t, but it’s not that got it instead of me.”
Yeah, he didn’t take my weapon away. So that’s one big change we’re making. Another one is, we have this idea of the “bonus roll”, and the way the bonus roll works is, of the Pandaren factions -- I think there’s 7 or 8 of them -- some of them earn a currency called Elder Tokens, because they’re like the more serious and important factions. And then some of them earn Craftsman Tokens. These are the guys like the tillers and the fishermen. The Craftsman Tokens are used typically to purchase fun, flavor items that aren’t very powerful, and then the Elder Tokens are actually what you use to purchase your epic items that players expect to see on faction vendors.
However, the other thing you can purchase with Elder Tokens, for say, 25 tokens, you can buy a Charm of Good Fortune. The Charm of Good Fortune you take with you into a raid -- raid finder, normal, or heroic -- and when you kill a boss, it pops up a little window and says, “Do you want to use your charm?” If you use your charm, it gives you an additional chance to get loot off of that boss. So the way it works is, you always win something. The kind of booby prize is you always get gold. It could be a lot of gold, but it’s still just gold. Maybe you’ll win a gem, maybe a flask, something like that, but you might also get an extra loot off that boss. And again, if you win the loot, it’s not hurting anyone else’s chances. It’s just bonus loot.
So backing up a bit, hardcore raiders tell us two things. They say, “Man, I used to like it when I had to go out and prepare for a raid instead of logging in, doing my raid, and then logging off.” but then they also say, “Please don’t ever go back to farming consumables, because that was not a lot of fun. It gave me something to do, but it wasn’t a fun thing to do.” So the idea behind this is, someone who wants to can go out and earn this chance for extra loot, and a lot of very progressive-oriented players are going to feel like they need to do that in order to get that loot, but there’s still a little bit of a game there of, “Do I use the roll on the first boss? Do I save it for the last boss, because he probably has better stuff? Do I want to use it now and have a chance of getting progressed a little faster?” Yes, we’ll be asking some hardcore raiders to go out there and do a few daily quests but I feel like that will be much more fun than going out there and farming mats for consumables.
Q: As long as I’m not flying around Terokkar for four hours before raid time trying to get enough for flasks, then I’m down. That was the extreme that I didn’t like, but I’m fine with doing a little bit of extra stuff outside. That’s actually pretty cool.
And you theoretically could show up to your hardcore raid without that at all, because you could have it and you might just win gold off of it. It’ll slow down your progression a little bit in the sense that not everyone in the group is getting geared up, but it wouldn’t slow down your progression as much as, “You don’t have a flask for the heroic boss.”
Q: And that works in normal and heroic as well, you said?
Yep. Raid finder, normal, and heroic.
Q: So does it have a chance to give you extra heroic drops?
Q: Interesting. So you did a blog post a while ago about the “Great Item Squish (Or Not) of Mists of Pandaria.” I noticed that the combat text was popping up and saying things like “14K” instead of 14,000 or whatever. Is that the route you decided to go with, like the “mega damage” approach?
Yeah, we went with the “not.” Mega Damage, here to stay. So we had this all in and working. We squished everything, and it was working. We had the whole thing implemented, and we sat down and tried it out, and, you know, Mortal Strike hit for 200, and Fireball hit for 150, and we were like, “This feels wrong.” We knew exactly how it would feel like, and we knew that our damage as a percentage didn’t go down, but it felt terrible. And we were like, “Okay, this is now super risky”, because we’re going to change talent trees on players, and even though we think it’s a great design, and we think players will love it, it’s a hard sell. And to do that, and have them hit really wimpy, I think even if players understood why we did it, deep down they wouldn’t like it.
So we decided to back off of that. We’re trying the solution with commas, and K’s, and M’s, and to be honest, it helps a lot, and our hope is, by 6.0 or 7.0, players are demanding the item squish, and by then it’s not controversial at all. It’s like a celebration when we finally do it.
The new method of storytelling in MoP seems
Interesting commentary on the concept of legendaries and their place in the game. It's nice to see it striking up a nice balance
between grinding and luck. I like the re-implantation of the rarity factor, so that they can stay true to their name of LEGENDARY.
Definitely a good idea that I got to see come to fruition here.
The entire concept of rolling being reworked is going to be very interesting to see, I like the idea they have and they are doing me
a pretty big favour by losing the mandatory grind and instead giving me a personal bonus that affects no one else.
Hopefully this new take on loot helps eliminate the 'he stole my weapon' mentality and the frustration of rolling on loot.
Auto-attacking: Enough said there, thank goodness they decided to X that idea. I figured it would feel wrong, the auto-attack is something
so ingrained in World of Warcraft to take it out would definitely be detrimental to the experience.
Also extremely happy about the glyph changes! Finally something interesting involving them.
Overall I see they are really trying to eliminate that alienating grind and replacing it with fun things that not only further our gear, but also
further our immersion into the experience as a whole. Smart move, because in the end the entire concept of WoW is immersion, is satisfaction,
is being able to see your character, your investment, grow along with you as you game. I think these new features (a la farms, mounts, and achievements)
are really going to take WoW to the next level and bring back the true enjoyment of the game.
Hopefully with Mists we will want to log on every day and go and explore the new world, do new things, and keep doing them. That's what I'm hoping for.
Brilliant interviews by the way!
Thanks for this :)
Nice and informative Q & A!
Charm of Good Fortune, seems like the WoW version of a
Ring of wealth
Something a lot of players talked about in RS was you have an innate vaule attached to you depending on what could drop. Now what that was depending on how much loot you risked in PvP you would get some of that back. The same was said for the PvE as well. If you lost enough loot to other players, whether it be from getting killed in PvP or another person won the item over you it didn't seem to matter, your chance at getting better loot increased. And when you finally get a good item, your chance would reset.
Now that may seem like what GS was saying for the new looting in LFR. Everyone starts off at 0% chance. As they go on, those that get loot will get a lower chance, but everyone that doesn't get loot goes up some. Meaning if you haven't gotten loot you stand a better chance at getting it later on. Now with how RNG works and how it hates some of us, you can be at 99% chance to get loot and still not get anything. Also depending on the item that percent may change. Getting something like a bracer or boots may lower your percent by a little, but getting something like a weapon, trinket or even a tier item may lower it a lot.
The background music in the interviews is super irritating, especially since the audio quality of some of them is so bad.
It all sounds cool and fair: I'm just sad they're likely not going on anymore with the item squish :(
11 char slots LOL so fail been playing almost 8 years now but really thinking of stopping to play eventho i have annual pass and all
11 slots rofl cmon give us just 50 slots and lets up pick where we put what
The background music in the interviews is super irritating, especially since the audio quality of some of them is so bad.
Yeah, honestly the music playing during the interviews turns a lot of these videos into complete garbage.
See, I wouldn't mind the J. Allen Brack one to have such a low volume, if they music didn't stay at the same absolute volume >_<
Glyph of Righteous Retreat is one that I’m very happy with. That decreases the cast time of Hearthstone when you have Divine Shield up.
Looking forward to MoP, will be interesting.
Can someone give me more explanations on the LFR part?
Good interviews. I'm definitely looking forward to it. It sounds like to folks at Blizz have been hard at work making some good changes.
Can someone give me more explanations on the LFR part?
Say you're a hunter in LFR and an awesome set of mail-agility gloves drops. Yay! Major upgrade for you! You click "need". When the roll finally comes into conclusion, you realize you got beat by an enhancement shaman who also won an awesome healing trinket because no other healer needed it. You feel cheated and ask to get it from him because he won two rolls. He hearths and leaves the raid group. Darn. Gotta wait another week to
get this rare item.
What they're changing it to is this:
You just killed a boss with your LFR group. You automatically roll. What are you rolling on? You're rolling on your character. Rather than having 4
different looting tables
, each with 25 people rolling on something they don't actually need (that's 100 rolls in total), it will be
looting table with 25 rolls in it. The top numbers there, say 4 or 5 toons win the roll, will get the item from that boss that their spec can use. This way, if one set of mail agility gloves drops and both a hunter and an enhancement shaman get the highest rolls, they will
get a copy of the gloves. No more feelings of being cheated.
Gear inflation ;o
Thank you very much wowhead, i was checking everywebsite with info, and you are the best! Congratulations!
I must say, I liked the interviews, but I switched to reading because the video editing where the questions are printed as text only doesn't work for me. They're sometimes not on screen long enough, and it means I have to actually watch at the video, rather than being able to just listen to them.
I must say, I liked the interviews, but I switched to reading because the video editing where the questions are printed as text only doesn't work for me. They're sometimes not on screen long enough, and it means I have to actually watch at the video, rather than being able to just listen to them.
That's definitely why we put up transcripts--we also got some feedback that the music was too loud, which sucks, but we have them all typed up so at least no one is missing anything =)
The main reason we didn’t do that is we didn’t know what the hell to do with the Inscription profession then. <laughs> We’d have to come up with entirely new content, or just remove it from the game.
Ha, sucks to be you, scribes. You're vestigial now.
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