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Transmog and 3D Models
Toy Box and UI Changes
Zones, Quests, and Exploration
Today in Draenor
Treasure Contract: The Infected Orc
Tanaan Oil Daily
Battle At The Iron Front
Tooth and Claw
Assault on Skettis
Assault on Stonefury Cliffs
Assault on the Everbloom Wilds
Death to Undertow!
Critters of Draenor
Cold Steel Part II
Learning Is Painful
A Bit of Ore
Treasure Contract: The Thunderlord Sage
Tanaan Oil Daily
Assault on the Ruins of Kra'nak
Assault on the Temple of Sha'naar
Assault on the Temple of Sha'naar
Assault on the Throne of Kil'jaeden
Breaking Their Fel Bonds
Bringing Down the Iron Horde
Tooth and Claw
Bloodied Blades of Zeth'Gol
Tanaan Oil Daily
Assault on The Fel Forge
Tooth and Claw
Order of the Awakened
Swift Brewfest Ram
Steamworks Sausage Grill
can u confirm how many guidlies need to be in a raid for it to count as a "guild group"? thanks@mumper
12 days ago
For a raid group, 80% (rounded down) of the group must be from the same guild. Minimap icon will confirm if you qualify.
11 days ago
so, that shipyard: does running more missions cycle through to "better" missions faster, or is it all random?
14 days ago
They are random for each general location, and running missions clears up space for additional missions to appear.
11 days ago
Getting and doing Black Market shipyard mission every day for 8 days in a row, and the scroll's only usable once. Intended?
14 days ago
Not intended, and we're currently working on fix for this.
11 days ago
lost my title with the new mercenary mode, specifically with my HotA title.... pvp title cant be expose in pvp
20 days ago
We didn’t feel it was appropriate to use faction titles with Mercenary mode.
20 days ago
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Darkmoon Faire In Town (October 4 - 11); Charts for Popular Pets, Toys, Achievements
Wowhead Weekly #54, Wild Bangerang Alliance and Horde Leggings, BlizzCon Badge Art, October in WoW
Timewalking Dungeon Spotlight: Burning Crusade Attunements and Champion of the Naaru
Ever-Shifting Mirror Spotlight: Portal Locations, Maps, Comparison Between Draenor and Outland Zones
In-Game Shop Expands To Paid Character Services, 6.2.2a Hotfixes for 9/30 - 10/1
Warlords of Draenor Follower Guide
Warlords of Draenor Legendary Ring Guide
Vignettes of Tanaan Jungle
Warlords of Draenor Shipyard Guide
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Wowhead Weekly #54
Burning Crusade Timewalking Guide
Brewfest 2015 Guide
Wowhead's Legion Art Contest: Win A Cintiq 27QHD Touch
Draenor Dungeon Bonus Event
Interviews with Greg Street, Cory Stockton, Tom Chilton, and J Allen Brack
2012/03/19 at 2:00 AM
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!
Make sure you also read our huge guide
the Mists of Pandaria official FAQ
for even more information!
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.
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Cataclysm Post Mortem -- Quest Design with Dave Kosak
2012/02/28 at 12:34 PM
To kick-off our World of Warcraft: Cataclysm post mortem series, we sat down with World of Warcraft Lead Quest Designer Dave “Fargo” Kosak to discuss his thoughts on questing in Cataclysm.
Q: What were your main goals going into Cataclysm?
Certainly from a quest design standpoint our primary goal with Cataclysm was to remake the old world, specifically the 1-60 questing experience. World of Warcraft was released in 2004, and we've learned so much in the years since about what constitutes good MMO gameplay. We wanted to make sure that the game was relevant to new players coming in, and walking up and down the length of the Barrens on foot over and over just didn’t do it for us anymore.
Remaking the entire old world -- 46 zones! -- was ambitious. Actually, it was ludicrous. It was like re-releasing a whole game in the course of an expansion cycle. Then we added a couple new races and their starting zones on top of that. I’m not sure how we convinced ourselves we could make it happen, but somehow we pulled it together.
Q: Are you happy with how the old world re-vamp turned out?
I am. Leveling up a new character to 60 nowadays is a great deal of fun. Every zone has stories to play out, with interesting nooks and crannies and plenty of hidden gems or references for players who remember the pre-Cataclysm world. Zones like Ashenvale now live up to their premise (intense Horde-vs.-Alliance combat), and previously empty zones now have a lot of character (see: Azshara). The content just flows. It's still World of Warcraft, but the quests have a modern feel, with lots of action and storytelling.
Q: But what didn't work out so well?
We really spread ourselves thin and taxed the team. The original plan was to totally re-do a handful of high-priority zones, but to leave a lot of the zones that worked mostly alone. We categorized them into "red," "yellow," and "green" zones. The idea behind the green zones (for example, Loch Modan) was just to tweak the quest flow to be a little smoother, but not to make any major changes.
The reality is that even the green zones really needed a lot of love. Once we got in there, it was all or nothing: we ended up completely re-doing a lot of green zones so that they met our new quest design standards. We came up with a nickname: "watermelon" zones. They were green on the outside, until you got in there and started poking around. . . .
Where that hurt us was when it came time to do the max-level content, the 80-85 zones. The content there turned out well, but the experience is inconsistent across the board -- Uldum feels totally different from Hyjal, which in turn feels different from Vashj'ir. The design decisions and efforts we made didn't always yield the desired results.
Q: Tell us more about the level 80-85 zones -- what worked and didn’t?
We were aiming for a really global feel with Cataclysm, so we set the max-level zones in varied environments all over the world (underwater, across deserts, in the elemental plane of earth, etc). However, as a result, they ended up not feeling as connected as we'd like. You get widely different experiences in zones that aren’t geographically related to one another. That's something important that we're keeping in mind moving forward – World of Warcraft works best when there's a sense of place. A connected world to explore.
We feel the storytelling in Cataclysm was strong. Whether assembling the ancients in Hyjal, rescuing your drowned crew in Vashj'ir, or reassembling the world pillar in Deepholm, there’s a strong sense of plot in every zone. Players participated in stirring stories, like bringing the Dragonmaw into the Horde via a violent coup or reuniting the Wildhammer Dwarves with a crazy wedding. These were memorable moments and shared experiences.
The downside to creating these stories is that the zones on the whole ended up being way too linear. For example, because we wanted to show your character re-growing the burning devastation of Mount Hyjal, there was really only one way to play that zone: you started at point A, and you worked your way through to point Z. Pretty glorious the first time, but frustrating on your second or third character because there's only one way to do it, and no way to skip around. That's a lesson we’re going to carry forward for sure. We want big sweeping stories, but we want to give players the freedom to explore those stories on their own terms.
Q: Places like Hyjal also used a lot of phasing to show the world changing.
We have a massive phase shift halfway through the story that changes the terrain for nearly a third of the zone. It's epic, right? But it can be a real pain for players when so much of the world changes like that. Phasing is like a story sledgehammer: it gets the job done, but at best it splits up players and at worst it totally confuses them.
We're going to be a lot more careful going forward. The Firelands dailies in patch 4.2 gives you a much better idea of our future direction. There were sweeping visual changes to the world as you progressed, but there’s very little actual phasing. For the most part, everyone is playing together on the same map. That’s important to us. Looking ahead, we’re going to be a lot smarter about how we show changes to the world, and we’re going to do everything we can to avoid splitting players up.
Q: Talk more about the 4.2 patch. Were the Firelands dailies a hint of what’s to come?
Definitely. With those dailies we were able to engage a lot of players, myself included. (I was the first quest designer on the team to get the mount and all the achievements on the live servers -- suck it up, slackers!) Previously, "doing dailies" meant hitting the same quest givers for the same three quests, usually in a static place. Here we were able to deliver a sense of progression and a story that unfurled over the course of a few weeks, all as you did a constantly changing set of quest objectives in a dynamic environment. We think that worked out well.
Moving forward, we're going to look for more opportunities like this -- ways to keep people engaged and cool things to do solo with your max-level character. We've got ambitious plans.
Q: Patch 4.2 also had the Aggra and Thrall questline, "Elemental Bonds." Did that meet your expectations? How do you feel about Thrall's character development?
That's a tricky one -- we’ve got mixed feelings. The essential story is a good one, and we really wanted to portray all the inner struggles Thrall is going through. Here’s a guy that stepped down as Warchief and had to rediscover himself as a shaman in order to save the world. And he's haunted by his decisions: he’s afraid of what’s to come, paralyzed by doubt, angry at what Garrosh did to Cairne . . . the guy's a mess. We figured out a way to show all that internal tension, and we wrapped it up in a story that demonstrates how his mate, Aggra, will literally go to the ends of the world to pull him through this. It's a powerful love story, and a story about finding one’s inner focus.
But we had to do a lot of things to make it work in the game. We needed to make a quest that 500 people could do simultaneously without getting in each other's way. We wanted a quest that players could do solo, no matter what their skill level. We didn’t know if the player was decked out in raid gear or level 85 greens, so we had to keep it simple. We somehow made all of it work under those restrictions, and we filled the screen with some killer imagery (I love the vision of Thrall immersed in the Abyssal Maw). But ultimately the quests themselves ended up not being as compelling from a gameplay perspective as we would have liked. Many players blew through them once and never looked back.
I really think we can do better. Cataclysm was in many ways Thrall’s story, but it was hard for players to follow his development over the course of the expansion. Going forward we want to convey a clearer narrative, delivered in the context of solid gameplay. We have some ideas on how to do that, and we’re also going to keep experimenting. This is important to us -- we talk about ways to tackle this problem all the time.
Q: The Cataclysm patches also saw the debut of some legendary weapons: Dragonwrath and the Fangs of the Father. Will future legendaries be this, uh, legendary?
Good question. We love class-specific content, but quest lines like those are very resource-intensive. Each sequence involves weeks of development focus that takes content away from dungeons, dailies, or outdoor zones.
The feedback from players (and from our own team) has been overwhelmingly positive. Dragonwrath proved to be extremely popular, and allowed caster classes to get a front-row seat for major lore moments otherwise reserved only for dragons. Meanwhile, Fangs of the Father was pure rogue, from the theme to the mechanics. It was super-targeted and extremely fun -- it proved to us the value of focusing in on a specific class and tailoring the content to their abilities. Given that the audience for these weapons consists of badass raiders, we didn’t hold back on the difficulty either, so these quests were great for people who wanted a real challenge.
The short answer is yes, we'll definitely continue doing these moving forward. Most likely future legendary quest lines will be built similar to the rogue experience: a couple key story moments, a lot of flavor, and some very specific challenges. But I wouldn't expect very many quest lines like these. Like legendary weapons themselves, they're going to be rare and special.
Q: We haven't even talked about goblins and worgen yet. What lessons did you take away from the new racial starting zones?
In both cases, the starting areas really sold the character and tone of the new races. The worgen area is so marvelously gothic, and Kezan is unmistakably unique and gobliny. The art and the quests all work together to establish a racial character. So that’s a big win.
As for the mechanics themselves, I’m glad we were so experimental, but our general feeling now that all is said and done is that we went a little too ‘gimmicky’ with the player’s initial experiences. Everyone can agree that the goblin experience gets pretty wild in places.
That's a big lesson we're carrying away from the expansion as a whole.
Q: Can you elaborate?
Overwhelmingly, players have told us that they want more quests where you have to flap a giant bird around a cave while targeting creatures in a 3D space.
Maybe not . . . But moving forward, we're re-focusing on core gameplay mechanics. World of Warcraft works best when you’ve got your boots on the ground and you get to play your class. To that end, we’re concentrating on giving players lots of fun combat challenges in continually changing environments, wrapped up in a terrific story that’s propelled forward by the quests. Whenever we do special mechanics, we want them to feel special, and they’ll never tear you away from combat for very long. Our goal is to load up the world with lots of interactive spaces, cool encounters, great characters, and neat spaces to explore. That’s part of the reason we’re keeping you grounded (literally) in Pandaria, and why we’re focusing on a single continent. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll talk more about Pandaria soon enough.
Q: Looking forward to it. Thanks for your time!
Not a problem!
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Patch 4.3.2 Will be Cataclysm's Last According to Dave Kosak
2012/01/17 at 5:45 PM
Dave Kosak, Blizzard's lead quest designer, gave a
solid interview with Videogamer.com
late last week. He highlighted 4.3's successes, failures, and also confirmed that there will be no extra content in the wings for Cataclysm--meaning anyone betting on a Ruby Sanctum styled encounter should stop while they're ahead.
In the interview, Kosak also touched on World of Warcraft's recent subscriber losses as well as Blizzard's overall feelings towards Cataclysm as an expansion. Although many have been disappointed with Cataclysm, he was quick to note the sheer level of content it brought to the world and how much of an epic undertaking that truly was for the World of Warcraft development team. Overhauling all those low level quests took massive amounts of time--and were desperately needed, whether players realize it or not.
While Cataclysm may not have been the highlight of WoW's timeline, it was a necessary one to prolong the life of Azeroth.
Hit the break for a transcript of the full interview and let us know your thoughts on both the interview and the expansion. Was Cataclysm a good expansion? Should there have been another encounter after Deathwing? And, most importantly, what has been your favorite feature of 4.3?
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News Round Up: WoW Loses 800k More Subscribers, Mists of Pandaria Interview, and More
2011/11/08 at 8:09 PM
Blizzard had their third quarterly call for the year that reported losses. World of Warcraft lost
for this quarter--following a
600k loss this May
300k subscriber loss in August
over the past two quarters.
In the call, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said the majority of subscriptions lost came from China and other countries in the East. They also declined to provide a forecast for future numbers. However, though this may seem like a shocking number, you have to remember that this is during a lull in the expansion. Without major content patches, WoW tends to lose subscribers only to regain them during an expansion's launch. Here's to hoping Mists of Pandaria brings players back!
Without further ado, here's the news round up.
Wired.com Interview with J.Allen Brack on Mists of Pandaria
Definitely worth reading this interview, thanks to our friends at
for posting it.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Has
World of Warcraft
jumped the shark?
One of Blizzard’s strategies for continually expanding its incredibly popular massively multiplayer world has been the release of expansive add-on packages, which thus far have had serious, tortured names like
Wrath of the Lich King
At its annual BlizzCon convention in October, the publisher said it would try a different tack with the next WoW package. Titled
Mists of Pandaria
, its primary additions to the fantasy world are a new playable race of martial artist pandas and a
-style system in which players can battle their virtual pets.
With dipping subscriber numbers (11.1 million, down from 12 million in 2009) and Electronic Arts’ competing MMO
Star Wars: The Old Republic
coming in December, it might seem like the unconventional new
package is something of a desperation move on Blizzard’s part, adding more mainstream-friendly features just to keep fans’ attention.
To get some clarification on
, Wired.com spoke with
World of Warcraft
production director J. Allen Brack at BlizzCon.
Pandaren have existed since Warcraft III. Why do the Pandaren race now?
J. Allen Brack:
It’s been something that we wanted to do for a long time. We’ve talked about the Pandaren for just about every expansion. That’s definitely not a new idea for us; it was super popular with the fans when we put them in
. It was super popular with us. So it was just one of those things in the back of our mind that we wanted to do even before the original game launched.
We started talking about ideas for the next expansion, and when we were wrapping up Cataclysm someone said, “Hey, let’s talk about the Pandaren again.” We started talking about it more and more. Then one day it just became, “Wow, we’re really excited about this idea,” which eventually became the Pandaren.
The Pandaren are the first race to be playable for both factions . Why do this now?
World of Warcraft
production director J. Allen Brack.
We talked about a great deal back in
for the Goblin race. We thought that Goblins could be a neutral race because they’re neutral in the game already. Players start out as neutral and then you can go Horde or Alliance with that.
Obviously we ended up not doing that . But that was something we spent a lot of the time thinking about. The idea that was really compelling was that you start adventuring with people, and then one day, you have to choose sides. So that’s why we decided to do it this time around. It seems like it worked real well.
So why didn’t you end up doing that with the Goblin in
We were really excited about the Worgens as well. We talked a long time about the Goblin and decided we really needed a more whimsical race on the side of the Horde, and we really need something that’s a little darker, a little more sinister on the side of the Alliance. We needed to bring a little bit more character to both those factions. We were really enamored with the idea of doing a Worgen and doing a shape-changing race. That was something that was one of our first ideas for
. Goblin had been a fan favorite for years and years and years, and so that was on the list as well. Once we made that decision for
that was going forward, we thought, “OK, well if we’re talking about a new race for the next expansion, then maybe we can resurrect the idea of players choosing the faction.”
You’re only neutral for 10 levels. When you get to level 10 you actually decide Horde or Alliance. When you’re in and you’re completing those first 10 levels, that’s very much in its own kind of environment. And the Pandarens that you see out in the world as a normal player, you’re going to see as either Horde or Alliance. You’re not going to see any neutral Pandarens out in the world.
Players who want to play as the Pandaren monks in
can do so whether they are Horde or Alliance, a first for the MMO.
Some critics are saying that Blizzard is “jumping the shark” by having cute “kung-fu pandas” in their expansion. What do you say to that?
We don’t really worry about that because we really feel that our fans are going to be really excited about it. We have the community that’s really excited about what we’re doing.
The team is really excited about doing it. So that’s really what’s important. When it comes out, it’s going to be great. I can understand the concept of “Why isn’t there a big bad guy?” in this expansion? But how many times can we say, “This bad guy is going to destroy the world now and this time it’s serious? No, this guy, he’s really, really, really, really bad!”
So taking a break from that was very conscious and just having a very different tone. Instead of Horde and Alliance, we team up to defeat the big evil. It’s about the discovery of this new land and how the conflict of the Horde and Alliance influences that. With Outland and then with Northrend we had these self-contained areas where players came for an adventure in the higher level. That was really successful.
, we didn’t have that. It was very much focused on redoing the entire levels 1-60 experience. You didn’t have, “This is the high level area.” So that’s something we actually want to get back to, that kind of experience and that kind of visual.
As far as the Pandaren lore, clearly it was inspired by Asian cultures. How do you play to that without resorting to stereotypes?
We’ve always tried to make
very much its own thing. Certainly we have influences from all around the world. And certainly the panda is the symbol of China. Obviously, there’s a lot of influence, but it’s a very light touch of how much China it is or how much it is the rest of Asia. We just tried to take little bits here and there and incorporate it into our own thing.
Was there any consulting with your Chinese office, as far as that goes?
We talked with the office obviously, and they were really excited about what we were doing. The most important thing for the game is that the team making it should be excited about it. Because people who are excited about things that they’re working on they are going to put a lot more of their heart and soul into it and that’s really what makes great games.
Another thing that people either love or hate is the pet battle system. Would you liken it to
, as some are calling it? How would you describe the gameplay? Is it just a fun side thing, or are we going to see some serious pet PvP tournaments?
That’s a really good question. I think a lot of that is going to determine on the tuning which we haven’t actually made yet. The point of it is just to be a very fun thing that players can do. But you’d be amazed how hardcore people get about certain things. Actually, you probably wouldn’t be amazed…
So that’s definitely a goal for us, but more importantly it has to be fun and give something to players to do with their pets. People have been collecting pets for a lot of years now. When we put the very first pet in, people were super excited. Some said “Hey, I want my pets to battle each other.” Now we’re saying, “OK, that sounds great. Your pets should be able to battle each other. Let’s build a system around that.” When we did
, we removed pets from your actual bags and put them all in your spell book, which means there’s a lot of people who have a lot of pets.
Mists of Pandaria
's new environments bring a decidedly Asian visual influence to Azeroth.
You said you’re still working on the pet tuning. How are you going to balance that? Are rare pets better, or is it how players equip them?
It’s definitely going to be how players equip their pets. So you’ll be able to say, “Hey, I want this pet,” and that pet maybe is the ultra rare one that has these three or four abilities. Someone else can have a common pet that has similar abilities or different types. It’s much more a rock, paper, scissors kind of approach in terms of how the combat is going to work as opposed to, “I’ve got the one uber-rare pet and now I’m all powerful.” That’s how we’re going to do it.
Are you worried about farming for rare pets, then? I can see China starting pet farms for rare pets because pets are…
Pets are very special. They’re close to people’s hearts. We haven’t seen a whole lot of farms in terms of stuff like that. That’s a really interesting question. I really hadn’t thought about how that would work. We’ll definitely be looking at all the various drop rates and how people actually get all the various pets in the game. Our goal is to actually have all the pets that you currently have translate right into that system. So there will be new pets for you to get. But you’ll also be able to start using your existing pets as well.
With so many expansions out, are you worried about new players being confused about which ones they need to have and which ones they should buy and in what order? How do you solve that?
That’s something that we talk about all the time. Over the summer we actually rolled the
expansion into the , so there is no
expansion. And that’s something we evaluate on a pretty regular basis. “How many boxes should we have on the shelf?” It can be very overwhelming. We don’t like that. And we want it to always be clear what players need.
Right now all of our expansions extend the level cap. So there’s really no way to just buy the brown box and
Mists of Pandaria
, because how would you get from level 60 to level 85? So they do need everything to get the newest content. Will we roll
Wrath of the Lich King
into the brown box? Eventually yes, just like we did
. When will we do that? I don’t think we know yet.
Mists of Pandaria
feature the Monk class. Did you talk to the
team about this? Did you get together to discuss the name or the class traits?
It’s pretty separate, honestly. Sometimes we’ll have discussions like, “Hey, we’re using the same name for this kind of system.” That can maybe cause some confusion, but that’s super rare. All the various teams are very solo. Which is not to say we don’t talk, but we don’t have the design council of Blizzard that decides, “OK, for World of Warcraft we’re doing monk. For Diablo we’re doing monk. For this game we’re doing that.”
It really doesn’t work that way. Each team decides what they want to do. On the couple times we’ve had a name collision, we’ll say, “Hey, we need to name this a little bit differently or something like that.” It’s really rare.
In the past, Blizzard has promised a
World of Warcraft
expansion every year. Has that just become too unrealistic?
A long time ago, someone made an on-the-record comment it would be great if there were expansions every year. I think that would be great. That’s not really something that we can really do today. Mostly, we just try to do the best thing we can and make sure it’s a great experience. The most important thing is when players get the game that it’s a great experience. We are trying to make the expansions faster. There’s no question about that. We haven’t been really successful with that at all. Every expansion has taken about two years. In fact,
took longer than all of our other expansions. So, yeah it’s something we’re definitely trying to get better at, but we’re not quite there yet.
Having worked on so many expansions, do you find the process becoming faster and easier?
Well, there’s always new stuff. What ends up happening is we get faster at making some of the content in the various pipelines. But at the same time, we add things to that pipeline. A really good example is the Encounter Journal, which we released in 4.2. It’s awesome. It lets player know about all the bosses, all the abilities and the various things that they can do. But including that increases the amount of work that we have to do for every single boss from now. So even if we made content faster, we also add things to slow us down at more or less an equal rate. It’s super challenging.
Talk on Dailies and Bad Design
This is just a bad design. A game should not ask for daily commitment to enjoy what it has to offer.
They ask nothing - they merely reward a choice.
We typically provide some boundaries because, as you've illustrated, something that we allow, is something that can all too easily seem mandatory. That's not what we want, but we do want to provide a reason to come into the game, be in the world, and see what's happening on a frequent basis. It's nice to also be able to offer some rewards for doing that. Naturally, dailies shouldn't be the only way to accrue rewards, and they aren't. Dailies were, in part, a response to a World of Warcraft where there wasn't a lot of incentive to come play on non-raid days, since for many players, the only way to progress became dungeon runs and, for a few, raiding. We also wanted to provide another means of acquiring currency aside from professions, and new ways to acquire reputation with important factions too. They're designed to hit a lot of notes (I'm probably missing some), and I think that they're pretty successful. You don't have to hit your cap, (indeed, one of our fears about a raised daily cap is that players might feel compelled to hit the new, higher cap) but you can if you want to put in the time. Naturally, we also want to continue to add other means of progression to the end-game, and we're looking for ways to do so in a fun and compelling way.
I get concerned when I see players throwing out words like 'bad design'. Perhaps an individual dislikes a design choice, and that's fine. We do our best, but World of Warcraft can't be all things to all people, all the time. That said, making a value judgment about whether the design is 'bad' or not is not only un-constructive, but in the vast majority of the cases I've seen, such an assessment reveals that the design was not well understood to begin with.
These forums represent an opportunity to have a dialogue about the game. I think that choosing words that have context and meaning, and offering alternative solutions, makes for feedback which is more readily useful.
what is a proper description for rehashed content?
A response to many, many requests over the years from the community to revisit old dungeons and characters?
I have a question then: If the intent is to give players a choice, why is it that the Molten Front dailies award gear upgrades from tier 11? Unless you raided firelands, those dailies weren't a choice, they were a path to progression (which, in my opinion, was a wrong decision to make).
Daily quests like the Netherwing ones in Outland or the Argent Tournament in Northrend feel like a "choice" because ultimately the rewards involved have no bearing on your character's power (mounts and pets are cool to have, but aren't by any means mandatory). They feel optional. For non-rading characters, the Molten Front (and to a certain extent, Tol Barad) dailies don't "feel" optional at all, because opting out of them means you're giving up gear upgrades, which is never a cool thing to do.
Any comments on that?
There are plenty of other dailies where the rewards have been non-power related. The goal was different for Molten Front, and we deliberately wanted to offer a separate path to power for interested players. So, we wanted it to be compelling in that way. Still, it remains that there are alternative, non-raid, paths to power aside from Molten Front.
If the Time Lost protodrake, Poseidus, that drake in Deepholme, and the camel figurine in Uldum qualify as "enriching" then I'm going to suspend my account again. >.<
It could be argued that, by adding nuances to the zones they're in, they do enrich the game.
They add things to hunt for, to seek out, and achieve. They're not easy to get, and that's fine, because they weren't designed to be easy to get. It's a very particular kind of goal for a particular kind of player - we don't expect everyone to pursue them, and if it's not fun for you to do so, then hopefully there are fun goals for you to achieve that are suited to your playstyle.
So are you saying that your employer has never implemented a "bad" design? By that logic, they'd never have to change anything, ever. Fact is, your employer makes bad design decisions all the time. The saving factor is their willingness to correct those flaws when presented.
I don't think it would be reasonable to suggest that we haven't made mistakes. We've made them, and acknowledged them throughout the years. There are, however, differences between mistakes and bad design.
That said, those mistakes haven't typically aligned with the criticisms of 'bad design' I was referring to. Like I said, in just about every post where I've personally seen the words 'bad design' used, there was also a fundamental lack of understanding about design in general.
Usually, it boils down to just another way for people to try to enforce their vision of what World of Warcraft should be. I'm just pointing out that using that tactic in one's feedback is a good way to start off on the wrong foot.
WOW is the only game where I found myself generally doing the exact same thing I was doing over a year ago.
Forgive me for saying so, but that seems like a strange statement to me because most games I've played don't change much from year to year, if they change at all. Actually, I'm not doing the same thing in World of Warcraft now, that I was a year ago. The same general gist of things, sure. Games don't tend to radically change their core gameplay in a year's time. Most never change their gameplay at all. In that context, World of Warcraft changes quite a bit more than most games.
Gear Look Customization
I like transmogrifying in the new patch. It puts emphasis that our characters are strong and not just our gear. Sometimes wearing a dress or shirt looks really bad with shoulders..
At least for now, there are no plans to make other slots 'invisible'. We're starting things slow with the first roll out of Transmogrification, so the feature set has a good chance of expanding in the future.
It's also worth mentioning that shoulder items are highly distinctive, and a lot of effort is invested in making those items look cool and interesting. It's not currently a high priority to hide gear which is so integral to the overall look of World of Warcraft.
Your opinions have been duly noted. Fortunately, even if you can't turn them off, using the Transmogrification option will allow you to choose more aesthetically pleasing shoulders. If you happen to find all the shoulders in the game ugly, then I can't help you.
I understand that there are particular looks which are more minimalistic. Transmogrification isn't being added with the intention of making every conceivable look possible - at least, that's not the current intention. It's being added to provide more--a lot more--customization options. I think it's fair to say that it will achieve that goal admirably.
Let's see how things shake out. =)
Outlook on Loot System
What we are doing for 4.3 with the Raid Finder looting system (detailed here:
) is an experiment in order to try and reduce loot drama without removing the chance to benefit from offspec gear completely. In fact, a lot of what we are trying with Raid Finder for 4.3 is our very first attempt at a design that is going to need a lot of iteration before we’re happy with how it works. We’ll use the information we gather on the new looting system (we can call it Need+, for simplicity's sake) and Raid Finder in 4.3 to make both features even better for Mists of Pandaria.
The game currently does not have a very robust notion of what your spec is, so for now we can’t make the loot rules very stringent, other than checking your current role. In Mists of Pandaria, the game will have a well-developed "concept" of spec, and we can do things like let an Enhancement shaman roll need plus on an Agility axe without letting the Restoration shaman roll need plus. (The Resto shaman could still roll need though, since shaman can use axes and the player might presumably have an Enhancement offspec.)
EU Portuguese Realm Available Soon
With the release of the next World of Warcraft content update, Hour of Twilight (patch 4.3), players on European realms will be able to play World of Warcraft in Brazilian Portuguese. On December 7 a realm dedicated to the Portuguese community will open with optional time-limited free character transfers from specific European English realms with high Portuguese populations. Please stay tuned to these forums for additional information.
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BlizzCon 2011: Exclusive Interview with Dave Kosak, WoW Lead Quest Designer
2011/10/23 at 3:38 PM
Saturday afternoon, I was fortunate enough to get a one-on-one interview with Dave Kosak, WoW Lead Quest Designer, before his Lore and Story Q&A. Ashelia and I brainstormed some questions together before I sat down with Dave. During the interview, I made sure to ask him about some of our favorite--and least favorite--questing experiences, as well as how they were handling phasing and truly epic questlines in Mists of Pandaria. I hope you enjoy reading the summarizes of his responses--he shared details unreleased at BlizzCon such as a potential new MoP faction, the Lorewalkers!
We were also able to attend a group Q+A with J. Allen Brack and Jay Wilson about World of Warcraft and Diablo III. We've got the all the answers under the break--some of the information was already covered in other panels, so be sure to check our full coverage for details.
Exclusive Interview with Dave Kosak
Q: It's always been a struggle to make players feel like they truly impact the world. How are you showcasing this in MoP? Do the zones progress and change depending on questlines? What about phasing?
A:One thing we always struggle with--is we have this tool, phasing, but a large problem is that it separates players easily. Phasing, as I tell my team, is the story sledgehammer. You don't need a tool that big. Don't try to layer progression in a way that splits up the world. We're trying to have more questing like the 4.2 Molten Front dailies, in which players progressed in a zone but could still see their friends. In addition, the phasing in the starting zone, as you saw on the demo, is not as extreme as in the goblin and worgen starting zones. For example, the Temple at the center of Pandaria lights up more and more as you find elemental spirits. It's a subtle form of phasing. If we did extreme phasing, players would be lost in such a new zone early on. We're always looking for balance, in ways that don't intrude upon gameplay.
The starting zone is interesting because of how the Pandaren love balance and inner peace--which is new to WoW. It's their survival mechanism against the negative energy of the sha.
Q: As a side note, how is something like an undead or dwarf monk going to work, especially after the Pandaren Monk starting experience is so different? Controversial race/class combos like Night Elf Mages were introduced without much fanfare and didn't quite integrate.
A: It's actually not super complicated--there will be Pandaren representatives, or ambassadors, in the starting area.
Q: In Cata, you removed unique class quests for abilities--such as rogues getting poison out in Westfall by taking a tower. Will there ever be unique and personalized questlines not attached to extreme methods of lore such as the new legendaries?
First off, we love class quests. However, if you do it right, it takes a lot of time. If you look at doing a cool story chain, it's weeks of work. So it comes down to: content for classes, or half a zone. We love the idea, but we're always struggling with how much we can do.
As a side note, the quests for the rogue legendary are very cool--so you're in luck!
Q: In the Q&A, people brought up class questlines. Is there any plan to do quests for upgraded armor, much like how level 60's dungeon sets were upgradable into alternate colors through a complex questline? The .5 armor questline was one of my favorite in the game and class questlines helped players grow.
A: That would be a good question for the item team--they've been exploring many ways for players to continuously upgrade your armor. As for class questlines--we're thinking of implementing Training Grounds Missions--special kinds of missions for tanks or healers to learn your class and see how you stack up. It's thematically perfect. It's also a nice contrast to Scenarios, in which players can group together to quest regardless of the player's role.
Q: Scepter questline was by far the best questline in the game. Any plans to redo it, since it was removed from Cata, or perhaps make a questline that is as ridiciously in-depth, wild, and nuanced--sort of a heroic questline/hardmode questing for players just for the heck of it? Such a questline would be great if
A: We're not sure how it will play out, but there's an idea for a faction called the Lorewalkers. The Pandaren are a race with an amazing verbal tradition--they're storytellers. And the Lorewalkers are bent on exploring the world, finding things and relics, filling out libraries. You won't use this faction to get best-in-slot gear, but in finding and returning books, you'll act out all of the new stories. If you are interested in the lore, this is for you. If you just care about the gear, you can skip them--and it's fine. I'm not sure how this will play out, but I've spent a lot of time--including dressing up as a Pandaren to work--to push this idea.
Q: How do you decide the depth of a legendary questline? Some are really simple, such as Val'anyr, despite how hard it was to get. Meanwhile, Shadowmourne had four rewards and made people a fortune. Why are some less legendary than others?
A: We're always playing with different ideas for legendaries. When it comes down to it, it's specialized content for people that raid. What's the best way to spend our time? We've probably spent a little too much (fun) time on legendary questlines in Cataclysm, but it's worth it for the player--and players that don't raid extensively, can access some of the solo questing options and lore in the early stages of these legendary chains.
Q: We loved the class quest mounts for Warlock and Paladin. Are you ever going to add more quests for mounts--faction or race specific?
A: Going back to your earlier question--probably not specific for class, but we do have ideas for interesting questlines at max level for players to customize their own flying mount. It's always a balance of wanting to create more content that the most players can experience--quests for flying mounts should reach a lot of people.
Q: Are there any plans to redo Alterac Valley with more quests? Some of those quests were truly awesome and it feels like they became obsolete but still lurk around for years now.
A: I don't think we'll revise Alterac Valley anytime soon. This was before my time at Blizzard, but the original idea was that everyone would be questing while PvPing, but that fell short. Eventually people simplified it and found one good way to win. Now, Tol Barad is another example of questing while PvPing that has worked better. We don't have plans yet for an elaborate questing PvP hub at the start of 5.0, but we definitely want to step it up mid-expansion.
Q: Last question: Diablo III made questing completely different. They're different games, but do you plan on giving players more of a voice and involving dialogue more in the game much like how D3 does?
A: One issue with dialogue is that the quest process is iterative. We're constantly changing quests a lot, playing through. It's very difficult to surround the player in WoW with a story primarily told with a full voice. We don't want the story delivered via quest text box--we're instead trying to incorporate lots of the story around you in different ways. Such as via the environment and the new Lorewalker faction.
It's a neat idea though, but full dialogue would slow down the questing experience too much in WoW.
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Interview with NFL Player Chris "Warcraft" Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings
2011/09/01 at 1:46 PM
Everyone was shocked to learn Mila Kunis dabbled in Azeroth in her downtime a couple years back. After all, how could a celebrity manage World of Warcraft and being famous?
We seem to forget that celebrities are just like everyone else--and that means a lot of "famous" people play WoW. From sports professionals to famous actors, WoW's digital world is home to a lot of different characters both in-game and out. It's part of the allure.
So that's where this feature comes in. We're looking behind the curtains of characters and seeing who actually plays them, hopefully with some interesting results. For our first interview, I tracked down Chris Kluwe right before the NFL season starts and asked him about his gaming habits, particularly the one that earned him his very own WoW TCG card after his character.
Watch out though, if you're alliance--he seems a little bit of a troll. A Troll rogue, that is!
Q: Can you give a little background on yourself, who you are and what you do?
, and I play video games. A LOT of video games. I also play tabletop miniatures (Warmachine) and bass in a band called Tripping Icarus. Occasionally, in order to finance these hobbies, I have been known to punt the football for the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL.
Q: Obvious question: Horde or Alliance? Favorite class and race?
Horde. Alliance is filled with dumbs and baddies. My favorite character (which is my main and pretty much only character) is a troll rogue named Loate.
Q: Them's fighting words--it's OK, I'm Horde as well so I won't say anything. What kind of gaming experience do you have? When did you get started?
I started gaming when I was 4 years old when my parents bought me a Nintendo Entertainment System so I'd stop bugging them. I was stuck at home for a week after I split my toe open at Sea World and they needed something to occupy me. Thus began a nonstop stream of gaming that's included Genesis, SNES, Dreamcast, Playstation 1 2 and 3, Xbox and 360, and a succession of gaming PC's. I play every genre of game except for sports. I'm terrible at sports games.
Q: How did you first get into WoW? When did you start playing?
I first got into WoW during vanilla, about 3 months in, after one of my friends kept bugging me to play. I'm no stranger to MMO's (this will probably answer question 8 also) as I started with Ultima Online, moved on to Everquest, then Asheron's Call, Jumpgate, Anarchy Online, DaoC, etc. etc. It's fair to say that I've played about 90% of the MMO's that have come out in the U.S.
Q: Asheron's Call was awesome. Anyway, what was your highest level of PvE progression? Were you a 5-man player or did you actually make time for raiding?
I was initially in a guild with some friends called Order of the Nine (on Kil'Jaeden), which we then merged with another guild to form Astrum Brumalis in order to get enough people for vanilla raiding. We made it about halfway through BWL before BC came out, and that was when I decided to try hardcore raiding. I joined
The Flying Hellfish
at the start of BC and for a while we were 9th US Horde in progression. I've seen my share of eye lazers, flame crashes, and assorted tests of player ineptitude :)
Q: Looks like the Hellfish are still doing very well in Firelands and are working on Heroic Ragnaros! So now that we discovered you were a PvE hero, how involved were you in PvP? What was your best "trash talk" out there in the battlefield?
I've been pretty involved in PvP since the start of the game, mainly world PvP at first back when Tarren Mill/Southshore was the only game in town. Once battlegrounds came out I got exalted in all 3 reputations (which was a complete pain in the ass back then, especially WSG) and then started doing Arenas when those came out. My best arena season was probably season 2 where two friends of mine and I ran Rogue Mage Priest and got to duelist; we didn't have quite enough time to spend playing in order to hit gladiator. Also, warriors can suck my nuts in the arena, especially geared warriors back then. Faceroll some more you champions of shouting.
Q: Spoken like a true TBC pvper--you gotta love the warriors who used two healers in 3's back then. Have you ever used a PvP line on the football field?
Not really, I try to avoid trash talking in most cases, since you never know who you're going to be playing with down the line. There's also not a whole lot of opportunities for punters to talk smack on the field if we're doing our jobs properly. "Yeah, you take that ball out on the five yard line and you like it, biyotch!" See what I mean?
Q: So besides WoW, what other games do you enjoy? What MMORPGs have you played?
I covered other MMO's in question 3, and as for other games I'm a big fan of RPG's, strategy games, RTS's, FPS's, Diablo and assorted clones, fighters, and puzzle games. Like I said earlier, I'll play just about anything other than sports games.
Q: Speaking of games, I hear you have a thing for League of Legends. We just ran a contest for that and a surprising amount of WoW players also play LoL. What's your favorite Champion?
My favorite champion is Vayne, even after they toned her down a bit (she was hideously overpowered when Riot first introduced her and I loved it, especially because you could see it just by reading her abilities). She's a great harasser early game if you learn the radius of her roll properly, and if you can get a couple kills she starts wrecking face. Also, percent based true damage is all sorts of stupid.
Q: Is killing dragons something any of your teammates do? I'll go get coffee sometimes, hear people discussing a PvP build--have you ever been preparing for a real life game and heard people talk about a virtual one?
No one currently on the team plays WoW as far as I know of. We've had a couple guys over the years that did (as well as one guy that played FF11 /boggle), but the only other sports player I know offhand that plays WoW is Adam Podlesh, the punter for the Bears. A lot of guys play games though, it's just they're more into action/adventure type games (God of War, Gears, Halo) and Madden.
Q: There are two major stigmas with gaming. First off, in order to play, you have to have no life, and secondly you're probably a geek. Meanwhile, with sports, it's the exact opposite. How have you felt about the stereotypes? Have they affected you? Do you think you're an exception or a reality given that you do both?
I think that everyone is a geek, it's just a matter of what you geek out about. For some people it's games (geeks), for some people it's sports (jocks), others have cars (gearheads), or guns (Republicans), or fishing (bored husbands), blah blah blah. I think gamers were initially characterized as having no life because you had to spend so much time learning how to program these games and figure out how to make them run, as well as games being relatively solitary activities by nature, but now that we see people who have been brought up with games (myself included) some of that stigma has gone away. I've always felt that you should be balanced in what you choose to do in life, and I think there's definitely a reality that gaming is not the sole domain of the nerds anymore. To be fair, there's still neckbeard basement dwellers out there (you know who you are) who should probably get out in the sun a little bit more and perpetuate the stereotype, but that's their choice to make, and I think people are starting to realize that the majority of gamers aren't like that.
Q: Many people I've spoken to with some degree of fame have kept their real identity a secret. Did you ever let people know you played for the NFL in any of the games you've played?
Well, I definitely played the NFL card for my Hellfish app; I really wanted to get in and I figured that would up my chances :) In most cases though I'll keep my identity to myself, but with the rise of connectivity in games (RealID, Xbox Gamertags, etc.) it's not hard to figure out who someone is if you really put your mind to it.
Q: How do you balance a professional sports career and Azeroth--and in gaming in general? How much time in your life does the NFL take up? Did you ever play seriously while the NFL season was going on?
I raided very heavily during my third and fourth year with the Vikings, probably more than I should have (my wife was not happy at some of the late nights, curse you west coast server!), but I never let it affect my job or my relationship. For me, the key is being able to prioritize and stay balanced in life - I like getting paid lots of money to do something that doesn't really take up a whole lot of my time, and I love my wife (she makes me food). Now that I have kids (2 daughters) gaming is definitely taking even more of a backseat; I still game quite a bit but I've actually moved away from MMO's so I'm able to pause or put the game down if I need to take care of something.
Q: Given that your time is limited, what is your favorite thing to do when you got a chance to log on in WoW? In any MMO?
In WoW, hanging out with my guildies and seeing new content (as well as ganking the occasional jerk who tried to disrupt dailies). I'm pretty sure that will translate to just about any MMO I play in the future.
Q: So, I know you're a manly man...but I'm a girl and this is a real big deal to me, so I have to ask. Patch 4.3 introduces the ability to change your armor into anything. It's probably been the biggest change in years. What do you think about the change? What would you be wearing?
I think that's an awesome change, especially considering all the awesome older armor sets they created and that people never used again once they outleveled the items. How your character looks is one of the biggest things in an MMO, and being able to customize that can only make the game better. I have to be honest though, I haven't logged into WoW since a month or so after Cataclysm came out; once I realized raiding boiled down to "Don't stand in the fire and get loot" I kind of got bored :) Who knows, maybe I'll come check out 4.3 and Firelands though.
Q: Just go with
--it's the best rogue set. Back to the sports themed questions: Curt Schilling may be the only other athlete that compares to you in terms of being "public" about their gaming life. Have you ever thought of starting up your own MMO studio like he has?
Heh, I have plenty of ideas for my dream MMO, but unfortunately starting an MMO studio requires slightly more funds than a punter makes in a career :) I wish Curt all the best though, he's put together a great team and it will be interesting to see if they can bring it to fruition.
Q: What game is your most wanted for 2011?
It's a tie between Skyrim and Saints Row 3. It sucks that they both come out within like 3 days of each other, because I could gladly spend a couple months playing each one.
Q: Any words of advice, parting words, or links you want to share with us?
Be balanced in what you do, and while gaming might be an important part of your life, remember that there are other important things in life too. Like shamelessly promoting my band
! You can also follow me on Twitter
if you're so inclined, I talk many nerdy things. Thanks for the time!
Special thanks to Chris for doing the interview and Cody over at
for getting us in touch!
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Blizzard Interview with Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer
2011/04/26 at 5:12 PM
Blizzard has just posted an interview with Lead Encounter Designer
, including a behind-the-scenes look at the content featured in
Patch 4.1: Rise of the Zandalari
! Of course, most of these answers can now be found in-game but it's still interesting to learn how decisions were made when scaling down the content to support a 5-player format. In addition, Mercer hints that we may see more redesigned classic content in the future of World of Warcraft - including perhaps revamped
all for that.
In patch 4.1: Rise of the Zandalari, the devastation wrought by the Cataclysm drives the troll tribes of Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub into a renewed frenzy that threatens to escalate into outright war.
To learn more about this troll onslaught, the
recently sat down with World of Warcraft Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer. Read on to get the behind-the-scenes details of the upcoming content patch, which will bring back the legendary raid dungeons of Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub as 5-player Heroic instances.
How did Rise of the Zandalari come about?
Well, it's always a good time for trolls! No, just kidding, there's more to it than that. The idea first came up after the launch of 4.0 when we reintroduced 5-player versions of Shadowfang Keep and Deadmines. The classic dungeons ended up being a big hit with players, so we knew we wanted keep the momentum going by remaking more dungeons. Zul'Gurub was an obvious choice as it was a long-time player favorite, and many people were sad to see it go when Cataclysm launched. We started revamping it as soon as we could. Much later, when work on Zul'Gurub was nearing completion, we decided to add Zul'Aman to the lineup as well. The team felt Zul'Aman was one of our best raid dungeons of all time, but that it launched late in the Burning Crusade expansion cycle, so not that many players got a chance to experience it when it first came out. It was really the "hidden jewel" of Burning Crusade raiding. We're hopeful that bringing it back as a 5-player Heroic will open it up and allow a much larger portion of the player base to try out the encounters.
Can you give us any indication of the how the major bosses and features of Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub will be updated for the patch?
Zul'Aman was ahead of its times in a lot of ways, and it actually adheres pretty closely to the encounter design philosophies we use today. For that reason, we didn’t feel the need to change the encounter mechanics too much aside from a few tweaks here and there needed to retune it for 5 players instead of 10 or 20. On the other hand, Zul'Gurub needed to change a lot to bring it in line with our current thinking on encounter design. For starters, we simplified the dungeon layout by closing off some of the wings with doors or fallen debris. This should make progression through the dungeon more streamlined and obvious. We're also completely redoing the non-boss NPCs in the dungeon to make them easier to clear with a 5-player group. A lot of the Zul'Gurub boss lineup is changing as well, and players can even expect to see some new faces in the crowd.
Were there any specific challenges in taking a 10 or 20-player raid instance and revamping it for 5 players?
Knowing that there will only be five players at an encounter introduces some constraints that aren't there for larger raid encounters. For example, you can't use tank switching mechanics when you know that most 5-player groups are only going to have one tank. In the same vein, events that require a lot of crowd control aren't going to work either; there just aren't as many players available for crowd control as you would have in a 20-player raid. We also had to be careful to limit encounter mechanics that could potentially disrupt or lock down the healer. These kinds of mechanics tend to be much more devastating in 5-player groups, mostly because there are no other healers available to pick up the slack. Of course, I'm not saying players aren't going to see any disruptive mechanics at all, I'm just saying we had to use them much more carefully than we would with larger raid encounters.
You discussed how several of the encounter mechanics are changing for the revamp. Can you give us any specific examples?
Sure, take Akil'Zon, the eagle boss in Zul'Aman. He used to interrupt players by launching them straight into the air, which could be devastating in a 5-player encounter if he chooses the healer or the tank, so we changed this mechanic slightly. Now his summoned eagles pick players up and try to fly off with them instead. The player that gets picked up can still act and cast normally, even while being carried away. So the group just has to make sure the eagle dies before it carries the player away. This works better, because the eagle mechanic still creates a sense of urgency without completely disrupting the targeted player.
Let's talk phat loot! What kinds of rewards can players expect from the new versions of Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman?
The bosses drop epic quality item level 353 loot, which we hope will help players gear up for Cataclysm raiding. We also reworked the Edge of Madness event as an optional boss encounter which requires the archaeology profession to activate. At a certain point, an archaeologist can release one of four randomly chosen troll spirits, each with unique loot. We're also releasing new versions of the special mounts that used to be found in Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub. Players who successfully complete a timed run of Zul'Aman can get the new version of the war bear. Anyone who has the old version of a mount can still get the new version. Also -- though this isn’t really part of the dungeon itself -- we're adding a new mini-raptor pet for people who do the Stranglethorn Vale lead-in quests. Oh, and of course, Mojo the toad can still be found in Zul'Aman.
Going forward, can we expect more raid dungeons from past expansions and patches to be revamped as 5-player Heroic dungeons?
We definitely want to, but there are a few technical limitations we will have to solve first, especially with some of the older dungeons. That said, we know players like the classic dungeons and we’re open to updating just about any instance that has memorable encounters, especially if the dungeon as a whole meshes well with our current philosophy of encounter design. Several dungeons in particular keep coming up as potential candidates for 5-player Heroics. I've heard Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance discussed a few times. We also think it would be cool to revamp Blackrock Spire and Blackrock Depths given their obvious tie-ins for the storyline of Cataclysm. Nothing's been ruled out yet, so I guess we'll have to wait and see which ideas rise to the surface and we move further into Cataclysm.
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News Roundup: Cataclysm Hotfixes, Heroics, Project Titan, Starcraft II Demo
2010/12/21 at 7:07 PM
Just the latest news from the world of Blizzard, including a small batch of Cataclysm hotfixes, veiled details about Blizzard's new MMO, tips on surviving Heroics and more!
Notable Cataclysm hotfixes include:
The search radius to find an Archaeology node from the Archaeology ability Survey has been increased. This will result in fewer searches needed while in the "green" range of surveying.
Chakra is no longer consumed by a Prayer of Mending bounce.
Several shirts have been corrected so they no longer cause a player's item level to increase. They are item level 1.
In addition, another, undocumented hotfix was recently applied which will make it so that players without an appropriate crafting profession of 425 or higher will no longer be able to 'Need' roll on
! This should be a welcome change for any users with the profession, however I still say that making them BOP was silly in the first place. But meh, we're probably just a few patches away from a change on that - and by then, it won't matter.
A hotfix was applied about an hour ago that changes it so Chaos Orbs will only be available for Need rolls by characters with Tailoring, Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Engineering (minimum skill of 425 required). This fix may not appear until the next time realms are restarted, which is likely to be early tomorrow morning.
Check out the full post for all the latest hotfixes, blue posts and more!
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Wowhead Comic #23
2010/12/08 at 8:33 PM
In honor of the release of
has graced us with another comic, written by our own
With all the fuss about Cataclysm, it's always good to take a moment to look back on the world—and the friends—we left behind...
Noxy has also put together a wallpaper of the last panel, if you'd care to download:
1280 x 1024
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News Roundup: Cataclysm Launch, Developer Interviews, Explorer's League Journal
2010/12/08 at 1:21 PM
Just wanted to try and take you guys away from Cataclysm (yeah, right!) for another news roundup!
I don't know if you guys heard, but Cataclysm launched on Tuesday!
Be sure to check out our
as well as our
The undead armies of the Lich King have been vanquished, and the campaign in Northrend has come to an end. Now Azeroth faces a new threat, as Deathwing the Destroyer has burst forth from the heart of the Maelstrom, unleashing widespread devastation upon Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. As the world teeters on the brink of destruction, champions of the Alliance and Horde must embark on a quest that will take them from the World Tree to the bottom of the Great Sea to the elemental planes themselves, looking for a way to bring an end to Deathwing’s reign of ruin.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is now live and available at a store near you -- or you can
to upgrade directly through Blizzard. Featuring new zones, unique dungeons, hundreds of new quests, an increased level cap of 85, and two new playable races -- worgen and goblin -- Cataclysm provides a huge variety of content for new and returning players. The expansion is available in both a standard and
. To learn more, check out the
, visit our
game information page
, or check out the
to get started.
Check out the full roundup after the break!
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