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Transmog and 3D Models
Toy Box and UI Changes
Zones, Quests, and Exploration
Today in Draenor
Assault on the Broken Precipice
Assault on the Pit
Assault on Mok'gol Watchpost
Assault on the Pit
Death to Gor'thul!
Critters of Draenor
Secrets of Soulbinding
Whispers in the Darkness
Treasure Contract: Gutrek's Cleaver
Talgaiir the Ironrender
Blackhand's Crucible: Blackhand
Assault on the Broken Precipice
Assault on the Pit
Assault on Mok'gol Watchpost
Death to Gor'thul!
Critters of Draenor
Secrets of Soulbinding
Whispers in the Darkness
Treasure Contract: Gutrek's Cleaver
Talgaiir the Ironrender
Blackhand's Crucible: Blackhand
Master Relic Hunter
Steamwheedle Preservation Society
Voidtalon of the Dark Star
Fandral's Seed Pouch
Did you boost a character to 90 and dive right in to Warlords of Draenor? Would love to hear your feedback for the boost experience!
1 day ago
, Senior Game Designer
So what do you DISLIKE about the Tanaan intro? Be honest, we can take it.
1 day ago
, Senior Game Designer
Q: Tanaan Intro, at the very end, now drops a trinket that is AWESOME for levels 90-100 (up to H dungeon). Would you do Tanaan or skip it? Y
1 day ago
, Senior Game Designer
The current xmog/voidstorage system seems incredibly dated. Very punishing for gear collectors like myself. Drowning in equipment.
2 days ago
Tom Chilton mentioned this in a previous interview, transmog revamp is def. something we'd like to tackle at some point.
2 days ago
, Senior Game Designer
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Wowhead Weekly: 6.2 PTR Pepe Costumes, Professions, Tier 18 Armor Models and More!
Friday Update Arcade, Warcraft Film Releases June 10, '16, Admiral Taylor's Greatsword
Marvel Heroes Giveaway: Comment to Win a Turtle Beach Headset
New Site Feature: Transmog Set Images for All Races, Comment to Win a Grinning Reaver Mount
6.2 PTR: Build 19934 Tier 18 Set Bonuses, Pepe Costumes, Left Shark Pet and More
Warlords of Draenor Follower Guide
Warlords of Draenor Legendary Ring Guide
Comprehensive Ashran Guide
View All Guides
News by Tags
Warcraft Movie New Release Date
Transmog Set Revamp and Giveaway
Build 19934 Left Shark Pet, Pepe Costumes
EU WoW Tokens
PvP Live Developer Q&A with Brian Holinka, 6.2 PTR Raid Testing Schedule
9 days ago
PvP Developer Brian Holinka will be doing a Q&A today at
and we'll be live blogging it here on Wowhead! Please see the liveblogged questions below!
Q: What, exactly, do you do here?
A: Big team, different types of designers on WoW, systems, class, encounter, class - my team does the PvP pod, working on PvP content as well as class designers and item designers for both pvp and pve. I worked closely with them to collaborate on those classes and items from PvP/PvE perspective. Coordinating what's going on in classes. I create PvP specific content such as reward schemes - titles, battle grounds, etc.
Q: 6.2 PTR class changes?
A: (Lore) Remember these are just the first wave of class changes, don't freak out. Just the first bunch of changes, there will be more and they will be iterated. (Holinka) Publishing the changes helps us get feedback! i.e. Windwalker monks.
Q: Are there any plans to promote synergies between different classes? i.e. Ret/Hunter
A: Tricky problem for sure - Arena is very comp centric, RBGs less so. Lots of times, our focus is the specific coolness of a class' kit and then we want to make sure they are competitive. Often times, a meta emerges where they have a lot of synergy with other classes or only 1 or none. This is often changing, but yes the meta right now is Ret/Hunter. All it takes is a group of players to try and push a different comp and that makes the meta often change. It is something we keep in mind, and it's more of a concern when the synergies get too out of control. It would be a daunting task to make synergies for all 30+ classes.
Q: A lot of specs that rely on crit or multistrike are falling behind in PvP? How do you fix this without breaking PvE?
A: We didn't want a huge different between sustained damage and crit damage - i.e. oh you happened to get a multistrike crit. In PvP crit and multistrike were nerfed to lower that RNG. But yes, that has affected some classes. That was fixed for classes like Elemental shaman where Lava Burst does 25% more in PvP. We feel like we've gained a lot with the PvP game being less bursty. Please give feedback on those specs. Example: Issue with no counterplay to killing spree - changes coming in 6.2.
Q: Have you rethought letting the Nemesis quests work in BGs or lowering the quests kills required?
A: Yeah, definitely a new type of PvP thing for people to go for. It's being discussed - the system was designed to be a WoD thing and so for now we're sticking to that. But it is being looked at.
Q: Why can't each ability just be split into PvP and PvE versions to help with balance issues?
A: Yes, we can use "more knobs" to balance but I don't think this is the right solution. We have gone for this right now a lot more than in the past. I think there is a problem if every ability is like that. We don't want to see that level of complexity. I read this question as "pvp and pve often run into eachother as balance goes and here's my solution" - we're not that into that solution but this is being talked about, there are things in development to address this issue.
Q: How are CCs balanced with eachother? Shouldn't zero Cooldown CC be easier to dispel?
A: They are not directly compered - we think of a full kit of a spec or class. Is there a trade off? i.e. Poly heals the target, Cyclone makes the target immune. Those are certainly trade offs that are there. We don't want all the CC abilities in the game to be the same. We want variety. Also, other parts of the spec change over time, affecting the CC.
Q: Mobility and CC breaks remain strong- any plans to address this?
A: Our high level goal with CC going into WoD was players want to be playing their characters more. 1st strategy was reduce # of CC abilities. To also then say take all the breaks away, this takes away from our goal. No plans to remove breaks as of yet in 6.2 but we're evaluating for next expansion.
Q: Will CC ever be removed or thoroughly rethought of CC?
A: I don't see a total removal of CC - it's an important part of the game. Damage only might be pretty boring. I can agree that maybe we've drifted to too much CC and CC chains and so yeah we have demonstrated with WoD that we have the will to remove CC and I think we still have that and that it would be good for the game.
Q: Does Blizzard intend on providing support for tournament organizers?
A: Added a slash command to spectate arena to help with that for sure, glad the tournaments are taking off. The community is demonstrating they are committed to it - it's a thankless, hard job with lots of criticism so we all appreciate you creating that environment. We do want to continue to help them out - either in game functionality and support or talking to tournament organizers. Had issues with data center issues so server issues were funneled to the broadcaster's data center. There will be more stuff in the future!
Q: Are you satisfied with the dampening mechanic?
A: Yes. The goal in the current environment is being accomplished - we wanted arena games to end in a reasonable amount of time. There are some concerns about comps made to survive into dampening to score a kill but we think variety in comps is good. Things like burst comps vs. control comps that take you into dampening. Variety is good for the game.
Q: Spectator mode for rated battleground?
A: Yes, it works for RBGs! And please, go wild, do crazy events in those RBGs - i.e Lumbermill-only Arathi, etc. Set your own rules.
Q: Any changes to PvP alt gearing? Farming 27k points is not fun when you already have a PvP geared character?
A: We've gotten lots of feedback about this problem our current progression system has. PvP progression is about getting gear and people feel like the game doesn't even start before they get all the gear and push ratings but it's not like that for everyone. Not in the best interest of the game to shortcut that but yes we are trying to do things to help with this issue. i.e. the Conquest catch up, the BoA flasks. We do care about if you are playing a character, that you are earning the gear ON that character.
Q: Any plans to bring back the 27k CP vendor? (the Honour vendor)
A: We primarily did that last expansion so people could buy their 2nd spec gear more easily but the system was super convoluted. Now, all the gear switches primary stats so you only need to buy trinkets/jewelry/weapons so the cost is significantly less to buy gear for a secondary spec. There's still people earning conquest and they need something to spend it on.
Q: 6.2 change notes
A: Yes we are looking to balance a tiny bit of secondary stat issues. Looking to wrangle in specs doing too well in PvE and looking to do slight changes to PvP set bonuses to buff/nerf classes.
Q: Will we see WoW PvP normalize ilvls to make PvP easier to get into?
A: Well, taking away the gear progression from PvP isn't great - so what would the people who don't raid be playing for? Yes, the ilvl power difference is a big barrier to entry level PvP and it is being discussed. We made efforts to improve this in WoD. That is done with scaling people up in PvP and dual item levels in PvP. Yes these are good concerns but we still need the progression system.
Q: Why are the majority of high ranked players Alliance? Is this an issue?
A: Yep, we've discussed this before. We don't want to offer cross faction arenas so if you want to play with your friends, you all have to choose one side of the other. Last expac it was all horde, and then the group of high level players all went alliance. People look at the human racial and call that an issue but ignore the benefits on other races. Ultimately could we do a better job at balancing racials? Yes, and we'll look at it going into next expansion. I'd rather we make every racial compelling than all mediocre. We like racials as part of an RPG.
Q: Plans for solo rated arena queue? New BG maps? PvP content development is too focused on Ashran!
A: Solo rated arena queue has a lot of issues - my thought it, what problem are you trying to fix? I want a way solo to progress my character to get gear? I have trouble finding arena partners? I just like solo rated play? Solo rated stuff has issues - these experiences can often be toxic experiences because people are very disposable - just press a button, get new players, don't have to be nice to them. Managing toxicity requires a lot of other systems. Premade groups are stronger, have leaders, set tone, self-police themselves. Our strategy has been to help people find eachother. Just looking at RBG numbers, the incentives went down but group finder made participation go up massively (like 50-60%) - helping people find groups made participation go up despite lower incentives! Solo progression issue - we are looking at this in terms of questioning if gear is the best progression system. No solo queue planned at this time.
New maps? We set out in WoD with do we need another BG? What would benefit the game most? New pvp content? We were so excited about Ashran - this is a new type of content, let's get it out there. We didn't hit the mark with Ashran. We didn't deliver something people were happy with "and it keeps me up at night" - we're looking at Ashran to improve it. We thought server/friend community in Ashran was more trouble than they were worth. We learned a lot about the importance of rewards throughout the zone. We have tried to make everyone invested in each part of Ashran. We do have to balance rewards systems between, for example, the efficiency of CP from Ashran vs. Arena. Possibly thinking of restricting raids to parties in Ashran.
Q: Any changes every planned for AV?
A: Yes we want to keep it up to date. But no, no game play mechanics planned.
Q: Given that the majority of players only play BGs, how can you make them more fun/balances?
A: It's actually more mixed than that - they don't only play them. But yes, they are certainly popular - in fact it's unfortunate that it's fallen to the wayside in terms of the rewards, since they are slow. As for balance of individual BGs we do look. Our current thoughts are looking at BGs that aren't that fun.
Q: When will the botters be stopped?
A: We do take this very seriously. We don't like it and it doesn't make the game look good. We can't be transparent about how we're dealing with this - don't want to tip off botters, and don't want to put people's heads on spikes - they are people's account. Don't use bots. You will get banned.
Q: The new proc on legendary rings - will it work in world PvP?
A: We do have a wide spectrum and wide variety of things we let people use and not use - from competitive PvP to random BGs, it loosens up. World PvP is mostly take the gloves off - part of the fun is the dynamic nature so you can use your cool awesome things in world PvP. Use what you've got - it will work in world PvP. World PvP is vicious and unfair! We want to keep that. The ring procs are disabled in instanced PvP and Ashran.
Q: Does low level PvP get a fair shake when classes get rebalanced?
A: We focus our balancing efforts on max level PvP but we do look for really far outliers. If you do find a situation where a spell is very broken, please give us that feedback.
Q: When will XP off players be able to queue for a wargame without turning XP back on?
A: Yes, this is a bug that is being fixed.
Q: Bringing back pruned abilities? My disc priest would love life swap back or baseline fear!
A: Probably not, and we may prune again. We felt like this was good for the game and good for the classes.
Q: Since spellcasting can be interrupted, will we ever be able to disarm melee? It should be a two way street.
A: Not sold that it's a 2 way street - the focus is that you can also attack from ranged. They have to get to you. There are advantages for melee and advantages for ranged and they are different.
Q: As the lead PvP designer, are you happy with the way PvP turned out in WoD?
A: "Happy but not satisfied" - We were disappointed that we produced content that players were not excited to play. But also lots of things to be happy about - RBG and group finder arena partners going up is great. Strongbox system for gear in random BGs is also great. Skirmishes have been a big boon to leveling. Dual item level also worked okay - it's a lot clearer on what you should be wearing but also still a bit wonky. Also very happy with "Spectate match." There are certainly things we could have done better. I am more personally focused on those when I think about things.
6.2 PTR Raid Schedule
On Friday, April 17, we will begin our Hellfire Citadel raid testing with one Heroic encounter: the Iron Reaver. As this is the very first raid test of this PTR cycle, it is quite possible that there will be technical or gameplay issues that disrupt the testing. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
Remember that Heroic difficulty scales for any group size between 10 and 30 players, so feel free to assemble and bring a group of any size within that range. Our general plan is to test every encounter on Heroic difficulty first, and then test sections of the raid on Normal and Raid Finder, alongside targeted Mythic tests.
Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below on all PTR servers.
Friday, April 17
Iron Reaver - Heroic Hellfire Citadel
14:00 PDT (17:00 EDT, 23:00 CEST)
As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the boss being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.
Important Testing Notes
Q: How do I get into the raid zone?
A: In Stormwind, Orgrimmar, and your garrison, you may speak to Nexus-Lord Donjon Rade in order to teleport into the raid zone while it is open for testing. (The option to teleport into a zone will not be available when the zone is not open for testing.) You can also teleport to Tanaan and just walk in the standard entrance.
Q: How long does testing last?
A: The primary purpose of testing is to give us the information we need to balance the encounters, evaluate how mechanics are playing out in practice, and identify bugs. Once we're satisfied that we've received that information for a given boss, we'll be shutting down testing. Usually this takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, but there are no guarantees.
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Liveblog: Raids and Dungeons Q&A With Lead Game Designer Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas
2015/02/27 at 1:01 PM
We've liveblogged the Warlords Q&A with Lead Game Designer Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas!
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Wowhead Interview with Lead Game Designers Cory Stockton and Ion Hazzikostas, Oct 17th Hotfixes
2014/10/17 at 2:33 PM
We're giving away two BlizzCon ticket-holder exclusive Faerie Dragon Plushies and four BlizzCon Virtual Tickets! All you have to do to win is tell us what
new thing you're enjoying most in patch 6.0.2
in the comments below!
More details after the Video
Olivia Grace and Perculia interviewed Lead Game Designers Cory Stockton and Ion Hazzikostas at 1 pm PDT, the livestream is over but we have the YouTube video below.
The hour-long interview covered the pre-expansion patch, itemization in Warlords of Draenor, Garrisons, Legendary Questline, World Events, and Professions.
We also have some hotfixes for October 17th at the end of the blog, covering hunter buffs, fixes to some old-world encounters, and a fix for raid items that were losing item levels.
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Guide to How Wowhead Can Help You in the Prepatch, Wowhead Interview with Lead Game Designers 10/17
2014/10/16 at 12:16 PM
This guide covers some of the ways Wowhead’s database and tools can help you navigate the prepatch!
We’ve been working
very hard updating the site for Warlords of Draenor
and we wanted to highlight some of the useful features besides the general searches for quest objectives and post-squish items.
You can use Wowhead to compare your old and new character models, learn more about your class with our updated class guides, preview the items in the Toy Box, track your mounts and pets as you work towards
So. Many. Pets.
, easily filter for gear and enchants, and much more!
We've even included the option for you to easily browse your combat logs on
via the Profiler.
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News Roundup: Blizzard at PAX East, Top Tweets, Heroes Q&A, War Crimes excerpt
2014/03/17 at 4:52 PM
Blizzard has confirmed their attendance at PAX East, and let the world know what they'll be bringing to the Boston-based convention for their fans to try out. We've also got news on an upcoming Heroes of the Storm dev Q&A, an excerpt from the latest Warcraft novel, War Crimes, and some significant tweets from the Wowhead Blue Tweet Tracker.
We've also got a
contest open right now
to win a Diablo III computer!
Grab your gear and saddle up, because we’re headed to PAX East! PAX attendees should ready themselves for three days of demon slaying, sword swinging, hero playing, and card slinging awesomeness, as this year we’ll be featuring all-new builds for our most recent and upcoming games, hands-on time at demo stations, an epic developer panel, and awesome giveaways and prizes. Come by and check everything out at
We’ll be there from
Friday, April 11
Sunday, April 13.
Here’s what you can expect at this year’s Blizzard booth:
Warlords of Draenor
hands-on demo featuring updated character models and the intro experience for the upcoming expansion.
Hands-on time with the in-development
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
, playable on PlayStation 4.
A chance to find out what’s in the cards for
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
, and play the mobile version on iPad.
A brand-new demo for
Heroes of the Storm
, featuring new Heroes playable for the first time anywhere outside of Blizzard.
Blizzard developers will be on-hand to chat about your favorite games.
Blizzard developers will also be giving a presentation at the Albatross Theatre on Friday, April 11 at 10:30 a.m. EDT titled
Heroes of the Storm: The Ultimate Blizzard Mashup
(streamed live on one of the official
PAX Twitch channels
for those not in attendance).
And did we mention there will be giveaways, prizes, and more? If not . . . there will be giveaways, prizes, and more!
Head on over to
for panel schedules and hotel and travel information.We hope to see you there!
The most notable significant tweets from the
Wowhead Blue Tracker
are as follows:
Watcher on Challenge Modes:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="
That said, we're still looking at how to best handle the CM titles as the season ends. May let everyone with the FoS keep them.</p>— Watcher (@WatcherDev) <a href="
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></scr
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EU Fansite Q&A with Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas
2014/01/31 at 12:46 PM
Our friends at
attended an EU fansite/influencer event at Blizzard HQ in Versailles and had the opportunity to chat with Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas. They were kind enough to provide us with a transcript of the Q&A, which we've posted below--check out their show and
give them a listen
! Topics covered include:
More challenging dungeons in Warlords of Draenor.
How to keep boss encounters fresh in Warlords.
Evolving questing and outdoor gameplay.
Why your friends who don't play WoW should check out Warlords.
Upcoming WoD features like Garrisons and the Toybox.
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Live WoW Developer Q&A Transcript
2013/04/25 at 7:22 PM
Blizzard's Live WoW Developer Q&A took place on Thursday, April 25th, 5:30 pm PDT. Designers Dave Kosak, Ion Hazzikostas, Brian Holinka, Cory Stockton, and Greg Street answered player questions--since they covered a ton of questions over the course of an hour, we've organized all of their answers below by topic!
You can also visit
to view a full chronological transcript of the Q&A.
Some epic battle pets are coming in 5.4.
The new Barrens content in 5.3 will not be CRZ, and will not affect low-level questing.
Think the Alliance was shortchanged on lore? Dave Kosak has some thoughts on that.
Plans are in the works for some server population issues.
Based on player feedback, the PvP Pet Battle system may continue to expand after 5.3.
While the 5.4 raid will include Orgrimmar, it won't just be recycled zones--plans will see some new stuff.
PvP questions included players asking about PvPers making gold and additional PvP rewards. They also asked about 5.3 changes, such as ilvl 496 item scaling for PvP and removing resilience from PvP gear.
Watcher evaluates the success of Ra-Den, a heroic-only limited attempts boss. Some bugs and tuning issues led to guilds skipping some intended mechanisms to beat the encounter.
Blizzard is happy with the number of bosses in Throne of Thunder and imagines the 5.4 raid will have a similar number of bosses.
The Skyclaw mount for engineers may be scrapped, but Engineering mounts are planned for 5.4.
The Siege of Orgrimmar will not be pushed back, and Blizzard is happy with the fast pace of their content patches.
Players were curious about Garrosh's motivations and how the Siege of Orgrimmar will play out. Dave Kosak described the 5.4 events as a "bloodbath."
The item squish is off the table for now.
Even though earlier parts of the legendary questline are just overpowered ways to strengthen your character, the reward in 5.4 will be an actual legendary weapon.
Click the cut to read the questions and answers organized by topic!
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World of Warcraft Customer Support Q&A
2012/12/13 at 7:43 PM
Blizzard held a Customer Support Q & A at 5pm PST, with representatives from the SC2, Diablo, and Warcraft teams answering your questions! They discussed the popular Item Restoration feature added recently and shared crazy stories like upset Diablo fans showing up at the office to protest Hardcore character deaths. And of course, they answered questions about what it's like to deal with difficult players screaming over Twitter.
Specific to Warcraft, they address the RP personas and names favored by GMs, botting and /afks in Battlegrounds, the Report feature, policy creation, and potentially updating the in-game interface for for CS requests.
Click the cut to read the transcript!
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Blizzard Dev Notes, Patch 5.0.5 Hotfixes
2012/11/08 at 11:35 AM
Earlier this week, the Blizzard Community Team shared notes from weekly developer meetings to fansites! While this is a partial transcript as not all questions and answers can be shared with the public, there's a ton of useful information covering a wide breadth of topics and it's a neat to see what's discussed at dev meetings.
We've summarized the highlights below, and be sure to check out
the complete Q&A over at Wowjuju
, as well as their extremely-useful
Several class issues and abilities were brought up:
pet storage, PvP Balance for
The instance creation cap can be dodged by resetting while inside the instance.
Challenge Mode mounts are intended to be account-wide.
Leaderboards are planned to not be reset this expansion.
Blizzard is happy with PvP vendors on the wall: map icons and in-game mail clarify their locations.
The rewards from random Battlegrounds and dungeon bonuses were changed to fit the new reward structure in MoP.
Discipline priests were not mentioned in the 5.1 PvP blog, but changes to
The devs are in favor of keeping some blanket silences ingame for PvP, and are happy with the state of CC.
The old model of just rewarding gear for PvPers is outdated--Blizzard may possibly have PvP vanity rewards in future patches. They're also open to discussing creative ways to acquire
Raids and Dungeons
The buff interface is a bit confusing and may be reworked.
Some LFR loot items may be flagged incorrectly for class and spec--this is being looked into. The queueing system for LFR is being addressed as well.
As part of the new
acquisition system, players who log on every day to run a Heroic get a small reward for their time now, over players that try to get everything done on the same day.
If you lose a player in a Scenario in 5.1, the queueing system will allow you to find another player.
The new vast array of quests in MoP is intended to be completed over many months instead of rushed into a few weeks, leading players to feel overwhelmed.
In Patch 5.2, new tech will be implemented that allows all grouped players to get credit for flip-the-switch type objectives.
It's strangely difficult to acquire Justice Points, especially if you focus on Scenarios and dailies. Blizzard is working to change this.
Pet battles will not be cross-faction in the future.
No future tracks will be added to pet battle music, but there are 10 rotating ones already.
will look awesome, with frozen whiskers and a trail of frost.
Blizzard is addressing the lag players feel when they switch zones, but it's complicated.
The temporary phasing of NPCs/players Pandaria is not tied to CRZ, but a result of loading information efficiently for players, especially crowded areas.
The gold cap when transferring servers will not be increased.
All epic-quality items in a raid dungeon that can be disenchanted will produce
Pandaria faction-based mounts are account-wide. However, each individual character must have
Some minor hotfixes went live last night covering raid encounters, which we have under the break!
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Mists of Pandaria: Developer Chat Hosted by Best Buy
2012/09/18 at 6:08 PM
Best Buy is holding a developer chat with Lead Systems Designer Greg Street, Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas, Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton, and Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak starting at
6 pm CST
! Community Managers Zarhym and Crithto will be moderating.
If you'd like to join in the conversation and have a question that didn't get answered at the Reddit AMA, you can join the Best Buy chat
Classes in MoP
What was the idea with Monk healing? What mix of elements inspired it and defined it?
Greg Street: Mostly we wanted it to feel different from existing healers, so there is an emphasis on a channeled spell as the main heal. We also wanted to emphasize movement and damage-dealing to heal, because those were core to the monk class.
Were Orges ever thought of as a playalbe race, at one time?
GhostCrawler: Yep. We considered them for Cataclysm instead of goblins. Figuring out the females and the two-headed mages would be (fun!) challenges. Maybe someday.
Is there any plans to allow players to have more then one Death Knight per server?
GhostCrawler: We agree that it feels like an antiquated rule at this point. We'll see how hard it is to remove that restriction.
Rogue's Shadow Blades visual effect is lacking, and needs more of a pop. Paladins get Ashbringer; could Rogues get something equally cool looking?
Ion Hazzikostas: We agree that some rogue visuals (Shadow Blades, Shadow Walk, etc.) could use some more love. That's something we'd like to do in a future patch.
Hey, I had a question regarding Arms Warrior PvE rotation. It feels like there is too much rng involved with the rotation. Very rarely do I get more than 2 stacks of Taste for Blood and sometimes I can use Overpower 5 or 6 times without a single proc of it, which then will leave me rage starved and without buttons to press. I was wondering if you could lower the damage bonus of the buff or damage of OP while also increasing the proc chance as well.
GhostCrawler: To Zawani Think of getting a high stack for Taste for Blood as a random bonus, much like getting enraged from a bunch of crits in a row. You shouldn't hold your whole rotation waiting for a 4 or 5 stack, because it won't happen that often. If you're at risk of rage capping, try to Slam. If you don't have the GCD to Slam then it's probably worth just using the Heroic Strike unless you think you'll be able to Colossus Smash really soon.
Hi. I've had a lot of concerns regarding hit / expertise with tanks. Currently in MoP it seems tanks would reforge most their defensive stats into hit / expertise. It's extremely annoying design
Greg Street: We felt like previously tanks could just ignore even hitting targets because threat was easy to maintain and survivability was based entirely around cooldowns. Now you'll need to hit the target, but you'll gain resources for doing so, so we hope the experience is more engaging to tanks. More *fighting* less standing there.
Considering Dispels remove ALL magic effects, even if they dispelled Fear the Flame shock would go with it, regardless of if they intended to dispel it or not. Would this not constitute it's reinstatement?
Ion Hazzikostas: Guessing this is a follow-up to my earlier reply. I meant that if you dispel Flame Shock off yourself, or off Teammate A, maybe you can't dispel Teammate B's Fear or Polymorph a few seconds later, and now they're stuck in CC for its full duration. In general, we expect that players have to be much more careful about how and when they use their magic dispels.
Rogues are famous for using daggers, and that's all that we seem to be able to use, but I like to play Combat Spec, and it's described as being a swashbuckler spec. As such, I'd like to use 1handed swords along with daggers, but there are next to no 1handed rogue compatible swords, will we ever get to use swords as part of a rogue's arsenal? Afterall, there is no longer a block on what weapons a rogue can use on their abilties.
GhostCrawler: It's less of a design concern and more about how many different items we can drop. Things like e.g. Intellect axes don't have a lot of customers, so we just don't make them very often. This might be the kind of thing that transmog can eventually help address too.
Windwalkers have been very upset with a couple things in particular with their spec. The first is Fists of Fury: we don't like being rooted and channeling an attack when our kit is supposed to be mobile. Can we please get this mechanic revisited? As well, we don't have literally any useful raid utility. Zen Meditation is very weak. Will this be addressed at all post-launch?
GhostCrawler: "Mobile" doesn't mean "never, ever stops moving." Like many specs, Windwalkers will do more damage when stationary but can still do some damage when moving. Deciding when you should FoF and when you can't is one of the decision points that separates good monks from great ones. We're not inclined to change it at this time. As far as raid utility goes, we're really reluctant to hand more "must have" buffs. We don't want Windwalkers to be mandatory, especially for smaller, 10-player raid groups. If they are never taken at all, we'll take some kind of action, but I'd be very surprised if that's the case.
Prior to patch 5.0.4 (when we still had the cataclysm 'revised' talent trees), Elemental shamans gained an addition to one of their talents entailing that when flame shock was dispelled we gained a temporary buff entitled 'Lave Flows' This most recent patch, with the new Mists 'revised' Talent trees highlighted the removal of the cataclysm talent system, and with it went Lava Flows, what is your reasoning for removing this valuable ability?
Ion Hazzikostas: Defensive dispels are significantly more limited in 5.0 than they were previously. Passives like Lava Flows were designed as an answer to an environment in which defensive dispel magic was spammed constantly, and it was nearly impossible to get a buffed Lava Burst off against an attentive dispeller who could remove your Flame Shock while you were casting the spell. With an 8-second cooldown on dispels now, a healer who dispels a Flame Shock may find that they are unable to dispel the Fear or Polymorph that targets another teammate immediately thereafter. We'll keep an eye on the evolving PvP metagame in light of the new dispel changes, and consider re-adding something like Lava Flows if it proves necessary.
What are your thoughts on healing classes in MoP? Are you seeing the type of balance you want in the new expansion between all classes/specs? I ask because we are seeing a lot of blending of healers into one unit, instead of variety. All healers can do everything now to state it plainly which is making certain classes stronger choices than others for non-healing reasons. Sure some do slightly better in certain situations, but the classic archetypes are no longer as valid.
GhostCrawler: We strive for harmony with the healer design. If healer niches are too well-defined, then you are encouraged to stack Resto druids for one fight and then Holy paladins for the next fight. We'd rather see a diversity of healers. As far as healer balance is currently, we're pretty happy with it at 90. We still need to see Disc priests really figure out all of the nuances of Spirit Shell and we want to make sure all of the healers are really strong for Challenge Mode gold runs.
Whats would your answer be to the players who feel that by making multiple classes bring similar buffs and abilities, that the classes are losing their 'uniqueness'? Introducing combo points to ShadowPriests/Ret Paladins for example.
Ion Hazzikostas: Ultimately, there are only so many distinct resource mechanisms, and many of them are not great from a gameplay perspective. We'd rather differentiate our classes and specs on the basis of their overall feel and unique capabilities such as Death Grip for Death Knights or shaman' totems. I don't think many people are likely to mistake a shadow priest for a rogue just because they build up a resource and then consume it to deal damage.
What exaclty (If you can answer without spoiling the story line!) has turned Garrosh Hellscream into the monster we all hate now?
Dave Kosak: Garrosh is not a monster. He has a very clear vision of the Horde, and the future of the orcs, and he gives very little thought to anyone who stands between him and that future. As he gets more powerful, and gets away with more, his vision becomes clearer. This has put him in conflict in the Alliance, and ultimately will cause problems within the Horde.
Will the storyline of the Sha continue with Patch 5.1 or later patches?
Dave Kosak: To drwuky For the most part, the Sha issues will be tackled by players in 5.0. BUT... not everyone wants to let sleeping Sha lie. Someone might start stirring up trouble beginning with the patches...
Were the stained glass windows in Ulduar forshadowing of the Sha? They look very similar to the Sha.
Dave Kosak: I'd like to say we planned that. But I would be lying. I think it's just a happy coincidence that fits wonderfully into our lore.
Will there be an appearance of the Burning Legion in the end of MoP?
Dave Kosak: The threat of the Burning Legion is still out there, and it's very much a threat to Azeroth. The mortal races are mostly focused on the current war, but not everyone has forgotten about what's out there and the challenges to come... Wrathion, in particular, is already trying to look ahead.
Is the second son of Deathwing going to be the Second Prince? The achievement "Two Princes" says that Wration and another 'Prince' will settle something important, is that true?
Dave Kosak: "Two Princes" is a placeholder name that may or may not reflect the final achievements in later patches. Suffice it to say, Wrathion's story will continue!
Where is N'Zoth? He was mentioned at Blizzcon, then was talked about in Dragon Soul. What is going on with him?!
Dave Kosak: N'zoth is still lurking. The Titans couldn't defeat it... maybe someday we'll get our chance? Don't expect to hear anything about him in Pandaria, though!
Will we ever see Magni Bronzebeard return from being frozen under Ironforge?
Dave Kosak: Magni is like the definition of BLING. :) If we continue his story, we'll make sure to handle it in-game. I wouldn't count on seeing him return during the Pandaren story arc, though.
"Turalyon and Alleria" is it possible in anyway to know if there are any plans to continue their story?
Dave Kosak: Oh, their story will continue!!
Where do you see races that are neutral leaning like the Blood Elves going within the Horde? They seem rather separate from the Horde story since Cata's launch.
Dave Kosak: Stick around for patch 5.1 - we pick up the Blood Elves' story and propel it forward. Finally, a chance to interact with Lor'themar! Most players don't even know who he is. :)
When will we see Sargeras?
Dave Kosak: Sargeras would be one monstrous raid boss! He's one of the most iconic, key villains of the franchise. Believe me, when he comes to Azeroth, you're going to feel it LONG before he even gets there.
Question for Dave Kosak. I have always wondered why the Alliance has continuously frowned upon the Scarlet Crusade. Their main purpose was to simply eradicate the undead. With their return in MoP, we are tasked with eliminating them -again- with the aid of Lillian Voss. Why is it that we have turned their organization down for so long when we more or less have the same goals in mind?
Dave Kosak: The complexities really aren't in the game, but the Scarlet Crusade was very much a rogue organization. Great priests and warriors who would've otherwise served the Alliance disappear into the crusade, who serves its own ends. (In Northrend, it was clear their leadership had succumbed to demonic influence. It's hard to make up for that.) To be honest, the main reason to revisit the Crusade in 5.0 was a gameplay reason and not a story reason - it was a favorite dungeon that we really wanted to revisit with new mechanics. We didn't think a lot of story was needed.
The reddit AMA gave some teasers that Sylvanas, Vol'jin, and Thrall (specifically in 5.1) would be integral parts to the story. Rexxar and Koltira were also mentioned. On the Alliance side, other than Varian, Anduin and Jaina are there any notable leaders/lore figures we can expect to see active through the Pandaria storyline?
Dave Kosak: Great question! Many of the Alliance leaders will come into play. Tyrande has a couple of moments in 5.1. We also want to do more with the dwarven storyline (we're still kicking around ideas of how best to do that.) The trick is making sure those characters have meaningful moments. We'll definitely spend a lot of time with Jaina and King Wrynn.
There has been some speculation as to whether Turalyon and Alleria might make a triumphant comeback in Mists of Pandaria. Any comments on this, or are they saved for a later expansion pack? The Alliance sure could use something to turn the tide of war.
Dave Kosak: and also, I think the Alliance can take this!
Dave Kosak: There's no plan to continue their story in Pandaria.
Dave Kosak: (Reverse the order of those replies. :)
I am wondering about the incentives to 25 man raiding. This game is a social game so why does it seem that 25 man guilds are dying off and raids are going down to 10 mans. Paragon recently posted that they were going to 10 man. Is there any other way to fix it so that people are drawn to do 25 mans because they want to raid with friends and get the good gear?
IonHazzikostas: In Paragon's specific case, I suspect they'd find no lack of capable people more than willing to raid with them, but maintaining a Finnish-speaking roster is a core part of their guild culture, and they've made what was no doubt a very difficult decision to scale down to 10-player raiding rather than compromise that culture. As I noted in the Reddit AMA, ultimately there are heavier logistical burdens, particularly placed on the officers and raid leaders, in sustaining a 25-player roster versus only needing 10 players. We're actively discussing ways of ensuring that 25-player raiders feel properly incentivized and rewarded without necessarily elevating one raid size over the other. We definitely welcome ongoing community discussion and feedback on that topic.
Greg just said on twitter that the 25s versus 10s situation was handled in the AMA a lot, but nothing came from that apart from an understanding that 25s do have it harder now and could use some more compensation, Don't you have concrete plans for that, more than the tiny bit of extra loot 25s will have? The issue will only get even more pronounced the next weeks during progression.
Ion Hazzikostas: It's something we discuss frequently internally. We don't have anything final to announce just yet, but we love 25-player raiding and intend to do what we can to preserve it.
CoryStockton: I know we sound like a broken record on this but we are really pushing hard to deliver content to you guys faster than ever with the Mists patch cycle. As Dave mentioned, we are already making awesome progress on the first set of patches.
Nobody I know is impressed with the promise of an extra piece of loot for normal 25 mans. What we would be impressed with is separate realm first achievements for each raid format. Any chance of seeing something like this?
Ion Hazzikostas: To Guest-261 Possibly. On several servers that have one top 25-player guild that's far above the rest of the server in progression, that might turn into incentivizing them to split up the week after their 25-player Realm First to snag the 10-player one. Not sure that's great gameplay for anyone. That said, we recognize that there's interest in making it a bit easier to distinguish between 10-player and 25-player kills in statistics or achievements.
Ok, I am going to be the one to ask the dreaded question, mainly because my guild members know that I continue to fight for them and have asked me to still chase this question. 25 mans - GC you have said it would be a good topic for a Watercooler, which is good, and recent tweets say not enough is being done for them.The only change we know about is the loot change and that is onl 1 item different for Normals from the majority of Cata which, excuse the sentiment here, seems a little underwhelmin...
GhostCrawler: Sadly, we don't have any details to announce yet, but we have a couple of ideas that should make the 25 players happy. We'll talk about them when we're confident that they are good ideas. Remember, the result can't be that all the 10 players stampede back to 25.
WoW has always been a mostly raid or die game. The changes in MoP to Justice Points, the item level difference on gear obtained outside of raid, are steps backwards from alternatives, pushing us back to raiding. Are there any plans to give the non-raiders / people with random avaiabilities any form of meaningful character progression in terms of player power, besides only raids?
Ion Hazzikostas: We have a number of gear acquisition routes that do not involve raiding. We've broadened the avenues for acquiring Valor Points, which can now be earned by doing dungeons, daily quests, scenarios, and so forth. That gear will be at least item level 489 (compared to 476 from LFR). There's also crafted gear. And of course future content updates will continue to provide upgrades outside of raiding. All of that said, I'd encourage you to check out the new raids as well -- the addition of the LFR system makes them more accessible than ever.
Do you feel the way of nerfing Dragon Soul through nerfing the bosses was more successful than the Icecrown Citadel version, which buffed the players health and damage?
Ion Hazzikostas: Yes, one of the awkward things about the Icecrown Citadel buff was that, over time, it caused players to feel weaker when they were doing anything other than raiding Icecrown. It also had some potentially distorting effects, benefiting some specs and roles more than others. Weakening the enemies instead, as we've done in Dragon Soul, is more in keeping with how we've traditionally handled our tuning adjustments, going all the way back to Vanilla raids.
Mists of Pandaria features an ambitious number of 18 raid bosses and I'm very excited about that. I'm curious though as to how many bosses we can expect to see in future tiers? Firelands and Dragon Soul felt like small tiers with only 7 or 8 encounters in the tier.
Ion Hazzikostas: We like big raid tiers too, and will do our best to continue delivering them. We're planning for the next tier after Heart of Fear/Terrace to be a fair bit larger than Firelands or Dragon Soul were.
Will the ability to obtain legendary mats on LFR mode make it required for raiders, at least until they complete the quest?
Ion Hazzikostas: "Required" is one of those tricky words. We understand that for many players anything that gives even an incremental power gain is seen as mandatory. Progress on one portion of the early steps of the legendary questline may be made in LFR mode, so players who want to obtain their gem from Wrathion as quickly as possible will likely benefit from doing LFR alongside their Normal or Heroic raiding. LFR wings will unlock incrementally, after Normal mode, so when someone in a top progression guild is defeating up to 16 bosses when Heart of Fear and Terrace open, doing LFR will only add 6 to that total (from Mogu'shan Vaults LFR). While in the long run, we'd like to minimize players' obligation to run LFR if they are part of progression raiding guilds, that's challenging at the start of an expansion when everyone is using the same dungeon blues. We hope it'll be different for future tiers. Finally, the true power of Wrathion's gem lies in the combined effect of the weapon and the gem itself; an LFR player's Sha-touched weapon will be significantly less powerful than a Heroic raider's.
You mentioned in a previous Q&A that legendary weapon components would be done in a manner to lessen drama within in a guild. One step was the implementation of components achievable through LFR. My question is how will components from normal and heroic raids be distributed. Will it be distributed similarly to how Deathwing's essences or new LFR are, or will the raid leaders still choose who to give those components to?
GhostCrawler: In 5.0 it's not a competitive issue at all. In Raid Finder, it's a random drop for some players. In Normal and Heroic there is a chance of a drop, at which point it is multi-lootable and every player on the quest will get it.
Any chance we will ever see attunements or rep based dungeons again or is that strictly a in-the-past type thing?
Ion Hazzikostas: There's something a bit like a traditional attunement in the 5.0 raids: Players must defeat Grand Empress Shek'zeer in the Heart of Fear raid before they may begin the Terrace of Endless Spring raid. It's definitely something we're open to exploring further in the future.
I know you guys recently changed the LFR loot (weapons) from the last boss in a LFR instance, are you guys going to do any other changes to LFR to make heroic raiders not feel as they have to raid 2 formats a week to be competitive?
Ion Hazzikostas: As I mentioned in reply to an earlier question, it's a goal of ours but it's a tough one to realize in a world where everyone is starting out in dungeon blues and looking to get their hands on any and all epics. It's our expectation that by the time Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring LFR unlock, most heroic raiders will have replaced their dungeon gear and have less to gain from also running LFR mode. In future raid tiers, people who are already in Heroic gear from the prior raid zone should not find the next tier's LFR gear to be an improvement over what they have.
The new LFR system you have in WoW now seems like a great way for people who dont have alot of time to donate to raiding guild environments a chance to see content that was most of the time closed to them, however I'm not a big fan of 25man raids. Is there any plans to add a 10man choice to the LFR system?
GhostCrawler: We think 25 works better for Raid Finder. The ratios of DPS to non DPS more matches the player population and there is less risk of getting an unviable group. In 25s you can afford to have a few deaths and you can even pull if you're backfilling a few players. Both really make you stop in your tracks on 10s. In 25, it's easier to fade back into the group if you're still not 100% confident in what you're doing. In 10s, it's harder to be a wallflower.
Any chance we will see the option to upgrade out current legendary to be maybe not the equal to the current ilvl but maybe raid finder ilvl or just a little below so that they are not just taking up space in out banks, or bags in the case of Dragonwrath.
GhostCrawler: Not sure we would let you upgrade a legendary, but we could potentially allow you to transmog them. Our reluctance has always been that Thunderfuy feels less special when you see 30 of them running around AV.
Have you changed your design philosophy of the quest flow in Mists of Pandaria? In previous expansions, moving to a new zone as soon as you are eligble left enough experience to cause no issues. Do you intend for all zones to be finished from beginning to end in order, and if so why did you feel the need to add breadcrumbs to the next zone prior to being able to go without issues further down the road?
Dave Kosak: Pandaria is like a huge novel that you can read in any order. You can skip ahead to other chapters as soon as you're eligible. It's worth it to stick through a full zone to wrap up the storylines and maybe get some blue quest rewards, but you're welcome to play through however you want. We definitely put in the effort to make this expansion much more open and non-linear.
Hello. If someone from a CRZ hits Level 90 as first player on my realm, will he get the Realm First! Level 90 achievement for my realm or for his realm?
Ion Hazzikostas: His realm.
Can one stand anywhere in Orgrimmar(including right next to the questgiver that sends you to the gunship) when MoP is activated or do we have to be outside the Garrosh building? Good to know for us who are rushing as fast as we can!
GhostCrawler: If you are online, you should get the quest pushed to you no matter where you are. We don't want to over-promise though. This is technically challenging stuff and it might be the case that we need everyone to relog. /crosses fingers
Can we expect mailboxes on the wandering isle on release? was the removal of the one that was there for quest testing purposes?
Dave Kosak: Pandaren Neutrality caused a lot of design issues we had to solve. Mail ended up being a headache. What was easiest -- for us AND for our users -- was to remove mail entirely until you choose a faction. That's nice and clean and prevents a lot of issues people saw on the beta. So, no mailboxes on the Wandering Isle - sorry!
I loved the "Visions of the Past" quest-line in Vashj'ir. Will we see anything similar in upcoming content?
Dave Kosak: This is the "Battle-Maiden" questline, where you got to play as a naga badass for a while. I think these are a great break from the standard gameplay if they're well-designed, but we would want to use them sparingly. (After all, it's not WoW if you're not playing your class and kicking butt!) That said, there's a couple fun moments in Pandaria that have similar gameplay. In the Valley of Four Winds, you get to play as Chen Stormstout for a little bit. After kicking around a lot of ideas, we ultimately decided to give you a single 'Chen-Fu' button that makes him randomly do awesome kung-fu moves. It's a short sequence, but it's fun for storytelling and gives you a chance to Chen it up.
Will we ever see cross-server mail or non-boa cross faction mailing feasibly within the 5.0 content?
Cory Stockton: It's on our list and something we really want to do. It's really just a matter of the engineering time it takes us to get it in.
Are there any plans to allow for heirloom items to be sent cross realm?
Cory Stockton: We want this as bad as you guys do. It's on the list and we are looking into it.
Will you guys decrease the experience needed from 88-89 and 89-90 or increase the experience gained in Townlong Steppes and Dread Wastes before release? At the moment you can NOT hit Level 89 if you start with Level 88 and 0% experience in Townlong Steppes (~10% experience missing) and also Level 90 is impossible with Dread Wastes quests only (~5% experience missing). These are datas with the 10% experience guild perk and yes, I've got both zone completed achievements.
Cory Stockton: We are still actively tuning the XP. We will look into it.
It seems like PVP never gets much attention from the devlopers during these type of events. As a hardcore lover of PVP and the many people that are in my guild, we have really gotten frustrated, bored, etc with how PVP is handled. Will you guys ever be implanting anything like how LFR system works. Were there will be healers on each side, for a better chance of your team succeeding? I don't know about anyone else but I really hate being on my side with 0 healers and the horde have 4 in E...
Greg Street: Our BG queueing system was built a long time ago. Since that time we've engineered the much more powerful system that we use for Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder. We'd now like to reengineer that system to work for BG queues as well, which would give us the ability to better balance healers, item levels, and perhaps even premade vs. PUG. No promises, but it's something we're working on.
With all these new changes to get players out into the world (great idea), is it a goal of the development team to possibly bring back World-PvP? Coming from someone who plays on a PvP Realm, I would love to relive the old days of huge scale open world PvP battles. I'm sure many others feel the same way.
GhostCrawler: We are trying to encourage it. Spots like the Black Market and the shrines (the faction "cities" in the Vale) will probably have a lot of PvP on PvP servers. Remember, guards are much weaker on PvP servers now and there are no sanctuaries in Pandaria.
Will Wintergrasp ever be added as a max level battleground?
GhostCrawler: Potentially, if there is enough demand for it. We would introduce it as you suggest as a true Battleground to avoid faction imbalance issues.
What is the design philosophy behind PvP balance and how satisfied are you with PvP balance in Mists of Pandaria?
GhostCrawler: One of the main ones was to allow more cross-over of gear at the lower end but not the upper end of content. (In 4.0 it was more of the opposite.) It's not fun to die in PvP over and over until you get decent gear.
Have you thought about implementing zones or battlegrounds where players are normalized by level, similar to the gear level normalization in the upcoming challenge mode dungeons? This could allow players to quest or PVP with lower-level friends, and it could be fun to see a trio of level 20s take down a level 90.
Dave Kosak: This is a tremendous question, because it's something we've been talking about and exploring. With Challenge Modes, we now have tech to scale your item level, so that we can guarantee the right level of difficulty. Having this tech opens lots of doors for us down the line. We don't have anything to announce, but it's a step toward a lot of the features you're describing.
The Theramore event was a little...underwhelming. Developers have previously stated they spent more time on the content in Pandaria than the Theramore event. Will we see more diversity and excitement in the scenarios in Pandaria?
Dave Kosak: There's a LOT of diversity in the scenarios. For example. there's a monkey pirate island where you're running around fetching up brew and fighting randomized bosses, and other insanity. We really tried to experiement with some different mechanics, and we got bolder as development continued.
Are we going to get more story-telling in scenarios? The Theramore scenario was lackluster compared to the book and key story elements haven't even been address in-game yet.(Kirin Tor leader)
Dave Kosak: I addressed this earlier, but keep in mind that we want scenarios to be replayable. We definitely didn't want to burden them with tons of story that you have to wade through every time you play it. As I said for Theramore, people obviously wanted more context, which probably was best served by some one-time quests on either end of the scenario. That's a lesson we're pulling forward. :)
The story of Tides of War is really interesting. I don't think players can get engaged if they have no idea what's happening though--the bomb dropping is really anticlimactic. I felt a bit disappointed that so little got included in the scenario. Was this because of lack of time of developers, or because you rather keep all that info in the novels.
DaveKosak: I've been watching the Theramore feedback closely, and this comment seems pretty universal. We tried to keep everything all in the scenario, to make it really self-contained, but not burden it with lots of story that you have to slog through every time you played the scenario. It's pretty clear from the feedback that people wanted more story. We should've surrounded the scenarios with more quests or explanations to help round out the story for the people who wanted to know what exactly was happening. Lesson learned!
Christie Golden mentioned in an interview that she worked closely with the quest team when she wrote Tides of War to make sure everything was very close. However, there are some notable differences between the book and the scenario during the Alliance side of it. Did the storyline of the scenario change late into the book's writing?
Dave Kosak: We worked hard to sync with Golden during development. The Alliance side of the scenario went through LOTS of iterations, including when it happend (before the attack? During the attack? After the attack?) Ultimately we went with the one that gave us the greatest gameplay. We want the events of the book and game to match as closely as possible, but we want the best book possible and the best game possible, so they won't be word-for-word identical. This can create some fun arguments. "Well, according to this book..." "YEAH, but I WAS THERE, MAN!" :) We work hard to make sure the discrepancies are minor, but we definitely don't struggle for perfection.
Will the gear in Theramore's Fall 85 version be available in the 90 version?
Cory Stockton: The gear and the rewards for the 85 version are only available now. The 90 version has standard scenario rewards (Valor and a chance at a dungeon blue).
Why is the Theramore event so boring? It's way too easy and if you didn't read the book then you have no idea what's going on. You also wouldn't know why Jaina isn't dead and why Azeroth isn't completely destroyed. Do you think it would've been smarter to put more lore in the scenario and would've made it more fun?
Zarhym: Dave already spoke to the story part of your question (if you missed it Best Buy will be providing a full transcript after the chat). To address your concern of difficulty, we agree it was too easy on release. We pushed a hotfix recently that increased the HP of all enemies in Theramore's Fall. The fact is that Scenarios in Mists will be more tailored for players in quest gear and dungeon blues. But players at level 85 were steamrolling through it in Dragon Soul gear, and the hotfix was to compensate for this a little.
Are we going to have the ability to remove players who dc or log off from scenario groups and add in new players from the queue?
Cory Stockton: Not at launch but we hope to have it in for the 5.1 patch. We understand the concern.
Compared to designing dungeons, how difficult is it to design scenarios? Does it take more or less resources to make scenarios?
GhostCrawler: The biggest challenge for us was just figuring out what scenarios should be. How long should they last? Should they be hard? How much variability should they have from run to run? Now that we've gone through that process, they should take much less time to design than dungeons. The biggest time expenditure on dungeons is the amazing art that goes into them.
Beside the lifting on the Mists with the clock strikes midnight on the 25th, we have come to expect events to complement the new expansion. They have been fascinating and very fun. Should we expect events over the next 6 days? Or was the Scenario it?
Cory Stockton: The Theramore scenario is intended to be a preview of what players can expect from scenarios in Mists. It is by no means a launch event and thats intentional. We made a call early on to put that time into developing more content for Mists that will last and not be over in a week.
I love the little mana bomb received from the Theramoore scenario, but the cooldown is making it really hard to have fun with. Any chance this will be reduced to allow a bit more spammability? Maybe like a 30 second cd?
Cory Stockton: Glad you liked the reward! Unfortunately, that kind of mana power takes a long time to recharge!
When will transmog rules be loosened up a little? Main hand/one hand weapons, for instance.
GhostCrawler: If I had to guess, we will loosen them at some point. We would probably wait until some time after the MoP launch when players will appreciate it more. It's easy for smaller features to get lost when there is so much new content. The designers will discuss it soon (tm).
Transmog has become a very important part of my gaming fun. Will we be able to farm Dragon Soul LFR recolor gear at level 90, since the LFR tool won't work for it at that level ? This goes for future expansions and MoP content, of course.
GhostCrawler: To Guest-776 We aren't going to support Raid Finder for content that is much lower level than your character, but we are going to allow you to enter old raids solo without being in a raid in a future patch (ideally the next major one, but standard no promises). That should facilitiate a lot of transmog farming.
With the creation of the farms at Halfhill, the base structure for player and guild housing has subsequently been created as well. Is this the direction you have chosen to go with for player housing or was this even considered as an option? One very good point about this option is that multiple locations for housing can be placed thoughout the game world, preventing the issue of removing players from the world.
Cory Stockton: It's certainly a baby step in that direction. We are really excited to see how players react to it in Mists. We already have lots of ideas on how we can expand this kind of content in the future too!
Recently in Twitter Ghostcrawler mentioned the possibility of making subraces such as Maghar orcs and Wildhammer dwarfs available with the player character model updates, how high chance is there that this would also allow us to play as Broken or Taunka?
GhostCrawler: If we ever opened up more races, I suspect we'd be pretty liberal about it, but to be clear, that feature is no more than a twinkle in some designer's eye at this stage.
At the end of the Klaxxi questline, the mantid mentioned that at one point in time, they worshipped Y'shaarj, an old god. However, he was slain by the Titans and was split into "shadows of his former self". Is he, in some way, in relations with the Sha and will we see Y'shaarj in future content patches?
Dave Kosak: Y'shaarj breathed love and exhaled hate, inhaled peace and breathed violence... Plus, his name was y'SHAarj. It's pretty safe to connect the dots. :) But Y'shaarj itself is very, very, very dead.
Dave Kosak: Regarding DeathFish's question (Love the name, Deathfish!) when we think about things like player-housing, we really want to look at how this can contribute to gameplay. The farm is awesome because it ties into a lot of systems, it creates some fun crafting opportunities, it impacts the economy, etc. It's a great experiment for us because if it's popular, it gives us a lot of data into how to create this type of content in the future.
Is there a chance we might see class specific factions developed more? Kirin Tor, Ebon Blade, Argent Bros, Ravenholdt...Could we see something similar arise for Warriors, Hunters etc?
Dave Kosak: We're cooking up some cool Warlock stuff we can hopefully announce soon. In a more general sense, we LOVE class-specific content, but to do it right takes development time (believe me, I have to somehow schedule all this stuff.). When it came down to deciding between more zones of content and more faction content OR class-specific stuff, we opted to create more content for everyone. But, again, we love class-specific content, we'll try to squeeze in some cool challenges for the various challenges in the patches to come...
The Reliquary is an interesting faction (at least in my opinion), but it hasn't been really visible in Cataclysm. Any chance we'll see them in Pandaria, as a counterpart to Brann ? Or at least some way to get their tabard ?
DaveKosak: No plan for a tabard, but starting in 5.1 they're going to start poking around Pandaria for relics...
Will there be a Realm First achievement that involves Pet Battles?
CoryStockton: We did not make any realm first achievements for pet battles. Our intention for the feature is that its more of a casual activity and a realm first just did not feel like a good fit.
Will the baby shark pet ever get added back into the game?
Cory Stockton: Yes! That's what those sweet new water bubbles are for!
With the pet battle system, pets which you can acquire multiples of, have lost the 'Already Known' tag. This is pretty annoying when shopping for pets for example, as you constantly have to search through your journal ("Do I have the red tickbird or the white one?"). Will this be changed? perhaps add an 'Already Known' tag in a different color?
Cory Stockton: Sorry for the inconvenience on that, we have already redesigned the tooltips to fix this in patch 5.1.0. Tooltips will display if you already own the pet in addition to how many.
Would say that the new challenge mode dungeon gold times are going to be the "Gladiator" equivalent of PVE?
Ion Hazzikostas: That would be our hope. Seeing someone sporting a set of challenge mode armor in town should be akin to seeing someone on a Gladiator mount -- you know they did something extremely skillful to earn it, and it's not the sort of reward you can outgear and obtain later on.
Cory Stockton: That's probably a pretty close comparison. Beyond gold times we will have server and guild leaderboards too. That's probably where the highest level of competition will be.
Do you guys plan on giving out title for challgenge modes, like how you do for PvP (0.0% - 0.5%: Gladiator 0.5% - 3%: Duelist 3% - 10%: Rival 10% - 35%: Challenger)
Ion Hazzikostas: If and when we move on to future challenge mode "seasons", titles to recognize players' past accomplishments are definitely something we'll consider.
We saw some of the animations on the challenge mode gear--will the druid set animations be visible when the druid is shapeshifted?
CoryStockton: The custom effects are based on the armor itself so they will only be visible when you are in caster form.
Have you thought of introducing titles to reward realm 1st times for the new challenge mode dungeons. Something similar to how the PvP titles work now.
Cory Stockton: We actually have! The idea was that you would only have the title for as long as you held the top time. Main issue we ran into was that the title could be changing hands so fast that you might only have it for a few seconds. It's an awesome idea though and we want to explore it more.
How are group compositions gonna work into Challenge Modes? Surely every group would want to have a Bloodlust. And at least a Kings buff.
Ion Hazzikostas: Realistically, if you're aiming for Gold, you're going to want a shaman or a mage or a hunter in your group, though Gold is absolutely possible without using Heroism/Bloodlust or equivalent effects. Realistically that probably saves you 15-20 seconds at best, and we've seen groups beat some Gold times by more than that. When constructing a 5-player dungeon group, you're inevitably going to have some strengths and some weaknesses in your composition, and players may find that the sorts of abilities they find invaluable are not the ones they're used to viewing in that light. (Pop quiz -- Which is likely to help you more in an 18-minute challenge mode run: Bloodlust, or an AoE stun that you can a couple of times a minute?)
As the Cataclysm Expansion is now over, as a team what were your take-aways both good and bad?
Dave Kosak: From a quest perspective, we thought that the storytelling in Cataclysm was very strong, but that the zones were very linear. For Pandaria, we wanted to swing the pendulum the other way and open up the game more, rewarding exploration. I think we found a much better balance. Kun-lai Summit, for example, is pretty open-ended, even though it's got some great stories in there. That's just one example - we're always learning from expansions. The other big takeaway was that we wanted more things for players to do, depending on what sort of challenges they want. Challenge Modes, Pet battles, and the new Daily Quest structure all appeal to different people, hoepfully with the goal of giving everyone more content no matter what your playstyle!
How much game time do you think will we get exploring the continent of Pandaria?
Cory Stockton: We really packed in the content with Mists, that being said the amount of time it takes you is really going to depend on your playstyle. We have so many different things for players to do. Quests, reputations, dailys, sceanrios, pet battles.... The idea is to let players make progress doing whatever kind of activity they like best.
How come with this expansion you choose to go with Pandas and not something that was already in the game, such as The Emerald Dream?
Ion Hazzikostas: The pandaren are a race we've been looking to introduce into the WoW universe for some time now, since their introduction as a neutral hero back in the Warcraft 3 expansion. They were originally a top contender for the Alliance race back in Burning Crusade, but we ended up going with the draenei at the time because they better fit the Outland-focused story we were trying to tell, and because it didn't feel right forcing a historically neutral race like the pandaren into one specific faction. When we were looking to make an expansion centered around themes of exploration and discovery against a backdrop of Alliance-Horde conflict, the pandaren just seemed like the right fit: Noble and enigmatic race caught in the middle of the war between the Alliance and Horde as it spirals out of control, forced to choose sides as the outside world descends upon their homeland.
In Pandaria, will we see another 9 month period without new content?
Cory Stockton: We are doing everything within our power to avoid this. We all feel that 9 months without content is pretty much unacceptable to our players. A glimmer of hope: we are already knee deep into both patch 5.1 and 5.2. Our plan is to deliver these much faster than anyone is expecting.
I really love the real ID system which has helped me communicate with my cousin who lives in Hawaii. The only downfall is, he's Horde. Neither of us want to change fractions but we'd love to run together doing something. Will you guys ever considor letting us 'group' toghther and duke it out in battlegrounds, but disabling chat (even in real ID terms) so the no communcation rules still apply?
Ghostcrawler: We don't have huge design problems with letting you play with friends from other factions. The biggest challenge is the game was never designed with the concept of letting you be allied with the opposing faction, so it would be a tremendous amount of work. I won't give up hope for it though! (We always joke about a tauren having the Hallow's End 2D gnome mask when you're grouped with him.)
Will content come at a faster rate in MoP? It seems that we might be pushing thought content at a much faster rate.
Dave Kosak: That is definitely our goal! As we speak the quest team is simultaneously working on patches 5.1 and 5.2. Our hope is to keep the story and content rolling forward. It's definitely a focus for the team - I can't make any promises, but I guarantee we're trying and I hope you'll notice the results.
Are there plans on fixing the broken Engineering Flying Machine that has been broken since patch 4.1?
Cory Stockton: We will look into this and make sure we get it fixed.
Any updates on future guild leveling past 25?
Cory Stockton: To Gehn We are totally open to increasing guild levels and the associated rewards but only when the game feels like it needs more of that content. A large number of guilds are still nowhere near level 25 so Mists did not feel like a good fit to add more guild levels.
Question from Munich, Germany. As the Octoberfest here and Brewfest in WoW are coming up, I wondered whether anyone at Blizzard did "field research" for designing Brewfest at the real Octoberfest ? The costumes and music are done really well.
Cory Stockton: We do field research on Brewfest every Friday. :)
Do all designers use the same in-house editor? Or do you have different tools for different jobs? How do you handle collisions in your edits?
Ion Hazzikostas: We all use a massive proprietary tool called WoWEdit, which has been showcased a couple of times at Blizzcons in the past. We all use this tool to create and edit everything from creatures to spells to quests, and our level designers use it to actually shape the terrain of the outdoor world. At the end of the day, there are countless columns and rows in tables that define the properties of the game world and the players and monsters that inhabit it. We're only able to do the work that we do because of our amazing Tools team, a dedicated group that is constantly refining and updating our editor to enable us to create content more quickly and with fewer bugs.
On the World of Warcraft website, it lists tradeskill patterns, plans, etc. that the player is missing. Some of those items are no longer in game. Are there any plans to reincorporate those missing plans back into the game so the players have an opportunity to try to get all of their missing tradeskill plans?
GhostCrawler: I'd hate to add back plans with no real game purpose just for sake of completeness. To be honest, I'd rather get rid of more of the older recipes that don't have a strong purpose.
I assume I ask this question on behalf of thousands of vanilla WoW fans: Do you ever plan on bringing back "Server-wide" Events? An example would be the Opening of AQ, which allowed the entire server to collaborate their efforts. An event of the same theory would be an incredible experience for all players to witness. It was incredibly rewarding when the whole server gathered enough materials for the opening ceremony!
Dave Kosak: From the standpoint of, "Everyone gather at the same place at the same time to see a big event and if you miss it its gone forever assuming you all don't crash the server," then no, no more events like that. :) BUT, we love the feeling of server progression, similar to the Isle of Quel'denas. Is there a way to build that progression into the game such that players who come in a couple months later don't miss out on all the fun? We think there is. And we're planning something that we'd like to try in the 5.0 patch cycle... so stay tuned!
Can we have a rough timeframe on when we can expect the Trials of the High King questline to be implimented? Are we taking around patch 5.1 or something closer to the Siege of Orgrimmar patch?
Dave Kosak: Varian Wrynn's first trial will happen in 5.1. But to set expectations, the development of Varian's character happens across the entire patch cycle and beyond - it doesn't all happen in one event or one scenario. His trials are many.
As Developers, what was your biggest hurdle in building the new features we will see in Mists and how did you overcome them? Also I want to send kudos out to the art team - the beta was visually stunning!
CoryStockton: Our biggest issue with new features is adding more complexity to the game. It's somethign we struggle with every expansion. I will pass your kind words on to the art team too!
WIll we see a Heroic Version of Ragefire Chasm?
Cory Stockton: Certainly not out of the question. Heroic versions of classic dungeons have been some of our most popular content. We will keep doing them as long as people keem playing em'.
If some gamers are thinking about coming back to WoW to experience Mist of Pandaria content, is there any special program "come back" that will launch with the release?
Cory Stockton: Scroll of Resurrection is awesome for returning players!
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