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News Roundup: Patch 4.2 Rage of the Firelands Official Trailer, DK Tanking, Questing Clarifications
2011/06/16 at 2:01 AM
Patch 4.2 Rage of the Firelands Official Trailer
Blizzard has just unveiled the official trailer for
Patch 4.2: Rage of the Firelands
Across the breadth of Azeroth, the Horde and the Alliance have dealt crushing blows to Deathwing's elemental minions and fanatic Twilight's Hammer cultists. Through it all, the Earthen Ring has never wavered from its tireless charge, holding Azeroth itself together amid the tidal fury and errant magical energies that churn at the Maelstrom. Yet as the elements continue their chaotic upheaval, it seems that the noble shamanic order might finally be on the verge of breaking beneath the great weight that rests on its shoulders. Even Thrall, for all of his wisdom and skill, has grown aggravated by his failure to effectively communicate with Azeroth's elements. Recently, his calls were acknowledged, but the malevolent entity that responded has only intensified Thrall's fears and doubts....
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm patch 4.2 is just on the horizon. Building off of our preview of the
Rage of the Firelands
content introduced in this patch, we’re pleased to present you with the official patch trailer!
Clarifications on Death Knight Tanking Dev Impressions
Ultimately, my question is; when maintaining the affirmations made by the Devs regarding the Death Knight tank style, where are Death Knights compensated for the extra skill and risk associated with their class' tank spec?
DKs have a lot of control over their survivability. While the other tank classes spend a lot of button clicks on generating threat, DKs can regularly hit Death Strike, which heals them. This puts a very powerful tool in the hands of the player. Played well, you can mitigate a lot of incoming damage and even choose when it is important to mitigate that damage. But you also have the possibility of playing poorly. It probably isn’t the kind of play style that is going to appeal to everyone.
You can look at the recent discussion about the paladin Holy Shield as a microcosm of this debate. Some players wanted more control over their survivability, and the new Holy Shield provides that. But it is more work to control an active button and there is a larger penalty for doing it badly. Death Strike is like Holy Shield on steroids in this regard. There are good and bad times to use Holy Shield. There are definitely good and bad times to use Death Strike. We see some DKs attempting to hit Death Strike as much as they possibly can, and then getting frustrated when they can’t squeeze more Death Strikes into the rotation. What they are perhaps missing is that the timing of when they Death Strike is very important. Used optimally, it’s a powerful reactive tool.
One thing we have discussed is giving players more control over whether they make this decision (trading higher risk for higher return) or not. In many driving games for example you have the choice of an automatic or manual transmission. Many players choose the automatic, suspecting that they are probably not going to be as fast as a player who is awesome at managing their clutch, but it means they never have to mess with the clutch and can still win plenty of races. On the other hand, imagine that the player who plays the manual perfectly is performing at 100% and the player who performs the manual poorly is performing at 25%. Choosing an automatic transmission for 75% performance may be perfectly acceptable. You give up a little theoretical performance in return for having less going on. Tanking can often have a lot going on. Maybe there is a talent choice that lets DKs have a more powerful Death Strike in return for weaker passive mitigation. Some players would take that talent, and some might only take it for some encounters.
Related, we understand that some DKs don’t like having to make the decision about whether to Death Strike or whether to apply tanking debuffs. That’s really the tension that’s supposed to be at the heart of any resource system -- I have a limited allotment of X, so at this moment do I want to use X on this one ability or on a separate ability? Again, a possible solution is to put the choice of which play style to use in the hands of the player. We could offer a talent or glyph (or something) that lowers the cooldown of Outbreak for instance, without turning Blood DKs into a spec that can play optimally by pushing nothing but Death Strike. It’s something we’ll consider.
(Assuming Blood is the manual transmission, and the other three classes are automatic)
Amazing DKs aren't 25% better than Amazing Paladins/Warriors/Druids, so what is the point of a system that is incredibly punishing and only slightly rewarding?
The 25%, 75% and 100% percentiles weren’t meant to be taken literally. If a DK feels like he or she has to work much harder than other tanks to achieve about the same amount of survivability, then that feels bad (and to be fair, we had this exact problem with paladin tanks being too easy to play well in the previous expansion). On the other hand, if a DK played well completely trumps all other tanks, then the very best guilds for whom the skill cap isn’t an issue, will just use DK tanks. We see a pretty good spread of DK tanks among both great raiding guilds and all raiding guilds for that matter, so we don’t think the numbers are so far off that groups are either flocking to or avoiding DK tanks.
On Making Improvements to Questing Process
It's just that if we make quests too challenging or too complicated, especially during the leveling process, we run the risk of creating situations where players might become frustrated and feel like they're being forced into a style of gameplay that isn't exactly their cup of PvE.
I'm reading that as you want quests to be interesting but easy and fast to get people to endgame.
Yes and no. When designing quests, it's important for us to keep in mind all the different kinds of players that'll play through them and what their interests might be. For example, some World of Warcraft players just want to get to max level as quickly as they can. That's a totally valid style of play, so we try to make sure that quests don't arbitrarily complicate or impede the leveling process.
That's just one thing we consider, though. We know that there are a lot of players who absolutely love questing -- quest chains, daily quests, low level quests, all of it. (Loremasters, represent! \\o/) And we absolutely want to appeal to that group of players, too. With respect to the OP's suggestions, our concern is that, if we implement quests that are too challenging or too similar to dungeon content, then we risk forcing players into roles and types of gameplay that they may not appreciate. Not everyone likes running dungeons or feeling pressured by having to learn encounter mechanics, so overloading quest content with those kind of scenarios may not be the best course of action.
Could we do more to vary up the kinds of quests you play through, though? Sure. We feel that we can still provide a streamlined, straightforward questing experience without always relying on the simple "collect this," "kill that," "okay, now kill that again, and then be a good sport and collect a variety of gross things from their corpses" objectives that everyone has come to love. Those kinds of quests certainly have their place and will likely remain a staple in World of Warcraft, but we're trying some new things with the 4.2 daily areas that we hope players will enjoy, and want to continue that trend with future content, as well.
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