Wowhead Weekly Exclusive Blizzcon Goodie Bag "Unboxing", Warlords Australia Event
25/10/2014 à 12:00
Wowhead Weekly Episode 15 - Exclusive BlizzCon Goodie Bag Unboxing!
Wowhead Weekly is a World of Warcraft podcast with Wowhead Site Manager Perculia and Olivia, where they discuss all things Warlords of Draenor, Wowhead, and more! This week they had an exclusive unboxing of the BlizzCon 2014 Goodie Bag. You can tune in to the live show on
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This week they spend most of the show unboxing the BlizzCon 2014 Goodie Bag, but also discussed our amazing
Hallow's End guide
6.0.2 Event Guide
The goodie bag included:
A BlizzCon Exclusive Mur'ghoul Funko Pop Toy
A ridiculously adorable Malthael Keychain
A reversible Alliance/Horde Wristband
An Archon Superball, which glows in the dark
A heavy Hearthstone card containing a Coin, which you can use in a Vending Machine for Blizzard Buildables
A Hearthstone Card fridge magnet with a pop out center for you to add your photo and be on a Hearthstone Card
A random pin (we got a Golden Malfurion) which can be swapped at BlizzCon and online, to build a complete set of pins
Several promotional deals including a free poster from Intel, a chance to win a tablet from Intel, a chance to win hardware from Steelseries, and a 20% off discount from Newegg
A map and schedule
Several informative cards
Blizzard Toys and Collectibles Manager Jason Bischoff has clarified the exclusivity of several Goodie Bag tems on Twitter:
Check out the pictures below:
Warlords of Draenor Australian Celebration
Wowhead guide writer
, who was on
recently talking about healing in Warlords, attended the Australian Warlords of Draenor celebration this week! She graciously took some pictures for us and wrote up a summary of the event, including Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas' Q&A and presentation:
The event was held at Event Cinemas, 520-525 George St Sydney, and started at 7:15, went until around 8:45 or so. There was an afterparty following the event for a handful of Australian WoW community people.
The event opened with a cinematic reminiscent of Vanilla WoW, with scenes showing each class and race and a few moments of what is unique about them. E.g. started with a Dwarf Hunter calling his bear pet, then a NE druid running through the forest and switching in and out of cat form, an undead Warlock summoning a demon, etc. After the cinematic a Blizzard ANZ guy named Chris came out on the stage and introduced the event, talked about the 10-year anniversary, and announced the Australian servers. The crowd went absolutely NUTS at that revelation - I don’t think anyone was expecting it at all.
Then he introduced Ion, and Ion gave us a short and interesting presentation about the design goals of Warlords and how WoW design has changed over the years. He started out reminiscing about vanilla WoW and how everything was brand new and not very well understood. A lot of flaws were overlooked due to a general sense of wonder of the huge world that they had created.
Back in Vanilla WoW they could afford to have exclusive end-game content, because the actual leveling content was so extensive and took so long that most players never reasonably hoped to achieve the end game at all. The most hardcore players would reach end game / max level and that is what the raids were aimed at. But that isn’t the way the game works anymore, and the Warlords design - and many of the changes they have made over the years - have been aimed at making the game more accessible for all players.
He talked about things that did work: Mostly expanding the breadth of the content by adding new modes of gameplay like Arena, PvE matchmaking, daily quests, holidays, achievements and collections.
He also admitted they'd made some mistakes along the way - mainly when content was provided for one group of players *at the expense of other players*. Encounter tuning was an example of this -- BC was really, really hard, and so very few players got to see it, and those players who did were pretty used to feeling exclusive about it. Then in Wrath the first raid was really easy, and suddenly a much larger playerbase got to experience raiding and kill every boss. Then when Ulduar was released, it was very hard, and those raid groups who had first seen success in Naxx hit a huge roadblock in Ulduar, which Ion admitted must not have felt very good for them. They swung back to easy again with ToC/ICC and also opened up more modes of raiding so the people who were left out of Ulduar could get back into it. Then Cataclysm was very tough at the start, and this was again a misstep.
The introduction of LFR, though, meant that they could go hard again with Mists raid content, because there *was* an easier version available for players who wanted to see raids but couldn't commit the time to mastering the more difficult modes. However, at the start of Mists this did leave out a group in the middle - people who wanted more of a challenge than LFR but couldn’t get their foot in the door for normal. This is what Flex was aimed at.
In Warlords there are going to be four difficulties all at once, hopefully this will help cover the entire skill/time spectrum of players.
He talked about applying lessons from this 10 year journey. One great quote was when he emphasized that “Accessibility is not the enemy of depth”, and talked a lot about the ability squish and how it is aimed at reducing the barrier to entry for new players, differentiating classes more, leaving room to grow our ability sets again in future expansions. He talked about how depth in this game is derived not just from our rotations, but from how we adapt ourselves to the demands of an encounter/PvP event, and that even at the top level there is a lot of room for skill and innovation to make a huge difference to players’ success - about how even the top guilds make mistakes and always have some ways to improve.
Another avenue of depth, he said, is the addition of powerful and *transformative* set bonuses from raid gear. This gives players reasons to change up their usual rotation, new things to react to, new things to track and think about while they are executing content. By tying this extra level of complexity to raiding gear that isn't available in LFR, he & the team hope to provide additional depth to the players who want it the most - those challenging themselves against the hardest content.
He addressed Garrisons as well but didn't say anything new about them. Building and customizing a part of the game world is the theme of the Garrisons.
After this, PJ - who runs the @Blizzard_ANZ twitter account - came out and briefly interviewed Ion. They chatted about how Ion transitioned from law to game design, what a work day is like for him, etc. The best bit of this was when Ion talked about how he evaluates whether a given raid encounter was successful - Ion said there are three criteria for it:
How well did the tuning of the encounter match its target audience? It doesn’t feel great for players to hit a content wall, but it also doesn’t feel great for players to kill a new boss without having to think about it - there’s no impact. They’ve failed as designers when they miss the tuning mark for the intended audience of the content.
How easy was the encounter to understand? They don't like designing encounters that *require* out-of-game guides and resources in order for players to understand what to do. The ideal encounter is challenging to execute but intuitive to strategize.
How immersive and cool did the encounter feel? This includes the innovation of mechanics, visual and audio elements that add to the atmosphere of the fight, how well the encounter fit in to the overall theme or storyline of the expansion and raid.
After this, Ion took some questions from the crowd. Many of the questions focused on the Australian servers topic, which Ion couldn't really answer. One question was about whether complex and class-/race-specific questlines would ever come back, and Ion admitted that the green fire quest was really cool, but a lot of work, and that they’d like to do things like this again but the development commitment is so high it is a bit of a deterrent.
I did get to ask a question about dungeons and keeping the rewards for running them relevant. He didn't get to address it very much in the QA session but we did talk afterwards and he told me a huge goal in the new WoD CMs is in incentivizing completion. He told a story about a co-worker who had spent 3 hours “trying to complete” CM Gate of the Setting Sun in MoP and never did, then said he still needed to valor cap -- and Ion was like, if you spent 3 hours in CM Gate how could you possibly need valor? The co-worker said they never actually finished the instance once - just kept resetting when there were mistakes that they suspected would cost them Gold Medal. He thinks this was an unfortunate side effect of making the ONLY rewards for completing the dungeon cosmetic, and hopes that the daily quest for the potential of LFR gear will help indicate to players that they should be finishing the CMs, not just “Gold or Bust” mentality.
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