The Screenshot of the Day Gallery has been updated with a screenshot of the Halls of Origination's floor.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
The Bridge in Redridge Mountains
No spoilers, but there is no way we could request Redridge without the bridge playing a prominent role. (Source)
We don't limit honor per week, but we do cap it. In the same way we won't limit the hero points per week that you can earn from heroic dungeons. We do limit the arena points you can gain per week (called conquest points in Cataclysm since you can earn them from rated BGs) as we limit the number of valor points -- the Frost equivalent that you earn from raids. In short, the upper tier is harder to earn and more prestigious to own, but once the tier advances you can quickly catch up to the first tier while the second one becomes the new high-end goal.
Technically the Frost badges are limited per week right now, it's just that the cap is set to max number possible. In Cataclysm, the cap will be lower than the max number possible so you have some decisions about how to earn those points rather than having to do everything.
Lower tier -- no cap per time, but an overall cap. In LK: Honor (PvP) and Triumph (PvE). In Cataclysm: Honor (PvP) and Heroism (PvE).
Upper tier -- cap per time. In LK: Arena points (PvP) and Frost (PvE). In Cataclysm: Conquest (PvP) and Valor (PvE). (Source)
Amount of gear in 10/25-Player raids
Me: "We're going to try instead offering more rewards (which includes loot) in the 25s, especially for the heroic modes."
The heroic 25 will drop more armor, weapons and tier-piece tokens per player than the heroic 10. The normal 25 will drop more badges per player than the normal 10, and it might drop more armor and weapons as well. Legendaries would most likely be both 10 and 25. We don't want a player to have to say "I prefer running 10s, but now I feel like I have to run 25s to get a specific item." If they say "I prefer running 10s, but now I feel like I have to run 25s to gear up faster," well, tough. (Source)
[...] Imagine those ratios were reversed and a 10 dropped 1.2 items per raid (1 per 8.3 players) and a 25 dropped 5 per raid (1 per 5 players). Now the 25 is more efficient. It's more complicated than that because you might have more competition for a powerful drop in 25s, while you might shard more loot in 10s because the target class / spec isn't present. (Source)
I don't know the details because we probably won't do a legendary for the first tier, but we would definitely not want a structure such that a 25 guild felt like the fastest way to finish the item was to run multiple 10s. If the 25s could finish it first, that would be fine. The 10s would still be able to get the item, which is not possible today. (Source)
Benefits of 25-Player raids
Your assumption here is that there is some magic tipping point at which a 10 dude wouldn't feel compelled to run a 25 and a 25 dude wouldn't feel stupid for not running a 10. That number may in fact exist, but it may be very hard to hit. I will tell you that we had to go to a whole tier of gear to make the heroics feel like they were worth doing.
The stereotypical hardcore 25 guild (and I used "stereotypical" specifically because I'm not sure how meaningful it is to try and talk about a typical guild) is very concerned with efficiency. They want to get the final boss killed as quickly as possible and gear up everyone quickly. They feel a sense of accomplishment in doing things quickly. Thus we hope the benefit of gearing up more quickly by doing 25s is enough to keep them doing 25s. (Source)
10-Player Heroic Gear = 25-Player Heroic Gear
Yes. The exact same loot tables, but more rolls on those tables for the larger raids, particularly 25 heroic. (Source)
Journey through all the raid tiers in TBC
The problem is that journey was not made by many players (and I'm talking about interested players, not those with no interest in raiding). For everyone who progressed through all of those tiers, a huge percentage of players dropped out along the way, possibly just from the time commitment before they finally got to see the exciting new stuff that everyone was talking about. It might have worked okay for very tight-knit guilds with very stable rosters, but it was a hassle for other guilds who had to go do farming runs just to gear up one or two new players or alts before they could get back into progression. Again, it was more content to have to go back and do old zones, but I'm not sure it was fun content.
We want raiding players, in general, to be able to see the final content. If Icecrown was being used by 10% or less of the raiding population then not only is it pretty hard to justify all of the production time it takes to make a raid, but it also feels to players who don't finish the journey like they don't get to see the climax of the story. Game designers, at least in this day and age, actually want players to finish their games, not drop out somewhere along the way when things get too tedious and difficult. (If you like difficult, that's what heroic modes are for. If you like tedious, well I guess try to get the Insane in the Membrane achievement.) (Source)
Skill vs. Gear
If you want to know a little secret, part of the reason we can't use gear as a barrier to entry any longer is because the skill of the raiding population has grown so dramatically. The guilds who got the first kills in Icecrown probably could have done it with gear from a couple of tiers prior (with the possible exception of heroic LK). Skill trumps an enormous amount of power from gear. (Source)
Raid content accessibility
You're asking for us to spend an inordinate amount of our development time on a very small portion of our player base. That might work for an instance as easy to develop as Molten Core. It won't work for Ulduar. Making raids only for the top 2% is hard to justify when we're sitting there looking at a long feature list trying to decide what features we want to do for Cataclysm and what has to wait. The equivalent would be saying "This is the Survival hunter expansion. We're going to spend a huge chunk of our development time on Survival hunters. If you don't play a hunter, sorry, but please buy our expansion anyway." Your strategy should actually be welcoming as many players as possible into raids -- that's what allows us to keep spending so much time and effort on them. (Source)
Keeping old content alive and challenging
I'm not sure you feel this way, but typically the response is "I walked uphill in the snow, so they should have to as well." You got to the content first. You were showing off your tier set and Shadowmourne in Dalaran before those others guys. Why does it matter if they will eventually be able to catch up to you (especially since you'll pull ahead again the second a new raid is available)? The alternative is saying that those players should want to run through every raid tier before they can hit the new stuff, but I can tell you that whether or not they want to (and many don't) the facts suggest that they never finish and give up on raiding.
We're not really trying to keep Black Temple or Sunwell alive at this point, and by the same token, we're okay if Naxx has basically been reduced to achievements or weekly raid quests. It had its time in the sun. We don't need to prop it up forever. (Source)
The official Concept Art Gallery has been updated with two new pieces.