MMO-Champion - Cataclysm Dev Chat with BestBuy
Cataclysm Dev Chat with BestBuy
The dev chat is now over, see the transcript below.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Cataclysm - General
Has Blizzard considered adding a "Tabards Tab" to the UI, so that tabard collectors can switch out tabards more effectively without having to take up bank and bag space? --Thanks! Deathunholy of Galakrond
We have talked about adding a tabard tab. We've talked about doing a closet tab to handle it. It isn't something we are adding for Cataclysm though.

Will you allow players to fill their quest log with say, 25 dailies, and then turn them in right after Midnight on December 7th to get a quick boost towards 85? This is how it worked in the beta, but some players are confused on whether it will work on Live. Thanks!
Regarding 25 daily quests to turn in when the expansion goes live, this is something players have been able to do for the last 2 expansions and we aren't talking about changing it now.

I understand the decision from an economic perspective but I was wondering if the deveopers were disappointed in the decision to allow race changes immediately following the release of the expansion.
Regarding allowing race/faction change on day one. Actually this wasn't an economic decision at all. This was a decision that the leadership team made. Our priority as a dev team is to allow players to play the game with their friends, the way they want too. We also talked about the fact that this is a week one problem. So we made the decision not to restrict anything.

Will darnasus be re built to be a real tree or will it always look like a dead stump with trees at the top.
- ...but now that Deathwing is doing his thing it makes much more sense than it used to! ;]
- Deathwing hates trees.

A lot of players I know are trying to plan out what characters to roll for the new expansion, and the big question is: Will there be ANY new realms tagging along with the release of Cataclysm? Some point to low pop realms as a reason against, but surely with the redux'd 1-60 experience and the droves of returning players desiring clean slates, there has never been a better time for a fresh realm or two?
We haven't decided exactly what the new realm decisions are yet, but we open new realms when there is player demand for them. One thing we can't do is plan all realms for day one. The goal is for realms to have good concurrency so everyone has a great game/matchmaking experience.

With the changes to the game environment itself, what new computer requirements will be optimal to run the game smoothly?
One of the things that is really important to us is a great gaming experience regardless of your hardware. While the system requirements do go up over time, we do want the experience on slower machines to be great. We do this by trying to add a lot of graphical options to allow players to control the experience from "runs fast" all the way to "looks great".

where did Uldum come from?
- Egypt ;]
- The idea with Uldum is that it has always been there, cloaked from the eyes of the players. The emergence of Deathwing has damaged some of the technology that kept it hidden. There is a story in the zone that explains this and what has been happening in the player absence.

Why is it that we are not able to use Archeaology before the exspansion? I thought it was really cool how you guys released Inscription last time and would love to have the opportunity to level it before the exspansion drops.
Using archeology before the expansion was something we talked about, but ended up adding everything about the profession to the "post sundered" world. Thus, you won't be able to use archeology before the sundering happens.

What happened with the Worgen district in Stormwind?
We decided it didn't really fit very well, it was looking kind of awkwardly forced into the city. Plus deathwing would have destroyed it anwyays.

What would you say was the hardest and/or easiest parts of developing this expansion? After all, many are saying this is the best expansion to date... So, what was the biggest challenge/easiest feat in creating it?
There have been huge challanges with this expansion, unlike any we've seen in the other two expansions. The scale of Cataclyms is huge for us, and something we didn't really expect when we started development. But we certainly feel like the effort has been worth it, and feel it's our best expansion so far.

Will you allow players to change their login screen? I'd love to be able to use the Classic login screen, the unreleased one that was shown at Blizzcon, or perhaps a login screen of a previous expansion.
Players are not able to change their login screen.

Will the option ever be available to change ones class, contingent upon what's currently available to the race restrictions at the time?
Never say never, but we don't currently have plans to do that.

Was there anything you guys regret not being able to include at launch? Possibly something that didn't have enough polish to it that me way see in the future? (You don't need to mention the Dance Studio at this point, really, it's okay)
Well... there is the dance studio. ;] There are of course always things we'd hoped to get into any patch/expansion that get pushed out until later. One example would be the idea to have a built-in atlas that details every encounter in each dungeon/raid. We're not super happy about the fact that the first time anyone encounters a new boss, the only way to learn about it (other than looking up strategies on the web) is to charge in and die a lot.

We'd love to give players some idea of what they're about to fight before they engage the boss. =]

When designing expansions and content patches, do you have a list of new features to choose from that are planned out in advance or is there more of a brain storm session?
The feature set for each patch is determined by a combination of doing things (or finishing things) that we've been wanting to do for a while, along with completely new ideas that emerge as a result of the immediate needs of the game

The primary things you won't be able to do if you don't have Cataclysm are create a new Goblin/Worgen, level to 85, and fly in the orld world.

We like to stay as flexible as possible, so it's important to us to make sure that we aren't "over planned" into the future even though the real needs players have are changing

WIth the previous two expansions, the new content was actually on other continents, so if you didn't have the expansion, you just couldn't visit the continent. Since Cata is largely reworking of old-world content, however, how do you differentiate between someone with or without the xpac? What kinds of things will and won't be available to players don't have the upgrade?
See my answer above!

Will the 80 to 85 experience be closer to the 18hr mark or the 5 day mark that was 70-80?
That totally depends on the player to be honest, you'd be amazed by the differences in play patterns. That being said, somebody usually finds a way to level up very quickly.

What new feature(s) in WoW: Cataclysm are you guys most proud of?
I would have to say the 1-60 revamp, it's a ton of fun to play through the zones and an incredible amount of new content.

I'm most happy with the new Worgen and Goblin starting experiences. I think they are the best starting experience we've ever done, and that includes the death knight.

i have is why not have this latest expansion as a new territory like a Southrend similar to Northrend or a Moon body like Outlands instead of destroying Azeroth and Kalimdor? Were there limitations to expanding outwards or was this just to facelift the original game?
We make decisions like this on a case by case basis.. again depending on the needs of the game. In the case of Cataclysm, the world was due in for an overhaul, and we wanted to make everything fly-able, so it was important to flesh out any areas that were originally unfinished.

Is there an alternative mount for worgens that other races can ride
Worgen can ride the other mounts in the game, if that's what you're asking. They're not limited to their feral run.

Raids & Dungeons
Will it be as long of a wait to fight Deathwing as it was for Lich King?
Hopefully not, we definitely have a goal to get our content patches out more quickly than we have in the past, without sacrificing quality of course, we plan for deathwing to be the most amazing encounter we've ever made! =]

Could you comment on the plan for raids in cataclysm? If i remember it was said that there would be smaller raids in cata but more of them. Would that mean like two small raids per patch or more patches in total?
The idea is that we'll have more raid environments, but fewer bosses in each environment, but a similar total number of raid bosses overall... if that makes sense. =] so, for cataclysm launch we have the skywall environment, the twilight bastion environment, and blackwing descent, versus having almost all the bosses in one environment like we did with naxrammas.

The first tier of Cataclysm raiding has 3 seperate instances to tackle. Are you guys planning on keeping with the Burning Crusade model (SSC/TK, BT/Hyjal) and having multiple instances per raid tier? Will Deathwing have to share the spotlight with some other instance?
We'll evaluate that on a tier by tier basis. When we have awesome ideas that we can successfully make happen we'll do multiple environments, but it won't necessarily always be the case. We do have a super cool idea for the deathwing tier though... ...or at least so we hope. =]

I have been confused from the different posts for tier gear. Will there be three levels within each tier still or just heroic and normal and in either case will u just be getting them with points or will u still have to get certain things off drops off certain bosses to get the higher more heroic version of the tier gear?
There is still just normal and heroic difficulty for the raid and dungeon content, and the heroic gear has a higher item level than the corresponding normal gear

Is there any talks of maybe some faction cooperative campaigns? Since the cataclysm is threatening to destroy all life of azeroth, to me a logical response from the heroes of azeroth would be to set aside their differences and be able to work together in a raid. An Idea to maybe lessen the frequency of such groups is make the raid difficulty increase by choosing to work with the other faction, a sort of Heroic mode. Possibly even dual faction specific raids. Has there been any talks of such poss...
This is a common request, but not something we are looking to do. While there is a singular main bad guy in this expansion, the Horde and Alliance have their own unique challenges and agendas, and typically don't look to team up. After all it's the World of Warcraft, not the World of Peacecraft.

Patch 4.0.3a
Can you clarify and confirm what will be available to players when 4.0.3a hits and what will be unavailable until 7th Dec?
4.0.3a will be the patch that actually causes the world to shatter and change forever. At that point you will be able to experience the new 1-60 leveling experience, as well as the new race/class combinations.

Achievements
There's any through about making account wise achievement, like starcraft ones? It a reason for many players to not reroll/change mains since its look like a lot of work wasted when you switch your main char. Even changing to another char to help with one fight look a bit wrong now, if you are after achievements.
We do have plans to solve this problem, as it is limiting people from re-rolling for sure. This is something we want to solve, but don't have a good solution on how to do it at the moment.

Will achievment points ever be able to be used to purchase any perks?
We have no plans to allow this. Achievements are a badge of honor only.

Items
Will the heirloom items scale to 85?
The current plan is to have heirloom items stop at level 80 at the moment.

I was wondering what new and exciting mounts there will be and what your favorite so far is?
Not surprisingly there are all kinds of new mounts, we have spectral wolf/horse mounts, a dark phoenix, a camel, the new alchemy mount that turns you into a drake can ride, among others. Also a scorpion for the horde and a lion for the alliance. My favorite has to be the camel though... i mean really, who doesn't want to be a camel jockey?!

Will there be more than one Legendary weapon in Cata? Will there be a Caster DPS legendary? Any info or plans would be awesome =) Thanks!
It's likely there will be more than one legendary weapon, although it's too early to say for sure. We do, however, have a plan to do a caster dps staff soon.

With the level 1-80 Heirloom items, when Cataclysm is released will the xp gain work while leveling until you hit level 81? Or will XP gain be disabled for those on release?
They will not. Heirlooms stop granting their XP bonus at level 80. Not level 80.999999.

Why does it seem the scorpion guild mount doesn't have a guild flag where the lion does? I was hoping to see Hordes of scorpions from our guild walking around with our tabard hanging from the tail like a flag behind them. ~
When riding a scorpion mount, your character displays holding a large standard with your guild symbol on it.

Why did you decide to make 310% mount speed purchasable in 4.0? It's a huge price for such a tiny speed upgrade, and used to work well as a just-above-vanity perk for people who completed the toughest achievements.
The primary reason was to equalize the awesome vanity mounts players had, and change the mechanic to one where you used the mount you were most excited about using. We wanted players to be able to see the mount players want, without considering the speed differential as a factor.

How would a person get a Guild Mount? Would it be guild rep? If so how would that be calculated or obtained?
Once your guild gets to a high enough level and unlocks the guild mount, any player in the guild with a high enough guild reputation is able to buy the mount.

Will heirloom items work for goblins and worgens leveling from 1-80 at release?
Heirloom items will work perfectly for Worgen and Goblin characters! Enjoy!

Has there been any discussion of changing the heirloom items to true "Bind on Account" instead of the bind on server limitation that it has currently?.
That is something we would like to do. Currently the servers mail carriers refuse to work together, and haven't worked out the economic terms from transferring mail from one server to another. One day we hope to resolve the union issues.

Do honor points and Badges roll over into CATA, or do they reset to zero?
Yes, honor points and justice points carry over into cataclysm. Stock up now!

Player vs. Player
Do you feel faction imbalance is a problem at the moment? My queue is around 10-15 min at prime time as a member of the Horde and I know this is the case on at least two of the battlegroups. If so, do you think Worgen will fix the problem? And if they do not, will free faction changes ever be a possibility in the future on battlegroups or servers with a major problem?
We are working on some technology to further combine the PVP queues at server sites. This has been going on behind the scenes for a few weeks now in preparation for Cataclysm. Queue time is one of those things that gets a lot of attention and time, but will change significantly post Cata. Really good question.

Are there any plans to potentially add queueing to the rated battlegrounds instead of it having to be a pre-made raid team? I was really excited when I first heard about this feature, but after reading the FAQ i was a bit disappointed with that design.
we're currently looking into the possibility of having players in the honor battleground queue be able to be called to action by groups that aren't quite full, but we're going to see how the current queue'ing works out first so, that isn't something that would be available just yet

Classes
With resource systems now broadened to include focus, rage, energy, and runic power as well as mana, and there being conditionals like enrages, holy power, combo points and runes, will classes that just use mana be getting similar treatment or remaining as they are?
Really that decision is made on a class-by-class, talent tree-by-tree basis. If we feel like the talent spec in question needs a broader resource management then we do it, but we don't like to unnecessarily complicate a spec's resource management if it isn't absolutely necessary.

Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
As the world of Azeroth is changing I was wondering if the Death Knight zone will stay the same or will it also be affected by the cataclysm?
The death knight zone doesn't have any changes for Cataclysm.

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Is the Moonkin form for troll and worgen on the beta and ptr the final form or is it just a placeholder?
Final!

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Right now, up to 50% of Ignite damage disappears due to the technical limitations of spells critting within certain timeframes. This has implications for Mage dps and the value of Mastery as a stat. Is overall damage being balanced to compensate and can we expect a solution in the near future?
We're resolving that by rolling up any "lost" ignite damage into the next ignite that overwrote it

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Are there any plans for a new Lock mount? I would love to see a possible flying mount for Locks..
One of the things we look at with mounts is broad appeal. While we do specific class mounts from time to time, most of the time we look to have mounts that all classes can use.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Is Hit rating intended to tramp all other stats but Str for Fury till the 27% hardcap? Seems excessive
Generally speaking, we do balance hit rating to be the "best" stat until you're at the hit rating cap
This article was originally published in forum thread: Cataclysm Dev Chat with BestBuy started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 133 Comments
  1. Astalnar's Avatar
    What new feature(s) in WoW: Cataclysm are you guys most proud of?
    I would have to say the 1-60 revamp, it's a ton of fun to play through the zones and an incredible amount of new content.
    I'm most happy with the new Worgen and Goblin starting experiences. I think they are the best starting experience we've ever done, and that includes the death knight.

    Yeah, Could you include Blood Elves and Draenei in this 1-60 revamap. If nothing else you could at least destroy ruined half of Silvermoon and blame it on Deathiwing /earthquake and do some healing in Ghostlands as Undead force there should be destroyed by now...
  1. Skulver's Avatar
    To people wondering why they answered so many silly questions. I was in the chat and in total there were 200-300 questions submitted. I don't doubt that there were many new and interesting questions in that lot but the fact is the Blizzard guys choose to answer a bunch of questions that had already been answered many times before. Of course, it doesn't help that people ask so many previously answered questions, I mean, just from reading the newsposts here on mmo-champion I could answer 90% of those questions myself before even seeing the Blizzard response.

    As for the reason the devs themselves choose to answer old questions, my guess is that this is viewed as a marketing exercise and not as a fan information thing. They want to choose questions that reference new features, how friendly the game is to new players, levelling speed, new zones etc as that is what will draw new players to the game. What they don't want is to answer questions about classes that are still undertuned, buggy implementations, talents that need revaming etc because even addressing those things would give the impression that the game is imperfect which is not the impression they want to give.
  1. nooh's Avatar
    hmm ... questions like when will see tessellation is never asked
  1. Limelight's Avatar
    People are still asking about the dance studio?
  1. Blackburn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eleveneleven View Post
    I'll tell you who doesn't want to be a camel jockey Blizzard...every American citizen.
    So you ARE all racist?
  1. Argroth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by superninjapresident View Post
    Cant belive so many of you that write comments here do nothin but complain and cry, what the heck? If you dont like the game, dont play it, and if you hate it so much, why waste your time here? Or is it still cool to hate and complain about everything and tell anyone who questions you to stfu?
    Is it still cool to defend a multi-billion dollar company when they give bad answers to the stupidest questions? Oh wait that was never cool. Just because people hate how the game is being handled and how shifty and unfriendly blizzard spokespeople come off, dosn't mean they hate everything about playing the game. You live in a very simple-minded (and I surely mean stupid) world if you think that is the case. The fact is, most of these questions have been answered 100x before and/or are answered horribly (i.e. they missed the point about the worgen mount question entirely, and answered the Moonkin question very badly without elaborating). Why waste your time defending a company that dosn't care for you individually AND fight against so many justly outraged customers who would like decent responses and customer service? Especially in a comment section that noone important will ever see or care about your opinion.

    I agree with other people who stated that blizzard are unjustly smug about "revamping the entire Old world" yet they almost completely ignore Ghostlands, Eversong and Isle of Quel'danas. So are those just gonna stay old forever or are we supposed to praise them with happiness when they decided to get around to revamping it next expansion?

    I was also recently reminded about how the new capital tabards are supposed to work. Like it was at all hard to get exalted with the capitals in the first place? Now they hand it to us. Generally I don't like getting swept up in the whole "WoW has become far too easy" crowd but this is undeniably a needless step in that direction.

    All in all I like the game but if I met a developer I would have to stab him until he promises me to do the non-lazy, right thing AND not be smug about giving me what I already payed for.
  1. reaper.dk's Avatar
    Good idea with the 25 completed dailies . Thx for the tip
  1. Lobstarrr's Avatar
    Is there an alternative mount for worgens that other races can ride
    Worgen can ride the other mounts in the game, if that's what you're asking. They're not limited to their feral run.

    The guy that answered that just got me my biggest facepalm moment ever.
  1. Improvedlol's Avatar
    I wish they could open free faction change on my server 81% alliance.. Im alliance and really bored of our junk racials.. Also when only 10 hordes or so are q'ing for wg it's really annoying to not be able to play WG..
  1. Argroth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by reaper.dk View Post
    Good idea with the 25 completed dailies . Thx for the tip
    ulgh people with this kinda attitude make me sad. We have a bunch of new content (not as much as last time though as far as new levels) but people wanna blow through it as fast as they can. It is people like this (not this person persay, especially since s/he hasn't thought of this pathetic plan of action before now) that give wow players the shut-in loser stereotype because they try far too much to progress in a game. People take this game and ultimately useless achievements in this game far to seriously. I'm not saying that everyone should be super-casual but noone should be super-pathetic-way-to-into the game seriously either. People push to level too fast then they complain that they arn't getting enough, or that the game is developed for casual players. Heres an idea stop pushing so hard for no good reason and try to enjoy what scraps they throw you.

    With the game as "casual" as it is, "hardcore" gamers ruin it for themselves even more by doing something like saving completed dailies so they can skip half a level or so, then they wonder where all their content is.

    Also I would like to restate that these questions were answered horribly.
  1. Medieve's Avatar
    Notice how they completely ignore pallies . I found that rather amusing.
  1. Araella's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Argroth View Post
    Is it still cool to defend a multi-billion dollar company when they give bad answers to the stupidest questions? Oh wait that was never cool. Just because people hate how the game is being handled and how shifty and unfriendly blizzard spokespeople come off, dosn't mean they hate everything about playing the game. You live in a very simple-minded (and I surely mean stupid) world if you think that is the case. The fact is, most of these questions have been answered 100x before and/or are answered horribly (i.e. they missed the point about the worgen mount question entirely, and answered the Moonkin question very badly without elaborating). Why waste your time defending a company that dosn't care for you individually AND fight against so many justly outraged customers who would like decent responses and customer service? Especially in a comment section that noone important will ever see or care about your opinion.

    I agree with other people who stated that blizzard are unjustly smug about "revamping the entire Old world" yet they almost completely ignore Ghostlands, Eversong and Isle of Quel'danas. So are those just gonna stay old forever or are we supposed to praise them with happiness when they decided to get around to revamping it next expansion?

    I was also recently reminded about how the new capital tabards are supposed to work. Like it was at all hard to get exalted with the capitals in the first place? Now they hand it to us. Generally I don't like getting swept up in the whole "WoW has become far too easy" crowd but this is undeniably a needless step in that direction.

    All in all I like the game but if I met a developer I would have to stab him until he promises me to do the non-lazy, right thing AND not be smug about giving me what I already payed for.
    I don't understand the Activision-Blizzard apologists either.

    My account was inactive for most of LK. Got to Algalon, guild had a mega emo fit and disbanded, didn't see the point (especially after still being burnt out over doing NOTHING BUT NEW OLD NAXX FOR 6 **** MONTHS) of looking for another guild so quit. Came back for Icecrown for a while. Tackled loooooool 'limited attempt' tests of server stability (because that, sadly, mattered FAR more than encounter design) until everyone got bored (which happened pretty fast - I can't IMAGINE that there are people who ran that instance every week, 10/25, for A FRIGGEN YEAR). Dropped the game until recently because, hey, the "END of Teh World" surely has some cool events associated with it right?

    incorrect, once again! *insert economics 101 equations about cost / time input vs profit / financial output here*
    ie, create the cheapest, ***** event possible because your average customer is 10-12 and, having the mental capacity of a freshly laid turd, will buy it and eat it anyway (most likely with a parent's money).

    Smug about revamping the zones?
    Does no one with a brain even question that, 'revamping the old content' supposedly being a major selling point, that it's kind of - funny - that they have also made it possible to level so fast that the revamped content is cleared in a weekend? Is their making it so ridiculously easy to level not pretty much an open acknowledgment that the majority of their content (1-80 anyway) is so freaking horrible that the vast majority of their players want to be done with it as quickly as humanly possible? I guarantee you will see ready- leveled characters for sale in their store some time in 2011 ("don't want to level to 85? np 10$ and you can start at the level of your choice with level appropriate gear to get you started"!)

    From a business standpoint I'm sure Blizzard is 100% win.
    They sure as hell don't care about their game though - and anyone who thinks they do has missed a few of the blazing neon signs that have been posted since the Activision merger.
  1. Argroth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Araella View Post
    I don't understand the Activision-Blizzard apologists either.

    My account was inactive for most of LK. Got to Algalon, guild had a mega emo fit and disbanded, didn't see the point (especially after still being burnt out over doing NOTHING BUT NEW OLD NAXX FOR 6 **** MONTHS) of looking for another guild so quit. Came back for Icecrown for a while. Tackled loooooool 'limited attempt' tests of server stability (because that, sadly, mattered FAR more than encounter design) until everyone got bored (which happened pretty fast - I can't IMAGINE that there are people who ran that instance every week, 10/25, for A FRIGGEN YEAR). Dropped the game until recently because, hey, the "END of Teh World" surely has some cool events associated with it right?

    incorrect, once again! *insert economics 101 equations about cost / time input vs profit / financial output here*
    ie, create the cheapest, ***** event possible because your average customer is 10-12 and, having the mental capacity of a freshly laid turd, will buy it and eat it anyway (most likely with a parent's money).

    Smug about revamping the zones?
    Does no one with a brain even question that, 'revamping the old content' supposedly being a major selling point, that it's kind of - funny - that they have also made it possible to level so fast that the revamped content is cleared in a weekend? Is their making it so ridiculously easy to level not pretty much an open acknowledgment that the majority of their content (1-80 anyway) is so freaking horrible that the vast majority of their players want to be done with it as quickly as humanly possible? I guarantee you will see ready- leveled characters for sale in their store some time in 2011 ("don't want to level to 85? np 10$ and you can start at the level of your choice with level appropriate gear to get you started"!)

    From a business standpoint I'm sure Blizzard is 100% win.
    They sure as hell don't care about their game though - and anyone who thinks they do has missed a few of the blazing neon signs that have been posted since the Activision merger.
    I love it when fellow reasonable and intelligent people show themselves.

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