Update - The panel is now over, I added missing info from before the stream at the beginning of the report.
WoW Dungeons and Raids Panel
While much of the World of Warcraft buzz around BlizzCon has thus far been focused on the pandaren race, monk class, and talent system overhaul, there remains the question: what are you going to do with all of it?
The World of Warcraft Dungeons and Raids panel recently kicked off to answer that very question. Who are the big bad guys you need to kill, and where can you kill them?
Three new dungeons were shown out of the nine total planned in the initial release of the expansion, starting with Temple of the Jade Serpent, the first dungeon you’ll encounter while leveling from 85 to 90. In this dungeon you’ll be tasked with defeating the Sha of Doubt, one of the elemental enemies threatening the shrouded continent and sacred pandaren ways.
The second dungeon previewed was the Stormstout Brewery. Chen Stormstout of WarCraft III fame is a revered figure within pandaren culture, and his brewery has been overrun by the Verming and Hozu, a couple of the less-than-savory races that also inhabit Pandaria. You’re tasked with reclaiming his family heritage… and his beer.
The third dungeon previewed at BlizzCon was the Shado-pan Monastery. Located in Kun-Lai Summit, this mountain retreat serves as the home and training grounds of the mysterious Shado-pan Clan, a ninja-like pandaren faction dedicated to protecting Pandaria. Again, the Sha have been set free and threaten the Shado-pan’s base of operations, and you’re tasked with dispatching them.
In addition to the three new dungeons that were shown, two classic dungeon crawls are getting the Deadmines treatment and will return in level-90 Heroic fashion. While they'll still be accessible in their lower-level form for those leveling their new pandaren, both Scarlet Monastery and Scholomance will be buffed up, spit-shined, and made relevant to max-level characters with new, challenging encounters and equally high-level drops. Scholomance is returning with a more streamlined layout and the Scarlet Monastery, too big to return as one dungeon, is being split up into two wings. The Graveyard and Cathedral are being combined into one level-90 Heroic dungeon, and the Library and Armory into another. Whitemane's Chapeau for everyone!
Are you yawning at the idea of more five-player dungeons? You may be interested in Challenges. This is a new time trial system coming in Mists of Pandaria for level-90 dungeons. The challenge itself may not always be difficult, but ranking will be. Do well and you'll earn a bronze, silver, or gold medal. Completing the Challenge on gold will incur a stacking debuff on future attempts: it’ll start with a 5% debuff, but if you manage to finish with a gold medal time on that run you’ll receive a 10% debuff on your next run, and so on.
In addition to realm-wide bragging rights, completing Challenges will award you with unique Transmogrification items and other vanity rewards. Oh, did we forget to mention that your gear will be normalized? Sorry, no gearing up or stacking items to get the best times -- your item level will be normalized so that even when the next raid encounter comes out and new gear drops, your world-record will stand until some other group of chumps actually has the skill to beat it.
Challenges will be enabled during any dungeon run that supports them, including those joined through the Dungeon Finder. To help get people together that are looking to achieve the same goals, a special flag will be available to only match you with others looking to do Challenges if you do use the Dungeon Finder.
One of the three new raids launching with Mists of Pandaria was also unveiled: Mogu’Shan Palace. This six-boss raid is located in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, and invites you to explore the hidden secrets of the elusive Mogu empire, one of the new indigenous Pandarian races.
In Cataclysm, Heroic dungeons were intentionally designed as gear and difficulty checks on the progression to raiding. In Mists of Pandaria, the Raid Finder will be the appropriate transition from running dungeons to Normal raids. Heroic dungeons will largely be tuned to be about as difficult as they were in Wrath of the Lich King, allowing players to fairly quickly down bosses in PUGs and hit their Valor Point caps. Valor Points will follow a new philosophy with 4.3, as a parallel way to gear up alongside the Raid Finder, but not as a fill-in for boss drops.
The overall goal for this expansion is that any time you log in, you should be able to make some kind of progress on your character. Whether that's through Normal or Heroic raiding, queuing for a Raid Finder run, hitting dailies for rewards and VP, busting out a scenario with some strangers, or joining some buddies for a dungeon Challenge, we want you to be making meaningful progression on your character. Some ways will be faster than others, but no matter what you choose to do, you'll be making progress.
The goals for dungeons and raids in Mists of Pandaria are to create epic and challenging experiences, but Cataclysm also helped us learn where we can improve with the new expansion. The Raid Finder will help with taking that first step into endgame content, and it will be available for all Mists of Pandaria raids. Beyond that, we want to create more easily understandable encounters and move away from mechanics that simply set up groups to fail, while still keeping them challenging.
We’re also looking to address some of the issues that came with how the zones and locations were spread out in Cataclysm. While that’s largely addressed with Pandaria simply being one continent, it also includes giving dungeons and raids more of a presence in the world. All of the dungeons and raids in Pandaria exist as actual locations you can walk up to and fly over, and aren’t just encapsulated experiences hidden behind a portal.
If you’d like to watch the panel, you can replay the recording in its entirety with a Virtual Ticket.
The stream got bugged at the beginning, the preview will be completed by notes from people we have on site at the end of the panel.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
- Located in Kun-Lai Summit
- Mountain retreat of the mysterious Shado-pan Clan
- The Shado-pan protect Pandaria from hidden evil
- The Sha have escaped! (Shado pan keep Sha caged in the monastery, but it's escaped and you're trying to help figure this out)
- A great idea for layout..Changes into something more epic!
- Like to do outdoor dungeons because there are so many indoor already. They jump at opportunity to make outdoor.
- Level 90 Heroic
- New layout with familiar rooms (shuffle rooms around to make a remix out of it)
- Easier to navigate
- Concentrate on the coolness (of Scholo and take away everything that didn't quite make the cut)
- Level 90 Heroic
- Too much awesome for one dungeon (Remixed and keep all the coolest rooms)
- Split Monastery in two!
- Graveyard + Cathedral
- Armory + Library
- Update all boss mechanics
- For players looking for a greater challenge
- Timed dungeons runs to earn medals. The concept of Zul'Aman timed runs and similar things is now turned into a brand new game mode!
- It will work only on Pandaria dungeons at the beginning.
- It will work with the Dungeon Finder tool.
- Gear will be normalized, everyone is going to have the exact same item level on their gear. This is a skill based exercise and your gear doesn't matter.
- Rewards will be very awesome looking gear for Transmogrification purposes (no stats). You will also get valor points since the new goal is to let you progress your characters no matter what you do.
- Leaderboards will be available, you will be able to compare your performances with your guildies or even your entire realm!
- The raids are going to feature the Mogu and the Mantids
- All the new raids will work in Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic difficulties.
- Located atop Kun-Lai Summit at the center of Pandaria
- Six boss raid
- It will let you explore the hidden secrets of the ancien Mogu empire. Even the Pandarians pretty much never went to this place.
Raid Finder (Patch 4.3)
- The concept came up when developers realized how succesful the dungeon finder is.
- They want the raid content to be available to a wider audience, everyone should have a chance to see that new content. They wanted most players to be able to experience the fight against Deathwing, etc ...
- The Raid Finder will have a Lower difficulty and rewards than Normal Difficulty. It won't be just a damage or health point reduction, mechanics will be reworked to make fights easier.
- This is only in Dragon Soul in Patch 4.3, but it will be available in all raids in patch 5.0
- Works for 25-Player and not with 10-Players, makes queue times much faster.
Goals for Mists of Pandaria
- Keep the experience short and focused. Dungeons should be short enough to let you run a couple of dungeons when you feel like it, not just one.
- Make encounters understandable and do not set up groups to fail. The dungeon journal has been added to the game to make sure that people don't die and wonder what the hell happened.
- Fights will be made clearer and more understandable, the Dungeon Journal was a first step and the goal is to make fights even clearer. It also means that you shouldn't be able to just tank and spank and wonder what happened but still win.
- Flex our creative Kung-fu. This expansion offers a lot of creative freedom and a lot of new stuff, developers tried to make sure that you'll get dragon punches and all kind of crazy and fun moves.
How is gear going to scale in the challenge mode?
We are currently planning for it to scale down. An alternative to scaling the gear would be to scale the monsters up, to make sure that players do not feel less powerful.
Regarding the dungeon finder and raid finder, are we going to be able to enter a random queue for possibly TBC raids, or WOTLK?
Currently weve talked about it a little bit, one of the things we are concerned about is that if there are actually people to fill that queue. We are not sure if raid finder is a fit for those cases. In the future we could do it.
Dungeons are now visible in outside world, but in BC there were also lots of these. Why did you not do this in Cata?
Over time we have dungeons that existed in outside world, and theres a secondary thing to it. for example the stormbrew brewery where quests actually go inside/around the dungeon. Historically we have had to scale them to be smaller, here they are 1:1 scale so they have awesome impact to the zones.
Can we do quests in a raid group?
Maybe, it has been talked about.
Why are kick wait timers so long?
It depends on how often that person has been kicked, as well as how often you kick people. It is modified dynamically.
Why did you start Cataclysm with so many bosses and raids, and then add so few in the later patches?
Plans aren't finalized for the first tier yet. It might be two or three different raids, loot distribution also needs to be worked out.
In Cataclysm, there is a very steep difficulty jump between normals and heroics, how are you going to handle that in MoP? Will there be more Level 90 normals?
We are currently not planning to have 90 normal dungeons in MoP.
Previous hard modes required internet research to figure out how to toggle them, now it is just a switch. Can we go back to the old way with multiple difficulites?
It was hard to come up with this kind of mechanic for all the bosses, it worked with bosses that had order or additional minibosses, but not most others. We are all for fun toggles, but most bosses don't need multiple difficulty modes.
Right now you currently randomly choose legendary to a class that hasnt got one for a while cant you make a quest chain where guilds can give the legendary to their most deserving raid member?
The questlines we are currently making have really class specific features, we could open it up but it would lose some of that exclusivity. Do you want unique and awesome or generic and boring?
The 10/25 man lockout is frustrating because I have nothing to do on my alt. Will Raid Finder let us join as a group with our guild?
You can queue with a group, there are no lockouts, and normal/heroic raids do not share any lockout with Raid Finder difficulty. (You only get loot once from Raid Finder)
For Cata, there are 3 raids that came in right from the expansion. Have you guys thought about a way to not make it so overwhelming? Is there going to be like a middle ground?
Essentially the number of bosses comes down to make sure we can spread the loot around. It mostly comes down to the number of bosses we can get down for a patch.
Are any more old classic WoW dungeons going to be remade, maybe Hogger?
Everyone loves them, but it is a matter of time. We made sure to get some in for Cataclysm launch, we want to add them whenever we have time to do so.
So when you guys announced 4.3 you said there were only going to be 7 bosses. You said you were going to focus on epicness and putting more work into them. Firelands only felt like half a raid. Is this omsething we can expect to see in the next raid tiering in MoP?
We want as many people as possible to experience that content. We were looking at the number of people getting kills on the raid bosses and there were not a lot. We immediately put out hotfixes to make sure more people can experience the content.
Is there any plan to seperate 10 and 25 man achievements again, especially server firsts?
There were some difficulty differences, it is something we have talked about but we aren't making any promises right now. Maybe in the future!
You were talking how challenge modes can be done for dungeons, are they also for raids and will they be unlocked immediatly or will they unlock gradually?
There is a chance we could do them for raids, we want to start out with dungeons and see if it feels right. There is one thing we didnt really mention, but say when you get the gold medal, your gear would get nerfed so you can run it again. We havent really finalised this to be honest.
Two raids on the same tier gives players choice in progression. Single raids make it hard to get to the end and make progress. Will you add raids that have multiple paths to get to the last boss?
This is something we are talking about, especially with Raid Finder. It breaks up Dragon Soul in 4.3 into two parts, giving you the big reward for beating either part. This might be something we can do if we figure out the logistics in the future.
Last years BlizzCon and during cata you hinted at an Abyssal Maw raid, what happened to it?
We do not have any plans to release the Abyssal Maw raid, it was going to fit in the end of this year. The story line we were telling didnt fit with the patch cycle. It just ended up not fitting. The concept was as far as we got on it. From the story perspective we have moved on so we probably wont use it again.
For the new dungeon challenges, how are you going to handle lower stats like hit. Will it put you below your hit cap?
Good point, there are lots of details like that to work out. We have Top Men working on this. Top Men.
In Ulduar and Icecrown you could get the Mimiron's Head or Invincible for completing the hard modes, but in Firelands you gave the Fire hawk mounts to people completing normal mode as well. And it's a bummer to see people who don't deserve it running around with the awesome mounts.
In normal mode you had a small chance to get them, and in Heroic mode you had a 100% drop rate, you were rewarded more. That's part of the reason why we will separate the Raid finder difficulty now, mounts will only come from Normal and Heroic modes since the Raid Finder is an intro to raiding. All the prestige items will stay in normal and heroic mode.