MMO-Champion - Developer Interviews, Old Raid Changes, BG Queues and Addons, Blue Posts, Comic
PvP Blog Delayed, Blue posts, Poll: Which Act II Environment is Your Favorite?

Developer Interviews
Several developer interviews will be coming this week, and Gamebreaker has released their interview with Ghostcrawler. A summary of the main points is below, but watching the full interview is worth it if you want to hear the full answers!


World
  • Mists of Pandaria daily quests have shown that competing with other players for mob tagging and such is not fun. You should be excited when there are other players around, not grumpy! Blizzard is still actively looking for a solution to make it a nice thing to have other people around.
  • It isn't likely that the concept of servers will ever disappear, but solutions for low population realms are still being looked for.
  • There is a lot of variation in realm population as new patches come out, so merging and unmerging realms as the population goes up and down wouldn't make a lot of sense.

Questing / Reputation
  • Blizzard may have overdone the daily quests a little bit in pursuit of the goal of always having something for players to do when they log in. If they had to do it again, something like the Golden Lotus unlocking more and more areas would have been changed to just unlock a new area that replaces the old one, keeping the number of quests that you have to do every day the same.
  • Golden Lotus and Klaxxi have enough daily quests to burn players out, while August Celestial and Shado-Pan have a more reasonable amount of quests.
  • Lowering the rep requirements on some of the rewards was an attempt to make the amount of rep required before you could spend Valor Points more reasonable. If they had to do it again, it might have been nice to lower the requirements on some of the gear more so that there were some things to spend Valor Points on without grinding so many reputations.
  • Historically, players would use alts as something to do after they were mostly finished with what they wanted to do on their main character. Mists of Pandaria's goal was to provide enough to do so that you never ran out of things to do, which is nice with one character, but less nice with many. Solutions to this problem are being looked at, but they want to avoid the extreme of giving every character everything or making everything account wide.
  • One alternative being considered for reputation leveling is bonus reputation from your first scenario of the day.

PvE
  • The difference in difficulty between 10 and 25 man this time around was much smaller than before.
  • When looking at raid DPS parses, you have to be aware of sampling bias. If all of the good players are playing one spec, then the DPS of the other two specs will be lower, as those players are messing around or don't know what they are doing.
  • It isn't okay for a class to be really really bad on certain fights, but it is okay if some classes are somewhat better on some fights. It is more important to have fun encounters than it is to have an encounter where each spec is the best.
  • Ideally we will never see a 5 or 6 boss raid tier again.
  • The new loot system has worked out well, as players don't have any reason to be mad at each other over loot in LFR anymore. It is possible that we could see it being used in dungeons as well, but that is still under discussion.
  • One thing being considered is offering another choice to players that get the same item from a boss repeatedly. This would be some consolation prize like loot, not another item from the boss.
  • The use of PvP gear in PvE is okay, as grinding points to get an item rather than relying on a random drop is an idea that some players like. The item levels are lower than what the player would get in PvE, so the gear isn't overpowered. Players shouldn't have to go and do PvP to get gear to use in PvE or vice versa.
  • Patch 5.2 is going to take a look at what talents are very popular or very unpopular and try and bring them back in line. Overall though, the new talent system is working out well. Ideally there should be at least two talent choices per tier that are good, if not three.

PvP
  • PvP will never be perfectly balanced, but it can be balanced enough to be fun and fair. The balance in Mists of Pandaria still has some tweaking to do before it is at that point.
  • Hybrids could see some PvP power going towards their off role damage or healing. It is okay for a DPS to throw out a few heals, but not okay if they are as good as a healer for their team.
  • It is possible that base resilience could be increased to compensate for the PvP Power increase on Conquest weapons, but they need more than a few days of observation before a decision can be made.
  • We may see some changes in the future to make things better for people who PvP on multiple characters, as far as earning Conquest Points goes.
  • Many of the changes in Patch 5.1 were to address issues of PvP balance, and most didn't have a big impact on PvE.


Patch 5.1 - Old Raid Encounter Changes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
We believe there was a lot of confusion when we originally announced this change and we're certainly at fault for said confusion. The original patch note was very vague to the point of being misleading. It was never our intent to weaken old raid boss encounters to allow anyone to have a chance to solo them, regardless of class, spec, or skill.

What we did change were encounters that were mechanically impossible for one person to accomplish, solely for the purpose of ensuring players have easier access to the hunt for the new rare companion pets -- the drop rates of which are actually set to account for a group of three players, not one.

Moving forward, though, we do not plan to adjust encounters for tougher raid bosses to be solo’able by all classes and specs.

Battleground Queues and Addons
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
if you break it down, what does a full oQueue premade bring to the table that is unfair?
I’ll try to break it down as clearly as I can:

Any addon that enables a full, organized Battleground group to queue against a randomly assembled group is creating a scenario where that coordinated group has a huge advantage. That is not in the spirit of the experience we want to provide in the normal Battleground queue. Playing with friends is fun and important, but it shouldn't come at the expense of the spirit of the game nor the fun of others.

The normal Battleground queue is for players to jump in and play against other players in a similar situation. We realize that it's not a perfect system, and we're still looking at ways to improve normal Battleground queues further. Regardless, it's not meant for organized groups to "pug stomp" and get quick Honor. We have built in outlets for players that want to organize--if a competitive, social experience was really the goal, then there are clear ways to achieve that.

The ultimate effect that this kind of queuing has had is to drive players away from PvP. Perhaps it's been a long time since you've been in a random group, but a lot of players will see that they're up against a premade and simply quit. At best, they suffer through it. To an extent premade groups count on this. Heck, one of the popular addons announces opposing players that appear to have rage quit.

Addons aren’t really a viable solution for botting issues, but we do take those issues seriously and we'll continue our work on improvements to the Battleground system, including better ways to deal with botting and other exploitative gameplay.

Now let us be honest, due to these addons and people like Rathamus and Tiny, regular Battleground PVP had picked up and was growing by leaps and bounds. That is what alerted you. More and more people were turning to the "coordinated" PVP and fewer and fewer "random groups" were being formed. The BG's were no longer sitting idle.
False. That is neither what 'alerted' us, nor were Battlegrounds ever even close to sitting idle.

What is true that there's been an increase in pre-made groups disrupting the PvP experience for other players, though. Pre-mades in the normal queue, however they are formed, are not something that we've ever been particularly fond of. It had become more of an issue of late, so we addressed it accordingly.

I know for a fact, that more and more of our games were against other "coordinated" opposing players. Battles became longer, harder and a whole hell of a lot more fun! They were not the Farm fest you claim they were, they were true Player vs Player games. Not scripted, not forced on anyone, not the repetitive grind of the normal wow game.
Perhaps this seemed to be your personal experience, but I assure you that this was far from generally the case. Regardless, what of the games that you played that weren't against other pre-mades? Just hapless casualties to your fun, I suppose?

Based on your enthusiasm for "true Player vs Player" combat, I'm sure that you'll find War Games and Rated Battlegrounds quite compelling.

You gave us everything we needed, including the idea, but then turned around and slapped our hands, pointed a finger, called us a name and said, this is NOT for you, it is for the REAL players.
You've made the assumption that all those things were accomplished expressly so that you could queue into battlegrounds as an organized group against disorganized opponents? That assumption is mistaken. If you want organized PvP against organized opponents, as you claim, that experience is readily available.

No one's wrist was slapped. There have been no suspensions over this issue. We're just making our stance on the subject clear, so that there's no room for misunderstanding.

Fix the bot problem and you'll see the premade "problem" fix itself.
Bots are a separate problem, with a separate solution. Please stop conflating the two, because, and I'll say this as respectfully as I can: this is complete nonsense.

Put simply, this argument is a red herring. For as long as there's been Battleground PvP, there have been players looking for a way to destroy their enemies to quickly and easily get fast rewards with a minimal time investment. That's the bottom line here, or the variety of other options available would be more compelling.

Bots aren't an issue in War Games or Rated Battlegrounds.

We love a premade PvP, and we love challenges. You guys could've come out with a premade PvP random battleground where we can match against other 10m/15m/40m premades PvP and go all out. Provide less honor point/conquest point. It's like an RBG, but without the ratings involved. Doesn't this solves all the problem everyone's having?
We're open to exploring the possibility of creating a pre-made queue for Battlegrounds, or improving the War Game system in some way.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Battle.net Balance and Blizzard Store
Using Battle.net Balance for more goods and services is certainly something we're working toward. We're kind of in an in-between stage where we have some services working together but not others, and unfortunately it's just not a simple thing to get as many systems and platforms (some dating back to the original release of WoW) as we have updated and integrated into a more cohesive experience. We'll get there though, and in the meantime I do apologize you weren't able to get the Cinder Kitten yet using Battle.net Balance. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Purpose of X.1 Patches
You forgot to mention those patches took months(I think ulduar was 5 month after Wrath launch) where as 5.1 was release in 2 months time. This was never meant to be a raid teir especially considering most people have not even downed most of the normal/heroic bosses.
Yeah, the main difference is really timing. In our quest to provide content faster we've been shaking up the patch cycles and how we approach our content roll out through the life of an expansion. Not wanting to speak too soon, but it looks like the cadence of this expansion is a lot closer to what we've been promising for years. It makes sense to me that if most people are not progressed through the initial content that the first x.1 patch (if it's going to arrive as quickly as 5.1 did) doesn't include an additional tier. And if that then means there are regular content releases thereafter... I don't know, at least for as much time I have to play and as progressed as I am, it sounds pretty good to me. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 Farm Changes
How about a fishing pond, where we can chum the waters and get a school of fish we want/need? Dunno if that current pool is deep enough. Pfft.
That was actually mentined in our last meeting with the development team. While I can't make you any promises, I can tell you they geeked out a bit thinking about that one. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

WoW Graphics Engine
If the game had received absolutely zero graphical updates since release, I could definitely get behind the idea of a complete revamp. But that's really not the case. There's been a steady stream of updates over the course of WoW's existence. A huge number of models and textures have been improved. Yes, character models are still on the to-do list, but we've acknowledged that many times and have said we're working on them. I'm as eager to be sharing news on that with you as you are to hear it, trust me. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Upcoming Transmog Restriction Changes
Yup, definitely planning to lift this restriction down the line. As Zarhym said, we're currently hoping it'll make 5.2, but that's not 100% yet. We're working to allow you to transmogrify items that share animations, such as polearms and staves. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

World of Warcraft Mounts - 50% Off
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Saddle up and save big! This week only, you can save 50% off the regular price when you snag the Celestial Steed, Heart of the Aspects, or Winged Guardian flying mounts, making this a great time to round out your mount collection with some exotic new additions, or hook up a friend with the gift of a sweet new ride this holiday season.

Giddy up - this offer ends Monday, December 10 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Curse Launches Marriland.com: Pokémon Reference
If you are or were interested in Pokémon, then you likely have visited Marriland in the past. Today a new update was released that brought it in to the Curse family of sites and added or improved a lot of the content. If you haven't visited before, there are lots of guides and walkthroughs, videos, updated forums, the wiki, and the Pokedex!



Comics - Dark Legacy Comics #366
DLC #366 has been released.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Interviews, Old Raid Changes, BG Queues and Addons, Blue Posts, Comic started by chaud View original post
Comments 109 Comments
  1. Verain's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterHamster View Post
    Personally I'm loving the talent trees for my classes.
    Because they are interesting. If you were, say, a resto druid, exactly two tiers of your class offers to trade something you had for something new (you can trade incarnation for a passive benefit or healing treants, you can trade nature's swiftness for two other healing tricks), while giving you mobility on a tier, a choice about how to be able to deal damage (a capability you never had), an entire tier of control, ranging from an instant cast non-dodgeable stun to more situational choices, and a tier relating to kiting and positioning.

    Paladins have a tier about movement (how do you want to be more mobile than a rogue?), a tier offering control (a ret could give up repentance here), two defensive tiers (mostly new with a couple redesigned / buffed abilities), a tier that controls how damage is dealt (in bursts? sustained?), and a healing / damage tier of entirely new stuff.

    If you can't see how this is way more interested than "how would you like to be a gimped version of a sub rogue", then I can't really help.

    Rogues are lackluster. But then again I haven't been interested in rogues in a long time.
    Super, I'm so glad for you. But for those of us with rogue mains, this whole thing has been absolutely ludicrous.

    The new talent system, all in all, is a success.
    No, it's an abject failure. But I guess you don't care about that, because you have yours.
  1. duster2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Verain View Post
    Because they are interesting. If you were, say, a resto druid, exactly two tiers of your class offers to trade something you had for something new (you can trade incarnation for a passive benefit or healing treants, you can trade nature's swiftness for two other healing tricks), while giving you mobility on a tier, a choice about how to be able to deal damage (a capability you never had), an entire tier of control, ranging from an instant cast non-dodgeable stun to more situational choices, and a tier relating to kiting and positioning.

    Paladins have a tier about movement (how do you want to be more mobile than a rogue?), a tier offering control (a ret could give up repentance here), two defensive tiers (mostly new with a couple redesigned / buffed abilities), a tier that controls how damage is dealt (in bursts? sustained?), and a healing / damage tier of entirely new stuff.

    If you can't see how this is way more interested than "how would you like to be a gimped version of a sub rogue", then I can't really help.



    Super, I'm so glad for you. But for those of us with rogue mains, this whole thing has been absolutely ludicrous.



    No, it's an abject failure. But I guess you don't care about that, because you have yours.
    The current talent trees are ok for the pure classes. They give far less real options for hybrids. This expansion could be the end of hybrid classes if this continues like its going atm. We are already seeing very disturbing numbers when it comes to druids, paladins and shamans. http://www.warcraftrealms.com/census.php?serverid=-1
  1. ShadowForge's Avatar
    love how ghostcrawler makes up excuses he should have been fired long ago for the shitty decisions he has forced upon wow,didnt ghostcrawler say at last years blizzcon for mop that they didnt want cookie cuter builds and stuff and ppl all being the same specc well nice one ghostcrawler ur lies just make you hated, cos if your a frost dk you take the following for pvp playstyle. unholy blight>lichborne>chillblains>deathpact>remorseless winter

    all th rest of the talents suck please dnt tell me that desecrated ground is good cos all they do is wait for it to pass then nuke u down.


    i swear the devs of this company could be replaced with monkeys throwing there own poop around we wouldnt even see a difference, i stopped caring what blizzard and ghostcrawler had to say a long time ago
  1. Williamgood's Avatar
    but it can be balanced enough to be fun and fair. I will never see that day from certain classes.
  1. Granyala's Avatar
    We're working to allow you to transmogrify items that share animations, such as polearms and staves.
    O_O *Imagines caster with Black Ice* :Q
  1. ganush's Avatar
    I really don't understand why they don't just take the Cross Realm technology and permanently link low pop servers. I play on a low pop RP server and I see the same three servers on CRZ most of the time, so take Sentinels, Steamwheedle & Scryers and just permanently link them. The tech solves the issue of having duplicate names and guild names as the home server is shown as a sort of 'surname'. Once you permanently link servers, you can now have them share an AH and enable cross server guilding and raiding for only those servers that are flagged as linked. In one step you take three low pop servers and triple their population without the hassle of true server merges. It seems like the best solution to me and the only tech they need to add would be cross realm guilds and AH. I am sure they could sort that out.
  1. MasterHamster's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Granyala View Post
    O_O *Imagines caster with Black Ice* :Q
    Oh yeees.

    Question is if they mean to also allow all 1h and 2h weapons to be moggable regardless of weapon type
  1. zrankfappa's Avatar
    so ... wait a minute .... is standing on a mob spawn point throwing down dnd, consecration, fire/snake trap etc etc not fun and compelling gameplay?

    a truly eureka moment for bliz devs. and they wonder why people get bent about CRZ in the lower areas where the spawns are slow ...
  1. Verain's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by duster2 View Post
    The current talent trees are ok for the pure classes. They give far less real options for hybrids. This expansion could be the end of hybrid classes if this continues like its going atm. We are already seeing very disturbing numbers when it comes to druids, paladins and shamans. http://www.warcraftrealms.com/census.php?serverid=-1
    That site has barely 3 million players surveyed worldwide, it's garbage. Rogues are the least populated class and paladins the most, and yet that has pallies at 5%- trivially shitworthy data. It also has rogues at 11%, a percent we haven't seen since halfway through BC.

    http://wow.realmpop.com/us.html

    Try this with the sliders set to 90.

    Hunters and mages are appropriately populated. Locks and rogues are underpopped. The only hybrids underpopped are shaman (not as badly as rogues) and monks (for obvious reasons).


    Err, also the numbers that site is displaying aren't even consistent within itself.


    And the talent trees give PLENTY of options to hybrids- far more than most pures. The druid tree, for instance, has a ton of spec-variant buttons that each can excel on a certain type of fight. Rogue talents mostly do nothing on any fight. You'll simply need to make some claims about talents to be taken seriously with a claim like that.
  1. CaptainArlong's Avatar
    Blizzard doesn't get it! People that use that add-on for a fully organized PvP group to curb-stomp randoms don't like fair fights! That's why they need to use the add-on in the first place! Who likes a fair fight? No one!
  1. duster2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Verain View Post
    That site has barely 3 million players surveyed worldwide, it's garbage. Rogues are the least populated class and paladins the most, and yet that has pallies at 5%- trivially shitworthy data. It also has rogues at 11%, a percent we haven't seen since halfway through BC.

    http://wow.realmpop.com/us.html

    Try this with the sliders set to 90.

    Hunters and mages are appropriately populated. Locks and rogues are underpopped. The only hybrids underpopped are shaman (not as badly as rogues) and monks (for obvious reasons).


    Err, also the numbers that site is displaying aren't even consistent within itself.


    And the talent trees give PLENTY of options to hybrids- far more than most pures. The druid tree, for instance, has a ton of spec-variant buttons that each can excel on a certain type of fight. Rogue talents mostly do nothing on any fight. You'll simply need to make some claims about talents to be taken seriously with a claim like that.
    The numbers are very consistent - they also show what classes are played on week basis - not all the population like others. And if you didn't know... 3 million is a number that is playing per week.... And this does not include Asia.

    Your link is wrong cause its based on whole population of classes that are not even active. Brawlers guild is pushing more and more dps classes into the picture in the last week. BLizzard needs to react now before it goes out of hand and queues will become over 1 hour long.
  1. KWC3587's Avatar
    So it takes Blizz three months of people complaining that gating daily quests behind other daily quests, and then gating both valor gear and profession plans behind those is not in fact compelling gameplay. Then on top of that 8 years of the game to realize that their mob tagging model is way outdated. Hell give them another decade and maybe they'll finally separate pvp and pve from each other so they don't have to try to balance one off the other.
  1. Tedsterz's Avatar
    I honestly don't understand all the hate towards GhostCrawler. he is not the only person responsible for all the decisions made for the game.
  1. KWC3587's Avatar
    Well, he is the lead systems designer. That does put the lion's share of the responsibility on him.
  1. Dewote's Avatar
    Mists of Pandaria daily quests have shown that competing with other players for mob tagging and such is not fun. You should be excited when there are other players around, not grumpy! Blizzard is still actively looking for a solution to make it a nice thing to have other people around.
    Blizz seriously needs to take a look at GW2 for this one.
  1. Ikkarus's Avatar
    The only thing that WoW needs most is change his Lead System Designer...
    I know that he isn't the only responsable, but his ideas of a "fun game" makes me want kill him ¬¬
  1. Stormykitten's Avatar
    Really disheartening to see people be upset about the old raid thing. Come on...
  1. ZehGeek's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gasblossom View Post
    Dailes are optional after you hit Revered. Up until then you NEED to do them to gain access to the Valor items. Of course technically you don't NEED anything in the game but if there was anything in the game that could be described as something you NEED it would be the gear that you use valor to buy. If you don't unlock revered you run out of things to buy with Valor very fast. If you have nothing to buy with Valor then you stop seeking it then what? Do you fish all day?
    There's the upgrade system now to spend Valor, and progress your character too so hopefully later on we won't need the silly valor gear..because apparently already having raid gear..to get raid gear..is good gameplay o.0
  1. Awe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dewote View Post
    Blizz seriously needs to take a look at GW2 for this one.
    I am pretty sure they already did. Expect some similar mechanics in next WoW expansion. Thats how Blizzard always worked. They got plenty of good ideas from other MMO-s, many people dont realize actually how many. Of course it also works the other way around and of course I am not saying its bad. Just noting.
  1. Jeffrew's Avatar
    Is he actually defending bots?! And killing the only way we'd have a bot-free (non-rated) BG experience? *Facepalm*
    WTF is wrong with him?

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