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. Korgesh's Avatar
    This is good, but not enough. WoW requires mass effort to be great again. If you were ceasar of Rome you'd never please the colleseum.
  1. zrankfappa's Avatar
    such a waste not being able to give away duplicate or uneeded gear that you win in LFR. IMHO this should be changed ...
  1. Zokten's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Taoforums View Post
    Lol I see whining about mob tagging? Really? New to the game or what? Hit the damn thing with an instant cast, a taunt, always worked that way and always will.
    Seems you like to live in the outdated past.
  1. ganush's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zrankfappa View Post
    such a waste not being able to give away duplicate or uneeded gear that you win in LFR. IMHO this should be changed ...
    It's a case of 'you can't have your cake and eat it too'. The last thing I need is every druid and monk whispering me after every kill to ask if I won something I could give to them, because I already have better in the slot that boss drops. People complained about people ninja'ing their loot and people winning loot they didn't need to the point where Blizzard made everything individual, now they want it changed again cuz they realize the new system will actually gear you up more slowly than the old one, even with all the 'ninja' looters we had in Cata. I for one don't miss all the whining, complaining, griefing, begging, and trolling that went on with the old loot system and I don't want to see them do anything that may make it return, which includes making loot tradeable. The only change I'd like to see is an option to select the spec you want to gear for, without having to play it. Otherwise, leave LFR alone and let me vendor my purple trash.
  1. Leonard McCoy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zrankfappa View Post
    such a waste not being able to give away duplicate or uneeded gear that you win in LFR. IMHO this should be changed ...
    It is but don't expect anybody here to understand that. In reality they are extremely selfish and wouldn't spread the loot around anyway. Like the guy above who couldn't be bothered to respond to players asking him to be a nice guy. Yet somehow they have the gal to call out the old system as being selfish because people loot traded with one and other. Whatever. This expac has just been frustration on top of frustration. Piling more frustration in LFR and REMOVING THE HUMAN ELEMENT out of the equation will just bleed subs.
  1. Narshe'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."

    The question was in response to mob tagging in CRZ not Pandaria, although I suppose mob tagging exists in lvl 90 dailies?
  1. Leonard McCoy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterHamster View Post
    Unfortunately the tabard system led to naught but faster burnouts and handling out too much reward for one repetitive task, i.e dungeons
    It's not coming back, but as mentioned they're looking for alternatives that doesn't funnel players into a single area.
    Tabards lead to burn out but dailies don't.How much double think will you people spew? Check this out. Tabards virtually removed any sense of grind from reputation factions in this game. Grind being the primary cause of burn out. Tabards were a vastly superior system and the fact that the developers don't recognize this basically means they will never understand that making the game less rewarding is not the answer to curing boredom. It just causes MORE BOREDOM.
  1. kenshinag's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyIommi View Post
    Tabards lead to burn out but dailies don't.How much double think will you people spew? Check this out. Tabards virtually removed any sense of grind from reputation factions in this game. Grind being the primary cause of burn out. Tabards were a vastly superior system and the fact that the developers don't recognize this basically means they will never understand that making the game less rewarding is not the answer to curing boredom. It just causes MORE BOREDOM.
    You're confusing it though. He states that the hubs with 4-5 dailies to do were a success and the ones like GL that has 12-15 quests were causing burn out. There has to be the grind or else it won't meet their goal of keeping people out doing them, but TOO MUCH and it causes the burn out he discribes. You need the grind to get the sense of accomplishment from the RPG, but they have to still make it fun. Tabard compelling gameplay decision is to remember to wear the right tabard that you aren't exalted. Obviously a step in the wrong direction for their design goal.

    Also I don't think he meant that the tabards cause burn out. They trivialize the rep grinds and leave you with nothing to do. Being burnt out means there's stuff to do but "you've bitten off more than you can chew". If they were going to introduce the tabards back in as a means to gain rep with Shado-Pan while randomly queuing into Scholomance, so that you can gain rep doing something not at all related to that rep, then why is there reputation system in the game at that point?
  1. Ruck's Avatar
    Please tell me im not the only one that thinks ghostcrawler is just full of shit?
  1. Maelle's Avatar
    I have to say I burst out laughing when I saw Ghostcrawlers grinning mug.... looked like some meme waiting to happen
  1. Nekosom's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyIommi View Post
    It is but don't expect anybody here to understand that. In reality they are extremely selfish and wouldn't spread the loot around anyway. Like the guy above who couldn't be bothered to respond to players asking him to be a nice guy. Yet somehow they have the gal to call out the old system as being selfish because people loot traded with one and other. Whatever. This expac has just been frustration on top of frustration. Piling more frustration in LFR and REMOVING THE HUMAN ELEMENT out of the equation will just bleed subs.
    If you want the "human element," that's what regular raiding is for. LFR was one of those things that made you lose all faith in humanity, so taking out that human element improved the experience IMMENSELY.

    Once again TonyIommi, you simply lack even the most basic knowledge of what an MMO should and shouldn't be. A free-for-all that encourages "Internet Fuckwad" behavior is the reason MMOs fail, not why they succeed.
  1. Leonard McCoy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nekosom View Post
    If you want the "human element," that's what regular raiding is for. LFR was one of those things that made you lose all faith in humanity, so taking out that human element improved the experience IMMENSELY.

    Once again TonyIommi, you simply lack even the most basic knowledge of what an MMO should and shouldn't be. A free-for-all that encourages "Internet Fuckwad" behavior is the reason MMOs fail, not why they succeed.
    Right. I fail to understand a internet fuckwad theory but the developers create CRZ which combines all the jackasses and assholes into one big soup with the decent folk. You guys are hilarious. Yea LFR had issues before. If this is the cure for it then it's worse than the disease.
  1. Notos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Narshe View Post
    "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."

    The question was in response to mob tagging in CRZ not Pandaria, although I suppose mob tagging exists in lvl 90 dailies?
    It exists but respawns are fast enough that it has never been an issue for me. Other objectives which could have been potentially bad, like freeing the prisoner or killing the dragons/behemoth for GL, are already shared so Blizz had some good foresight on those.
  1. duster2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyIommi View Post
    Tabards lead to burn out but dailies don't.How much double think will you people spew? Check this out. Tabards virtually removed any sense of grind from reputation factions in this game. Grind being the primary cause of burn out. Tabards were a vastly superior system and the fact that the developers don't recognize this basically means they will never understand that making the game less rewarding is not the answer to curing boredom. It just causes MORE BOREDOM.

    Yes I think he got this totally wrong. Dungeons can be a burnout - but at LEAST its a grouping up experince that offers variety over the stagnant and totally dead daily quests. I still do my dungeon run for Valor every day rather than doing dailies.

    If BLizzard now thinks grouping up and socializing is now more chance of burnout than solo.... then I dont know why they call it MMO....

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-05 at 11:14 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Nekosom View Post
    If you want the "human element," that's what regular raiding is for. LFR was one of those things that made you lose all faith in humanity, so taking out that human element improved the experience IMMENSELY.

    Once again TonyIommi, you simply lack even the most basic knowledge of what an MMO should and shouldn't be. A free-for-all that encourages "Internet Fuckwad" behavior is the reason MMOs fail, not why they succeed.
    The fact of the matter is that LFR is a huge and utter failure in the first place. If ppl are doing it every week for loot then why on earth does BLizzard not create 10 or 25 man normal content that ppl can do in guilds with that difficulty? Thats the thing. LFR is probably the worst experience in the entire game atm in any other than loot. Many ppl are not doing normal raids because that requires "effort" that in most cases is beeing online at certain time for 3-4 hours for 2-4 days per week. If GUILDS could do LFR and distribute the loot themselfs - then more ppl would probably fill up a 25 man raid and go for it on that LFR easy difficulty - have fun and work as a GUILD to help guildies out.

    LFR is a total and utter failure in all sence of the word. Blizzard should just give ppl 15 rolls per week per character to get 476 items.
  1. bufferunderrun's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nekosom View Post
    If you want the "human element," that's what regular raiding is for. LFR was one of those things that made you lose all faith in humanity, so taking out that human element improved the experience IMMENSELY.

    Once again TonyIommi, you simply lack even the most basic knowledge of what an MMO should and shouldn't be. A free-for-all that encourages "Internet Fuckwad" behavior is the reason MMOs fail, not why they succeed.

    I agree with you but peoples fail to understand what was the point of the new looting system; it was developed for the sake of removing loot drama from lfr and it worked, but intested many players think that personal loot = more loot sorry but it's not like this. As always if the rng god don't feel it you can do 50 runs and waste tonload of charms without your precious loot appearing in your bag, much like the raiders that do it on normal/heroic need to wait for the damn "insert loot name here" to drop.
  1. Kirse's Avatar
    I enjoy LFR but not the drop rate. If they fixed the drop rate and general items that are included (loot like you would expect from world drops - gold, misc gear etc) I wouldn't feel so ripped off for doing every LFR raid for 2 months and getting only 2 items.

    Why not include a wide-range of transmog only gear that can also drop, and perhaps some more profession patterns and companion pets?
  1. Kornstyle's Avatar
    Ghostcrawler Lead system Designer -> WoW Going to hell....
  1. Khronoz's Avatar
    I think Greg should be the final Raidboss of WoW. Hopefully connected with the quest "Bring me the head of Ghostcrawler". The "Design" of WoW sucks since Cataclysm.
  1. Nathiest's Avatar
    Anyone else hoped that it was about GC's death or termination?
  1. nightfalls's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryme View Post
    Then why keep adding more hubs?
    I'm just going to quote what I said before this interview, which only stated the obvious, came out:

    You know it's truly Dailycraft when you grind daily upon daily to unlock the awe-inspiring reward of (ZOMFG!!111one) more dailies.

    That's probably why I had more fun with Tillers, you actually got more farm spaces = more gold and rep with the members. Every other zone just seems to reward more daily quests to grind.
    I'm pretty sure that is what people hated the most about Molten Front, not even the length, but the perception that you complete dailies just to get more dailies. A much more compelling reward would be better and more varieties of dailies as GC only now just figured out. And I believe that dailies rewarding charms and VP is good enough, there shouldn't be any gear tied to rep. Just mounts, pets, and vanity rewards. Maybe a nice VP bonus once you finish a quest chain.

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