MMO-Champion - Ion Hazzikostas Interview, Method Interview, Dec 10 Hotfixes, Blue Posts, Holiday Art
Patch 1.0.6a Incoming, Scheduled Maintenance - December 11, Still No Plans for Holiday Events, Blue Posts

Ion Hazzikostas Interview
Today's interview is with Ion Hazzikostas (Lead Encounter Designer) on ConvertToRaid. A summary of the main points is below, but listening to the full interview is worth it if you want to hear the full answers!


  • Looking back at the daily quests, anything that rewards player power feels mandatory to raiders, but this has to be balanced with giving purely cosmetic rewards. There has to be enough of a reward to encourage players to do some quests, but not so much that it feels mandatory for everyone.
  • The Patch 5.1 daily quests took in to account the Golden Lotus daily quests that rewarded you with more daily quests and kept the number being added this time more reasonable.
  • Blizzard wants to keep delivering content and storyline progression through daily quests, because it gives you a better understanding and connection to the faction you are assisting. Tabards ended up with the player running dungeons for rep and never learning anything about the faction whose tabard they had on.
  • Valor Points being necessary for raiders due to item upgrades feels better than daily quests because of all of the different sources for earning Valor Points versus only being able to do daily quests for reputation.
  • Brawler's Guild is working out well, with the limited invites keeping queues reasonable.
  • Showing the number of LFR bosses that are dead was making it very slow to fill groups.
  • The addition of LFR has allowed Blizzard to target Normal difficulty more towards organized guilds that play together regularly and use voice chat. Previously, Normal difficulty was used by both organized guilds and PuGs, which made it somewhat easier than intended.
  • Staggering the release of the raids worked out well.
  • Heroic Sha of Fear was a worthy end boss in terms of the amount of time it took to defeat. It is almost impossible to make encounters that the best guilds won't be able to beat in a matter of days when they are spending so much time raiding. Only 28 guilds have killed Heroic Sha of Fear so far.
  • Larger patches in the past needed everything to be complete before shipping, which sometimes caused delays. With separate patches for raids and the other content, we are able to see more frequent patches.
  • Patch 5.2 is coming Soon™ and will include a large and more traditional raid tier. It has been a while since we had a raid zone that was as large as Ulduar or Icecrown Citadel. Blizzard will talking about what will be in it and how many bosses soon!

Method Interview
Manaflask had the opportunity to speak with members of Method about their thoughts on the first set of Mists of Pandaria raids. They seemed happy with the staggered raid releases, pointing out that it worked as promised by allowing them to not have to try and do all of the bosses at once.

Method agreed with what Ion said in the interview above, saying "In my opinion the difficulty of these encounters are harder than ever, people are judging the content on the speed in which top guilds are beating these encounters when they shouldn't be. The quality of the guilds in the Top 10 now are so high it's impossible for an encounter to stay alive more than 1 reset unless its either bugged or impossible".



World of Warcraft Fast Patch 5.1.0A Notes
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Bug Fixes
  • Pet Battle Abilities that use a shoot or missile animation will now properly display their visual effect.
  • Disabling Loss of Control in the Interface menu will now also disable the red cooldown swipes on the action bar in addition to the notification in the center of the screen. Loss of Control Alerts can be disabled in the Game Menu by going to Interface > Combat > and un-checking Loss of Control Alerts.
  • When Loss of Control Alerts are enabled, the red cooldown swipes will not be displayed for abilities that were already on cooldown and in situations where that cooldown will last longer than the loss of control.
  • Night will now fall at the proper time on all realms.
  • Objective icons in Scenarios will no longer incorrectly persist until the Scenario is complete.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause crashes during Pet Battles.
  • Mac
    • Fixed an issue that could cause a crash to occur during in-game cinematics in OSX v.10.6

Patch 5.1 Hotfixes - December 10
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes

Quests
  • The Mechanized Fire should now be easier to reach in the course of completing "Dream of a Better Tomorrow".
  • Players that have completed "Better With Age" and "Crime and Punishment" can now properly acquire the quest "By the Sea, Nevermore" from Zer'ik in the Dread Wastes.
  • Players on the quest "Sentry Wards" will no longer be placed in the incorrect phase.
  • The quest "Enemies At Our Door" can no longer be shared.

Pet Battles
  • The Battle Pet ability Stone Rush now has a 1 round cooldown (was 0).
  • The Cinder Kitten is now has increased health. It looks like that armor helps a little after all.
  • Several Battle Pets now appear during times of day more appropriate to their ecology.
  • Singing Crickets are now considered Rare pets. This change does not apply to pets that have already been acquired.
  • Silithid Hatchlings should now be less elusive.

Brawler's Guild
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Zen'shar's Eyes of Warding to persist after he despawns.

Professions

Items

Creatures
  • Various Hozen rare spawn creatures are now less likely to evade and despawn.
  • Clawlord Kril'mandar will now be visible to players that have completed the quests "Domination Point" or "Lion's Landing".
  • Huntress Vael'yrie in the Krasarang Wilds now properly offers Stable Master services.

Dungeons, Raids & Scenarios
  • Normal and Heroic mode raid bosses now grant 40 Valor Points each upon being defeated.
  • Terrace of Endless Spring
    • Tsulong
      • Elemental Shaman will now always be properly eligible for loot after defeating the Raid Finder version of this encounter.

  • Mogu'shan Vaults
    • The floor of Elegon's chamber should now always reappear after he is defeated.

Bug Fixes
  • Classes
  • Fixed an issue that could cause in-game cut-scenes to be skipped when sound is disabled.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed players below level 85 to see and loot certain Treasures of Pandaria.
  • Fixed an issue that could allow the Healing Ward provided by Vol'jin during the Dagger in the Dark Scenario to function outside of the instance.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Patch 5.2 Monk Changes
The following changes are currently on the table for 5.2:

  • Life Cocoon will be undispellable and won’t interrupt the cast at the end of the effect (and players will also be able to jump as well).
  • We’re working to resolve the issues with Renewing Mist not being able to be used while mounted, though it will dismount the caster after it is cast.
  • Soothing Mist will no longer be able to be Purged, so it will work in a manner similar to the Priest's Penance. It will still be considered a periodic Heal.
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

CC in PvP
CC in general is totally out of control, too much instant !@#$ going on
We would very much like to make it so that more crowd controls start going back to having a cast time. We feel that instant cast spells should be something that's rare to see and we admit that they have become far too common. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR Boss Counter Removal Feedback
"oh no someone decided they didn't want to chaperone the mouth-breathing astounding idiots, we better penalise them for valuing their own time." Your logic, and apparently Blizzard's too.
One of the reasons why the counter was removed was to reduce the amount of players fishing for a fresh instance. It was something that was becoming an issue for all the players that were stuck in on-going groups waiting for new players to join.

When those groups were waiting at, say 2/3, the queue would start looking for new replacements, those replacements would see the queue and decided to skip it in favor of a fresh instance, creating and endless loop for the guys inside the instance where more people would leave as they grew impatient, making it harder to complete the run.

As it is right now, if you enter an on-going run, you're pretty much guaranteed a fresh instance on your next visit. In addition, the developers are considering adding a buff that players in LFR might receive if they wipe on a boss that would boost their stats, which they also hope it might help those impatient players that will leave their current LFR run after a wipe. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Future Challenge Modes
Will you guys ever consider adding more CMs, perhaps old dungeons like Ragefire Chasm/Wailing Caverns?
Actually, the developers would like to add Challenge Modes to existing dungeons from previous expansions. No timelines or anything, though, but it's definitely something they're considering. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Bonus Roll Feedback
While I understand that getting an item that you already have can be somewhat frustrating, this is actually nothing new, since the very beginning of WoW that players have been killing bosses and getting completely randomized loot.

The Elder Charms of Good Fortune are supposed to be an extra chance at getting loot, if anything, having this option the way it currently is, might be already too loot “friendly” in my opinion.

This option was added because we understand that sometimes players can be after a specific item (remember those Dragonspine Trophy hunting days…), this way they get to decide which bosses are the most important for their characters and have a higher chance of grabbing a specific item that they’re so anxious to get their hands on. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Character
RE: Player Model Upgrade difficulty; Greg, can you elaborate for laymen what makes the project "huge"? Implies more than skin.
Look at the Pandaren as an example. New textures need new models which need new animations. (Source)

I would say overall "too little to do" has not been feedback we have heard often for MoP. For Cataclysm, yes. (Source)

Can a new 90 alt catch up gear-wise this arena season with conquest being usable for item upgrades? MoP seems alt-unfriendly.
We agree we need more alt solutions. MoP was designed to be compelling without alts. That means if you have alts, there's too much (Source)

Hey can we get an option to mail guild invites to alts?
Would love to see that (with some kind of guildmaster control). (Source)

Yes that may be true but did you guys ever stop to think and listen to people saying gating isn't fun.
Yes. The opposite of gating tends to be epic grinding followed by nothing to do. We try to strike a balance. (Source)

"There was no alternative to the head enchant. There are plenty of alternatives to valor gear." what are they?
Killing raid bosses for one. (Source)

UI / Addons
The new item tooltips are a mess. Whoever though this looked or conveyed information better was wrong. Please revert.
We like it. Can you elaborate? (Source)

The addon that let us paint the world? That could've been fun, but you engineered the game to stop that.
it wasn't to nerf fun. It took all the individual responsibility out of raiding. (Source)

Talent/Glyph + D.Journal taint bug is starting to drive me nuts. Reload UI 2-3 times to use stuff Bliz pushed as key features?
Taint bugs are almost certainly caused by mods trying to access stuff they shouldn't. (Source)

Hey will WoW's taint detection be worked on? I am pretty fed up of my addons being blamed for things they don't even look at.
If the addon goes after a protected feature, it gets the taint. It's pretty cut and dried as far as I know. (Source)
75% of my raid has to /reloadui to change glyphs/talents. Taint spreads like defile! Very difficult to debug.
I am sympathetic, but we can't debug all of the addons players develop. There are great sites out there that attempt to do so. (Source)

Why are UX /UI changes slow in WoW vs. system changes?
Depends on the change, but UI often involves code changes while many class changes can be done through data (by designers). (Source)

Can we have a UI feature to show how much of an enemy absorb we have left to break through? Absorb Absorb Absorb isn't helpful
Yes that's definitely on our wish list. (Source)

Holiday Desert and Card Gallery
Blizzard is once again collecting holiday cards and deserts based on the Diablo, StarCraft, or World of Warcraft franchises.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Ion Hazzikostas Interview, Method Interview, Dec 10 Hotfixes, Blue Posts, Holiday Art started by chaud View original post
Comments 34 Comments
  1. Kiore's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by phuzi0n View Post
    Forgive me for not noticing that they had nerfed it to 2 targets when it was 5 at release and back in cata before inferno blast we had infinite spreading... So it's another minor buff after a huge nerf, praise the blizzard gods? It still doesn't change the fact that there is a huge disparity between aoe capabilities that is far more important than these minor changes.
    I just tire of the knee jerk post crying when we've had target limits for awhile now, including long before the original nerf. Having your facts that wrong from the get go just make you look like an uninformed whiner. If you play fire as you seem to indicate, you would most assuredly have known about the target limit by now and if you didn't, it invalidates your opinion imo.

    My take (as a fire mage who IS paying attention and forming my own opinions based on my own raiding and experience with the changes) is that they are "fixing" us in the wrong way. The CM boost is negligible but whatever, but the fights we still excel at (Garalon, Amber Shaper, Wind Lord, Empress, Stone Guard, etc) were already due to dot spreading, adding another target to that only makes us better at something we are the best at, but that isn't the problem. We lag in single target. The combustion change hurt this hugely, instead of adding more cleave (which phuzi0n is really the only person I've seen butt hurt by this) they just needed to boost fireball, pyroblast damage or coeffs a bit. I like critting more because it makes the rotation more dynamic, so I'd rather CM was left at 1.5 and have reduction on some of the abilities to balance, in either case this hotfix is puzzling, it's just the wrong fix.

    TLR: To fix the overnerf they added cleave which wasn't our problem to begin with. Please look at single target damage blizz!
  1. phuzi0n's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by StayFresh View Post
    Nobody is praising blizzard gods bro....ur a day late dollar short with the crying about it being a minor buff, where do u need to do more AoE besides trash ?
    Wind Lord Mel'jarak and Grand Empress Shek'zeer have large aoe phases.

    Garalon, The Stone Guard, and Amber-Shaper Un'sok are heavily cleave favored.
  1. DetectiveJohnKimble's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by StayFresh View Post
    Nobody is praising blizzard gods bro....ur a day late dollar short with the crying about it being a minor buff, where do u need to do more AoE besides trash ?
    I'm guessing you're talking about dungeon bosses based on your post. The saurok boss in Mogu'shan Palace is good for cleaving.
  1. phuzi0n's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiore View Post
    I just tire of the knee jerk post crying when we've had target limits for awhile now, including long before the original nerf. Having your facts that wrong from the get go just make you look like an uninformed whiner. If you play fire as you seem to indicate, you would most assuredly have known about the target limit by now and if you didn't, it invalidates your opinion imo.
    I play many classes and yes I overlooked that it was a minor buff after a long series of nerfs to fire but please explain how that completely invalidates my opinion that there is a huge disparity between forms of aoe? Do you think it's fair that certain classes/specs do 2-10x as much damage as others depending on the number of mobs? On my rogue I have to constantly switch between Assassination and Combat because Ass has huge poison dmg for ~5+ mob aoe but Combat has huge cleave damage, but at least I have the option. On my mage fire spec is good at pretty much everything that matters (it only lacks in massive uncap aoe) so I don't really care too much about minor changes, I'm just sick of so many changes that are hard to keep track of. On my other classes sometimes there's just nothing I can do and have to put up with whatever aoe limits it has.
  1. TheSweetness's Avatar
    "Talent/Glyph + D.Journal taint bug is starting to drive me nuts. Reload UI 2-3 times to use stuff Bliz pushed as key features?
    Taint bugs are almost certainly caused by mods trying to access stuff they shouldn't."

    I have had this happen with zero add-ons turned on. It seemed worse in Cata for me though. My glyphs were always effed up.

    Inspect bug did stop once I turned off add-ons, however. Thank goodness.
  1. Potentio's Avatar
    this tier is not the hardest, its ridiculous. Method just trying to make themselves look better.

    Tier 11 was. And Ragnaros was harder than Sha of Fear.
  1. Lord Swizzlington's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Potentio View Post
    this tier is not the hardest, its ridiculous. Method just trying to make themselves look better.

    Tier 11 was. And Ragnaros was harder than Sha of Fear.
    Ragnaros was the end boss of the second tier of raiding of the last expansion while Sha is the end boss of the first tier of this one...terrible comparison. Also, if a guild that's fully cleared it says it's quite difficult, then I'd probably side with their argument over someone who I can't verify.
  1. Kaneiac's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Potentio View Post
    this tier is not the hardest, its ridiculous. Method just trying to make themselves look better.

    Tier 11 was. And Ragnaros was harder than Sha of Fear.
    So what guild are you in?
  1. Adalace's Avatar
    For alliance players at least, the Taming Kalimdor achievement is no longer required to earn the Taming Azeroth meta-achievement.
  1. shalnath's Avatar
    You mean to tell us the whole reason guilds are only taking weeks instead of months to clear the latest content is because the players have gotten better since the game launched?

    Who'da thunk.
  1. Nnyco's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by gibborim View Post
    Seems pretty silly to try and invalidate the rest of the tier progress with a single kill, don't you think?
    check wowprogress the so called "kings" got what? two out of 16 world firsts, im not telling its bad, its an impressive work to get kills early but seriously not "king of tier" worthy
  1. Lord Swizzlington's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nnyco View Post
    check wowprogress the so called "kings" got what? two out of 16 world firsts, im not telling its bad, its an impressive work to get kills early but seriously not "king of tier" worthy
    They were the fastest guild to kill Sha of Fear on heroic in the 25 man setting. It's been explained, move past the topic.
  1. Ferrouswheel's Avatar
    Um, why does it say they are the king of tier 14? Paragon did it first o.O
  1. Crummy's Avatar
    yeah, I'm confused aswell Ferrouswheel.
    Paragon did it first, so why are Method being crowned kings?
    Manaflask do host some weird stuff though.

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