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Patch 5.4 Interview - Tom Chilton
Today we had the opportunity to ask Tom Chilton (WoW Game Director) a few questions about Patch 5.4 and beyond! You can find the other Patch 5.4 Dev Interview Recaps here.
With the amount of information in the interview it is well worth reading the slightly longer full transcript for context and complete answers.
- Flex difficulty will open at the same pace as the Normal difficulty raid. Ghostcrawler gave us updated plans: Flex Wing 1 will open on day 1. Heroic and LFR Wing 1 will open Week 2. Normal will not be gated in any way other than the normal no skipping of bosses or wings.
- The Kor'kron Dark Shaman cosmetic armor will drop off of mobs in Flex, Normal, and Heroic difficulty Siege of Orgrimmar. The armor already existed for NPCs, so adding it is a cool bonus for Shaman. We may see more in the future if a similar situation arises.
- In order to avoid achievement bloat, achievements that are split between 10 and 25 man will only be added when the split is important.
- Throne of Thunder added more individual responsibility for the success of a raid, especially on fights like Lei-Shen. Going forward, this will continue to be the case.
- Thunderforged and Warforged style items are likely going to be the solution for addressing the lower popularity of 25 player raids in order to avoid making 25 player raids feel mandatory.
- Normal difficulty raids and scenarios are good candidates for applying the Flex tech to in the future, but Normal raids are tuned tighter than Flex, so this isn't a promise at all.
- There will be some kind of content and event between now and the next expansion, but the patch number isn't determined yet.
- Blizzard is still working on new character models, with more on that sometime in the future.
- Addressing the limited storage isn't going to happen in Patch 5.4, but is still on the list for the future.
- Skills on your bar that you have to keybind and rarely actually use are the prime targets when and if the developers address ability bloat.
- Adding another Annual Pass isn't planned, but it still a possibility.
- The cosmetic minor glyphs are working out well, and more will be added in the future. It might make sense to increase the number of Minor Glyph slots at some point.
- Being able to form PuGs without addons or third party websites might be something nice to add in a future patch.
- Rewards are still formulaic and not exciting enough, especially when it comes to rare spawns and quest rewards. This is something that the developers would like to address in the future.
- Patch trailers could be added to the game itself in the future, but there are some things that would need to be addressed first. The trailers are created to get people excited about a patch, so they feel a little bit more like an ad than other in game cinematics, so things might have to be done a little differently.
- Connected Realms will be used to help out lower population realms, not balance the factions on very high population realms. However, in the process of grouping low population realms, faction balance will be taken into account as much as possible.
- Connected Realms will roll out fairly quickly after Patch 5.4 is released, similar to the release timeline of Cross-Realm Zones.
- There may not be any realm specific things like achievements, leaderboards, or forums going forward. (See the full question below)
Patch 5.4 / The Past
- Lesser Charms or Spirits of Harmony aren't very likely to become Account Bound before Mists of Pandaria is over.
- Timeless Isle can serve as a foundation for the way that the developers approach creating re-playable content in the future.
- The removal of Have Group, Will Travel worked out well, making the world feel more alive.
- Another alternative to creating PvP crafted sets would be to segment players more by their gear level, matching you against players with similar gear.
Originally Posted by Kalgan
Patch 5.4 - Kor'kron Dark Shaman Cosmetic Armor
This was a very busy week for news, so you may have missed this new cosmetic armor that was added in this week's PTR build. As mentioned in the interview above, it is a Shaman exclusive item that will drop in Flex, Normal, and Heroic difficulty from the NPCs in Siege of Orgrimmar.
|500||Cosmetic||Head||Kor'kron Dark Shaman Cowl|
|500||Cosmetic||Shoulders||Kor'kron Dark Shaman Shoulder|
|500||Cosmetic||Chest||Kor'kron Dark Shaman Vestment|
|500||Cosmetic||Waist||Kor'kron Dark Shaman Belt|
|500||Cosmetic||Legs||Kor'kron Dark Shaman Kilt|
|500||Cosmetic||Feet||Kor'kron Dark Shaman Treads|
|500||Cosmetic||Wrists||Kor'kron Dark Shaman Bracers|
|500||Cosmetic||Hands||Kor'kron Dark Shaman Gloves|
Raid Testing Schedule - August 16
Ranged and Melee Balance
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Battle.Net Launcher Background Downloader
You may have noticed a spinning symbol on the new Battle.Net Launcher, which indicates that data for a future patch is being downloaded.
Patch 5.4 is on the background downloader now, but the default setting in the new launcher limits your download speed to 20 KB/s, which causes the download to take a long time. If you have internet that is fast enough, be sure to open the settings and increase this speed to get the patch faster!