MMO-Champion - Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews, Blue Tweets, Hearthstone Arena, DLC #404
The Massive Expansion Recap - Everything We Know So Far

Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews
Along with the PvP interviews this week, Blizzard had a presence at Gamescom and did a few more interviews. Thanks to Gamona, Vanion, PCGames, and PlayersCut for doing interviews and covering the events!

You can find information from previous interviews on our Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews page.


Gamescom Interviews
  • An item level squish is likely for the next expansion and is already being tested internally.
  • Timeless Isle will hopefully help to combat the feeling that you are wasting time if you aren't going to an NPC with a quest marker.
  • Many things that are sold on the website store eventually will be sold in the in-game store. Right now it is inconvenient to buy a mount off of the store, as you have to leave the game and go to the website, and go through the purchase process.
  • The in-game store could be added for mounts and pets in the patch between Patch 5.4 and the next expansion.
  • The cosmetic helms that were added to the store sold well, but more cosmetic items may not be added in the future. Items that you purchase from the store should never compete directly with items from raids.
  • Items added in the future will likely be more "fun" items like a Halloween costume or cosmetic themed gear that won't be like anything from a dungeon.
  • Adding the Pandaren was more controversial than expected, but the players who actually played the expansion really liked the expansion and felt it really had a soul.
  • Part of the reason for the decline in subscriber numbers is that the game can only change in evolutionary ways, not revolutionary ways.
  • Diablo III is actually the game that had the most impact on WoW, other MMOs don't really make much of a measurable impact.
  • The team size has increased 40% and another 40% increase is planned, which will hopefully allow for a new content patch every month, a new raid tier every three to five months, and an annual expansion.
  • It is likely that there will be other things that connect World of Warcraft and Hearthstone, other than the Hearthsteed Mount.

ArenaJunkies
  • More people are doing arenas on alts thanks to the changes made in Patch 5.3.
  • The first time you queue for an arena in a group you will have to select a role, which will prevent people from randomly inviting you to a group and queuing.
  • There needs to be a good in-game system for finding other players for cross realm things like dungeons, raids, and PvP. This is something that is being discussed for a future patch, but for now OpenRaid is a good alternative.
  • 97% of arena games last less than five minutes, but less than 1% go for 25 minutes. The Crowd Chose You!!! will help to address this problem, but if it has a negative impact by changing how people play, it can be adjusted or removed.
  • Arenas had become too bursty recently, so this patch significantly increased Base Resilience. Resilience being on gear rather than having a high base resilience caused new players and alts to have trouble in PvP that came from having no resilience.
  • The ArenaLeague tournament and the pick and ban system is something the developers like a lot, but it's unlikely to be implemented into the game. The devs also want to help support player run tournaments as much as possible.
  • The tools for tracking win trading have improved significantly over the past few patches and the devs are will continue to improve the tools moving forward.
  • The Rank 1 titles will still be given in 3v3 and 5v5 in the next season, but may change in the future.
  • The 2v2 bracket is still a very popular bracket compared to 3v3, so it doesn't need any extra rewards right now. Most players that are doing 2v2 are interested in gear and not so much titles.
  • Seasonal based achievements are a good idea, but they need to be added in a way that doesn't contribute to achievement bloat.
  • There isn't as much motivation for socialization anymore. It would be nice if the game had better ways of finding friends and guilds!



Swifty and Hotted
  • Twitter is a very useful tool for understanding what player concerns are out there. It is also a nice way to let players access the developers.
  • Arena teams had become a barrier to letting people play arenas. Being able to play with anyone at any time will be nice for players.
  • Having one pool of players will help queue times for many players and increase the amount of competition.
  • Solo queue for things like random battlegrounds puts you with a group of people that feel disposable, as you will never see them again. The other players almost feel like a tool for you to get your reward rather than people you can make connections with. This leads to poor player behavior. That being said, there may be room for a player that is honor capped and wants a higher level of play from a solo queue. This could be something like Heroic Battlegrounds, which would be for players who have the full honor gear set.
  • 1v1 arenas aren't likely, but solo queuing into 3v3 or 2v2 arenas might be something that could be done. Dueling is fun though, and a nice community building activity. Resetting cooldowns after a duel and things like that have been on the todo list for a long time.
  • Recolored gear might not be an exciting enough reward, but giving high ranked players more powerful gear isn't a good solution. More cosmetic solutions might be the right way to go. Mounts are expensive to make, as they take almost as much time as a set of armor.
  • It would be nice to see how long a player has been playing without inspecting them (Playing since Vanilla, BC, WotLK, Cata, MoP...), but how to do that is still undetermined.
  • The PvE trinkets added every tier are somewhat bursty, so making them scale down below the PvP trinkets ilvl and reducing their magnitude and proc frequency should make them less desirable.
  • The Conquest cap changes may have been the biggest factor in the increased arena participation this season. It may not be that more players started playing, but at least more characters took part.
  • A lot of the lower and mid ranked players stopped playing arenas at some point, but making it easier to gear up alts and adding more rewards that are attractive to players who are no longer playing arenas.
  • A lot of players respond to changes in patch notes, but don't actually go on the PTR and test the changes!



Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Combat w/ bis t16 4pc: http://t.co/5VEEBtnZPv Combat w/ Bis t15 4pc: http://t.co/jvBPRUt2fc I think that's a problem.
New cooldown trinket with old set bonus interaction is possibly too strong. (Source)
The problem i see their is the fact your simming possibly 60k higher than lower end classes in BiS
To be clear, our testing is not 100% based on simulations. Simulation has a lot of risks. (Source)

I'm sure that Blizzard Devs don't have a super secret WW rotation. I'm seeing T16 & trinkets as very large gain.
There have been times when players never figured out an optimal rotation that we designed around. Doesn't happen often. (Source)
(And I'm not saying that's the final story of 5.4 Windwalkers.) (Source)
Do you consider that a success or a failure?
We consider it a failure because then the spec just underperforms. (Source)
But just telling players how we intend the spec to be played (beyond a general direction) isn't fun either. (Source)

wouldnt you like to see class uniqueness back? eg: health pool difference, mana, armor gaps, damage reductions etc
Yes, but only to a point. We don't want to return to where even fairly casual raiders feel like they have to class stack. (Source)

Just curious, How come pure dps classes like Mage and Warlock get frowned on when they start to do too much damage?
Because it makes everyone else feel like poop that they made the wrong choice at the char select screen possibly years ago. (Source)
What I'm asking is all pure dps can do is just dps. We can also CC but not manyb encounters require it anymore.
You can also do things like interrupt, soak and kite. You have to be in pretty easy content to just tunnel on DPS. (Source)

Well when your subs drop to 5.5 million next quarter maybe the pitch forks might be more real to you then.
We want classes to be fun because we want the game to be fun, but you can't balance classes to drive sub numbers. (Source)
all specs viable with only a % margin of difference, not chasm like gaps that if you spec it you get laughed at.
Those % margins are smaller now than ever in the history of the game by almost any reasonable measurement. No, it's not perfect. (Source)
even with % margin being smaller the total difference is much larger than it's ever been. 1-2 million a fight?
As numbers grow, so do deltas, which is why we compare things as percentages. (Source)

I'v been seeing arguments using the "im a pure dps class" as reasoning for having extra utility etc, what's your opinion?
I gave up participating in the pure vs. hybrid debate. It was one of the most toxic discussions in which I ever engaged players. (Source)
Well, the hybrid not paying their taxes lead to things like this Same mit, MORE dps, Heal on top.
You linked tank sample size, which isn't really a pure - hybrid issue. All tanks are hybrids. What am I missing? (Source)

What happened to Mastery being the knob you guys can turn to buff or nerf a class?
That was a miscomm somewhere. If we buff mastery, it becomes your best stat and everyone has to reforge. (Source)
We do often buff the passive that many specs have (e.g. Sword of Light for my fav spec) as a tuning knob. (Source)
The implication is that it's better to have more than one reforge priority, not just mastery?
I meant more that we try not to radically shift stat priorities on players. Sometimes it's inevitable, but not ideal. (Source)

Arcane mage mastery, Destro/Demonology's mastery. damage increase masteries which have variable power.
Arcane mastery changes your play a lot. I'd argue the lock ones are just +damage. (Source)

why are abilities that can decide games subject to RNG? Disarms and CC getting parried/dodged is frustrating.
At the high level RNG is a skill test. It forces players to respond to current events rather than be able to predict it all. (Source)
Too much RNG can eclipse skill and just make any outcome a coin flip, but we think too little is bad too. (Source)
Agreed. Are stats like dodge, parry, expertise interesting enough at this point in the game to keep around in your opinion?
As mechanics, dodge and parry are interesting. As stats that appear on gear, we're not so sure. (Source)

Input Lag is a problem I agree, but is nerfing GoAK for holy the solution?
It was a non-trivial source of lag, which isn't acceptable. We lowered the CD to 3 min to help compensate. (Source)
It is basically just Avenging Wrath now, 30% throughput on a 5 min cd no beacon transfer ofc.
Holy paladins are a great example of too many mediocre CDs that lead to bloat. Probably should have resisted adding DF back. (Source)
I can't speculate much on the right solution yet, but having wings or kings (each stronger) might be better. (Source)

Another point: People that want to switch to the best spec will do just that. Even if they hate that spec. 1/2
But for every player grumpy about having to play a hated spec, there is one who wants that option. Very hard to solve. (Source)

I will tell you, blizzard did TOO MUCH simplification of game mechanics in Wow. Hunter is a very GOOD example. no interest.
Sure we got rid of stuff like feeding pets and ammo, but was there really much depth there? (Source)
Be curious what you think about hunter rotation has been simplified, other than Readiness. (Source)
You know what I miss? Eyes of the beast. My friends and I used to have so much fun with that spell.
We have mixed feelings about that one. (Source)
If we could convince players not to drag super situational spells onto their bar, then there would be room for more of them. (Source)
The only thing I miss about hunters were the special pets. The rake, brokentooth etc. Also RFK pigs, best pvp pet.
We tried to provide something similar with the spirit beast models. (Source)
If some rare pets do higher DPS (which sounds cool) then every hunter uses only them (less cool). (Source)

Do any of the top developers play melee classes? It seems WoW has increasingly gotten out of touch with melee issues.
Yes, we do. That argument is weak IMO. We do want to return some of the glory to melee, but irrelevant to who plays what. (Source)

Ability bloat is why I play this game. Have you tried Guild Wars 2 or Secret World? They limit you to 5-6 active abilities.
But there might be a sweet spot between 6 abilities and 30. (Source)

ever though about moving combo points to the character instead of the target?
Yes. (Source)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
IE of mech. simplification: SV LnL proc fishing via BA/trap swaps. IE of mech. play: BM focus fire delay for Wild Hunt
Getting rid of the LnL trap swap was a really common hunter demand. Felt more annoying than skilled play to me personally. (Source)

If the idea was for Stampede to only damage shouldn't it be the same for the Shaman? Just want to understand design decision
With wolves, you just get what you get. Problem with Stampede was it became this meta game of configuring your stable. (Source)
You can make a pitch for a stable meta game, but what we were trying to do was let hunters use the pets they wanted. (Source)
Then why do we still need to be a specific spec and use a specific pet to get bloodlust?
There are 6 other specs that bring Bloodlust. The hunter version is just there as a last resort. (Source)
We'd consider letting all hunter specs bring any pet buff though. (Source)

So, why wasn't Exhilaration buffed to compensate for the removal of Readiness? Now it's even worse than it was before.
Removing Readiness was intended to be a nerf to PvP defenses. Took us a long time to get hunters PvP viable, but they are now. (Source)
Along the way we had given lots of small PvP buffs that became OP in MoP, probably because of the min range change. (Source)
Movement was sort of a buff, but only to less skilled players since skilled hunters always Aspect twisted. (Source)

If we're still talking about Hunter button reduction, can I ask your thoughts on Aspects? Necessary or could they be baked in?
They were never that interesting IMO. Keep pack as a toggle and lose the rest I say. #notanannouncement (Source)

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Not a mention of revival, why do you think it's so strong that it deserves to hit for what a TFT uplift does?
It is instant. (Source)
SO an instant 3 min cd and a 45 sec instant that do equal healing are balanced in your mind?
Revival made encounters easier to heal than we intended. It was too good. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Kinda like every Protection Paladin takes Sacred Shield, and thus briefly considered making it baseline? Just sayin'
Sacred Shield feels very paladin-like to us. They've had it or Holy Shield or similar spells forever. (Source)
In the SS case, we considered making it core, and might someday, but Prot would have needed huge nerfs to take it AND a talent. (Source)

Will seals for holy paladins be more useful in future, seals like Seal of Wisdom and Seal of Truth, holy is left out on seals.
Not sure Seals are really that interesting (or ever have been). Most people stay in one. (Source)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Heroism was Shaman ability , why did you give the best Heroism to everyone ? Good ? Rather no sense as usual.
Shaman became mandatory for raiding. That's particularly tough on 10s and not really fair in a game with >10 classes. (Source)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
You do realise Archimonde's Darkness will always be used over KJC now, its a DPS increase in PVE and PVP
It's hard to assign a DPS value to casting on the move, but there almost certainly is one. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Ever thought of making arms warriors mastery more interesting?
What kind of mastery do you consider interesting? (Source)
The old Deep Wounds would be fitting arms mastery. x% of weapon dmg bleed on crit. Buffs OP w/o buffing swifty
Perhaps, but we'd probably have to cut the current Deep Wounds. (Source)

Misc
Re:Polygon Interview You really believe mists is for casual players? Cata and wrath were far more casual friendly
We lost more casual players in those expansions. If they didn't have organized raids, they quickly ran out of stuff to do. (Source)

Sims are pretty useless feedback to send us in terms of who is outdpsing whom. Raidbots nearly useless. Individual raid parses are useful. (Source)
Now sims are pretty good at determining stat weights and rotations IF that class/spec component has a good modeler. Just beware stack ranks. (Source)
Likewise Raidbots can be a useful tool IF you put in a lot of analysis. Hint: a tweet with just a URL is not analysis. (Source)

Player created sims are riddled with bugs. Bugs throw off results a lot.
We have hired former sim developers. What we find is that some spec components are great and others are pretty bad. (Source)
The challenge is knowing at a glance which you can trust and which you can't, which is impossible. (Source)

part of everything, your not above coding bugs, just like use players are not.
We players trust those player created sim over yours, and 3million+ players can't all be wrong
Few players test those sims though. Most just hope / assume the developer was correct. Go back and look at e.g. T15 sims. (Source)
Sims are one of our weakest tools. They are good for looking at a broad spectrum of e.g. gear quickly. (Source)
You are making some assumptions about our balance process that aren't true. I'll try and shed a little light. (Source)
Our sims are also much more accurate than what players can do because we can just go look up the real numbers. (Source)
But we also perform a lot of tests. Remember we can spawn any gear and automate rotations much more so than players can. (Source)
Finally, we gather a lot of data from and directly observe what players are actually doing on live and on PTR. (Source)
That last bit is our strongest tool, but the right analysis is still key. You have to look at what players are doing & why. (Source)
Which is why I caution so much against simple to the point of inaccurate claims like "Combat rogues do X dps." (Source)
Now there are potential mistakes of course. A proc chance could be 10% in data but a sneaky code bug makes it proc less. (Source)
This is why "real world" verification of both sims and internal testing is so critical. It's a very complex combat model. (Source)
Sorry for all the spam, but players often think our testing process is much simpler than it is. (Source)

I wonder, do you use addons for raiding or you're confident about original UI?
It varies. I'm responsible for UI so I feel an obligation to experience the game sans mods. I like to see why mods are popular too. (Source)

Heartstone - Nine Arena Wins
It appears that you can only win nine times in the Arena before you are done!



Dark Legacy Comics #404
DLC #404 has been released!

This article was originally published in forum thread: Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews, Blue Tweets, Hearthstone Arena, DLC #404 started by chaud View original post
Comments 47 Comments
  1. tusker's Avatar
    The item squish has absolutely no downsides whatsoever. The entire thing is RELATIVE. I wish people would understand this. As far as things are concerned, it's basically a non-issue because it really doesn't affect the game or its gameplay at all. Everything else about the game and what you will be capable of will remain exactly the same.
  1. noskillz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Blur4stuff View Post
    if they keep up the effort WoW could remain the best mmo for another 3-5 years. whenever they release Titan anyways... assuming it turns out well.
    I honestly think the mmo era has ended, and that's why the newer mmos are not doing well and wow is bleeding subs, and probably one of the reasons they stopped (or slowed down) the development for Titan.
    Mobas and fps are the things right now: F2p, fast skirmishing, fast progression, and poor interaction between players... that's the exact opposite from the mmo standard. I don't think mmos are appealing to young/new players right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faithshield View Post
    If GC labels any more class mechanics and secondary stats as "not interesting", we may just be left with 5 abilities, str/agi/int and stamina. Yay.
    That's kinda likely. Wow class design is very deep and complex, compared to other mmos: the number of skills is overwhelming for someone not used to it, theorycrafting is something you start to understand very late in the game and it's required to perform well while it shouldn't be.
    Don't get me wrong, I love the game as it is and if they really are going to make it simpler I'll get bored soon and probably quit, but I see where this is coming from and this item squish is just one of the steps they made in this direction... If you get to try the newer mmos you'll understand what I'm saying (and that's why I don't like them).
  1. ZeroWashu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tusker View Post
    The item squish has absolutely no downsides whatsoever. The entire thing is RELATIVE. I wish people would understand this. As far as things are concerned, it's basically a non-issue because it really doesn't affect the game or its gameplay at all. Everything else about the game and what you will be capable of will remain exactly the same.
    I would love it if the would remap health across all expansions. An item squish and such would get the numbers back to reasonable. Really going forward they need to find a way to divorce health/mana pools from being affected by items and just keep the other stats. That way mobs health would not have to get so silly to compensate for monty hall loot
  1. Eiffeltower's Avatar
    Sooo heartstone has its news site hasnt it ?
    Can we stop posting hearthstone promo on the front page ?!? Or could we also have the news from Guild Wars and Rift as well ?
    You know, because they actually are, mmorpgs.
  1. Velshin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MysticalOS View Post
    Item squish is just silly. Big numbers aren't confusing unless they are presented poorly. someone doing 217,312 dps is a bit silly. but someone doing 217k is not. They should have just gone over entire UI, thrown in some rounding and added a K to numbers and magically we're back to items that give 6 of a stat instead of 6000.

    The squish is going to have major consequences. Old content for example. I am terrified of notion of losing power to do my mount runs. I've even purposely put off isle of giants farming because my mentality was it'd be more efficient to just do it next expansion. Now, it may even be HARDER. Unless blizz nerfs EVERYTHING in game which i can't imagine they are going to do, that's so much work. They also mentioned having an ilvl scale up buff for old content so you become more powerful in older zones. How does that even feel? This means every char you level up will go up to almost ilvl 500 at 90 then drop at 91? Do people really think that'll be a fun leveling experience? You magically grow in power as long as you aren't in the new expansion areas? That seems so silly. We'll see how they do it though. IF they just nerf entire game from every mob in elwynn up to siege of org gets nerfed when squish happens, it won't feel as bad. I just can't imagine them doing that, or doing it well if they half ass it and just do a flat formula scale down.
    Item squish is not about big numbers confusion it's about not hurting the pc cpu and not causing some lag problems due to big numbers even the best super computers will get tired and take times reading all of the big number data. It's about making it easier and better for the players pc.
  1. Thyranne's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Velshin View Post
    Item squish is not about big numbers confusion it's about not hurting the pc cpu and not causing some lag problems due to big numbers even the best super computers will get tired and take times reading all of the big number data. It's about making it easier and better for the players pc.
    Have you ever seen how a processor works? I know the answer for this question but I wanna hear it from you.
  1. ItachiZaku's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tusker View Post
    The item squish has absolutely no downsides whatsoever. The entire thing is RELATIVE. I wish people would understand this. As far as things are concerned, it's basically a non-issue because it really doesn't affect the game or its gameplay at all. Everything else about the game and what you will be capable of will remain exactly the same.
    Then there is no point in wasting dev time on it.

    I came to WoW with a strong impression of how a Hunter should be (either UO Archer or UO Tamer) and it turned into a combination! YES! Wait...

    Learning things like "The Rake" got nerfed etc was the main reason I really don't play a hunter. I loved camping spawns for weeks taming/loring/releasing to get the perfect Hellhound pack or that perfect stats White Wyrm. WoW needs to develop something like that, where every cat isn't the same and you can train them through experience.
  1. noskillz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ItachiZaku View Post
    Learning things like "The Rake" got nerfed etc was the main reason I really don't play a hunter. I loved camping spawns for weeks taming/loring/releasing to get the perfect Hellhound pack or that perfect stats White Wyrm. WoW needs to develop something like that, where every cat isn't the same and you can train them through experience.
    That's exactly the kind of mindset a game dev shouldn't have. That worked for YOU, 10+ years ago, at the beginning of the online gaming era... players need to feel that the game is renewing and their gaming experience refreshing to come to a new game.
    Complex and old fashioned stuff like that is not going to bring fresh blood to the game at all. The lack of newcomers is the real issue here, not the people unsubbing which is normal for every game.
  1. Madruga's Avatar
    " new content patch every month, a new raid tier every three to five months, and an annual expansion."

    ...Isn't this a bit too much? I think Pandaria is already a bit too fast with the pace of content... We are going to feel overwhelmed if they go even faster.
  1. Utinil's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thyranne View Post
    Have you ever seen how a processor works? I know the answer for this question but I wanna hear it from you.
    The issue is with how many bits are being used to address these large numbers. If you use 32 it takes the same processing power to calculate 1 as it does to calculate 4,294,967,295 (assuming you don't allow negatives, in which case you get half that). If you use 64 bits it will take roughly twice the power to calculate the same numbers, but it will take the same amount of power regardless of calculating 1 or 18,446,744,073,709,551,615. The problem is bosses already have 1.8 billion health and tanks already able to cap out the threat. With stats over tripling each expansion 32 bits will no longer be sufficient next expansion. This leaves Blizzard with 2 options from a technical standpoint. Either squish numbers or completely reprogram the combat engine to use 64 bits instead of 32, which would also greatly hurt performance.
  1. quras's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Madruga View Post
    " new content patch every month, a new raid tier every three to five months, and an annual expansion."

    ...Isn't this a bit too much? I think Pandaria is already a bit too fast with the pace of content... We are going to feel overwhelmed if they go even faster.
    You're right but don't worry.

    blizzard at their best of times couldn't pull that off.

    You got nothing to worry about. It's just a selling, hype point.

    Kinda like Path of the Titans when it was released at blizzcon. Just hype that wont happen.
  1. Therec's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by quras View Post
    You're right but don't worry.

    blizzard at their best of times couldn't pull that off.

    You got nothing to worry about. It's just a selling, hype point.

    Kinda like Path of the Titans when it was released at blizzcon. Just hype that wont happen.
    Even if they did pull it off, they wouldnt be patches/raids like now. It'd be a new 7-8 boss raid max and maybe one new scenario/dungeon.

    If they did a new 14 boss raid every 3 months theyd bleed more subs due to people not being able to finish content.
  1. scvd's Avatar
    I need to know how Blizzard employees mind's process.

    "Re:Polygon Interview You really believe mists is for casual players? Cata and wrath were far more casual friendly"
    " - We lost more casual players in those expansions. If they didn't have organized raids, they quickly ran out of stuff to do."



    Yes, ok.
  1. Marooned's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by scvd View Post
    I need to know how Blizzard employees mind's process.

    "Re:Polygon Interview You really believe mists is for casual players? Cata and wrath were far more casual friendly"
    " - We lost more casual players in those expansions. If they didn't have organized raids, they quickly ran out of stuff to do."

    Yes, ok.
    They have correct internal numbers of each region, they know what exactly is going on, china was in TBC until late 2010 and they stopped reporting US and EU sub numbers a few months after TBC...
  1. varstjasol's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Marooned View Post
    They have correct internal numbers of each region, they know what exactly is going on, china was in TBC until late 2010 and they stopped reporting US and EU sub numbers a few months after TBC...
    They also have the data of "Why are you leaving?" and the incoming numbers.
  1. Azrile's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Trumpet View Post
    Do they even know their own game? Sub numbers were the highest they've ever been during Wrath while Cata had higher subs than MoP.
    Read the question again. They are talking specifically about casual players. The players lost during MOP were mostly from China. The players that were lost during Cata (early Cata) were casual players who did a ton of heroics in WOTLK, but could not longer do them in Cata. In Cata, if you did not raid, you had very little content available to progress your character. Cata heroics the first month were difficult for PUGs.. and non-raiders had very few alternatives.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by MysticalOS View Post
    Item squish is just silly. Big numbers aren't confusing unless they are presented poorly. someone doing 217,312 dps is a bit silly. but someone doing 217k is not. They should have just gone over entire UI, thrown in some rounding and added a K to numbers and magically we're back to items that give 6 of a stat instead of 6000.

    The squish is going to have major consequences. Old content for example. I am terrified of notion of losing power to do my mount runs. I've even purposely put off isle of giants farming because my mentality was it'd be more efficient to just do it next expansion. Now, it may even be HARDER. Unless blizz nerfs EVERYTHING in game which i can't imagine they are going to do, that's so much work. They also mentioned having an ilvl scale up buff for old content so you become more powerful in older zones. How does that even feel? This means every char you level up will go up to almost ilvl 500 at 90 then drop at 91? Do people really think that'll be a fun leveling experience? You magically grow in power as long as you aren't in the new expansion areas? That seems so silly. We'll see how they do it though. IF they just nerf entire game from every mob in elwynn up to siege of org gets nerfed when squish happens, it won't feel as bad. I just can't imagine them doing that, or doing it well if they half ass it and just do a flat formula scale down.
    Blizzard has already stated that item squish will not make your character less powerful, at 90, nor for soloing old content. They are very aware that players like to solo old content, which is why when they added pet drops to old bosses, they also made sure the mechanisms allowed those bosses to be solod

    We really have to wait and see how they do it, but my feeling is that they will simply remove tier raid progression in older content. In other words. LK would be only very slightly harder than Naxx. Gear inflation had to happen in WOW.. it is the way it is set up that once you are in the last expansion, each raid tier needs to have meaningful ilvl increases. However, once that expansion is finished, the tier progression can be removed. Nobody out there is raiding TOC trying to get ´geared up´ to be able to kill LK. There would be no meaningful change to the game if LK had the same ilvl gear drops as Naxx.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xanwryn View Post
    Item squish is useless? No, the terrible inflation of stats is useless.

    The inflation of iLvl is absolutely atrocious. Whilst it's perfectly manageable it's also pointless. Go back and look at how much damage and health people had in Cataclysm, it was at least 5x less than what we do now. And for what purpose? What exactly does having 400k crits provide us? It's just a number. The more dps the do the more health they add so, at end-game, it's all relative anyway.

    For the purposes of soloing there is none. You were supposed to get your friends to do the old raids, and still have to in some cases. Why should that change? Soloing was not an original design intention, it was a meta-activity invented by players to challenge themselves.
    iLevel inflation has to happen in WOW. The game is entirely built upon it. The game is about getting gear. Like it or not, that is what it is based on. Blizzard can not suddenly change that. Once you accept the fact that WOW is about getting better gear, and gear is a huge part of your character´s strength. Then comes the next steps

    1. Expansions must make old gear obsolete. You simply cannot have an expansion where you use your old gear much past leveling. Why? because your character will never get more powerful, which means the content has to be as powerful as the previous expansion... which is boring.

    2. Raid tiers must have meaningful upgrades - This is where real gear inflation happens, but it is a necessity. If a new raid opens up, and the gear it drops is the same ilvl as the previous raid... um.. yeah.. people are going to hate it. New raids must have new gear that is noticeably more powerful.

    3. LFR, heroic modes - These things have a huge place in WOW. They make the game better, they allow more things to do for many different types of players. But they each have the small negative thing of inflating ilvls.

    iLevel inflation is a problem, but each cause of that inflation has a valid reason that makes the game better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ItachiZaku View Post
    Then there is no point in wasting dev time on it.

    I came to WoW with a strong impression of how a Hunter should be (either UO Archer or UO Tamer) and it turned into a combination! YES! Wait...

    Learning things like "The Rake" got nerfed etc was the main reason I really don't play a hunter. I loved camping spawns for weeks taming/loring/releasing to get the perfect Hellhound pack or that perfect stats White Wyrm. WoW needs to develop something like that, where every cat isn't the same and you can train them through experience.
    But this isn´t UO in the early days. There are now 1000 fansites about WOW. And as soon as someone figures out that ´best´ pet to have, then every hunter will be required to have it. It already happened in Vanilla. Rake wasn´t special, everyone had him... the only people who didn´t use him were gimping themselves (especially in pvp). In a way, it was similar to the old talent trees. Yes, you had more options back then.. but only one of them was good, and if you wanted to be ´different´ it meant you did something that gimped yourself.

    The game is boring if every tamer has The Rake.
  1. dhru's Avatar
    "The cosmetic helms that were added to the store sold well, but more cosmetic items may not be added in the future."
    Beautiful Lies
    Shame on you, Blizzard! I will never forgive this, and my forum ban what I wouldn't deserve it...
  1. Protar's Avatar
    I'm looking forward to the monthly patches. Here's to hoping that will be in effect by expansion 5. Hopefully the patch cycle will go: Expansion, Lore patch, standalone story, Raid patch. This will be a good opportunity to cover some of the smaller stories that don't necessarily fit into the larger expansions. Looks like we could be facing 10 patch expansions in the future, with very small gaps between xpacs.
  1. Urza29's Avatar
    at this point, blizzard has kinda shot themselves in the foot anyways, because they should have adressed this and or thought about future scaling from the beginnig. There is no way they could of predicted the game's sucess and insane amount of subscribers over the years, causing them to release content and expansions to please everyone. However, even looking at the transition from vanilla to BC there was a huge increase of stats and health over vanilla's numbers.

    to put it in perspective, i ran UBRS other day, there was a tank (tauren) in heirlooms/decent gear and he had almost 9k health..at level 55....55...in vanilla level 55 to 60 was an uphill battle, getting to 60 was really challenging/time consuming, but even at 60...in EPIC gear most characters dreamed of having 5-6k health, tanks with full raid buffs and every possible cool down push 10k (again at 60)

    So for a basic character with a few gear items to have 9k health almost, at 55? It blew my mind to realize how far things have gotten out of hand and how scary everything is scaling these days. I have screenshots of my druid in Molten Core in a few epics and i think he has 2-3k health, doing 1k crit prior to naxx era in vanilla was really badass and amazing...1k crit...1000 damage and you felt invincible...auto-attacks on my hunter with ilvl 510 hit for 20-30k crit, and its expected, but to look at the beginning of the game and see how far we really have come expansion after expansion, is nuts.

    not that they can go back in time but they should have foreseen this and been a LOT more restrictive and made the numbers tiny increases not leaps and bounds bigger with no brakes.

    I think it would be awesome to have vanilla/bc numbers again, and bosses have ~500k health at top end, when cutting through 100k health was a good 5 min dps fight, mobs having 20k health again and considered 'elite'. thats part of what made BC so epic was the numbers, everything went up, in a good way and your hits and gearnig up made you feel aucutally powerful and you were progessing, just 1 piece of gear could change your damage by so much, and your health by so much, where as these days your overall sense of power is almost nill, have to get 4-5 pieces to even feel you are doing good on dps in comparison.

    healing is the same way, be sweet to be tossing heals for 6-10k again, filling players health bars in 1 spell

    my 2cents
  1. Roudene's Avatar
    Still waiting for Hearthstone beta in EU...

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