MMO-Champion - General Nazgrim Preview, Dev Interviews, Aug 27 Raid Testing, Blue Posts, News Recap
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Patch 5.4 - General Nazgrim Preview
General Nazgrim is the eighth boss in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid and the encounter takes place in what is normally Ragefire Chasm. Gamon may appear in this fight.





Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews
Vanion released another interview from Gamescom with a few new points. You can find information from previous interviews on our Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews page.


Vanion
  • The Horde version of the cinematic after Garrosh will show the process of the Warchief selection. The Alliance version will be slightly different.
  • Adding a fourth talent spec is not planned, as it is already very difficult to balance the existing specs.
  • The technology for scaling up old content is mostly in place now, but the devs haven't come up with a good rewards scheme for scaled up old dungeons and raids yet. Today, players can go back and solo old content for transmog gear, but if they were going to go back and do it in an appropriately sized group, they would expect something useful other than transmog gear.
  • Having only one race for both factions allowed the team to focus on making the one new race really great, rather than having to split time between two new races.



Patch 5.3 Hotfixes: August 26
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Quests
  • Death to the Broodmother: Desperiona should no longer get stuck while approaching the player, allowing the quest to be completed.
  • Last Rites: The quest event should now work properly, allowing players to complete the quest.

Raid Testing Schedule - August 27
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
On Tuesday, August 27, we will continue testing raid encounters in the Siege of Orgrimmar raid.

Each encounter should be available at approximately the listed times below for all Public Test Realms.

Tuesday, August 27
  • Fallen Protectors - 25 Player Heroic - 10:30 PDT (13:30 EDT, 19:30 CEST)
  • Kor'kron Dark Shaman - 25 Player Heroic - 13:30 PDT (16:30 EDT, 22:30 CEST)
  • General Nazgrim - 25 Player Heroic - 16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT, 01:00 CEST)

As always, this testing schedule is very fluid and subject to the realities of a beta environment. We might have to change the time of a testing session, change the boss being tested, or cancel a test entirely, due to bugs, server hardware issues, etc. Keep an eye on this forum for the latest information, and thank you in advance for testing and providing feedback.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Future
Fact that it's in the final phase in Europe as far as trademarking goes says a lot on what it could be.
As I said in Legendary interview today, just bookmark all of that so we can later see how accurate they turned out. (Source)

Speaking of outdated content a scenarios, can we get Battle for Undercity as a scenario?
We get that request a lot. We'd love to do it sometime. Obviously can't whip it together for 5.4. (Source)

Ever thought about making Scenarios something to do while questing/leveling instead of dungeons?
Yes. (Source)

Any chance we'd see a hide enchant button any time soon? Dancing steel looks terrible in my mog!
We would like to do it, but it requires code, and realistically probably won't make 5.4. (Source)

Each character should have a bag that includes all the BoA items available; they would appear automatically and not be managed
I said last Blizzcon that this is a dream of mine. Maybe someday. (Source)

i just can't say anything in front of the hugeness of 5.4 content. but is your team ok to keep the rythm of 4 raid tier/patch?
There may come a time when expansions come out so quickly we can't fit as may tiers in. That's more speculation than a plan. (Source)

Lore
wrong attitude to have. Like saying last of us shouldn't have story, cause its a game.
There are studios that believe in story first or world first or maybe social first. Blizzard is gameplay first. (Source)
you picked the wrong type of game then. Kill X, collect y isn't exactly pushing gameplay to limits.
And yet I'd argue the game has had a pretty long lifespan and I don't think it's from the story. I think it's fun. (Source)
BTW you can say its fun. the 2.3 M sub loss the last year CLEARLY disagree.
We lost folks because of story? Sketpical. Maybe some did. I doubt it was big contributor. The rest of us are still having fun. (Source)

Do you guys believe blowing up Theramore was a mistake? If not, why the resistance to more oldworld changes in the same style?
That's a long topic I'm not sure I can cover in Twitter. We have some concerns about how it worked out. We lost a cool place. (Source)

conquered a city but after the raid it will be a horde city again, Theramore is still a hole in the ground
If this was a single player or non-persistent game, we'd consider removing one faction's capital permanently. (Source)

Was stunned that you broke the timeline in Cata and shrugged it off. Lore (& community) should be top, not bottom priority.
Lore is important. A fun expansion is more important. (Source)

(I lied) Garrosh was a bit better, but you took him too dark too fast, and didn't temper that with any internal struggle.
Arthas was conflicted. I'm not sure Garrosh really is. He has strong convictions... that are just quite at odds with others. (Source)
5.4 intro nails that by the way. I think you'll like it. (Source)
Garrosh killed Cairne, murdered others.However necessary he felt it was, part of him must be struggling. Where is that part?
Not sure he struggles with that. He probably struggles with the legacy of his father (pro and con). (Source)

(last one!) Deathwing had good amount of exposure. Problem was his character was an inch deep. I just didn't care about him.
DW had depth if you knew the backstory, but not everyone did. If just meeting him, we agree he was too much Rar! Dragon! (Source)

Example of game mechanics needing to trump in-universe logic. AvH always going to be central theme, says Metzen.
The story is always going to serve the needs of the game, not the other way around. We understand that doesn't sit well with all. (Source)

It would be nice to know what we worked towards somthing in MoP, deposed one Horde Warmonger for another not cool.
H and A competed over the newly rediscovered continent. It ended up coming at a huge cost though. (Source)

I agree, progressive phasing would help keep the world large and alive. The world shrinks as zones become irrelevant.
That provides gameplay though. That's a different argument IMO from Alliance get Ashenvale just for a sense of victory. (Source)

I feel like MoP is disconnected in terms of story. previous raid content each teir built to a common goal. Mop....not so much
I guess I disagree somewhat. No sure many raiders could answer what their character's motivation was for Karazhan or Ulduar. (Source)
"Stop Lei Shen. Stop Skek'zeer," may be shallow motivation, but it is motivation. (Source)
With MoP, we it didn't make sense to say "Stop Garrosh" until he had become bad enough to stop. (Source)

In fact, at Blizzcon we didn't even mention the final bad guy. We wanted players to discover where the story went. (Source)
But that confused so many players that we finally just said "Look, Garrosh is the final bad guy." (Source)

Proving Grounds
After testing proving grounds I feel it may be hard a bit harder and unfair for some specs that underperform with low ilvl
It's a reasonable concern. We're not sure of the best way to handle the item scaling. (Source)

Reputation / Questing
Totally agree. I fear for the dailies future with that outrage since 5.0.
We're not so sure. We worry that even a huge pool of dailies can end up feeling repetitive quickly. (Source)

PTR
Please, your QA team unfortunately needs a reshuffle because A LOT of stuff STILL comes through.
It's a ridiculously complicated and changing code base that has to work on 1000s of different hardware configurations. (Source)
Given that, I stand behind our QA team. They are exceptional. (Source)

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Patch 5.4 Windwalker Changes
Quick clarification: the datamined changes you're seeing to Windwalker/Brewmaster abilities are simply tooltip fixes. The actual abilities have functioned this way for a while.

Something something datamining something something grain of salt something something. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Diablo III - Reaper of Souls Recap
There is a nice recap of everything we know about Reaper of Souls so far over on DiabloFans!



Weekly News Recap
Another very busy week full of news, so here is your chance to catch up!

  • August 19
    • We previewed at the Tier 16 Warlock set.
    • Dev interview recaps:
      • The heirloom weapons on Garrosh are a reason for players to keep coming back and killing him, even when a new expansion is approaching.
      • The developers will watch carefully and make sure that Flex does not feel too mandatory.
      • There might be some changes made to Orgrimmar over time, but there won't be any dramatic changes right away.
      • One of the downsides of the new talent system is that it is challenging to provide something new and rewarding every time someone levels. On the upside, the decision process for returning players is much easier and the choices everyone makes are more meaningful.
      • Permanently damaging the Vale was the right thing to do and addressed the concerns of players that want a more dynamic world. Phasing wasn't practical because of how the zone was initially designed.
      • The devs are happy with how the legendary item system worked out, and Cory wouldn't be surprised to see them continue with the same kind of system. However, this doesn't mean they won't do legendary items the old way ever again.
  • August 20
    • We previewed the Tier 16 Priest set.
    • Dev interview recaps:
      • Making the game feel like you are playing locally by compensating for latency on the client and server end has always been an important part of development.
      • Whenever new features are added, people on older hardware are kept in mind to make sure the game is playable for them still. It is a painful process to maintain that kind of compatibility, but Blizzard doesn't want people to be unable to play the game due to new features.
      • The Guardian Cub was an experiment in allowing people to sell an item purchased with real currency for gold. If it would have been hugely popular, we might have seen more things like it. Playing with an established economy is dangerous though, so the devs are careful not to do anything major.
      • The new items added to the in game store in Patch 5.4 are really only targeted at Asia as time saving conveniences. Blizzard definitely doesn't want to venture into the pay to win territory or change the current business model. It is an experiment, similar to the Guardian Cub.
  • August 21
  • August 22
  • August 23
    • The WoW TCG is coming to an end.
    • The Hearthstone Wiki is giving away a beta key.
    • Dev interview recaps:
      • Mists of Pandaria was the first push to appeal to more casual players and it was very successful. If they had not done so, the game would be in bad shape.
      • The expansion ends on a high note for the Alliance. The full story has not yet been told!
      • Players often ask for new abilities so that they are on par with other classes. For example, Paladins got a Kick like interrupt that they didn't have a few expansions ago, but maybe every class doesn't need an interrupt / disarm / silence.
      • It is important that players feel like their actions matter in raids, not that they are just cogs in a machine. At the same time, you can push this idea too far when a single individual can wipe the raid or the fight requires every person to master an individual check. A good example of this is Heroic Dark Animus or Thaddius. Ideally a raid leader could choose the stronger players in the raid to handle the responsibility of the individual dependent mechanics.
      • If the devs were to use scaling to allow players to run older content at more appropriate item and character levels, it would not impact players who enjoy soloing old content.
  • August 25
    • Dev interview recaps:
      • An item level squish is likely for the next expansion and is already being tested internally.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • More people are doing arenas on alts thanks to the changes made in Patch 5.3.
      • 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 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.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • A lot of players respond to changes in patch notes, but don't actually go on the PTR and test the changes!
This article was originally published in forum thread: General Nazgrim Preview, Dev Interviews, Aug 27 Raid Testing, Blue Posts, News Recap started by chaud View original post
Comments 42 Comments
  1. JohnMarshall's Avatar
    Vanion:
    Adding a fourth talent spec is not planned, as it is already very difficult to balance the existing specs.
    Is this a Typo or a slip up ? Forth Talent Spec but surely we only have 2 talent specs available at the moment - what happened to 3rd Talent Spec ?????
  1. MasterHamster's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMarshall View Post
    Vanion:


    Is this a Typo or a slip up ? Forth Talent Spec but surely we only have 2 talent specs available at the moment - what happened to 3rd Talent Spec ?????
    Neither, he's talking about class specs.
  1. Bantokar's Avatar
    So anything that has to do with coding is really REALLY hard for Blizzard? Spaghetti code much?
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by noskillz View Post
    What? RPGs can be fun even without a good story. I play to have fun, not to live a story that is not even real, I hav my own life and problems >.>
    Lol, what a stupid argument... hahahahaha

    Screw everything and let all be plain and dull, I alread have a life!

    Can't imagine how movies, books, games, etc... would be with this argument... lol. But can imagine ppl saying "don't need the game to have any kind of complex stuff, 1 button to push is enough, I hav my own life and problems" hahahhahaha

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Bantokar View Post
    So anything that has to do with coding is really REALLY hard for Blizzard? Spaghetti code much?
    The best part is: "It's a ridiculously complicated and changing code base that has to work on 1000s of different hardware configurations.".

    Then you look at some bugs that are still there, like canceling the damn cutscene after killing the council in ToT and wonder what the hell that problem has with "1000s of different hardware configurations"...
  1. noskillz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by VanishO2 View Post
    Lol, what a stupid argument... hahahahaha

    Screw everything and let all be plain and dull, I alread have a life!
    Never heard about jokes? Well, that's one.
    My point is: I can still play the game without the story, as long as it's fun.
    And to be fair, Mop is the only xpac I really enjoyed lorewise.
  1. Unholyground's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterHamster View Post
    Neither, he's talking about class specs.
    I love how he answers the question without saying its not going to happen just that it would be hard. So if it is not a major feature this next expansion it will likely be in a future one.
  1. Sissadora's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by noskillz View Post
    My point is: I can still play the game without the story, as long as it's fun.
    I can think of a lot of games without a story, like Tetris or pretty much any older game, but without lore (as b-class as it is in this game) WoW would be pretty boring! Without a story you wouldn't have bosses to kill. You'd just run around killing, I don't know, murlocs or something.

    But then again even murlocs wouldn't exist without a story as to how they were created. So you'd be killing deers. And squirrels. And all kinds of normal critters from the real world.

    I'm not a lore fan, but some bosses get an extra dimension from their background stories. Illidan!
  1. DeathbyFrostBomb73's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by noskillz View Post
    What? RPGs can be fun even without a good story. I play to have fun, not to live a story that is not even real, I hav my own life and problems >.>

    The whole basis for a RPG is being part of a story...Role Playing...I know it's that hard of a concept.
  1. ysbag's Avatar
    Because when he says that gameplay is higher on the priority list than the lore it makes the lore automtically nonexistent and unimportant ....

    Some people need to know that there aren't only extremes in this world. Things like middle ground and compromises exist as well!
  1. Zstr's Avatar
    2 different cinematics!?, ofc alliance will be screwed again lorewise
  1. hobbsey's Avatar
    I feel like MoP is disconnected in terms of story. previous raid content each teir built to a common goal. Mop....not so much
    I guess I disagree somewhat. No sure many raiders could answer what their character's motivation was for Karazhan or Ulduar. (Source)
    "Stop Lei Shen. Stop Skek'zeer," may be shallow motivation, but it is motivation. (Source)
    With MoP, we it didn't make sense to say "Stop Garrosh" until he had become bad enough to stop. (Source)
    In fact, at Blizzcon we didn't even mention the final bad guy. We wanted players to discover where the story went. (Source)
    But that confused so many players that we finally just said "Look, Garrosh is the final bad guy." (Source)
    I have to agree with Blizz here. The raids, dungeons & scenarios have been beautifully integrated this expansion into the quests and rep factions. I don't follow lore very closely but could tell you the context of all the raids and they all have a good sense of place. I think the "common goal" is exactly what Blizz says, to stop escalating threats to pandara. I don't see how the orginal tweeter could possibly think something like Kara --> SSC/TK --> Hyjal/BT --> Sunwell was some kind of seemless buildup. Or even in WotLK, which gets a nostalgic look back because its last tier was so great, but Ulduar was a totally random lore detour, Naxx was a copy/paste, and that arena-style one was truly lazy storytelling.
  1. Dentist's Avatar
    The Nazgrim guide is outdated just fyi. The war song at 100 rage isn't what happens otherwise you could cheese it with cd's.
  1. Karnige's Avatar
    some of the comments on twitter are just moronic from players. thank god blizzard doesn't listen to these nerd ragers. yeah 2.5 million subs left because of story. ha ok buddy. maybe a few. in the end its just people are bored and move on or just don't have the time
  1. Faithshield's Avatar
    "Having only one race for both factions allowed the team to focus on making the one new race really great, rather than having to split time between two new races."

    Isn't that obvious? Its like saying "Having only one faction allowed us to focus on it more." Doesn't mean it is good design, again it is just stating a simple and obvious fact.
  1. d0e1ow's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by noskillz View Post
    What? RPGs can be fun even without a good story. I play to have fun, not to live a story that is not even real, I hav my own life and problems >.>
    I am shocked that people respond with this line about the STORY too. Does having a good story inconvenience you? I ask that because your argument reminds of this one:

    "Raiding shouldn't be hard, and we shouldn't have daily quests that are necessary to gain rep because, you know Blizzard, I have a life. I have a spouse, two kids, a dog, a job, and a mortgage, and I also pay for this game, therefore, I should have everything in it be my way! I have a life"!

    I'm not trolling you. I'm being serious. Saying, "Well, I have a life." is an argument of nothingness. It's an argument of nothingness in regards to story especially. To you ever watch movies? Read books? Have you ever played, say, Dragon Age Origins? Mass Effect? Do they offend you and cause you stress because "you have your own life and problems"?

    Even WoW should be an offense to you since, however poorly it may be told, it does indeed have a story, and that story is full of strife.

    No one is asking that they create a story that we can LIVE. I assure you, I have a life too! That doesn't mean that I can't value good story though... that I can't engage in appreciating art. The reason we get upset at them isn't because we want a surrogate life with which to neglect our "own lives and problems", it's because Warcraft as a universe has unlimited potential, and their design philosophy limits that potential vastly.

    I can't even believe responses like this... Again, not trolling, but honestly, it comes off as militantly ignorant in a way.
  1. Azrile's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DeathbyFrostBomb73 View Post
    The whole basis for a RPG is being part of a story...Role Playing...I know it's that hard of a concept.
    And you are taking things to absolutes. Nowhere did he say they completely ignore RP or the story. Just that the story has to be written with players actually playing a game in mind. For instance. For a story, it would be cool after SoO the alliance occupied the city and laid a beatdown on all the orcs. But for gameplay, how would a new player feel about rolling an orc, and suddenly being unable to enter their capital city? Or just the logistics and development time of removing all the horde-essential things out of Orgrimmar and putting them in different cities for a few weeks... You want to redo the entire game every time there is a lore moment? The story has to take a back-seat. I quested through Howling Forde.. and guess what.. LK still showed up and tried to scare me, even though we killed him years ago. Gameplay trumps story. It has to, or else you will be running around in a very shallow world without much gameplay OR story.
  1. ChocoboRanger's Avatar
    I can understand gameplay > story... but fuck... WoW only got here because of the story from wc3..
  1. Sil's Avatar
    Patch 5.4 - General Nazgrim Preview
    General Nazgrim is the eight boss
    Eight? really?

    Eighth*

    You're welcome.
  1. mpphelps's Avatar
    "The technology for scaling up old content is mostly in place now, but the devs haven't come up with a good rewards scheme for scaled up old dungeons and raids yet. Today, players can go back and solo old content for transmog gear, but if they were going to go back and do it in an appropriately sized group, they would expect something useful other than transmog gear."

    Woah, did anybody else expect this? Making old content relevant again would be incredible, so much fun!!! Doing old raids wouldn't feel nostalgic but could actually be useful!
  1. Nerraw's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mpphelps View Post
    "The technology for scaling up old content is mostly in place now, but the devs haven't come up with a good rewards scheme for scaled up old dungeons and raids yet. Today, players can go back and solo old content for transmog gear, but if they were going to go back and do it in an appropriately sized group, they would expect something useful other than transmog gear."

    Woah, did anybody else expect this? Making old content relevant again would be incredible, so much fun!!! Doing old raids wouldn't feel nostalgic but could actually be useful!
    They've talked about it before so I'm not at all surprised they were actually looking into it. It did however surprise me a bit that they're that far along with it already.

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