MMO-Champion - Warlords of Draenor Developer Interview, Random Battleground Queue Times, Blue Tweets
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Warlords of Draenor - Developer Interview
The ReadyCheck podcast had the opportunity to talk with several developers recently. You can find a full transcript of the interview on their site, and the highlights below:

Arenas
  • Arenas didn't fit the game as well back in Burning Crusade, as classes weren't designed to be balanced for 1v1 or 2v2 in PvP then, but things are better now.
  • The arena history stats were removed from armory because they took up a lot of storage space and weren't used by many players. It might be possible to add some sort of history for Trial of the Gladiator.
  • Solo queue arena is something the developers are looking at, but there are several challenges that would have to be overcome before it was possible. (The number of players for each role isn't balanced, having to queue until you find a decent group to play with, randomly created comps that aren't great, etc)
  • The developers are aware that some players want skirmishes back, but the development time needed would take away from time spent on something else. Being able to do arenas without consequences would be nice though.
  • Arena prep times might be slightly too long.

PvP
  • Patches involve an initial overhead no matter how many changes are in them, so more frequent patches to address PvP balance would slow down the creation and addition of new content.
  • Hotfixes can also be used to help with balance and are much easier to do.
  • Rapid changes are hard to keep up with, and small tweaks don't have a large impact on PvP, so these aren't the best ways to handle changes.
  • Allowing people to solo queue for things greatly increases the participation rate, but it also increases toxic behavior. Hopefully the Group Finder in Warlords of Draenor will make it easier to find groups to do PvP with.

Warlords of Draenor PvE
  • The developers realize that there is still an audience for Burning Crusade level difficulty Heroic dungeons. Challenge modes were designed to be harder content, but the focus is on speed and not as much on having to use as much CC, so they don't capture the essence of Burning Crusade era Heroics.
  • One idea that came up for Warlords of Draenor was offering a chance of LFR level rewards for completing hard dungeons with a deliberate pace. This would give players that wanted more challenging content a way to do harder content with friends and still be rewarded well.
  • Mythic dungeons are also a possibility for the future, though none are planned right now.
  • Warlords of Draenor raid bosses will continue to use a mix of familiar raid mechanics, new raid mechanics, and new tech to create interesting encounters. Siegecrafter Blackfuse is an example of a boss that combined familiar mechanics to make a fresh encounter.

Warlords of Draenor Misc
  • Warlords of Draenor has a harder and darker story than Mists of Pandaria did.
  • Warlords of Draenor improves the questing experience by showing the main story line in each zone on your UI and encouraging exploration. Outdoor content that isn't based on daily quests but still allows some progression will also help.
  • The guild finder tools need an update, but it isn't likely to happen for Warlords of Draenor. Being able to do more things cross-realm will allow guilds to try out or find new members.
  • There are no plans for going free to play right now, as they are happy with the current business model.
  • There will be more expansions after Warlords of Draenor.


Random Battleground Queue Times
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Faction imbalance is definitely something that's contributing to the lengthy queue times. That said, we agree that allowing Horde vs Horde and Alliance vs Alliance Random BG's isn't a great answer. We'll do it if it's absolutely necessary (Rated BG's allow for same-faction battles for exactly this reason), but we're going to look at all other options first.

Honestly, even if we can't find another good answer, we're not sure queue times are so bad, at least at the moment, that same-faction Random BG's would be worth it. Horde vs Alliance, Orcs vs Humans, Elves vs Trolls etc. has long been a strong core of the Warcraft universe. We want queue times to be faster for everyone, but we also don't want to lose that.

20 minute queues at peak hours makes BGs FAR less worth it than just doing dungeons and trading for honor.
Definitely agree here, but that's part of a larger issue we've been discussing lately about the random BG reward system. I don't have any specifics to share just yet, but it's very much on our radar. We're actually hoping that whatever changes we can make along those lines will also have the side effect of helping queue times a bit (though again, we're still looking into more options there).

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Hi any plans to make all buffs passive auras like shaman buffs. I think buffing is not skillful ore interesting anymore.
Buffs (like Mark of the Wild) don't really take up keybind space. They also have a perk that the caster can die. (Celestalon)

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
the death knight ability [Death Grip] has ben bugged on the two new maps since release, planing on fixing it this decade or what ?
We have a fix but it requires a patch. (holinka)

Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Arcane Shot is a main culprit of Hunter specs feeling identical. One of the things being looked at?
Yep, it is. (Celestalon)

Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
For what purpose does an attack over 30% max hp cancel lightwell ticks?
I believe it was originally so that it would be ignored by tanks, and left to raid members. I'm not sure that that's needed now. (Celestalon)

Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Any chance you could make Enhance's Feral Spirit into something dangerous again in WoD? They've been pretty poor in MoP.
Yes. (Celestalon)

Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Imp is crap at doing that, time it take it to switch and start casting, is a lost. Pets should switch instantly
Passion is a great thing. However, I think it may be clouding your view here. For example, Imp's recast time is zero loss. (Celestalon)
You need to recheck your data - I been playing warlock since day 1, and I know for a fact imp is slow at switching.
You're missing the point; the fact that it takes time to switch doesn't matter. That time is not lost DPS. Imps use energy. (Celestalon)

Character / Items
Are you going to do something to tailor/trinket/enchant proc stacking in wod? encourages popping evry cd in opener cos procs lineup
Yes. We'll be reducing the number of stacking procs and cooldowns from a variety of sources. (holinka)

DPS player wants to try healing for the 1st time: his basic gear changes to Int, but has no Spirit. Awful mana regen. Thoughts?
He needs to get jewelry made for healers. That's a huge change from today where he needs to get a full set of healing gear. (Celestalon)
But does it concern you that less informed players may think they're "ready" for healing once gear conveniently changes to Int?
At worst they try it, go OOM extremely quickly, ask around, or someone tells them, that they should get some Spirit. (Celestalon)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
How are old food/gems/chants going to work post stat squish? 300 stat food is massive with ilvl 90 stats.
Stats get squished everywhere, including all of those places you listed. (Celestalon)

PvP
can u cut this out in paper for someone whos main language isnt english? I dont get it. Resilience removed in WoD?
In MoP, damage is too high for player health pools so resil lowers damage. In WoD health pools will be relatively bigger. (holinka)
how "relatively"? In Mop it feels like health pools would need to be doubled to keep pace with damage.
Starting point we're playing with is doubling health, crits are 150% (down from 200%) and healing up 50% (holinka)
Wonder how that's gonna fix, going by only health pools it results in slower kills, still spiky as hell dmg/heal.
It's possible that some damage reduction will have to remain. Point is to minimize it as much as possible. (holinka)
The numbers are just too big right now. It feels crappy to hit a mob for 200k and a player for 40k. (holinka)
less damage, more health and more healing? Maybe if the healers get interruptable again but with less interrupts against dd-caster
The health increase is a lot more than the healing increase. (holinka)
Yes, more health increase then healing increase. But I see no damage increase! Only less crit damage!
little to no resilience is a HUGE damage increase (holinka)

Will ALL crits be 150%, or will this just mean stack haste/readi/mastery in pvp?
Current thinking is all crits. (holinka)

theres a rumor going around that you said 1k is going to be the cutoff this season.... is 1k going to be cutoff?
Yes, we will only be considering players with a rating of 1000 or higher when determining rewards. (holinka)
1000 is the point where players have commit to more than just trying arena. The # of rewards will be similar to past seasons. (holinka)

what do you think of the idea for separate ratings for different specs?
I would have to give it more thought. My concerns would be confusion and possible exploitation. (holinka)

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This article was originally published in forum thread: Warlords of Draenor Developer Interview, Random Battleground Queue Times, Blue Tweets started by chaud View original post
Comments 69 Comments
  1. Cyno's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by robblerobble View Post
    I'm open for someone to explain to me how you can make a "hard heroic like bc" without there being a time limit. That's what I initially wanted as well, but I really can't come up with any scenario where that works. The mobs in challenge modes hurt, there are a lot of 1 shot mechanics. If I went in there with my group and we just took our time and cc everything and single target mobs down one at a time....that's easier, not to mention less fun. Ignore the time limit, current challenge mode dungeons are harder than bc heroics.
    Expect that current challenge modes are being done without a true healer just using for example an elemental shaman or hey you can go in with a three man team and still get gold. The current challenge modes just aren't that hard and just comes down to knowing what to do to bypass whatever mechanics you can and how much aoe the group can do.

    Project 3 man
  1. Grand Phoenix's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Immitis View Post
    gonna be pretty tough to write a story thats darker than mists without being overly dark just for the sake of being overly dark
    I'm wondering the same thing. How do you make a story darker without changing the game's T rating, and will there be moments like the Purge of Dalaran that will be even more morally ambiguous that makes the story "harder" for players to settle on? It'd have to be borderline M to meet that criteria.
  1. furydeath's Avatar
    they are happy with the current business model.
    Who wouldn't be happy with the they give us all the money's model?
  1. Airwaves's Avatar
    "familiar mechanics". I DON'T WANT FAMILIAR MECHANICS! . That is what turned me off raiding in the end. It is no fun doing a boss that is doing the same moves one did 4 years ago! . It might be fine for new players but as someone who has raided for 7+ year it is just pure boredom.
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MCBGamer View Post
    Questing/World Events/Scenarios: X45 ilvl - Blue Gear
    Heroic Scenario (With Timed Event)/Normal 100 Dungeon - X55 ilvl - Blue Gear
    Heroic Dungeon (Without Timed Event)/LFR - X65 ilvl - Blue Gear
    Normal Raid - X75 ilvl - Purple Gear
    Heroic Raid - X85 - Purple Gear
    Mythic Raid - 95(105 WF) - Purple Gear
    You have a 50 ilvl difference in just 1 tier and you claim you solved the power creep? This is plain hilarious.
  1. Kathranis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Phoenix View Post
    I'm wondering the same thing. How do you make a story darker without changing the game's T rating, and will there be moments like the Purge of Dalaran that will be even more morally ambiguous that makes the story "harder" for players to settle on? It'd have to be borderline M to meet that criteria.
    M rating pretty much just means the game has "intense" violence or sexual content.

    You don't need an M rating to tell a mature story.

    None of the Warcraft games have had an M rating.
  1. Fool's Avatar
    of course they are happy with the current model. subscription AND a cash shop. who would pass that up as long as fanboys have nothing against it.
  1. Cyno's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomana View Post
    You have a 50 ilvl difference in just 1 tier and you claim you solved the power creep? This is plain hilarious.
    You do understand that's right in line with mop at release right? Back when mop released a fresh 90 would be able to pick up a few 450 ilvl blues before going into heroics (463) which would lead into MSV (489) which would lead into HoF/ToES (496) and finally heroic raids (502-516).
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyno View Post
    You do understand that's right in line with mop at release right? Back when mop released a fresh 90 would be able to pick up 450 ilvl blues before going into heroics (463) which would lead into MSV (489) which would lead into HoF/ToES (496) and finally heroic raids (502-516).
    Yeah, but that is PRECISELY what caused the MOP power creep XDDD
    So, someone who claims he "solved the power creep" by using a "solution" leading to power creep is indeed hilarious.
  1. Bakis's Avatar
    Warlords of Draenor has a harder and darker story than Mists of Pandaria did.
    Cool now more WoW aimed at children still breastfeeding.
  1. Aesahaettr's Avatar
    So WoD's story will be darker?

    That's cool, but MoP had a pretty dark storyline itself. But of course, some dipshits can't get past "OMG Kung FU Pandas are for Children!!", even despite MoP having some incredibly dark moments, and having a greater focus upon the Horde / Alliance conflict than the other expansions.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I also like the comments on the 1st page going on about how speedruns don't equate to TBC, and that Blizzard are missing the point, even though the paragraph directly above the one they quote says "but the focus is on speed and not as much on having to use as much CC, so they don't capture the essence of Burning Crusade era Heroics."

    - - - Updated - - -

    So Blizzard are well aware that speed has nothing to do with the supposed difficulty of TBC heroics. Which weren't that hard anyway.
  1. Masternewt's Avatar
    Love these interviews ... "We had an idea to do A, B and C, but we're not doing any of those, so we'll just do the same stuff we already did for 8 years with minimal changes."

    I guess when you have millions paying for scraps, why bother.
  1. Schwert's Avatar
    Combination of them thinking arenas weren't "good" in BC despite massive reward levels and participation - and the cut for spots this season - really makes me not want to keep subbing for PvP.

    Yes; It was imbalanced in PvP - but people felt like it was actually worth doing. 2's at least gave rewards (And had the same issues it had now - Honk honk.) and it's getting old that I see nothing but BC gladiator drakes over Cataclysm/MoP ones. Only WoTLK one I see now ways most likely due to model issues is Wrathful.
    The only reason more classes are viable is because of bad game mechanics that make it unfun. (Lava Burst Globals, Stupid Tanky Warriors, Ice Lance Spam, Unhealable Unholy Damage, LolHunterCC/Damage, Cyclone Spamming.)

    After two patches of doing nothing but this crap I have no idea why the hell they think this is fine for an MMORPG end game PvP system.

    wPvP zone doesn't provide similar rewards I'm out. I don't want to play this imbalanced crap anymore.
  1. SteveZombie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gohanitos View Post
    more expansionS after Wod LOL thought was just one more, will this be a 15 year old game and more? omg
    So who told you there was going to be just one more expansion?
  1. Lierial's Avatar
    it's no small wonder, how their opionens change ... just 2 or 3 months ago it was : wow will never be going f2p model, and now : There are no plans for going free to play right now ......

    which says that f2p isn't far off
  1. Sainur's Avatar
    Fuck yes. I absolutely love, and also looking forward to most of these changes.

    Lets just hope Blizzard doesn't go any furtherer with the Shop. The line has already been crossed.
  1. SteveZombie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lierial View Post
    it's no small wonder, how their opionens change ... just 2 or 3 months ago it was : wow will never be going f2p model, and now : There are no plans for going free to play right now ......

    which says that f2p isn't far off
    There's something about that attitude I'm really fond of.
    'Any plans to go F2P in the forseeable future?'
    'Nope.'
    MMO-Champion headline: F2P confirmed, likely coming next week.
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveZombie View Post
    There's something about that attitude I'm really fond of.
    'Any plans to go F2P in the forseeable future?'
    'Nope.'
    MMO-Champion headline: F2P confirmed, likely coming next week.
    It's not just on MMO-champion forums, it's everywhere and it's called modern journalism
  1. zeuseason's Avatar
    One idea that came up for Warlords of Draenor was offering a chance of LFR level rewards for completing hard dungeons with a deliberate pace. This would give players that wanted more challenging content a way to do harder content with friends and still be rewarded well.
    Great. 25 totally random players mass running thru unknown content as fast as possible. Here's the scenario: go go go go wipe drop raid
  1. amani's Avatar
    f2p would be implemented in a patch or at latest the addon after WoD. Why? Its simple.

    After they lose 1.3kk subs down to 8kk 2013, their profit goes down to 90kk Dollar - down from 2xx kk Dollar.

    When WoD is finally released at end August - mid September, the subs would be beelding out maybe to 5-6 kk , so 1.5 - 2.5k lesser subs than now.
    This would make the profit fall down near zero.

    WoD Launch would give some extra money, cus of the -in best case- 2kk sold copys. But it will be like MoP, when MoP released subs climbed up from 9kk to 10,3 k. We all know how much subs are right now, about 7-7,5kk , near 3 million losses. The subs will go maybe up again to 7kk, but after few months it goes down, like it goes down since WotLK. It will not take so long when they hit the 5kk subs, and they have to reduce turnover much to be profit with 5kk subs.

    Why do u think they said at blizzcon they want to release every year a new expac? Cus they knew that the subs will be falling down to the point where there is no profit - and this is the main reason for a joint-stock company.

    The game is getting really old, there are every few months new MMOs who maybe are not the size as WoW is, but enough to lure some bored and weary wow players to try it. Maybe for few months, maybe forever (=they are not coming back to wow).
    If Wildstar and Eso and Destiny only get 2kk WOW Players, which is not exaggerated much, what do u think would happen if at this time the subs go down to 4kk..

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