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. Shudder's Avatar
    No news on a 4th shop button?
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zeuseason View Post
    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
    I believe the original quote refers to 5-man BC-ish level heroics not random players.
  1. LatexIdo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MCBGamer View Post
    What they should do:

    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

    Holy crap guys...... I just solved a massive power creep..... can I get a job now?
    There's already to much gear layers, and you want to add more ? + it increases the exponential factor of the power curve...

    what about just 4 lvl ?

    Questing / scenario / normal dungeon
    Heroic dungeon / LFR
    Normal raid
    Mythic raid

    With LFR / new dungeon as a catch up system for the next tier, the ilvl increase should not be massive.
    I don't understand why Blizzard want to keep the 4 raid difficulties pattern when 3 is more than enough (imho 2 is enough, but I guess removing lfr would be a bit extreme).
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Schwert View Post
    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.
    The massive participation in arenas for TBC was due to the fact that the arena gear was actually BiS for PvE, especially weapons for melee. Will always remember doing arenas to get at least weapons and gloves (the effects like increasing crusader strike dmg, etc...).
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by VanishO2 View Post
    The massive participation in arenas for TBC was due to the fact that the arena gear was actually BiS for PvE, especially weapons for melee. Will always remember doing arenas to get at least weapons and gloves (the effects like increasing crusader strike dmg, etc...).
    Yeah, arena gloves were nice to have as holy pally as well for that 2% crit chance on Flash of light as well.
  1. Enril's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathranis View Post
    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.
    M rating means more than just those 2 things , have u ever played witcher 2?
  1. Cafua's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sainur View Post
    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.
    I really don't get why there's still hate for the shop. Honestly we already have tons of max levels who have no idea what they're doing so buying 90s isn't going to be a big deal. But please explain more reasons as to why this is bad.


    On topic: love these changes, really psyched for WoD!
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Darkness77 View Post
    M rating means more than just those 2 things , have u ever played witcher 2?
    M rating means (quote from the ESRB site): "May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language."
  1. badaku's Avatar
    The PVP changes look really good.

    "Arena prep times might be slightly too long." Perhaps they should let the people decide, and add a ready check button?
  1. Dagamier's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomana View Post
    M rating means (quote from the ESRB site): "May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language."
    Ooooh Jaina Proudmoore sexual content? With the new character models, meow.
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dagamier View Post
    Ooooh Jaina Proudmoore sexual content? With the new character models, meow.
    WoW is T rated. I'm not saying WOD will be M rated either.
  1. TeeZed's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mementomori1993 View Post
    "There is still an audience for Burning Crusade difficulty Heroic dungeons. One idea that came up for Warlords of Draenor was having a speed challenge that would offer a chance of LFR level rewards. This would give players that wanted more challenging content a way to do harder content with friends and still be rewarded well."

    Oooookaaaaay......so uhm.....like challenge modes with gear rewards? Seems a little odd. Why not just make a harder than heroic difficulty with better gear and call it a day?
    lol I was a bit lost too
  1. theripfire's Avatar
    oh you silly droid's you don't know what you want beside stuff that all for you like say harder heroics? i for one don't want to queue up in raid gear wait 40mins or more! and then spend 2 or 3 hours in a heroic, i'm surprised most of you want that which is very mind boggling, think before speaking droid's!
  1. McNeil's Avatar
    For a game that doesn't plan to go F2P anytime soon sure likes to use the F2P MODEL a lot for that extra cash.........

    And it won't be hard to have a harder and darker story than MoP
  1. Malkazam's Avatar
    There are no plans for going free to play right now, as they are happy with the current business model.
    No shet, sherlock !

    Money with the free-to-play store and money with the sub.

    Damn right they are happy !
  1. Desbris's Avatar
    Blizzard said "In MoP, damage is too high for player health pools so resil lowers damage. In WoD health pools will be relatively bigger."

    I thought health pools were going to be scaled down, now they say it's going up???
  1. Tomana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Desbris View Post
    I thought health pools were going to be scaled down, now they say it's going up???
    Keyword is "relatively". HP may go down, but if damage goes down even more, the relative HP pool goes up.
  1. smcn's Avatar
    The long queue times are due to the fact that every Horde player with a brain blacklists Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest. Proof? Un-blacklist them and the queue will pop in about 2 minutes, and guess which BG it will be.
  1. Bischof's Avatar
    This speed challenge idea ....

    They forgot some important thing about TBC: Not every TANK had an aoe tankspell back in the days and you know what? AGGRO was a problem, even for healers god damnit. THIS was the challenge. Looking at your group and overthink what we had there. A warlock and a tankwarrior..oh fuck here comes the seed of AoeAggroPainInTheAss. Cleave hit only 3 and thunderclap 4 targets. Only paladins had a godly aoe tankspell. This was hard. Tanking as a warrior in shattered citadel with less cc or even NO cc sometimes. But is was goddamn fun. Except for the healer, I think some died because of stress
  1. Bruin's Avatar
    HOLD UP

    Can you all please please PLEASE stop misquoting and ranting the heroic dungeon/speed challenge thing?

    The quote in the news summary is: "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."; the actual quote from the interview is: However, in Challenge Mode right now, the focus is so much on speed you don’t get that feeling of having to go through and mark your CC, polymorph that, sap that, for example. But we’re actually exploring the possibility of having Challenge Modes, as well as the speed component, also offer a chance at some gear rewards, LFR quality perhaps, so someone who doesn’t want to do LFR can do some hard content with friends and get epics that way.

    In NEITHER case, does it say "we wanted to have a speed challenge that offers LFR rewards". What it DOES say is: We want to have an option for players that want harder heroics but it needs a time component to it.

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