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. Salech'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.
    They most certainly are not.
  1. Osmeric's Avatar
    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.

    More likely, they were removed because they were hopelessly corrupted. I have characters that have never done arena that had all sorts of ridiculous (non-zero) arena stats.
  1. Azrile's Avatar
    I can´t believe the devs are so bad about understanding BC heroic dungeons. The problem is ALL about audience. You cannot design a ´heroic´ dungeon and have it be based around PUGs and LFG.

    Let me give you some ideas about what makes a heroic dungeon heroic

    1. Needs CD - If there are 4 mobs alive doing damage, it is too much for your healer.
    2. Needs priority in kill order
    3. Timed!! - No not with some stupid UI timer, but instead with pats. You have 4 mobs you need to kill.. 4 other mobs pat into that group, then leave.. You have just enough time after the pat leaves to kill the first 4 mobs before the pats return. If one of the original mobs is alive, it is doable, but stressful and the tank needs to pick up the 4 pats.
    4. DPS need to do stuff - Not only with kill order, but with picking up adds, kiting, interacting with the environment etc.

    The problem is all of that stuff requires coordination, and cannot and SHOULD NOT be available in LFG. Cata heroics were perfect.. the problem was they were available to pugs who didn´t have the coordination or patience to learn them. This is especially true of DPS. in LFG and PUGs, you literally cannot count on dps to hopefully dps the right target. That is the reason Cata heroics were fails.. they were pugged by dps who did nothing but dps.
  1. barrsftw's Avatar
    Seems like scaling honor with wait time would be a pretty solid fix no?
  1. Manhands's Avatar
    The devil is in the details.

    How do you force the use of methodical pulls and CC?

    One way is multiple healers in each pack. But why not just pull everything, chain AoE stun, and AoE everything?
    Okay, so make the healers immune to stun. But they would still need to be interruptible. So now the groups with a prot pally can still pull everything and aoe.
    Okay, so make the incoming damage intense. Bring an absorb healer (looking at you, disc priests) and a prot pally so you can still pull everything and aoe.
    Okay, so nerf absorb healing (needs to happen, anyway) and have 8 hard-hitting mobs in each pack. Now you have to bring dps that have cc. Leave those warriors, druids (root is only good against melee), death knights, and monks behind.

    So either they make the dungeons so challenging to the wrong group comp that people are frustrated and complain loudly...or make it easy enough that a well-built group still just AoEs all the shit.
  1. Durgga's Avatar
    For challenge modes instead of having a time limit to the dungeon, they should have a limited number of times you can wipe to gain the gold / silver / bronze. Make the dungeon ramped up and give the players a once a week limit before the limit is reset, and make it based on the individual not the group so people can group with different people and it wont matter. I don't understand why they didn't do this in the first place, time trial anything sucks.
  1. mmaker's Avatar
    Jesus christ they are so clueless what casuals want. We dont want a herioc 5man with any sort of time component. Casuals tend to take random breaks and should be able to do that without feeling the stress to come back super fast. Also, all sorts of mechanics to make a dungeon harder outside mechanics from the bosses removes all RP elements from the dungeon and its bosses. This is a MMORPG game is it not? This is important for the goal to make a 5 man to feel like a mini herioc max raid, thats what casuals want. We want some cool shit 5 man herioc dungoen with maybe some little RP history and fun hard gameplay.
  1. EuropeanSon's Avatar
    I think the reason why they're taking in consideration a time limit is because otherwise those dungeons would be too easy, given the abilities we have at our disposal now. Almost every class can CC, AOE, interrupt, self-heal and so on, in TBC it wasn't like that and that's the reason why some dungeons were impossible without particular classes.
  1. Pacster's Avatar
    *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.*

    Makes me wonder when was the last time that ANYONE at Blizz tried playing a shadow in 2vs2...let alone 1vs1?????????

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