MMO-Champion - Warlords of Draenor Dev Interview, Feb 24 Hotfixes, Old AV, Blue Tweets, DLC #429
Reaper of Souls - Pre-Order Loot Revealed

EU Swiss Decklists, Jotto's Weekly: Fight Night S04E03 Breakdown

Valla, the Demon Hunter D3:RoS Pre-Order Unlock Confirmed, Skin Preview: Angelic Valla

Warlords of Draenor Developer Interviews
There were a few developer interviews at the recent press events, so today we are taking a look at interviews with Ion Hazzikostas from videogameszone.de.


Beta / Misc
  • Beta is Soon™
  • The team has been working hard since Blizzcon to make the content. The team has even added another boss to the Highmaul raid since Blizzcon!
  • Gul'dan isn't the threat in Warlords of Draenor, Grommash and the Iron Horde are. Gul'dan might even be an ally against them.

Classes and Races
  • Casters have slightly too many instant cast spells, especially healers that can keep themselves alive without ever using a spell with a cast time.
  • Melee used to be the masters of damage on the move compared to ranged, but over time ranged got more and more abilities that allowed them to do damage on the move.
  • Many classes will have talents that change depending on your spec. For example, From Darkness, Comes Light is really two talents built into one spell. This results in either talents that are bland or talents that do two separate things.
  • When it makes sense in Warlords of Draenor one spec may have one talent option, while another spec will have access to another. Almost all of the Level 100 talents work this way, and some older talents will also work like this.
  • For example, the Mage Bomb talent row could have all three bomb spells consolidated into one talent, which gives the mage a bomb based on their spec. This would free up two spaces on that row for more talent choices.
  • No brown skin for Orc players is planned right now, but the team has heard all of the player interest in subraces.

Dungeons and Scenarios
  • Mists of Pandaria Heroic dungeons were too easy for many players, which was somewhat necessary due to not having Normal difficulty dungeons at Level 90. Warlords of Draenor fixes this by having both Normal and Heroic dungeons at Level 100.
  • Normal dungeons will likely be similar to the Mists of Pandaria Heroic dungeon difficulty, while Heroic will be more challenging.
  • Raid Finder will be balanced around players having gear from Normal difficulty dungeons.
  • Gear progression will likely use Normal difficulty dungeons to gear up for Raid Finder and Heroic difficulty dungeons to gear up for Normal difficulty raids.
  • The Challenge Mode daily quest in Warlords of Draenor will give you a piece of epic gear that is on par with or better than Raid Finder loot, even before Raid Finder and maybe even the raids are open. This is awarded to anyone who completes the dungeon, meaning that there is no time requirement.
  • Warlords of Draenor leveling will make use of some solo scenarios at the end of a zone, similar to what we saw on Isle of Thunder.

Raids
  • Highmaul is very non-linear, with a layout that is similar to Firelands (open outdoor area with some optional bosses before the two final bosses).
  • Blackrock Foundry has a layout that is similar to the second part of Icecrown Citadel, with three wings of three bosses each. You can do the wings in any order you want, gaining access to Blackhand after all three are complete.
  • Less linear structures work better for players and feel better, so that is what will be used going forward.
  • There isn't a separate raid tier for each Warlord, and we may even see two or three in the first raid tier.

World Bosses
  • Attempts at creating a hard World Boss haven't worked out very well.
  • Sha of Anger may have been the most successful world boss in Mists of Pandaria. It was accessible, felt epic, and you could see him while leveling.
  • Three different world bosses are planned for Patch 6.0. Initially one boss may be available, with Highmaul quality loot. Then a few weeks later, a second world boss could unlock that drops Foundry quality loot. Much later in the tier, a third world boss could unlock that drops some Heroic raid quality gear.
  • If a world boss gives rewards that are better than anything you could get if you aren't a high end raider (Ordos), it diminishes the importance of raid zones. If rewards aren't that good, players will start raiding and the world boss won't be relevant anymore.

Ion
  • Finally joining Twitter has been nice, as it gives Ion a direct channel of communication with players and a way to share information with players. He doesn't want to share much new information about the expansion there though, as he feels it should come through the official sites.
  • Ion was a practicing lawyer for several years, as well as a hardcore WoW player from Day 1. He got to know some of the devs through playing and offering feedback, applied to Blizzard, and now he is the Lead Encounter Designer.


Patch 5.4.7 Hotfixes - February 24
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
  • Priest (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
    • Shadow
      • Resolved an issue where using an instant cast spell while under the effects of Spectral Guise was incorrectly causing the cooldown for Psychic Horror to reset.

Pet Battle
  • Resolved an issue where players on some Battlegroups were unable to queue for PvP Pet Battles.
  • Elemental pets should now correctly be taking less damage while the Sandstorm effect is active.

Old Alterac Valley
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Man, lots of nostalgia thinking about oldschool AV. I spent a LOT of time in there during Classic. Spending hours pushing back and forth until finally we were able to overtake a bunker and just get that minor foothold, and then scrambling to defend it... good times.

It's a feeling we'd definitely like to bring back to the game in some way. We're not sure that today's AV is really the best place to do that though. When you queue for a random battleground, you generally expect that battle to last maybe 15-20 minutes or so. It wouldn't really feel great to see your queue pop, click to join, and then see the AV loading screen and know you could be in there for hours.

But like I said, we definitely want to see those huge battles in WoW again. Ashran (our new world PvP zone in Warlords) takes a ton of inspiration from those early Alterac Valley battles. It's designed to be an epic tug-of-war style battle, where you can either take direct part of the battle on the front lines, or work towards various other objectives that will support your faction in the main push. It's not a quick fight that's over in under an hour -- it's something that could take days before either side can claim a real victory, and you're rewarded for just participating even if you're not there for the final push.

We really want Ashran to hit that same chord that Alterac Valley did when it was first added, and we think we can pull it off. Can't wait for you guys to get your hands on it.

You could bring back the old AV by simply removing it from the random battleground queue and making a queue system solely for AV. Or you could keep the current fast version in the random BG queue, and bring back the old version as a "Classic Alterac Valley" queue that isn't part of the random BG. I don't honestly think it would be all that hard for you guys to implement, considering you must have the old Alterac Valley files still on hand at Blizz HQ.
That's something we've talked about. It's still a possibility, but it's not quite as easy to pull off as just restoring some old files. Remember, the game has changed a lot over the past 9 years. We'd rather spend that time working on something brand new.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
Thoughts on Searing Totem with a CD? HST has been a rewarding design. Seems essential for totem to feel meaningful.
Unlike healing cooldowns, DPS cooldowns, especially short ones, are mostly used on CD. Much less interesting. Even maintenancey. (Celestalon)

When making new abilities, do you prefer to design around art assets you already have, or to get new ones made up for them?
Prefer to get new ones, as time allows. Feels more special, impressive, and fun when you get something new, not recycled. (Celestalon)
We have to recycle art assets sometimes due to the realities of game development, but we try to minimize it, and hide it as we can. (Celestalon)
IMO recycled art is a good thing if it results in extra dungeons and bigger raids
Spell FX and dungeons/raids/scenarios/world/etc are *usually* different artists. (Celestalon)

Are there any combat concepts that you avoid when designing because the engine doesn't handle them well, or at all?
Hmm... Well, we've learned what limitations to respect (as few as they are). For example, reliance on split second reaction times. (Celestalon)

What do you think about this idea: Spells that instead of having a set cast time, becomes stronger the longer you cast them?
It's something we've toyed with. Hard (but not impossible) to design interesting choices of when you want to let it go off. (Celestalon)
Most spell designs would either be optimal to let loose right away, or after as long as possible. Fun ones would be in between. (Celestalon)
What about arcane blast stacks on a smart heal? If you spam it, you go oom quickly, but you have that burst option.
Saving Grace ends up with similar gameplay to that. (Celestalon)

when designing stuff, what sort of ping do you allow for? eg we average 200-300 from Australia yet usa is sub 100
We try to make sure the game feels playable for up to 500ms, but fudge it occasionally if we're short on other choices (AR). (Celestalon)

What is the defensive value of vengeance?
It does things like increase the healing of Word of Glory, the absorption of Shield Barrier, etc. (Celestalon)
Why not completely remove vengeance? Why does a tank need to get hit hard to be effective?
So that things like Shield Block and Shield Barrier can stay competitive with each other. (Celestalon)

Will the change to vengeance in WoD make it once again extremely painful to level as a tank? -10 internet points if thats a yes.
No, opposite. A) You have basically no vengeance while questing/soloing. B) Tank damage will be *MUCH* higher without Vengeance. (Celestalon)

but won't that mean that doing solo content/leveling in tank spec will be a burden again?
Not at all. Your damage will be *much* higher without Vengeance. (Celestalon)

Character / Items
Will there be any difference between a heroic, normal or flex heirloom weapon while leveling a character up to 100?
While leveling, yes. Higher tier is stronger. The gap narrows as you level, until they're identical at level 100. (Celestalon)
Do we know how they'll compare to gear available at L100 (ending quest gear, pre-raid blues, etc.)?
I believe tweeted details on that. I think they were equal to dungeon blues? Not sure, offhand. (Celestalon)

Art
Would <3 visible backpacks beltsatchels potions poisons. Check out this custom fan model. http://t.co/sXMWskUego
I like your ideas man, and that backpack is great. Thanks for taking the time to make these suggestions. (artofcgrobinson)

Would you happen to know if Moonkin form models are being tweaked in WoD to complement character model updates?
They are not. (holinka)

PvP
Instead of "Rank 1" titles being awarded to the top 0.1% would it not make more sense to just give it to the top 40 in 3s, 65 in 5s
Different regions have different numbers of players (holinka)

With the high BF currently, I think it's fine even in arena. Not all that different from Void Shift or UE+NS/GHW.
They are balanced around not having it. It doesn't make sense to make it usable then make it unusable a patch later. (holinka)

Will we see any changed in divine shield and lay on hands in arena? In my opinion Lay on hands should be able to use then bob.
Agree that at current tuning, LoH wouldn't be outrageous, but as soon as Warlords hits we'd have to change it back. (holinka)

Can you tell me why target marking is disabled in arena groups?
it's disabled on player targets in general (holinka)
Is there a gameplay reason for that though? Or better said would it be problem to enable it?
Yes, visibility mechanics in the game that marking would render moot. Line of sight being the most obvious one. (holinka)

little Q: What if "swap spec" become an instant ability(CD) usable in combat? i fell would be nice4PvP.
We don't want people switching specs in combat. (holinka)

Dark Legacy Comics #429
DLC #429 has been released!

This article was originally published in forum thread: Warlords of Draenor Dev Interview, Feb 24 Hotfixes, Old AV, Blue Tweets, DLC #429 started by chaud View original post
Comments 92 Comments
  1. Frostshaitan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mmaker View Post
    Wow that world boss explanation shows they totally lost it. They are only talking about loot, accessibility and why players should kill it. WHAT? The ONLY reason you would put a boss outside in the open world is to create drama and world pvp.
    Isnt this a common theme from blue posts, this talk about loot and what/how a players should play or how the player get access to loot? Where is the dynamic gameplay talk. A sandbox mmorpg game should by dynamic with events that players create not by the developers. Developers give you the tools, players use them how they want it.

    And sorry Sha of Anger didnt feel epic at all. Opposite faction interfered very rarely because they knew that not attacking would get them rewards faster since the respawntimer is so short. And since the respawntimer is so short the epicness of the boss goes down aswell. Boss was to easy too.
    Proper world boss = one week spawn, spawns in the evening, mythic gear drops, hard as mythic boss(but since you can have outside help it becomes more easier, but the mechanics and damage should be atleast mythic power).
    Honestly, the world bosses were made to replace voa and baradin hold style raids. I for one loved seeing Sha sat in kunlai while first leveling up and liked the fight itself. I dont think that world basses should have super long spawn timers. Being Alliance on a Horde dominated server at the start of mists meant that alliance never ever got a galleon kill until they changed his spawn time, which was somewhat frustrating. Also mythic difficulty world bosses is kinda dumb and defeats the objective of the current world bosses, might as well make an actual raid for them and only an insanely small population of the player base would even be able to kill them. Also in regards to the world pvp side of things. If the opposite faction lets you finish the boss because they want their loot quicker then it generally means that they dont give 2 shits about world pvp and just want their loot quickly. The vast majority of players dont want to spend 4 hours per week fighting over a rare spawn.
  1. |Dexter|'s Avatar
    The team has been working hard since Blizzcon to make the content. The team has even added another boss to the Highmaul raid since Blizzcon! LOL! so they just make it up on the spot and after really work to make the content lol :P
  1. kevins's Avatar
    [QUOTE=taheen74;25588288]Hunters aren't casters- in fact they work a lot different than casters do and have a resource system that gets completely depleted in 3 shots. Hunter's are more akin to ranged rogues than they are to casters.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That may very well be however all casters are ranged and hunters are ranged and if I am not mistaken most if not all hunter's abilities do not require them to stand still...next best thing to instant..
  1. Straamibuu's Avatar
    As a heal-y Monk, have a couple of instants but they are either CD's (so like every other class, CD's are always instant) or healing sphere, of which I could spam but rapidly drain my mana, grant no chi and in pvp aren't all that effective with a couple of dps on you.

    But without them, since everything else is based on channelling to work effectively I'd just get locked out permanently :[
  1. Darmalus's Avatar
    Melee need a few long-cast interruptible spells as part of their primary rotation. Share the pain once instants are removed.
  1. Doomchicken's Avatar
    I don't think Gul'dan will be a proper ally. If he is it'd be the most retarded thing blizzard has ever written.

    Lets think of this from a LOGIC standpoint.

    From Horde P.O.V.
    - Unless the Orcs are the dumbest fucks of all time, they know their own timeline history and know just how much of an evil douche bag Gul'dan was.
    - They KNOW that their green skin is from demonic corruption, so they'd only have to take one look at him to guess what the deal with him is.

    From Alliance P.O.V

    -Again, unless the alliance knows nothing about their own history and whom the power players of the horde were, there's no way in hell they'd trust him
    - Even if they didn't know about Gul'dan, recent current time line events has the current time line alliance not trusting the Orcs at all and alternate time line Draenei are at war with the Orcs, so again, not likely to trust a mysterious green skinned Orc under any condition.

    So, if he was to be an ally, how would it make sense? The only thing I could possibly think of is maybe he disguises himself, gives a fake name and claims to be an Orc from our current time line, but even then, would it be that hard to discover the ruse? Otherwise, maybe feed information through servants or letters or some other non face to face communication, but even then in the end regardless of what he does it'd end up being for the purpose of serving the legion. He won't be our true friend, that's for damn sure. Not unless Blizzard have truly lost their fucking minds.
  1. Yig's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ForEachD2M View Post
    What about quivers? Are they going to bring them back cosmetically? I want to see arrows on the back of my bow-wielding hunter...
    Yes, they are planning on this. They also are planning on other flavor for classes, like Paladin librams on your belt or in your hand and Robinson asked for other examples. That's actually where I mentioned backpacks when he asked for other ideas like quivers from players we'd like to see, that's my tweet up there asking about backpacks, satchels, potions, etc.

    I'm a celebrity!
    Anways, you should get on Twitter too and hound Chris Robinson about quivers. I do not play a hunter because it feels ridiculous, I love the ranger archetype Robin Hood/Legolas type character, but they look naked without a quiver on their shoulder or hip.

    Even when we had cosmetic quivers, they used to disappear based on how you had your weapon sheathed and in you were in combat. They need to fix that too. Permanently have your quiver showing.

    Sign on on Twitter and bug them about quivers. We need more people bugging them.
    https://twitter.com/artofcgrobinson
  1. Geish's Avatar
    Melee will get their mobility gutted if that change gets out of beta. Some may forget (or didn't play back then) but there was a time when there were very little instant casts, and it worked by melee being snareable and avoidable and only few classes having interrupts. Hunters can be "mobile casters" as long as they get minimum range back. Interesting to see how it goes, all it takes is rolling back few years of changes, but the whine from pve'rs will be massive.
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by |Dexter| View Post
    The team has been working hard since Blizzcon to make the content. The team has even added another boss to the Highmaul raid since Blizzcon! LOL! so they just make it up on the spot and after really work to make the content lol :P
    I wonder if that new boss came in expense of a raid tier.
  1. dannypoos's Avatar
    Looking forward to Ashran. I can see me spending to much time there xD I wonder if it's a good place to get honer/conquest. Also with the casters losings instants I not sure if it will affect me as I think I'm going to play my shadow priest. but then again they could remove the procs for instant mind blasts and FDCL lets hope not xD
  1. Tenjen's Avatar
    what they're saying concerning the world bosses sounds like a fine plan. It makes the world better for having them. We have plenty of regular bosses. The stuff that goes o nwith world bosses is simply part of the spice.

    Only ordos was significant in annoyance levels because of the small location, large population of people located on the island and the dozen or more adds behind you with massive multi-hit damage abilities allowing for trolls to screw with you. But he can be reset easy enough and respawns even quicker (sometimes a bit too quick, best not to linger after looting)
  1. otaXephon's Avatar
    I'm surprised nobody asked Ion about his stint at Veridian Dynamics.

Site Navigation