MMO-Champion - Warlords of Draenor Dev Interview, Season 15 Begins, Season 14 Titles, Blue Tweets
Diablo III - Patch 2.0.1 Notes

Hearthside Chat - Art with Ben Thompson

Planned Alpha Wipe with Reward for Testing Real Money Purchase, Datamined Facts Behind the Heroes Free to Play Model

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 Eurogamer and Brian Holinka from PlayersCut.

Eurogamer
  • The Level 90 boost is being sold to allow players that would have purchased multiple copies of WoW to get more Level 90 characters to do so in a more reasonable way.
  • The price point was decided upon to avoid devaluing the accomplishment of leveling a character to 90.
  • If Blizzard's goal was to sell as many boosts as possible, they would have set the price lower.
  • The price point wasn't selected to maximize profit, just to represent the amount of time that it takes to level to 90.

PlayersCut
  • The team has already started planning for the next two expansions.
  • Removing arena teams was an important part of increasing participation in arenas.
  • There is a lot of Garrison content that comes from having followers.
  • Patch 6.0 isn't the end of new content for Garrisons, as more content can be added as the expansion progresses.
  • The devs know that some kind of Garrison PvP sounds really cool, but there aren't any solid plans yet.
  • Ashran has a lot of players taking part in the battle, but they are spread out so that performance doesn't suffer. Ashran has a fortress for each faction, as well as capture points spread around the outside of the zone that are beneficial to hold. There will likely be a larger central battle with other battles going on around the outer part of the zone.
  • There aren't any plans for mobile content for WoW right now.
  • The technology for character model animation was finally at a point where models could updated for this expansion. Character models had also started to look outdated compared to some of the newer art assets in the game. The Pandaren were the test for new character models, and using lessons learned from them the team can update all of the other races.
  • There are so many older armor models that it isn't possible to go back and update them all. The team can use them as inspiration for new armor sets though.


PvP Season 15 Begins
Season 15 gear uses the same models as Season 14, but with different colors available to each faction.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
With weapons at the ready and armor secured, it’s time to kick off PvP Season 15! The playing field is even once more, and this is your chance to prove that true grit and steely determination are what it takes to become a champion. So grab your most trusted companions and teach your enemies the true definition of fear!

Before you set foot in an Arena or on a Battleground, keep in mind we’ve made a few changes this season:

  • Conquest gear is now Item Level 550
  • The Dampening debuff will be applied in 2v2 matches 5 minutes after the start of an Arena match, and games will reach a draw at 20 minutes. Dampening decreases the effectiveness of healing spells by 1% every 10 seconds.
  • Base Resilience is now 77% (up from 72%).
  • Battle Fatigue is now 65% (up from 55%).

Good luck, champions—may the most bloodthirsty warriors win!

Season 14 Titles
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
These titles and achievements were indeed given out erroneously, and we're in the process of applying some fixes that will remove them from characters below level 90.

One additional clarification, since we've seen this question come up elsewhere: These titles went out completely separately from the ladder, and thus did not affect the number of titles given to max-level players in any way. No one is missing titles due to this error.

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Classes
I'd like to point out Life Tap, which changes to a passive and maintains its bar position for destruction. I like that.
Seems like there has been much confusion about this tweet. It refers to how 3 active talents share 1 button without macros. (Celestalon)
What if it's a tier where one of the talents is passive? It will be an empty slot then?
Then we likely would not make the other two share a button like that. (Celestalon)
Couldn't talents be adjusted so that they can be made into one skill slot. Tiger's Lust is the only ability 1/2
No, we don't want to constrict our design space to 'only new buttons' or 'no new buttons' for a row. Mixtures are great sometimes (Celestalon)
So stuff like the warrior tier with Bladestorm etc
Yes; we could make Shockwave, Dragon Roar, and Bladestorm all share a button, so you don't have to swap after retalenting. (Celestalon)
Would it be Macro-able? Like "/cast Tier3Talent" or something?
Something like that. Mages already can do /cast Mage Bomb. (Celestalon)

Cool or Uncool: Instead of separate spells, procs like Pyro/MC change upgrade Fireball/Shadowbolt. #ButtonBloatProbz
We think we could do a lot more spell replacement. (holinka)

Personally, maintaining %dmg buffs is not interesting gameplay. There's a reason ISF got cut from Destro.
It depends on *how* you maintain it. If it just happens, it's just rampup. If your rotation molds around it, it can be cool/fun. (Celestalon)
could we rebalance lavalash to not require flame imbue? it doesnt feel like weapon imbues are optional at all
Weapon imbues are not intended to be optional. (Celestalon)
Not saying imbues should necces be passive, but if they are active they need to provide meaningful gameplay.
When you get to the point of complaining about the maintenance upkeep of a 1hr buff, that persists through death... (Celestalon)

What are your thoughts on passive immunities like dematerialize & subterfuge, Holinka? Are they staying for WoD?
Not committed to either staying. (holinka)

Art
Will the new char. models change Tauren male dual weilding's graphic to stop the left hand weapon from slanting to the left?
Yes; the latest in-progress version has the weapon turned around completely and clipping into your crotch. (I'd hope so.) (Dave_Maldo)

Character / Items
Why is there a need for catch up loot? Why are we encouraged to skip old tiers of content in every expac?
Many reasons. A big one is so that the playerbase is centralized; easier for guild recruiting, playing with friends, etc. (Celestalon)

Warlords of Draenor Stats
passive != fun! is math not fun? is altering your fantasy incarnation via the universal language useful?
We're not making stats more/less passive. Math is fun. I don't understand what your issue is. I suspect a misunderstanding. (Celestalon)
excuse my bad jokes. just that balancing stats, building different gear sets for different situations, etc, was a lot of fun. ->
And still will be. We're not getting rid of that, at all. (Celestalon)

Obv, I'm talking about Active Mitigation scaling. If Multistrike provides only dps/threat, it will be a garbage stat for tanks.
All secondary stats will be of defensive value for tanks. Some may be passive mitigation, some may be active mitigation. (Celestalon)

PvP
Can you please clarify the requirements for Hero of the Horde/Alliance?
let's say there's 1000 ppl above 1000, then top 5 get hero. If #5 doesn't have 50 games, then #6 gets hero. (holinka)

Have you guys considered random starting locations and horde v horde, af v af in random bgs? (maybe not all)
many players find the faction swap in RBGs quite jarring. Not something we want to expand on. (holinka)

I dont think you ever commented on what you think the prob is in AV/IOC. Thoughts?
IoC I blame mostly on a bug in 5.3 where Alliance could leave gates early and win most games. (holinka)
This damaged the hivemind view of Horde win chance in the bg and so sophisticated horde avoid it. (holinka)
AV has map problems, but Horde also avoid it, making the situation even worse. (holinka)
Some might think map design is only problem but even on mirrored maps, one faction fares better. (holinka)
Much obliged; very relieved to hear the AV map is suspect. I've said this for awhile. Thanks!
Woah, easy there. I said it has problems, but I'm not sure they are HUGE problems. (holinka)
Not to be rude but if you know AV has problems, why has nothing been done in 8+ years?
AV has gone through a lot of change in 8 years (holinka)

Final win to loss ratio 4 ally in ioc: 100 wins, 2 losses. How do devs look at those stats and call them fair-balanced?
We've been pretty clear on saying there's a problem but it's more complicated to fix than some players think. (holinka)

Heroes of the Storm - Illidan
Illidan is just one of the WoW characters that appear in Heroes of the Storm! (He also comes with a normal skin that we looked at recently)

This article was originally published in forum thread: Warlords of Draenor Dev Interview, Season 15 Begins, Season 14 Titles, Blue Tweets started by chaud View original post
Comments 101 Comments
  1. Geish's Avatar
    At launch they said that this game would ever sell anything with real money. Then they said that they will sell server transfers as a favour to us (instead of giving them free), but would never sell anything in-game related. Then they said that the mounts and whatnot are only cosmetic, and that they would never sell anything that has impact on the game. Now they are saying that they will never sell anything that has impact on max level, like gear, but I think everyone can see where we are headed in a couple of years with this trend.

    And all the pricing choices are to maximize profit from the game as a whole. So when they are playing the semantics game and telling you that they choose the price not to maximize the profit (from that one particular services), they are taking you as a fool. Don't be one.
  1. Arkthus's Avatar
    The $60 price point wasn't selected to maximize profit, just to represent the amount of time that it takes to level to 90.
    2 days of /played, which means a week playing each evening... So, it's not even worth 10$....
  1. Siddown's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zeuseason View Post
    This is none of the biggest piles of pigeon dung I've read in a long time. This is a pure money grab and devaluates everyone's characters that are 90 already.
    Please explain how someone else getting a boost to 90 in anyway your current level 90 characters in any negative way, or how it devaluates the fun you've already had with your character. Does all the fun and experiences you've had over the past six months suddenly disappear, like it's been sucked out of your consciousness?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Keosen View Post
    Really?Why they don't make boost costs 10 dollars then?
    I can assure you than the sales would be much more than the x6 needed to compensate the 50$ loss.
    I don't think you understand "pure capitalism" at all. Blizzard sells the item at what they feel is the right price. Maximizing profit off a single item is not always the best business decision if they feel it will negatively impact other profit centers (as in, Blizzard actually likes it when people level up because it requires more playing time which equals more subs).

    Plus the idea that they'd sell 600% more boosts at $10 v. $60 is just something you pulled out of your butt, you might be right, but I'm sure they've thought a bit more about their pricing structure than you have.
  1. IamTheJesusMonk's Avatar
    The $60 price point wasn't selected to maximize profit, just to represent the amount of time that it takes to level to 90.
    So...at $15 a month...they're claiming it takes 4 months to level to 90???? I call MAJOR BS. I highly doubt it takes more than 2 months (and that's at a pretty slow pace) to level to 90.

    Now personally I don't want to get involved in the "paid 90s are st00pid" debate or even the "$60 is stupid overpriced" debate...but I don't think anyone would argue that Blizz's reasoning for the pricing is flimsy at best.
  1. Eren Jaeger's Avatar
    I have a 90 of everything so I am glad this doesn't affect me! However, I think putting a price does help it not become less 'value' for those of us who actually leveled. People are complaining, level it to 90 for FREE then, lol.
  1. Arvandor's Avatar
    every little buyable xp or level in an rpg is pay to win.. wake up morons..
  1. papajohn4's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Trengor View Post
    What is so retarded or insulting about this? It's a perfectly good argument. The thing thay want to avoid is not a ton of people transfering characters. They want to avoid having people buying multiple accounts to get the boost. Restricting the transfer service for boosted characters wouldn't really solve anything as there is no doubt in my mind that the people who would buy a new account and expansions to get the boost would just play their new 90s on the separate accounts instead. The only difference between that and offering the boost in the store would be that these people woudn't have to switch accounts all the time.
    Sorry but I doubt someone will maintain many accounts just to play 1 90 on each of them...except if he uses these accounts for boting. But even in that very rare occasion, this player will still miss all the "account wide" benefits of the game.
  1. shoooter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by IamTheJesusMonk View Post
    So...at $15 a month...they're claiming it takes 4 months to level to 90???? I call MAJOR BS. I highly doubt it takes more than 2 months (and that's at a pretty slow pace) to level to 90.
    You can't compare it to how much the monthly sub costs, that has absolutely nothing to do with the price point. They are valuing the 48+ hours spent leveling from 1-90 at $60 because, believe me, just as many people would complain if they priced it lower. If you haven't leveled a 6th or 7th alt to 90 yet then I suggest you try, because it is gruellllling. Sure it's "easy", but if they valued that amount of time investment at $10 or $15 just as many people that went to the effort of leveling 1-90 manually would be insulted by the low price.
  1. Jensu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vovohard View Post
    BULLSHIT! If they didn't want this to be a thing, they could simply not give any boost at all, and keep the game a bit more respectful. Level boost is one of the worst P2W that exists.

    I don't think this is P2W b/c lvling is the easy part of the game and with heirlooms it's even easyer. Now if they sell gear that's P2W, being lvling 90 with no gear really means your not wanted from raids or anything. I lvled every class befor heirlooms well all but the monk and it was easy. I like the ideal of the free 90 and I think $60 is good too.
  1. La's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by shoooter View Post
    You can't compare it to how much the monthly sub costs, that has absolutely nothing to do with the price point. They are valuing the 48+ hours spent leveling from 1-90 at $60 because, believe me, just as many people would complain if they priced it lower. If you haven't leveled a 6th or 7th alt to 90 yet then I suggest you try, because it is gruellllling. Sure it's "easy", but if they valued that amount of time investment at $10 or $15 just as many people that went to the effort of leveling 1-90 manually would be insulted by the low price.
    Then maybe that's something they need to change much more than just offering heirlooms, because leveling from level 1 to fucking 100 at this point is just stupid. But at least you can spend $60 to skip it. And not even with heirlooms, if their goal is for 'new players who just bought the game' to have a way to get max characters, they should be increasing the xp gains without them by a whole lot. If their response is something like 'we don't want players to skip content' or 'we don't want players to skip zones' guess what? You just introduced a way to pay for that, so what do you care if someone wants faster xp?
  1. Jensu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by shoooter View Post
    You can't compare it to how much the monthly sub costs, that has absolutely nothing to do with the price point. They are valuing the 48+ hours spent leveling from 1-90 at $60 because, believe me, just as many people would complain if they priced it lower. If you haven't leveled a 6th or 7th alt to 90 yet then I suggest you try, because it is gruellllling. Sure it's "easy", but if they valued that amount of time investment at $10 or $15 just as many people that went to the effort of leveling 1-90 manually would be insulted by the low price.

    I would have to say if the price was like $10-$15 or even like $40 it would be very insulting. I lvled 11 90s ''every class'' yes it's too easy but the time to do it if your not 24h it sucks. I think $60 is ok I understand why it's that but like $80 or even $100 would have been ok with me.
  1. workhabits's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Arvandor View Post
    every little buyable xp or level in an rpg is pay to win.. wake up morons..

    the only thing you are winning is time. P2W is more like buying epic gear or any high end gear to be able to beat others easier and faster...

    Hearthstone is more P2W because you are able to buy card packs that will give you a chance for better cards which allows you to win faster and become greater easier.


    Buying a lvl 90 just allows ppl that don't have all day to play, a chance to experience endgame raids or whatever faster.

    You are buying time that's ALL.
  1. Cien's Avatar
    Kinda glad that we get 1 free level 90 with WoD, other than that I will never buy the instant 90 service. I think it's a bit sad in the sense that players could technically just buy all of their alts now, rather than take advantage of the free 90 and level the rest. Still, this should provide a very lucrative opportunity for people making gold, cause lets face it, mats for proffessions are gonna rocket with people wanting to level them on these new 90s.

    Plus, its services like this which are keeping the subscription at like, £8.99 a month, so if introducing this outrageously priced service means the sub stays the same price, as it always has, then I will reluctantly comply. Its not like it affects me anyway as I wont use the service, but it just seems like such a huuuuuuge waste of money to throw at Blizzard when they already make mega £££ as it is, perhaps its time to invest in some shares in Blizzard? xD Show me how!
  1. Jensu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by La View Post
    Then maybe that's something they need to change much more than just offering heirlooms, because leveling from level 1 to fucking 100 at this point is just stupid. But at least you can spend $60 to skip it. And not even with heirlooms, if their goal is for 'new players who just bought the game' to have a way to get max characters, they should be increasing the xp gains without them by a whole lot. If their response is something like 'we don't want players to skip content' or 'we don't want players to skip zones' guess what? You just introduced a way to pay for that, so what do you care if someone wants faster xp?

    Well how many kid's play and how many will be able to just buy the $60 lvl90? Not that many, with heirlooms its way easy and with out it's still not all that bad, if you want to spend the money do it or lvl the real way. I lvled every class up that's 11 90s. They have done xp gains and im sure at some point they will do more time will tell. The ideal of giving a new player a free 90 is good get's them into the game and they will make them stay.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by workhabits View Post
    the only thing you are winning is time. P2W is more like buying epic gear or any high end gear to be able to beat others easier and faster...

    Hearthstone is more P2W because you are able to buy card packs that will give you a chance for better cards which allows you to win faster and become greater easier.


    Buying a lvl 90 just allows ppl that don't have all day to play, a chance to experience endgame raids or whatever faster.

    You are buying time that's ALL.


    Yes P2W is buying Gear in WoW, the ideal of being able for other's to get to endgame faster is ok with me. WoW buying or free 90 is NOT P2W it's all about endgame and high end raid gear.
  1. Primaryjane's Avatar
    "The Level 90 boost is being sold to allow players that would have purchased multiple copies of WoW to get more Level 90 characters to do so in a more reasonable way."

    Does this mean that the expansion is going to cost $60? If it's released at the normal expansion price, $40...well, why would anyone spend $60 when they can spend $40? I'm liking WoD less and less by the day.
  1. Mortifie's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Primaryjane View Post
    "The Level 90 boost is being sold to allow players that would have purchased multiple copies of WoW to get more Level 90 characters to do so in a more reasonable way."

    Does this mean that the expansion is going to cost $60? If it's released at the normal expansion price, $40...well, why would anyone spend $60 when they can spend $40? I'm liking WoD less and less by the day.
    I was just about to post the same thing.....well, except that last sentence.
  1. Shiroh's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by IamTheJesusMonk View Post
    So...at $15 a month...they're claiming it takes 4 months to level to 90???? I call MAJOR BS. I highly doubt it takes more than 2 months (and that's at a pretty slow pace) to level to 90.
    Now personally I don't want to get involved in the "paid 90s are st00pid" debate or even the "$60 is stupid overpriced" debate...but I don't think anyone would argue that Blizz's reasoning for the pricing is flimsy at best.
    Quote Originally Posted by Primaryjane View Post
    Does this mean that the expansion is going to cost $60? If it's released at the normal expansion price, $40...well, why would anyone spend $60 when they can spend $40? I'm liking WoD less and less by the day.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arkthus View Post
    2 days of /played, which means a week playing each evening... So, it's not even worth 10$....
    Ever heard of opportunity costs? That's what the $60 are about and not subscription costs or expansion price.
    I.e. "How much money am I willing to pay to avoid doing 48 hours of something I hate". Obviously, everyone values those 48 hours differently and Blizzard thought that 60 bucks is a sensible price. Some think it's too high, others think it's too low. You can't please everyone.
  1. valdok's Avatar
    If Blizzard's goal was to sell as many boosts as possible, they would have set the price lower.
    The $60 price point wasn't selected to maximize profit, just to represent the amount of time that it takes to level to 90.
    Gonna go ahead and call this total BS. If they wanted to limit the amount of boosts, they could have easily said something like, you get a maximum of 2; 1 for if you preorder WoD, and one more to buy; or two if you choose to purchase them both. Blizzard is about the money--they are a company. And I'm fine with that. But saying they didn't do it to maximize profits is absurd, otherwise what is the point of adding the feature to begin with, if not for additional revenue?
  1. Moogled's Avatar
    #1 people who spout p2w arguments should ask themselves "how do I logic?"
    #2 people who say buying lv90 should be limited to people already owning WoD and a lv90 char (not to mention that's supersilly because if you have WoD, you have a lv90 char) are group that should be collectively shot in the knees, because buying granted lv90 chars came as an idea to - watch this now - let people who quit playing years ago/just starting continue playing with their friends without the need to spend a month leveling to 100 first.
  1. Syridian's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vovohard View Post
    BULLSHIT! If they didn't want this to be a thing, they could simply not give any boost at all, and keep the game a bit more respectful. Level boost is one of the worst P2W that exists.
    How is this different from people purchasing accounts for RAF exp buffs alone? The incredible speed at which you level with looms + that buff is easily as powerful a tool, without the 1 character limit.

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