PAX East Developer Interview, Top 5 Plays of the Week, Funny and Lucky Moments #37
Heroes of the Storm PAX East 2014 Recap: Interface Changes, New Heroes, New Hero Models and Skins, Developer Interview
Warlords of Draenor - Garrison and Zone Screenshots
Blizzard released a few new Warlords of Draenor screenshots at PAX. These include four garrison screenshots, along with one of Spires of Arak, Frostfire Ridge, and Shadowmoon Valley.
Warlords of Draenor Developer Interviews
There were a few developer interviews recently, so today we are taking a look at an interview from ConvertToRaid with Celestalon and Zarhym.
- Blizzcon 2014 is something that everyone would really love to do. If there is more information, it will be be shared at some point in the near future.
Alpha and Beta
- The expansion has been in internal alpha for "quite a while".
- The alpha is currently an employee take home alpha. It will remain alpha when friends and family are invited, as well as when a small amount of players are invited. After that some opt-in players will be invited and it will be beta.
- The ramp up of invites will be slower than Mists of Pandaria beta, as there is the new filesystem to test.
- The Warlords of Draenor beta will also have a more limited number of people invited compared to the Mists of Pandaria beta. There is no Annual Pass this time, so Blizzard isn't obligated to invite more than a million players as fast as possible again.
- The alpha announcement was made because the build had to be uploaded publicly to let employees play from home, which would allow datamining. The notes and announcement helped to provide context for some of the reported changes.
- The alpha patch notes were delayed in order to not step on D3 and Hearthstone's news. The alpha builds being produced were also somewhat unstable.
Blog Posts and Patch Notes
- There will be a blog post on Professions at some point.
- Garrisons will have four blog posts, starting with an overview sometime in the next few weeks. Other blogs will talk about how you interact with your garrison as you level and at level 100.
- There is more information coming, as the notes that went up originally were slightly dated, and significantly more information has been added to the notes since then.
- Garrisons have come a long way since Blizzcon!
- Garrisons will be part of the leveling experience.
- NPCs in your garrison will actually notice you and walk around you, as to not bump into you when they are walking down the road to work.
- NPCs in your garrison will also wave to each other and dance with you if you start dancing with them.
- Velen is not the new male character model for the Draenei, as he is older and more distinguished than the average Draenei.
- WoW already feels very responsive, but the team is working on a way for it to be even more responsive. This means things like heals will take effect faster, or if you cast a shield it will have less of a delay.
- Scenarios and Challenge Modes worked out well, so there won't be major changes to them, just small refinements.
- There are no plans to do anything with guild levels or rewards.
- Vengeance in Mists of Pandaria worked out well as far as the defensive value goes, but the offensive value of it was problematic.
- The defensive component of Vengeance is staying and is now called Resolve.
- Tank damage varied significantly based on the situation and the mechanic encouraged tanks to take more damage so that they could do more damage.
- Encouraging tanks to take extra damage made healers upset and tanks being able to beat DPS on many fights because of the damage they took made DPS upset. When tanks weren't taking a lot of damage, it made the tanks very low on the meters and upset them.
- Everyone was upset at the offensive component of Vengeance at some point!
- Tank damage will be balanced just like DPS is now, rather than having it vary based on the amount of damage they are taking. The new bonus armor may give tanks offensive power as well.
- Tank swapping at X stacks was not a great thing to see on so many fights, so in Warlords of Draenor both tanks will be actively tanking much more often.
- The Saber Lash mechanic from previous expansions was fairly boring, as one tank could just stand there and do nothing for most of the fight. However, in current encounters, the other tank would actually have to use their active mitigation skills to survive, making it a viable mechanic again.
- Healer's mana regeneration abilities are being nerfed and removed because they didn't add any gameplay value. For example, Innervate was just a button to press when it was off of cooldown. Base mana regeneration and mana costs were rebalanced to compensate.
- Active mana regeneration mechanics are still being considered.
- All of the challenging to heal parts of fights in Mists of Pandaria were handled by having the DPS use defensive cooldowns. Healing should be the healer's job, so the team wants to tone down the amount of stackable raid utility that DPS and tanks bring so that the healers are there to handle the challenging to heal moments.
- Having a DPS using Healing Tide or Tranquility to heal the raid to full doesn't feel good for the healers.
- A raid shouldn't feel like they need to bring a Warlock for Healthstones, which is why Healing Potions and Healthstones will share a cooldown and only be usable once per fight. DPS potions are not on the same cooldown as Healing Potions.
- Caring about the efficiency of a spell or minimizing overhealing can be done without making healers run out of mana all of the time. For example, baseline mana regeneration is being significantly increased so that you have decent heals you can cast with just that base regen.
- Mana regen will scale less over the course of the expansion than it did before, but the gain will be worth more as you will have more expensive and powerful heals to cast.
- For example, Paladins will start the expansion being able to cast Holy Light as their slow and efficient big heal, similar to Divine Light now, and filling with a few Flash of Lights. By the end of the expansion, they will be able to cast a lot more Flash of Lights and fill with Holy Lights.
- The point isn't to make healing harder, just less one dimensional.
- If you can currently heal Flex raids fine, you should be able to continue to do so with the same level of success in Warlords of Draenor.
- Thok would never exist in his current form with the new healing model.
- Someone dying to a huge spike of damage before you can even react is not fun and these changes should help to avoid that.
- Perks are intended to make leveling feel rewarding again. They are a mixture of static power increases and tweaks to your rotation that you earn in a random order as you level from 90 to 100.
- Readiness won't affect all abilities and the current build's tooltips aren't updated yet.
- Secondary stats will be closer in value to each other than they have been in the past.
Death Knight (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
- Army of the Dead might come back for all specs as an instant cast rather than a channel.
- Blood Death Knights will get some more active mitigation tools. Rune Tap as a big absorb and Rune Strike's small shields are two examples.
- Dual Wield is going to remain Frost Death Knights only, as it doesn't fit the Unholy theme.
- Frost might see Cinderglacier being the more attractive Runeforge in the future.
Druid (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
- Symbiosis was a cool spell, but it was hard to understand and added a ton of button bloat.
Hunter (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
- Hunters have different specs that don't feel very different. Their rotation was very similar between the specs, so some abilities are being removed from each spec to help with differentiation.
- Marksmanship is going put more emphasis on higher damage cast time spells.
- Survival is going to put more emphasis on DoTs, multidotting, and traps.
Mage (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
- Prismatic Crystal will hopefully be targeted automatically when summoned. When you attack it, damage you do to it is replicated to nearby enemies, but stronger.
- Fire mages didn't scale well, so the team tried to solve that with Inferno Blast. That ended up not being enough, so the Enhanced Fireball perk was added to help when you have a lower level of crit.
Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
- Mistweaver Monks needed some significant changes that couldn't be done mid expansion, so the changes were delayed until Warlords of Draenor.
- Spirit isn't valuable to Mistweavers right now, as the majority of their healing is cheap.
- Fistweaving is intended to be a split between damage and healing. It is intended for when you don't need all of your healing throughput and could use some extra damage.
- Renewing Mist and Expel Harm will give you a nice baseline Chi generation.
- Surging Mist and Spinning Crane Kick will give you more Chi generation as you get more Spirit. Surging Mist will be improved in Warlords of Draenor, it won't be as bad as it is now.
- Rushing Jade Wind won't work with the Empowered Spinning Crane Kick perk.
- Touch of Death doesn't work well in raiding, which is why they made it easier to use.
Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
- Retribution is in a good place design wise, but their numbers are a little low. This will be addressed in a later tuning pass.
- Shining Protector will give Protection Paladins extra healing.
Priest (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
- Shadow Priests won't need completely different sets of gear for single target and AoE fights. They could swap out a few slots of gear to use for a single target fight though.
Rogue (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
- Rogue specs are somewhat similar now, but not as bad as Hunters.
- The team is removing some skills from each spec to make them more distinct.
- Positional requirements were relaxed somewhat as a quality of life change. You still have a 3% chance to be parried from the front, so you still want to stand behind the boss.
- Leeching Poison isn't planned to be a lethal poison.
Shaman (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
- Mana Regeneration is being significantly increased to compensate for the removal of Healing Wave.
- Enhancement Shamans should have some ramp up time for their AoE, but after the ramp up time it will be strong. The Tier 16 4pc bonus worked out well to help with this. Tuning of Enhancement AoE in the past wasn't great, but the team is going to be sure it is done right this time.
- Crit will be improved for Elemental Shamans.
- Lightning Bolt no longer being castable on the move is a big change, but it was done to make movement reduce the damage that ranged DPS does. There are other spells that you can cast while moving, such as Shocks and Unleash Weapon.
Warlock (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
- Warlock Gateways were too strong this expansion, so the range is being reduced and cooldown increased.
Warrior (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
- Berserker Rage doesn't Enrage you anymore, but the team is considering changing that, as well as changes to Berserker Stance.
- Arms originally had Overpower removed, but it didn't work out well.
- Celestalon has been at Blizzard for ~3 years.
- Zarhym has been at Blizzard for ~9 years.
- The WoW CM team has 9 members.
- Celestalon works on the team that works on different systems of the game, including classes, perks, combat mechanics, and other things.
PAX Beta Key Redemption Issue
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Dark Legacy Comics - #436
DLC #436 reminds us that tax season is almost over!