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by Published on 2013-11-09 10:29 PM

World of Warcraft Q&A
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Q&A
  • Putting garrisons in a mobile app would be cool, but isn't planned right now.
  • There is no way to invite other players to your garrison when offline. You can invite a whole 40 player raid when you are online though!
  • The Dark Iron will make a small appearance in WoD.
  • There aren't any major changes planned for the pet battle system, just additions of new pets, trainers, and buildings in your garrison.
  • After the new character models are all done, the team will look at adding more customizations to character models.
  • Wrathion played an important role in Pandaria, but won't make more than a short appearance in WoD.
  • Smart healing has a place, but it might be good to make them less smart. Most heals could just prefer people who are injured rather than at full health, rather than just picking the people at the lowest health.
  • The team wants to make it easier to find like minded players to play with, which is why we have advance notice on the raid size change.
  • Mythic would have taken more resources to maintain the 10 and 25 structures for the top 1% of players, so the decision to fix the size at 20 was made in order to focus more on raid design and less on balancing two sizes.
  • The tertiary stats may be limited to a certain slot, like speed only on boots. It will be rare enough that by the time you can farm them progression races will be over. They shouldn't have a big impact on progression races.
  • Heroic Warforged gear will still exist going forward.
  • WoD will have a legendary questline that is similar to the cape this time, but also another legendary that is more exclusive.
  • Garrisons are unique per character, so there will be some kind of way to make it faster for alts.
  • The Titans visited Draenor, but aren't around anymore, so we will only see a little bit more of the Titans in this expansion.
  • Having Best in Slot items currently feels like a checklist right now. In WoD you will get your loot, but you will also have a cooler version of the loot to go after when things are on farm.
  • Racial balance will be tuned again in WoD, trying to narrow the gap. Goblin and Worgen have better balanced racials than many other races right now.
  • 20 players will likely have ~5 healers in Mythic difficulty. Keeping mythic at a fixed size will allow for many more possibilities in making mechanics that don't have to scale to another raid size.
  • Adding dynamic content to the old world would be nice, but it isn't a good use of time right now.
  • Bonus rolls will continue in WoD. LFR bonus roll doesn't impact your Heroic bonus roll. You can't roll 15 times and win nothing anymore.
  • The team has talked about and put some effort into pet battles on mobile devices. It hasn't worked out well yet, but they will keep looking at doing it.
  • No servers for old expansions.
  • There isn't any official lore on Celestial Dragons, they just look cool.
  • The Yak reforge vendor will be replaced something else.
  • Secondary and tertiary stats will stay the same, but primary stats on armor will change for your spec. This system is still in development, so details will change before it is live.
  • People are working on a side project to update the old Warcraft games to run on modern versions of Windows.
  • When the Dark Portal turns Red and cuts you off from regular Outland, you might be able to go through Caverns of Time.
  • Mythic raid lockout is boss based, static id, nothing is changing from the current Heroic lockout system.
  • Eyes of the Beast was removed when trying to prune things from classes and the code for it got removed as well. Removing it was a mistake, but it would take some time to add support for it again.
  • The Horde will have a chance to go back and redefine itself, and come away from the end of Mists of Pandaria even stronger.
  • World PvP outside of the World PvP zone isn't going to be a huge focus, especially with how one sided most PvP realms are.
  • New hairstyles are coming with the new character models.
  • Transmog that doesn't require you to keep the item forever is on the list, but won't be ready for WoD launch.
  • The team is talking about scaling up the difficulty of the launch dungeons with each new tier of dungeons during the expansion so you don't have to run the two new ones over and over and get burnt out.
  • There are plans for Alleria and Turalyon, but not in WoD.
  • The panel ended 5 minutes early, but the Q&A points above are complete.
by Published on 2013-11-09 09:01 PM

Warcraft Movie Presentation
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Movie
  • Duncan Jones has played the Warcraft games, World of Warcraft, and even Lost Vikings. He originally played Ultima Online.
  • The Special Effects supervisor plays World of Warcraft and is level 90.
  • Marketing hasn't started yet, so there isn't a ton to reveal yet.
  • Jones liked the script, but it was very Alliance centric. He thought it would be better to make it about both sides and the original Warcraft.
  • Jones turned down other films because he was really passionate about working on Warcraft.
  • While working on Golden Compass, the special effects supervisor got up at 2 in the morning to do runs with his guild.
  • Real actors will be used for the Orcs.
  • Avatar meets Game of Thrones as far as complexity of visual effects with live action, advanced special effects, and motion capture on set.
  • There is a lot of Warcraft lore, so they had to pick a certain amount of the lore for this movie.
  • The team has to figure out which characters to shine the spotlight on.
  • There is concept art for Draenor, Dalaran, Ironforge, Stormwind
  • Making environments for the game has a lot of restrictions, but in the movie you can expand on the environment with less restriction and make it more grand / cinematic.
  • Many locations in the film will be on built sets, like the Lion's Pride Inn.
  • The most famous character in World of Warcraft is the actual world itself.
  • Wardrobe and Costume design is being done by someone that has worked on Avatar.
  • The team is looking at details as small as the bark on the trees in Elwynn Forest.
  • People who don't know the world and people who are hardcore players will both enjoy the film.
  • The story is Orcs vs Humans. Lothar and Durotan.
  • Durotan represents the highest ideal of the Orcs. He believes in his people and his future.
  • Both want to do the right thing for their people.
  • The games weren't the best way to tell this story originally, so the movie will be a great opportunity to tell the story in an even more epic way.
  • Someone has to win and someone has to lose, but everyone loses at least a little bit.
  • The style of this war movie will be similar to Gladiator, gritty.
  • WoW doesn't have scabbards, so where swords will go has to be worked out.
  • There are no plans for an art book for the movie, but it is a possibility.
  • Lots of the cast has been picked out.
  • The first movie has to be done right, then they can think about doing more.
  • The majority of the movie takes place in the Eastern Kingdoms.
  • The lore of this time doesn't have many female characters, but the producers are pushing for including some female characters.
  • We will see a preview sometime next year, maybe at Blizzcon.
  • Metzen would like to do a TV series one day. When they originally decided to do a movie, Game of Thrones didn't exist on TV yet, so most similar stories were told in movies. If everything goes well, maybe a studio will want to do a TV show.
  • The Lord of the Rings movies inspired Jones to want to do this movie. He wants to match or beat them at making an awesome movie.
  • Someone is working on the Orcish language for the movie.
  • The movie will be PG13, but the PG13 rating is shifting. Batman movies are PG13.
by Published on 2013-11-09 07:31 PM

World of Warcraft Raids, Gameplay, Questing, and More
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Raids
  • The Blackrock Foundry will be the second raid available at release. It is the center of the Iron Horde and has 10 bosses in three wings, with a non linear layout.
  • The feel of looking down in BRD or UBRS and seeing more of the area was nice.
  • You will still be able to raid with similar flexibility in boss order as Flex has now.
  • The new Normal will be as difficult as Flex is today.
  • The new Heroic will be as difficult as Normal is today.
  • The new Mythic will be as difficult was Heroic is today.
  • All levels of difficulty except for Mythic will be cross realm on release.
  • Each raid difficulty has its own lockout. They will be loot based lockouts, allowing you to kill the same boss multiple times per week and only get loot once a week.
  • There is no more dynamic difficulty switching in raids. Now you have Mythic trash and Mythic trash loot.
  • Raid Finder will be the only kind of raid you queue for now. Normal (current Flex) will require you to zone in.
  • Loot will scale based on the number of players, giving you a higher chance for another piece of loot the more players you have. This ensures there are no optimal breakpoints that would limit raid size to get more loot.
  • Right now boss abilities still have some breakpoints. Going from 14 to 15 adds a third target for a certain mechanic in SoO right now, but in the future it would have a scaling random chance to have a third target so that there isn't that breakpoint.

Quests
  • Quest chains that are important and have important lore and story will be indicated with an icon.
  • There will be more optional content and less quest hubs that have to be unlocked by another chain first.
  • The dynamic events from Timeless Isle will appear in the world when you are leveling and Level 100. Right now they are mostly soloable rare spawns, but the WoD events will be more complex and not soloable.
  • Treasures will be hidden down paths that quests don't send you down and found frequently. They also will have a small amount of story to go with them.
  • Quests will have a chance to give you rare or epic rewards.
  • The quest UI has been updated to combine the map and quest log and help guide the quest experience better.
  • The map will show you where you left off on the important storyline quests.
  • The world will be more dynamic and less predictable.

Level 100 Content
  • There will be few or no daily quests at level 100!
  • There will be more max level content than ever before.
  • People really liked the Patch 5.1 daily quest story line, as well as the Timeless Isle reward system. These will be combined to create big zones with long progressive story lines that are more free form.
  • There will be some environmental gameplay, similar to Troves. It gives you an opportunity to use your class skills that are normally not used to earn rewards.

Garrisons
  • When you build your Garrison, you will get a few starting buildings.
  • The Town Hall is your main point of interaction and is automatically placed.
  • All profession buildings are in the Small Buildings category. They will allow you to use an engineer follower to run missions to get engineering recipes and items.
  • The pet stable will have a trainer you can fight.
  • Large buildings are something you would expect to see in a WC3 base. Each building has a bonus. For example, the barracks will let you have more followers.
  • Buildings start out small and are upgraded over time.
  • Some upgrades can be purchased, but some are blueprints that you find in the world. They can be faction rewards, quest rewards, random world drops, or found in other ways.
  • Specializations allow you to customize a max level building. They can be changed once each day and may have a cost. You pick from one of three specializations.
  • Some buildings will allow you to assign followers to them. If you find a miner follower, he can work while you are offline collecting ore.
  • Managing your followers will be an important part of garrisons.
  • Fill plots to upgrade your tier. Plots come in multiple sizes.
  • Followers can be sent on Quests, Scenarios, Dungeons, or Raids. Raids may take party of a week and many followers.
  • You put the followers into a party and send them on missions. You get a bonus if you match traits on your followers to the missions.
  • When you send your follower somewhere in your Garrison, you will see the follower there.

Systems
  • World of Warcraft is a game you play with friends. WoD will remove barriers that stop you from playing with friends and encourage you to make new friends.
  • Random matchmaking is going to feel like a last resort.
  • Raid Finder is there to let you see the content and story, almost like a Tourist mode.
  • Group Finder will work cross realm and work for many different types of groups. Finishing Shadowmorune, RBGs, Raids and more!
  • Stacking the Deck will give you bonus Valor for queuing with friends or queuing again with the same random matchmade group. (~10% bonus Valor)

Leveling
  • Leveling doesn't feel as exciting as it used to, so WoD will try to address that.
  • From level 91 to 100 you will get upgrades to your core spells. Some will be slight class changes, some will be passive bonuses, similar to old spell ranks. Some of the boosts will definitely be easy to feel.
  • See the slides for examples of leveling rewards!

Itemization
  • Getting new items should be exciting. Right now it feels like you have to do a lot of work when you get a new item.
  • Hit and Expertise don't feel like a bonus, so they are now gone!
  • Dodge and Parry, gone!
  • Reforging, gone!
  • Enchanting is still around, but fewer items can be enchanted. There will be more enchant choices for those items.
  • The number of items with gem sockets will be gone. Only one gem slot per item. Gems are more powerful. Sockets are a bonus that don't count towards item level budget. No more socket bonuses or meta gems.
  • The stats on armor will now change based on your spec. Plate drops and it will have whatever stats your class needs, no more Intellect plate! No more PvP Priest Healing set and PvP Priest DPS set, just a Priest set.
  • Jewelery, cloak, trinkets, and weapons will be more role focused and might keep stats.
  • Armor will become a good tanking stat again, Spirit will be good for healers.
  • Tertiary stats are bonus stats that can appear on gear that don't count towards the item level budget. Lifesteal, avoidance, sturdiness, movement speed (stacks with other bonuses), cleave, and more.
  • Item squish is in! All of the big jumps from old expansions and raid tiers will be flattened.
  • Your relative power won't change, just the numbers. The speed at which you kill things won't change. You can still solo old content.

Q&A
  • Connected realms will make it possible to find a Mythic group on realms that are currently low population.
  • The transition to 20 player Mythic raiding will be difficult, but it will be good for tuning and the game as a whole.
  • Scaling raids to 30 is a possibility, but isn't planned right now.
  • Scaling player level is being worked on still. When the team comes up with a good way to scale and reward old content there will be more to talk about.
  • Followers do content that is unique to Garrisons, not anything that players can do.
by Published on 2013-11-09 06:49 PM

Warlords of Draenor Developer Q&A


Recap
  • The end of each expansion added a large character power level increase which was necessary at the time, but not necessary today. Item levels will remain the same, but item stats have been squished. Some players adapted to it instantly, while some took an hour to get used to it.
  • There aren't going to be any more guild levels or perks in WoD. There is no way to expand every system with every expansion. Going forward the team will try to compartmentalize the systems added in an expansion to the expansion they were added in. A good example of this is the farm added in MoP. Once WoD is released, you shouldn't have much of a reason to go back to MoP and work on your farm.
  • The guild system wasn't designed to make people want to be in a guild, as people generally already want to be in a guild, and almost everyone is in a guild. It was added to allow the game to recognize the accomplishments of guilds.
  • Flex mode was one of the improvements made to encourage players to get back to playing with friends, and WoD will add some more incentives.
  • The game has a Raid Browser that no one uses, so in WoD it will be expanded to support killing world bosses, doing achievements, finishing Shadowmourne, or any other activity. This will support cross realm groups and encourage people to do PuGs rather than completely random matchmaking.
  • The new Flex loot model will work similar to how Master Loot does today, but the number of drops will scale based on the number of people eligible for loot in the group. The personal loot system won't be removed, you will just have to opt in to it.
  • The number of drops will scale well with the number of players, as each additional player gives you a higher chance to get another drop, up to where it is guaranteed. This ensures that are no odd breakpoints that will restrict raid sizes.
  • The team hasn't decided how new character models will be released yet. It could have all of the completed race at launch, or they could be added every patch.
  • Most of Thrall's family is alive in Draenor. The Saurfangs may or may not appear, it hasn't been decided yet. The team can't use every single character that was in Draenor when telling the story, so they will focus on the core characters.
  • The new panels for Heirlooms and Toys will work similar to how pets and mounts do today, with some restrictions like Horde vs Alliance for a few things.
  • The old version of Outland will remain unchanged. The current timeline is already somewhat of a mess, so the team may just move access to the current Outland to the Caverns of Time.
  • The talent system will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. Some talents still need tweaks, but the overall system is working well.
  • Scenarios worked out well and they will be present in 6.0, but solid plans as to what they will be are not made yet. Heroic scenarios also worked out well.
  • The team talked about just having Valor and Conquest, as Justice wasn't useful. They also haven't decided if they will keep the Valor Upgrade system like we have today.
  • When Garrosh goes back, he spins off his own timeline. He is going to try and come back to our world, but his actions won't change our history.
  • The odds of World PvP happening right by the edge of someone's garrison should be fairly low, so phasing shouldn't be a big issue. The large World PvP zone will likely be where most people interested in World PvP end up.
  • You can technically buy as many level 90s as you want if you buy another copy of the game, get the level 90, and then transfer the character to your main account each time. The team has talked about putting a level 90 purchase option in the store, but it hasn't been decided yet.
  • You can invite other players to a party and invite them to your garrison, similar to how Ready Checks are done now. There will be some reasons to go and see other player's garrisons, mostly because it is fun to show off.
  • The 5.1 storyline combined with the Timeless Isle exploration is close to what we can expect for max level content.
  • The Item Squish will go live with 6.0.
  • Renaming the difficulties was done because it was odd to call the lowest difficulty something other than normal once multiple difficulties could scale with player number. Normal in 6.0 will be roughly as difficult as Flex is today.
  • It would be nice to give Mythic difficulty unique art for armor sets, but time amount of time required to make armor sets is too great to justify doing so.
  • The garrison will be involved with professions somehow, but plans aren't fully fleshed out yet.
  • The recipe UI part of the professions could use some work, so it is next on the list after the current tasks.
  • Catch up like the cooking and archaeology things that were added in MoP would be nice to have for all the professions.
  • The garrison has a limited number of spots for buildings, and each profession will require a building if you want that type of follower.
  • There will be a legendary questline again in WoD. The questline will be a little bit more custom to your class to help with the lack of class quests. Class quests are very resource intensive, so at most we might see one or two in WoD. (Maybe Shaman)
  • The development on and release date of games in the other Blizzard franchises hasn't had any impact on the delivery speed of WoW content.
  • Another MoP patch would delay WoD, so Patch 5.5 isn't going to happen. The entire team is working on WoD right now, so any more MoP content would slow down development.
  • There aren't any plans for another WoW Annual Pass. It was a good idea at the time because getting Diablo 3 free made it a good deal, but it isn't a good for the the D3 expansion.
  • The Enchanted Fey Dragon will be a store mount. It will be sold alone or in a combo pack with another pet for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • Monthly patches would be great, but it would be really hard. MoP made some progress towards doing this.
  • Level 100 felt better than Level 95 for a cap. Previously players also needed a new ability at every level, which limited the number of levels that could be added. Now with spell upgrades players can have 10 levels.
  • Leveling in WoD will be a fun and fast paced romp through the zones. The team is backing off the idea that leveling should be a long grind.
  • There aren't any plans for guild garrisons right now, but that can be revisited after the initial system is delivered and polished.
  • The Dark Iron dwarves will have a small story in the expansion.
  • We will find out what the Arakkoa were like when they had wings.
  • Ogres that we have seen so far aren't organized or as interesting as the ones we will see in the Ogre empire that is in decline in WoD.
  • There are no plans to improve the achievement UI for WoD release, but adding search and compare in the future is on the list.

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