The Mists of Pandaria General Discussions Forum is now Open
Blizzcon 2011 and the announcement of the new expansion increased the forum activity considerably and it's now time to open forums dedicated to the upcoming expansion: Mists of Pandaria - General Discussions!
Also, for those of you who couldn't watch the stream and/or the Raids & Dungeons panel, Blizzard uploaded 3 dungeon preview videos on Youtube.
Originally Posted by Blizzard EntertainmentDetails on Stats Inflation / Item Level / Character Power in 5.0 Soon
Yea... about that inflation... more info to come soon on item levels & character power in 5.0. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Level 100 Cap in future expansions?
This is a pretty valid question. Do we have a solidified plan for future expansions I can share? Not yet, but consider that 100 is just a number. :) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Female Pandaren Model
It's true the female models are not yet ready for show, which made me a little sad too. But we haven't forgotten the release timeline and public reaction to the female worgen model. I'll definitely check in with the developers. :) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Mists of Pandaria Talent System
The difference is that right now there's a way you spec your character, and then there's maybe a handful of "Ok now you can do whatever you want with these 4 leftover points." Those points are leftover because they ultimately don't matter. You don't really even need to spend them to do well. It's not a good system, and the few leftover 'choices' don't feel awesome because... well they aren't, they aren't awesome, which is why they're unimportant points.
With the new system we give you everything you really need automatically, and talents are going to be more interesting 'style' and utility choices than a bunch of stat and damage increases. The choice comes, hopefully, from choosing talents that appeal to how you like to play or what you think would be particularly useful for a specific boss, fight, or encounter, and the ability to swap around points freely while out in the world help reinforce that.
I still fully expect for people to devise optimum builds for specific situations, but there's a difference between optimum and no choice at all.
I think once you see the majority of talent choices you'll understand a bit more why these choices aren't really going to be bombarded by optimum build mentality. The choices just don't have a clear optimal because most of the choices don't lead to direct output increases.
If that doesn't seem to be the case then we need to work on it more. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Pandarens not able to communicate with Pandarens of the other faction
We do understand that, by not allowing pandaren of the opposite faction to communicate with one another, there's a breakdown in the story there. But we feel strongly at this point that changing the precedent on cross-faction communication for one race only will ultimately not lead to a good gameplay experience. We're very excited to introduce a race that can be chosen by either faction, though we don't see our philosophy on cross-faction communication changing as a result of this.
This isn't very related, nor is it a way of properly compensating for that communication limitation, but one thing we'd like to do (we think is cool and warranted) is make a unique place in the world exclusive to monks -- think Moonglade for druids. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Theramore Destroyed in 5.0?
So, at BlizzCon we provided a few details about a new expansion and how it's going to have an ever-growing focus on the fight between the Horde and the Alliance in the wake of dispelling many very powerful threats to all of Azeroth. Then we find out a vague detail that some sort of unrelenting attack by the Horde on Theramore is to come. The Horde, to remind you, is currently a faction with an overzealous ruler and significant turmoil among their faction leaders; while the Alliance has almost never been quite so unified and far removed from the days of imprisoning orcs.
The first pawn on the chess board of what is to be the story for Mists of Pandaria is being moved, and you're angry at whose turn is first? I only offer that maybe there's a little more to the Horde and Alliance story lines in Mists than an Alliance town being leveled... like the entire expansion story you don't know about yet. ;)
If you wanna make an omelette... (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
[...] In Cataclysm, desperate times call for desperate measures. And that impact was not equal and 1:1 as far as Alliance and Horde went. The Warcraft universe, at its core, is based on the rivalry between two vastly different factions. To make sure they have shared hardships -- equal ups and downs at each interval -- is pretty boring and severely limits the character development of the leaders on both sides. And it leaves the story with a lack of momentum for building good content.
The Cataclysm only ignited a new flame between the Horde and the Alliance, as each side approached recovering from the crisis in very different ways. But they have something much more pressing to focus on in this expansion: helping Thrall and the Dragon Aspects kill Deathwing and his followers. They provide the overarching and primary conflict in Cataclysm that needs to be dealt with, not the fighting between the Horde and Alliance.
But once Deathwing goes and a new land of opportunity is discovered, who rebuilds, who explores, who defends and protects their people, and who seeks the pride of a conqueror? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
[...] What I'm hearing from people is, that Garrosh's Horde is attacking even more Alliance territory and it's not fair. As a player of both factions at level 85 and employee at Blizzard, I just don't fully agree with that assessment. From our perspective, one faction will assault a cherished town of the other faction -- which is also home to a very powerful and honorable figure in Jaina. There's now a conflict presented in the story there to further unfold in the next expansion. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Why the Pandarens?
As Chris Metzen said in his interview on DirecTV just after opening ceremony, the pandaren race was originally planned to be added as the Alliance race in The Burning Crusade.
There are a number of reasons why that didn't happen, but none of them are because we thought they wouldn't make for compelling characters with interesting stories and living environments. We've wanted to add the pandaren people into the game for a long time. And, when recording feedback over the years from events like BlizzCon and many other avenues, the number one request (by a large margin) has been for us to add pandaren to the game. A lot of people want it and we feel the timing's just right post-Cataclysm.
We want the next expansion to be less focused on a primary antagonist, and more on the conflict between the Horde and the Alliance after the fall of Deathwing, particularly as a new land with diverse and foreign cultures is discovered.
The original World of Warcraft didn't have a primary antagonist and that wasn't strange to most players. Granted, we've set a precedent in the last few expansions of having the one major bad boy. But now, we want to focus much more on creating a bunch of varied content which lets you choose what you want to do in the game on any given day. We want to focus more on what's fun than what you have to do to excel -- and, by that, I mean we want more progression paths in the game to better cater to the extremely diverse player population.
We wouldn't have gone forward with this idea if we weren't confident about whether or not we're breathing some new life into the game and changing up the formula.
I understand the debate over this isn't going to be settled today -- or over the weekend -- but give it a bit to sink in, check out the remaining panels (including the Q&A panel tomorrow), and be on the lookout for more information about our design intent for Mists of Pandaria.
As a side note, even with some of the inappropriate comments and spam going on today, we do still really appreciate how passionate everyone is about the direction of the game. We share that passion and look forward to continuing to divulge our evolving philosophy on making this the funnest game possible. And we'll make sure there are plenty of opportunities for open conversations between community managers, developers, and players as time advances (it's difficult for me to follow any thread for too long while working BlizzCon). For instance, we'll be doing a CoverItLive developer Q&A next week with Lead Content Designer, Cory "Mumper" Stockton, and Lead Systems Designer, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, next week. Stay tuned for more info on that!