Blizzard at PAX East, D3 Boss Mechanics, Legendary Item Drop Rates, Monster Affixes, Poll: What's Your Preferred Format for Dev Interviews
Isle of Thunder US - Stage 2 Unlocked
Patch 5.2 Dev Interviews
Let's take a look at the recent Twizzcast interview with Ghostcrawler, where they managed to cover a lot in 30 minutes.
Alt Characters and Catching Up
- The Dragon Soul patch went on for a longer time, and Raid Finder made it easier to gear alts than was previously possible.
- In Mists of Pandaria, it isn't as easy to gear alts because there is a lot more for players to do. Many of the alts were created when there wasn't much to do in game.
- Gearing alts will be something to do when you are done with your main or somehow run out of things to do. Some of the changes in Patch 5.2 were made to make this a little easier. (More Elder Charms, higher LFR drop rates, new rep gear for gold, etc)
- LFR is a step of the gearing up process for the first tier of content, as it fits between heroic dungeons and normal raids. However, after the first tier, gear from LFR may not be a significant upgrade from Normal or Heroic difficulty gear at all.
- People would stop playing weeks or months before a new raid because they didn't want to spend time progressing on content that would be outdated as soon as there was a patch. Making catching up too easy reduced the motivation to deal with challenging content.
- Players that are coming back to the game shouldn't be able to jump right in to end game content with players that have been playing for several months, as some catch up will be required.
Raid, Item, and Class Balance
- Trinkets are balanced with simulation testing and in game testing, followed by testing on the PTR, and then finally data from live realms.
- Some players overreact when they see numbers like a 25% reduction to one spell that only makes up 10% of their damage overall. This ends up in a few percentage adjustment to a class's DPS.
- When balancing classes, there is a lot of in house simulation that looks at DPS on target dummies, AoE situations, burst situations, and other situations.
- The PTR data is also taken in to account, but it is limited in its usefulness. Usually players on the PTR are just there to play around or are top players practicing the new raids, not average players. There is a lot more useful data once a patch has gone live.
- Classes shouldn't get an ability that will guarantee them a raid spot because of how good it is.
- The Rogue population has been dropping for a long time, so Smoke Bomb was added to give them some group utility.
- The more cooldowns that are added, the harder it is to create encounters that will be challenging, as you can just use a lot of cooldowns on it.
- There were too many tank and spank style encounters in the past, leading to players being bored. Now Blizzard is trying to ensure there is at least one thing for everyone in the raid to think about during the encounter, rather than just focusing on the boss as a target dummy.
- The Sealed Tome of the Lost Legion isn't super rare, so most Warlocks that want to start the quest will be able to. One idea that was brought up is increasing the drop rate over time so that everyone can get it. Adding green fire was one of the few ways to increase player prestige without increasing player power.
Low Population Realms
- Low population realms aren't fun. WoW is designed to be played with friends!
- Blizzard is investigating making it easier to move all of your characters to a new realm.
- There aren't any easy solutions, especially when players hear that Mal'ganis has a good raiding community or Tichondrius has a good PvP community. This results in players transferring or creating characters on high population realms, making popular realms grow faster, while lower population realms die faster.
- Merging or shutting down realms isn't possible because many players like their realm, have a character name they like, and don't want to be forced out or to change their name.
- On PvP: "We have some pretty bold plans going forward".
- Giving players new and different ways to kill each other may not be the best way to advance PvP. There is some room to polish the systems that already exist, especially some of the battlegrounds that players aren't enjoying.
- One of the things being considering is packaging the big battlegrounds like Alterac Valley and Isle of Conquest in with Wintergrasp and Tol Barad and having a new large scale battleground event. (This wasn't really clear, listen to 25:10 to hear the answer)
- The PvP and PvE daily quest choice was new tech added to give players a choice of the playstyle they wanted to take part in that day, rather than feeling that both styles were mandatory.
- Patch 5.3 will be a smaller patch, similar to Patch 5.1. It will happen "sooner than players are expecting" and will be followed by Patch 5.4, another larger patch with a raid.
- The team and systems are finally set up to where Blizzard can really deliver content faster.
- Proving Grounds is still being worked on as place to safely learn to tank and heal without ruining the experience of other players. It may not be ready for Patch 5.3 or Patch 5.4, but it is still being actively worked on and is not a "it would be nice to do someday" feature.
- Players expect change in a game, especially to flawed systems, otherwise they become burned out or bored. New expansions should have roughly 30% new stuff, 30% old stuff, and 30% old stuff that has been evolved a little bit.
Throne of Thunder Heroic Progression
Another day of Heroic difficulty raids and Blood Legion is still on top with 8 bosses down, followed by Method with 8 down, and Exodus with 7 down. DREAM Paragon managed to kill 4 bosses since yesterday, putting them at 8 bosses down.
You can keep up with the kills on Manaflask, our forum thread, and WowProgress.
Automatic Flight Path Discovery Removed
One of the smaller changes in Patch 5.2 was the removal of automatic flight path discovery.
Patch 5.2 Hotfixes: March 14
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Marvel Heroes Beta Key Giveaway
Curse has Marvel Heroes beta keys to give away! The first big beta weekend is taking on Saturday, March 16th from 10 AM to 6 PM PDT, and Sunday, March 17th from 6 AM to 2 PM PDT. You can read more about the Marvel Heroes MMORPG here.
Beta keys are being given away to Curse Premium members on Thursday and Friday, and then to everyone on Saturday starting at midnight.
Comics - Dark Legacy Comics #380
DLC #380 has been released.