First Console Reviews And Discount, Malthael Animated Wallpaper, Diablo Classes Fan Art
Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews
Vanion recently had the opportunity to attend the WoW Roundtable at Gamescom. You can find information from previous interviews on our Patch 5.4 Developer Interviews page.
New Character Models
- The new character models are roughly 25% done.
- It is unlikely that all of the new models will be released at once. The ones that are done will be released and then more will be added throughout the patch cycle.
- The new Garrosh model has a lot of bones and facial animation that could be similar to what we see in new character models.
- Garrosh also provides a nice test case to see if players want their character to look like that.
- The new character models are being worked on very carefully to avoid changing how the characters feel, especially the animations.
- There is a lot more to animate now with beards, ponytails, and hands with actual fingers. The animations have to have the same emotion as the old models, but just look better.
- The new models and animations are compared to the old ones at weekly art meetings to ensure that they feel right.
- The new toy items added in Mists of Pandaria take up a lot of inventory space, so they are high on the priority list of things to remove from player bags. Heirlooms are next on the list, followed by tabards, but there is no solid timeline on when this will be available yet.
- Spectator mode for raids and arenas isn't likely for the near future, as it would require a lot of tech and there are other more high priority things that need to be done first.
- There are no major changes coming to holiday events, just the usual yearly updates. Almost all of the events have been updated in the past and are in a good place now. Time would be better spent adding new content to the game rather than changing up Hallow's End yet again.
Patch 5.4 / Siege of Orgrimmar
- Garrosh has a Heroic only phase in the burning Stormwind Harbor.
- Players invest a lot of time into the last boss of an expansion, but the awesome gear that they got is replaced fairly quickly in the next expansion. The heirloom weapons from Garrosh are an attempt to compensate for that, as they will usually be the best leveling weapon you can get.
- Moving Dalaran to use in the Siege of Orgrimmar was considered, but it would have caused serious performance issues for many players. It also may have reduced the impact that players had as far as feeling like heroes. Players should feel like they were the ones to defeat Garrosh, not that Dalaran showed up and they did the job.
- The team considered changing racials in Patch 5.4, as a lot of the top guilds are switching to Horde. The impact it has on the game is limited to a handful of guilds in the world, so changing it for everyone because a handful of guilds feel that the Horde racials will make the difference in PvE ended up not being worth it.
- Racials are really supposed to be a flavor thing rather than something to balance the game around, so it isn't likely that we will see changes in the near future.
- During Cataclysm there was a revamp of the graphics system by adding shadows to the game, which required raising the ambient light in every zone, as the shadows made it too dark. This resulted in the night time having more ambient light than it used to.
- Patch 5.4 will have a test case for darker nights in Orgrimmar, Stormwind, and Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
- There isn't as much competition with Challenge Modes as the developers had hoped.
- PvE competition is a great thing to have in the game. World Firsts are nice, but they happen once in a patch cycle. It would be nice to see some of the Challenge Mode concepts in raiding, but just speed clearing the raid might not be the right thing.
- There will be another pass of the Valor system in the next expansion, but you shouldn't be able to cap Valor by just doing a raid that week.
- The Valor system is intended to get players to do a variety of content that they wouldn't normally do, but there has to be a balance.
- An idea for the future is adding a system similar to the Conquest catch up, allowing players that return to earn more Valor to catch up to everyone else. Not having to log in every single day might also be something to look at.
- The idea of Heroic only bosses is nice when they fit the story of the raid, but Ra-Den wasn't executed as well as it could have been because all of the testing was done internally. We might see another one in the future, but first they have to figure out a better way to test the boss.
- The team doesn't think that a small amount of players getting a legendary cloak after working towards it for an entire expansion will be a problem in the long run.
- The developers are happier with Mists of Pandaria than they were with Cataclysm.
- Cataclysm did a good job improving the old world, but there wasn't a strong endgame. Mists of Pandaria made a point of adding more and better quality endgame content.
- Mists of Pandaria was slightly weaker thematically, as there was no big looming end of the world disaster, which is something that players seem to really enjoy.
- People spent a lot of time in Shattrath, Dalaran, and now Shrine, but Cataclysm didn't add a new city or continent to call home.
- Redoing classic dungeons to make them into Heroic Dungeons was a nice concept that came out of Cataclysm, as they have been very popular and fun to create.
- In Cataclysm Thrall felt like the hero, but players just felt like they were helping him, rather than also being heroes.
Progress on the Next Expansion
- The concept artists, environment artists, and the level design team are the first groups to start working on a new expansion.
- The encounter team is the last team to move to the new expansion, as they are still finishing up Patch 5.4 and doing the final tuning.
- The release of an expansion partially depends on how long it takes to build and add quests to the new zones. This is why the final patch of an expansion usually doesn't have a lot of content that involves the exterior level design team, as they are already working on the zones for the next expansion.
- The Timeless Isle is off of the coast of the Jade Forest and is made with art assets from the Jade Forest, but presented in a completely different way. This allowed the team to add a new area without slowing down the work on the next expansion.
- The Burdens of Shaohao came from a part of the company that normally doesn't work on things like that and already has a lot of commitments, so there is no solid date for another similar series yet.
- The traditional player housing in MMOs isn't very interesting, maybe with the exception of Ultima Online. This was because you owned part of the world, making the area have real value. The idea of having an instanced chunk of the world that is decorated inside and no one will ever see isn't interesting, so housing in WoW would have to go beyond just visual customization with some gameplay elements or something else actually interesting.
- Offline progression for WoW could be interesting, but all the game has right now are things like daily cooldowns for some professions or the Tiller's farm.
- Revamping Fishing has been on the to-do list for years now, but it keeps getting pushed back.
- The guild level system already has some nice perks and the devs weren't able to come up with enough good perks to add more guild levels in Mists of Pandaria. Adding more levels also requires more achievements and other items, as well as making all new guilds level even more to get all of those perks.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Computers - Setup of the Month (by chaud)
Each month or every 2 months, depending on the hardware evolutions, the lovely chaud will work on a couple of hardware setups for those of you who are thinking of upgrading their computer!
The current SSD prices are stable, with most SSDs under $1 per gigabyte when on sale.
The new Haswell CPUs from Intel are here and they run a little bit on the warmer side. Depending on how much you want to overclock, you may need to spend a bit more for a better CPU cooler like the NH-D14 or H90.
Unless you are doing a lot of video rendering or something that is similarly multithreaded, you do not need the 4770K and should spend that money elsewhere.
Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date.
Don't hesitate to post any feedback in the comments of that news post, and don't forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions! If you are interested in Folding@home, take a look in our team's thread.
Puppy and Dolphin
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Puppy and Dolphin.
Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn.
Poll - First Race for New Character Models?
Which Alliance / Horde race would you like to see get new character models first?
Fan Art Update
The World of Warcraft Fan Art Section has been updated with new fan artwork.