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playing weeks or months before a new raid because they didn't want to spend time progressing on content that would be outdated as soon as there was a patch.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 (Blue Tracker)
  • Monk
    • Chi Wave should now correctly bounce between targets that are in range.


Raids, Dungeons, and Scenarios
  • The time for players to decide if they want to use a bonus roll has been increased to 3 minutes.


  • Thunderforges on the Isle of Thunder can now also function as a normal anvil and forge.
  • Archeology
    • Mantid archeology items should now correctly award a Mantid Amber Sliver when turned in.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
One Death Knight Per Server Limit
Any idea when we might see this lifted? I've seen on MMO-champ a few times where it's been stated this limitation is outdated and no longer needed. It was also said that they likely will remove it, I'm just wondering if there is any sort of time frame for this planned at all?

I'd really enjoy rolling another Death Knight on my home server, on the Horde side, just for the benefit of heirloom gear and to experience the horde storylines and what not, hence the inquiry.

Honestly, there's no update I can provide on when this will be lifted, but we're aware of the feedback. It may be a possibility for the future though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Larger Backpack Request
I think above all the player base should have a quest to receive a larger backpack. I understand new players start with a 16 slot, and that's a godly amount of space at level 10. After 8 years, I've seen classes come and go, and content in game come and go. I just think that with 8 years of playing, this might have been addressed. Just curios as to why simple quests like this we're never introduced.
We'd love to be able to upgrade it too, but it's not as simple as upgrading it. It was coded into the system early in the development of World of Warcraft and isn't as easy as writing up some new lines of code. In addition, we're not sure that simply adding a larger backpack is the solution people really are looking for. You'll get a few more slots, but you'll most likely fill those relatively quickly.

We've made some progress in regard to storage such as being able to learn pets and mounts etc. vs. having to carry them with you all of the time. We have Void Storage now as well as changed over some currencies (over time) from physical objects to something that gets tallied in your character pane; little quality of life increases such as those over time. The developers continue to do their best to keep storage in mind when designing new content.

But, if you're anything like me, you probably have a difficult time letting go of items that are either sentimental in nature or items that you "might need later... maybe". I'm with you, but in that case, I try to "spring clean" now and then just to go through what I have and figure out what I truly don't need and can get rid of.

As always though, we're open to constructive feedback and discussion. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raid Finder Difficulty Feedback
I genuinely feel sorry for people who can't commit to a raiding guild and are left with LFR as their raiding experience.
As long as people that are not you are having fun with what they do, and you are having fun with what you do...

Also, keep in mind that right now the average player on Raid Finder is most likely more skilled/experienced than those that will visit the place in, say, 2 months. So perhaps things that now you can ignore because of overgeared/experienced players will pose a challenge to the folks doing LFR with LFR gear from the previous tier. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Patch 5.2 and PvP Gear
Thanks Nakatoir, and now that I'm back from an unfortunate ban, I'd like to ask you what your opinion is on the stat difference between the s13 Tyrannical gear and the 5.3 PvE gear. While you miss out on PvP stats, the ilvl from the PvE gear is so much higher that it might outweight PvP gear for certain classes. What do you think about this?
Sadly I cannot give much of a comment on the difference in stats as the 5.3 gear is yet to be released. I can say however that we want to try and make sure that going into all future patches, including this one, that gear rewarded through PvP remains the best for PvP purposes. We understand that the community is concerned with PvE gear returning in PvP and we will do our best to prevent this.

As for the 5.2 gear difference, I am going to assume that you are concerned with Heroic gear. As you can see on these Hunter sets, while the main stats are lower, the survivability and damage increases caused by the PvP stats compensate for this, and then some. The equivalent budget given to these PvP stats would be approximately 40 Ilvl's, which is quite a lot.

I totally misstyped me there, thank an all-nighter for that. I meant 5.2 Heroic PvE gear. Especially openers from Rogue teams (mass stealth) might totally gib the enemy teams within the first few seconds. We will see how it goes, I guess.
No biggie, I assumed you did and that is why I mentioned 5.2 in the post.

But just to quell some of your concerns in the area of damage, this is something that we are keeping an eye on and will make changes as they are necessary. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

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.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Dev Interviews, ToT Progression, Flight Paths, March 14 Hotfixes, Blue Posts, Comic started by chaud View original post
Comments 84 Comments
  1. SumoSizeIt's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by darkpower View Post
    do free transfers for a specific faction to a specific server that has this sort of issue could be a step in the right direction. Wouldn't be a silver bullet, but it's better than doing nothing.
    I remember them doing this all the time in Vanilla and BC, opening transfers to a realm for one faction only, locking the other for new character creation only for accounts already established there. Wonder why we haven't seen it in so long.
  1. Ferrouswheel's Avatar
    My lock hit 90 last week. Today I won 14 pieces of loot from lfr. In one day. Now my ilevel is 480 and tomorrow I'm going to run the new lfr and buy a 522 ring. And they say there are no catch ups.
  1. Alayea's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrouswheel View Post
    My lock hit 90 last week. Today I won 14 pieces of loot from lfr. In one day. Now my ilevel is 480 and tomorrow I'm going to run the new lfr and buy a 522 ring. And they say there are no catch ups.
    Well, congratulations on your lucky streak. Meanwhile, there are plenty of others who have some real bad RNG despite the buff to the drop rates.
  1. SumoSizeIt's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrouswheel View Post
    My lock hit 90 last week. Today I won 14 pieces of loot from lfr. In one day. Now my ilevel is 480 and tomorrow I'm going to run the new lfr and buy a 522 ring. And they say there are no catch ups.
    Yeah, that's pretty ridiculous. Consider buying lottery tickets.

    I, on the other hand, went 6 weeks without a single drop from LFR, including this week after the drop rate buff. Both of our cases are extreme, and should not be the basis for balancing catch up mechanics, but it's definitely going to take a very long time because the system is purely based on luck now.

Site Navigation