Live Developer Q&A Transcript
Originally Posted by Blizzard
Combat Rogue is clearly not a good spec for PvP atm at all, sustained dmg is barely noticable, there is no possible 'no cd burst' possibility by design, Killing Spree is jumping on pets/minions, hardly usable in 3v3. Are you gonna bother trying to fix this spec for PvP or just focus on Subtlety?
It's challenging to make all 3 specs of a pure DPS equally viable in both PvP and PvE. In most cases, we want to ensure that at least one of those specs is competitive and improve the others when possible. It is a lot harder to change class than change spec, but we appreciate that players do enjoy some specs more than others.

Which mage specs are you focused on making viable in PvP? And what about PvE? Just curious so that I know what to play/not-play
We don't specifically say "this spec will be the PvP spec." Rather, players find what performs best and gravitate towards that spec. If other specs are not as competitive and we have ideas on how we can improve them, we do.

How do you feel active mitigation turned out and what would you do if you could change it?
We actually like it a lot. We want to make secondary stats (like haste is for paladins) more useful to all the tanks. We also might do something different with avoidance long term. It's functional but not as exciting as active mitigation in our opinion.

Why do you balance (or try to!) around Arena, yet reward more for RBGS? Melee cant get into RBGs! Its unfair that casters get a gear advantage in arena for being Overpowered in RBGs.
The synergy between spells like death grip, solar beam and ursol's vortex has created an environment where melee are at a big disadvantage. We have been working on reducing the effectiveness of that combination without destroying those specs in other areas of the game.

Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
When will necrotic strike be fixed?
We have a hotfix in the works to restore necrotic strike to its previous values on live. It wasn't meant to nerf them but fix a problem with necrotic strike and base resilience.

Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Path of Blossoms had major potential, glyph to add a stacking snare/root could have seen much better usage for PvP, maybe a return?
It certainly is an interesting idea for the future

Any plans on addressing WW Monks huge ramp up time in pvp, and to a lesser extent in pve?
It's just the nature of how Monks work that their burst cooldown works very differently. It's an attempt to make them feel different and unique.

Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
What is the "fantasy" for a retribution paladin in your eyes?
The classic knight in shining armor. The intersection of warrior and priest. The protector of the innocent. Inquisitor. Punisher. The champion of the Light who uses offense over defense. Uther. Arthas.

Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
Why do Warriors (Arms & Fury) still have moves that require Shields, and thus, macros? You think a master of arms or a raging berserker could hit a fire ball back like a baseball. (Link could do it!)
Shields are cool. We'd like to do more with them, for paladins and shaman too. We agree that macros aren't an awesome way to handle shields. We'd rather do more with the base UI. Imagine you had a shield slot on your character pane even if you didn't have it "out" at the moment. Something along those lines.

You have mentioned before that you are able to compensate for the increase in item levels. Has the recent item level jumps led to more talks on the whole "great item squish," first proposed during Mist's Alpha?
We think the item level inflation has worked fine in MoP. We havent' given up on the idea of a squish, though TBH we were hoping to see even more demand for from players.

About item upgrades coming back next patch-with the Thunderforge "thing" in ToT its realy annoying to have to upgrade items that you MIGHT replace. Everyone in a top raiding guild feels obligated to upgrade all of his items but that feeling that you don't have TF version of something will rankles alot. Can you maybe implement a limit of how many items you can upgrade (limit on how many upgraded items you can have equipped)? It will bring some sort of strategizing and make item upgrading much less annoying.
The major change we're making to item upgrades in 5.3 is drastically reducing their cost. We agree that it felt pretty bad to upgrade a non-best-in-slot item in 5.1 and then end up replacing it. 1500 Valor was a pretty hefty investment. But at 250 VP per upgrade, you can realistically upgrade all your gear over the course of a tier, which should change things a bit.

Hey folks! I have a question concerning the model for legendary items we've seen used this expansion: How do you feel about the way the questline and rewards have come so far? Will everyone who's been working on the item since 5.0 get a legendary in 5.4, or will there be a hard "choice" guilds will need to make concerning who gets the final form?
The intent is that everyone will (eventually) be able to get them. Players who put in more effort will generally get them first.

Will there be a final legendary weapon in mop? Or will we just get legendary power through many different items?
Oh hellz yeah. You're getting a glorious orange item. Wrathion is true to his word.

What are your feelings about RPPM trinkets?The general opinion in our guild(top 10 25 man guild) is that they are bad for the game.Its simply HUGE rng which is not even balanced between classes.Having or not having procs on pull on Lei Shen HC for example can make or break which force guilds to wait to make sure that all RPPM trinkets will proc.
This sounds like a bit of hyperbole to me. You're saying you intentionally wipe Lei Shen pulls when not enough trinkets proc in the first 15 seconds? I am highly skeptical. We did add protection against streaks of bad luck to the various ToT trinkets, and they're generally the overall strongest options currently available. We're still fine-tuning their design, but the so-called "RPPM" trinket model allows for more interesting gameplay decisions, particularly where skilled players can react to procs and modify their actions accordingly. Individual players may experience more variation, but on a raidwide level, trinket proc luck is incredibly unlikely to meaningfully vary to a degree that it would affect your entire group's success or failure.

Now that Ra-den has been defeated by a number of guilds around the world, what are your thoughts about the success of this encounter with its limited attempts and accessibility? Can we expect to see more such encounters in the future?
Mixed thoughts about Ra-den. The sense of mystery surrounding him was pretty cool. The first guilds that took down Heroic Lei Shen had no idea what to expect when that grate in Primordius's room opened. And after the grueling pace that some guilds set in blazing a path through the main Throne of Thunder progression, it gave them a chance to relax a bit, while still retaining a competitive mindset. The encounter itself had some bugs and tuning issues that were regrettable, and that's ultimately our failing. Clever raiders often work out unforeseen solutions to the problems presented by encounters, and unfortunately the "right" way to do Ra-den ends up being one that bypasses half the mechanics on the encounter. But with an environment of limited attempts and competition between guilds, re-tuning the encounter on the fly in order to correct that would have been problematic.

So, overall, a mixed bag. I wouldn't expect to see Heroic-only and/or limited-attempt bosses become a regular thing, but it's something we may revisit in the future, applying lessons learned from past experience as always.

Regarding heroic scenarios: Are there any differences between the normal and heroic difficulty of a scenario besides extra health and damage for mobs? (i.e. greater mob density, additional abilities)
There are! Unique bosses, trash, abilities and obviously the bonus objectives.

How many bosses will 5.4 have?
We're pretty happy with the overall size and epic feel of the Throne of Thunder raid. In that ballpark.

Should we expect the Siege of Orgrimmar to be moved back to prolong the expansion?
Nope, we are feeling really happy with the pace of our patches and all signs indicate we will keep moving at that pace for the forseeable future.

Random Heroics Not So Heroic? It seems that 3 of the 9 MoP dungeons (Nizuao, Scholomance and Shado Pan Monastery) show up a disproportionate amount of time when queueing for random heroics. In 5.2, VP bonuses were added for all three, suggesting WoW's design team saw something worth addressing there as well. Can you speak to this at all? Are there factors that can skew LFG towards particular dungeons, and are there any immediate plans to tinker with the system?
Random dungeons are... random? The VP bonuses were added to a handful of dungeons and scenarios based on their length, since when players queue Random in order to get Valor, we didn't want it to feel like a penalty when the loading screen for a lengthier instance popped up.

Something that bothers me-Heroic 25 man Lei Shen awards the same amount of VPs as clearing Temple of the Jade Serpent. Dont you think that if you can clear ToT 25 HC (or normal atleast) is worth a valor cap so you dont have to do random HCs or LFR for those extra points?Thats from me cheers.
As for sources of Valor, part of the intent of the system is to encourage players to experience a wide variety of content. Heroic Lei Shen drops slightly better loot than Sha of Doubt, so it's not like killing him is strictly underrewarded. That said, we are significantly buffing the amount of Valor rewarded by activities like Challenge Modes (and the new Heroic Scenarios) in 5.3, so you should be able to do more challenging content with your guildmates to get the remainder of your VP for the week, if you feel that LFR or random heroics aren't of interest.

In regards to the dark animus encounter, how did you imagine the large anima golem would fit into the encounter?, since every strat basically ignores them.
Using the Large golems can allow you to buy more time before the Animus itself reaches 100 Anima, but Crimson Wake was probably too punishing, such that the DPS loss from having to avoid it wasn't worth the extra 20-40 seconds on Heroic.

How do you feel about encounters in LFR that have their key mechanics completely changed from regular modes?
Ideally, we try to keep the differences between LFR and Normal to a minimum. It lets players potentially get used to the mechanics of the fight on LFR and then carry that experience over into Normal, and it lets veteran guild raiders better guide LFR groups. In some cases, however, there's no way to realistically salvage the original mechanic (imagine a version of Dark Animus that required all 25 LFR members to maintain specific positions and each handle their own Anima golem in a raidwide coordinated fashion...).

The rigid size structure of raiding makes it an extremely organised hobby. Do you think you could ever do flexi-group-size raids?
It's an interesting idea. There are a lot of challenges and questions we'd need to figure out, though. E.g., Elegon works fine with 1 person per pylon, and Elegon works fine with 3 people per pylon. What does Elegon look like with 1.4 people per pylon?

What are your feelings on "raid fights are trending towards more/too complex" wrt mechanics and timers
Good question. A constant challenge for us is striking a balance between the desire to see innovative mechanics and new challenges, and keeping content accessible and elegant. An encounter can have a ton of mechanics, yet compartmentalize them well enough that they all are easily understood and learned. Or it can have a handful, but throw them at you so frenetically that you're overwhelmed. The Dungeon Journal isn't always the most helpful tool in that regard -- you may open the DJ entry for a fight like Horridon and have your head explode, but the actual experience of learning the encounter only throws a handful of mechanics at players at a time, and you really don't need to worry about what the Amani Warbear does when you're still figuring out the Gurubashi Venom-Priests. That's not to say that we never fall into the trap of excessive complexity.

Also, while we're aware of the prevalence of boss mods, we try to avoid assuming that everyone uses them. Recently, we've increasingly done things like giving bosses visible energy bars that serve as an in-game version of your DBM/BigWigs timer for major abilities (e.g. Sha of Fear's breath).

Do you guys have any plans to ever make a LFD for Challenge Mode Dungeons?
We've generally found that "very hard" and "randomly matchmade groups" is not the best combination.

Any chance we'll see more weapon proc weapons next raid tier?
I'd say right about a 100% chance.

Battlegrounds such as Warsong Gultch and Twins peaks, players are focused more on "Farming Middle" or getting as many Killing Blows as possible rather then completing objectives. Any thoughts on trying to make Battlegrounds objectives or tasks more appealing? E.g.: You gain 5 Conquest Points for killing flag carrier/return flag
We've talked about revising how we reward honor in a way that promotes players focusing on objectives. We have to be careful of how we do this since more passive things, like guarding an objective in Arathi Basin, are important and help your team win.

Any plans of putting all CCs on the same DR? Would be much nicer in pvp if you can't be feared, stunned, feared, stunned, feared, dead.
We don't think this is a very good solution, especially with the number of CCs in the game. Ultimately, it would lead to casting spells ending with an "Immune" message and that doesn't feel good. But, we do appreciate that players aren't happy with the current state of Crowd Control and we're talking about how to fix it and make the DR system easier to understand.

Do you think less CC spells with larger effects or many CC spells with smaller effects are best for the game?
We understand that many players would like to see less PvP but with more impact. The challenge is that in PvP, players have to be able to kill each other. Healers have to be strong enough that they have an impact when they're healing, but that means the only way to get a kill is shutting them down for a short time. It's definitely a goal of ours to improve the Crowd Control experience in the future.

Instant heals in PvP are ridiculous at the moment....any plans to adjust this?
Instant heals, interrupts, crowd control and crowd control breaks are all very interlinked and in order to change one we have to change them all. It requires a lot of change.

Is it possible to make fear,polymorph,cyclone instant cast but with cd to try help with the high amount of CC's ingame atm?
We like the idea of cast time crowd control. Crowd Control should be powerful and come at a cost. Cast times are something players can counter. We'd definitely like to see more cast time crowd control spells. But a problem exists with melee since cast time spells don't feel good as melee.

There has been lots of talk recently about incentivizing more players to take part in rated pvp, but some players just prefer the freer, more chaotic nature of world pvp and random battlegrounds. Will you bear in mind that it would be a shame to compromise these aspects of pvp in favour of pushing more people towards the rated systems?
Absolutely! Even in ranked PvP the majority of players have the default cap so we understand that many players are not hardcore competitors. More than World PvP, unrated battlegrounds are the primary casual PvP experience in WoW and we try to support that experience as much as possible.

Would it be possible to open more BGs at lower levels? AB and WSG just aren't enough. I'd love to see AV at least at the beginning. Something big!
Battlegrounds are expansion content and most of them are tied to their relative expansions. It's why you don't see them open up into higher levels. But it's certainly something we could consider for the future.

Regarding Random Battleground, when observing how other PvP environments handle player progression, do you think WoW might over-emphasize the importance of player victory?
Battlegrounds are objective based team activities and the best way to incentivize players to play the game properly is by rewarding players primarily for victory. If we incentivize anything else, players will focus on that instead.

Any chance we might see a full fledged PvP zone that's NOT trying to be a BG? Something more like the 5.2 dailies but with the entire zone focused on PvP. Maybe with quest and captur-able areas and stuff like that.
Along with a lot of players, we see the appeal of the large epic PvP experience that a lot of players are pining for. Unfortunately, the nature of server imbalances has made this challenging on a lot of servers in the past. We definitely like the idea of something big huge and epic and we talk about concepts all the time.

The Rated Battleground gladiator mounts was a great idea and chances of bringing them back because after you get 2400 theirs no reason to play apart from getting your cap. Also now t2 is gone from 2200 theirs no reason to play at high ratings.
Yeah agree that we need more rewards to keep most players going outside of gear and rating. But we think granting player power based on rating made it difficult for players to break through that threshold.

Is there any talk of moving to a division system for arena rankings? (e.g. CoD, LoL)
We certainly think there are some benefits to those division systems, like providing intermediate milestones for all players. Ultimately, you still get to a situation where you feel like it's hard to improve.

Are there any chances you will work on the arena matchmaking in 2s and 3s? I hate joining arenas with another non-geared player and getting put up against full tyranical geared players with nearly 1.5 our health? Are there any ways to avoid this like leaving our pve gear in the bank or will we just have to suffer until we farm all the conquest from bgs?
Every players has a matchmaking rating (MMR) that is used to match them against opponents. This rating goes up or down based on whether or not you lose to a higher or lower rated oppponent. It is a good system and ultimately tries to give you interesting matches for your skill level. Using gear as a metric for matchmaking could be easily exploited.

What if players can kill a player of the same faction? If the price was to lose rep with your faction and eventually be at war with your faction just to get more targets, so be it. Id gladly exile myself to start more world PvP.
One of the best things about World of Warcraft is the natural animosity you feel for the enemy faction and the kinship you have with your allies. I'm not sure creating an environment where anyone can kill you at any time would be fun.

So with the 5.3 PvP changes it was mentioned that a player in full Tyrannical gear will be able to evenly match a player in full Heroic Raid gear in PvP. Why is it that Raiders will have a somewhat easy time getting into PvP content but PvPers won't have such an easy time getting into Raids due to their ilevel being far behind that of a Normal or Heroic Raider?
In the context of instanced PvP (battlegrounds and arenas), PvP geared players will have a distinct advantage. But the ilevel and itemization on PvP gear does allow players to get a foothold into PvE. The main point on both sides is that your gear should feel useful when crossing over. In the case of PvE gear in PvP, we felt the lack of resilience made the gear almost useless.

Is there a possibility of Arenas going cross realm?
Not sure if you mean making cross-realm teams or cross-team ladders. In both cases, we think they are good ideas and there is a strong chance we'll move in that direction.

Any words on more possibilities for PvP players to get gold?
There are a lot of ways for players to make gold in the game without necessarily doing their primary activity. For comparison, raiding is not the main source of income for PvE players. The farm alone is an easy and efficient way to engage in the player economy and make yourself some money.

PvE players use PvE to gain gold, as you just stated. Why can't PvP players use PvP to obtain enough gold to AT LEAST repair? I am fully geared and have trouble repairing as I refuse to do PvE/quests(person preference).
The need for gold incentivizes you to engage in the world beyond PvP. We think the game is better if you engage in different parts of the world.

Will there be any spectator mode added to arena/rbgs?
We don't have any plans for a spectator mode in arena/rbgs.

I understand that making all 34 specs viable for pvp would be a mess from the design and even from player PoV. But some cases were the specs differences are minimal (fury and combat/assa come to mind) seems like it's just lack of interest on your part... Can we expect some philosophy change on that matter?
If we can do something to make a spec more competitive we do, but class balance is heavily intertwined. Buffs to one spec often act as nerfs to another spec and vice versa.

We like gathering professions and think it's more fun to explore and level up when you have gathering. Not sure we're ready to pull the handle on everyone getting a gathering prof, but it is something we discuss. We have a different solution that hopefully isnt too clever for its own good that we are currently exploring.

Is there any chance of Engineers seeing the new crafted items in 5.4?
That is the plan, though I will be honest that we're not sure we can make the Skyclaw work. We are currently working on a different Engineering mount. Stay tuned.

That 7th Sha, still lurking?
You'll hear about it in 5.3... but that won't be the end of it!

Your thoughts on Wrathion? Is he a good guy or another Deathwing, but just a better manipulator?
Maybe Wrathion really has the best interests of the world at heart. Or maybe Wrathion's view of "best interests" doesn't sync up with OUR view. Dude's an enigma, man!

There has been a lot of talk of the alliance being shortchanged lore-wise this expansion. Are there any plans to change this? (aka where is the fist pumping moment?)
I think the Alliance has had some strong moments this expansion: Jaina's arc is interesting, it's nice to see her engaged in world events again. The Dalaran sequence was a pretty awesome Alliance win. We've spent more time with Varian and Anduin than in any other expansion. (Though if your complaint is that we've been human-heavy with the lore, we're pretty guilty! An informal survey of our team reveals that that most of us are human.)

When we tried to figure out the story arc for this expansion, we wanted to focus on war. And we thought, after Cataclysm, we really needed an Alliance win. We're getting to raid a capital city and overthrow its Warchief - something that's never happened before! POW! Obviously we needed to spend some time developing the major expansion villain, so we're seeing a lot of Garrosh.

The overall story depicts the Alliance drawing together while the horde is splintering apart. By 5.4 the Alliance war machine is hitting the beaches of Durotar, having softened them up with wetworks in advance. Fun stuff.

We really focused on Varian, Jaina, and Anduin this time around. We'll be able to spotlight other characters in the future.

Can we move away from the "Alliance is the good guys" phase? WoW lore is usually about grey areas, usually no one being the clear 'good guy' (though perhaps not in the manner of Warhammer, in which everyone's insane). MoP, however, has painted a lovely (awful) picture of most of the Horde - Orcs in specific. Sure, there's Garrosh, but can we please see the Alliance do something despicable so that I can see less "HORDE R EVAL" Scrolls of Lore threads?
Good question! Alliance seems awfully good ... when compared to Garrosh, who's started using his own people as cannon fodder and is weaponizing everything he can get his hands on. But there are still grey areas. Do you think Jaina did the right thing in Dalaran? What about Admiral Rogers gunning down drowning soldiers in Pandaria? There's an edge there.

Following the fall of Garrosh, will the Alliance be turning its attention to reclaiming its lost territory in the Northern Eastern Kingdoms? I speak primarily of Lordaeron, Gilneas, and Stromgarde.
This is something we struggle with, because after Cataclysm we seriously question the time-investment of re-doing old zones. Presumably, from a lore standpoint, the Horde is going to have to back down from areas on the edge of conquest (particularly Ashenvale.) But we don't want to re-do that zone - it's an important Horde level-up area. And even if we DID re-do it, we'd still have to have quests - it couldn't just be night elves /dancing. On a related note, would you guys be willing to sacrifice a new zone in the next expansion for us to re-do Gilneas? As an Alliance only zone? What gameplay would we get out of it?

So it's an open question for us, how we show the impact of the war without re-doing zones that we just re-did for Cataclysm.

A fear many Alliance players have is that everything that the Horde has done to the faction up until this point will be laid on Garrosh and all will be forgiven. Can we safely assume that this will not be the case? To the Alliance, the Horde has a lot to answer for without Hellscream.
I address this somewhat in an above answer - how SHOULD we depict Alliance justice without deleting a bunch of old zone content? Also, we still need to make sure a Horde EXISTS after Garrosh falls, because, you know, they're half our players. But certainly going forward into the next expansion we can carry forward the themes of Horde trying to rebuild itself from an absolutely terrible war and the Alliance - a unified victorious juggernaut - taking the initiative in the challenges that lie ahead.

Orgrimmar is going to be a bloodbath.

Is there going to continue to be more story development involving more of the female world leaders, quest NPCs and such? Pandaria gave us people like Suna and Taoshi, but we also have Alleria, Tyrande, Moira, etc?
We got to spend more time with Jaina lately, and Moira gets a great moment in 5.3. (I really like Moira.) I'm also a fan of Zaela of the Dragonmaw - do you guys think she should survive the war?

Feedback from 5.1 shows that not everyone was happy with Tyrande being so hotheaded. We were trying to get her a little back to her impulsive War3 roots, but it doesn't seem to have played well with fans. So I'd like to revisit Tyrande at some point.

Now, Sylvanas? UP TO SOMETHING, I guarantee.

Admiral Rogers seems to strike a chord with people, she's pretty badass. We also spent a little time with Vereesa Windrunner, who's coping with the loss of her husband... all interesting story hooks. We can only follow up on so much story, but we like to spend time with interesting characters whenever gameplay allows.

I saw an article about Garrosh, questioning his being Corrupt. It had some pretty good arguments that sided against it. I'd post the link if it were allowed, though I'm not sure if I am so I won't. The way it is being built up seems to point towards corrupt though. What's your take on it?
So many Warcraft villains are corrupt or possessed. Garrosh? He's just a bad apple. Everything is a weapon to him. Even the sha.

Does Rastakhan support what Zul and his followers are doing? I know he didn't believe Zul's visions at first, but now?
Rastakhan was only humoring Zul until the Cataclysm struck. Afterwards, Zul commanded a lot of respect among the Zandalari. Rastakhan's empire is sinking into the sea, and only Zul has a way out - I think he supports the prophet. We'll see more of the Zandalari... someday!

This might be a little specific, but I loved the dialogue options you get (as Alliance) with Jaina during the Shieldwall questline where you first meet with her and Anduin in Dalaran. Do you think you guys would ever include that RP mechanic again in future quests?
Truth told? Most players skip right over that and click randomly, so far as we can tell. But we definitely like a lot of flavor. I don't think we'll always include that as a quest mechanic, but we'd like to have more places where you can pick a character's brain.

From a lore perspective, going into expansions and even content patches it's becoming more important to refer to outside material (especially with the last few novels) to fully grasp what is going on in the game that goes beyond supplementary material. In the future, are we going to be seeing more of this implemented in the game itself (especially with scenarios filling some of that role currently.)
I'm not sure that statement is true with regards to Pandaria - we kicked off the expansion by showing the war heating up with the destruction of Theramore in-game. If you really want to know what's inside Jaina's head, you can read the novels, but otherwise, it was pretty much in-game: War is on, a new continent is discovered, let's roll! Now, whether or not the Theramore events were adequate is another matter... they definitely needed a little more setup and context. But, we're getting there.

With MoP there was a vast improvement in Lore/Story telling with Lorewalker Cho narrations and the lore objects. In which ways are you going to continue to improve Storytelling after MoP?
I'm glad you liked Cho! A very talented voice actor, Jim Cummings, really brought that character to life for us. (Trivia: He was also Minsc in the Baldur's gate series!) We're really happy with how those events played out - it's optional content, so it's not in your face, but lots of people took the time to do it and were rewarded with some fun stories. Lorewalker Cho may not accompany us into other expansions, but we'd like to keep rolling with a similar system...

Have you ever considered doing a false ending for an expansion? Like having a final raid set up and then having it relieved that the bad guy you were fighting wasn't the true villain?
As I recall, most people figured Illidan was the ultimate antagonist of Burning Crusade....

So apprently the Klaxxi have told us that our Gods are not our Gods (Mind exploded), so it seems we have the wrong believes of the Gods in Azeroth? Will we see more of this information giving to us by the Klaxxi be revealed in the futures patch.
The "Your/our" typo should be fixed in 5.3. The Klaxxi definitely worship the Old Ones, though, so watch out if there's ever a chance of one reappearing on Azeroth....

Turalyon and Alleria are still absent after all these years. Did they find a portal to a tropical island planet and are sitting on the beach drinking cocktails with the little umbrellas in them right now or something?
I LIKE that answer! But I suspect they opted to do something heroic instead. We'll come back to them when the time is right.

Whatever happened to Koltira Deathweaver? As a Death Knight, that's one plotline that's left me hanging. Mograine can't be to happy about one of his best getting kidnapped either...
Poor Koltira. I guess you should NEVER cross Sylvanas... you'll be chained beneath Undercity for multiple expansions! He's one of those plotlines we'd like to return to... eventually.

How much does feedback from players affect design decisions, especially after release?
A great deal! Now obviously we're willing to consider more sweeping changes for expansions than for patches or hotfixes, but I'd say 75-90% of our changes are trying to address player feedback in some form.

Any chance of Tabards getting their own form of storage eventually? I have so many clogging up my bank!
High chance. It won't be 5.3 or 5.4 though.

Any news on the character model updates for the old races?
That sound you hear is Chris Robinson, our art director, going door to door trying to find what room we are doing this interview in so he can do me great harm for even considering answering this question.

Any plans to allow players to adjust settings for particle density from other players' spells? Need to see boss's spells, hard to through everything else in a raid.
Totally agree. We had a decent handle on this last expansion but it's gotten out of control again. We have a meeting tomorrow in fact to discuss solutions.

Any plans to make the LFR queuing system allow you to queue to more then one at a time
Yes. Not for 5.3, though.

Any plans to add unattained mounts to the journal similar to pets?
It's something we want to do, we have actually already done some work on it. It would work very similar to the pet journal. No timeframe on it though, it's a big undertaking.

Pet Battles
Wild battle pets, released after 5.0, have gradually gotten less and less breeds. Is this because of the pet "gem slots" Cory talked about? If not, will pets continue to be released as mono-/dual-breed pets?
No particular reason tbh. We try to vary up the breeds based on what type of pet it is. Reward pets are locked to one breed for obvious reasons but we plan to keep adding lots of multi-breed pets in the future.

Epic pets soon? And if so is it just going to be through an item like epic pet battle stone, or something more interesting?
Current plan is to introduce a couple epic pets in 5.4. We are working on a cool, new way to obtain them as well. Pretty hyped about it.

About rare pet battle-stones, i have about 7 of a family that i don't need anymore, any chance we may be able to "trade" them for other family stones?
Working on something for this exact issue in 5.4. I feel your pain.

Will Battle pets caught in the wild be Trade able?
Great question! This is something we went back and forth on quite a bit before MoP shipped. We are very happy with the call we made though. Love the fact that players are actually out in the world, catching pets and not sitting in town.

In pet battles, I feel you made us fight Legendary pets too early, in future expansions are all the pet battles going to be Legendary?
Lots of things we can do to make fights interesting outside of a pet being legendary.

Can we ever expect to see a more in depth pet battle pvp system? With how popular they are would you guys be open to adding a win/loss tracker. I see that we are getting a win tracker but a rating or season type system would be amazing!
We are taking a watch and see approach on it. We added a weekly quest and some tracking to 5.3. If that pans out successful, we will continue to add to the PVP side of pet battles.

Will there be any spectator mode added to Pet Battles?

Reputation / Questing
Will you be using scenarios as a way to level our characters similar to dungeons?
Certainly something that we have an interest in trying moving forward. We think scenarios can fill a lot of roles and earning XP could certainly be one of them.

Should we hope for even more voice acted quests in the future? Cause they definitely made questing feel more alive. Also a sound option for dialogues volume, so we can hear the bosses' quotes a lot easier.
We like being agile and versatile with our quest content, and we rearrange events right up to the very last minute. So I think in the future we'll continue to limit VO to very important key story moments, and not use it everywhere. That said, we're glad you enjoyed the VO work in Mists. We think it really gives those moments a lot of gravity.

Do you feel that delivering the reputation-based story quests as in 5.1 was a success, and will it be used again?
Love this question! We got a very positive response to the way 5.1 story quests rolled out over time as you did dailies. It was pretty time-consuming from a development standpoint but was totally worth it, as opposed to - for example - adding 40 new randomized blue bangs instead. Expect to see more like that in the future.

RE: Green fire quest. Lessons learned? Any plans you can elaborate on for other classes?
We LOVE class-specific quests, especially ones that really sell the fantasy of the class and feel epic. Feedback on the green fire quest has been great, with two exceptions: 1. Nobody liked the hook to get started, so we should revisit that (although we definitely wanted green fire to be exclusive) and 2. many complained that the last fight was too difficult (although we ALSO got feedback that many players loved the challenge.)

Unfortunately, really strong class quests take a lot of time to make. A LOT of time. So we have to pick and choose our moments. I wouldn't expect to see a lot of class stuff in the future, but hopefully we can shine the spotlight around.

The advent of phasing in the game in Wrath and increased use in Cata and MoP has been good. It's allowed to show some permanent results for quests and such. Will phasing be used more in the upcoming patches and expansions to show the results of questing in a more permanent manner that doesn't affect lower level characters leveling?
There are a lot of things about phasing that we like. Also a number of things we would like to solve. We are hoping to introduce some tech to help groups of friends be able to play together even if they are in different phases. Stay tuned!

What happened to the "Trials of the High King" quest that was proposed even before MoP was announced?
The first trial, the trial of Patience, was in 5.1. Player response wasn't 100% positive so we really went back to the drawing board and the next one, the trial of Loyalty, isn't coming out until 5.3. As players have noted on the PTR, it's less of a "Trial" and more of a demonstration of Loyalty that moves the whole Alliance. We wanted to do these as scenarios so that we could invest maximum resources and really make them cool and repeatable. Now the question is whether or not scenarios are the right place for this type of content. What do you guys think?

Concerning Quest based lore progression - some events like the Battle for Undercity were taken our of the game for being misplaced in the narrative. Should I worry about other quest lines ending in epicness being taken out of the game?
Actually the problem was that the Battle for Undercity played out TERRIBLE when you were the only person doing it and you had to wait sometimes as long as five minutes for it to start. These days we'd do it as a solo scenario. It was a cool lore moment. It would be nice to re-integrate it into the game, but the effort it would take to build it would mean building one less scenario for the current expansion. (...maybe a heroic scenario someday? We reserve the right to pull stuff out of the game when it just doesn't live up to gameplay standards. We're trying to make sure content these days will survive the test of time (i.e, if you play the Isle of Thunder sequence two years from now, it should still feel pretty epic.)

How successful do you feel the legendary quest-line have been so far? And do you plan on keeping it like this in future expansions?
We think it's been a great vehicle for keeping people engaged throughout the expansion, and rewarded for participating. The final items -- both the epics in 5.3 and the legendaries in 5.4 - should be well worth the effort. It's been very successful, we'll do something like it again!

I loved the epic feeling to the pre lich king world event where you were involved in it for as much or as little time as you wanted. Is there any plans to bring world events like that back instead of the one shot 15 min events that currently seem to be happening?
A lot of players have responded that they really missed some kind of big world event. We were a little surprised by how frequently we heard that, so we'll definitely try to work in something epic in the future. When it comes down to it, we'd rather invest our time in something players will play for months than for days, which is why it became much lower priority this time.

One of the major complaints about the final Cataclysm raid was the lack of new environments. How do you plan to avoid this problem in the Siege of Orgrimmar?
Lesson learned. You can plan on seeing new environments in the 5.4 raid for sure. (along with Orgrimmar)

How will cross-realm zones work in the new Barrens quest hubs? Seems like it could get pretty crowded.
The current plan is for Barrens to NOT CRZ at the launch of 5.3. We can always turn that off or on if we want to.

Do you plan on addressing the server population issues soon or you just planing on keeping exploiting it to make further revenue off of server transfers?
We do have plans and we are actively (as in I was in a meeting on it yesterday) working on a plan. We don't want to share that plan until we are reasonably confident that it is going to work. We want to be clear that we don't think the experience for players on very low pop realms (which includes very imbalanced factions on otherwise active realms) is a good one. We want to solve it.

Do you have plans to address PVP servers where one faction is insanely active while the other is essentially dormant
Greg mentioned in another answer that we are looking at solutions for zones with low populations and faction imbalances.

I personally feel like the seasonal events are great fun but after having completed all of them on multiple toons as well as each year tried to get new pets I've become slightly bored with them. I've thought and wondered why aren't there every couple of months some sort of small event that gratifies groups of players for completing tasks. Maybe its some sort of scavenger hunt and or blood bath. Like what if the 3rd Tuesday of each month a random event was on the board at org and we had to show up somewhere to complete a task and the winner and or winners got some sort of transmog item or pet and or achievement.
This is something we have been thinking about and we would like to have more things like it. the fishing tournaments are great examples.

Will the barrens quests interfere with the leveling process in the area
Nope - it doesn't impact the leveling content and low-level players are neutral with the Kor'kron, who consider you beneath them. Uh... you're welcome to try to take one out, though!

Why the absolute focus on casual gaming
Back in vanilla, a lot of our players were content just to level characters. just leveling was a huge commitment. In later expansions, even though players reached max level pretty quickly, they could still go back and level an alt. But even if you love alts, there are only so many you are willing to level before you're kind of done with it. LK brought achievements, which again provided some amount of content for a lot of players, but just adding new achievements only provides so much additional content. So in Cataclysm and MoP we decided to bring a lot of players into raiding, which is one of the most epic and rewarding experiences in WoW. It was a pretty successful endeavor.

I'm going to assume that's what you meant, but I'll also add that heroic Lei Shen and gold Challenge Modes are as non casual as anything we've ever offered in WoW.

You are not prepared.

Any chance we will see Illidan return soon?
Also not prepared.

Regarding players who quit WoW, what tactics or ideas are being made to keep, or attract the former players back?
We have tried things like Scroll of Resurrection in the past and may do so again. The risk of focusing so much on former players is it risks our current and very loyal players from feeling like they aren't valued, which couldn't be farther from the truth.

Longer term, we want to focus on making it easier to get to the good stuff in the new expansion. Getting excited about MoP, then logging in and remembering you were in Blade's Edge doing Ogri'la dailies and having no idea what to do next or how or when or how long to get to Pandaria is quite the bummer.

Cut content is pretty ubiquitous in WoW (Abyssal Maw, Azjol-Nerub, Path of the Titans, etc.) If you can say, what were some of things cut from MoP and it's patches?
We honestly did not cut much from MoP. We were very happy with the amount of content that we delivered. We thought alot about the item squish but ended up holding off. That was probably one of the biggest things.

Are there any future plans to develop systems that make constant actual character progression beyond gear possible? One of the coolest things about making a toon your main in Everquest was the Alternate Advancement system (which I am sure more than a few of your community members and devs have had experience with). This system attached inherent value to staying with your main and also made your main character feel unique. As tiers and expansions come and go, the AA exp and points/percs you earned stay with you, there are so many points to go for that you have limitless access to continued character development. I love WoW always have, always will. However I feel like a lot of the RPG and character development is just not there, I can level two hunters to 90 and the only difference other than racial bonuses is the gear I wear, spec i pick (1 of 3) and the talent layout of 7 choices. It feels more like doing a load out for call of duty, than a character I have invested years of time into.
Path of the Titans was something like AAs I am told. (I was not an EQ player.) We still like the idea of Paths or something like them to reward players power that isn't tied to levels or gear. We have a lot of progression systems that aren't power (say pet battles) that work pretty well.

How has the usage of twitter affected your decisions, to receive questions, feedback, and requests from players?
The best thing about twitter is it forces players to focus their feedback to the most important things to them and to be very brief. That allows me to communicate with a lot more players than I ever could via forums.

I REALLY REALLY want to see Naga as a playable race but every time I ask if they ever will be, I always get non yes or no answers that just leave me hanging. So do u think Naga could ever be a playable race? Yes or No
Could? Yes. They are cool. It would present some unique challenges, such as lack of pants.

Ogres as a playable race? Any chance of this happening (however remote)?
We considered them for Cataclysm. We got to the point of trying to figure out what ogre ladies looked like.

Who is the monster behind Throne of Thunder trash? They are truly evil and deserve a raise!
We actually contracted out the creation of the equally-epic-yet-non-loot-dropping-non-boss mobs in Throne of Thunder to a giant snail. I think he did a pretty good job.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Live Developer Q&A - Patch 5.2 and Beyond started by chaud View original post
Comments 71 Comments
  1. The Glitch's Avatar
    Looking forward to this!
  1. itzLCD's Avatar
    These questions are just as bad as the LIVE QNA questions from Blizzcon
  1. Colors's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by GamerLCD View Post
    These questions are just as bad as the LIVE QNA questions from Blizzcon
    Did you post any questions?
  1. itzLCD's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ebonskye View Post
    Did you post any questions?
    They won't chose mine.
  1. makominami's Avatar
    Wow these are some the most BS answers ever, typical blizzard won't actually answer something without being so damn cryptic
  1. sweatshopkids's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by GamerLCD View Post
    They won't chose mine.
    I can't imagine why.
  1. Feanoro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sweatshopkids View Post
    I can't imagine why.
    Because he didn't ask 1) a question that's been repeatedly answered for years, 2) pokemon, 3) a story question that won't get a straight answer anyway, or 4) herp derp pvp.
  1. itzLCD's Avatar
    It was a serious questions and so probably avoided.

    - For me I feel Mists of Pandaria has probably been the best expansion so far in terms of gameplay and design. For my question, I've been playing my DK since day 1 of wrath and enjoyed him very much. Although it feels like they havent changed in over 4 years. Going into MoP most of our talents are rehashed and to be blunt didn't receive anything new. Are there plans to fix our runeforging and give us some extra rune mechanics to adds some excitement for us?
  1. Zatheyll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by GamerLCD View Post
    It was a serious questions and so probably avoided.

    - For me I feel Mists of Pandaria has probably been the best expansion so far in terms of gameplay and design. For my question, I've been playing my DK since day 1 of wrath and enjoyed him very much. Although it feels like they havent changed in over 4 years. Going into MoP most of our talents are rehashed and to be blunt didn't receive anything new. Are there plans to fix our runeforging and give us some extra rune mechanics to adds some excitement for us?
    Question's already been answered multiple times just since the start of MoP. Blizzard does plan on redoing Runeforging to begin with.
  1. Halorl's Avatar
    I'm a little frustrated that most of the questions seemed to be about pet battles. Maybe it's just me, but that seems like the most unimportant part of the game.
  1. Zatheyll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Halorl View Post
    I'm a little frustrated that most of the questions seemed to be about pet battles. Maybe it's just me, but that seems like the most unimportant part of the game.
    And for others it's very important. Pet Battles are astoundingly popular in WoW, more so than even Blizzard hoped for.

    I saw a few Bet Battle questions, but most of them seemed geared towards other things to me. Maybe you just noticed what you didn't care for more than what you did?
  1. Venaliter's Avatar
    Pure vanilla; barely any specific class questions were answered; many of the questions answered were ALREADY answered on Twitter. Very disappointing.
  1. chaud's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Venaliter View Post
    Pure vanilla; barely any specific class questions were answered;
    Answering class questions is usually not done, as many people don't care about the answers to other class's questions. It is a better use of time to answer questions that are applicable to more people.
  1. Reckhx's Avatar
    Crithto sent me private message, we had a chat... im so happy right now

    oh spoilers!!!

    [Private Message to TehNuub] We actually can't see what region a question comes from, just the "name" of the person and what he or she asked.

    [Private Message to Crithto] You sir deserve a cookie thx for reply, but do not give to Ghostcrawler (Im a Ret Paladin)

    [Private Message to TehNuub] I wouldn't! He'd just nerf how delicious it was and remove 1/3 of the chocolate chips. /cry

    I don't know how he did it but i tried to send to GC, but i guess i couldn't manage :P
  1. MoanaLisa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Halorl View Post
    I'm a little frustrated that most of the questions seemed to be about pet battles. Maybe it's just me, but that seems like the most unimportant part of the game.
    Having been something of a skeptic about pet battles myself I didn't bother with them until I became aware that they were a decent alternate way of getting charms. So two or three weeks ago I started out. To my surprise, the play is pretty engaging and they're a lot of fun. There's also a surprising amount of depth to them although not so much as to make your head hurt or anything. So I can well imagine that they are quite popular and have since talked about it with other people and many feel the same way.

    So, whether or not it's a guilty pleasure, many people find them fun to do.
  1. Snorri's Avatar
    Meh, there were a lot of stupid questions, like "Where is Mankrik's wife?!" I asked many interesting lore questions regarding Saurfang, the titans, C'thun and Yogg'Saran, Azshara, Sylvanas and others.
  1. Venaliter's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by chaud View Post
    Answering class questions is usually not done, as many people don't care about the answers to other class's questions. It is a better use of time to answer questions that are applicable to more people.
    While I can't disagree entirely with that, the fact remains class questions are the most interesting questions, even if you have to sit still through other classes. Also, many questions were already answered or were pretty inane. An interesting Q and A this does not make.
  1. Aeriscats's Avatar
    Who is the monster behind Throne of Thunder trash? They are truly evil and deserve a raise!
    We actually contracted out the creation of the equally-epic-yet-non-loot-dropping-non-boss mobs in Throne of Thunder to a giant snail. I think he did a pretty good job.
    Awe yeah, that was me.
  1. sebun's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Venaliter View Post
    While I can't disagree entirely with that, the fact remains class questions are the most interesting questions, even if you have to sit still through other classes. Also, many questions were already answered or were pretty inane. An interesting Q and A this does not make.
    For you, I usually enjoy reading through the lore questions and answers more and I'm sure there's people that are more interested in raid related questions.
  1. mmocd33b83f790's Avatar
    So can my ret paladin become Arthas now then, please?

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