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Warlords of Draenor - Developer Interviews
Blizzplanet had the opportunity to interview Tom Chilton at Gamescom last week. The highlights of the interview are below.

New Races
  • "I am 100% sure we will do some new races at some point, in some other expansion that is coming up." (Source)

  • Originally the team wanted to have all of the buildings affect your garrison's missions, but as they playtested it became clear that the buildings should have more of an impact on your gameplay out in the world. The garrison also was tied into the storyline more than originally planned.
  • The team originally intended for you to learn how to use your garrison while leveling, and then offer more choices once you have reached maximum level. They realized that players wanted the flexibility earlier, so the experience has more choices early on now.
  • Garrisons are getting closer to being done now, with the next beta build increasing the functionality of some of the buildings.
  • The Gladiator's Sanctum is one building getting some new functionality.
    • Players can do quests to earn rewards, such as collecting broken bones by defeating enemy players.
    • Players will be able to target a specific race as their nemesis.
    • There is also a free for all event that grants access to special armor that you can't get any other way.

  • Players may not go to Farahlon during this expansion, it depends on if the content is relevant to the expansion.
  • Bladespire and Karabor were giant spaces and there weren't enough to put into them to make them cities. For example, players would have had to run long distances between the bank and the auction house, which isn't a great gameplay experience. They had cool looking art, but that doesn't translate into usable cities.

Warlords of Draenor - Stormwind and Orgrimmar Transmog Sets
The Dwarven Bunker / War Mill building in your garrison has a vendor that sells Cosmetic transmog sets, including a nice Stormwind / Orgrimmar set. The set is sold for different Iron Horde scraps that drop from Iron Horde mobs in the world and dungeons.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Why Would Horde Orcs Fight the Iron Horde?
I just don't understand the motive for Orcs to fight literally their own flesh and blood. If I was in WoW with my Orc lock I would not fight against the Iron Horde.
Some orcs have stood by Garrosh's side. You've seen and fought them in Siege of Orgrimmar; however, a majority of the orcs stood with the Horde and against Garrosh's vision of a "pure" Horde, one that is made entirely of, or at least entirely led by, orcs and orcs alone.

Why do humans fight against humans, or those within a nation against their neighbors? There are complexities that go beyond nation, or species, or race. I think it's a valid question: why would someone want to fight against their neighbor, or even their own family, and yet it happens every day.

In this case the Iron Horde threatens all of Azeroth. Anyone who stands with the Horde is the enemy. Wanting to break off from the Horde and side with the Iron Horde is... sure, a valid way to maybe RP your character (also certainly the desire of some of the characters in the game) and you can maybe even find some fun ways to explore that story line for your character, but it's not the story arc the game is intentionally telling for you or your character.

[i]Multiverse. The moment Garrosh went back an alternative timeline skewed off. Nothing in this alternate Draenor affects our timeline, except that Garrosh has opened a portal back to our universe to bring the Iron Horde through and murder us.

Is this still actually a confusion point? (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Garrison Follower Quality
We're clearly not communicating this well, but if you continue to level an uncommon follower beyond 100 they eventually become rare, and a rare eventually becomes epic.

Also, legendary followers aren't supposed to exist yet, is a bug that they were showing up in the inn. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
how many people are involved before a change is made to a class/spec please?
Depends upon the change. I'd say the average is 3-5. Only one person being involved is limited to tiny things that we know... (Celestalon)
...each other well enough to know we'd agree with. We are very collaborative. (Celestalon)

Not meant to be a loaded question, but the number of people disgusted by downtime added to their specs surely rings alarm bells?
The related thing is that people have trouble distinguishing two stacked changes. PTR characters have less haste, thus slower. (Celestalon)
And then, when people test out any change that affects speed, mentally, feeling-wise, they compare it to what they're used to. (Celestalon)
So, 20% less haste, plus 10% slower rotation = feels 30% slower than they're used to = EXCRUCIATING. (Celestalon)

Interesting psychological phenomenon:Build 1: This feels great.OK, now I'll slow it down by... 10%.Build 2: OMG EXCRUCIATINGLY SLOW!!! (Celestalon)
this confuses me. If something feels great, why slow it down?
In order to prevent scaling and rotational problems down the line, when they have more haste. (Celestalon)
Making specs un-fun to play compared to live, just to solve future numerical issues feels completely wrong.
Resetting power levels with each expansion is definitely something that feels bad to a lot of people. Wish we... (Celestalon)
...had a way to provide the scaling fun gameplay, without having power resets. (Celestalon)

What's your plan for perks? Seems like you rolled the troughput ones into the spells baseline.
Yes. We're switching to perks every *other* level, instead of every level. Most of the unused perks were 'baked in'. (Celestalon)
90+ perks every other level now, versus every level? Any insight on reasoning?
.Many of the perks we had were not turning out to be as exciting as had been hoped, and some were problematic designs. Changing... (Celestalon)

hey uhh is Unholy Might just like gone now? it is no longer in the Unholy DK spellbook.
Just hidden. (Celestalon)
all for simplifying spell books but stat alterations are probably something that should be listed somewhere.
The argument for hiding it is that it never matters to any decision you make. (Celestalon)
Information is never a bad thing to have though. Even if things like that are put into a separate tab.
That's actually deceptively false. Information *absolutely* is a bad thing when it hides more useful information. (Celestalon)
Can you datamine this info? Might not be useful in a spellbook, but the dedicated would be interested.
Yes. (Celestalon)

Monk (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Hey, not to be bothersome but I was wondering if there was any way that Healing Spheres the ability could return?
No, it was simply too awkward and yet overpowered. The Mastery-based orbs, combined with Detonate Chi, should work well. (Celestalon)
I play as a windwalker actually and I just won't find much use out of Afterlife orbs
Ah, for a Windwalker, Surging Mist will fulfill the same role, but better. (Celestalon)

Paladin (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
new anim for seal of insight. can we expect new ones for blessings and other seals also??? they all feel really outdated
No further plans currently. The new Seal of Insight visual was sort of a happy accident; made for something else that we scrapped. (Celestalon)

Priest (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Anything you can say about the removed Psychic Horror perk? Any compensation?
We felt it was an unnecessary change and we removed it. (holinka)
Agree it was too long but completly removing it? Priest CC is not very good. Talent options break too fast, MC is bad.
Shadow CC is quite good. Silence, Psychic Horror and a talent. (holinka)

Warrior (Forums / Skills / WoD Talent Calculator)
Any thoughts on having Slam baseline for Arms, but have the stacking feature a talent?
Don't plan to do that; prefer to keep baseline more simple, and give you more power to add depth via the talents. (Celestalon)

Character / Items
With the Dwarven Bunker selling Stormwind guard transmog-gear, any chance for guard gear of other factions to be included?
Adding tons of cosmetic gear right now might overload your bags in a bad way, trying not to go overboard quite yet (Muffinus)
On one hand, understandable. On the other, we want more. I hope in time the other races get their guard-gear.
Oh for sure, it's high on our list of features to get to ASAP. (Muffinus)

Proving Grounds
I haven't seen anything about the new proving grounds? R u using the old ones or they just not in yet?
Proving Grounds plan: Will still be in the Tiger Temple for now, but with new achievements for level 100. (Celestalon)
this is a real shame, was really looking forward to new PG's for WoD with many improved features
We're still planning improvements to it in the future. Some improvements will make 6.0: Scaling by gear. (Celestalon)

Will the mobs in LFR Molten Core be immune to fire? It's just not the same if it's not pointlessly difficult <3
Elemental immunities/resistances are one of the only things we "nerfed" in the name of playability. (WatcherDev)

Do your internal testers take turns being "that guy" in LFR, pulling everything in sight?
Reducing Golemagg's aggro radius is one of the other concessions I had to make. (WatcherDev)

.so is it for sure that WoD raids can be run by up to 30 people?
Very little is "for sure" but server performance has seemed fine so far with 30, so it's looking good. (WatcherDev)

any chance pvp titles and elig to buy classic gear will be acc-wide? Really'd like to use my conqueror on other chars!
No plans to bring that account wide. (holinka)

Any plans to mildly incentivize city raids again? People just aren't interested in the old achieve/mount rewards any more.
We don't have any plans right now. We think Ashran will provide a lot of that experience you might have had with those raids. (holinka)

Can you add legendary pvp weapons with cool effects, that require a lot of time spent in ashran to get and only work in ashran?
We experimented with Ashran only gear or time limited gear, but there were a lot of usability issues. Buffs are just clearer to use (holinka)

Hate to be nay-sayer, but I found Ashran to be a confusing mess. There is nothing explaining what to do or what POI are.
Would love to know more for sure. Did you receive any quests when you entered the zone? Did you complete them? Want to improve. (holinka)
I got a few 'talk to some NPCs', 'collect stuff for potions' and 'explore map' quests. But none of them explain the 'big picture'
Really the big picture is explore the island, kill everything, get rewards. Definitely want to hear feedback about it. (holinka)
We are trying to emulate Timeless Isle where you arrive at the island, get shown around then left to your own devices. (holinka)
it's a risk to not give a lot of explanation so knowing where we lost you helps. (holinka)

any idea where the pvp vendors on live will be? I was thinking maybe ashran hubs.
Conquest vendor will be in Ashran, Honor will likely be in the staging areas. (holinka)

If there isn't already, add a rating requirement for PVP. 2v2, 3v3, 5v5, 10v10 separate of course. Optional of course.
We'll allow players to add that in their description but we don't want to institutionalize requirements like that. (holinka)
Oh alright. I was just wondering because there's the minimal ilvl option. Thought it'd be nice to have one for rating.
Gear that can qualify you for a group can often be obtained on your own. Things like raiding achievements or rating cannot. (holinka)
It's possible that as players use this we see something just keeps coming up. We can iterate on it. (holinka)

Is it possible we can get the old WoW High Warlords gear. If we reach High Warlord in TM Vs SS??
We looked into transmogging you into that gear if you reached max level in the BG but it was a tremendous undertaking.Didn't make it (holinka)

What if the TM vs. SS will be a success? Will that make keeping the BG even after the event is over? We can never have too many BGs
I actually think you can have too many bgs (holinka)

Might have been asked: If popular in TMvSS, is there a chance that old honor system might return for good? Why was it removed?
The old honor system is not coming back. The SSvTM deathmatch has some nostalgic nods to the old system. (holinka)
.In SSvTM players go up in rank as they earn kills. But higher ranked players are worth more points. (holinka)
.Kill a rank 1, your team gets 1 point. Kill a rank 15, your team gets 15 points. (holinka)
Rank 15 = City Protector?
yeah I think we will only go to 14 actually (holinka)
Are people running around with a buff or number over their heads for rank or just get lucky on your kills?
They have a buff and when the die there's float combat text indicated how many points they were worth (holinka)
So, no chance at getting old legacy pvp titles from this?
.There isn't a plan to have anything in this anniversary event unlock the old PvP transmog sets. (holinka)
Will you keep your rank though? As in, when people kill you they see KB: Grand Marshal etc?
You lose one rank when you die. (holinka)

so how much of Hillsbrad will players be able to explore? Between SS and TM, or entire zone?
It's confined to the area between the two towns. We want you fighting, not running away from the fight. (holinka)

is Defense of the Alehouse still a thing?
Not really (holinka)

Setting up VO for Ashran bosses Julianne Tremblade and Volrath as well as King Krong. They sound amazing! (holinka)
Is Ashran conceptually finished? Was hoping there would be some buff towers along the road/More incentive to kill generals.
We're still working on win conditions and rewards. (holinka)

Yeah. Feels like the lane stuff doesnt matter enough (I get that its not supposed to matter too much though)
We don't like that the battle outpaces the lane so often. Considering alternatives. We like the tug of war nature though. (holinka)
Yeah we like the big epci zerg that is happening. We just want all the events associated with tug of war to keep pace. (holinka)
Yeah the zerg is awesome, I think the other extras around the edges aren't getting much/enough/any attention. Not obvious enough?
Well the other thing about beta, is no one needs any gear. Most of the reward mechanisms are in the outside areas. (holinka)

the tug of war in the middle is great (agree sometimes it's too easy to take over, but I assumed this was due to # imbalance)
# imbalance is certainly a problem on beta. We're considering replacing the EotS control zones with AB style capture points. (holinka)
You cap, the fight then moves on to the next spot rather than it staying behind the actual battle. (holinka)
I think that's worth trying: if they can be capped if undefended with on-screen announcements that will draw players back as well
will they be progressive points where you can only cap the next if you cap the one prior?
yes (holinka)

Accurate. Also, can you elaborate on teh choice to not auto-place into a raid? People tend to not join raids and just go solo.
We want it to feel more like a zone than a battleground. (holinka)

So the veils in Outland, all absent in WoD, were they all a recent settlement in BC time?
Most of them would have been built after WoD, potentially after Draenor was shattered, by refugees from Arak. (_DonAdams)

Am I the only one who has thought about the lore behind Ashran? If Outland is a scarred Draenor, then why isn´t it in Outland?
We often shape lore to support gameplay. Perhaps Ashran was destroyed in the Shattering...or perhaps something else. (holinka)
I see your point. Though, I find it kind of strange how there is no lore what so ever behind it.
We're hoping to develop the story of the Ashran throughout the expansion. (holinka)

Were the Apexis winged just as the Adherents are in WoD?
Yes, they were not cursed and did not partake in the barbaric practice of throwing each other into the blood (_DonAdams)

Why do all of the Warlords of Draenor have red skin if they didn't end up drinking the blood of Mannoroth? Grom was green in WC3
The concept art may be a little misleading - in game, the warlords have natural orc skin tones of dark brown or grey. (_DonAdams)

What is the current status of the Klaxxi and mantid in Pandaria now that the paragons are dead? An RPer would like to know
A new queen will come to power when she hatches. It's kind of anarchy until then I imagine. (DaveKosak)

Reputation / Questing
Will Bonus objectives in the world have a description? Just having tracker and reward feels strange. Miss the quest text
The intent with Bonus Objectives is to present tasks that don't need explanation. There are still plenty of quests out there! (_DonAdams)
They're not supposed to be obligatory to get out of the zone, are they?
No - we are still tuning XP. Spires is coming up a bit short, it seems. Will adjust! (_DonAdams)

Why a follower limit? It's a blow to those of us who want more then a 20 person army
Exact amount is in discussion, keep sending feedback. We do want a limit to make choosing who to have in your army a thing. (Muffinus)
I don't like kicking followers I've earned through questing and adventures for random legendary ones from the tavern
No followers will be legendary at launch, every follower can eventually become epic through max level+ xp (Muffinus)

Free Copies of Mists of Pandaria
It looks like accounts that didn't have Mists of Pandaria recently had a chance to be awarded a free copy of the expansion, which is now $10.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Until this promotion, the people counseling you may have been compromised were absolutely correct. That would have been my first thought as well.

There is a recent promotion, certain licenses were upgraded - and you should have received an email at your registered address.

Really nothing I can add to this, if your license was selected - Gratz!

WoW Machinima: War of the Ancients - The Well of Eternity
Keytal finally released a machinima he has been working on for years! If it is blocked in your country, you can watch it here.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Dev Interviews, Stormwind / Orgrimmar Transmog Sets, Blue Tweets, War of the Ancients started by chaud View original post
Comments 94 Comments
  1. Yoshimitsu84's Avatar
    i am speechless, I wonder how much can they still go in by cutting and gutting the content.

    After pardo leaving its clear they all went to shit even further. I dont mean Pardo was the key factor, but something happened there.
    what a load of crap of an """""expansion"""".

    Players may not go to Draenor during this expansion, it depends on if the content is relevant to the expansion.
    Pretty much this
  1. Malsim's Avatar
    I really hope they manage to start putting out yearly expansions from now on. I like the idea of going back in time and seeing Draenor in all it's splendor, and seeing how it might have been without the meddling of the Burning Legion, and fighting all these bad ass warchiefs but it is an alternate reality and it is not grand enough to spend 2 years on this storyline. Ok so the threat is real but it's the past! Can we actually deal with events from Azeroth's future instead of bringing back the past. It's feels a lot like more filler story to delay our attack on the burning legion's "base".

    You wanted to go back in time? Try the war of the ancients time.


    This talk of possibly having 2 xpacs being set in Draenor is making me nauseous. I really hope this is only mindless speculation.
  1. MaraStarfury's Avatar
    Why is the stormwind guard shoulders completely wrong?

  1. Kathranis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MaraStarfury View Post
    Why is the stormwind guard shoulders completely wrong?

    Maybe because your picture is of a Lordaeron knight from WC3, not a Stormwind guard from WoW.

  1. caervek's Avatar
    They're not proper imperial plate shoulders... /grr
  1. arthar77's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MaraStarfury View Post
    Why is the stormwind guard shoulders completely wrong?

    reason to be is because he isn't a stormwind soldier but a member of the silver hand ... distinct pattern
  1. Stripeyhat's Avatar
    I might be wrong but didn't one of the Klaxxi mention they already had a replacement queen all hatched and ready but she was far too young to go challenging the crazy one? That being why we got roped into the whole thing.
  1. manswtor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
    I can't believe how thick some people are, too. Defending every bit of cut content with "They never said..." bullshit. That's equally stupid and blind. Gobbling up every word Blizzard says as if it were ambrosia. Smells more like cow dung to me.
    If this means faster expansions then thumbs up to them... I'm sure all if us are enjoying the same expansion for 26 months......
  1. Arvandor's Avatar
    another karabor excuse.. another excuse for cutting content.. why i hear no excuse for the new xpac prize?

    please fix the machima link..

    and watch out what holinka scribe.. this guy damaged more this game as everyone else!
  1. Kryos's Avatar
    They really had a crisis during developement that took them 6 months longer than expected. This sounds like "we really need to finish up this thing and get it out of the door, no time for more details".
    I hope some of the cut details will come back in content patches.
  1. Lynneiah's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Asur View Post
    big purple island on the top of the world map shown at blizzcon, just cause it doesn't have a name on it doesn't mean we don't know what it is.
    Kul Tiras is on lots of maps. We've yet to go there, too.
  1. Thelonicus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
    I can't believe how thick some people are, too. Defending every bit of cut content with "They never said..." bullshit. That's equally stupid and blind. Gobbling up every word Blizzard says as if it were ambrosia. Smells more like cow dung to me.
    So when a developer explains their reasons for leaving a zone closed until it fits with their theme and storyline, were gonna call BS on that and expect it to arrive when their statement obviously says otherwise? Movies are made in post production, this game has hit the same sorta state. its the last line before release, if it dosent fit, it dosent. It dosent imply its scrapped or developers lying. Its their game, if they see it dosent fit, no conspiricy or coverup is lined up to defend it.
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jezziut View Post
    Good God, get over yourself... This is still the most ambitious expansion to date and the fact that they are having to cut some things is fine. Focus on the stuff we have, and perhaps try venturing out from under your bridge from time to time.
    I think you need to learn what ambition means. After Blizzcon last year most people were disappointed with how lackluster the announcement was. No new races, no new classes, time travel lorejoke, only new feature was an upgraded farm. Since then they've scrapped an amazing amount of stuff. I'm not sure why I'm even explaining this to you, you're part of the Blizzard Defense Task Force so they can do no wrong in your delusional eyes.
  1. ItachiZaku's Avatar
    I RP #TrueHorde #IronHorde on several toons, not a single one has cleared past Nazgrim. I don't let them. I'm rather shocked it is still so easy for one person to derail a whole raid.

    I've maintained in guild that I won't be killing more orc legends and I mean it. Might be a grind mats and gold expansion for me.
  1. aeuhe4yxzhds's Avatar
    30 people for raids? Yeah that is going to turn out great, its not like it is already lagging badly in 25man, especially with bloodlust active. Its even noticeable in 10man for fuck sake.

    And i seriously doubt they are going to reduce particles to a manageable levels so it is possible to see anything, even on lowest levels
  1. Solidusbr's Avatar
    So... No more selling Sentinel/Warden armor pieces at 1k each in the AH? Crap.
  1. F-Minus's Avatar
    I still think it's amazing that in 2014 people who want to call themselves journalists or want to interview a person can't get proper equipment for it. There's 80EUR (possibly even cheaper) microphones on the market that use a specific pattern which cancels most of the background noise out of interviews and gives you clear sound of the interviewer and interviewee, or you know, bring two microphones and hand one out to the guy you're interviewing. Of course it's never going to be perfect doing interviews on a loud show floor, but it would be much much much better as this garbage we have right now.
  1. Taojnhy's Avatar
    I don't know why people are surprised about Blizz cutting stuff from WoD. How else do you think they can start getting inline with yearly expacs?

    Here's a hint: think about DLC for other games; particularly how "Day 1" DLC operates.

    Consider the following:

    1) WoW sub numbers spike significantly at the beginning of each expansion. This spike represents box sales (which going forward are more expensive) and a minimum of one month sub fee. Numbers typically fall throughout the expac after this spike. Obviously it benefits Blizz to increase the frequency of spikes, leading to their goal of more frequent expansions.

    2) New expansions do take a lot of time and resources to develop though. Lengthy development cycles per expansion hurts Blizz on two fronts: decreasing sub numbers and increased development costs.

    3) Expacs have historically run for approximate two year periods before the next expac, with much of the two year cycle being used by Blizz to work on content for the next expac by separate dev teams.

    So. What seems like an ideal way for Blizz to proceed? By "ideal", I'm talking about Blizzard, Activision and of course its shareholders. Customers only figure into "ideal" insofar as the feasibility of extracting maximum profit with minimum fuss.

    Here's how I would do it:

    1) Still spend two years in development cycles per expansion. Only stop thinking of them as an "expansion" and start thinking of them as "expansions" with a connecting theme and multiple spikes per theme (spike being new expansion box sales). You're still building the major foundations of the expansions, with content patch cycles (much like now, except you won't get all the content patches in one expansion). If there is a means of slowing content consumption down, use if feasible (read: doesn't impact sub numbers and box sales to an unacceptable degree). Once this is done, have a team working on the next set of thematically connected expansions while the rest of development fine-tunes and polishes content patches as well as the second expansion for this theme.

    2) Sell Expansion #1. During the course of this expansion, there will be 1-2 content patches, with details about the next expansion typically emerging somewhat halfway between.

    3) Approximately one year later: sell Expansion #2. Again, 1-2 content patches with details about the next "expansion theme" emerging halfway between.

    4) Rinse and repeat.

    I realize this sounds a bit tinfoil-hat, but think like a company for a moment and not as a customer. How else would you make it happen when your goal is to maximize profits with minimum fuss?
  1. Schizoide's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Scendera View Post
    Really, there any promise you're keeping except "$40, plis!"?
    Yes, they promised not to let us fly at 100.
  1. briktal's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    Easily fixed by making more than one auction house/bank etc like all the other big cities have. They're just feeding you bullshit.
    Have you seen Bladespire? Imagine Ironforge, but as a 3 floor empty cave with no middle area.

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