World of Warcraft News and Raiding Strategies RSS Feed

by Published on 2019-11-03 04:01 AM

BlizzCon 2019 - Diablo IV World and Lore Panel Recap

  • The Process
    • The team has looked at a lot of pop culture references such as comic books, tv shows, and look at these through a lens of Diablo. They like to add gross things based on this method.
    • Role-playing games are a huge inspiration for developing gross things through their "Diablo lens."
  • Tone of Sanctuary
    • They want to bring back the unique vibe that previous Diablo games had.
    • They want to make a much more grounded story than Diablo III.
    • They want you to be able to discover the story of much more simple folk.
    • There are over 100 villages with common folk to explore and help.
    • Wandering and thinking about what awaits in the darkness is an important mood to create.
    • They are trying to give a sense of claustrophobia.
    • There is a Blood Bishop boss in one of the dungeons.
    • There will be religious and agnostic themes along with inspirations of what people in the middle ages imagined hell to be like.
    • The basic concept is discovering the problems of every day folks, exploring, and eventually finding something evil waiting at the end.
  • Lore
    • When the black soul stone was shattered by Maltheal, the essences rocketed out into reality. This is important for Diablo IV.
    • Lilith is the daughter of Mephisto, the lord of hatred. She and Inarius created Sanctuary.
    • Maltheal's genocidal campaigned wrecked the world and created many power vaccuums that different groups are trying to fill.
  • World Building
    • If you read the Diablo 1 manual, you find out a lot about the world that wasn't in game. This was the starting point for everything done since.
    • Diablo II gave a map of the world and allowed the team to develop the world more because of it.
    • With Diablo IV, they are building one large continuous and connected space and so porting around isn't needed.
    • Locations are actually in specific places on the new map and not added wherever they fit like in previous games.
  • World
    • For the first time, Sanctuary itself gets to be a character.
    • You can walk all of Sanctuary as one cohesive world.
    • For the first time, you get to see all the space between locations that was separated by loading screens.
    • Scosglen
      • Ancestral home of the druids
      • Constant fog and rain
      • Drowned and Goatman causing havoc outside the towns
    • Dry Steppes
      • Incredibly difficult place to live
      • Geysers of boiling water
      • Violent wars between groups of people
    • Fractured Peaks
      • Snowy mountainous region
      • Victorian Gothic themes
      • Ancient old cathedrals and ruins
      • The towns bar the doors when the sun goes down
      • Group of religious zealots make their home here
    • Hawezar
      • Poisonous swamp lands
      • Black magic and fever dreams
      • Those who come here come to be lost or forgotten
      • Full of thieves and outlaws
      • Swamp witches that worship massive snakes
    • Kehjistan
      • Desert area from Diablo III
      • Ancient cult ruins
      • Tribune that resurrected Lilith is here
  • Monsters
    • Drowned
      • Monsters of legend in Sanctuary that haven't been seen in ages. Most believe they don't exist.
      • They appear on moonless nights from the sea and infect the shores like a disease.
      • Bells toll when they are near.
      • Wretch, Sea Witch Dungeon Boss, and Drowned Juggernaut are some Drowned enemies.
      • Drowned Juggernaut used mast of a ship as weapon.
      • Drowned bring the sea to you with their attacks.
  • Bosses
    • Ashava
      • Ever present threat in Sanctuary and can pop up anywhere.
      • She is a monument to what Diablo IV is as a game. A massive monster that takes people working together to take down.
    • Duriel, the Lord of Pain
      • Returning from Diablo II
      • They are paying tribute to his fight in Diablo II while also developing him further.
      • Also the Lord of Maggots
  • Q and A
    • The Father of the Nephilim (Inarius) is still being tortured by Mephisto and it would be a spoiler to say if he makes an appearance in Diablo IV.
    • Sanctuary is a fixed world and will not be randomly generated, but the dungeons will be.
    • The souls in the Black Soul Stone are all out there and will come back.
    • We might see the other Lords of Hell
    • There is a lot of possibility to where Tyreal might be now.
    • There's a lot of characters that are fan favorites that they are talking about bringing back. Maybe the Butcher?
    • The team wants to honor the legacy of Diablo II and hopes the monster line up will delight you.

by Published on 2019-11-03 03:12 AM

BlizzCon 2019 - Diablo IV Systems and Features

  • Classes
    • Sorceress
      • Fire, Cold, Lightning Magic
      • Main Ranged Caster Class
      • Fragile
      • Conduit Skill - Turn into an invulnerable lightning ball and teleport around doing damage to enemies.
      • Chill mechanic - Cold damage done to enemies puts a stacking slow on enemies and eventually freezes them.
    • Barbarian
      • Physical Warrior
      • Heavy Melee Attacks
      • Master of Weapons
      • Heavy physical damage while jumping and running around battlefield
      • Arsenal System - Can equip 4 weapons, 2 of which are two-handed and 2 of which are one-handed. Also allows the Barbarian to use the most item affixes and equip more legendaries than any class in the game.
    • Druid
      • Shapeshifter
      • Human, Werewolf, and Werebear
      • Earth and Storm Magic
      • You instantly transform into the animal form of the attack you use and will turn back into a human when using earth or storm magic.
      • You can tie talents into the moment you shapeshift.
  • Skills and Talents
    • The goal of these is to have an increased sense of power progression during level up as well more player choice and customization.
    • Skill Points
      • You gain 1-2 skill points per level
      • Skill points can be used to unlock new skills or rank up existing ones to make them more powerful.
      • You can get skill points from skill tome items found in-game as well.
    • Talent Trees
      • Unique to each class
      • Work your way from the top of the tree to the bottom and customize as you level up.
      • There are simple talents as well as more complex ones.
  • The Open World
    • Shared world does not affect dungeons. They are still private for you and up to 3 other people.
    • The campaign areas will also remain private until you complete the objective for that campaign area.
    • You will see other players outside your party in the open world and come across many activities.
    • Public events can include events like demons attacking a coastline or a difficult boss.
    • You will find treasure, lore books, and crafting materials in the open world as well.
    • Open world PvP is another aspect.
    • You will share the open world with a varying amount of people based on what is currently happening in the zone.
    • They want Sanctuary to feel bleak and so they don't want you to see too many players while traveling.
    • Towns will have more people in them at one time than the open world.
  • Playing with Others
    • You can share your quest with others in your group regardless of where they are in the campaign.
    • There will be 2 player couch co-op on consoles.
    • Diablo IV's best items and content progression can be done entirely solo or in a group.
  • Dugeons
    • Dungeons are still randomly generated.
    • There are exterior environment dungeons that are all randomly generated as well.
    • Seamless exploration makes it so there are no loading screens between floors, and you can go from one environment to the other without issue.
    • Random events are back. They are no longer restricted to a specific place in the world.
    • Dungeon Objectives are completed by completing specific tasks in the dungeon. Completing them makes the dungeon harder and increases rewards.
    • End Game Dungeons
      • Varied content
      • Strategic Depth
      • Player agency
      • Dungeon Keys - Drops in the world for a specific dungeon and using it upgrades it to an end game dungeon. There is also a rank on it that increases the difficulty and affixes that affect the player, enemies, and environments.
      • You can use keys or salvage them for crafting.
  • Monsters
    • There are monster families in Diablo IV.
      • Fallen
      • Skeleton
        • Skeletal balista that shoot arrows at you from afar
      • Drowned
    • Elites can have affixes attached to them that enhances their abilities.
    • Bosses
      • Tomb Lord Skeletal Boss
      • Every class has a short evade ability to dodge attacks
      • Many skills grant the unstoppable status which gives a brief period of crowd control immunity.
      • Ashava is so big that the camera has to pan out to show the entire boss.
      • Stagger System - Applying abilities to a boss will fill a stagger bar until it becomes staggered. When staggered, you can do additional things to the boss (such as destroy Ashava's arm blades)
  • Items
    • Items can grant an extra talent point into a specific talent and can also allow you to go past the max rank in that talent.
    • Legendary items will be on equal power to set items.
    • Mythic is the highest quality items in the game.
    • Runes
      • Condition runes and effect runes are the two types.
      • You can combine the two to make a runeward, which grants you the effect when the condition is met.
      • They are working on adding progression to runes as well.
  • Q and A
    • There will be a base game and expansions.
    • They will not sell power (i.e - Real Money Auction House)
    • There will be more options for build customization outside of legendaries.
    • There is no offline mode.
    • The idea for trading is to have 3 types of tradeable items - some can be traded infinitely, some can be traded once, and some are not tradeable at all. They are looking for feedback on this.
    • The best items for PvP will be very different from PvE.
    • The current plan is to balance around both PvE and PvP.
    • Legendaries will not drop as often as they do in Diablo III. They will not modify the drop rate of legendaries as you progress further into end game as you will find better and better items the higher you progress.
    • The pace of combat will be determined by the affixes. Some will make you move fast while others require more tact.
    • Affixes are random within a range. They are planning to let you customize your affixes as well.
    • There will be seasons in Diablo IV. The main goal of them is to change up the player's experience.
    • New legendaries will be added in new seasons and some will cycle out for different seasons.
    • Harcore mode is in Diablo IV.


by Published on 2019-11-03 01:42 AM

BlizzCon 2019 - Closing Ceremony - The Glitch Mob, Haywyre, and Fitz and the Tantrums
Blizzard just announced the lineup for the closing ceremony. The Glitch Mob, Haywyre, and Fitz and the Tantrums will be playing, but Fitz and the Tantrums will be for in-person attendees only.

by Published on 2019-11-03 12:03 AM

BlizzCon 2019 - CodeCraft: Exploring Blizzard Engineering
Join experienced Blizzard Engineers to ask questions about how your favorite Blizzard games are created.

  • Containers weren't mature enough when Overwatch launched to use them. New projects at Blizzard are using Kubernetes.
  • Teams with legacy software are slowly migrating them to containers.
  • Diablo 4 uses C# and WPF for tools. Game is C++. Interop layer that glues them together.
  • Overwatch is C++, tools are TED, in C#. Python for administration.
  • Battle.Net - Java, Spring, Angular, Vue, Go, Python, Javascript.
  • The game needs to be reliable regardless of if there are esports or not. Blizzard makes a game for players, not just esports. They need a reliable game for everyone, not just esports.
  • Warden isn't sending private player data to Blizzard. It is GDPR compliant.
  • GDPR compliance took a lot of effort.
  • Blizzard operates like a lot of studios under one umbrella. Individual teams make tech decisions.
  • Engineering council, engineering directors meet and discuss things such as coding standards.
  • School isn't necessary, you can learn a lot on your own. Do some work and showcase it.
  • For some games, Blizzard has to provision enough servers to handle peak load and leave it at that, as they were created before clouds and scaling was a thing.
  • Overwatch autoscales VMs based on player demand.
  • Classic was part of a hackathon project. Tried to load the code, then get it to run on a modern system.
  • When Overwatch is rolling out a new feature, such as Role Queue, they use the Automation Team's headless Overwatch client to stress test things.
  • Thunder Thursday - Internally stress test things.
  • Work on open source software to get feedback on your code.
  • Upgrading C++ standards is a scary thing that has to be timed correctly.
  • WoW upgraded to C++17.
  • When making something like Overwatch, you are restricted by developing on multiple platforms and the features available.
  • WoW Classic APIs are an ongoing discussion about the appropriate balance.
  • IT Implementation team flies out to datacenters and sets up, modifies, and tears down hardware.
by Published on 2019-11-02 11:12 PM

BlizzCon 2019 - World of Warcraft: Developers' Tales
Join members of the World of Warcraft team as they share stories from the early days of the game’s development.


  • Gary was hired to work on Nomad, a sci-fi RPG. No one thought it was great.
  • At some point the team thought about making an MMORPG and was influenced by Everquest.
  • Morgan Day started in Summer 2005. Got in the car, drove across the country, really wanted to work on the game. There was an opening for QA at the time, he was part of a successful raiding guild. Interviewed for QA night crew, got the job, a new position opened up a few months later for a Raid and Dungeon QA specialist.
  • Testing AQ20, split QA Night Crew into 2, whoever got furthest got to test it.
  • Monte Krol started in October of 2000. Studied Computer Engineering, graduated and went into Healthcare software. A friend showed him Diablo and he played a ton. He bought Blizzard's next game without seeing it, Starcraft. Played a ton of it with friends. Warcraft 3 trailer had come out when he was looking for a new job. Flew out, interviewed, didn't know what game he was working on. WoW was still a secret at this point, so Monte thought he would be working on Starcraft 2. Monte was loaned to Team 1 for 6.5 years, then came back to Team 2.
  • Terran Gregory has been at Blizzard since 1.12. He was playing a ton of WoW as he was finishing school and working. A friend wanted to enter the movie contest at BlizzCon with him, had to convince Terran to do it. They dove right in and found a little project called the WoW Model Viewer. He reached out to one of the two developers, asking for some new features to make movies easier. The author kept adding features he requested, allowing them to make their BlizzCon submission. Terran made a few more films, got in contact with Blizzard, interviewed, and was hired. First project was the 1.12 trailer, then Black Temple trailer, one of the first times telling a story in the game.
  • When Terran submitted his movie, no one at Blizzard knew how he did it. They were trying to make their own movies at the time.
  • Joeyray came out and asked Gary to draw something in the lobby for his interview.
  • Joeyray asked if Terran made the movie, like actually did the editing. After that it was a casual conversation.
  • Some people on the team thought Warcraft was the wrong setting for an MMORPG, as Team 1 was already making Warcraft 3.
  • The team didn't want to have to make a whole new world, they already saw how that went with Nomand.
  • Everyone was very influenced by Warcraft. Gary wanted to go and see what was inside the Barracks.
  • No one was thinking about demographics, just making the game they wanted to play.
  • The team originally started with a more realistic graphic style. Someone took a Gnoll from Warcraft, upresed it, and Bill Petras decided that it would be the cornerstone for the art style.
  • The team started making more of the world based on the style of the Gnoll.
  • Easier to be creative with a style guide.
  • Hogger is the artistic cornerstone of World of Warcraft!
  • The team wanted to make 4 continents.
  • They didn't know how fast a person should run, or how big they should be.
  • The speed of characters were 7.2 yd/sec.
  • The team wasn't sure if all characters should move at the same speed.
  • The whole world was initially built on inches, with 1 inch being the base unit. The team found that numbers got very large quickly. There were numeric precision problems in the graphic engines, making animations happening far away jerky. The team then scaled everything with yards and ended up calling them meters.
  • In one cinematic, there were characters far from the origin and this was causing jerky motion. The team had to move them above Dalaran crater, which is 0,0. They then put them back in the scene.
  • One of the bugs for the BlizzCon demo was missing scrolling combat text. The Bastion zone was so far away from 0 that it caused this.
  • Sending things to 0,0 was done to prevent crashes.
  • Terran was asked to work with a team of 2-5 to make the Icecrown in-game cinematic. 20 members of QA ran up the stairs to make the charge scene. Most of the movie is players actually playing the game, including the Alliance charge. The flame effect was a vehicle that someone was driving.
  • Vehicles were abused a lot.
  • In Lich King, there were some ghouls walking around. Designers wanted icy spike ghouls, but the art team didn't have time. Designers used vehicles to add the spikes to the ghouls.
  • Testing Dalaran, they found an area with an awful framerate. It was inside the Toy Shop. One of the toys was a Dalaran in a bottle. A designer had spawned all of Dalaran, scaled it down to 1%, and stuck it in a bottle.
  • In 2010 Monte got to go to Moscow to do a signing. About 3,000 people were waiting in line, in December, for the Cataclysm launch signing. A man came up to him, gave him a rolled up piece of paper, told him that he worked for Blizzard. It was an artist that did TCG art for Blizzard, he came to Moscow for the signing.
  • Terran put his parents in Stormwind. In 2004, Terran visited his mom for Thanksgiving, right around release. He told her the game was about to come out, they took a 3 hour spontaneous road trip to the event. His mom picked up a copy of the game, joined a guild, made friends all over North America. She became very ill in 2005, MRI of her brain showed a large abscess. It wasn't a tumor, just a serious infection. As she slowly recovered her tactile skills, she played WoW with her friends playing at her pace. She made a full recovery and went back to being an RN. She has come to BlizzCon, asked questions, done cosplay, and is watching right now.


Site Navigation