Archive for the “Blizzard” Category

Warning – yet another massive wall of text!  Tried to put my opinions in italics, may have missed something though sorry.

7.35am Gameplay Panel

How are you going to improve professions (including repairs by crafters)? – Blacksmiths will be able to socket people’s gloves and belts as an example of all professions having an endgame use.

Will we ever see Deathwing again? – Working on it, yes.

Sunwell Plateau had dailies and things for people at 70 who couldn’t get into Sunwell.  Doing something similar with Arthas? – Arthas will be accessible to all people.  Want to have a lot of solo content and daily quests, and perhaps some Arthas interaction.

Some question about Pandas I didn’t quite catch but was apparently amusing.  Encourage the Panda love!  No killing pandas!

Are you guys adding resilience to PvE gear so there is a point to doing PvP? – continuing the system of tokens being exchanged for lesser PvP gear.  In my opinion an interesting question which went bad when he said ‘to give doing PvE content a point!’  Eeeesh… PvE greater than PvP anyday ;)

What abilities will be able to work indoors? – Ooooh, ground mounts will swim after the first Wrath content patch!  Then dodged the actual question :)

Will we be able to experience old-world bosses with PvE arenas? – Difficult to move bosses over to arenas and have the same impact, and how would the rewards be itemised?

Championing system – will you extend that to be able to be used for old school rep? – Want to see how championing works out, and also looking at adding new ways to get old ‘boring’ reputations.  Thank goodness, grinding rep sucks.

Will we be able to customise moves at all? (casting, etc) – No.  I agree with this, I think it would really take away some things which define a class.

How will you balance gear (no more PvP in raids) – Trying to give people balance and allow them a little bit of a headstart to cross over.

Are you looking at making legendaries scale similar to heirloom items? – No, because it makes it difficult for people when they are gearing up (feeling compelled to go back and get them from old raids).

Are you going to make the different gear look different? (10, 25, PvP) – We would like to, a matter of how many different sets we can create.  Always a matter of how much they can do.

Why have you ruined Arcane Blast? – They disagree, it’s fine.  Want to make it so that you aren’t using it as your ONLY spell.

11 point talents have always been class defining.  Some talents are no longer class defining.  What are you going to do about this? – Trying to make sure that we can find something unique and exciting.

Holy Paladin complaining about not having any offensive PvP abilities.  Trying not to tune out from Pally QQ – they agree, and are trying to help them out.

WARLOCK QUESTION! Fel Domination – do you have a plan to reduce the cooldown or replace it? – We would like to have Warlocks using all different types of pets.  However, they want it to be about utility, not because your pet is about to die.

When are you going to make Omen of Clarity non-dispellable? – Considering making it impossible to get rid of beneficial buffs.

Arms Warriors – being able to switch weapons specialisations easily? – Probably not, don’t feel that you change your weapon enough to worry about it.

Are there any other plans to make all crafting professions equal? – More that we screwed up with the Frozen Shadoweave than meant it to be that powerful.  Plan to continue to give you access to plans and patterns in each raid.

Where is our WoW movie? – working on it, working on it, story is pretty cool, ‘I will be shot and that is bad for me’ if I give out spoilers

Will you be bringing Holy Paladins back into the melee line of the class? – ‘We gave DK’s Death Grip to keep them in melee’ ;)

Missed the question – It is always going to be a judgement call as to what is iconic to each class.  We are always trying to come up with new abilities but it is difficult.

Paladin – Are we going to get a single target taunt? – hope not, but we will if we have to.  Players are concerned about homogenisation.

Priest – Why do I put 13 points into Discipline? – Where would you like to put them? (Holy).  Feel like we have gone a bit too far into the ‘single tree’ spec, and want to encourage cross tree talenting.  However, we don’t want to make some talents ‘mandatory’ for everyone.  Mana regen is a hard thing to judge on feedback, everyone wants more mana, and sometimes people who run out of mana quickly just aren’t good players!

Why do hybrids have so much damage now, threatening pure DPS classes – trying to ensure that pure DPS is still competitive, but making it about player skill.

Are you going to do any more encounters like Kael’thas where you have to wait 10 minutes for the fight to start? – We weren’t, but we will now!  Trying to come up with a ‘wrap it up’ button

Will you be able to use achievement points for T9 epics? – No, which is great.  Points can be used to get tabards and titles instead, to recognise your achievement.  Points will be spendable at next year’s Blizzcon store ;).

How are you going to flesh out the combat tree for Rogues who prefer swords? – Tried to get rid of dead spots, believe that combat might be better scaled than the other trees, working on it.

What’s the likelihood of getting a ring or something for dailies with items to save clearing bag space?  Also, dailies get quite dull and repetitive – Looking at randomised dailies (like fishing and cooking).  Also looking at a quest interface, wont come with Wrath.

Can Aspects be taken off GCD? – Hunters want EVERYTHING off the GCD!  I wouldn’t rule it out completely.

We are taking over Northrend, what’s next? – Southrend!  Something else.  Starcraft II!

Will the next hero class be revealed? – the Bard!

Where do you want a damage based DK to stand? – DK’s will be about level to Prot Warriors in tank spec.  Will be like Rogues and Warriors otherwise.

How are you going to keep people involved and active in boss fights without recycling old encounters? – No shortage of ideas, a shortage of time!  Siege weapons and buildings.

Can you make bear and kitty form female? – ‘Are you asking if we are going to add genitalia to the bears?  Teen rated game!’

Are Holy Priests going to be threatened by the greater survivability of Disc and Shadow Priests? – No

Can we create DK’s on the next patch? – Comes with the x-pac, not the patch

Are we ever going to see out libram or relic slot items on us graphically? – We have been considering it.

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Ok, So I snored straight through the PvP panel.  Big oops!!!  On the plus side, I figure it would be well covered anyway.

5.30am: End of Jeff (Tigole) Kaplan Interview

Didn’t really hear much new here, the questions were disappointing and asked things we already knew (what will happen with the existing dailies, can we start alts at a higher level soon).  Caught a glimpse of a new arena, which looked really interesting, with more interaction with the environment.

Caught a glimpse of some of the Halloween masks, they look interesting!  Price range is about $75 each.

Kaplan’s favourite item at Blizzcon?  The plush talking Murloc.

His favourite part of WoW? The social experience -  sitting in Ventrilo (amusingly, he said Vent rather than the poor quality in game chat) and in guild chat with friends.

Commented on the honor point reset controversy – in my opinion he really struggled with talking about it, was probably more on the side of wiping them completely, and had trouble finding a word to refer to the uproar over it.

6.00am – Raids and Dungeons Panel

5 man dungeons

Halls of Lightning

– Level 80

– Ties in closely with the Titan Lore

– Creatures feel ‘epic’ with unique abilities

– "Epic Lore + Epic Gameplay = Awesome" – more unique boss fights with a lot more story to go with

– Every instance wants to feel unique

– Shorter Instance experience, but still feels epic

– Squee, cutscenes!

Ahn’kahet – The Old Kingdom

– Has indoor and outdoor terrain

– Fits in appearance with Naxx

– First boss – Yay for eggs and hatchers!  Not just killing the boss.

– Second Boss – Vampire who will occasionally stun someone on the ground and feed off them, have to attack your party mate to beat him off

– Third Boss – kills adds to gain buffs

– Fourth boss – Faceless one.  Puts players into their own phase where your party mates attack you.  When you ‘beat’ your own phase, you enter a party mates phase and help them.  Yes, it CAN detect classes and specs!

Raid dungeons

10 and 25 man versions of all dungeons (but hey, we knew that!!)

Obsidian Sanctum

Looking to not make the mistake they made with Gruuls and Mags (too difficult for their transition point)

Able to choose your difficulty and therefore your reward through choosing how many adds you kill.

One boss fight sounds remarkably like Kalecgos

Eye of Eternity

Epic fight – buildings, vehicles.

Multiple phase fight,

Itemisation

Higher quality loot from Heroic dungeons (thank goodness for that is all I have to say, because heroic loot itemisation was horribly bad)

Different currencies from each raid tier (so you can’t farm lower level content for high level rewards, a la farming Kara to buy a T6 quality robe).  An excellent change which reflects the concerns of much of the raiding community.

Mix n Match the 10 man and 25 man pieces for the set bonuses.

Questions

Is there anyway to be able to boot someone from raid instances? – Basically, not yet.

Legendaries in 10 and 25 mans – is there going to be equal distribution, and will they be quest based or random drops? – Looking to be quest related rather than random drops, which I think is good and increases the value of the item.

With dual specs, will people need to respec for encounters? – NO (very emphatic)

Any new content going to open in Azeroth? – Old content isn’t gone, just waiting for the right time for it to fit.  At the moment no.

Is there going to be balance to allow for 70% of the raid wanting caster weapons? – Provided the numbers don’t hate you, it should work out so that the ratio is fair.

Is there anyway to ensure that tokens didn’t drop for classes that aren’t in the raid? – The Emblems of Valor and Heroism can buy a couple of set pieces

Attunements in Wrath – Don’t really exist, tokenistic attunements by ensuring someone has a key for an event.

How viable will our tanking pets be in 5mans, or OTing? Your pet should be able to offtank (lots of boos at this question!!)

Will the progression ramp up to the difficulty of Sunwell in Wrath?  Not sure if we will get to the level of Sunwell raid.  Nice to see them acknowledge the immense amount of pressure on guilds from these encounters.

Will there be any 10 man with no ‘lockout’? – Not at the moment, because it devalues the gear. 

They love PuGs!!!

Will we see more creative skill usage in boss fights? – Yes, there are some fights where you use different abilities or abilities of things you need to interact with.

Will there be interconnections between different wings – passages between instances like DM? – Been talking about it and looking into implementing something like this in the future.

Are you intending to continue using the tier tokens, and if so, can you make one of each token drop? – 25 man bosses dropping 4 or more items to try and help with this.  You can also buy a couple of pieces off the vendor with tokens, as previously discussed.

What time frame do you estimate the top end guilds will have ‘beaten’ the expansion? – Naxx, less than a week :)

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OK, I know there hasn’t been much commentary so far. Honestly, I am not the world’s fastest typer (especially when I am trying to be accurate), so it is taking a lot of time just to get the main events down. A lot of people have asked me to report back on different things as well, so I kinda have to cover everything. I will try to put in only the important details and keep it interesting and commented on. So far I have missed most everything WoW related, which is a shame, but oh well. Hopefully it will be back when the reception kicks in… which has been out for over 30 minutes. Damn. More hopefully coming soon.

Speaking of which – it’s finally back.Yay!

.. Back for a whole 5 minutes.

Well, my impressions so far have been good. I’ll put it this way – I am so going to save my pennies and make the trip to a Blizzcon one day. Or, heck, I’ll wait til I live in Canada (*fingers crossed*) in a few years and go then. Either way… I want a Blizzcon!

12.10pm: Jay Mohr – Awards Ceremony

Costume awards are entertaining. Not really much you can say about them, the Abomination was my favourite, but the Draenei Shaman on a Turtle mount was the highlight (and eventual winner). Hockey fans would appreciate a Tauren Ice Hockey player.

- No sound, so if anything good was said, I missed it :( Very disappointed with the service.

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9.30am : First things first, I am sorry that I missed the start.  I had full intentions of blogging the beginning of Blizzcon… and let’s just say the worst thing that I can imagine happening last night happened, which led to all sorts of nasty stuff (yes, I know I am being vague, sorry).  My coverage will probably be spotty because people do not want to leave me alone!  Doesn’t bother me, but it makes it hard to keep up.

Anyway, so I am coming to you from half way through instead.  Currently they are talking about SCII, and I am afraid my Starcraft knowledge is limited at best (seeing as, shock horror, I didn’t really play it).  The cinematics looked REALLY nice, and everyone was excited about Kerrigan.

10am: Alex (Missed the last name, please don’t shoot me!): Wrath

Phasing: "It has definitely made things possible that weren’t previously possible.  However, there is the danger of phasing as well" – can be confusing with grouping, if you are in different phases. 

World Bosses in Northrend: No plans for World Bosses, simply because of the issues with PvP, killing rights, debuffs, etc.

World event for Patch: A Very Big World Event (very vague), Northrend will be opened up with this event.

10.16: Chris Metzen: SCII

SCII allows them to really dig into the character of Kerrigan through the story mode. 

10.30: Recap of what I missed!

Mike Morhaine announced Wizard class for D3 (Might make me actually play it! hehe)

‘Is there going to be a secret cow level?’ ‘That’s a secret!’

Mage QQ: How are you going to make Mages a viable class to play (only used for tables and portals, cooks getting a table, only good ability is Mirror Image)?

‘They’ll be able to bring a respec table – problem solved’ Hehehe.

10.30: D3 gameplay panel:  Jay Wilson and Wyatt Cheng

Again, this will be kinda weird, I have played some Diablo, but not enough to feel comfortable making commentary on what is happening.  Looks promising to me, simply because they are making Battle.net better, and it sounds very ‘non-gamer’ friendly.

General Game Design Philosophy

Looking for ways to expand and improve Diablo in D3.

D2 took a lot of ideas and really blew them out of the water.

D3 Design Goals:

- Stay true to the Diablo experience

– Amazing moment to moment action – a very visceral game

– Expanded RPG experience – An action RPG, the focus is heavily on the action, but they want to take the action to new places

– Runeskills?

Spirit of Diablo:

– Powerful heroes engaged in epic large scale combat: A key goal

– Approachable gameplay, cooperative focus: doesn’t mean they don’t want a single player game, or that there isn’t a single player game, but want a game where people can jump in and out and work together.

– Replayability – randomness (random environments, monster encounters, generated items, adventures), Higher Difficulty levels

Epic Heroes:

Large Scale Combat – as many monsters as possible on the screen, then heroes to pound them into the dirt.

– Want a balanced game, don’t want to throw balance out.

– Strong and Unique Archetypes: a small number of unique and identifiable classes.

Things that had to be done better from D2

Approachable:

If you can click a mouse, you can play Diablo.  Simple to learn but deep, smooth difficulty curve.

Working on new version of Battle.net which is removing as many barriers as possible from people playing and communicating with each other.

More than just attacking – escape skills, control skills, without having a million buttons.

New Health System.

Monsters: new attacks, creatures which die easily and others which do not through the use of shields, creating unique systems.

They also worked on improving story, the player can get a feel for what’s going on but they have added a lot more depth and context for the players who love the story line.

Adventures:

Events that can be placed almost everywhere.  Things which have been added to any terrain, allowing scripted content in the randomness of the game.

Questions:

1.  Is there still going to be a hardcore mode? – Almost definitely.

2.  One of the biggest frustrations I had when playing a character is that there talents are set.  Is there a way we can have talent respecs? – Definitely want to have a talent respec system.

3.  How do you see the economy panning out? – In D2 the abundance of gold did mess with the economy, and items became worth more than the gold you could have (capped), creating a barter economy.  Being talking with people from WoW about their economy, about what works and what doesn’t, and taking those ideas.  Big emphasis on gold.

4.  Just wondering what sort of PvP aspects you would have – competitive play is something Diablo hasn’t moved quite up to yet.  In the core game, they don’t want anything that’s not mutual.  However, there is a group that want to kill each other whenever they want.  No solution yet, want to find one.

5.  A lot of players get attached to their players that they build up.  At end game there are abilities or immunities which monsters have which means they can’t kill them.  How will you deal with that? – Diablo is about focusing on making one or two abilities as strong as they can be.  Trying to make sure that each class has more than one ability – A wizard may have great electric attacks, but also missiles.

6.  In D2, when a monster died it was a free for all scramble to get the loot.  Have you fixed that? – Loot now drops on a per player basis for everyone.  You can drop items on the ground and other players can pick them up.

7.  Is the magic find system going to be completely changed?  It was very frustrating – Sounds like magic find will still be there, but also other ways to find abilities.

8.  Would there be an achievement for doing something like completing the game on hell mode? – Sounds cool, sounds like us, don’t know yet

9.  How many players are you shooting for this time in co-op? *frozen* Well, my TV has frozen up.  Dang.

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