Tonight we will take a look at two interviews, Cory Stockton (Lead Content Designer) at WarcraftPets and Dave Kosak (Lead Quest Designer) at the Darkmoon Herald. A summary of the main points is below, but listening to the full interview is worth it if you want to hear the full answers!
- The large number of pets added in Patch 5.1 was a reaction to the gaps in pet levels and families, such as the Mechanical, Dragonkin, and Undead pets. It is unlikely that we will see that many added in any of the future Mists of Pandaria patches.
- The Pet Battle system worked out really well and feels like it is part of WoW, rather than a tacked on minigame. Players have given overwhelmingly positive feedback.
- Account Wide Quests and Achievements had some issues that made the experience less smooth than they would have liked, but that is the side effect of all the new tech that went in to the system.
- More than half of the population in WoW has at least tried Pet Battles.
- Pets don’t get as much balancing as classes do for PvP.
- Pet battles were designed to be fun, but simple. The tooltips and other information were added to make it easier for players to take part without needing to spend a lot of time learning about pet battles first.
- Anyone on the team can come up with a pet and create it, then work with the pet battle group to make it into a battle pet.
- The internal editor tool is made more for creating content and not looking up information, so fansites are helpful for looking up things, even for the devs!
- One of the early ideas for a new pet system was a dog collecting system. It would allow you to collect different types of dogs and teach them tricks.
Future Pet Changes
- More dog pets are coming in the future when they feel appropriate, most likely as achievement rewards.
- There are no current plans for releasing Pet Battles as a mobile game, but it is something that has been talked about. Currently the system is being polished and observed in the main game to figure out where to go next with it. Creating a mobile version would be a very large amount of work and a commitment that requires some serious consideration.
- Pets will be upgradeable to Epic quality in the future when it feels like an appropriate time.
- Pets have a breed and gender id in case Blizzard wants to use them in the future, but there are no current plans to use them.
- Similar pets may get new models in the future. For example, all of the frog pets currently share the same model with different skins, but in the future more frog models could be added.
- Trading Wild Pets is definitely a possibility for the future, but the game didn’t feel ready for it in Patch 5.1. There are a lot of people still collecting pets and working on building up their teams. Allowing players to trade wild pets will reduce that excitement.
- It is possible that a few wild pets will be tradeable in Patch 5.2 and then further changes will be decided upon after that.
- Something being worked on for Patch 5.2 or later is wild pets that are like a boss. When encountering them, they would be bigger than normal pets, and you would only fight them, but they would be much stronger than a normal pet. There may be an achievement for defeating all of the “boss” pets in the world, similar to Glorious! that rewards a unique pet.
- When creating the quests for a zone the main storyline of a zone is the first thing decided upon. Then the individual quest designers have some more freedom to further the story through the quests they create for that part of the zone.
- Li Li’s Day Off will let Li Li follow you all over Valley of the Four Winds and Krasarang Wilds providing some commentary.
- The quests or things added by the Make a Wish children are really important to Blizzard. One recent example is Owen’s Wishing Well. You can read his story here.
- Phasing was utilized less this time around, only for the major events. This helped to keep players together, which was a problem in Cataclysm.
- Blizzard tries not to change quests unless they are really broken. Instead they are used as a learning experience.
- Players who don’t read quest text are taken into account when designing quests. You should be able to have a general idea of what is going on when questing through the gameplay, even without reading the quests.
- The Golden Lotus quests starting at the same hub every day didn’t feel fun, but the Tiller’s questline did turn out well.
- Daily quests are mainly designed for people that enjoy solo progression and don’t want to raid, giving them a way to advance their character. Unfortunately the daily quests felt mandatory for some players, causing them to try and do all of the quests every day. This continued until the players realized that they wouldn’t earn enough Valor Points to buy everything they were earning access to.
- A class quest for every class would have reduced the number of zones in Pandaria by at least one due to all of the time it would have taken to create that content.
- The feedback for opening more of the Patch 5.1 quest line based on your reputation level has been generally positive after players understood how it worked.
- Questing in Patch 5.2 will use more space so that players are not bumping in to each other and constantly fighting each other for mobs. (Avoiding Fatty Goatsteak)
- In the future, the rewards from daily quests will be adjusted to make them feel less required to the hardcore raiders who aren’t interested in them.
- The increased reputation leveling speed after Revered was a good step towards making the reputations more alt friendly, but it still could use some work.
- Patch 5.1 has brought back some World PvP in the new questing area.
Trinket Burst Damage Adjustments
World PvP Feedback
When Game Update 1.5 hit Public Test Server (PTS), we listened to your concerns and we increased Quickbars from one to two for Free-to-Play Players, increased Warzones from three to five per week, and reduced the temporary bind on Cartel Market items.
We want you to know that this is an ongoing dialogue. Recently, we’ve seen your feedback on some of the other aspects of our Free-to-Play option and once again, we are working to improve the experience for all of our players.
Starting today, Preferred Status Players will see an increase to their default Quickbars from two (2) to four (4). If you’ve already purchased additional Quickbars, don’t worry: we will be refunding your Cartel Coins for any Quickbar-related purchase.
Additionally, in an upcoming patch (no exact date yet, but players won’t have to wait long), Preferred Status Players will be given four (4) additional character slots, which means that they will have a total of six character slots. As always, Free-to-Play Players can reach Preferred Status simply by purchasing anything from our online store or purchasing a physical copy of the game.
Last but not least, I wanted to share the news that the 50 character limit on Global Active Characters for Subscribers will be removed and increased substantially in the same, aforementioned patch. If you wanted to, you can truly create your own army of Troopers or a legion of Sith Warriors.
Some nice fan art has shown up recently.