Developer Interviews, Trinket Burst Damage Adjustment, World PvP, Blue Posts, Fan Art

Diablo 3 [Urban]Dictionary, 2012 SpikeTV Video Game Award, Barbarian Fan Art

Developer Interviews
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!

Pets

  • 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.

Questing

  • 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.

Future Questing

  • 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

Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
After reviewing the data and player feedback, we remain concerned that on-demand burst damage remains too high in PvP. After investigation, we determined that the on-use PvP trinkets are a major contributor to extremely high burst output. As a consequence, in the near future we will be applying hotfixes to smooth out the damage provided by these PvP trinkets. In the case of the Gladiator’s Badges this means cutting the amount of primary stat or PvP Power provided, but also cutting their cooldown in half. For the Kor’kron and SI:7 manuals, the cooldown of those trinkets will remain unchanged, but the amount of stats provided will be reduced and the duration of the buff will be increased. The overall damage provided by these trinkets should not be affected; only the burst they are capable of providing.

For example: The Dreadful Gladiator’s Badge of Victory will shortly provide 2553 Strength once every minute, instead of 5105 Strength every 2 minutes. Please note that due to limitations in hotfix technology, the item tooltips and buffs will still incorrectly display the original stat value of 5105.

These are the trinkets that are currently slated for adjustment:

Dreadful Gladiator’s Badge of Conquest
Dreadful Gladiator’s Badge of Dominance
Dreadful Gladiator’s Badge of Victory
Malevolent Gladiator’s Badge of Conquest
Malevolent Gladiator’s Badge of Dominance
Malevolent Gladiator’s Badge of Victory
SI:7 Operative’s Manual
Kor’kron Book of Hurting

We are aware of the possibility that certain PvE trinkets could become more attractive for PvP in the wake of these hotfixes. While that is somewhat unlikely given that adopting those items would represent a significant loss of PvP Power and Resilience, we will nonetheless keep a close eye on the situation and make adjustments to the appropriate items if necessary. It is also possible that it could become too difficult to land reasonably consistent kills in PvP. If that proves to be the case, then we currently plan to increase the effects of the Battle Fatigue healing debuff to compensate, which is an adjustment that we’ve been considering for some time. On the other hand, if burst damage remains too high after these changes, we are prepared to take additional steps as needed.

World PvP Feedback

Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
This is going to sound weird, and while I do empathize with the frustration that’s being expressed in this thread, this conversation still warms the cockles of my black little heart.

Why? Because for too long there was very little distinction between playing on a PvE realm and playing on a PvP realm. We had inadvertently created a situation where there was little risk when leveling in the world on a PvP realm. The experiences were, for all practical purposes, virtually identical, but that wasn’t what we had in mind.

Life on a PvP realm can be nasty, brutish and short. Justice is in very short supply. Every action you take in the world carries with it an added level of risk, from questing, to hunting down profession materials, to simply traveling from place to place. You can be attacked at any time, sometimes by an overwhelming force. Of course, the shoe can also be on the other foot, and you’ll be able to turn the tables on your attacker, or find clever ways to delay them or escape from them. Some will become roaming slayers, seeking out enemies to destroy.

In short, the experience on a PvP server is different. We want it to be different, and that includes everything from honorable conflict on the field of battle to horribly despicable ganking. It’s all part of the fabric that makes a PvP server what it is.

Let the blood be spilled.

Hey blue what server do u play on? Ill come farm u for a while and lets see if u still think its great.
You don’t need to. It’s already been done. Repeatedly.

I’m leveling a Monk as I play my other characters, and Pandaren are very popular targets (almost as popular as Blood Elves and Gnomes). I knew exactly what I was getting into, and I take my lumps with the rest of them.

what compensation do you give to those players that now find themselves on PvP
Despite the fact that the experience became less brutal for a time by accident, the expectation of what one should find on a PvP realm has always remained the same.

So how does that fit into your noble idea of a PVP open world of battle?
I didn’t imply that it was always noble, nor did I say that revenge was always a likelihood or possibility. I do distinctly recall saying ‘Justice is in short supply’, though.

You are both right, after a fashion. The general guideline is: if there is a PvP solution available, our staff will not intervene on a PvP realm.

There are, however, situations that are extreme (or that involve exploitation), which merit intervention by our staff, but they are extremely rare.

Remove this barrier and many people will be a lot happier. Stop pretending this is not an issue.
Not that your own situation should be dismissed, because I think it’s unfortunate that all your friends prefer playing on a realm type that you don’t like, but I would be very surprised if this were a widespread issue. At least you have the support of dependable real life friends if you find yourself in a tough spot.

Cross realm raiding of the current tier has the potential to generate a lot of negative repercussions. It’s not the sort of thing we’d commit to lightly.

Spending more time running back to my corpse than actually playing the game. Landing at a quest hub and dying before the NPCs and PCs even appear. Having my corpse camped because a level 90 only has to glance at me and I explode.
None of those things are griefing on a PvP realm, I’m afraid, though I freely acknowledge that they can be frustrating. Nonetheless, our stance on these issues hasn’t changed since long, long before Cross Realm Zones were ever even imagined, much less implemented.

Blue Posts

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

Developer Interviews and 5.2
When is 5.2 slated to drop, 4 months from release or 4 months from 5.1?
I have a feeling that Ghostcrawler’s comment in that interview is going to be seen quite often on the forums in the coming days.

My best advice is to try not to take those time frames as though they’re graven in stone (which is why I’m not directly answering your question). It’s better to think of them as rough guidelines for approximately how frequently we’d like to patch in updates.

Somethings that gets me, hy is twitter the only place you guys discuss changes with players? Why would anyone at blizzard make a comment on blizzards goals on twitter, and then on the forums someone else has to back track those comments?
We discuss upcoming changes on the forums with regularity–sometimes they’re stickied posts, and sometimes they’re comments in threads. Nor am I countermanding anything Ghostcrawler said. Heck, the synopsis on mmo-champion is as follows:

A rough idea of how long patches will take: 2 months for a content patch and 4 months for a patch with a new raid and PvP season. This is just a rough target, as there are many factors involved in determining when players are ready and the content is ready.
I’m simply emphasizing that these are goals, not absolutes. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

LFR Loot System Feedback
That’s basically what all the whiners are saying. At the risk of sounding “old” but I remember years ago; if you were pugging current content raids, you were lucky if the group could even kill the boss. Never mind also getting loot.
Perhaps what’s happening is that some players are having the illusion that because the roll is happening, something must drop eventually (eventually being, more often than not). But, if I may, I’d suggest you guys note down how many drops (for your character) do you encounter in your guild raids of a given week and how much competition you have going on for them.

When you factor those things in, does LFR really feel *that* different to the speed at which you gear up when you’re competing against others in your guild? I’m just curious. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

PvP Vanity Rewards
Pvpers need more vanity items.
We agree that players who prefer PvP should have cooler things to purchase, including more options like vanity items. We are currently discussing ways in which we can better deliver on this.

The current model for itemization somewhat follows the original formula that implied PvP’ers were mostly just interested in getting direct performance enhancers. We don’t agree with that implication anymore and, with the new currency system it makes much more sense to provide additional flavor items that players will be able to spend Conquest and Honor points on.

I think transmog stuff would work out really well. Also I always thought that rank one players should have a unique aura with a flavor text.
A unique aura, while cool, would just be on top of an already quite noticeable mount and title. I think it would be cooler to get gear sets that you can use for transmogrification or just nice little vanity items. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment

PvP
what about world pvp? are u gonna do the same SAD world pvp bg for the 3^ times or u have a good fresh new idea?
It’s tough. Seem to be a lot of players on PvP servers who don’t want to be interrupted with world PvP. We’ll keep trying. (Source)

You implement tol barad and wintergrasp for level 90, Do we have any chance to see 5 man RBG in 5.1 ?
5 player RBGs won’t be in 5.1. It’s a bigger project. (Source)
Ok, thanks GC. But can I wait for this feature one day ?
Yeah, no promises, but we like the idea. (Source)

Way to learn the shaman class Ghostcrawler. Silencing enhance blocks our interrupt and some major cd’s!
yeah I know. But silencing an Enhance is like disarming a Mage. I’m sure it happens, but I dont see it often. (Source)
That’s not a fair comparison, as mages can still use their abilities while disarmed, whereas enh can’t.
the point is you’re often better off spending a silence on a healer or a caster who is dependent on spells for 100%. (Source)

Have you ever considered hiring multigladiator players to help out balancing pvp?
I’d tell you we have them, but you’d probably say we hired the wrong ones. (Source)
I thought you dont let expert players balance your game?
we let professional game designers balance our game. Many used to be expert players. Big difference. (Source)
Expert players is a very vague term, I believe you’re overhyping in order to scaffold faith.
not sure what you’re looking for. We have glads and world first raiders. Neither is as important as good design sense though. (Source)

I do think a partial reason for rogues having low rep is because of other classes (warrior)being overtuned
one of the challenges of 3s is teams can just choose who to take. It’s why 3s always tend to feature just a few specs. (Source)

SWTOR Free to Play Changes
The SWTOR team recognized that some of the free to play restrictions were too much, so they relaxed a few.

Originally Posted by SWTOR

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.

Fan Art
Some nice fan art has shown up recently.

MMO Champion

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