AllThingsAzeroth recently had the chance to interview Ghostcrawler. 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!
- Cataclysm didn’t offer enough for players to do. There were some things for high end players in the harder raids, but otherwise there wasn’t much to do. Mists of Pandaria was an attempt to correct that, with something to do for all players.
- Cataclysm had separate zones, but Pandaria is a more of a place that you want to spend time in and explore. This makes for a much nicer environment this time around.
- The Bonus Roll has worked out well, other than the consolation loot (28g 50s “Fail Bag”) that you get when you lose the roll. In the future it will have different rewards, such as bonus valor, more gold, gems, or rare chances at blue BoE gear, pets, or mounts.
- There are no immediate plans to add Artifact quality items to the game. One idea that was discussed was making heroic raid gear a different color to make it stand out. This won’t happen during Mists of Pandaria, but it is possible for the future.
- Justice Points will hopefully be somewhat more useful in the future. There was an opportunity that may have been missed to use them to get item level 450 gear earlier in the expansion.
- Transmog of legendary items is still under debate, but is somewhat likely for the future.
- More players are expected to try Challenge Modes after they finish things they are working on now.
- Ideally guilds that aren’t able to finish every raid on heroic will still be able to finish one or two of the heroic raids in this tier. Upgrading gear and Sha-Touched gems should hopefully help with this.
- 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.
- Patch 5.2 will add some new architecture, geography, and a new story. A new raid is planned that will hopefully be similar in quality to Ulduar. There will also be more daily quests!
- Patch 5.2 will bring more talent changes than Patch 5.1, but they will mostly be number tweaks. Rogue talents were mentioned as something that needs to be looked at.
- Raids may not see progressive nerfs this time around, as there are multiple difficulties and catch up mechanisms. It is likely that raids will not get any easier until at least Patch 5.2.
- Patch 5.2 might make the current Lesser Charms less valuable to discourage hoarding and the need to farm them before the patch.
- One idea being considered is not allowing upgrades of Patch 5.2 gear until Patch 5.3.
- Monks are likely the class that needs the most work right now. Mistweavers have been difficult to balance, work on that is still ongoing. Healing and DPS Monks are also underrepresented in PvP.
- There are currently more Retribution Paladins than Rogues.
- Balancing time spent between dungeons and raid development to satisfy everyone is difficult because of the diverse audience.
- Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder are features that did good things for the game and are almost expected in some of the other MMOs now.
- Ghostcrawler would personally like to add more of a social aspect to the game, where you would enter Stormwind and find more of a community, rather than everyone standing around at the Auction House.
- Ghostcrawler doesn’t know what Project Blackstone is.
Patch 5.1 Hotfixes – December 5