Now that Mists of Pandaria has been out a few weeks, we wanted to let you all know what we consider working well in PvP, what we want to improve, and what might or might not be coming down the pike.
Best Buy will be hosting a World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Developer Chat tomorrow, Tuesday, September 18 at 4 p.m. PDT. Lead systems designer Greg Street, lead encounter designer Ion Hazzikostas, lead content designer Cory Stockton, and lead quest designer Dave Kosak will be on-hand to field questions from anyone who'd like to join in. The event will be held on the Best Buy chat client, so be sure to register for their forums if you'd like to participate.
We recently added account-level changes to achievements in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, and there’s still a lot of work left before we’re done. The plan here is to illustrate the intent behind our design, which should in turn help you figure out the answers to many of your questions.
A monsoon is coming. We will soon inundate you with Mists of Pandaria information, starting with the upcoming media event and everything that follows. It’s going to be a very exciting time for World of Warcraft, and we are all super impatient for it to happen. But… we’re not quite there yet.
Topic: World of Warcraft Class Design & Balance Hosts: Community Managers Bashiok and Zarhym Panelists: Class Designers Celestalon, Ghostcrawler, Koraa, Watcher, Wradyx, and Xelnath
Topic: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Content & Features Time: 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. PDT Host: Community Manager Zarhym Panelist: Lead Content Designer Cory "Mumper" Stockton Panelist: Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street
This Thursday, October 27, we’ll be hosting a one-hour live online developer Q&A with Lead Content Designer Cory “Mumper” Stockton and Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, beginning at 5:00 p.m. PDT. I’ll be moderating the discussion to help facilitate a smooth and productive conversation. Given all the information revealed last weekend at BlizzCon 2011, we feel it’s fitting for this chat to be focused on the next expansion, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.
One of the fun things about working on an MMO is that the game design will evolve over time, and you have the opportunity to make changes to reflect those design shifts. (And yes, we know that it can sometimes evolve too quickly). Back in December, I wrote a blog post about our vision for how threat should work. Since then, the game and the community have continued to progress and the designers have found ourselves changing our minds about the role of threat. Enough that we’re planning to apply a hotfix this week to change how threat works.
World of Warcraft Patch 4.2, Rage of the Firelands is here! With a new raid, a legendary questline, all-new raid tier and PvP armor sets, the most diverse daily questing experience to date, major story developments, PvP Season 10, user interface enhancements, and much more, patch 4.2 has brought Azeroth a little something for everyone.
We understand that raw patch notes don’t always provide enough context for changes to the game, so we thought we’d take a moment to explain some of our logic behind the buffs and nerfs coming in the 4.2 “Rage of the Firelands” patch.
You may have noticed we changed class talent trees for Cataclysm. We changed not just the trees themselves, as you might expect for an expansion, but the entire structure of the trees and the way you choose talents. Now that the Cataclysm model has been in play for several months, the team has been discussing what we like and don’t like about it, and I thought that might be of interest to some of you. As always with this series, this is design rumination, not a list of upcoming changes.
‘Dev Watercooler’ is a blog series that provides an inside look into the thoughts and discussions happening within the World of Warcraft development team. In our first entry, Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostctrawler" Street laid down a few ground rules: No promises. Don’t read too much between the lines. No whining about the choice of topics we cover.
"Dev Watercooler" is a blog series that provides an inside look into the thoughts and discussions happening within the World of Warcraft development team. In our first entry, Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostctrawler" Street laid down a few ground rules: 1. No promises are being made in these Dev Watercooler blogs. 2. Don't read too much between the lines. 3. No complaints about the topic not being what you want to see covered.
A re spellcast interrupt abilities, such as Kick, too good? It’s easy to make that argument. We think their ease of use and low cooldown has led to a whole cascade of events in PvP. Because interrupts are so good, casters without a lot of instant spells or mobility are weak. For that reason, we tend to give casters a lot of instant spells or movement abilities, and casters who excel at those (say, Frost mages) are very powerful, while those without (say, Elemental shaman) have more difficulty.
So how is the view from way up here? It’s great actually -- we’re really happy with how Cataclysm is going so far, and we have big surprises on the horizon. On the other hand, there are details you can see at ground level that you can’t make out from 10,000 feet.
We addressed our views on dungeon difficulty several weeks ago, and in the interim many players have asked for us to comment on raid difficulty.
The first World of Warcraft: Cataclysm patch of the year is in development and now available for testing on the Public Test Realms. This minor patch includes several updates that we were unable to apply via hotfixes, including the recently discussed class balance changes, assorted bug fixes, and more.
We have a lot of players at 85 now doing everything from Heroic dungeons to rated Battlegrounds, and the class design team is starting to prepare our list of items to investigate for our next patch.
A tank’s job is to protect the group. A big part of that is controlling the enemy. A big part of controlling the enemy is staying alive. Tanks have a lot of tools to stay alive, and mastering those is a major component of learning to play a tank. On the other hand, some of these tools are on long cooldowns, and on some encounters they are intended for use at specific moments in the fight. Furthermore, staying alive isn’t the sole responsibility of the tank, because there will always be one or more healers present whose job it is to keep the tank alive. As such, staying alive can’t be the only thing tanks have to focus on.
When we itemize armor and weapons, we nearly always give them a set amount of Stamina and a set amount of Strength, Agility, or Intellect. We call these the primary stats. The secondary stats include haste, dodge, crit, and mastery, as well as stats with cap targets, like hit and expertise. I'll discuss those, as well as Spirit, a little later.
A very nice paladin player asked me recently about Vengeance. She had concerns about the mechanic, which made me realize that we haven’t done the best job of explaining to players exactly what Vengeance is supposed to accomplish.
BlizzCast 15 is now live! In this episode, we bring you in-depth coverage of the upcoming Cataclysm expansion and discuss everything from world creation to class changes to sound design.
You may have heard that healing in Cataclysm is going to feel different. The role will be more challenging, particularly in terms of resource management. This won’t be news to a lot of regular forum readers, but I see enough “why nerf healers?” concerns that I thought it was still a worthwhile topic for an inaugural developer blog.