Monthly Archives: August 2009

Blizzcon post 8 – Second class panel & Wrap-up

I’m planning to have this be my last Blizzcon post (I do have a raid that starts at 8pm EST tonight…). The first part of the class panel should be a recap of what they said yesterday, so only the Q&A part would have interesting things going on.

WoW Class Panel 2

  • Presentation pretty much the same as yesterday.
  • Racial profession bonuses getting buffed for all classes
  • No new classes for Draenei
  • Soul Shards will have an in-combat regen mechanic (maybe drain soul?).
  • Repeated that new druids will have new forms
  • Want DPS classes to not have to worry so much about resource management
  • Don’t want hunters to be ranged rogues.
  • Working on big fishing changes to actually make it more fun.
  • Druid Art: Redoing moonkin, especially for Worgen & Trolls. Probably redoing treants & tree forms. Artists eager to do aquatic form.
  • Shaman AOE – want totems to play an important role
  • Offtanks shouldn’t have to worry about being “resource starved”
  • Ghost Wolf & travel form speed? “Druids already don’t see their gear very much, and we think that’s a problem. So I would be hesisitant to say ‘you can’t even see your mounts.’ We’ve talked about is it time for epic travel form. Maybe that’s something to break out in Cataclysm.”
  • More questions about gear and how stats will work for classes like paladins.
  • Will still probably be a block mechanic even if we aren’t using defense to get “hit capped”
  • Race changes will come later after faction changes.
  • May introduce scrolls with lesser versions of class specific buffs (ie. priest fort, bloodlust).
  • Will be more weapons with fun procs, instead of just stats.
  • More improvements to alchemy
  • Working on Shadow priest raid desirability
  • Can’t have rare glyphs for scribes because they are so tied to class gameplay
  • Possibly more lower level (pre-40) class-specific quests

Starcraft 2 lore

  • Introducing voice actors
  • Jim Raynor – Robert Clotworthy et cetra
  • Kerrigan – From Battlestar Galactica –  Tricia Helfer
  • They have 8 people on stage talking about what it’s like to be voice actors for SC2
  • Talking about visualizing & “inhabiting the character’s soul”. Want to know the back story, what the character wants, what the obstacles are… How do they get around obstacles? Not just doing a voice, it’s acting. “How do I serve the story my best?” Need to visualize more what is going on because you aren’t able to move around the same way as other types of acting.
  • The great questions of the SC universe will be unveiled.
  • Want to have continuity in voice actors for future additions to the SC2 game.
  • Chris Metzen did the voice acting for Thrall

Both panels now done.

Tom Chilton Interview on DTV

  • Thrall – lots of new things going on in Cataclysm
  • Current Heirloom items won’t necessarily scale to 85.
  • Don’t want 1v1 arenas, don’t like 2v2 arena balancing issues quite so much – reserving high end rewards for where it is more balanced.
  • Gnomeregan –  Have some stuff brewing for the gnomes. Something will happen for them in Cataclysm.
  • Item changes probably patched in before major content expansion pack hits. Want to make sure things are stable.

Blizzcon 2009 is officially over!

Posted in Blizzcon

Blizzcon post 7 – WoW Dungeons & Raids

The DTV live stream is broadcasting the WoW D&R panel starting “soon”. This is the last panel that is going to feature new information about Cataclysm. The second class panel will likely be a recap of what happened yesterday, like it was last year. With all the new announcements they have talked about today, I’m really excited to see what the new raids & dungeons of the future will look like!

  • WoW Dungeons & Raids Panel starting now
  • Cory Stockton, Scot Mercer
  • 1:01 pm – Background: How do we do it? How do we script them & get them to you?
  • Preview of new content at the end.
  • An Epic Idea: Where is it? Who lives there? What will the players do?
  • Layout – 2D creation on paper. Figure out player flow & how they work through the dungeon (choice or a straight path & story experience?). Points of interest?
  • Example of Grim Batol dungeon layout
  • Icecrown citadel – Four levels in Icecrown raid dungeon.
  • Halls of Origination – One of 2 Uldum dungeons (non-linear progression). Elevator activated to get up to 3rd floor. 7 bosses in that dungeon.
  • Block it out in 3d. Work on scale, so you don’t have to run super far.
  • add things like teleporters – will show up again in Icecrown Citadel
  • Think about doors & elevators – Destructible objects? (ie. the floor falling out from under you). Work closely with art team.
  • Get concept art that add a lot of flavor to the dungeon (things like the Utgarde Keep first area).
  • “if we can do vehicles on vehicles, we can do Voltron – and that turned into mimiron”
  • What makes getting out of the fire different this time than it was every other time?
  • They’re showing us creature editing & other things.
  • “This is how we set up how much she (Onyxia) deep breaths”. Some of it is because there’s a range where it happens, and there are random things built in where sometimes she does it more and sometimes she does it less (based on luck).
  • Play testing – “There are 5 of us. We play it the first time before anyone sees it…” Then, it goes to QA that does more testing, and then they put everything on the PTR & listen to feedback. They love hearing on the PTR (Scott posts on forums under Daylo)

Cataclysm –

  • Want 4 full raids ready to go at ship. Six dungeons with multiple wings. Revamping old-world dungeons.
  • Pulled down to elemental plain of water for the Abyssal Maw 5-player dungeons located in Vash’jir. Will be conflict with Naga involvement with deathwing.
  • Dungeon is under water, where you can see water from the outside where creatures are swimming by outside. There are new water effects for the game.
  • Video preview of Abyssal Maw raid dungeon. It looks awesome.
  • Uldum – Halls of Origination. One of two 5-player dungeon in the lost deserts of Uldum. Similar to Halls of Stone & Halls of Lightning. Was built by titans, but it’s more of an Egyptian feel. Also non-linear.
  • Will interact with Brann Bronzebeard in Halls of Origination
  • Blackrock Caverns – Inside Blackrock Mountain. Wanted to create a new dungeon experience & expand the story with this (occupied by twilight’s hammer – is a supply line). Why are Twilight’s Hammer here & what do they want?
  • This will be a linear dungeon, but have a lot of cool spots. Old feel, but new things.

Sneak peaks:

  • Icecrown 10 & 25-player raid. 12 Epic Bosses (“we all get more sleep this way”).
  • Has waypoints. Sindragosa, Lich King fights.
  • Will race to the top of icecrown on an air ship. You’ll try to destroy the opposing faction’s ship. We’ll be fighting off people coming from the other ship & have to board their ship.
  • On the 3rd floor, there will be bosses in 3 wings. 4th floor just has the frozen throne & LK. When the floor falls off, you might die.
  • 3 seperate wings with 8 bosses in the 5-player dungeon when IC is released. Need to unlock the second & third wing using questline (but then can “farm” them in any order).
  • Cataclysm raids: Nefarion’s room: portal in the back… It’s another raid!
  • Will enter Blackwing Descent from flying up into Nefarion’s room. Nefarion is returning, but it’s a new dungeon inspired by BWL.
  • Fighting Ragnaros in the elemental plain of fire (Fight Ragnaros at his full strength). Sulfuron Keep
  • Onyxia 5th Anniversary – coming out some time around November. Get tier 2 helms with old art and new stats. Weapons updated. Even more deep breath randomization.
  • Onyxia brood mount (in “middle phase”) will be rare mount.
  • New loot to support all the specs, for all the loot, so people can have something that fits their spec. Filled out weapon table from MC loot, with massive upgrades.
  • Onyxia whelpling – anyone who logs into the game during the 5 year anniversary gets the Onyxian whelpling pet. It has some cool & unique animations (trying to deep breath).
  • Cross- Server LFG – 5 player dungeons
  • Battle group all joins the same 5-man dungeon PUG system. There will be a reward system for using this. If you flag yourself as a leader in the LFG, if you complete the dungeon, you get a reward. Likely coming in 3.3.0.

D&R Q&A –

  • Additional Instances can not be launched problem – Why not just have a queue system? -> The cross server LFG will actually help with this problem, too. It will have a form of summoning. Pulling players into dungeon from the various servers.
  • Don’t have plans to go back and re-do anything else.
  • Bringing back reputations in dungeons & raids? Plan to do that, but don’t have details
  • Some adjustments in encounters to have more caster mobs that make it harder to AOE, will have more focus on single-target and crowd control.
  • No plans to bring back AQ. With Nef & Rag – they are brand-new instances, and nothing from the old fights. Want things to feel like brand-new content
  • Tuning & hard-modes: Want things on normal-mode to be more accessible. Want hard modes to be beaten, always looking at feedback and seeing how people think about the encounter. Make small adjustments if things don’t feel right. Still want hard modes to be fun. “Hard modes are still a moving target.”
  • Attunement quests? They’re cool the first time, but not cool the second, third, or 4th time.
  • Lich King defeated – Going to have an epic feel. “It’s going to be awesome. There is no way you guys are going to be disappointed.”
  • QA didn’t defeat Yogg +0. Treat QA as not a top-notch guild. They still do bug testing for everything. “There is a huge spectrum of skill”. Want hard modes to still be a huge leap up from the normal modes.
  • Is Sarth getting lonely in wyrmrest temple? “Maybe, possibly.”

Panel is done for the day!

Posted in Blizzcon

Blizzcon post 6 – cataclysmic systems panel

The Q&A hinted to having talent tree announcements at the systems panel. Other times, they talked about the path of the titans & mastery character advancement features. The WoW game systems panel should be releasing a LOT of new information about what Cataclysm is going to feel like. As I gather information, I’ll post it here. Also don’t forget to check out’s live blog. They will eventually be posting pictures and stuff there. As my live stream gives information about the Diablo III Q&A, I’ll do my best to try and fill stuff in for it, too.

WoW Systems Panel

  • Game systems: Rated BGs, Guild Advancement, Mastery, and Paths of the Titans
  • Will have rated battle grounds for people who don’t like the small group arenas
  • Making improvements to the BG queue system (want short queues & week long featured BGs).
  • You would gain arena points & rating from participating in BG matches
  • Lose a BG – No rating loss, but you don’t get arena points. Will have personal & match making ratings.
  • Bringing back titles for battle ground play (ie. Lieutenant general). Ratings at end of Arena season with titles & mounts.
  • Can get guild achievements & guild leveling from rated BG play.
  • Tol Barad – WG of Cataclysm.  Capture control points to control the zone. Winning team accesses instance & additional daily quests. Everyone can access standard ones.
  • Guild advancement – Add value to being in a guild. Can level guild up to 20 levels. Want being in a guild to be an important part of the game that feels fun.
  • Killing bosses, doing BGs, arenas, professions = lots of ways to level up your guild.
  • Guild talent tree will apply to everyone in your guild (things like mas res & reduced repair costs).
  • Can get patterns for guild heirloom items. Don’t want people to jump around guilds, so things like heirloom items to back to bank if people leave.
  • New & Improved guild recruiting tool. Includes filter on requirements.
  • Guild achievements – things like completing a legendary. Need 75% attendance of all guild for your guild to get credit for guild achievements.
  • Guild news RSS feed into armory so you can keep in touch with people who aren’t logged into WOW.
  • New UI will let you invite other guilds to events. This will be great for pug raids.

WoW talent system changes

  • GC: “We’re taking the passive talents, getting rid of them, and you’ll earn the passive talents just for putting points in that tree.” (
  • More fun and utility talents.. Get rid of spell power and cruelty and fire and brimstone (@Fimlys)
  • “You’ll still get the benefits you want, but you’ll have a lot more fun.” (
  • More things like body and soul. Lightning overload. Juggernaut . (@Fimlys)
  • Passive bonuses (probably the Mastery system they’ve been talking about) will improve healing, damage, tanking – just for putting points in a specific tree. Mastery to modify & make characters more unique.
  • Changes to UI to show passive Mastery bonuses. May be able to get more mastery through gear. They showed how the UI would work for rogues – different trees have different stat focuses.
  • Mastery to improve the spec where you have the most points.
  • Path of the titans – Reward max- level characters. Will be working to unlock an Ancient glyph.
  • You can align with different titan cults. Not specific to classes or specs. Each path has 2 to 3 choices. No new glyph until 85. Changing the glyph UI.
  • Ex. Reduce bleed and stun. Bandage heal by more. Nearby allies take less dmg on cooldown (@Fimlys)
  • NO Undead druids. Please don’t start those rumors, lol.
  • Everyone will eventually get the Ancient glyphs at level 85. The glyphs will have ranks that will increase over time.

Q&A for WoW systems panel –

  • No guild alliance system or guild merger system. This type of raiding game play won’t be supported.
  • We’re also discussing a paid guild transfer service, to move your entire guild to a new server.
  • Guild halls? – Not a priority.
  • Showing who alts belong to? Something they would like to do, but not a priority (However, the D2 chat features announced yesterday would be something that makes this easier in the future).
  • WoW systems panel is done for the day.

Diablo 3 Q&A

  • Working on making D3 have less hacking.
  • PvP system: Haven’t announced specifics, but won’t support “go hostile at any time” game play.
  • Making a different skill system, won’t need synergies, but still need a breadth of customization options that are appropriate for final skill system.
  • Quests in D3 will grow & be better than D2. Want to vary game play experience & deliver story with interesting events.
  • Want to have a lot of content. Should be a compelling reason to do a lot of it (more like quest system in WoW – gets you to move around, go to other places, and do more interesting things). Want fast progression to be fun.
  • Want the world to feel like it’s a living world.
  • D3 Will not have UI mods.
  • Want to give payoff for fighting.
  • Rare items could be better than unique items. Tricky balance issues. May look at other roles the unique items could fill. Want randomly generated items to be more prominent.
  • Want people to be able to move quickly through the world. Want to reduce travel time as much as possible.
  • Items dropped on a per-player basis. Can’t take each other’s loot. Any item you see on the ground is pretty much for you.
  • Putting in tutorial system to teach new elements to players. Need to make sure players have easy introduction to the game. Want to make it easy to get into even if you aren’t a totally hard-core gamer.
  • PvE is first focus, but want to develop runes & skills that also support PvP.

Done with the D3 Q&A panel

Posted in Blizzcon

Blizzcon Post 5 – Day 2 Begins

So, after our world (of warcraft) was shaken up yesterday, we were left with a lot of burning questions that were left unanswered. Yesterday, most of the good WoW panels were in Hall D, which is captured by the live streaming coverage. Today, the Direct TV live streaming coverage is MUCH more disappointing. The only WoW panel they will be covering is the dungeons & raids one. They aren’t even starting early enough to have the WoW Q&A panel streaming live. That just means I’ll need to have more browser windows open trying to find the best coverage of WoW stuff today to link back to. has been doing live blogs for a lot of the WOW stuff, too.

Schedule: WoW Q&A at 10 am PST (not covered by direct tv), 11:30 WoW Game Systems (not covered by direct tv), 1:00pm WoW Dungeons & Raids (covered by direct TV), 2:30pm – Repeat of WoW class panel (also not covered by direct TV). The DTV coverage is pretty much all Diablo & Starcraft coverage today. I’ll still do my best to find what info I can on the other WoW panels.

I think the druid class & the larger WOW community, has a lot of burning questions about how the class will look in Cataclysm. The Mastery system, shaking up the talent trees (but not extending them past 51 talents), and the archeology profession feeding into some new path of the titans progression. There are also a ton of stat changes & other things hinted at during the different panels. At the very least, I really want to know what worgen & troll shapeshift forms will end up being like (and spending a lot of time hoping the worgen forms aren’t lame Night Elf ones.. Please Blizzard, don’t let Worgen Druids be lame!).

For links to the previous posts, I started a page (on the right near the leveling guides) with the table of contents for my Blizzcon coverage.  That should keep things a little more organized, so they’ll be easier to review and find the information we need later.

I’ll start my live updates here after 10:00 am PST, where newer content is at the bottom of the thread. I’ll start a new thread, like I did yesterday, if this one gets too long.

10:15 – reporting that the WoW Q&A hasn’t started yet. They have a live blog going on for their site.

10:16 – Finally have the first Q&A info coming!

WOW Q&A Highlights

  • Feral legendary weapon? Maybe in the future
  • Hybrid vs. pure classes – in a good place right now.
  • Northrend & Outlands left mostly intact by Cataclysm
  • They are working on new dances (have a few finished)
  • Guild leveling: Will have a guild talent tree
  • Plan to update older racial abilities
  • Draenei & Blood Elf starting area quests will be changed to reflect cataclysm changes.
  • Spirit will leave Moonkin & Shadow Priest gear!!!
  • They will do race changes (same faction) later down the road.
  • Allowing Horde & Alliance on same PvP server because it was too hard to prevent circumventing the rule with people having multiple accounts.
  • Looking at troll regeneration racial.
  • Want rogues to be able to use daggers again. Assassination may get buffs.
  • They will work on making progression leveling smoother.
  • May be able to rearrange characters on the selection screen at some point (“on the UI wishlist”)
  • Working on how to better serve Oceanic players (regarding latency, etc).
  • Old world reputations – being taken into consideration with content revamp
  • Working on guild heirloom items.
  • Troll & Worgen druids will have unique shapeshift forms!!!
  • Enhancement shaman won’t need to gear for int when hunters stop using the stat.
  • Still not convinced we need more than 10 characters on a realm
  • We should have more bag space “Our sacks get bigger every expansion”
  • GC says: talents will be the ‘cool things’ and less of the ‘I need to pick this up to DPS.’
  • There will be a lot more phasing in Cataclysm
  • Working on things like “mentoring” to help with higher levels that want to pay with lower levels.
  • Talents/abilities like molten armor changed to go along with stat changes
  • More Class-oriented hubs? Yes
  • No new hero class in Cataclysm.
  • Thinking about hunter pet changes.
  • They may get rid of the “five second rule” for spell casting, but haven’t decided.
  • Q&A panel ended for the day at 11:10

11:03 – DTV live streaming version finally up and running.

  • Mike Morhaime being interviewed by DTV
  • MM – Working on improving WoW, even things like the download & patching process.
  • World can feel empty if you start on a new realm and other new players aren’t starting there. Want to shape the leveling experience to be more fun & have new players all starting together.
  • Unnamed future MMO – Development going well. Good leadership already focused on that project (Blizzard “all star team” working on it). In a new universe (not wow, SC, or Diablo-related).
  • Interview with someone working on the WoW magazine – working closely with people at Blizzard. Looking at behind the scenes of the game, talking to players, showcasing art of the game. WoW magazine launching in November through subscription.
Posted in Blizzcon


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