Blizzard Fansite Summit News

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Heartwood
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Blizzard Fansite Summit News

Post by Heartwood » Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:45 am

Here is an interesting article regarding the recent fansite summit with Blizzard regarding the upcoming development of WoW:

Today Curse had the opportunity to participate in Blizzard's second fansite summit, and one of the treats of the day was a chance to sit down and have lunch with Blizzard developers -- including Jeffrey Kaplan and Tom Chilton -- both Lead Designers of the game.

We had a chat with Kaplan in a round table-style discussion where he shared a few pieces of information previously not known. First of all, the big news: the Ashbringer storyline is currently planned to be resolved in patch 3.3. Now the bad news: you'll be sitting on the edge of your seats for a few months, because when that patch is coming out wasn't shared.

From there Kaplan spoke a bit more about the patch cycle for Wrath of the Lich King. Arthas is the story that will culminate the expansion, but there are a few surprises planned that he wasn't willing to discuss just yet.

3.1 -- the first major content patch of the expansion, which is already done according to Kaplan -- will release the Ulduar 10 and 25-person raid instances, with 3.2 containing that secret surprise raid instance, and 3.3 likely being the patch that introduces Icecrown Citadel.

Next up someone at the table asked about the dance studio, how that came to be, and when we can expect it. "After Lich King releases for sure," Kaplan said. The team wants to do it, but adding even a single dance animation for a race takes as much time as creating a new creature for the game. So for every development cycle, they must weigh which will be used more. However, the ultimate goal is to get the dance studio system in, and one of the desires is to allow players to not just choose a new dance, but string together multiple dance moves to create their dance.

Another future goal is to add more substance to the guild system. While the team feels the new calendar feature added with Wrath of the Lich King offers a lot of new possibilities to guild planning and organization, there is still work to be done. To that end, there are ideas being tossed around related to Guild Ratings, where a guild receives a rating based on their PvE and PvP accomplishments.

We then ended the discussion with a topic of some of our favorite raid encounters, and one member of the table mentioned C'thun. Kaplan then went on to tell us how the C'thun encounter is one of his favorites to actually watch, because it's one of the more enjoyable encounters in the game to sit back and watch players raid since so much is going on.

We were also treated to a story of the C'thun "stomach" mechanic and how it was originally planned for the Onyxia encounter. "But we'd already thrown the kitchen sink in," Kaplan said [in terms of encounter mechanics], so Blizzard decided to save the idea for later. It turned out C'thun was a perfect fit for it.

We were also treated to a tour of the Blizzard campus, but unfortunately weren't allowed into any of the development area as the World of Warcraft team is already working on something new. Kaplan mentioned that they're always 3 patch cycles ahead of the live game in terms of content design, as well as typically working on the next expansion. Take that for what you will!

We'll hopefully have some pictures from the visit to the Blizzard campus up soon.
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Lealla
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Post by Lealla » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:12 am

Interesting stuff. I can't wait to get into Ulduar (and maybe even Uldum) at some point in the future, and I'm definitely curious to see where the Ashbringer story goes.

Guild ratings are a neat idea, too, and should help increase the competitive factor of getting into the top PvE/PvP guilds.

What I'm on the edge of my seat for now, though, is the news from Blizzcon. There are always some big announcements made there, not the least of which is the dual talent spec system we've all been waiting for.
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Drizztdeurde
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Post by Drizztdeurde » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:22 am

Like we were speaking about last night though, the "rating systems" that most are using now are based of some calculation of a characters/group of characters Iitem level. I think it's unfair to rate someone who can farm honor for S2 gear at the equiv. item lvl as T5 and farm Kara for badges for T5/T6 item level gear to be rated higher then someone in T5, as the means to get the gear are not even remotely the same.

If someone is in S3/S4 stuff I agree they shouldn't be gimped as it is an accomplishment but a 2000 arena rating isn't as difficult as getting 25 people through BT/MH. I hope that if they do something like this in the game and not an add on website that they use accomplishments or something as as another means to compare characters and guilds.
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Lealla
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Post by Lealla » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:42 am

I suspect guild ratings would be based on a variety of factors, including achievements earned, highest PvE content beaten, highest PvE rankings, and that kind of stuff. As we discussed, Drizz, using item level alone as the determining factor is highly deceptive.

One of the side-effects of the 3.0 achievements system will be the ability to track them on a statistical basis, so it's only a very small step from there to accumulating data for an entire guild. There are already "server first" achievements that will credit to an entire guild, such as downing raid bosses.
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Post by Gnomerman » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:25 pm

what they really need to do is rate the gear in a seperate pvp and pve circomstance. give some thought in the rating as where the item points are (such as dps stats, tanking stats, etc) and develop a rating like that. for example, for dps classes/specs use some sort of dps rating (there are a ton of them), tanks a tank rating, and healers a heal rating for gear. so on a pve rating resil would count for nothing, but a lot on a pvp rating.

but thats work, requires some programming and some sort of algorithm... yeah, thats soo much more difficult that game code (except i could write code to do the fun math, but could never write game code)
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Post by Thesian » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:04 pm

3.2 containing that secret surprise raid instance,

Super secret raid instance... can someone say... ULDUM?!?!?!

Perhaps... that would be awesome... AWESOME!!!
"Your a Frost Mage... and you wanna raid?!?! Why don't you just PVP alot?" - Some guy in Shatt

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Lealla
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Post by Lealla » Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:05 pm

I fully completed the Discs of Norgannon quest line on both Lealla and Brendore; I really hope that gets continued into Uldum and there's some advantage (or at least achievement) for players who've done it. Not that you wouldn't be able to get it easily enough by blasting through Uldaman now...
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