Blizzard Twitter chat—taking them as they come
The Blizzard Twitter chat is going on right now so I thought I’d see what was being said and offer my own thoughts/reactions on cherry-picked questions and answers. I’ll edit this post repeatedly as the chat goes on…
Q. What have you learned from this expansion’s emblem system?
A. Having that many different kind of emblems is overwhelming. In hindsight, we wish we had done maybe 2 emblems: the current tier and the previous tier (Frost and Triumph at the moment). They also felt a tad too grindy when 3.3 first came out before all of the sources of emblems were available.
I agree, though I must say I haven’t been too negatively affected by this. In fact, the only time it’s been an issue is when I trade Triumph emblems for gems, which requires that I downgrade twice in order to get the right emblems to purchase gems. Quite a hassle and a half.
Q. There’s no cap on Emblems, but there is on honor. Any plans to remove or raise the honor cap?
A. To be honest, we’re more likely to cap emblems. We like the gameplay where you’re motivated to periodically check in with WoW. We don’t like feeling like you have to log in every single day without fail (cough Frost emblems) and we don’t like the grind your face off in order to maximize return (old BG Honor).
I see their point—I do in fact feel motivated to log in daily and grind for frost emblems. As long as that cap is large enough to accommodate a full set of gear, I think that would be OK. However, that would keep us from using emblems to get rare materials like orbs, which itself would cause orb prices to skyrocket, correct?
Q. In Cataclysm, do you plan on releasing two raid instances at a time (like Serpentshrine Cavern/Tempest Keep), or are we only getting one at a time (i.e. Naxxramas followed by Ulduar)?
A. We like the idea of having more smaller raids rather than one large one. In other words, we will have more than one at Cataclysm launch.
More than one, you say! Approved.
Q. You talk a lot about changing how we heal tanks, but will aggro ever come back as a challenging part of the game?
A. Not sure. This is something we discuss a lot. I even had a meeting on it this week! On the one hand, some tanks really felt like the way to distinguish themselves was to generate maximum threat per second. On the other hand, threat is a pretty invisibile part of the game (it’s limited to the UI at best), and I know when I tank that I always feel pretty emasculated when someone actually pulls off of me. It’s challenging, but is it really fun? This is the kind of thing we’d love to get more feedback on.
Please include your feedback on large banners to be shown in the background during the Olympics. Failing that, the forums would work too.
This isn’t about mages but we do need to mind our aggro—we’re quite likely to pull it off if we’re not paying attention. I feel their pain and I, too, would feel like I wasn’t doing my job if I lost aggro. I don’t know if it’s invisible since if you lose aggro the monster goes running off into the distance—where we stand.
Q. How do you feel about the limited attempts mechanic that has been use in Trial of the Crusader and Icecrown Citadel?
A. We’re not crazy about how they worked out. They were designed in essence to save players from themselves. In the past, some people would make 400+ attempts on new bosses. That’s not healthy and at some point you’re not measuring skill but tenacity. Yet, that’s not what happened. Guilds just made alts to get around the limitations, and things like disconnects and accidents make losing an attempt really frustrating. We like gating because if nothing else it lets the community focus on more than just the final boss in the zone. If we do limited attempts again it would probably be limited to optional bosses like Algalon.
I find these rather frustrating. I acknowledge that after a certain point it’s not skill but tenacity—but really I don’t mind tenacity tests if that’s what I, and my guild mates, want to go through. It’s our choice whether to try once or a dozen times.
As well—doing it once is what achievements are for, yes? Tenacity to get the boss down, then skill to fine tune the experience to get it after one attempt in a day’s time.
Q. With the new gear stats system in cataclysm, will you go back and redo all the old gear, or will it only affect new gear?
A. Yes, we redid all the old gear.
Q. Should players be concerned about what gear they pickup in this expansion, because of the gear overhaul that is coming?
A. I wouldn’t stress over it. You’ll probably replace that gear pretty quickly. Since we have 5 levels, we don’t really want players getting all the way to 85 without having upgraded at all.
Don’t stress indeed—we all remember what happened for Burning Crusade: Those things you spent months getting? Irrelevant after the third quest you completed. Fortunately I didn’t suffer from this since I didn’t spend months getting gear (you may recall from a much earlier post that the last tier gear I pursued with diligence was Magister’s) but now that I am pursuing Bloodmage Regalia, I do worry that it’s going to be obsolete on the second day.
But, eh, that’s OK. At least I will be able to say I got the full set (assuming I actually do before Cataclysm comes out).
Q. I’d like to see a new Isle of Quel’Danas-like daily quest hub in Cataclsym. One place, no travelling quick gold daily (: please?
A. We are planning to do exactly this for Tol Barad. When the battle is not taking place, players will be able to use the island as a daily quest hub. This will of course be very fun on PVP servers. =)
I must say that Q’D was the best thing since sliced bread. One stop shopping for all your daily needs, and the quests themselves were just right: Not too long or short and varying enough for the whole affair to not seem like a terrible grind. If we could have something like this that doesn’t involve PvPing then super huzzah! 🙂
Q. Will we get some info about the other zones revamped in Cataclysm, like Stranglethorn Vale or Tanaris?
A. Yes, we are hoping to do a few specific web features on a few of the old world zones and exactly what is changing with them. Stranglethorn Vale is seeing a large amount of changes so it is a great candidate for this.
STV is my most hated zone. It’s vastly too big for characters of that level and putting in a fly point at the northern end does indeed help—but that’s not going far enough. They could change almost anything about the zone except make it yet bigger and I would consider it an improvement. 😉
Q. Will you give us more bag/bank slots and make us able to carry more bags at a time if i say please?
A. We will have larger bags in Cataclysm for sure. The real question is will you buy them from Haris Pilton?
That’s nice, but as I outlined in a recent post, I’m not hurting for bag space. It’s yet another kind of bag to get though. I mean, I’m assuming that they’ll be tailoring patterns…
Q. What is the one thing you’re the most proud of in regards to how the Wrath of the Lich King expansion went?
A. It had a really strong theme with the frozen north and you knew from the beginning that a final showdown with you-know-who was coming at the end. One of the challenges of Cataclysm is not having that really focused theme (cold undead) but Cataclysm still has a great story mind you.
I agree—there was just no doubt as to what the zone was about. Very clear and concise and I enjoy it, still, very much indeed. And isn’t there a overriding theme to Cataclysm, that being the cataclysm? 😉
Q. Is there any chance that tabards will eventually get their own tab on the character screen (a la pets/mounts)?
A. Tabard storage is something we have been looking into for the last couple weeks. Hopefully we will be able to get this done for Cataclysm. No promises though. 😉
I really hope so because there’s an achievement for collecting them. And for certain I would swap out the tabard I’m wearing if I didn’t have to walk around with distinct tabard objects and could change them as easily as a decorative pet.
And that’s the end! Alas, my question was not answered—it was about mages! Mayhaps next time…
Meanwhile I’m going to re-peruse the Official World of Warcraft Magazine because it has Cataclysm info in it. Also, I’m a nerd.