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The StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Art and Technology Panel at BlizzCon 2011

Quote from: Kaivax



Blizzard’s Allen Dilling, Steve Provost, Dominic Filion, and Phill Gonzales discussed the artistic and technological future of StarCraft II on the Panel Discussion stage this afternoon at BlizzCon 2011.

Lead 3D Artist Allen Dilling kicked off the panel with a look at Blizzard’s art style, and then jumped right into StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, showing off the development of the look and feel of zerg units such as the viper and swarm host. This was followed by a detailed examination of two more new units: the protoss tempest and the terran warhound.

3D Artist Steve Provost then talked about how the team built the various environments under development for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, demonstrating the range of possible landscapes with a comparison of color palettes. New and improved lighting and shading effects allow the StarCraft II development team to realize more complicated animations and deliver a stunning player experience when moving from one position to the next. Lead Graphics Engineer Dominic Filion looked back at the evolution of StarCraft II graphics with a video that included sample footage from way back in June 2005, and displayed examples of the game’s style and overall progression from one iteration to the next over a six-year span.

Finally, Senior 3D Artist Phill Gonzales capped the panel with a rundown of Blizzard DOTA. With dozens of example images, he showed the audience everything from Mega-Minion concept art to the development of the heroes themselves. This culminated in a sneak peek at 30 heroes under consideration for Blizzard DOTA, including World of Warcraft characters such as Tyrande Whisperwind, Genn Greymane, and Kel’thuzad, StarCraft characters such as Jim Raynor, Gabriel Tosh, and Ghost Kerrigan, and Diablo characters such as Tyrael, Azmodan, and The Butcher.

What do you think of the look of StarCraft II and the forthcoming Blizzard DOTA? Let us know in the comments below!

Blizzcon 2011: WoW Open Q&A

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
As a 10 man raider there is a lot of difference between 10 and 25 man. When heroic magmaw came out 25 man raiders couldnt do it in 10 man heroic, when are we seeing the difficulty for 10 man being higher?
That's pretty fun because in Korea the 10-man guilds are usually the ones considered hardcore while the 25-man are considered easier. They are definitely hard to balance, 10 players might not always have the buffs they need like with 25 man.

Is there a chance that youll go to a 10 vs 20 man to make balancing easier?
I honestly think that wouldnt make stuff easier, we would still have a lot of problems.

Do you have any plans to implement some sort of spectator mode for raids or battlegrounds?
That's something we've wanted for a long time, spectator mode and replays, but it's just a question of getting around to doing it so ... some day, hopefully.

Do you have any plans on adding more options to the guild leaders UI? So as I can give more options to a banker or to my different officers since Im the only one that can turn guild repairs on and off
Yeah, thats definitely a good reason why we would want to do that. We need to make sure how much control we can give to people that are not the guild leader. It sounds like something that can be useful.

Wouldnt that be the GLs decision?
It is but if something goes wrong it comes back to us to fix it

With the upcoming expansion coming, are all the purple you get from Firelands going to get replaced with greens on first day?
Green is the new purple, so yeah. The problem is if we don't upgrade equipement too much we are cheating those players from the leveling experience, so usually by the 2nd or 3rd zone your gear should be replaced to make sure the content is still a challenge for you. Hopefully in the future we will have a way to "track" your progress in the past and make sure there's a way to record your accomplishements in each expansion to make sure that all your progress isn't "lost" at the beginning of each expansion.

How are you guys going to fit Draenei and the BEs getting monks?
We will probably throw it in like its always been there.... We'll make it work!

Hunters and Crowd Control: Currently with Wyvern Sting having a DOT it makes it a little difficult to quickly Wyvern Sting and then trap something after. Before Cataclysm we had the option of removing the dot with Scorpid Sting but it was removed, is there going to be a way to remove that DoT in the future?
It's probably something we're not going to do in 4.3, and 5.0 is such a big reset for all the talents that I can't really answer that now. It's definitely a problem but we also don't want everyone dotting up their characters before they crowd control, we don't want crowd control to always break on things like that and we'll see in 5.0.

Wind Shear change shouldn't hurt enhancement shamans, but most don't take Reverb. It also hurts Resto Shaman, any plans to fix this?
Raids usually have enough people, so it won't hurt the raid. PvP might force you to make the choice, but it is still an interrupt with a longer cooldown.

Do you hate enhancement shamans? DPS sucks, in PvP they suck, any plans to fix them? / Any plans for Illidan to come back?
Lets answer the Illidan question. Do you want to see Illidan come back? We will think about that.

This is a problem, just like frost mages dont do well in PvE but the difference is you can't tell an enhancement shaman "hey just go elemental". In PvP it will be much easier in 5.0 but for PvE we will try to adress some of the issues in 4.3

Do you want combat rogues to use cooldowns more often or hold off until 30% and use all the cooldowns at once?
You should follow the guidance from Restless Blades.

Is the guild name change service going to be in 4.3 or 5.0? Will it fall to the wayside like Dance Studios did?
One of these days we are going to unleash Dance Studios to the world and it will be awesome. But not today. We are releasing the new guild services within two weeks.

Your design in MoP are you bringing more healers into 25 man raids because there is a new healing class as a monk healer and 25 man guilds will usually have two people per class. Are you going to design your raids to bring more healers into raids?
I dont think we will change the number of healers needed for a raid.

Will challenge modes put us under the hit cap or affect core stats when the gear is tuned down?
There are some details to work out, people should be able to do roughly the same DPS and Healing as everyone else.

Are we going to see account bound mounts?
Hopefully some day, i dont think that will happen in 50 but somewhere down the line its likely.

Can we have an option to require auth on login every time
Soon.

What are your plans for the moonkin form, are you going to do the same thing you did for warlocks?
We are going to update the art on the moonkin form as we see fit. Its too early to tell what we will exactly be doing.

Race changing breaks quest progress for some quests, any plans to address this?
We might try whitelisting some quests, like the important legendary quest. We need to be careful to not bog down CS with this kind of thing though.

In the future are you going to make BoA items actually transferable account-wide?
Maybe some day! Probably not in the immediate future. The databases dont do the best job of talking to eachother right now.

The past few patches brought Arcane Mages and Feral Druids that are two button classes, any plans to make sure the Monk isn't easy like those classes/specs?
AoE rotations weren't a big focus at first, we want to make it a little more interesting. Arcane mages do have some mana management gameplay, we are adding back Arcane Missles to their rotation.

Do you ever plan on altering spells or maybe adding a new spell to Arcane mages and maybe nerfing arcane blast a little bit?
In 5.0 Living Bomb is a spell all mages will have.

Will enchanters be able to make epic wands in the future?
Yes

What are your changes going to be for gathering professions in the new expansion? Crafting gives you the best stuff but gathering isnt very useful
No sweeping change has been planned for the perks of these professions but we'll look at it. We dont want people to feel like they need 2 crafting professions.

Will you be able to craft different quivers?
Little visuals like that is something we want to add to all classes, it isn't really clear on how we can add that just yet.

I have a priest with a benediction staff but the quest for that was removed. I am very excited to transmog that. But I am worried that you might open up the models for other players, which would be unfair to the players that worked for it at level 60
One way we have solved that problem in the past is to offer the model with a different texture or something. We did something similar with the ZA bear mount

Ret has one clear choice for the Level 90 Tier in the new talent trees, any chance to balance it better?
We feel like they will be balanced once we tweak the numbers.

You are nerfing wind shear for resto PvP, do you intent to make a trade off or to not let them have it completely?
Ideally we would not want them to have it

In that case why dont you hardwire it into the spec masteries so enhancement and elemental dont have any effect?
That would have been another way to go, but this is a fairly big change and we dont want players to feel like everything is being changed. In 5.0 it might be a good oppurtunity to take away Wind Shear completely but we have not made a decision on that yet.

Will MoP bring us mounted combat?
No

Will MoP bring more craftable mounts?
Maybe a Jewelcrafting mount.

Any plans to fix Heroic Leap?
Heroic Leap has a lot of technical problems, people keep trying to exploit it. Works fine when it is flat, not so much when there is a height increase

Where are the LGBT characters in WoW Lore?
Everything is gravy as long as its just a great character. There is the possiblity of adding them, as long as the story is compelling, might see it in the future.

It seems that in a 10 man model there are huge negatives with class representation and wasted loot. Is there a possibility to change the 10-man model to a 15-man model? If not, maybe make some kind of smart loot system that checks if the loot is useful for your raid?
It might be a good idea to make the loot system slightly more intelligent, but moving up to a 15-man model would be very hard for us seeing existing 10-man guilds would have to recruit 5 more members.

Are you going to add more visuals for druid forms? Will effects such as Fandral's Flamescythe be transferable by transmogrification?
Maybe, we are connecting them with items so that it isn't something everyone has forever. We don't want you to have to go back and get different forms.

As a hunter who has played that class for 5 years I want to thank you for the pet challenges that came out in 4.3, that being said and how much we are so proud of all the pets we have obtained. Its a shame when you cant use these pets in a dungeon without being spec'd beast master, i was kind of hoping this might be a change in the future
We'd like to let hunters chose any pet with Tenacity/Ferocity/Cunning in 5.0. It doesn't solve the problem of MM losing Beast mastery pets but BM DPS is pretty good.

Gallywix is in charge but he's the bad guy, what happens to him? Also, blinding shield for paladins, what happened to that?
We haven't had a discussion about Gallywix in a while, he's interesting but I don't know if we have a core decision about him. Most of our discussions lately have been about pandaren characters and how to make them interesting.

This is not set in stone but Blinding Shield is currently the paladin level 87 ability.

The new shaman talent points seem to be geared for resto and not to a damage point, I know you said you want hybridization is coming more into play but what about DPS?
There are DPS options there, some of the tiers are based around movement, totems, etc ...

In End of Time, we kill Murozond, is this the last we see of the Infinite Dragonflight? / Any plans to add player housing?
No player housing anytime soon, too expensive in terms of time to make if you still want dungeons, raids, models, and other stuff.

Infinite Dragonflight is done, at least for now, but the concept is cool and useful for the world. The timeways will always exist and there will always be bad guys there, there's no current plans for it but we could bring it back if it's cleverly done.

Jewelcrafting endgame is boring, can we have trinkets, rings, or necklaces?
We want to add some items, not every tier though. We need to keep it balanced compared to the other professions.

I'm pretty sure I understand how you pick Alliance and Horde as a Pandaren, do you guys have any idea how pandaren's factions will be distinguished at higher levels?
We have seen in arenas that the only thing that really matter is the Red Text and stuff, the UI is primarly the biggest indicator to see what faction they belong to.

Will we see raid leaderboards, including wipe and kill counts?
There is a lot we could do to track player accomplishments, we could see it being extended to raids in the future.

Theres lots of people wanting the reskinning for old races, I was over at the art panel and the pandaren just looked so amazing. They were talking about being 10-20 in the fact alone, is that also something they are looking into for reskinning the new races?
Its the one thing we really want to see brought up to the pandaren level. There are about 10 times more bones in the pandaren models compared to the current character models. We dont know when this exactly will happen, because we are still not unsure how to roll this out because some people might not like the new models as much as they do the old models.

What will the theme for raid art and gear going to be?
Brewing, bamboo, everything crafted, respecting the Asian feel we have in the starting zone and expanding on that

Blizzcon 2011 - World of Warcraft Art Panel

Art Panel bio je završen pre dva sata, medjutim zbog velike količine informacija, i njegovog sadržaja nismo bili u mogućnosti da blogujemo ceo panel, ali smo stigli da vam prikažemo 231 HD slika koje su bile prikazane na fenomenalnom Art panelu, gde ćete naći velike informacije o kulturi Panderiana, kao i izgleda njihovog kontinenta.

StarCraft II – Blizzard DOTA & Mod Tools Panel!

Quote from: Nethaera



The StarCraft II -- Blizzard DOTA & Mod Tools panel served to redefine the future for the ongoing development of custom mapmaking tools and features as well as shine a light on the possibilities for the future of creating top-quality mods. The panelists delved into the Arcade (formerly known as the Marketplace), the new tools that will be available to mod creators, and showed off the power of these robust tools with insight into the development of Blizzard DOTA.  

Highlights from the panel included: 

Arcade

  • Arcade will serve as a hub for both free and premium games created by the community, for the community.
  • The commerce elements will come later on, but the changes made to the interface will serve as a foundation for custom games on Battle.net going forward.
  • Allowing custom game makers to charge for their games will incentivize higher quality custom games, benefitting players and game creators.

 Goals:

  • Easy to locate quality games
  • Play the games you want to play
  • Prepare a place for selling games

Games will be easier to find right within the new Arcade button, while the single-player and multiplayer buttons will become merged into one. The Arcade interface will redefine and refine the organization of custom maps and mods making it easier than before to find what you're looking for. Mods will be categorized as follows: 

  • What's Hot
  • Up & Coming
  • New & Noteworthy
  • Featured Games

You’ll be able to rate games or find games using a five-star rating system. Getting into the game you want will be easier than ever.To help players find and play less popular games, we’ll be adding a queuing system in which lobbies that have been open the longest will be filled first out of the pool of waiting “Fun or Not” players. 

The Arcade will have something for everyone and select games will be available for Starter Edition, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm accounts. 

Tools and Editor Improvements

The Editor will be getting even better with improved debugging tools, UI Editing within the editor, a cutscene editor, and more. 

  • Trigger Debugging Improvements: Improved performance analysis and added a code debugger that includes breakpoints, code stepping, callstack, and variable watch.
  • UI Editor: Inspect, edit, and even move UI elements in-game. View in XML within the editor to refine UI elements and take design to the next level.
  • Cutscene Editor:A new tool will be added allowing artists and designers to create their own high-quality cutscenes using existing game assets.
    • Control objects, lighting cameras, and define the timeline for events.
    • Preview the scene as you design.
    • Use triggers to modify the cutscene during playback to match game state.

Art Tools

Powerful new art tools will be added to the Editor to empower game creators to take their creations even further than before.  

  • Create custom art and models.
  • Model exporter plug-in for quick and easy model creation and editing.
  • Live link from the exporter to the Editor.
  • Fewer bugs to find and eradicate (unless they're killer tomatolings.) 
  • In addition, documentation, tutorials, and example files to educate and inspire game creators or budding game creators to take on their own projects. 

Blizzard DOTA

So what do you do with all these new tools? You make something like Blizzard DOTA, our example of what a premier custom game can be.

Blizzard DOTA is more than a showpiece for StarCraft II's custom game tools. The designers have carefully considered what they want out of the DOTA experience. They've approached the creation of Blizzard DOTA with an eye to improving gameplay by challenging many of the assumptions about what DOTA-style games should be. 

  • Fixing the Fantasy

The first step is "fixing the fantasy." As one example, in many DOTA-style games it takes new players some time to learn that aggression is often penalized, particularly in the early phases of a match. Camping underneath a tower and defensively last-hitting incoming creeps isn't necessarily intuitive, nor does it feel heroic. Blizzard DOTA's design is geared toward more aggressive gameplay from the get-go in a number of ways, one being the design of mana towers. Blizzard DOTA's mana towers have limited, slowly regenerating ammo, which means they can be exhausted and go inactive under a determined team-push. This design tweak rewards team-based aggression and feels more heroic.

In Blizzard DOTA, heroes don’t walk into battle… they charge in! Your hero will be riding in style on his or her mount, which allows you to quickly rejoin the fight, or move quickly from lane to lane.

  • Easy to Learn, Difficult to Master

In any DOTA-style game, every second counts and understanding stats and itemization can make the difference between a decisive victory or an untimely death. But it takes time to learn and absorb how stats work or what the best possible items are, which means players are often compelled to read and study guides before they even get started playing. This sort of minutiae is fine for RPGs where you're immersed for hours in a character, but in DOTA-style games, having this level of complexity can make getting in and getting on your feet difficult. Blizzard DOTA matches are even more fast-paced than similar games and the time it takes to learn what you need to know is similarly shorter.

Blizzard DOTA will change the landscape of learning by:

  • Simplifying stats into Damage, Health, and Mastery
  • Concentrating item choices into simplified categories -- Stat Boosts, Consumables, Items, and Artifacts
  • Intuitive abilities that are quick to understand without complex math

With the burden of memorizing long item lists or recipes removed, you can more easily get your head around which items will improve your hero. And in turn, you can spend more time in-game focused on exciting team-fights, and pushing your team to victory.

  • Epic Hero Roles

Blizzard DOTA will offer iconic Blizzard heroes that can take on one of four different role types:

  • Tank
  • Support
  • DPS
  • Siege

Each role has an opportunity to shine in its own right, even if it’s not the one delivering the killing blow. Tanks include Arthas, Stitches, and Muradin, with all having the ability to soak up damage and initiate fights. Support heroes like Uther, Tassadar, and Thrall are designed to help in team fights through healing and crowd control. DPS classes like Nova, Kerrigan, and Zeratul are hero-killing assassins. Newer in concept is the Siege role, which can outrange towers and do devastating damage from afar. These heroes include the Witch Doctor, Za'gara, and General Warfield in his siege tank.

These are just a sampling of the heroes which will be included in Blizzard DOTA, but a huge focus with the game is ensuring that every hero and ability is truly unique. It’s about concentrated coolness and letting each role shine in its own way.

Create a More Exciting Metagame

So what do you do when faced with pushing gameplay to the next level? You add variety to spice things up.

  • Territory control and merc camps -- Find and control map locations to gain merc support and send them out to strengthen your creep waves and push lanes.
  • More exciting map bonuses like the new Stone Zealot -- Conquer this behemoth and he’ll join you in destroying all that gets in its path.
  • Multiple maps -- It’s not the same old map anymore; things are changing and so will the map choices with a change in terrain and new ways to approach the enemy. The possibilities are endless.

Reduce Social Tension

There is an inherent social tension to DOTA-style games, which can be an impediment to those who want to be able to join in and do their part. Blizzard DOTA sets out to reduce that social tension and get more players in on the action.

  • Shorter, more intense games -- Get in on the action and make your mark right from the start.
  • Hardcore team concept -- The team is the thing and all roles can do their part to contribute to victory. Takedowns count for all members within range rather than damage or last hit.
  • Reward unselfish play -- Even support heroes benefit simply by playing their role in battle and not just focusing on damage.

Blizzard DOTA will provide a truly epic experience for all those who take part, and the potential for new and up-and-coming mod authors and mapmakers is limitless with the new and improved tools that will be introduced in the coming future. Look for a Blizzard DOTA beta test in the coming months, and the new Arcade features coming at or around the time Heart of the Swarm launches.

World of Warcraft: Classes, Item, Professions Q&A Panel

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Why does Ghostcrawler hate paladins?
A ret paladin killed his parents.

Shadow Priests: The wording on the new Shadow Orbs suggests that they're going to be based on a resource, is that true?
We're still working on the details but yeah, it will be a secondary resource kind of mechanic, take out the RNG aspect maybe. The idea currently is that Mind Blast will cost shadow orbs and have no cooldown

Are you satisfied by healing in PvP?
Balancing PvE and PvP healing is kind of a big challenge. Its something we talk about all the time, I dont think we have solved the problem yet and its something we are still working on. We've seen a lot of dual caster comps in the blizzcon tournament and we've buffed Mortal Strike and healing reduction in 4.3 and hopefully you'll be able to bring back warriors and rogues in PvP.

How do the old debuff talents work with new talent tree and tanking model?
We want tanks to do more of the active things to keep themselves alive rather than relying on the healers

My classes are about classes that have a 100 cap on a resource. Currently there are talents that increase these resource, are there any plans for the new talent trees to do that?
It's going to vary on class by class basis, its something that does not really fit into the current talent system as it is currently designed.

I have 10 characters, will you add an 11th slot so we can have all 11 classes?
Not sure just yet, might keep the current character cap but let you have them on any realm, so you can have many many charaters on one realm

For event items like the Scourge Invasion or the Vengeful PvP set, can we get those for transmog account-wide?
We want to make sure that all the times you remember from the good old days are available for transmog. Im happy you brought up the vengeful set, and in Area 52 there are vendors where can you buy these items. Regarding accountwide event items we have to watch out on our side as its kind of resource expensive. We could certainly look into that.

Can feral druids have two fist weapons? / As an enchanter we never got any good drops, are we getting new enchanting item drops?
Nope, working the talents to support it would make a mess. Monk tanks will use staff or polearm. / No plans on enchanting item drops to change.

I was wondering since this next expansion coming out is going to be so faction focused, if we could see faction specific legendaries for maybe a shield like Might of the Alliance or for the horde a Fist of the horde that are completely badass
Legendaries are something we look at on case to case bases, if the stories supports it and we find a cool item possibility. Everything is always possible. (GC loves the idea)

Death Knight tanks are bad right now, stats and talents need some changes. Set bonus is based on us being at low health, which shouldn't happen. What changes will fix these problems?
Death Knights get some love in 4.3 to fix survivability, Blood presence armor bonus is going to 55% from 30%. We don't want Death Knights to get killed in one GCD, but we don't want them to be the best tank by far

A balance druid can be really low on the damage and then theres the problem of sitting on solar when we need to do AoE, is there anything you guys are planning on doing to adress that like the DK ability that generates unholy power
In 5.0 Hurricane will have a new arcane function to make sure you can use it whenever you have to.

Any plans to improve the Death Knight gargoyle melee attack?
Nope, it is designed to work at range, There are no plans to change Death Knight stat weights during this expansion, maybe some balancing in MoP.

I have been playing since vanilla and one of my fav items i have been using up to today is noggaholic elixier, and i am wondering why we cant mount while skeleton
Our animation system does not have animations for some costume models that can be on a mount so we decided to completely disallow mounting while transformed to make it consistent, it was the only way to fix hundred of bugs.

Is there any plan to make solo Holy Priest DPS better? Running daily quests take a lot of time in Holy.
Nope, we have dual spec, it isn't a priority for us to make it viable for raiding or fast daily quests. We have to keep it balanced for PvP as well. In the Firelands some of the daily quests are designed to be actually easier for healers.

I'm a rogue so thanks for the legendary! Regarding the new introduction of the Windwalker monk class and also the formalization of cat druids as an official spec, with all these new melee DPS hybrids what doyou guys have planned as rogues to be competitive as a utilitiy class?
Everyone brings a little bit of everything, reasons to get a rogue now are things like poisons, interrupts and stuns. These will stay important during encounters.

New talents will still be cookie cutter, how is this new?
Most give utility choices rather than damage, this can't be number crunched. We will continue to balance them to make them hard choices.

Quick followup to the noggenfogger elixir question, there have been other places where you get onto something when you lose a transformation and then get it back later
One of the things that make consumables fun is that they are consumables. They can go away. If they were permanent things you are going to lose the impact of what a transformation really is. Fundamentally we want these to be fun things that arent everywhere. Ideally we would have it make an error message if you are near to doing this.

Archeology has been ignored as far as i can tell other than a few things here and there, are we gonna see lower than max level items on max variety?
The archeology items are all over the place, I use the vrykul helm always because I like being bigger than everyone else. We are looking into ways to sex it up and take out the grindy nature of it.

Tanking as a druid, I can go cat and do decent DPS when I am not getting hit. Is the new druid 4-specs model going to let me do that?
Other tanks can't do that and you won't be able to do that anymore, talents are set up this way to keep both seperate for PvP and PvE.

Resto druids have pretty decent single target rotation for healing, but when we want to AoE heal we go back to mindlessly spamming buttons. Are we getting more options for this in the next expansion?
There is one new ability plan like the wild mushroom to detonate to heal people. A lot of druids enjoy that kind of playstyle. When we did try to tone down the HoTs we got a lot of push back there. Some of the healing you mentioned is also needed in an encounter and we will try to not do this as much.

The 4pc bear T13 bonus, you don't want cats to get it but it's also impacting utility for bears?
You can swap to bear, press it, go back. We can't let cats use it because it would just force them to add it their rotation and stack them in raid, we'd just have to change the bonus completely.

Are we getting new spells at like 86, 88 and 90? If so, what are the new mage spells?
We are adding a lot of new spells to fill out the talent trees. One plan we have talked about is to get one new spell at level 87. Pretty sure we are not going to be able to get 3 more spells along the way. We dont know yet what the mage one will be. In the past we said 5-8 new abilties while they level up. Some classes however might get more than one new ability.

Can we have another tank legendary
Legendary needs a story to go with it, we aren't taking turns with the classes or specs, we put them in where they fit in the story. If there is an opportunity you will get one! A legendary shield would be great.

Regarding arcane mage mastery, it created the possibility for really deep gameplay for managing your resource. But we were promised this toolkit to manage our mana and all we got was Arcane Blast and clearing our Arcane Blast stacks. Are we gonna get anything else to help us not be 2 button wonders and make it deeper?
We are really not happy with the role of Arcane Barrage, we have some plans to make arcane more deeper. We would like to redesign so that Arcane Missiles barrage and explosion all have an equal role in the arcane role.

Can we have some shadowform tweaks so that you can see the gear?
We have a glyph in 4.3 coming to tweak the alpha of shadowform

Where is the Death Knight tier 13?
Its really awesome and you will see it soon

What about new Death Knight gear for transmog? Other classes can go back farther.
That is really expensive art to do. For us its a metter of budget, if we ask for certain armor sets we have to delay patches or expansions to get them. We have to make hard choices sometimes and it's not a matter of just throwing money at the problem, it just takes more time and delays things further.

Can we have strength polearms?
They are awkward right now, we want all Strength classes to be able to use them. Maybe in MoP with the hunter tweaks it will be possible.

Back in vanilla you had the hunter epic questline with Rok'delar and I was wondering if you guys are going to bring that back at all
It's something we are looking at and are considering, if we do something like that it has to be on our level of quality. It's also worth noting that that feel of solo quest/gameplay is something we've tried to re-introduce in 4.2 and 4.3 with the new legendary staff and legendary dagger.

Engineers got cool stuff in the past, can we have more powerful versions or something new and cool?
Yes, we can make powerful and cool stuff but it has to have downsides. We can add some new stuff with restrictions on where you can actually use it, not PvP, so that it is still balanced.

Regarding hunters; you are eliminating the use for melee weapons, are we still going to be able to equip it? Can we also get some mace love?
There are not any plans for that now, we are probably not going to let you equip melee. If it makes you feel better, the rogues wont be able to equip the orange legendary bow either. We do want to change hunters so you can see quivers and or ammo pouches, potentially customize them, etc.

What happened to engineering, you make it very cool once and then added something useless every once in a while. Goggles were very cool, but there are no upgrades, so they are worthless now. Archaeology gives almost as many pets as engineering.
We made engineering too good, then it was not so good. We are trying to make sure it offers cool stuff this time. Post your suggestions on the forums!

How is monk healing going to work? When I played yesterday you had chi and light and dark power. Is it going to be like I choose healing spec and you get a mana bar or something?
When you switch to healing stance you will get a mana bar, and regarding healing, the monk will be less target based and more proximity based. And there is also this mechanics where you can put statues in the raid, and when you melee the boss they give out healing for example. We are challenging ourselves into new ways to look at this.

One of the things WoW doesn't have right now is a melee cloth class. When you announced the monk yesterday I was super excited and I was wondering if there was any discussion to make them a cloth class to make them have a better monk feel?
The main concern was that if we introduce a melee cloth healer, we'd need a whole new kind of item drops in the loot table and you'd have to wait for your specific gear to drop. That's why we went for an already existing loot archetype, you already have the leather agi and leather int/spirit and it was the best way to go without having to create new armor types.

Since we're going to be able to name companion pet, is there any chance we'll be able to name warlock pets?
You're just grabbing a demon for your own use from the Twisting Nether, use it, and then get rid of it, it's not the same emotional attachment as a companion pet or hunter pet. Something we did talk about is a way to reset the name of your pets, for when you get a pet and really don't like the name.

I know that removing the min range for hunters is a great key, but for melee this means we are losing some stats too
Everyone is losing some stats with the ranged slots, relics, etc ... going away. Your range weapon will have stats so you wont lose more stats than everyone else.

JCing and Inscription selling is hard because of constant undercutting from others or gold farmers. Can we have perfect cuts back so that we have something not mass produced to sell?
That is how an open market works. Perfect gem cuts are problematic. BoP Chaos Orbs help for some professions, maybe we should do something like that for Jewelcrafting.

I got to play the monk, and the play of it feels amazing. Can we expect the removal of auto attack on other classes? If so, hunters will be really confused.
The monk not having auto attack was controversial around the office too, we are not even 100% sure the monk will keep it. And removing auto attack for other classes will just feel like a huge change. We do crazy things on new stuff, not on old stuff. There are some downsides too.


 

Blizzcon 2011 - Live Raid

vodka i Blood Legion takmičili su se u heroic raidu Firelands-a. Ko će prvi ubiti sve bosseve. Modifikovana verzija Firelandsa gde nema trasheva, i prvi guild koji ubije Ragnarosa pobedjuje.


Live Raid je završen, sve čestitke Blood Legionu na pobedi.!

Diablo III Gameplay & Auction House Panel

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Source)
Jay Wilson, Jason Bender, Andrew Chambers, Wyatt Cheng, and Chris Haga took the main stage at BlizzCon this afternoon to offer a comprehensive look at the design and direction of Diablo III.

Senior Game Designer Jason Bender kicked things off by elaborating on how achievements are earned in Diablo III, how player banners work, and how many of the new gameplay elements function. Senior Game Designer Andrew Chambers then explained crafting in Diablo III by first looking at the Diablo II item life-cycle, with an assessment of what worked for players, and what the team set out to improve upon. By explaining the functions of the Mystic, the Jeweler, and the Blacksmith, Chambers proposed a Diablo III item life-cycle that will provide players with a larger set of options than before.

After a brief look at PvP in Diablo III, Game Director Jay Wilson detailed trading systems, including the ways that players will use the auction houses, and how players can and will trade items directly between themselves. Wilson concluded with a look at new features coming in the Diablo III auction house, such as Smart Search, Advanced Search, and the user-friendly ways that the AH will allow stacking of items both for sale and at the point of purchase.

Senior Technical Game Designer Wyatt Cheng explored the final tuning of monsters, skills, and classes that is currently underway, Technical Artist Chris Haga presented a number of videos demonstrating improvements being made to character gameplay, and Jay Wilson continued with a presentation of difficulty levels, touching on the team’s goal of making unusual builds as viable as possible for Diablo III players. Before turning to the live audience for questions, Wilson announced that a way has been found to make Followers viable in all levels of difficulty in Diablo III.

Which gameplay system are you most looking forward to in Diablo III? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Diablo III Gameplay & Auction House Panel Recap:

Originally Posted by Diablo Serbian Community
Gameplay

With the game drawing tantalizingly close to completion, there wasn't any ground braking announcements in this particular panel, but one could say none were expected. Most, if not all of the game features have been announced prior, even if they have not been detailed yet. So in that light, while nothing completely new was founded, we received a great deal of detail on already existent features.

Achievements & Banner
As the panel opened they jumped right into it, beginning with Achievements. We've heard very little on this front in the past, so any news on them was welcomed. There are three main ways to progress through your achievements.
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Game Progression:

This is rather self explanatory, there will be achievements for progressing through the game such as completing a difficulty, or defeating a boss.

Obscure Gameplay:

So you've defeated the normal difficulty, neat. How about weaponless, or even gear-less? Such feats of insanity will be rewarded via achievements.

Longterm Goals:

These goals include things such as completing the Bestiary, a feature while tracks what creatures you've encountered. Or finding every lore book in the game.

Your achievements progress reflects onto your Banner, slowly but surely adding new ribbons, facets, or other features. New ways to personalize your banner may become available through these achievements also. These small additions to your banner themselves expand as you complete more and more achievements. For example, as you progress in a certain category of achievements more gems may start appearing on a ribbon dangling from your banner. Or as you play through more Hardcore content the mound of skulls and bones under your banner will grow.

Crafting

Crafting is getting an overhaul in Diablo III, becoming more viable for any stage of the game. In this topic we got a good amount of confirmation on the abilities that each of our three Artisans will provide.

Mystic:

This Artisan offers item enchantments. This may ring a bell, as a similar system was in place in Diablo II. With the new system you'll not only be able to enchant your items, but continuously do so, each time rolling better and better stats. This enables a player with enough focus and funds to eventually achieve very high stats on his or her item.

Through these enchantments, you can also take advantage of very off-class type items on your character. An example the developers gave was a Demon Hunter using a one handed axe and a shield, both of which being enchanted with Hatred regeneration, something that wouldn't natural spawn on such weapons. As the Mystic levels up, she will have access to more powerful enchantments, which are dropped as recipes in the game.

Jeweler:

This old man has very simple, yet essential talents. He can combine Gems, add sockets to items, and remove gems from items. Exactly what scales as he levels isn't entirely clear yet, but one could imagine a few scalable aspects, such as what level gems he can combine, or what level item he can add sockets to.

Blacksmith:

We know more of this Artisan than the other two, both through more exposure via Blizzard, and presents in the beta. The Blacksmith can forge a huge variety of items, some are unlocked as he levels up, others only through recipes you find as drops. He even has the ability to forge legendary items, some with set values. This is a beautiful thing, since through the randomness of Diablos' drop system, by the time you find every item in a set for a mid-level character, you've likely already out leveled the set, making it useless.

Now through the Blacksmith you'll be able to craft your way to a full set if you're willing to front the needed materials and gold, making those low-mid range set items a viable choice. Besides crafting he can also repair your items, something that will likely need to be done regularly come Inferno, seeing as you loose 10% of your item durability with each death in the game.

PvP:
PvP hasn't undergone very much change, which at this stage of the game shows how solid it is at heart. As was discovered a while back, the Arena will now have a team death match style of scoring. Meaning that your lives are infinite, you respawn shortly after each death, and the team with the most kills at the end of the game wins. Exactly how long each round will be isn't clear, though one full game will likely be around ten minute. The system of health globes that spawn at certain points on the map wasn't spoken of, so where they are with that is unknown.

Something that has changed is the amount of players in each match, moving from 3v3 to 4v4. Another useful tidbit of knowledge is that you will not be able to swap skills in between matches. This makes it so a team can adapt their play style to counter an opposing team, without worrying about them having an entirely different skill-set from round to round, making it so comebacks are very possible if a team can adapt efficiently. This forces players to think strategically, instead of just swapping skills to deal with a problem.

Auction House:
As known, you'll be able to trade nearly anything you find in-game through the Auction House, be it gold, gems, crafting materials, tombs, etc. Whole character selling will not be available at launch, but will likely be added later on. Search features will be extensive, including a "smart search" which detects common stats across your character and searches for items with similar stats. For the more picky person there will be an advanced search feature where you'll be able to pin point exactly the item you're looking for.

Life Cycle Of Items
With the introduction of the auction house, comes a new level of item recycling that had never been seen in a Diablo game. Whereas in Diablo II items more or less drifted around form player to player endlessly rotating, in Diablo III these items can be transformed into many forms, and then like a Phoenix reborn, take shape into new amazing forms.
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In Diablo II the ideal life cycle of an item was as follows: Drop > Wear > Trade > Eventually Sold. That's about as far as it went in the best case scenario. This wouldn't be so terrible if gold had any true value in the game, a purpose.

In Diablo III this is the ideal life cycle of an item: Drop > Wear> Trade > Eventually Salvaged > Crafted into new item > Eventually Sold. Not only are there many more things you can do with an item, but when it is eventually sold for gold, that gold can be used to continue feeding the economy, or even better, sunk into one of the many gold sinks, removing it from the game and delaying the build up of gold in the economy.


Final Game Tuning
Those words have a great ring to them, or maybe just the word "final" being used at all. Tuning, or polishing if you will, comes as the last stage of development. It's where numbers are tweaked, and features are perfected for release. This polishing happens across the entire game, so we'll touch on the interesting topics which were presented.
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  • Monster Improvements:
The creatures of Sanctuary are a formidable bunch, each with a role to play in the heat of battle. Fulfilling these roles is an important job, and sometimes new roles need to be created to address balancing issues. One of these issues that's very clear for any Diablo player is how casters can often avoid affixes of creatures, such as lightning, thorns, or other short distance AoE effects.

To adress this, the new affix called Mortar was introduced, where a creature will lob fireballs across the screen, endangering casters while flying right over melee characters' heads.
  • Passive Skills & Synergies:
True to their claims of nothing being final, there have been small tweaks all cross the passive skills. In some cases is may just be a number change, though as they displayed there are a couple of new passive skills to support different builds.
  • Synergies:
Another way Blizzard is supporting build diversity is by cutting down on synergies. While synergies may look appealing, they actually drastically decrease the amount of viable builds. This is due to the very nature of them, where if you have one skill you're most likely best off following it up with skills that all have corresponding synergies. This forces the player down a certain path in order to maximize the effects. While they're not removing synergies all together, they will be down-tuning their effects, or removing certain corresponding effects completely.

Class Tuning
With the idea of class specific resources surely came a huge amount of development to get to this point. As with any complex feature, constant polishing is the only way to achieve balance. While each class is fairing well with no major setbacks, small tweaks are being made to adjust how each class handles.

Barbarian:
The trend Blizzard has noticed in the beta is players will skip the small Fury generators such as Bash or Frenzy in favor for the larger ones like Leap Attack, or Ground Stomp. To account for this the amount of Fury the smaller generators will create is getting bumped up. They also found that come late game the Barb is having a tough time surviving due to the classes' need to be within melee range of creatures. This is a little more complex polish, and will involve a few defensive changes.

Wizard:
As we've known, a certain section of skills will slowly become less costly as you level, eventually becoming completely free. This system is undergoing small changes which weren't clearly detailed. All spells are also moving to % weapon damage, making weapon more important to casters than before.

A common concern with this change is - well if casters depend on weapon damage, shouldn't I just run around with a two handed axe? - This is being addressed by also having the casting speed rely on weapon speed, so while your attack may do more damage with a two handed axe, your DPS may be less than if you were to use a wand with a lower attack, but faster attack speed. There are also class specific buffs on many casting oriented weapons that could sway a players choice from say a sword, or axe.

Witch Doctor:
Mana seems to be unlimited in the beta, and at this early stage of the game it essentially is. Though as the game progresses you'll have to make crucial choices that will effect how your Mana will behave. It was stated that if one were so inclined, they could form a build where you do indeed have infinite Mana, though they'd be sacrificing other aspects of the class, such as damage, or defense.

Monk:
Mantras are now going to have a three second period when first cast where they'll grant double the buff they normally would. This makes them feel like less like a maintenance skill, and more like an active skill that needs to be paid attention to. Combo skills are also undergoing some small changes in their basic functionality, both in how they are combined, and how powerful each level of attack is. For example they plan to increase the range in Deadly Reach to make it more viable.

Demon Hunter:
As touched on not too long again, the DH will have a completely new Hatred system than as the class does now. At this very moment in the beta Hatred constantly regenerates, though as many have found, you end up constantly low,if not drained of it. To remedy this there will be Hatred generating skills and spending skills, much like Fury. Snares will also see some buffs to better keep enemies at range, or help better preform their role.

While each class have some very specific changes coming, one change is reaching across every class - awesomeness. Through feedback from the community, and internal testing, a lot of players have found skills as a whole don't make them feel as awesome as they'd prefer. Blizzard has heard the cries, and plan to increase the visual effects of many skills, helping enforce the fact that you're a badass demon-slaying demigod.

Difficulties
Many fans have speculated on exactly how difficult each act will be. Some even feel the entire game will be relatively easy. This may be due to the easy content we've seen in the beta, which is indeed very casual. This is by design though, normal difficulty is meant to be a kind of
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tutorial, which teaches you everything you'll need to know, while not punishing you too hard for making mistakes.

Very casual players will enjoy this first difficulty, while more serious players will find it laughable. This again is by design, because in essence every serious gamer was once a casual gamer. At one point in time we all were n00bs. Blizzard understands this, and wishes to help turn those casual gamers into more dedicated gamers through nice and easy difficulty transitions.

Blizzard also understands that a large portion of their fan base are hardcore gamers looking for a challenge. Thus comes the concern that even in later difficulties the game will not present an adequate challenge, well Jay Willson assured us that this isn't something we should be worried about. Through a display of testimonials from in-house testers who have been put up against the Inferno difficulty, we're given an idea of how difficult endgame content will truly be.

Followers
Followers replacing mercenaries wasn't all too popular among the community. The fact that these new side-kicks were only available in single player was a big change it itself, but the added hit of them only being viable in normal difficulty never settled well with the majority of the fan base. In good fashion Blizzard has listened to these concerns and tweaked followers to be viable through all levels of content, though still only useable while playing solo.

Town Only Skill Swapping
The title speaks for itself, but the reasoning behind why this change is being made is interesting. The dev team found that more and more often players would have their skill UI open while slaying monsters, swapping skills out multiple times as they played through small areas. This would make for some problems if left unattended. Not only does it take up a large amount of screen real-estate, but it takes away from the feeling of identity with your character when you're changing such a core aspect so often.

So right now they're testing town only skill swapping where you'll walk over to this area or NPC to swap out your skills. Jay didn't seem very happy about this, and stated how this isn't the final solution. If this doesn't work they will also be testing an out of combat swap system. This second option could make for some heavy development, since it have been stated that Diablo has no in, or out of combat tracker that these type of systems can communicate with.


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