Various competition organizers hold regular online tournaments in which you can compete against other players and maybe even win some prizes! Most of these contests are open to everyone. In addition, there are professional tournaments taking place like the GomTV's GSL November, MLG Finals, DreamHack Winter, and Insomnia 44 which you can follow via video stream. Interested? Take a look at some of the open tournaments coming up in the next days - you can sign up to take part, or simply watch the live streams to get inspired by the players. It’s your turn now!
|Date||Name||Format||Prize Money||Stream||Sign Up|
|17 November||ESL Go4SC2 Premium Qualifier||1v1||Qualifier||No||Yes|
|19 November||ESL Sennheiser Cup Season 2 Cup #12||1v1||€ 50 + Qualifier||Yes||Yes|
|19 November||ESL France Go4SC2||1v1||Qualifier||Yes||Yes|
|19 November||ZOTAC StarCraft II NA Cup #28||1v1||$ 100 + ranking points||Yes||Yes|
|20 November||ZOTAC StarCraft II EU Cup #83||1v1||€ 100 + ranking points||Yes||Yes|
|20 November||ESL Go4SC2 #152||1v1||€ 200 + Qualifier||Yes||Yes|
|20 November||ESL Alpen BenQ Alpen Cup Series||1v1||Hardware||No||Yes|
|21 November||GameCreds Cup #40||1v1||€ 100||Yes||Yes|
|21 November||GIGABYTE Cup Season II #10||1v1||€ 150 + ranking points||Yes||Yes|
|22 November||ESL France Go4SC2||1v1||Qualifier||Yes||Yes|
|23 November||ESL Go4SC2 #153||1v1||€ 200 + Qualifier||Yes||Yes|
|24 November||4Players Close Combat 2011 #83||1v1||€ 200||Yes||Yes|
- Day-0 / Goodies Bag
- Diablo 3 besplatan za WoW pretplatnike 12 meseci, Tyrael's Charger WoW mount - Detalji i Screenshot)
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (Zvanični Trailer, Novi sadržaj)
- World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Preview Panel (Lista novog sadžaja u nastavku!)
- Mists of Pandaria Class Talent Systems (Detalji o novim talnetima klasa)
- Mists of Pandaria: Dungeons and Raids Panel (Novi Dungeon i Raid, Heroic Scholomance i Scarlet Monastery, Raid Finder)
- World of Warcraft Art Panel (Novi modeli iz Mists of Pandaria, preko 200 screenshotova)
- World of Warcraft: Classes, Item, Professions Q&A Panel
- World of Warcraft: Open Q&A Panel
- World of Warcraft: Lore and Story Q&A Panel
Blizzcon 2011 - Day 1 Panel (Official Blue Posts)
Blizzard representatives responded positively, saying that companions will be able to fight adequately alongside heroes through each difficulty. They have done some testing with companions through the difficulties, and although this is a very recent change, they do believe that changes they have incorporated into the hirelings will make then viable in the endgame.
Q: Is Diablo a girl?
The cover art for the event booklet made Diablo look anything but the usual muscular, bulky monster we've seen in his more animal incarnations in the previous games. While nothing was confirmed on why Diablo looked so distinctly female, with the sleekness of the abdomen and the wide hips, they did acknowledge that it was done. So it was on purpose. Maybe there's something to the popular Leah-possession lore speculation prevalent in our lore discussion forum.
Q: Can you elaborate on hardcore mode and how it's different from the previous games?
They mostly confirmed what is already known about Diablo III's hardcore mode: it will have its own Auction House that does not interact with normal, softcore players, said Auction House will use only gold as a currency (not real money), and so on. However, it was mentioned that if a player is killed, other players will not be able to pick the gear from the fallen character. In Diablo II, players were able to set their hardcore characters to "lootable" to other, trusted party members in the event of an untimely death. Unless misspoken, this is a marked change from the previous games. When you die, your gear is gone. Period.
Q: Can fresh sixty players succeed in Inferno, and will Inferno ever be nerfed for newer players?
In step with sentiments spoken yesterday about the difficulty of Inferno mode at the tail end of the Gameplay and Auction House panel the other day, it was confirmed that newly max-leveled characters (sixty is Diablo III's cap) will not be able to succeed easily, if at all, in Inferno mode. It's meant to be a challenge in every sense of the word, no matter what level characters are at.
While they were vehement about not nerfing it for the newbie's sake, they did add a caveat: as they address hardcore, there may be some balancing to account for hardcore players in Inferno mode. But they will not be simplifying Inferno mode for casual players.
Q: Why is light radius not in the game?
Light radius is not entirely gone, and it still works well in some contexts, like deep dungeons, but they found that using the new 3D engine really looked lack-luster when limiting light sources to only that of the player. They really want to utilize different light points to add interest to the 3D environment, so it's no longer a major element throughout the game.
Q: What's being done to protect against botting?
Probably a topic near and dear to any players getting ready to compete in Diablo II's upcoming ladder reset, botting has always been a controversial and annoying issue. Bots served as everything from farmers to level grinders, making the ladder ranking system essentially a hopeless, pointless list of bots outstripping human players. It was argued that the actual gameplay of the game renders botting more difficult to achieve, but that they will be policing it well, likely actively and with more robust security measures. It is also important to them to address spam bots, likely by watching join/leave events.
Q: Will WASD control be available?
While it had been played around with, they ultimately felt that non-analog controls didn't work well with Diablo's very analog-focused gameplay.
Q: Will runewords ever be added to the newest game?
They stated that the new gameplay mechanics and customization options account for what was previously done with runewords. The new, more robust crafting system allows for vast player-generated gear, runestones allow for heavy skill customization, and any other number of mechanics compensate or surpass what was accomplished with runewords in Diablo II.
Q: Can you confirm a console version?
They did not want to officially confirm a console version because they want to be completely sure it's something that will work and work well. They have been hiring console developers to work internally on console ideas, and they feel that it plays very well with the kind of game Diablo is, but they don't want to announce anything until they're entirely sure everything will work out.
Of primary concern is not wanting to compromise the PC version, likely in playability or release (as stated any number of times over the last months.) For now, they're focusing on filling out a console team.
Q: Attuned runes essentially allow for a ton of specialized runes for each character skill, creating a huge inventory problem with storage. What's being done to address this?
They acknowledged that they are aware of the issue and are thinking of ways to fix it. They believe that attuned runes add an interesting new facet to skill selection, customization, and build commitment, so they don't foresee removing them, but there is definitely an inventory issue that needs to be addressed.
Q: What are some of the issues seen in developing a console version?
Targetting skills becomes more difficult when using a controller and not a mouse and keyboard although they feel that player movement is greatly improved. Monster AI seems somewhat different when interacting with the game in a new way. They found that they spend the most time working with controls with a console iteration. They don't want a potential console version to feel like a port of the PC version, but a quality version that plays well as it is.
Q: Can we get more beta keys?
They have more waves coming out after the BlizzCon and are very happy with the feedback that they've received so far. In addition to more beta access sweeping across Battle.net accounts, they also said that a major patch is coming for the beta version of Diablo III very soon. We can guess that this will likely include the skill updates and other changes seen in the beta iteration seen in the PvM demo here at BlizzCon.
Q: What comes after Inferno?
While the team feels that Inferno mode will pose huge challenges for players for a long time to come, they have said that they will add more endgame content should they find that players demand more. There's also secret content, which they have confirmed to be in the game, so perhaps we'll see content similar to the Cow Level for endgame enjoyment. At the moment, they are more focused on just getting the game as-is out to the public.
Q: With the Wizard's cast rate announced as being based on weapon speed, what is being done to reward opting for other items besides cast rate-oriented equipment?
They believe that choosing cast rate-centric gear versus more obscure equipment is entirely based on the build a player opts for. If a player decides to use skills that benefit more from faster cast rates, it will be logical to use weapons that allow for faster cast rates, while skills which do not focus on cast rates, like Meteor, will allow players to focus on more damage-centric weapons.
Q: Will there be more skill slots?
The team believes that allowing more skill slots removes choices and, by extension, build diversity across a playerbase, so they will not be adding more skill slots.
Q: How will RMAH PvP players be matched with PvP players that do not spend real money on the Auction House for gear?
Buying higher gear will cause a player to be matched with peers of a like power level through the hidden ranking system, so purchasing gear with real money will only cause players to be matched against more experienced or more powerful characters. The actual outcomes of PvP games will not be affected.
Q: Will there be more PvP modes besides arena mode?
The developers found that PvP in Diablo II mostly split players up for fear of getting ganked, meaning more players were playing in private games than playing together in public ones. This led to a focus on on a dedicated PvP mode with dedicated PvP support, the arena, and a PvP progression system. However, more PvP modes are being considered, and Jay Wilson even said that they are looking into a dueling option similar to Diablo II, although nothing concrete is yet known and they aren't sure if such a mode will make the initial release.
Q: Will there be guild support?
Guilds and clans in Diablo II were often organized using chat bots and out-of-game online communities. Hope had arisen that this would mean the developers saw this need as enough to implement guild support in Diablo III, but the idea was shot down. They will not have guild functionality available for release, but something may be implemented after release. They saw a lot of guild ideas that didn't get implemented in Diablo II as great mechanics that they want to work on in the future, but they want to make sure that if they do implement guild functionality, they will do it right.
Q: Will boss AI be scaled with difficulty to allow for more interesting and less repetitive battles at different difficulty levels??
They're looking across the major bosses for the game and tuning their AI to be refreshing and challenging according to difficulty mode, but they aren't sure if the changes will be really drastic from difficulty to difficulty or only minor, although they want such differences to be big. It seems to be another question of what will make it into the initial release.
Q: Will players be able to use their skills together in combination attacks?
They have seen many players using strategic implementation of skills, like a Wizard freezing enemies and then melee characters shattering frozen enemies. They think that more sophisticated team play would be fantastic, but they don't want payers choosing not to play with other players because of class choices in certain situations, which they view as adverse to encouraging group play.
Q: Will there be an API for the Auction House?
They have talked about it at length, but it will not make the launch version of the game. It may be added after release. They seemed positive about such an implementation.
Q: With the 12-month account for WoW players allowing a free digital purchase of Diablo III, will there be any compensation for purchasing a collector's edition of Diablo III?
Buying a collector's edition of Diablo III will count as credit towards a 12-month account.
Those were most of the more interesting questions asked, but we encourage you to stay tuned as we upload video versions of each of the panels and keep your eyes peeled for full transcriptions. There may be things that you will find more interesting on a personal level, and with so much up in the air with Diablo III, there are a lot of questions that didn't get answered very directly and were cut from this report.
It would be fun to go back to Gilneas, its not on the cards right away but we just love the way the area feels. The zone has its very own story and it's a little hard to integrate to the rest of the world.
You did not mention a world PvP zone for MoP, maybe that could be the World PvP area for MoP?
The war between the Horde and Alliance will really heat up in Pandaria every patch, so we are looking forward to integrating that.
What happened to Arthas's body? What happened to Illidan's body? What about Kael'thas?
It is likely we will bring Illidan back, not so much for Kael'thas, he already had his come back. Arthas's body is somewhere but we don't really know where.
What is the motivation that the Pandaren have for fighting each other?
Something that is hard to get across in the demos is that the pandaren that live on the turtle have been seperated from the pandaren on the mainland for ages. Its almost like a splinter culture. They are the ones that you as players you are going to play. They are going out to the world. You can see these events in the 1-10 experience. By the time your Pandaren gets to 85/90 you have traveled the world fighting for the Aliance and Horde.
When the Pandaren meet eachother on the field they are more of WHATS UP instead of being pissed at eachother. They would probably be drinking beer right after. All the sort of anger, hatred and other negative energies become the Sha. It literally can come and bite you in the butt. They dont want to bring all that bad bagage into a fight. When a Pandaren fights he fights to reach a conclusion. When things are settled you take a beer.
You wrote the book Blood and Honor, are you planning on writing something else in the future?
Writing made me nervous and was exciting, it is different than the writing we have to do for the game but maybe one day I will do another.
This question is regarding Lordaeron, I want to know what happened to Arthas s sister, what happened to her?
We are thinking about it. We dont really have a plan but we have been talking about her forever. There were some hooks in the RPG line but no current plans. While thats on my mind, how many RPers are there in the audience?
We said the RPG line was non canonical but there are some really good bits in those books so all I would say that they are broadly non-canonical but there are lots of bits in there that we want to use. At some point we might put some project together to some ideas that we want to say yes or no on. Admiral Proudmore has some elf baby so that wont actually go through for example.
Why have characters like Krasus, Khadgar, and especially Rhonin that have been directly tied to the Black Dragonflight not been in Cataclysm?
A lot of time we'll have stories in the novel that feel like they should continue in the game but we decide to not include them in the game because it would be really hard to make everybody catch up on the whole story.
Whatever happened to the crown of menethil, or is that something we are going to find out about?
Terenas Crown? Legendary loot drop.
Tyrande was a strong character, but hasn't done anything much recently, why?
Thrall took an entire expansion to add in, we haden't gotten to him before that. Tyrande is the same way, we haven't gotten around to it yet. We don't intend on leaving her being a weak character, she will get her turn when we can get to it.
Jaina proudmoore will also get some love pretty soon. Thrall isn't done yet either, he isn't weak. Champion level Thrall is on the way.
This panel has said that Pandarians have no sense of hatred. How does it make sense for a Pandaren to be a Warlock, but not a druid?
If that is true, I do not like it. I usually get overruled when it comes to game design. These classes, Warlock, Deathknight are not choosing this life. If they can indeed roll Warlock, it is not impossible for them to not hate.
Why cant they roll Druid then? The bear as a bear argument is crap.
Monday morning we will yell at the design dudes. Pandaria was not there during the Sundering so I guess Cenarion was not there teaching them. I still think druids are out, that might change though.
Dragon Soul is inconsistent with a lot of lore or changes a lot of lore, how does that work?
Wait and see.
Arthas's mother was mentioned in the WotLK novel, there was never any mention to what happened to her. Was he a Mamas boy that he did not kill her?
We have not officially -made that up- yet, we have not crafted her fate. My impression from WC3 is that it works better if she would have died somewhere before the fall of Lordaeron. Killing Terenas is pretty striking, I just think it diminishes the moment if he goes on a Charlie Manson spree.
..or you kill her and you get a legendary crown. (Reference to earlier question) ... but probably not!
Is it safe to assume his mum was killed previously by Arthas' corruption?
It is something we need to talk about.
I just read the Sylvanas Windrunner short story, what happened to the Shards of Frostmourne?
It wasn't specifically adressed in the story, I don't think we've adressed it in the lore. Some very smart people in the lore picked these things up and took them somewhere safe and I imagine there might be some shenanigans one day, with some people trying to reforge it one day, and that's all I know about it ...
My question is about Algalon, he kind of goes into a mid-life crisis he seems to wonder how you can differ from the Titan plan, then he decides more than one hour a week to see what makes us tick. What is he up to? Are there more of his kind to see what he is up to?
We don't know, it wasn't addressed in the story or lore. We might see someone reforging it in the future. Good question.. hmm.. the whole titan storyline.. who those folks are, what they are doing in the universe. Are they still alive? Do they have a plan if the world goes south? The titan storyline throughout WoW is something that needs to play out during a long time. Its not like we will have titans in two expansions. They are from somewhere really exotic. Not sure how to leveraget them into the timeline again, I loved what we did with in WotLK and Cataclysm. Ill riff a little bit and tell you that there are things about TBC that I really really loved. Shattered planets in the sky and etherals running around.. but as we talked to the community people wanted to kill kobolds and stuff thats what fantasy means to them...
There is a part of me that just wants to launch into the universe. Are the titans still moving out there? Is the Burning Legion still out there? I want to go to Argus. How badass would it be if there was a shiny fleet of Draenei out there... oh technically thats Protoss. Its just a matter of feeling it out. We have a lot of time with this game. Let me just ask you all.. Is anyone here into the cosmic stuff?
*crowd goes YUUUUS* There is something about Azeroth that is unique within the cosmology and thats why its in the focus of this.
Do you have plans to resolve the Forsaken's strained place in the Horde?
We realize that it is unresolved, we are going to explore the fissures in the Horde more in the future
I love trolls. They are awesome. They are the best race ever created in WoW in my opinion. You gave us the new heroics and they were great and fun to play. But will we ever see a return of the troll empires?
*Chris looks like he got the best idea ever just now* If the troll tribes could ever unite, look out world! We are going to continue the troll storyline in MoP. We will probably actuallize the Zandalari. They are not done yet and they are crazy. They are being driven by something just now.
I like the serious parts of WoW, some comic elements are fun, but will MoP be all lighthearted or will we get some war and darker parts?
You haven't even seen them or the expansion yet, we went back 15,000 years when creating them. We created a rich history and they aren't a joke race. There is a lot of story behind them, we think they are awesome fighers. They love life, play hard, work hard, fight hard, sleep hard. We aren't building an expansion based on an April Fool's joke. The Pandaren had some nice artwork for a long time, we have been thinking about them forever. They aren't a joke, they aren't silly, just a little bit lighter. They are relaxed, but this is part of the growing war between Horde and Alliance. The Pandaren are going to be part of this story.
I read the shattering and the short story and Cairne Bloodhoof seems like he's walking the Sunwalker path.
It can go a lot of ways. The sunwalker thing, everybody had a fit when it came out. It just did not feel all that right. Sunwalker was an attempt to atleast try and realise the lore and make sure it would fit as well as it could fit and the quest designers did a good job figuring that out. I dont think its appropriate for a tauren leader, I like the idea that Baine and Cairne are not supernatural people, they are just Tauren. Im not a huge fan of making them a sunwalker. I dont think we have solid plans yet of where Baine was going to go.
Are we going to see more of the book's events in game ever?
Some big things are coming in Patch 4.3, really big. It completes a very large story. It has been hard to develop the story for the books in real time with WoW, that is why we talked a lot about the past. Moving forward we want to try and do some story in the books that is current with the game. Not everyone wants to go and read books and comics, they want the content in the game. Players feel cheated when it is in a book and not in the game, which is why big current events happen in game rather than in books.
The books provide more details, but we are going to try to get more of the books in game beyond just the big events.
Ive played Alliance for 7 years *crowd woos* you have done a wonderful job with the Horde story, and its really great but when it comes to Varian he is a boring and 1 dimensional characters. Does Alliance ever get to kick ass in WoW?
Heres the deal, part of the Thrall thing I have been pushing, I particularly love that character. I dont see that as a Horde issue but as a Thrall issue. Im biased. Heres what we are going to do: I dont know exactly where its going to drop, we are tyrying to get this for 5.0. Varian has the possibility to be a very awesome char. There will be a really awesome questline where Varian really shines out as a character. You will be his squire and will help Varian be an awesome character. And all the Alliance races WILL worship Varian as a true king.
The Alliance is going to need a king that has his shit together. We are going to need this for MoP. We owe the alliance big time! We are also going to explore the various relationships with Andruin (his son), before Christie Golden wrote the shattering we had no plans for Anduin. Its all thanks to Christie that Anduin has been such an important character.
We got some plans for that boy one day, so there you have it.
Are there any rules to the Val'kyr Resurrection of Sylvanas?
She had nine, used five so far, so there are only four left.
I brought my archive to sign for you. I have 10 Horde 85s on 1 server. One of each class. I have always had a soft spot for Tirion to kind of justify why I loved him so much. Now for my question, Neptulon in the Throne of Tides. What happened to him? Are we going to find out about his relationship to Ozumat?
Maybe we ill just leave that buried under the ocean. I have no good answer for that. What happens in the Throne of Tides stays in the Throne of Tides.
The new Lich King was awesome before, but once he became Lich King he hasn't done anything about the Scourge. Why not?
The Scourge and cult of the damned are independent of one another. The timeline is messy, if we could do it like a book the Scourge would have toned it down and things aren't as bad as they used to be. Clearly the quests are still in the game, it isn't something we can go back and fix right now. Someone picked up those Frostmourne fragments.
In the Gundrak dungeon there is an area with the stone sentinel guys, and if you look over the rig you see a huge snake tail. There is nothing that massive and snakey in .. its a Chris Metzen answer to just go well look into it so I brought a screenshot of it for Chris.
*Chris looks at snake tail*
Dude just showed you his snake, man. -Dave
That is not the thing that is driving the trolls. Its a super secret WoW storyline. Thrall is going to leave Aggra and start dating Jaina.. in all seriousness I have no idea what it is but its really awesome! Sometimes really awesome stuff shows up ingame and we scramble to explain what it is. Welcome to developing video games. We put the WHAT in WHAT.
How will the panda leadership work since they belong to both factions? Can the leader be voiced by Jack Black?
They don't really have leaders like the other factions. There are important pandas, representatives to each faction sure, but no single leader. No Jack Black voices, it isn't a panda movie. We were going to give Alliance pandas in Burning Crusade, but it didn't really fit. We have been serious about doing it for a long time, and it is a good thing we didn't do it then. We can do it much cooler and in a more interesting way now.
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!
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
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?
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?
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
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 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.
- 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
This is rather self explanatory, there will be achievements for progressing through the game such as completing a difficulty, or defeating a boss.
So you've defeated the normal difficulty, neat. How about weaponless, or even gear-less? Such feats of insanity will be rewarded via achievements.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
- Monster Improvements:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
The panel kicked off with a brief overview of Wings of Liberty, discussing the story and where it left off: Raynor and Sarah reunited, with Mengsk crawling back to the shadows, his plan temporarily thwarted. We know Kerrigan is once again on the warpath in Heart of the Swarm, attempting to reassemble her brood, but "why?" is to remain a mystery until the game is released.
While many of the Heart of the Swarm campaign mechanics were originally announced back in May,
much of the panel today focused on where the game has progressed since
those details were unveiled. The time since the initial announcement has
been spent crafting new and unique mission mechanics with even more
impressive, interactive, and mind-boggling features in the planned 20+
As you control Kerrigan and rebuild her brood, it will be up to you to decide how to evolve your fighting force. While standard army mutations (upgrades like those in Wings of Liberty) will unlock at key points throughout the game, you’ll also be presented with evolution choices that will take you to remote locations to obtain the genetic code needed to advance.
In one example, the zergling is given a choice to evolve one of two ways. In your first choice, you go to attack indigenous leaping creatures and harvest their DNA. By integrating the DNA of the indigenous leaping creature, you can modify your zerglings to grow wings and leap as well. For your second choice, you're contacted by a queen on a remote world who wishes to join your brood. She’s evolved her zerglings to hatch rapidly and spawn three zerglings per cocoon, and believes her strain would be of use to you.
Each of these approximately 14 skirmishes will be a short mission
that will only take a few minutes to complete, and will present both
evolution choices through gameplay, allowing you to test their strengths
and ultimately help you pick which genetic code you wish to splice into
your own brood.
While you'll be tending to key strategic missions with Kerrigan, the swarm will be rampaging across the sector, and they'll need your guidance. Throughout the campaign your brood mothers will contact you for advice on tactical decisions as they carry out your orders on distant planets. These decisions will also determine how you’ll achieve success, providing you with bonuses to your arsenal and abilities. You’ll also have choices at key points to engage in the ‘Destruction of Worlds’ mechanic, adding a planet’s resources to your own as your swarm pours over its surface.
How will you consume the galaxy?
Day One Headlines
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria -- The fourth World of Warcraft expansion set, Mists of Pandaria, has been unveiled! Shrouded in fog since the world was sundered more than ten thousand years ago, the ancient realm of Pandaria has remained unspoiled by war. Its lush forests and cloud-ringed mountains are home to a complex ecosystem of indigenous races and exotic creatures -- including the noble and enigmatic pandaren.
Sign Up for the World of Warcraft Annual Pass and Get Diablo III Free -- With Deathwing’s shadow looming over Azeroth and the mortal realms of Sanctuary steeling for war against the forces of Diablo, the World of Warcraft Annual Pass has arrived to offer WoW subscribers a chance to participate in both apocalyptic conflicts… without breaking the bank.
Diablo 15-Year Retrospective -- While Blizzard turned 20 this year, we’re also celebrating Diablo’s 15-year anniversary. Chris Metzen covers the past, present, and future of the Diablo franchise.
The Diablo III Collector’s Edition -- Stay awhile and listen… for the time has come to unlock the Diablo III: Collector’s Edition, and unveil the epic treasures that lie within. Emblazoned with the alabaster hue of the High Heavens, this limited edition collector’s set slides open to reveal the following wealth of rare and legendary items.
Blizzard DOTA Trailer -- In addition to the Diablo III Cinematic, the BlizzCon 2011 opening ceremony also featured the first official trailer for Blizzard DOTA -- and we have it here for you in stunning high definition.
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Teaser -- Since we originally unveiled Heart of the Swarm back in May, we’ve continued working in secret, laboring in the dark recesses of Blizzard’s sheetrock-lined offices on the dank and gloomy coast of Southern California. Today we showcased a new teaser cinematic of footage rendered entirely within the StarCraft II game engine.
Blizzard 2011 Year in Review -- It’s been an exciting year for us since BlizzCon 2010, and to illustrate that point Mike presented this Blizzard 2011 highlight reel during the opening ceremony.
Contest Winners -- Hosted live from the Main Stage at the Anaheim Convention Center and broadcast to millions of viewers around the world, the Dance and Costume contests have always been a highlight at BlizzCon, and this year proved no different. We laughed, we cried, we cheered. More importantly, we were amazed by the exceptional amount of talent displayed by all of our participants.
Watch the BlizzCon 2011 Diablo III Cinematic -- Some tantalizing Diablo III cinematic footage was shown for the first time just moments ago during the BlizzCon 2011 opening ceremony and we’ve got it here for you in high definition.
The Diablo III Gameplay and Auction House Panel -- 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.
The StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm Campaign Panel -- Matt Morris and Brian Kindregan from the StarCraft II development team took the stage today along with Chris Metzen, senior vice president of story and franchise development, to unveil the latest developments in the upcoming expansion.
The StarCraft II Multiplayer Panel -- Dustin Browder, David Kim, and Josh Menke from the StarCraft II development team took the opportunity to talk about the state of play in StarCraft II, and of course, new multiplayer units for Heart of the Swarm on the Panel Discussion stage this afternoon at BlizzCon 2011.
BlizzCon Tournament End Day 1 -- The first day of tournament action at BlizzCon 2011 was absolutely explosive. We witnessed the first six rounds of the StarCraft II Global Battle.net Invitational.
World Of Warcraft
World of Warcraft Preview Panel -- The Mists of Pandaria will open the doors to the mysterious lands of the pandaren, inviting the people of Azeroth to discover the wisdom and power of this mighty race while also exposing some of their darkest secrets. The World of Warcraft Preview panelists unveiled many of the new features, art, and gameplay changes that are coming with this next epic expansion.
World of Warcraft Class Talent System -- World of Warcraft Game Director Tom Chilton, and Lead Systems Designer Greg Street took to the stage this morning to discuss the direction of class balance for World of Warcraft, as well as the new talent system coming in Mists of Pandaria. Their panel focused on the philosophies and goals of this new system, what’s changing, and what expectations players should have as they level up in Pandaria and beyond.
The WoW Dungeons and Raids Panel -- While much of the event thus far has focused on the pandaren race, monk class, and talent system overhaul, the bigger question is what are you going to be doing with all of it? The Dungeons and Raids panel kicked off just a bit ago to answer that very question. Who are the big bad guys I need to kill, and where can I kill them?
BlizzCon Tournament End Day 1 -- The first day of tournament action at BlizzCon 2011 was absolutely explosive. We witnessed the first six rounds of the World of Warcraft Global Battle.net Invitational.
Please join us in congratulating SlayerS_MMA, the winner of the first GSL finals ever played outside of Korea. If you didn't catch the action live, don’t worry. Our tournament ladders are updated on the BlizzCon Tournament page, so you can see who is moving on to Day 2 of the BlizzCon 2011 Global Invitationals, and who is being left behind. We'll be updating that page with replays and videos, so check back soon.
All that, and we're just getting started -- so be sure to join us tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of the BlizzCon 2011 Global Invitational Tournaments.
If you weren't able to join us at the convention this year but still want to witness these epic battles, we've got you covered. You can get the standard definition action streamed straight to your living room forfree, or you can pick up a BlizzCon 2011 Virtual Ticket to see it all in glorious HD.
Dustin Browder, David Kim, and Josh Menke from the StarCraft II
development team took the opportunity to talk about the state of play in
StarCraft II, and of course, new multiplayer units for Heart of the
Swarm on the Panel Discussion stage this afternoon at BlizzCon 2011.
Game Director Dustin Browder got the discussion started with a look at balance in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, from global aggregate matchups to tournament results. For the most part, the observed balance across matchups was even, with some exceptions like masters' level ZvP favoring zerg on the European ladder, and terrans dominating GSL Code S in tournament play. The team has recently been examining the effects of patch 1.4 changes on the protoss vs. terran matchup which had aimed to reduce the effectiveness of the Terran 1/1/1 build, among other things. The increase to range on immortals has helped. Currently the development team is considering a nerf to EMP, as well as other changes, to further improve overall balance.
The coming of the Heart of the Swarm expansion set gives the development team opportunities to address game balance in multiplayer StarCraft II in more over-arching ways than would be possible through patches. With the chance to add and remove units, Heart of the Swarm will allow the team to more effectively address race weaknesses, spice up certain stale matchups such as ZvZ or PvP, and address missed opportunities in existing units. Browder reiterated that the game is a work in progress, nothing is final, feedback is crucial, and the forthcoming StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm beta will be extremely useful and informative.
Game Designer David Kim continued with an in-depth appraisal of all three races. Here's an outline of what's new in Heart of the Swarm multiplayer:
- Issues and weaknesses
- Thor is too slow and clumsy
- Race has difficulties in handling mass zealots in late game
- New units and abilities
- New "battle mode" for hellion - transforms like a viking
- Battle mode hellion has more hit points, moves more slowly
- Shorter, wider arc on flame attack, and stronger
- Gives terran a beefy front-line fighter in the late game
- Smaller, more nimble version of Thor
- Effective anti-mech ground weapon to help break siege tank lines
- Anti-air attack with splash damage
- Robot that emits channeled, area of effect damage when immobilized
- Damage automatically shuts off when an ally moves into range
- Gives terran cheap zone control, but can't be used near main army
- Is still very work-in-progress
- Moved to late game, more hit points and damage
- Can only have one, like mothership from Wings of Liberty
- New "battle mode" for hellion - transforms like a viking
- Issues and weaknesses
- Mid-game difficulties with siege and controlling areas
- Missed opportunities with certain units like ultralisk and corruptor
- New units and abilities
- Existing version is bulky and has difficulties engaging in battle
- New burrow charge ability lets it dive underground and get into the fight easily
- New caster unit with detection -- replaces overseer
- Has abilities like blinding cloud to help break entrenched positions
- Abduct ability allows it to pull units to itself -- pull siege tanks or colossus out of death balls
- Swarm host
- Zerg artillery for map control and siege
- Burrows into the ground, and continuously generates small creatures to attack
- Feels very zerg-y
- Issues and weaknesses
- Needs more raiding options
- Needs area of effect, anti-air attacks
- New units and abilities
- New protoss capital ship, replaces carrier
- Anti-air splash damage for mutalisks and other aircraft
- Has direct air-to-ground attack as well that isn't splash
- Special unit that can clone itself into any non-massive unit
- Allows protoss to also take siege tanks or infestors from enemies
- Is very expensive
- Still very much a work-in-progress, not-final unit
- Caster unit used for raiding and harassment
- Can disable enemy structures, or prevent miningwith its abilities
- Doesn't actually kill or damage anything
- Mothership is cut in favor of this unit
There were some other adjustments and additions in multiplayer Heart
of the Swarm. Some of the more interesting changes include the reaper
gaining the ability to quickly regenerate health when out of combat,
though its building attack has been removed. Battlecruisers will also
get a new cooldown-based ability for a speed boost.
On the zerg side, banelings will be able to move while underground, through a late-game upgrade, while hydralisks will get a speed upgrade for off-creep movement. Corruptors will also have a new channeled ability called siphon. Siphoned buildings take damage over time, while the zerg player gains minerals as the building is being damaged.
Finally for the protoss, two new abilities have been added to the nexus. One is a mass recall, allowing protoss players to quickly return armies home, while the other is a defensive ability that temporarily gives any structure additional shield and building armor, as well as a weapon similar to a photon cannon.
Before taking questions, the StarCraft II developers reminded everyone that everything is still very much work in progress and subject to change.
What do you think about the StarCraft II multiplayer experience?
- Located in Kun-Lai Summit
- Mountain retreat of the mysterious Shado-pan Clan
- The Shado-pan protect Pandaria from hidden evil
- The Sha have escaped! (Shado pan keep Sha caged in the monastery, but it's escaped and you're trying to help figure this out)
- A great idea for layout..Changes into something more epic!
- Like to do outdoor dungeons because there are so many indoor already. They jump at opportunity to make outdoor.
- Level 90 Heroic
- New layout with familiar rooms (shuffle rooms around to make a remix out of it)
- Easier to navigate
- Concentrate on the coolness (of Scholo and take away everything that didn't quite make the cut)
- Level 80 Heroic
- Too much awesome for one dungeon (Remixed and keep all the coolest rooms)
- Split Monastery in two!
- Graveyard + Cathedral
- Armory + Library
- Update all boss mechanics
- For players looking for a greater challenge
- Timed dungeons runs to earn medals. The concept of Zul'Aman timed runs and similar things is now turned into a brand new game mode!
- It will work only on Pandaria dungeons at the beginning.
- It will work with the Dungeon Finder tool.
- Gear will be normalized, everyone is going to have the exact same item level on their gear. This is a skill based exercise and your gear doesn't matter.
- Rewards will be very awesome looking gear for Transmogrification purposes (no stats). You will also get valor points since the new goal is to let you progress your characters no matter what you do.
- Leaderboards will be available, you will be able to compare your performances with your guildies or even your entire realm!
- The raids are going to feature the Mogu and the Mantids
- All the new raids will work in Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic difficulties.
- Located atop Kun-Lai Summit at the center of Pandaria
- Six boss raid
- It will let you explore the hidden secrets of the ancien Mogu empire. Even the Pandarians pretty much never went to this place.
Raid Finder (Patch 4.3)
- The concept came up when developers realized how succesful the dungeon finder is.
- They want the raid content to be available to a wider audience, everyone should have a chance to see that new content. They wanted most players to be able to experience the fight against Deathwing, etc ...
- The Raid Finder will have a Lower difficulty and rewards than Normal Difficulty. It won't be just a damage or health point reduction, mechanics will be reworked to make fights easier.
- This is only in Dragon Soul in Patch 4.3, but it will be available in all raids in patch 5.0
- Works for 25-Player and not with 10-Players, makes queue times much faster.
Goals for Mists of Pandaria
- Keep the experience short and focused. Dungeons should be short enough to let you run a couple of dungeons when you feel like it, not just one.
- Make encounters understandable and do not set up groups to fail. The dungeon journal has been added to the game to make sure that people don't die and wonder what the hell happened.
- Fights will be made clearer and more understandable, the Dungeon Journal was a first step and the goal is to make fights even clearer. It also means that you shouldn't be able to just tank and spank and wonder what happened but still win.
- Flex our creative Kung-fu. This expansion offers a lot of creative freedom and a lot of new stuff, developers tried to make sure that you'll get dragon punches and all kind of crazy and fun moves.
How is gear going to scale in the challenge mode?
We are currently planning for it to scale down. An alternative to scaling the gear would be to scale the monsters up, to make sure that players do not feel less powerful.
Regarding the dungeon finder and raid finder, are we going to be able to enter a random queue for possibly TBC raids, or WOTLK?
Currently weve talked about it a little bit, one of the things we are concerned about is that if there are actually people to fill that queue. We are not sure if raid finder is a fit for those cases. In the future we could do it.
Dungeons are now visible in outside world, but in BC there were also lots of these. Why did you not do this in Cata?
Over time we have dungeons that existed in outside world, and theres a secondary thing to it. for example the stormbrew brewery where quests actually go inside/around the dungeon. Historically we have had to scale them to be smaller, here they are 1:1 scale so they have awesome impact to the zones.
Can we do quests in a raid group?
Maybe, it has been talked about.
Why are kick wait timers so long?
It depends on how often that person has been kicked, as well as how often you kick people. It is modified dynamically.
Why did you start Cataclysm with so many bosses and raids, and then add so few in the later patches?
Plans aren't finalized for the first tier yet. It might be two or three different raids, loot distribution also needs to be worked out.
In Cataclysm, there is a very steep difficulty jump between normals and heroics, how are you going to handle that in MoP? Will there be more Level 90 normals?
We are currently not planning to have 90 normal dungeons in MoP.
Previous hard modes required internet research to figure out how to toggle them, now it is just a switch. Can we go back to the old way with multiple difficulites?
It was hard to come up with this kind of mechanic for all the bosses, it worked with bosses that had order or additional minibosses, but not most others. We are all for fun toggles, but most bosses don't need multiple difficulty modes.
Right now you currently randomly choose legendary to a class that hasnt got one for a while cant you make a quest chain where guilds can give the legendary to their most deserving raid member?
The questlines we are currently making have really class specific features, we could open it up but it would lose some of that exclusivity. Do you want unique and awesome or generic and boring?
The 10/25 man lockout is frustrating because I have nothing to do on my alt. Will Raid Finder let us join as a group with our guild?
You can queue with a group, there are no lockouts, and normal/heroic raids do not share any lockout with Raid Finder difficulty. (You only get loot once from Raid Finder)
For Cata, there are 3 raids that came in right from the expansion. Have you guys thought about a way to not make it so overwhelming? Is there going to be like a middle ground?
Essentially the number of bosses comes down to make sure we can spread the loot around. It mostly comes down to the number of bosses we can get down for a patch.
Are any more old classic WoW dungeons going to be remade, maybe Hogger?
Everyone loves them, but it is a matter of time. We made sure to get some in for Cataclysm launch, we want to add them whenever we have time to do so.
So when you guys announced 4.3 you said there were only going to be 7 hours. You said you were going to focus on epicness and putting more work into them. Firelands only felt like half a raid. Is this omsething we can expect to see in the next raid tiering in MoP?
We want as many people as possible to experience that content. We were looking at the number of people getting kills on the raid bosses and there were not a lot. We immediately put out hotfixes to make sure more people can experience the content.
Is there any plan to seperate 10 and 25 man achievements again, especially server firsts?
There were some difficulty differences, it is something we have talked about but we aren't making any promises right now. Maybe in the future!
You were talking how challenge modes can be done for dungeons, are they also for raids and will they be unlocked immediatly or will they unlock gradually?
There is a chance we could do them for raids, we want to start out with dungeons and see if it feels right. There is one thing we didnt really mention, but say when you get the gold medal, your gear would get nerfed so you can run it again. We havent really finalised this to be honest.
Two raids on the same tier gives players choice in progression. Single raids make it hard to get to the end and make progress. Will you add raids that have multiple paths to get to the last boss?
This is something we are talking about, especially with Raid Finder. It breaks up Dragon Soul in 4.3 into two parts, giving you the big reward for beating either part. This might be something we can do if we figure out the logistics in the future.
Last years BlizzCon and during cata you hinted at an Abyssal Maw raid, what happened to it?
We do not have any plans to release the Abyssal Maw raid, it was going to fit in the end of this year. The story line we were telling didnt fit with the patch cycle. It just ended up not fitting. The concept was as far as we got on it. From the story perspective we have moved on so we probably wont use it again.
For the new dungeon challenges, how are you going to handle lower stats like hit. Will it put you below your hit cap?
Good point, there are lots of details like that to work out. We have Top Men working on this. Top Men.
In Ulduar and Icecrown you could get the Mimiron's Head or Invincible for completing the hard modes, but in Firelands you gave the Fire hawk mounts to people completing normal mode as well. And it's a bummer to see people who don't deserve it running around with the awesome mounts.
In normal mode you had a small chance to get them, and in Heroic mode you had a 100% drop rate, you were rewarded more. That's part of the reason why we will separate the Raid finder difficulty now, mounts will only come from Normal and Heroic modes since the Raid Finder is an intro to raiding. All the prestige items will stay in normal and heroic mode.
- Major change to class talent trees, and this is a new phase of development for the talent system.
- The goal is to have you sit to another next to another combat rogue, and this combat rogue will actually have different talents than you do!
- Character customization was the original point of talents in the first place but overtime cookie cutter builds dominated the scene.
- Class Abilities are available to all specs in the class. All warriors learn heroic strike for example.
- Spec Abilities are available to certain specs. Only Arms warriors learn Slam. Retribution and Protection paladin get Hammer of the Righteous, etc ...
- Talents are optional skills/bonuses available to all specs. Any warrior can choose Throwdown, and you will have to pick between 3 different crowd control abilities on this level of talent.
- Level 15 - You pick your first talent. For example, warriors have to pick between Juggernaut / Double Time / Warbringer and players will have to pick which mobility ability they want to pick depending on their playstyle.
- Access to stuff you never could before. If you were a subtlety rogue you knew you weren't going to get something like Killing Spree. And because talents are going to be all in the same tree, you're going to be able to combine them in a way that you never could before. For example, any rogue can have Shadowstep!
- Several new, overpowered (feeling) talents will be added to the game.
- If you don't see a beloved talent in your new talents list, don't worry, it's probably something we gave your spec as a baseline. For example all Holy priests now have Circle of Healing.
- No mandatory talents anymore.
- Every choice should be hard but fun!
- Design will iterate a lot on individual talents
- Don't obsess about the numbers
See screenshots of all tiers
See screenshots of all tiers
See screenshots of all tiers
See screenshots of all tiers
See screenshots of all tiers
See screenshots of all tiers
See screenshots of all tiers
See screenshots of all tiers
See screenshots of all tiers
See screenshots of all tiers
Change is scary!!!
- Talents aren't set in stone yet.
- Questions will be answered during the Q&As tomorrow.
- An online developer Q&A will happen on October 27
- The goal is to combine new gameplay with most fun parts of the past.
- The plan is to get people back into the world, instead of having players roam around Stormwind and Orgrimmar all the time once they reach max level.
- Developers want you to do what you want to do to progress your character. They really want you to feel like you have a menu of content where you can pick whatever you want to do, and you shouldn't feel forced to do something to progress your character. For example, daily quests will reward you with valor points but it will still be faster if you raid of course.
- Character builds are going to be entirely revamped. Talents were still too cookie cutter, so the developers want to give players more choices in their talents.
- 5 New leveling zones to explore
- Single, unified continent
- Influenced by Asian landscapes
- AH, Bank, and Central Questing Hub
- No flying until max level
- There's 5 leveling zones but they are very large zones, and you won't have your flying mount.
Lore of Pandaria
- A long, storied history.
- Magically hidden since The Sundering
- A new land to explore....
- Pandaria was discovered during the cataclysm, a naval battle between horde and alliance was taking place close to it.
Pandaren starting zone
- It's a turtle! It left Pandaria 10 000 years ago and never came back. Pandarens who wanted to discover the world left on that turtle.
- Story focused with simple mechanics
- Cross faction, choose Horde/Alliance at level 10.
Creatures of Pandaria
- The Jinyu are fish-like creatures and will be in a wide number of zones.
- The Hozu are a monkey-like race, they stand up on their legs and can walk around. They play tons of pranks on the local pandarens and are also in a lot of zones.
- Verming are ... new kobolds, they kinda look like evil bunnies.
- Mantid: Whole raids and dungeons around this race. Insect race that has been there since the beginning of ages. They have been seperated by a giant wall. They are starting to go crazy and are going through the wall
- Mogu: Ancient race, original race on pandaria. The mogu want the island back from the pandaren, they are really mad. You will see them in dungeons.
- Sha: Manifestation of the evil energies that flow through the earth. If there is any sort of battle these guys pop up.
The Jade Forest
- This is where Alliance and Horde will be landing. The horde is washing up on the north side, the alliance on the south side. There will be one unified start zone and Alliance/Horde will end up meeting up in the middle.
- Lush rainforests and stone spires
- The Alliance will try to become friend with the Hozu, and the Horde with the Jinyu and will try to turn them against each other.
- Temple of the Jade Serpent will be the dungeon of this zone. It will be your 85-86 Dungeon, it has been taken over by Sha
Valley of the Four Winds
- Two zones for the price of one! This zone is huge, the whole north side of the zone is pandaren farmlands, the south is a coastal jungle.
- You will get to choose between the north side and the south side when you arrive. You can go back and switch side if you want the other quests.
- The dungeon of this zone is Stormstout Brewery.
- This is where you will have your first interaction with the Mantids, they broke through the wall and are now attacking pandarens villages.
- This is a level 86-87 zone
- The pandarens are the new race.
- The female model isn't done yet.
- At level 10, you will get to choose between horde and alliance.
- Pandaren Classes: Hunter, Mage, Monk, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior
- Racial - Epicurean - Increase the stat benefits from food by 100%
- Racial - Gourmand - Cooking skill increased by 15.
- Racial - Inner Peace - Your rested experience bonus lasts twice as long.
- Racial - Bouncy - You take 50% less falling damage.
- Racial - Quaking Palm - You touch a secret pressure point on an enemy target, putting it to sleep for 3 sec.
Monk New Class
- Brewmaster - Tank spec
- Mistweaver - Healer, a healer who can stand up in melee and will let players experience a "new healing style"
- Windwalker - Melee DPS
- This is not a hero class, and it will start at level 1
- The class is very martial-arts based
- Lots of monk-only animations, the healer and tanks will have different stances they can stand in, etc ...
- Monk Races - All of them except Goblin and Worgens
- Leather Armor (Agility or Intellect)
- They hit a lot with hands and feet
- They will need weapons for some finishers: Staves, Fist Weapons
- They will also be able to use 1H Axe and maces, swords
- Healers will get off-hands, they don't want healers to use shields.
- Chi (energy) slowly regenerates and is only used for your Jab and Roll abilities.
- Jab generates Light and Dark force, which are used for everything else. Some finishing move uses dark force, some use the light force.
- No auto attack! Devs want you to have this street fighter feel where you punch a lot
- Pro - The level 10 specs were really nice and gave you a role early in the game, definitely a keeper.
- Pro - Removing junk from the talent trees was also a very good move.
- Pro - Having some kind of choices for optional skills/subspecs worked out pretty well.
- Con - You had a risk of "skipping" important talents
- Con - There wasn't enough junk removed
- Con - There wasn't enough choices, you might have a different final talent point than another combat rogue but it just wasn't enough. The cookie cutter build still persists.
- Con - No enough customization, no true hybridization (Using a little bit of 2 different trees)
- Con - Players got grumpy
Talent System 2.0
- The talent system is gone! Ok, not really, but it's greatly changed.
- You now have your class abilities, your spec abilities, and your talents.
- You still choose your spec at level 10, and you get a spec ability at level 10. You will get additional spec abilities later. There are anything that you really need to function, they will just be given to you to make sure you have all the tools you need to have.
Example - Prot Paladin
- LVL 10 - Avenger's Shield
- LVL 20 - Hammer of the Righteous (Prot and Ret)
- LVL 30 - Judgement of the Just (Passive)
- There is not talent points or ranks.
- There is one talent pree per class.
- You earn talents every 15 levels.
- You get to choose 1 out of 3 every time you get a new point, you can only pick one of them and can't go back to get the other ones.
- There will be no mandatory talent. There won't be any cookie cutter build or anything, it will depend on what kind of optional ability you want.
- You can now change talents as easily as you change glyphs.
- More info in the Talent Tree Panel at 2:15
- PvE Scenarios are a way to give new interesting content that doesn't make sense in a dungeon content.
- Scenarios are more about reusing parts of the world in interesting new ways, and introducing new types of PvE gameplay that we've never seen before like PvE battlegrounds.
- They are short instances for a few players, the amount of players can vary depending on the scenario, some of them can be for 3 players.
- You don't need the typical tank/heal/dps setup, you will just be able to enter and play your role no matter what it is.
- It will be a staged experience where you will try to accomplish some greater goal
- For example, a scenario might require you to kill 25 kobolds in stage 1, then find and return 4 goldshire children, and then kill the boss.
- Developers would like to do PvE battlegrounds, where you will have to slay 50 alliance/horde soldiers, destroy 6 towers and the barracks, and then defeat the enemy General.
- They could replace group quests.
- It uses the same queue system as the dungeon finder
- Since there is no role requirements, queues should be instant.
Challenge Mode Dungeons
- Complete a dungeon in x minutes
- To earn Bronze, Silver, Gold medals.
- Gear levels are normalized, all your gear will be brought to the same level to make the competition even.
- You can't just get better gear to overpower it.
- It will reward sweet looking gear with no stats, and valor points!
- Challenge Mode will reward you with very unique looking gear to show off how awesome you are to your friends
- A new challenge dungeons UI will be added, you will be able to check your medals, your ranking, show what rewards you can unlock, etc ....
Pet Battle System
- You will be able to collect, level, and battle with companion pets.
- It will be accessible to all players.
- Works with almost every pet
- Pet Customization, you will be able to name your pet, give them visual abilities, etc ...
- There will be "Wild pets", you can find them in the world and engage in battle with them. You will then be able to get that pet and add it to your Pet Journal.
- Pets have random stats, some of them will be very good at tanking, some will have a CC ability, etc ...
- Some pets will only be found during a specific season, while it's raining, or during the day or the night. Some of them will only spawn in the spring, when it's raining, in elwynn forest at night!
- Most pets will become tradable, even after it's leveled, etc ...
- Pets will be account wide
- Your pet journal will display info on all your pets, including stats, skills, and also drop locations and lore info for the pets you don't have yet!
- Winning battles earns you experience, and levels your pets.
- You will learn new abilities. Every pet can use 3 abilities in a battle at one time.
- Every time you level you will also increase the stats of your pet.
- You will level multiple pets to build your team.
- You have 3 battle slots, one for each pet in your team.
Pet Battle System - Battle
- PvE and PvP Battles
- It will be turn based.
- A simple combat system.
- Fight with a team of 3 pets
- Queuing system, you will be able to find a fight pretty fast depending on the level of your pets.
Pet Battle System - Customization
- You will finally be able to name your pets, and see that name in battle.
- Items for your pets, you will have an item slot for your pet and might be able to socket gems in those items, etc ...
- Individual builds of abilities and different teams.
- Masters and Masters abilities, there will be different NPC pet masters in the world who will let you earn abilities when you beat them. For example, beating the master of mechanical pets will get you a new ability for your pet!
- 9 new dungeons in the new expansion
- 6 dungeons will be on Pandaria
- Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery (Wings 1 and 2) will be back in Heroic Mode
3 new Epic raids!
- They will feature two enemy races, the Mogu and the Mantid.
- Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic difficulties will be available for all raids from day 1.
- World raid bosses will return!
- More info will be available at the Raids & Dungeons Panel today.
- Increased focus on max level content, it will reward you with Valor Points.
- Incentives for dungeons/raiders to run quests and do outdoor/daily kind of stuff. For example finishing a quest might give you a buff for the day, and maybe that buff will let you roll on a loot that only appears to people with that buff.
- More quest choices, and a lot less linear
- No flying until max level, it's much easier to keep people on the ground and create interesting quests when you know people won't just fly away and drop on the boss.
- Faction improvements, there will be group of factions and they will let you work for all factions from that group to get your rewards. This way you don't have to grind a single faction anymore.
New Battlegrounds (Not final yet)
- Stranglethorn Diamond Mines - Payload style gameplay.
- Valley of Power - Murderball
- Azshara Crater - DOTA
- New Arena - Tol'vir Proving Grounds
STV Diamond Mine
- Goblin Mine below northern STV
- Payload style gameplay
- Escort mine cars to depot
- Multiple tracks, you will get a lot of options and you will be able to decide which way you want the cart to go.
- First to x resources wins
Valley of Power
- Located in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms
- Murderball style gameplay
- Holding the object earns points
- Multiple point zones, depending on where you're hiding you will earn more/less points
- Object deals damage to holder
- Damage increases over time.
Tol'vir Proving Grounds - Arena
- Located in Uldum
- Simple layout based on Nagrand arena
- Sense of place in the world
- Just a simple square with 4 pillars/statues, etc ...
- Allow achievements to be shared among all characters on the same Battle.net account, things such as the raid achievements and the ones which are difficult to get.
- Allows to include new achievements such as "get all the professions to the maximum level"
Major Class Changes
- Devs like the way Resilience works in PvP, and how it gives a nice goal for players looking to progress/upgrade their gear in PvP
- Resilience is a pretty huge barrier for people who want to start PvPing.
- Resilience will become a base stat, and will increase a little every time you level.
- Hunter minimum range is gone!
- Hunter melee weapon is gone!
- Ranged slot for all other characters are gone.
- Relics are gone.
- Rogues and warriors can now throw their melee weapon
- Wands become main hand weapons
- Unique resource for each spec.
- Affliction will keep Soul Shards, they are currently not interesting enough but devs have cool ideas for them.
- Demonology will get Demonic Fury, you build up Demonic Fury and you metamorphosize when you max your Demonic Fury. More skills will be added to Demon Form, etc ...
- Destruction will get Infernal Embers. The destruction warlock who keeps getting casting fire spells get hotter and hotter and will eventually deal insane amount of damage, you can build it up pretty quickly and unleash your big spell.
- Buff totems are gone. It just wasn't very interesting to be the buff bitch of the group.
- All totems are now utility
- New totem examples:
- Earthgrab totem - roots
- Repulsion totem - repels
- Bulwark Totem - absorbs
- They always felt like they had 4 specs, so now they do.
- Feral - Cat (melee dps)
- Guardian - bear (tanking)
- Some overlap between the two
- All druids can still go cat or bear form.
- Spell books cleaned up, got rid of more junk, the goal is to clean up action bars a little more without removing the fun things.
- Rotations will be improved
- Spells will be automatically learned, you won't have to go to your trainer anymore.
- You will get a new spell at level 87, level 90 new talent point.
- Talent trees should be fun, and you should have more choice than just a cookie cutter build.
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