Warlords of Draenor Info Released

 Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor  Comments Off on Warlords of Draenor Info Released
Mar 042014
 

Blizzard has been doing data dumps of the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion recently and been releasing screenshots and answering questions. Here’s some stuff on one of the coming dungeons.

Warlords of Draenor Dungeon Screenshots!

One of the oft mentioned complaints by “we the fans” has been the lack of dungeons in Mists of Pandaria (and earlier.) Especially since there will be little or no new content coming in the several months before Warlords is released. So we’re left with repetitive dungeons (already been through them,)  leveling and gearing up alts, and PvP Season 15.

I think there will be a lot of suspended accounts till shortly before the expansion, but we’ll see. Anyway!

Screenshots of the first dungeon Bloodmaul Slag Mines have been released. This is one of seven dungeons that will be available when the expansion launches, with more to be added later.

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 Posted by at 10:34 am

Blizzard to Support Gaming Clubs

 Blizzard  Comments Off on Blizzard to Support Gaming Clubs
Feb 242014
 

According to Gamespot:

Blizzard has announced a new partnership with The esports Association (TeSPA) that will reward and support bigger, more active college gaming groups.

The Membership Milestone program will back groups in the TeSPA network with event funding, promotion opportunities, and unique in-game rewards for Hearthstone, StarCraft II, and Heroes of the Storm . The bigger the gaming group gets, the more rewards Blizzard will fund.

via gamespot

Apparently the clubs don’t even have to be playing Blizzard games, they’re looking for gaming communities that are open to all gamers. So I guess we can assume this means video games from all consoles, as well as PC games, tabletop RPGs, board games (eg: Monoloply,) and so on?

There are also various prizes that will be awarded to the groups as they get bigger, such as a pizza party at 80 members. The list of awards can be seen here.

Seems like a pretty cool thing. I would have loved to have access to such an enhanced gaming club in my college days.

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On the Future of the World of Warcraft

 Blizzard, wow news  Comments Off on On the Future of the World of Warcraft
Nov 112013
 

IGN interviewed Blizzard co-founder and CEO Mike Morhaime about the future of WoW and the various other Blizzard franchises that we’re so fond of. Here are a few selected comments:

On creating new content and keeping the game accessible to new players, or returning players: “… I think maybe an unintended consequence of adding all of this content is that when you layer in complexity and add new things, the people who aren’t keeping up with all of that feel like they’re getting further and further behind.””

It can certainly be daunting for a new player. You step into this huge world with its tons of content and it’s easy to get lost. It’s nice to see that these things are appreciated. In WoW 6 there will be new quest tweaks which should make it easier to know where to go and what to do next. I’ve always appreciated having an older player help out when I started a new game, but it’s kinda hard to code tha into the system. :)

This Gnome's #1 Priority? More Gear!Setting priorities: “If I had to prioritize, it’s our active players at number one, our returning players at number two, and then probably third is players who, after nine years, haven’t tried it yet…”

You have to get the new blood in and then you have to figure out how to make them stick. Ditto the returning players. And then you have to keep your base or you’re just churning, going nowhere. Repeat customers are gold.

Going “Free to Play?” “.. I think the focus should be on accessibility, providing a free onramp to the game. But if you really want to play WoW for any length of time, I think we’ll stick with subscriptions.”

And the subs guarantee a reliable cash flow to pay for the new content. I’m fine with that.

How about those subscriptions? ” It’s pretty normal to see a spike with the launch of a new expansion. When there’s a period with not a lot of new content, we see that drop.”

Makes perfect sense. Anyone with a website will see a big bump in interest at an expansion launch and a decline preceeding it. Most of the Mists of Pandaria content has been released, so I expect things will slow for awhile until Warlords of Draenor gets close.

Heroes of the Storm? “We think that there’s enough room in the genre that everything doesn’t have to be exactly the same as everything else…”

The game will be free to play, but some heroes, skins, etc might well be sold. If Bliz does this right then I think they will carve out another nice little niche in the gaming market. There’s certainly enough love for the various characters.

Hearthstone is going Mobile, will WoW? “It’s something we talk about,” he admitted. “There’s probably an opportunity to have some type of connection to the world from mobile devices. I don’t think we’ve figured out exactly what that should look like. I don’t think consoles are necessarily our best opportunity for World of Warcraft. In terms of gameplay, our focus is going to stay on the PC, and then we’ll continue looking at ways you might be able to interact with the world from other devices.”

I just can’t see WoW going mobile, it’s just too complicated. Imagine doing a raid on a tablet with a wifi connection?

Well, maybe they’ll figure it out. It’s probably inevitable, in some form. And Blizzard has thought about it.

Here’s the whole interview

Warlord of Draenor Official Trailer

Is WoW Going to be Dropping Daily Quests?

 Blizzard, Quests  Comments Off on Is WoW Going to be Dropping Daily Quests?
Sep 112013
 

So what do you think of daily quests? I did them all in the Firelands, but haven’t found the time to do them in M of P. (Times been tight, recently.)

There’s no limit to the number of these quests you can pick up at one time. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Does it force one to put in way too much time grinding out the dailies in order to stay competitive?

Patches 5.3 and 5.4 seem to be lacking in daily quest content. Oh, there’s a bit on the Timeless Isle, and certainly a few “regular” quests, but not piles of dailies like we’ve seen before.

PCgamesn.com says: 

Mists of Pandaria’s 5.4 patch is live, and it’s not short on stuff: try a brand new island, flexible raid system and fisticuffs with Garrosh Hellscream in the undercity beneath Orgrimmar. But it is a little short on daily quests. And come to think of it, so was its predecessor, the aptly named 5.3. What’s up with that?

“I wouldn’t say that it’s inconceivable that we will have daily quests again at some point in the future,” said lead game designer Tom Chilton, “but certainly not to the scale that we did in the past.”

It’s a very different mindset to that which saw Blizzard pile on the dailies to ensure that “the content wouldn’t feel repetitive”. But Chilton pinpoints one missing detail that kept the system in check – originally, players could only play a total of 10 per day.

“If we had a limit of 10 different daily quests, but 100 different quests you could do out there, then you can sort of imagine there would be a little bit more choice in terms of which ones you would do,” Chilton told WoW Insider, “especially if we give you different reasons to do different ones.”

But as the dev team raised that cap to 25, and then did away with it altogether, they observed an unfortunate trend in player behaviour toward habits which weren’t “the most fun way to play the game ultimately”.

Here’s the rest.

So what do you think? If Bliz dropping the daily idea or is this just a patch which doesn’t happen to have any, meaning they will be back (in force?) later on? How would you change things (dailies) if you were in charge?

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Blizzard and Microsoft? Really?

 Blizzard  Comments Off on Blizzard and Microsoft? Really?
Jul 132012
 

It’s just a rumor, but…

Vivendi might be looking to sell Activision/Blizzard. The price tag would be rather steep, but there are companies that could afford it. Why would they sell? Apparently that company has a serious debt burden and sinking share prices. (They’ve probably been spending the WoW money on vacations and expensive offices, rather than game development? Actually, Vivendi is big, and made an ill-timed acquisition or two. )

Microsoft, for one. IF MS was actually interested, the move would strengthen its position in various markets. But, then again, there’s are Chinese and Korean companies which might be more intereested (Tencent and Nexon, to name two) and the buy would give them a stronger position in western markets.

What it would mean for WoW is anyone’s guess. Who knows? If Bliz was bought out maybe the new owners would demand some story/lore consistency? 😉

Story on Forbes: Could Microsoft Buy Activision-Blizzard?

More complete story on Reuters.

Megadamage in 7.3

 Blizzard  Comments Off on Megadamage in 7.3
Nov 112011
 

MegaDamage and Item Squishing.

This is actually a serious post on an interesting issue: the exponentially increasing stats and damage.

Check it out, here.

 Posted by at 2:26 pm

Patch 4.3 Class Balance Remarks from the Devs

 Blizzard, Classes  Comments Off on Patch 4.3 Class Balance Remarks from the Devs
Nov 112011
 

Man, it must be an interesting job to be the guy in charge of class balance…

The Devs (specifically Ghostcrawler) discuss what’s happening with the various classes in the 4.3 patch. Not all specs are covered and Rogues aren’t covered at all. I have no idea what that means. This is a clip from part 1, part two is below this:

Part 1:

Back in June, I wrote a blog explaining the context behind some of the changes in the upcoming patch that might not be intuitively obvious. That blog ended up being one of the most popular ones we’ve ever done; even players who disagreed with the specific changes appreciated our explanations for what we were trying to accomplish. Therefore, we’d like to continue in that fashion and we figured there was no reason to wait until 4.3 was “on the shelves” to get the ball rolling.

One note before I dive into things. If you haven’t read the previous blog, “Rate of Change,” now might be a good time. There are some changes that we want to make to class mechanics or balance in general that we don’t think are fair or appropriate to spring on players in the middle of an expansion. These include things like the power of interrupts or the active mitigation model we want to implement for tanks. We’ll get there, but in short term we fundamentally believe that it’s important to pick our battles.

On with the show. Note that most of these changes are mechanics changes. We have not yet finished enough testing to be confident in our benchmark damage, healing, and tanking numbers for 4.3. When we finish those, and when we see what some players are capable of doing on the PTR (or even what they theorycraft or sim based on PTR numbers) there will be additional changes. Off the top of my head, I’d say Fury warrior damage is almost certainly too high and Resto druid AE healing (ignoring the effects of Tranquility of course) is also too potent.

You’ll also notice some classes aren’t mentioned at all. It’s possible we’re just happy with them, but it’s more likely we just haven’t gotten to them yet. We don’t want to hold a PTR until every single thing is done, because that minimizes test time.

Melee DPS

Overall, we think melee DPS in dungeons and raids is still too low. We think melee DPS is fine in PvP, and we think melee DPS is competitive against ranged specs against target dummies, but in actual encounters with all of their moving pieces, melee falls behind. To attempt to adjust for this imbalance, we have improved the benefit to attack power given by the various raid buffs (Blessing of Might et al.) to melee only. Hunter DPS is fine, or even high in 4.2, so we didn’t want this buff to extend to them, which is why the AP benefit is now 20% for melee attacks but still 10% for ranged attacks.

Vengeance

As promised, we allow for this tanking mechanic to now ramp up quickly when the tank is taking damage.

The rest of the above post deals with class specific changes, see it here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/3615095

Part 2 goes into more details. Again, not all specs are covered and Rogues aren’t covered at all. The changes to the Mortal Strike type of effects (reduced healing on the target) should cover Wound Poison, though.

Mortal Strike (and similar debuffs)

We dropped the healing debuff from 50% to 10% some time ago, but were convinced at 10% that it was hard to appreciate the effect at all. We want to try Mortal Strike et al. at 25% to see if it feels useful but not mandatory. If 25% is too much and 10% is too little, then it may mean the entire mechanic may not have much of a future. We decided to only change the debuff for the warrior, rogue, and hunter, restoring the original relationship between “strong” and “weak” MS that we had in Lich King.

Click through to see the class details: 4.3 class changes

There will be thousands of comments on the above posts, might as well click through and add yours. QQing doesn’t help, but if you can add some solid evidence to support your remarks, then go for it.

BlizzCon is Coming

 Blizzard  Comments Off on BlizzCon is Coming
May 262011
 

As you know it’s coming. I won’t be there this year, how about you?

 

From Dev Zarhym on the WoW forums:

BlizzCon 2011 will soon be upon us! While the article below was written for issue #3 of the World of Warcraft Official Magazine, which was released prior to BlizzCon 2010, I feel the message is still very relevant. Read on to discover just why we, your friendly Blizzard community managers, value each and every BlizzCon event we host. We hope to see some of you at this year’s show!

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2850849

As to the Who, What, Where…. (source)

…In addition, a limited number of tickets to an exclusive pre-BlizzCon Benefit Dinner will go on sale Saturday, May 28 at 10 a.m. PDT. BlizzCon tickets will be available at $175 USD each, while tickets to the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner (which include admission to the show) will be priced at $500 each, with proceeds going to benefit Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Tickets to previous BlizzCon shows have sold out within minutes, so be sure to synchronize your hourglasses.

If you can’t make it to the show in person, the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket will once again allow you to watch the event live from the comfort of your own home. The Virtual Ticket will be available as multi-channel Internet stream around the world and also via DIRECTV in the United States.

See the full press release or visit the official BlizzCon website for more information, and we’ll see you at BlizzCon!

When: Friday, October 21, 2011 and October 22, 2011, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. PT (both days)
Where: Anaheim Convention Center, 800 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92802

(Event info is here)

Blizzcon 2010 stuff

The MMO Report: Blizzcon 2010 Special – G4tv.com

Every fall thousands of gamers descend upon the Anaheim Convention Center for Blizzcon, and this year The MMO Report went all out. Not only did we get Casey a new suit for the occaision, but we got…

Publish Date: 10/28/2010 15:55

http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/708311/the-mmo-report-blizzcon-2010-special/

Maybe they’ll have something akin to the D3 announcements?

Blizzcon 2010: Blizzard Announces the Demon Hunter class and

This year’s Blizzcon 2010 Opening Ceremony has been taking place this afternoon, and we’ve been following along with the news along with all of you. So, what excitement has been in store today? It went a little something

Publish Date: 10/22/2010 11:49

http://geek.pikimal.com/2010/10/22/blizzcon-2010-blizzard-announces-the-demon-hunter-class-and-player-vs-player-arenas/