Hello Everyone! The Panel is about to start, and we have a front row seat. Check out the latest updates behind the break.
1:34PM Chris Metzen, Chris Robinson, Cory Stokton, J Allen Brack, and Jeff Kaplan are on stage
1:33PM And it begins!
1:32PM Still no-one on stage. More updates as they happen.
1:34PM We've got an hour, they want one question apiece.
1:35PM First Q: For Tom Chilton. Why is Perception better in the Arena?
1:35PM A: It consistently changes fights and the direction of fights. There are others that are percieved well, but it was specifically hard to compete as a non-human rogue because of Perception. Also, only good in a really, really narrow area of the game, and they wanted a more broad, fun racial.
1:36PM Q: Group heals are hard as a Holy Pally with an AE damage boss, what can you do to fix that?
1:36PM Laughter from audience.
1:36PM A: Bacon of Light, says Ghostcrawler. And a few talents.
1:37PM Q: Question about Profession. 70 Blacksmith Protection Warriors. Blacksmithing is useless. He wants to be able to repair his armor, and he believes only enchanting, alchemy are good in endgame.
1:38PM A: They want to make every profession useful at the end game in Wrath. Sockets for Belts for Blacksmiths is an example. Everyone will want it and find it viable.
1:38PM Q: Are we gonna find out what happened to Alleria and Turalyon and will Deathwing appear?
1:39PM A: Metzen: Working on it, and Yes. Tom wants to use this answer.
1:39PM Q: Will Sunwell Plateau style dailies be part of killing Arthas?
1:40PM A: Arthas should be accessible to as many people as possible, and there will be many Daily quests and lots of solo content with big name characters at ship in Wrath, maybe even 5-man Arthas interaction.
1:40PM Q: Pandaren Costumed guy: Why aren't there Pandaren in World of Warcraft?
1:41PM A: What do you have in that Jar? J. Allen: China did have issues with Pandaren, and they are an important part of their player base. Can't say it'll never happen, but it isn't on the horizon.
Metzen: We do love Pandas, Rumor Mill has it there may be action figures and fiction built around them!
1:42PM Q: Do you plan on adding resilience on PvE gear so there is a reason to PvE?
1:43PM A: We want to encourage the crossover, and offer PvP gear for PvE tokens. We want to support crossover. 25 Naxx tokens will be able to get 10-person Naxx quality PvP gear.
1:43PM Q: Can we ride in dungeons?
1:44PM A: BlizzCon exclusive: In the first content patch following Wrath, All Ground Mounts will swim in water.
1:44PM I got a huge round of applause and I totally dodge the question, sweet!
1:44PM Q: Metzen ninjaed my girlfriend. Guy wants PvE Arenas to experience old bosses.
1:45PM A: We've had PvE Arena idea in mind since before launch, but the Geometry and mechanics may not port over to an Arena. And how do you reward it? If they drop same loot, no reason to do the boss normally. Those are the problems, says Chilton.
1:46PM Q: Thanks for new achievements and titles. But stuff like Timbermaw rep and Pinchy is hard. Will Championing be extended to old reps, or can you turn in marks for AB or WSG rep?
1:47PM A: They want to see how championing works out, and perhaps reviewing old grindy reps and seeing how to make those easier to do. They may add a way to fix broken Ravenholdt rep soon.
1:48PM Q: Wondering about Personalization: Could we mess with our moves, like change how they look?
1:48PM A: We're discussing it. As our animation system gets better, we may be able to do it.
1:49PM Q: His Raiders needed Brutal Gladiator weapons to kill Brutallus, but PvE raiders have to work forever to get PvP Gear.
1:49PM A: PvEs and PvPers have a same shot at gear when they raid, but that is part of why they allowed token turn-ins. But they also want to make sure raiders don't feel compelled to PvP to get weapons.
1:50PM Q: Heirloom Bind on Account and Scaling weapons: Now that we have them, could we scale Legendaries? Can we upgrade them, or will they fall by the wayside?
1:51PM A: It's something to keep in mind, but it's dicier to do with Thunderfury. They don't want an 80 to feel compelled to force their friends to do Molten Core. They may make Legendaries have more unique and memorable abilities, but all good things must come to an end.
1:51PM Q: Shadow Priests can't DPS Mechanical units and Catapults well as they are immune to Shadow Word: Pain.
1:52PM A: They are working on tweaking Shadow Priests, and they have tested DPS pretty hardcore and plan to bump up Shadow Priests.
1:52PM Q: Will 10-man and 25-man loot look different?
1:53PM A: We'd love to do that, but it's a question of what assets we can get in place. It's a metter of time. We want to try to work on repainting items instead of just palette swapping, says Chris.
1:53PM Q: I am a Mage with 2-piece tier 5. Why is Arcane Blast so weak in Wrath?
1:54PM A: Chilton doesn't think Arcane Blast is useless. It's a core damage spell but not the only one you cast.
1:55PM Q: 11 point talents have always been class defining (You're a protection paladin, aren't you?). He is. Kings feels weak to him and he wants to know if they will look at it in the future.
1:56PM A: They are looking at Protection Paladins, giving them Warrior abilities, but they want to find a good solid unique ability to give Protection Paladins, and will likely put it in the 11 point area.
1:56PM Q: Holy Paladin in PvP: Druids have Cyclone, Shamans have earth shock, What do Paladins get?
1:57PM A: Chilton says they will look at Holy Pallies.
1:57PM Q: Warlocks: Could they make switching pets quicker?
1:57PM A: They want to make sure pets are switched for utility sake, not just to get a new pet.
1:58PM Q: Will Omen of Clarity be non-dispellable?
1:59PM A: They aren't completely happy with dispelling as it works now, and they have talked about revamping it for Wrath of the Lich King. If they make Omen dispellable, that gets into problems of everyone wanting non-dispellable buffs.
1:59PM Q: It's a hassle for Arms Warriors to switch specs whenever you get a new weapon. Can you combine Weapon specs?
2:00PM A: We feel it's good flavor for Arms Warriors, and you don't switch out weapons long enough for it to seem like a burden.
2:00PM Q: Professions are a big part of the game for me. As a Blacksmith, most of my gear became completely obsolete. How will you prevent that obscelence?
2:01PM A: We don't want to repeat the Frosen Shadoweave effectiveness mistake. It may it hard to give Shadow Priests gear upgrades. They plan to identify specific slots for each skill and give them gear upgrade recipes as the game progresses for those slots.
2:01PM Q: WoW Movie by Legendary Pictures. Ok, Go.
2:02PM A: Metzen: You phrased it well. We are working hard on it. The Story is pretty cool. If I say more I will be shot, and it would be bad for me. Patience. Good things are coming.
2:03PM Q: Holy Paladin question. Talent trees are specialization of a class, but Paladins are melee and Holy Paladins aren't melee. Can you bring that back in line?
2:03PM A: We will be looking at healing seriously soon. It's also important to note that we added Death Grip to Death Knights to keep Holy Paladins in range.
2:04PM Q: What are the Iconic Abilities for classes that other classes won't get?
2:05PM A: That is a hard question. It's a judgement call on what is too iconic. Hunters are sad that they didn't get stealth. They'd like to implement new abilities rather than copy old ones when they can.
2:05PM Q: Sound of Hammer of the Righteous is annoying and needs to change. On Taunting: 3 target taunt is great, but single target taunt would be better. Could it be an 11 point tailent?
2:06PM A: There is a glyph for single target taunt, they have talked about giving them a taunt, like they had to do for Death Knights. They don't want to do it for Paladins to avoid Homogenization, but will if they have to.
2:06PM Q: Why do I put 13 points in Discipline as a priest.
2:08PM A: I don't know, Why do you?
The guy answers that he feels like he has to have 30% mana regen from Discipline.
Chilton answers that cross-specs should be encouraged. Talent trees are options, not sub-classes. We don't want you to feel like you have to get them, though. That is part of why they changed the buff system, so you don't feel like you need to spec into a buff.
Gauging whether players need more mana is difficult because some players are bad and just want more and more mana.
2:09PM Q: Hybrids get dual specs, spellpower for healing and DPSing. How do you protect pure DPS classes as Hybrids' lives get easier?
2:10PM A: That is a valid question. Buff stacking takes away some of Hybrids' viability, so they needed a boost of DPS so they'd be accepted on a raid. Still, they plan to make sure Pure DPS doesn't fall behind. It is imperative they do good damage. The Best Rogues and Mages should be at the top of the damage meters, but player skill should enter into it as well, it shouldn't be automatic.
2:10PM Q: Kael'thas fight: The 5-minute Introduction got old real fast. Will you do that again.
2:12PM A: Metzen: We weren't going to, but we will now. Welcome to the future.
But we will try to keep the chattiness to a low simmer. Example in Wrath: Bronzebeard has a massive speech in one dungeon, but they realized they need a fast-forward or condensed version somehow. They will work on that. Metzen says they need a wrap it up button.
2:12PM Q: Will you ever offer epics for achievement points? Please say No.
2:12PM A: No, Points will never give in-game rewards, and achievements will get only cosmetic items. The Achievement points will be spendable in next years Blizzcon Store -- Wait, no, Joke.
2:13PM Q: Thanks for Rogue raid utility. Now that Rogues are dagger specific, how are you going to help Rogues who prefer other types of weapons.
2:14PM A: We recently buffed the Combat Tree since it was falling behind Assasination, pruned dead spots out of the tree. They suspect that the Combat tree may scale too well, so will be watching it to make sure it doesn't become overly dominant.
2:14PM Q: Dailys are repetitive. Is there a chance to get keyrings for daily quest items to save bag space?
2:15PM A: For the first part, randomized dailies will be featured more to mix up the daily quest system. Looking at the Quest UI as a whole is a project for the near future toward a possible revamp.
2:16PM Q: Can Hunters get aspects off the global cooldown? Please? Switching Aspects is clunky.
2:16PM A: Hunters want everything off the Global Cooldown. But I wouldn't rule it out completely.
2:16PM Q: What are your plans for Sacred Cleansing?
2:17PM A: Chilton: We don't have an answer to that. It's on the big list of stuff to talk about soon.
2:17PM Q: Warrior Question. Stances make you take more damage, Death Wish makes you take damage, Titan's Grip makes you hit less. Can you remove some of those drawbacks?
2:19PM A: Counterbalances aren't an intrinsic part of the class balance, but penalties may be needed. Stances might be changed, like Death Knight Presences don't have penalties. It won't be in for Lich King, but it may happen.
2:19PM Q: We're taking over Northrend, what's next?
2:20PM A: Southrend. Something Else. Starcraft 2.
Metzen: Not what you expect, in a very good way. It's not always about continent. Boldness is next. Unbelievable Boldness is next
Sorry, guys. I disconnected. Back on track in a sec.
2:21PM Q: Next Hero Class?
A: Bard. April Fool's!
2:21PM Q: Where are Death Knight tanks in DPS?
A: They will still be low while tanking, but on par with Warriors and Rogues when pure DPS.
2:22PM Q: How will keep people participating in boss encounters without recycling encounters?
2:23PM A: So will we be more creative? (They seem mock offended) We have no shortage of ideas, we just need time to implement them. The Malygos encounter, for example, is completely unique. The Black Dragonflight experience has multiple possibilities, such as killing drakes first or focusing on the main boss. Next idea: Seige weapons, Destructable buildings, and PvE combined.
2:24PM Q: Female Druid: Tired of turning male in feral forms (Question: How do you know?)
(Answer: Have you seen the Bear Dance?)
Is there any chance for a gender difference?
2:25PM A: Are you asking if we'll include Genetalia? Androgynous Bears, man.
Chris: We have been talking about feral form improvements for a while, and it's a question of time, but we are on board with feral art improvements.
2:26PM Q: Holy Priests aren't survivable enough.
2:27PM A: Circle of Healing will make sure Holy Priests have superior healing to other specs. DPSers need survival, so they can't be super fragile. Holy Priest survivability is fine in their tests. They can heal themselves.
2:28PM Time for 2 more questions. Boos from Audience.
2:28PM Q: Will Death Knights come with 3.0.2?
2:28PM A: Death Knights are for Wrath. Not before.
2:29PM Q: Can Paladins get viewable Librams so they can bible bump some dudes?
2:29PM A: Chris: We're always trying to expand character silhouettes, so we'll try to expand it, and we'll consider your idea.
2:30PM And That's all the time we have! Thanks for following along everyone, and stay tuned for more BlizzCon coverage here at WoW Insider!