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BlizzCon 2009: WoW Game Systems panel live blog


The Game Systems panel live blog will be starting at 11:30 a.m . PDT / 2:30 p.m. EDT. Join us for a great live blog, complete with Ghostcrawler!

Adam will be live blogging, Alex will be taking pictures. Pictures may be inserted into the post after the live blog though, we don't want you to miss anything Ghostcrawler says.



11:23 - There are a ton of people here... they're overflowing the hall this is in. Why not do this on the main stage? There's about 100 people sitting on the dirty floor right in front of the press area.

11:25 - The panel will start in 5 minutes. The people here are well behaved, but there's SOOO many of them. The area is way over capacity.

11:27 - Here's a tidbit for you all as you wait for the panel to being. We found out Ghostcrawler's middle name starts with a T. We're pretty darn sure it's Tiberius. Even if it's not Tiberius, we're just going to say it is, because that'd kick some major ass.

11:30 - Panelists: Greg Street, Cory Stocken, Tom Chilton. PRO PANEL.

Game systems will cover: Rated BGs, Guild Advancement, Mastery, and Paths of the Titans

11:31 - Rated BGs: BGs and Arena gameplay are different. Both are different forms of PvP and both appeal to different types of players.

11:31 - Rated BGs: an alternative way to get arena points.

Rated BGs: an avenue for fun groups/guild activities with unique rewards

11:32 - There will be a weekly featured rated BG.

They want to get as many people as possible into a small queue. Player's shouldn't have to wait.

If it is AB weekend, then for that entire week, the featured BG for rated matches will be AB.

This will help keep the gameplay changing, and not stagnent.

11:34 - How does it work? You win a BG, you gain rating. You also will gain arena points.

We'll limit the number of points you can gain in a week, based on your rating the previous week. The reason we're putting a limit on it so it doesn't become a grind fest.

We're limiting you in terms of how much PvP gear you can get in a week.

11:36 - If you lose a BG, no rating loss! (but no points)

We think it'd be crappy if you got into a group that wasn't very good, so we don't want to punish you for that.

11:37 - You'll have two ratings, your personal rating and your match making rating, just like the arenas.

END OF SEASON RANK: Lieutenant General. Looks like they're bringing back titles!

Return of the honor titles!

Big applause!

At the end of the season we'll rate players based on their rating and they'll get titles.

You'll get access to special epic ground mounts that you can only get through the rated BGs.

You'll also get some "Guild Achievements / Guild Levels" out of rated BGs.

11:40 - Next up: Tol Barad

Tol Barad will be the Wintergrasp of Cataclysm.

Tol Barad will be a combination of Wintergrasp and IoQD.

Tol Barad will likely be in the south of Hillsbard in Cataclysm, but the might have to move that.

TB will be like Wintergrasp when battle is active, only a certain number of players will be able to be there during the battle.

TB will require players to capture control points, and what ever side captures all the control points wins TB.

11:43 - While the battle isn't active, you'll get access to an instance, just like in Wintergrasp.

The winning team will have access to a couple of bonus daily quests. But everyone will have access to the standard dailies there.

TB marks of honor, just like WG.

11:44 - Guild Advancement now

They want people to be in a guild. The game is more fun when you're in a guild.

Players earn guild experience in a variety of ways.

You can level your guild up through 20 levels of guild leveling.

Killing a boss, rated bgs, areans, profession, and reputation ranks will all help level the guild.

To get credit for a boss kill, you need to have 75% of the people in the group be from your guild to earn leveling experience for your guild.

Each time you gain a level, you'll earn talent points. Each point will be placed in the guild talent tree. The guild talent tree will apply to everyone in the guild.

Guild talents will be like mass rezs and reduced repair costs.

Ex talents:

Everybody's friend: Removes the reagent requirement for raid wide buff spells

Cash flow: increases: the gold drop rate by 7% for all kills from creatures or players that reward experience or honor.

Another example: Summon your entire raid instantly!!!

These guild talents will be retalentable. You can respec your guild.

The crowd is loving this.

11:48 - Guild experience is converted into guild currency.

Things like a guild standard that will have flags from your guild on them.

11:49 - Guild heirlooms will be bought with guild currency. Variety of these types of items: mounts, tabards, etc... If the person who buys the plans leaves the guild, they don't get to take the recipie with them. We don't want people to bounce around from guilds very much.

11:50 - Players can buy these heirlooms plans from vendors in major cities.

11:51 - Heirlooms will be bound to the guild. If you leave the guild, the bound item will be automatically be returned to the guild bank. No more people leaving the guild and taking amazing items.

11:52 - New reagents are bought from guild vendors via guild currency.

Talents will be in the guild tree to increase effectiveness of flasks, potions, etc...

Instead of using a frost lotus, you can buy a reagent and use that instead.

11:53 - Next up, Looking For Guild system.

Blizzard guild in this example is called "Warriors of Time"

11:54 - Next up Guild Achievements

New achievements will be done for this system. Some old achievements will be made into guild achievements.

Examples of Guild Achievements:

Have a grand master in every profession.

Obtain a legendary weapon.

11:56: Guild news feed, RSS to armory!

We'll show the last two to three days of the last thing that has happened to the guild. Guild UI is getting completely redone. Everything will be linkable. It will be filterable.

11: 57: We'll be providing access to guild member profession info. You can look right into guild member's profession books.

11:56: Guild Bonus, % of gold looted off bosses goes directly into the guild bank.

11:58: New UI will let you invite other guilds to events. This will be great for pug raids.

Crowd is cheering for Ghostcrawler.

11:59: Mastery up now.

GC: "Talent trees are cool but they're getting kind of big."

GC: "We have this problems where a lot of talents are trying to do three different things."

GC: "Passive bonuses compete with fun talents."

GC: "We're taking the passive talents, getting rid of them, and you'll earn the passive talents just for putting points in that tree."

GC: "You'll still get the benefits you want, but you'll have a lot more fun."


IE: Spell Power, Cruelty, Fire and Brimstone. Those talents will be going away.

GC: "We want you to have more talents like Body and Soul. This is a useful talent, if you PvP Holy, well, first of all good luck. [laughs]"

Juggernaut and Lightning Overload are other examples of talents they want to see more of, sans the passive bonuses.

12:03: Passive bonuses will increase damage, healing, and tanking. Stat like. Something unique for your spec.

12:04: Mastery step will help modify things. Make it more unique to your character.

3 panes of talents, no scrolling. Ie: Rogue passive bonuses: Melee Damage, Hit Chance, and Armor Pen will all go up for the combat tree. Whereas Subtley tree will see Melee Damage, melee Haste, and Energy Regen will all go up.

BM passive bonus: Increases pet dmg.

New stat: Crit vs. Haste vs. Mastery

Master improves the unique passive talents from the tree with the most poitns.

Ret pallies ability cooldown will be affected by the mastery stat.

12:07: Paths of the Titans next

We want to have a system that rewards progression at max level.

Main reward for the paths will be to unlock a glyph called the Ancient Glyph.

Ancient Gylphs will not be part of the inscription profession.

The paths are not specific to classes, no specific rogue path. Lots of debate can happen as to which path is the best to follow.

12:10 - You can choose to align yourself with a titan cult.

You progress down the paths of your cult, and you earn glyphs, vanity pets, etc...

Each path has 2-3 choices of ancient glyph per rank.

12:12 - Path of the Titan glyphs can only be obtained at max level.

There are many different ranks of titan glyphs, high rank glyphs will be unlocked in future patches, like 4.1 and 4.2.

12:13 - Examples of ancient glyphs:

Bleed Reduction (Rank 1): Reduce bleed effect.
Bandage Improvement (Rank 2): Bandages are stronger.
Breakthrough (Rank 3): Increases the damage dealt following a crit strike.

12:14 - Everyone eventually gets their ancient glyphs.

This isn't going to be sons of hodir 2.0, getting glyphs won't be a big bad rep grind.

12:15 - We can add more paths in future patches. Q&A is coming up now.

Q: "Is there going to be a guild alliance system?"

A: "No, we're currently not planning on supporting a guild alliance system."

Q: "Are you going to revamp the cataclysm arena system?"

A: "We're pretty happy with the arena system where it is right now. There's a huge number of people using it. We're seeing less than we did in BC because in BC a lot of people viewed it as a free way to get the best gear they could possibly get."

Q: "Are you going to support a guild merger?"

A: "You have to choose which guild you go into, but you'd have to leave the first guild and go into the second guild." GC: "We're going to support all types of play styles, not just from guild raiding."

Q: "Are there going to be guild talents raiders want to have?"

A: "We're not going to be character talents in the guild talents. We don't want to put talents players have to have in the guild talents, ie: they have to have this talent in order to kill this boss."

Q: "Are bank slots going to be bought with guild currency?"

A: "We're discussing it." "We're also discussing a paid guild transfer service, to move your entire guild to a new server."

Q: "How are you going to stop the rated BGs from feeling grindy?"

A: "We're going to limit the amount of points you can get. it's harder organzationally to get the larger groups, so that's going to limit it too."

Q: "Guild halls?"

A: "Guild halls is something we've talked about. We have to decide what we're going to spend our time on and mean most to the players. It's cool, but as far as benefits to the players there's not a lot there that'll benefit you. We want you in the cities doing things, not in an instance seprated from the rest of the world. it's not high on the priority list."

Q: "As a large guild alliance, we have a lot of different PvP groups and raid groups? Can we get the benefit of the system with something like this?"

A: "We're not going to allow you to merge guilds together and share abilities, no."

Q: "Is there any plans to show all the characters tied to a particular person? We have a lot of altaholics, it's hard to keep track of what character belongs to what person. The notes sometimes arn't enough."

A: "That's something we've talked about over the course of [developing] the system. It's a great suggestion, we've got room in the UI to do that, just a question of where it fits in our priority list."

Q: "Is there going to be more integration in the mobile armory with all this stuff?"

A: "There will be more coming forward over time, but we can't talk about it right now."

That's it! Panel over, amazing stuff. Thanks for reading everyone. Expect to see lots more about this on WoW.com in the upcoming days and weeks.
BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

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