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Blue Posts and Other WoW News: Intellect plate, MoP talents, more Ulduar style bosses, /brofist

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Blue posts

Zarhym responds to MoP QQ
Quote:

Let me rephrase.

WHY. DO. YOU. HAVE. TO. NAME. THE. XPAC. PANDARIA. THE. FACT. THAT. THEY. ARE. FROM. PANDARIA. IS. IRRELEVANT.

It's not irrelevant, particularly given almost everything that happens after the Cataclysm and Deathwing's demise is centered around the discovery of this new continent. These forgotten lands, as well as the way the Horde and Alliance go about exploring them, are central to the overall story line (much like Illidan and the Burning Legion were to The Burning Crusade, the Lich King and his Scourge were to Wrath of the Lich King, and Deathwing's destructive return to Azeroth was in Cataclysm).

I'm not sure I understand your argument. It feels like you're claiming we're naming the expansion after a new race's starting zone (not true) and arguing that's "jumping the shark." If you're only taking issue with the title, I don't think that qualifies for such a label at all. More importantly though, I get the sense you learned only two bulleted details about the expansion (new race and new land to explore) before deciding to post this thread.

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Quote:

The expansion is not named "Pandaria". It is "Mists of Pandaria". Now to really nitpick.

If you're going to shorten the name down to one word, it should be "Mists". "of Pandaria" is an adjectival prepositional phrase describing the mists. The focus of the phrase is definitely "Mists".

Yes! I always type "Mists" when writing notes from our meetings with the developers and such. "Pandaria" doesn't encapsulate the expansion name enough for me and I don't even like saying "MoP" in my head when I'm reading over my work. :p

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Quote:

I dunno, I would have preferred World of WARcraft: War Of the Blood War Anger Destruction Explode

I mean, that just sounds cooler. And things that sound cool validate me as a male. With testosterone.

/brofist

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Quote:

My favorite thing about this thread is how Zarhym never addressed the core issue presented and instead made strawman after strawman and mocked the opposition. Pretending the OP didn't have coherent point. I lurv ya Zarhym, but it pains me to see you resorting to Bill O'Reilley tactics.

You're not allowed to go back in time and insert a core issue into the thread, then claim I failed to address it.

The OP says it's a cheesy name and likened it unto the decision to have Fonzie jump a shark in his leather jacket on water skies in Happy Days. If there's some deeper, truer criticism he was eluding to... you're right. I missed it. (Or pretended to miss it?)

And people love shouting "strawman!" so much on the forums that I'll pretend that wasn't a coherent criticism of my responses. :D

Quote:

It is unimaginative to name a land full of Pandas Pandaria.

I could try to reference real world nationalities and their relation to the names of the respective nations from which they're derived. My guess is that wouldn't be the best use of my time or yours. Instead I'll just remind you that's been the name of the continent for a long time now.

Once a bunch of new updates about the expansion come flying out from our offices, we trust players may not just have pandas on the brain anymore when thinking about 5.0. Yes, it's true, the next expansion's name, new playable race, and new continent are all derivatives of the word "panda." We're confident that's not going to encapsulate the entire gameplay and story experience though.

Kaivaxx -- Ulduar
What a coincidence! We happened to talk about raid design and results with Ghostcrawler and Mumper yesterday, and everyone looked back fondly on Ulduar, among others.

Yes, the same designers and artists who worked on Ulduar are still working on raids.

Here's the thing -- Ulduar is an example of a raid where lots of players got to enjoy the first few bosses, and very few players ever saw the last few. Yogg Saron and Algalon were among the least-killed bosses ever, and not because they were exceedingly difficult. Rather, clearing the dungeon all the way to Yogg took up a big chunk of a raiding week (and you only had an hour to kill Algalon), and the ability to extend raid lockouts came later in 3.2.0 (but extending raid lockouts means getting less loot overall). Raid Finder partially resolves the length-of-raid problem, so we can consider designing longer raids, but that's not always an easy call. Long raids mean longer development time, and while some players might be willing to wait, we understand why others might get impatient.

Of course, having multiple raids in a tier (like the combination of Bastion of Twilight and Blackwing Descent) has the advantage of giving players different environments to play in while potentially making scheduling and logistics easier.

Pushing a big red button for Mimiron was very cool, and again is fondly remembered. We have created something like 40 raid bosses since the creation of those encounters however, and we cant help but think that it would start to feel really gimmicky and forced if every raid encounter had its difficulty set by pushing a button, (or not killing adds, or changing the order you kill the bosses, or the other mechanics we used in Ulduar). We think Mimiron would feel less special if there were six more bosses in the game with big red buttons, and we're just not sure the design space is there to have a near infinite variety of means by which players launch a heroic mode in game.

Nonetheless, because there are so many requests for those style mechanics, we are considering doing a few bosses with optional modes (in the same way Mimiron, Freya or Sartharion had them) in Mists of Pandaria.


Zarhym -- MoP Talents
One of the problems we're specifically trying to address with the new talent system is getting back a little to the sense that there are 10 classes in the game (soon 11) instead of 30 (soon 34). A common complaint we saw about the Cataclysm talent design was that hybridization was greatly downplayed. Now it's easy to dismiss going down two trees as never really having worked out, but it's clear that many players are in love with the idea of doing so.

We also just want to keep the total number of talents under control, since the intent is that they have pretty big effects. If you're facing a Frost mage in PvP in Mists of Pandaria, you'll have even less of an idea of what is in their toolbox than you do today. If you're a raid leader, you won't be so certain what abilities your Discipline priest has to deal with the upcoming boss. A little of that keeps gameplay feeling fresh, but too much of it can be overwhelming. If each of the three mage specs, for example, had different talent choices, then we would have 612 total talents in the game instead of 198. Even 198 is a lot to learn. We also have the suspicion that coming up with 612 really awesome talents will be much more challenging. One of our design philosophies is concentrated coolness: have a few awesome things instead of a lot of mediocre things.

Now in some ways we are strengthening the concept of a spec by really pushing rotations and some other signature spells to specific specs. Immolate is Destruction only. Backstab is Subtlety only. Given that, talents are a great vehicle to make sure that your character still feels like a warlock or a rogue at the end of the day.

We really want to avoid talent synergies where only one talent on a tier makes sense for your character. This would be the case if say Fire mages did bonus damage with only Fire spells, or there was one healing talent on a tier competing against two DPS talents for your priest. Please continue to bring up concerns you have in this regard (though not necessarily all in this thread) and we will try to address them.


Bashiok -- Intellect plate
The situation with intellect plate is an ongoing discussion among the designers, but we have yet to come up with a solution that's better than just continuing to make intellect plate.
  • Let Holy paladins wear Strength plate – This would require a lot of conversions. Does hit become Spirit? What happens to expertise? Do all Strength items convert or just actual armor pieces? Can paladins mix and match with Intellect jewelry and trinkets? Do Holy paladins also hit really hard in melee, or do they lose that ability? Does it make paladins too effective as hybrid classes if they can share much of their gear across three different roles?
  • Let Holy paladins wear mail – Our mail is designed to look like shaman or hunters, not paladins. It's cruel not to let a paladin wear the paladin tier armor, and also weird that a given tier piece could be plate or mail even though it looks identical.
  • Let priests wear plate – We like the design for priests as cloth-wearers, we would not want to drop less cloth overall (since only mages and locks would need it at that point), and we don't want priests to look like warriors, DKs or paladins.
  • Individually these aren't difficult problems, and we have the ability to solve each of them, but at the end of the day the designers don't think any of those solutions are preferable to just keep on making Intellect plate for Holy paladins. Maybe someday there will be a new class that also uses Intellect plate.


WoW news from other sites
  • Wowhead News News Round Up: World of Warcraft Cups, MoP Talents, BlizzCon Cancellation, and Addon of the Week
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