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Convert to Raid talks to Ion Hazzikostas: Theramore, Raiding, and more

Convert to Raid talk to Ion Hazzikostas about Theramore, Raiding, and the LoreAction balance

This Sunday, September 23, raiding podcast Convert to Raid will be broadcasting an interview with Blizzard Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas, a.k.a. Blizzard Blue Watcher. Convert to Raid's host, Pat Krane, a.k.a. Zhug, was good enough to give WoW Insider a sneak preview of this weekend's broadcast so we could give you some snippets to whet your appetite!

You guys just released the Theramore scenario, and I wanted to check how the feedback was from the players?

I think we're learning a lot from player reactions to the Theramore scenario. A lot of it is what player expectations were going into it, it was never really designed to be the epic world event prior to the expansion, things like the zombie plague come to mind. It was a story-driven little sneak preview of what the scenario system had to offer, and showing players a glimpse of one of the key events that's going to lead to greater conflict between the Alliance and the Horde... Something we've learned from repeatable content is that players don't always want very lengthy dialogue or cutscenes or cinematics...


So, how do you balance lore versus action? How have you done that in the past and how will you do that for Mists?

I think that something we've generally done which has worked pretty well is exposition which you can skip, like the cutscenes in the Dragon Soul. I think most players, the first time they beat Madness of Deathwing, watched Thrall zap Deathwing with the Dragon Soul, and they watched the scene with the Aspects unfold. The 15th time they beat Madness? Probably not watching that whole cutscene, and that's fine...

Let's talk mechanics and/or encounters. Are there any favorite mechanics you'd like to talk about?

The Will of the Emperor encounter at the end of Mogushan Vaults, I think, has a lot of particularly interesting tanking mechanics. This is a Titan machine used to create warriors for the Mogu army... massive terracotta warriors of varying sizes. Two of them are so big that their attacks are like a visually telegraphed sequence of attacks, that you might expect to see more in a console game, that you're physically dodging. Not necessarily because you have good avoidance on your gear, the tank is actually avoiding a series of strikes, a left arc and a right arc and an overhead smash and a whirlwind. And if the tank can avoid all the attacks that creates an opening...

And I'm going to leave it there! If you want to hear the whole 20 minute interview, it will be in Convert to Raid #63 available on Monday, September 24 at converttoraid.com. And for a whole lot more great raiding-related content, make sure you tune in to Convert to Raid live this weekend at 11am CDT.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

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