Filed under: Blizzard
You tend to repeat your own content so many times during development that it's hard to see things through fresh eyes, no matter how you try- Russ Petersen (@nite_moogle) June 10, 2014
Similarly, the drastic revamp of the Jade Forest during Mists beta can't be undersold here. This happened right in the middle of the beta -- players who were testing out content had to be moved to the next zone and leveled up while the Forest was completely redesigned. In both cases, we see how the presence or absence of testing can have wide consequences for everyone.
The following US realms have been scheduled for connection on Thursday, June 12.
- Azuremyst and Staghelm
- Drenden and Arathor
- Duskwood and Bloodhoof
- Nagrand and Caelestrasz
I reproduced the explanation from the Dev Watercooler because I wanted to highlight how this works, and more important, how it is still a stat which can be tuned. On the face of it, 1% Versatility is incredibly simple - just as 1% Critical Strike Chance increases your chance to critically hit by 1%, 1% Versatility increases your damage, healing and damage absorption by 1%, which also reducing your damage taken by .5%. How does this differ from the proposed effect of Amplify? Why, in other words, is Versatility a worthwhile trade for the previously proposed stat?
Versatility is pretty simple: 1% Versatility grants a 1% increase to your damage, healing, and absorbs, and reduces the damage you take by 0.5%. It's a straightforward, obvious upgrade to your primary role's performance, but also gives significant boosts to secondary role performance and survivability. The healing increase it provides does work on self-heals, such as Recuperate, for example. We won't be tuning it to be anyone's highest throughput secondary stat, but it'll be close, and it'll give you a nice boost to how versatile your character is in the process. It'll be especially attractive to hybrids who want to feel more "hybridy."
I don't do pet battles, but I really think this is a cute pet worth having, so I may have to pick one up before they're unavailable. Since it's going into the 'Blizzard Archive' (think the Disney Vault, but with presumably more axes in it) we may get to see it again someday, but who knows if or when that day will be?
However, voting for the winning chopper ends tonight at 12pm PDT -- and episode 8, coming later this week, will supposedly announce the winning vehicle. We know we're getting a free mount either way, so why not have a hand in the decision making process? Cast your vote for the chopper you'd like to see added to your mount collection on the official site -- and stay tuned for the announcement of the winning team.
Ed. correction: Voting for the chopper has closed.
There's still time left to cast your vote for either Team Alliance or Team Horde at the official site. But you better hurry -- voting ends at 12pm PDT tomorrow night. Make sure you get your vote counted, and may the best chopper win!
Hopefully we'll see some more behind the scenes glimpses over the next couple of days -- I'd like to see more on the Horde chopper construction as well. Voting is still open to pick your favorite bike to be re-created in game, so make sure you cast your vote for Team Alliance or Team Horde while you still can.
Are you excited for any of the bikes? Or just swept away by faction pride? Or are you like Anne, and you're literally insane to watch people build stuff? Personally I find the building aspect of the show to be absolutely riveting. Hah. Riveting. I made a joke.
Personally I'm hoping that the next webseries that Blizzard does is with the awesome Man at Arms people. Seriously, how cool would that be? Blizz can break up into teams again and design badass new Horde and Alliance specific weapons and have a real life version forged by Tony Swatton and his team. They've made the Buster Sword, they could probably handle Ashkandi. Ooh. Forget the competition. Just make Ashkandi. And then deliver it to my house.
Get ready to go vote for your favorite bike over on the official site.
In this post, part one of a four series, we get the basics for how Garrisons will work -- how your Garrison is part of the leveling process, how followers will work and how you can recruit them, the missions you can send them on and how that will benefit the Garrison, how we'll expand the Garrison with new building and use each zone to expand their role in the expansion.
This in particular is of interest - you apparently won't just have the one Garrison, but a linked series of fortifications throughout Draenor to serve as your means of recruiting and defending your followers for the push against the Iron Horde.As the story unfolds, you'll find that Garrisons are intimately integrated into every zone-whether you choose to follow the main quest path or just head off into the hills to explore, you will meet allies (and enemies) in every corner of the world. While your main fortress will always be in Shadowmoon Valley (Alliance) or Frostfire Ridge (Horde), you will establish Garrison outposts in Gorgrond, Talador, Nagrand, and Spires of Arak, all customized based on your building choices. Eventually, your forces will span the continent, and you will have an army capable of assaulting the fortified Iron Horde Foundry. Will your troops succeed? That's entirely up to you, commander.
Head over to the official site for more details.
First up, let me say this - I agree with Rob Pardo that Blizzard should be focusing on epic entertainment experiences, and I have no difficulty with their desire to position themselves as a developer who focuses on gameplay and fun over narrative. And I think it's laudable that Rob himself seems to understand that this can sometimes backfire, as he said in the speech.
No, my objection is a purely pragmatic one -- I believe it's actually easier to be diverse in how you populate your game world than to not be, and that the lack of diversity ultimately damages that fun gameplay for a sizable chunk of your player base. To use just one example, we know that women make up almost half of people playing these games. Including characters that are women in positions of prominence (as just one example) invests women more fully in your game experience. It benefits you, because it enlists them as allies towards the ultimate goal of creating those fun, epic experiences - and the respect the article mentions? It cements that respect. If you want to have a reputation, it helps to enlist the players, to make them do the work.
Especially if your focus is on fun, rather than narrative, this is a decision that costs you nothing and reaps you rewards. The same fervor that can turn to ire and negative media attention can be made your ally - the inclusion of prominent characters that say that women (for example) are welcome and valued enlists women as participants. You can't have fun gameplay without players, and those players will do the work of promoting and proselytizing your work.
Frankly I'm disappointed at the lack of Samwise's beard in all this, though. I think he should just be in every scene.
The suit targets the programmers behind the hacks, demanding compensation for the copyright infringement inherent in the cheats' modifications of the game. As noted in the BBC report, this lawsuit recalls a similar one from 1990s, wherein Nintendo unsuccessfully sued the creators of the Games Genie, also on the grounds of copyright violation. That lawsuit, however, took place in the days before widespread online multiplayer gaming environments, and it will be interesting to see how much, or how little, this case echoes that one.
I've been thinking about the new item upgrades and the Deeds of Valor since they were announced. I haven't been able to play WoW as I'd like lately (health reasons) but one of the things that immediately came to mind when they announced Deeds of Valor was that this was an entirely new way to nerf raid content at the end of an expansion. Instead of a progressive buff to the players, or a progressive nerf to the bosses, we're seeing a mechanical way to spend valor points to gain the same ultimate aim. Making it possible to trade in your Timeless Coins for valor points is a good way for players who are flush from constant Timeless Isle grinding to convert them to something useful, and allowing players to upgrade items an additional 2 times (for a total of four upgrades) serves to nerf content without nerfing it. Everyone will be stronger, will hit harder, will have more mana for heals.
I have some opinions about this, of course. Others have already expressed theirs - and to be fair I accept the basic premise that these are quality of life changes that will cease to matter in patch 6.0. And I'm okay with that, because again, I see this primarily as a way to nerf Siege of Orgrimmar without actually doing so. It gives us another valor dump, of course. But with changes like Heart of the Valorous (which won't be live when 5.4.8 drops) it feels as if valor itself is being made into a progression mechanic.
So let's actually ask that question, then - what purpose do factions serve in World of Warcraft?
We can break down the purpose of the faction divide as follows, at least in terms of intent.
- Factions exist in World of Warcraft because at its heart, the setting was born in the original RTS. The factions help keep this flavor alive.
- Factions allow for PvP content to be more channeled and to have team-building potential built right in. Horde players fight Alliance players, and vice versa. In the Warcraft setting, you always know who the enemy is.
- Factions allow for more variety of experience. The quests differ - sometimes vastly so - and there can be elements at every point of the game that make use of the distinction between the factions.