Apr 21st 2009 7:24PM What is your impression of the transition from naxx10 to uld10? Our guild is small so we will probably never do naxx25 on our own though some may run pug with other guilds. At least half of the raiders are experienced from BC, so I think we have the basic skills but I am concerned about how it will go in uld10 with only naxx10 gear and EoH items. Blizz indicated long ago that this would be possible. Even implied that it would be the norm but it seems more like people are simply doing naxx10 then naxx25 and now uld10 then uld25. Makes sense since half steps should be more manageable and people almost always take the most strategic path to a goal. But now with folks talking about ulduar being reasonably hard I am now concerned that the actual full tier jump from naxx10 to uld10 might turn out to be a ball breaker.
Apr 10th 2009 4:54PM I can't see them not releasing another raid in 3.2. Even if the gap between 3.1 and 3.2 is small, the gap from 3.1 to 3.3 will be 5 months at the least and probably more. People will flip.
Second problem is that it would make this expansion much smaller than the last in terms of raiding. If they stick with the huge main raid model that seems to be emerging then:
Naxx + OS + Maly = Kara + Gruul + Mags
Ulduar = SSC + TK
? = ZA + SWP
ICC = MtH + BT
Finally, the full up underground empire of Azjol-Nerub is simply too big a part of the lore to leave to two puny leveling instances. Put that together with the hints that
1) there will be a SWP like zone with dailies.
2) the early rumors that AN was to be a zone that mysteriously disappeared
3) the unique plant models that are only found in those instances.
4) The 3 lonely uncorrupted Nerubians sitting outside AN with no apparent home.
My conclusion is that they are playing it close to the vest to make it a suprise but 3.2 will be the battle for the Nerubian empire underground. I believe they are going for a 4 month content patch release cycle. The Ulduar patch looks like it is coming in at 5 months but that is probably only due to the class changes happening. The next patch would probably be worked on by a completely different team so no reason to expect it to be late. That would put ICC in at Nov. and the next expansion in Spring 2010.
This time frame would leave Christmas open for a marketing blitz for Starcraft 2. People who play WoW will buy the expansion when ever it comes out but a stand alone game like SC2 would benefit greatly from being targeted to the Christmas rush. Landing the next expansion away from Christmas leaves room for SC2 this Christmas and D3 for next Christmas.
As for what that expansion will be? I bet the Maelstrom. There will almost certainly be some kind of heroic healing class simply because the healer shortage is at least as bad right now as the tank shortage was in the past if not worse. Healers suck to level much more than dps and even tanks now that tanks have been fixed. I could see them adding both a healing hero and a dps hero though. Now that they have practice with hero classes no reason they couldn't do two and it would allow all three roles to be filled with classes that require much less tedious leveling.
If they go for the two hero classes approach, it is possible that they will not do any new races again. That would be a shame since a Maelstrom expansion simply screams for playable goblins. Besides, the horde needs a small race. The Alliance got a big race in the Draenai to balance the Tauren. Now the horde needs a small race in the Goblin to balance the Gnomes.
More seriously, the good thing about having new races is that they encourge people to level new toons. That increases the opportunity to get new people into classes that have to level all the way up because people will have at least some new content to level though. Further, it renews the old world population some what. Sure, most of the veterans will level though fast but some people screw around at the mid levels on their alts.
So if we get new races in Maelstrom, I will put my money on Goblins for the Horde and High Elves for Alliance. High Elves? Yeah, just a guess but it seems like they high elves are getting a lot of attention this time around in wrath on the alliance side. In the old world, you only had the odd high elf here or there, in Outlands there was one town in terrokar that had high elves and humans. Now in Wrath they are a complete faction, the silver enclave. Further, there have always been a number of high elves associated with theramore, another sea faring nation, no reason to think that there wouldn't be a bunch found in say Kul Tiras.
Feb 6th 2009 1:09PM I doubt they will put a lot of effort into keeping the ranged haste bonus away from Warriors and Rogues. It is not like they use their ranged weapon for much more than pulling and killing rifts in Nexus. It is not exactly going to imbalance the game. And it is not like they don't already have access to this "buff", both could equip a quiver if they wanted to currently. They just don't because it is not useful to them. I suspect this will continue to be the case.
Feb 6th 2009 1:02PM Didn't they say that one of the upcomming changes would be that soul drain would drain a soul even if the mob didn't die? It doesn't sound like they are planning to get rid of shards if that is the case, though it does sound like there will be many more shards to be had. I suspect that warlocks soul bags will be changed to be equipped in the ammo slot and the soul bags will have their limit greatly increased, probably though the shards stacking. This will save the warlock the same regular bag slot that the hunter will be saving and yet retain the usefulness and cool factor of soul drain. Warlocks also don't use soul stones quite like a hunter uses arrows currently. They are more of a reagent than an ammo.
As for the quiver bonus. I suspect that it will be something you apply to your endless ammo item like an enchantment. Probably the quiver itself will simply be turned into the enchantment that then gets used once.