Apr 4th 2012 1:03PM As far as Guilds and guild leveling is concerned, from what I've heard the only thing that is changing is the weekly cap - that is to say, they're removing it. Entirely. Perks are supposedly also changing, although nothing is concrete at this time (Mass Summon could be going away, could not, but don't cross your fingers either way). And yes, the current level-cap on guilds is going to remain as such with the current intel Beta would lead us to believe.
Apr 4th 2012 12:15PM When you say, "balance-wise" I presume you mean feasibility in which the lore and game developers can actually balance the game around X classes or progress lore for Y races, in which I would say we also have to consider the Z factor. The Z factor, of course, being how much Blizzard improves in managing all of these as time goes on. Just as an example, Mists is by far the fastest expansion we've had to date. No expansion has come *close* to being as ready as it has with this much development time. This shows an extreme amount of control over both their game and their universe. With their ability to punch out this much content in such a short amount of time, I think filling in more and more lore for more and more races as they come will not be a problem - just a redistribution of attention and resources (and as we've heard, old races may well be getting a face-lift sometime in the new expansion).
As far as class balance goes, it's just going to get easier and easier. With progression with things like the Talent system getting exponentially better and better, we will soon have room for a -lot- of class diversity among many, -many- different play-styles. Each talent system as we see in Mists can be split many ways, each of which is conceivably made to be balanced (every mobility talent, combined with every survivability talent, etc).
I think as long as Blizzard is able to evolve their speed of delivery, we will see more races, because we will be able to get more lore for our collective universe. I think that as long as Blizzard continues to make better class balancing systems, we will see more classes - and yes, possibly even a fourth tree for each class (I, personally, would hope for dual-wielding paladin dps).
Warcraft is an evolving world - it's only to get bigger. And with its growth, so too do its creators. Its a machine that will not stop anytime soon. That is my belief.
Apr 4th 2012 11:49AM Warlocks. Warlocks are by far the ones getting the most attention this expansion coming out of the gate. Just looking at the talent trees we were initially given and going forward, Warlocks seem to have gotten the most updates in terms of new graphics regarding spells, minions, and etc. They've also been discussed very heavily on various topics including all the new upgraded demons, demon gender option possibilities that may be coming later down the road, as well as green fel fire in the form of a quest at 'some point after the launch, presumably a patch'. Also most if not all of the warlock roles are seeing heavy secondary resource mechanic changes (including Demonology, which even gets an off-tank glyph option in the form of Perma-Metamorphasis [which to me doesn't really make sense, why would you get rid of a dps cooldown for the rare chance to off tank in an emergency? It really seems like it was meant for a more direct dedicated tanking role, but I digress]). In any case, Warlocks are seeing heavy changes in both resource and ability design, and heavy cosmetic changes, with even more on the way.
The only ones that even seem to come remotely close seem to be Druids, who are now more than ever getting closer and closer to actually performing like their own class and less like a mock-up of another. As an example, shape-shifting is being made baseline forced with several abilities, that puts you into a form when you use the ability, which takes away the need to use a GCD before you can use your ability. Not to mention all of the particularly exciting cosmetic glyphs Druids are getting (Orca, Astral) and more (Owlbeast, for example, lets you heal in Moonkin form).
Apr 4th 2012 11:40AM Gnome monks have been in every cinematic to date, what are you talking about? They've just been below the shot of the camera, that's all...
... But on a more serious note - no, I do not expect to ever see a gnome in an actual story-tied-in cinematic anytime soon. Or rather, I expect that if we -do- see a gnome in a cinematic, it will be as yet again another punching-bag or height gag. In any case what I would expect least is for a gnome to actually get a part that is anywhere close to serious (extra points if the gnome gets a serious line without at any poing being while not being injured, blown-up, or otherwise mocked and/or ridiculed).
That is, of course, meant to imply that I would very much look forward to being surprised on this front. But I would be lying if I said, "actually, yes, I expect gnomes to get a cinematic soon, it does seem like their time to shine!"
Apr 4th 2012 11:15AM Just to clarify on what Mycroft said, monks can use the following weapons: Fist Weapons, One-Handed Axes, One-Handed Maces, One-Handed Swords, Polearms, and Staves (at least, according to the Blizzard Monk Mists page).
Apr 3rd 2012 8:07AM Admittedly, I don't PvP as much as I used to, but that doesn't stop me from loving it all the same. What I'm sure anyone who's PvP'd can attest to, is that the best part about doing it is the rush. The adrenaline you get from those 1% victories, winning from the skin of your teeth. Fights that last over half an hour only to finally come to a climactic conclusion in the brief of a short window. It's those moments where everything is riding on a few actions, and everything slows down. You see everything for what it really is and in those moments you feel empowered. This is why I PvP - and I hope I don't sound like I'm over-glorifying it, because I'm being as straight-forward as I can be when I say the rush is what makes and breaks a PvP session. Of course I'd be lying if I said it wasn't also the people and the community. I love theory-crafting scenarios and making the best out of my character and my team compositions. I love achieving close victories and I like feeling like I can always get better. Like there's always someone better for me to try and conquer.
For those starting PvP, the best advice I can give is find people who are as excited about it as you are. Dig in and have fun with it. Everything else will follow - your progression doesn't matter so much as the enjoyment you get out of it, no matter your ranking or gear (and don't let anyone tell you otherwise).
Apr 1st 2012 1:14PM I would have just a year ago expected them to not only keep in-game bug-reporting, but expanded upon it and made it easier and even more convenient, if anything. Removing it for Mists Beta just seems like it came completely out of left field - I mean, why tie bug-reporting only to a Forum where posts don't update automatically unless you keep refreshing the page over and over again? Sure a GM can scan the list of topics on a Forum and see when someone has last posted or responded, but it's not like you couldn't do that in-game before, either. Previously a GM could go in to a user, talk with them, get all the information they wanted immediately and quickly, and move on to the next bug, where-as now supposedly t he same guy has to go through Forums and continually remember each issue and respond as each one updates through a topic, extending the length of each individual problem and so on.
The best thing about reporting a problem in-game as a player was one could report the bug and continue testing and respond to the GM as needed while testing. Now the player has to micro-manage topics and wait for responses in the Forums, which takes away from Test time as well.
Apr 1st 2012 1:03PM With all the activity they probably had on April Fools, I'm really hoping they seriously consider bringing back Toonami. I miss Tom.
Apr 1st 2012 1:00PM The best April Fool's joke is not having one at all. It works even better when people are expecting you to have one. In that regard, I think they probably got you pretty good.
Apr 1st 2012 9:50AM I don't like spoilers, but I know it's -inevitable- that I'll hear things. There are just too many ways to hear about spoilers, that in order to avoid them, I would have to avoid all of the areas that make the game fun for me.
I would have to avoid WoW Insider articles. I would have to keep myself out of Vent for raids. I would also have to keep myself out of Trade chat. In order to keep the game as new and fresh to me as possible, I would have to effectively quit until Mists.
I want to talk to my friends while I raid. I want to be part of the greater community and keep up-to-date on current patch content. I also like being able to do old raids through Trade. But I can't do any of that if I want to avoid spoilers for future content.
Spoilers and enjoying the game -for me- is just one of those cases where you can't have your cake and eat it too, so I suffer through it. I figure if I'm going to be spoiled no matter what I do, I may as well spoil it myself.