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Posts with tag Bashiok

Will we see a valor cap change?

Recently on twitter, Bashiok raised my hopes with a simple tweet.

Because frankly, this late into the expansion, getting an alt fully geared up should be something we can do at whatever pace we want. I get Bashiok's point about how it's not as easy as just flipping a switch, but frankly, I don't think the current valor cap serves much of a purpose. The weekly/total caps of 1000/3000 serve a gatekeeping role that was much more important back in Mists of Pandaria's salad days, when the content was new and we were concerned about getting metaphoric tummyaches.

Now, it's the equivalent of leftovers, and if people want to just pile on those leftovers, we should be applauding their efforts and letting them. I say, remove the weekly cap entirely, raise the total cap to 4000 and let people run wild if they so desire. Treat valor as a buffet. (I may have been hungry when I started thinking about this issue.) We'll see a complete redesign to Valor in Warlords anyway, so might as well just relax the gateway for now.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Bashiok on the lack of flight in Warlords of Draenor

Ever since the first round of Warlords of Draenor interviews, the idea of flight being disabled indefinitely in the expansion has been floating around. Very little information on that concept has come out since then. Will it be like previous expansions, where you get flight back at max level? Will it come back in the first content patch? Will it ever come back? We still don't have the answers to that, but community manager Bashiok took to the forums yesterday (in addition to what he said earlier this month) to provide more insight into the developers' thought process. Some highlights:
  • The developers will try to ensure flight paths are more direct, not scenic loops
  • Being able to lift off and fly over all content compromises gameplay
  • There will be max-level questing content, not just daily quest hubs
  • The developers are not attempting to make the game laborious, but rather create a world that engages the player
You can read Bashiok's full post below and I've received my personal take on it until after the blue post.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Flight path reassurance

Community Manager Bashiok has posted on the official forums in an attempt to calm players' fears about the enforced dependence on flight-paths that will come with Warlords of Draenor.

Bashiok
We're going to be making sure flight paths and other forms of travel are quick and efficient, with a goal of getting you to the places you want to go. Flight paths in the past have always been "the scenic route", lazily listing from side to side and around waterfalls to the intended oohs-and-aahs of the transportee. The flight paths in Draenor are not going to be loop-de-loop sightseeing tours, and we're going to be looking to our beta testers to let us know if any are less than tip-top.

The key to his point here is the directness. Especially in Mists, flight paths were gratuitously looping and indirect. The Horde shrine from the PvP vendor, for example, does a series of completely arbitrary tours around the shrine before actually landing. Hopefully this will not be the case in Warlords.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Managing expectations and the evolution of discussion

In the run-up to Warlords of Draenor, we're seeing news of a lot of class and systems changes - discussion of what's being changed or removed has been one of the things we're very concerned with over here, for obvious reasons. It's also a subject of major interest on the forums. In fact, some people are accusing Blizzard of only posting the bad news in an attempt to create negative feedback, to get people talking. Bashiok addressed this idea recently, and it got me thinking about how we interact with game news in the first place.
Bashiok - Simplifying currency? That's the grand plan?
Well, actually, good news doesn't really create much interest, if you want to dissect it. But that's beside the point. We're obviously not intentionally releasing bad or angering information to try to get people riled up. That'd be silly. We do want to try to manage expectations. Letting people know far in advance that currencies are being streamlined gets that into people's brain meats early, and gives it time to sink in so that when they start seeing or playing that change it ideally isn't jarring and upsetting at that moment.

My point was that people discussing a change they have partial information about, debating the specifics, and questioning what it means, are not necessarily negatives. In cases where those are becoming destructive we'll generally try to provide some guidance to at least direct it back to a constructive conversation.


It's this idea of managing expectations that interests me, because over the years, I've come to see quite a few examples of people not doing it. To this day I'm convinced that much of the negative reaction to Cataclysm wasn't to the expansion's flaws (and yet, I admit it had quite a few) and more to the expectations people had for the expansion - expectations it didn't meet, because it wasn't trying to meet them.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

Bashiok on choice and complexity

It's not a secret that a lot of change is coming to Warlords of Draenor and WoW, and not all of us are sanguine about all of it. Enter Bashiok, the man, the demonic evil tree avatar, with a forum post about the nature of choice and how it informs complexity in our gaming.

Bashiok's point about interesting choices vs. choices for the sake of having more choices is one that is worth discussing. There's complexity that comes from the interaction of options, and complexity that descends from an overwhelming variety of options. In the past, Blizzard has always tried to err on the side of lesser, more interesting choices as opposed to more choices that aren't necessarily choices at all. One need look no further than the change in Mists of Pandaria to our talent system. We lost talents that added things like 1/2/3% crit and gained decisions. Not everyone liked that change, but it's worthwhile to keep in mind when looking at future changes that happen.

There's a lot of complexity in modern WoW that evolved over time as new systems were introduced, but not all of this complexity is based on meaningful options and gameplay. As we get closer to Warlords of Draenor, we're going to lose some of this evolved complexity, in order to clear out some room for more choices that matter.

For the full text of Bashiok's post, click on through to the other side.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Cities and geography updates

CM Bashiok had an interesting reply to some lore and geography queries on the official forums, after reaching out to Lead Quest Designer Craig Amai for answers. Some familiar places will indeed make an appearance in Warlords, including the draenei city Telmor, mentioned in depth in the novel Rise of the Horde. Telmor was a hidden draenei city, notable because it hosted two very unusual guests -- a young Orgrim Doomhammer and Durotan, who were rescued from an ogre attack by a draenei party and then taken to the city. Both orcs witnessed the removal of the invisibility spell that shrouded the city, and met with the Prophet Velen himself. Years later, Durotan was asked to use his knowledge of the invisibility spell to reveal the city and leave it open for attack. Telmor was quickly overrun.

There are no remnants of Telmor in Outland today -- but there are other geographical areas that have been described in lore prior to Draenor's destruction, which Bashiok further clarified.

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Filed under: Lore, Warlords of Draenor

The game as it was, the game as it is

People do not remember the game as it was. They remember it as they think it was. Want proof? See Daxxari responding to a forum poster who is wildly mistaken about a mechanic that never existed during The Burning Crusade.
Daxxari - PvP gear penalty in pve content
Quote:
Posted by Mát
in BC a penalty was introduced for wearing pvp gear in pve content. the simple version is the more pvp gear you had the more your damage and healing scaled down while in instanced pve content.

I am not aware of any such mechanic ever having been implemented. Perhaps you're thinking of the equivalent loss of effectiveness due to Resilience having been budgeted into the item level of that gear, and thus it was less effective than an equivalent piece of PvE gear?

Now one of three things is happening here. Either Mát is misremembering (it happens to all of us), he or she is lying, or he or she has made the mistake Daxxari mentions, mistaking the fact that Resilience back then was part of the item budget and thus, PvP gear was less powerful in PvE because it spent itemization points on a stat that reduced your chance to be crit (back then, that's what Resilience did). But no matter how you look at it, the idea of this penalty introduced for wearing PvP gear in PvE did not exist - which is why so many of us wore PvP gear to PvE in. Sure, it had resil on it, but it was easy to get and often better than what we would have gotten from five mans to prepare for raiding Karazhan.

With a game as old as World of Warcraft (we're entering its tenth year) this is understandable. Not all that many people playing today have played since launch, not even since the days of BC or Wrath - heck, there are a great many people who started playing in Cataclysm and even quite a few who started during this expansion. People will tell you that the talent system that we had up until Cataclysm allowed for great customization. They may even believe it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, The Burning Crusade

PvP toggle for PvE realms coming in Warlords of Draenor

Addressing a forum thread about people inadvertently flagging for PvP when cross-realm grouping, Bashiok mentions a welcome change for Warlords of Draenor that I hadn't heard before -- namely, a more robust PvP toggle on/off that will prevent issues like that from occuring.
Bashiok - Re: Stop..ramming..pvp...down...my...throat!!!
Well, I understand where you're coming from, but flagging as a PvE character is based on a player's action to flag themselves (even if it's on accident), so I'm not sure it's us making you PvP. The systems that can cause someone to flag can absolutely at times be involuntary, which is notably frustrating.

In any case we are continuing toward a goal of a PvP on/off toggle for players on PvE realms to be added in Warlords of Draenor, which would absolutely and in all situations allow someone to refrain from becoming flagged regardless of their actions. Heals toward flagged players would fail, coalescing to PvP realms wouldn't be possible, misclicks and AoE's would never damage a flagged opponent, etc. It's actually quite a bit of work because of all the systems involved, but it's still something we think PvE players should have, and how the game should work for them.


I admit I especially like the idea that misclicks and such would never damage a flagged player, thus preventing a host of shenanigans I've seen over the years (mounted flagged players crowding on top of quest givers, stealthed players jumping while flagged in front of melee characters in order to get them to flag so that their friends can kill them, you know the ones I mean) and would put the decision to PvP squarely in the hands of the player in question.

I for one am excited for this. Keeping PvE-focused players able to absolutely refrain from PvP is fundamental to player enjoyment on both sides of the PvE/PvP debate, in my opinion.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Warlords of Draenor

Level 90 boosting is not the end of the World of Warcraft

There seems to be a common misconception flying around in regards to Warlords of Draenor. Yes, you will be able to boost one character to level 90 upon purchase of the game -- in fact, as it was revealed yesterday, upon pre-order of the game. Yes, Blizzard will be offering this service as an optional purchase in the Blizzard store as well. But what people seem to be worried about is that this is a "pay-to-win" feature that is very quickly going to kill the game.

Which is a really odd assessment to make. There is no real "winning" in World of Warcraft, unless you want to count sweeping a PvP season, or maybe being the first to complete all heroic modes of every raid in the current expansion. The thought of "winning the game" is an arbitrary, muddy label that doesn't actually apply to anything in Warcraft -- it's not a game designed with a finite endpoint or a finish line you can cross.

Let's be clear, here -- level 90 boosts may not be for you. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be available, and it definitely doesn't mean they're going to kill the game.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

Bashiok on flying mount delay in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Flying mount
There's already been a flurry of opinions expressed on the reveal that Blizzard does not plan to allow flying in Draenor until patch 6.1 -- a bit of a departure from previous expansions, where flying was allowed at max level (except for Cataclysm). Several threads in the WoW forums have already thoroughly explored player feelings on the topic, and Bashiok took it upon himself to jump into one to give a more detailed insight into Blizzard's logic in making this decisions.

Specifically, this issue is one of control; the players' versus the game designers'. Bashiok points out that once a player can fly, they control every aspect of how they engage with the ground, which is where the majority of content, and in particular, combat, is located. While it's natural for players to want that kind of engagement to be done on their agency, Blizzard's designers also work hard to present content in a certain way, and once a player can fly, all their design and presentation becomes meaningless. It's not an easy balance to strike, and Blizzard is always weighing the different design choices against each other.

The post is an interesting look into the thought processes that go into these kinds of decisions, and you can read it in full after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: News items

How heirlooms will work in Warlords of Draenor

Concept Art from Warlords of Draenor
We learned from BlizzCon that heirlooms will become truly Bind on Account. What we didn't learn was how that would be accomplished. Bashiok took to the forums to explain.
Bashiok
It's a new UI of (essentially) buttons that will "light up" when you obtain one (or have obtained one) of the heirlooms. Click the button and an item of that type will be generated and put into your bags.

Questions from the forum that he didn't answer were
  • What will happen with heirlooms you can wear two of, such as weapons?
  • Will the heirlooms keep their enchants?
  • Will we get a refund for having more than one of each heirloom?
My speculation is that it will let us generate more than one of the item so that we can dual wield heirloom weapons if we like. I also expect that the heirlooms will not be generated with enchants but that the gear that is already on characters or in bags will remain enchanted. And I expect that just like mounts and pets, we will not get refunded for having more than one of any heirloom. But all of this is just what I infer from the information given, and we'll need to wait and see what Blizzard's exact system is.

Filed under: News items

The Queue: 5,000,000g challenge to Zarhym and Bashiok

The Queue 5,000,000g challenge to Zarhym and Bashiok
Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

I wanted to throw out a challenge to Bashiok and Zarhym.

I'll donate 5,000,000g to the Alliance charity of their choice if they can prove their father was not a Sha.

Zarhym's got the whole floating skull thing going on, and Bashiok's old green-tinted tree is back. It's pretty clear to me that they've got some Sha-ness.

Prove me wrong. The ball's in your court, fellas.

Eric asked:

Does anyone have a clue if a Windows Phone Remote Armory/Auction House is in the works?

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Filed under: The Queue

Blizzard reversing some short-term PvP suspensions

Blizzard backpedal on shortterm PvP suspensions
WoW Insider recently posted about Blizzard taking decisive action against players who had been discovered win-trading. In the original post we also reported that Nakatoir had been very firm that these suspensions had been thoroughly investigated and would not be reverted.

Bashiok posted the following today:

Bashiok
Earlier this week, several player accounts were given short suspensions and had their ratings wiped for being involved in Rated Battleground win-trading. Upon further review, we determined that some of the players initially identified as cheating may not have purposefully participated in the exploitive behavior, and as a result, we're in the process of lifting suspensions and restoring ratings to all but the most egregious offenders. This process should be completed following the Tuesday maintenance.

As always, our goal is to identify cheaters while making sure people playing by the rules aren't inadvertently penalized. Rest assured that we'll continue to take action against players who aren't competing in the spirit of fair play.


This comes as a bit of a surprise, although WoW Insider's original post did point out the difficulties of discerning, in some cases at least, players who had involuntarily faced win-trading teams, from players who had actively engaged in win-trading.

Nonetheless, the attitude that suspending innocent players is worse than letting a few guilty players get away with cheating is probably one to be applauded.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items, PvP

Bashiok returns to the WoW team

Bashiok, who went by Drysc back in the day, has returned to the WoW community management team. He used to be on on the Diablo III CM team. He also notes that in a later tweet that he's been back on the WoW team since before MoP's launch, but that now it's just official.

It's important not to read into this news at all in terms of the greater context of D3 or WoW, both games appear to be doing fine, and any negativity would not start or be first seen at the community manager level. Additionally, all the community managers deal with all the games, so for those of us that pay attention to who's staffed where, these distinctions mean very little.


Welcome back, Bashi-drysc!

Filed under: News items

What should you be able to buy using your Battle.net balance?

What should you be able to buy using your Battlenet balance
If you have a lot of money on your Battle.net balance, you'll be happy to know that Blizzard is working on letting you do more with it. Right now, if you wanted to buy the Cinder Kitten that went on sale for Hurricane Sandy relief, you could not use your Battle.net balance, but that's something Blizzard is working on changing.

Bashiok
Using Battle.net Balance for more goods and services is certainly something we're working toward. We're kind of in an in-between stage where we have some services working together but not others, and unfortunately it's just not a simple thing to get as many systems and platforms (some dating back to the original release of WoW) as we have updated and integrated into a more cohesive experience. We'll get there though, and in the meantime I do apologize you weren't able to get the Cinder Kitten yet using Battle.net Balance.

This is pretty cool all told, in my opinion. I have five bucks on my Battle.net balance from selling items in Diablo III (I never claimed to be some kind of D3 magnate) and I wouldn't mind using it for something like this.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

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