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Posts with tag J.AllenBrack

How do we define 'melee friendly'?

How do we define 'melee friendly' nowadays
This week, we got a special treat - Blizzard released a video with Encounter Developer Ion Hazzikostas (who is seriously my secret crush over at Blizz - my trapper keeper is full of little hearts drawn around his name), Production Director J. Allen Brack and Game Director Tom Chilton (they're dreamy too, but Ion's my fave) and it's got a cornucopia of interesting information in it for you all. However, one line of the interview, summed up by our Adam Koebel, caught my eye immediately.

They realize raids need to be more melee friendly in the future and they are working on it, but they feel that Siege of Orgrimmar is one of the most melee friendly raids in recent memory.

When I first saw this line, I chuckled bitterly to myself. Siege is melee friendly? This got me to wondering how we define melee friendly. Is it just the ability for melee players to contribute solid DPS? Because by that standard, Siege has some good fights for melee - the Fallen Protectors, Sha of Pride, Galakras and even Spoils of Pandaria are certainly fights where melee DPS can contribute a good deal of positive damage to an encounter. Phase 1 Garrosh is a place where melee with good cleave potential absolutely shines. So by that standard, a case could absolutely be made that Siege is melee friendly.

Now, in terms of melee staying alive without making the healers hate every single one of them that the raid brings to the party? Siege of Orgrimmar continues in a grand tradition of blowing up the melee. By that standard, SoO is absolutely not melee friendly.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Raiding, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

J. Allen Brack on Cataclysm: "Each thing appeals to a different type of player"

The Guardian has a pretty intensive interview with J. Allen Brack, the chief project manager overseeing World of Warcraft, discussing the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. The interview covers a lot of ground from subscription rates to the revamp of the world to guild leveling and perks. One of my favorite parts (and one that resonates with me) is his discussion of going back and leveling in the Northern Barrens zone, trying to get all the quests.

Also? Turns out that Barrens chat can never die. In addition, the discussion of the worgen and goblin inclusion was very welcome, and of course, the discussion on whether Outland and Northrend will get the Cataclysm treatment.

J. Allen Brack - Guardian interview

We have started to talk about what we need to do with Outland and Northrend because the story that we are telling in Cataclysm is kind of interesting once you get to Outland. Because there's no congruity between the two stories.

It feels a little weird for you to have the whole Deathwing is back and has destroyed the world, and you walk into Outland and your like 'hey! There's this guy Illidan' That feels a little weird and we don't exactly know how we're going to tackle that yet, but that is definitely something that we do want to find a solution for.



Head on over to the Guardian and read for yourself.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Cataclysm

Blizzard: "How would we bring WoW to the console?"

Sadly, the ultimate answer appears to be "very reluctantly" but it's an interesting read anyway. J. Allen Brack talks to G4 about WoW, consoles, and the barriers to entry for an MMO. The usual suspects apply, of course. WoW was designed for keyboards, consoles tend to have a short lifespan compared to the development time of a MMO, and WoW currently takes up about 15gb worth of memory while consoles like an XBox 360 have at most 20gb worth of hard drive space without buying any additions. This is no surprise, of course... they've said all this before.

What I really found interesting was that this is supposedly something they think about a lot. "In the case of WoW, we talk about it all the time." I'm the curious sort, so I find myself wondering why, given all the reasons Brack himself lists. Personally, I'd love to see a single player Warcraft property of some sort for consoles, perhaps a God of War style action game or even a Dragon Age/Mass Effect hybrid RPG. And who knows, perhaps Blizzard will come up with a way to do it despite their laundry list of reasons why they won't, they've surprised me before.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

G4TV previews Wrath of the Lich King


Blizzplanet has a new Wrath of the Lich King related video from G4TV. It has interviews with Jeffrey "Tigole" Kaplan and J. Allen "No nickname I'm aware of" Brack and very short previews of the new zones, the Death Knight hero class, quests and raids. It also has a very annoying soundtrack underneath the interview snippets which made me want to rip the speakers off of my computer when I watched it the first time, so be warned. A few notes of interest during the interview:

  1. They definitely want to make sure that the Horde and Alliance experiences in WoTLK are different: "While some of the story threads will be the same, how you get there will vary for Horde and Alliance."
  2. We will apparently not just ally with, but also have to fight some of the Tuskarr. This makes me sad. I don't want to kill the Wilford Brimley's of Azeroth. I mean, I'll do it if there's a shiny copper piece involved, don't get me wrong, but it still will make me sad as I rip that purse off of their blubbery corpses. I just dread the "Gather x Tuskarr tusks" quests I fear are coming. I saw tusks right on him! What do you mean he doesn't have any?
  3. They're planning out all their patches in advance this time. I didn't actually know they didn't already do this, so it was news to me.
You can check the video out on Blizzplanet here.

Filed under: Expansions, Interviews, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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