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Posts with tag blizzard-devs

How do you make a raid?

How do you make a Raid
Over at this year's Gamescom, I was lucky enough to be among a small group invited to a Blizzard round table on Raids and Dungeons, where we sat down with Blizzard's Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas and Lead Game Producer John Lagrave. These two high-end content creators opened the round table by talking the audience through the process of how the Blizzard team goes about making a raid and the trials and tribulations they encounter along the way.

This was fascinating to listen to, so I thought I'd share the insights with WoW Insider readers. This is not verbatim quoting throughout, as I simply can't write that fast, but it covers the raid-making process as they described it.

How do you make a raid?

You start with the lore. Ion and John talked us through the process of making the Firelands raid, so they began from a set of conditions. As Ion put it, "We consider what the idea is. What is this raid going to be about?" So they sit down with the encounter design team as well as the game producers in a meeting room and talk it out.

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Filed under: Raiding, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard developer blogs about game design

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Netherspite was overcomplicated to the point of absurdity and the most enjoyable way to approach the fight was to skip it. It required a level of coordination that players had never experienced at the time. Heavy movement, beam rotations, a need to run away to avoid death, then run back in to get beams back under control. Raiders today could pull it off without issue. Raiders back then, it was far above what most players had ever seen, and it was in the introductory raid. Its difficulty was far beyond the rest of the dungeon, even.

This is what Alex told me when I asked him to describe Netherspite for me. I wanted to know because I recently found out that the Blizzard developer who designed Netherspite was reassigned to work on simpler content in the game after designing that encounter. The reason? He'd let his desire for innovation get away from him.

At least, that's what he says. His name is Alex Brazie, and he's been blogging about game design the past couple of months. In his blog, Breaking Open the Black Box, he shares his experiences and lessons learned from working as a game designer at Blizzard. The whole blog is a sort of a meandering trip through the intellectual process of game design, which you'll probably find amusing if you've seen a fair share of raid encounters over the years.

And if reading about game design doesn't appeal to you, I'll admit that I've also been reading every one of his posts in hopes that at some point he'll explain why so many strange items in the game are named after him. Here are but a few: Brazie's Black Book of Secrets, Brazie's Guide to Getting Good with Gnomish Girls, and Brazie's Notes on Naughty Night Elves. Who is this guy?!

Filed under: News items

Spiritual Guidance: What few shadow priest highlights BlizzCon 2010 could scrape together

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Even weeks when your shadowy messiah, Fox Van Allen, is nursing one heck of a headache -- along with, presumably, everyone else who's still suffering from the non-stop party atmosphere of BlizzCon 2010.

Let's start by saying that BlizzCon 2010 was an absolute blast. I met most of the WoW Insider crew, got to smell Mike Sacco's hair yet again, got some amazing swag and got to eat at Jack in the Box no less than five times. The best part, though, was probably meeting Orkchop (pictured above with WoW Insider's moonkin blogger Tyler Caraway, who can only aspire to be as amazing as Orkchop). The dude is an internet celebrity. For real.

But enough about how awesome Orkchop is. Let's talk shadow priests, and how awesome they are.

Now, I'm not good at sugar-coating things, so I'll just come out with it: BlizzCon 2010 was pretty disappointing in terms of World of Warcraft-related content. The biggest news out of the convention was the new loading screen for Cataclysm. Really. That was the big news. Seriously. And it's just a palette-shifted version of the Sindragosa loading screen.

Despite the lack of earth-shattering news, I made sure to take note of all the shadow priest action. There wasn't a heck of a lot of it, but what little ground was covered was hugely important to the future of the spec. The good, the bad and the non-answers -- we'll go over it all after the break.

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Filed under: Priest, BlizzCon, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

Tinnitus: Leatherworking drums cause a debuff


Part of the allure of drums in raids has been the ability to overlap the effects of different types of drums by having several leatherworkers drumming at a time. One member might boost attack power and spell damage for party members in range, while another might restore health and mana.

With the new Tinnitus debuff, any targets affected by drums are immune to the effects of all other drums for two minutes. While this sounds like a nerf, it might actually have a balancing effect.

In fact, other professions are seeing similar changes. Potions will create Potion Sickness, which will prevent the consumer from using more than one in any given encounter. Players will have to rest out of combat in order to refresh the privilege.

So far, this also is affecting mana gems and similar items, although it is unclear if that particular effect is a bug or not. What does this mean?

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Filed under: Alchemy, Leatherworking, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Instances, Expansions, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

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