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Posts with tag blizzcast

BlizzCast Episode 16: World of Warcraft patch 4.2

BlizzCast episode 16 is a little different from what we've come to expect from the BlizzCast. It isn't an audio podcast. It's video! A vodcast, if you will. In the first-ever video BlizzCast, Blizzard's Rob Simpson speaks with Game Director Tom Chilton, Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak, and Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton on the content of patch 4.2, from the raid to the quests and back again.

You can watch it embedded above, over on YouTube, on the Battle.net BlizzCast site, or if you're a little more old-fashioned, you can still download it in MP3 form on Battle.net.

Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: A day in the life

A poster on the forums queried the developers on what a day at the office for the class balance team entailed. This is one of those topics that I'm sure most of us have wondered about from time to time. Do they spend their days skimming Arena Junkies and Elitist Jerks looking at feedback, or are they nose-deep in spreadsheets running calculations on the effective health of tanking builds (which are sometimes the same thing)? Usually, this is the type of thread that receives a goofy answer from a community manager, if it receives any notice at all.

However, Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer) decided to chime in with how the standard day goes. As it turns out, there really isn't such a thing as a standard day. His whole description of the day as well as some examples of recent events that players could relate to reminded me of an old Blizzcast from 2008. In it, Blizzard community manager Nethaera interviewed Monte Krol (lead tools programmer) about the behind-the-scenes information. As a code monkey myself, hearing about writing the tools that are used to build World of Warcraft was fascinating.

Hearing the process behind how features are developed and decisions on class mechanics come about is something that players are constantly interested in (as some are insistent that the developers just put ideas on a dartboard in order to figure out what they're doing). What part of Blizzard would you like to see behind the scenes of, and what changes do you think have the best developer stories?

Filed under: Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

BlizzCast Episode #13

Episode 13 of Blizzcast, Blizzard's occassional podcast, came out yesterday. The majority of it is devoted to a StarCraft II beta special, which is beyond the scope of this site, but they did do a WoW Q&A after that (and a Diablo 3 Q&A at the end), between WoW CM Zarhym and Diablo CM Bashiok. The WoW segment was mostly retrospective, discussing what the developers learned from Wrath, with a dash of looking forward to Cataclysm.

Here's a quick summary (you can read the whole transcript, or listen to the podcast, at Blizzard's site):
  • ICC is designed such that the final boss in each section is harder than the rest of the section (Putricide, Blood Queen Lana'thel, Sindragosa, and the Lich King).
  • The ICC zone-wide buff "won't come in until at least a month after the Lich King has been released," which means we could see it soon, since the Lich King fight opened up February 2nd (although the devs mentioned in the Twitter chat that it's not quite time for the buff yet). It will improve "roughly once a month," and the buff will affect health, damage, and healing (much like the Luck of the Draw buff from random dungeon groups).
  • They thought the Illidan encounter in Black Temple, back in BC, was a bit anti-climactic, so they wanted to make sure the end of the Lich King was "super special."
  • In answer to "what next after I clear ICC:" ICC hard modes, and to a lesser extent the Ruby Sanctum, which is coming in a future patch. Ruby Sanctum will hold "roughly Lich King level gear," as has been mentioned elsewhere.
That's about it for the WoW content, but if you're interested in SC2 or D3, you may well want to read or listen to the whole thing.

Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews

New anniversary interviews in Blizzcast 12 and on the minisite

Blizzard continues to update their minisite -- the latest newness is the posting of a new Blizzcast, in two parts. In part one, Karune of the Starcraft community team interviews Chris Metzen, Rob Pardo, and Samwise Didier about the history of Warcraft as a whole (it's celebrating the 15th anniversary as well this year), and part two has our friend Nethaera talking to J. Allen Brack, Tom Chilton, and Jeff Kaplan about the game itself. As is usual with the official podcast, there's not much new information here (especially if you've already read through some retrospective press), but both interviews are worth a listen (and/or a read through the transcript) if only to hear these guys all in a room together, joking around about old times.

Elsewhere on the site, they've started posting written interviews as well. The first one is with Shane Dabiri, former lead producer on the game, and there are faded-out spots for J. Allen Brack, Tom Chilton, and Jeff Kaplan as well. The other spots aren't revealed yet, but they're supposed to be interviews from the "community," so it'll be interesting to see who those turn out to be. Blizzard, anytime you want to chat with me about the history of World of Warcraft, just drop an email!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

Fan pictures added to the Battlecry mosaic

We posted about Blizzard's Warcraft anniversary minisite a while back, and since then, they've been busy, filling it up with even more content. The community interviews and the new Blizzcast haven't yet appeared, but there are many, many pictures on the Battlecry mosaic submissions section. Pages and pages of fans showing their support for the Horde or the Alliance. It's quite a sight to see, actually -- the pictures range from the straightforward to the silly to the very involved (one couple's posed up with their t-shirts and Frostmourne and logo and everything). There's quite a few whole-guild pics too. There's 43 pages total, so it's a lot to look through, but it's definitely worth a browse.

Ancilorn reminds us, also, that this is a contest -- as more and more pictures from each faction roll in, we'll have access to some mosaic art using these actual pictures, the first piece of which was just revealed today. They've featured some of their favorite pictures over on the Facebook page as well. This is turning out to be a pretty cool idea, and as I said in the original post, I bet we'll be seeing these pictures in lots of other places in the future.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds, Blizzard

BlizzCast episode 10 released

Zarhym has announced on the forums that BlizzCast episode 10 is out right now for your listening pleasure. In the official podcast, he talks with Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer and Senior Game Designer Dave Maldonado about patch 3.2 and the Argent Tournament instances released with it. Strangely, it sounds like the podcast was actually recorded before the release, but of course now everyone knows that we fight the Black Knight in the 5-man and what the dailies are all about. Especially if you've been paying close attention to the testing on the PTR, lots of the "news" about patch 3.2 won't be all that surprising.

They also look forward to BlizzCon: all of the developer panels and meetings that go on there, both from the perspective of fans (hey, we actually can be literate and reasonable instead of QQing all the time!) and from developers (turns out they are "not just blue text" -- who knew?!). It's not a super groundbreaking podcast, but as a wrapup to the release of 3.2 and a short preview to BlizzCon, it works just fine. And there's a bonus: Zarhym is offering up a contest -- answer some questions about the podcast after you listen to it, and you could win a "fabulous prize." The rules give away what the prize is: a Draenei vs. Blood Elf diorama or some action figures.

And remember, if you've missed any of the BlizzCast episodes so far, you can find them both in iTunes or over on Blizzard's site, or just read our wrapups here on WoW.com.

Filed under: Podcasting, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Bosses, BlizzCon, Battlegrounds

BlizzCast episode 9 released

BlizzCast #9 was released very recently, and it's quite short this time around, only about 11 minutes long. It's short because it only covers one thing. It contains Chris Metzen reading the prologue to Arthas: Rise of the Lich King.

The prologue is centered primarily on the native races in Northrend and how they react to the unnatural storms brought on by the Lich King's inner turmoil; the Tuskarr through community and the Taunka through defiance. We also see the exact nature of that turmoil, catching a glimpse of just how much of Arthas is left in there (or Ner'zhul for that matter), and we see it all to the tune of Metzen's sultry voice.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

BlizzCast episode 8 released

The 8th episode of BlizzCast, the Blizzard Podcast, rolled out just a short while ago. If the only Blizzard game you're interested in is WoW, you'll probably be disappointed this time around, there's not much World of Warcraft discussion. The information is very, very heavily slanted toward Starcraft II and Diablo III.

The podcast kicks off with their usual Q&A portion. The World of Warcraft questions, answered by Tom Chilton, were aimed at Wintergrasp and the vehicle system (specifically the lack of aerial combat). That's the full extent of the WoW content here. That's all, folks. If WoW is all you care about, that's the end. For those of you that are Blizzard fans in general? Jay Wilson (Diablo III Game Director) and Dustin Browser (Starcraft II Lead Designer) cover the Q&A for their respective games.

The remainder of the podcast is a Diablo III interview with a pair of the game's developers, Julian Love (Lead Technical Artist) and Mike Nicholson (Senior Artist). If you intend to play Diablo III, it's worth a listen. It gives some insight into the developmental process of the game, and that's probably the most interesting part of these podcasts.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard

Blizzcast episode 7 released


Episode 7 of Blizzcast, Blizzard's official podcast, came out this afternoon; it's been a couple of months since the last episode. This time, they did a little bit of a "WotLK Wrap-Up" with J. Allen Brack and Jeff Kaplan, as well as some chatting with Chris Metzen, the creative head, about what's been going on in various aspects of the story. Here are the parts I found most interesting:
  • When the development on the original WoW was getting wrapped up, Outland and Northrend were both in the running for the first expansion. They decided the timing was better to do Outland first.
  • There were three front runners for the hero class to appear in LK:
    • Necromancer, a ranged caster with corpse explode and such. Some of this ended up getting incorporated into Death Knight
    • Rune master: "think rogue or monk type character"
    • And, of course, Death Knight.
  • JAB thinks "the first month has really validated that decision" to go with 10- and 25-man raiding.

Read more →

Filed under: Podcasting, Blizzard

BlizzCast episode 6 available for download

The 6th episode of BlizzCast was posted today, and though it contains very little WoW-specific information, the podcast still contains a ton of information general Blizzard fans would like to hear. When listening to it, keep in mind that it wasn't recorded in the last few days or anything like that, it's a few weeks old at least. They mention Wrath of the Lich King still being in beta testing and Sylvanas' custom model hadn't yet been implemented, for example.

Their guests this time around are Lead Tools Programmer Monte Krol, Senior Art Director Samwise Didier, Lead Game Designer Dustin Browder, and senior artist for Diablo III Anthony Rivero. That lineup of guests really offers up a cool look at the early design and development of Blizzard games, and the guests actually offer a little insight into just how you can start working for Blizzard yourselves. They also have another installment of their Q&A portion with various developers.

Starcraft and Diablo fans will find the gameplay information in this BlizzCast more interesting than people who are exclusively WoW players. As always, BlizzCast is available for download through the official website (EU has it as well), iTunes, or you can read the transcript right on their website.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard, Interviews

This is a very fast rug

We've already talked about what was said in the latest Blizzcast: mainly profession details and music, as well as a few snippets on dungeons and raids from Kaplan (and some Starcraft II stuff). But there were some interesting pieces of information given away in an image linked on the podcast transcript page that were not discussed in the podcast, in the way of new crafted items. The image is replicated above; click for a bigger version. My favorite is definitely the Magnificent Flying Carpet. Yes, it's a flying mount for tailors, and I am pretty certain that it will be awesome.

Here's everything I found in that image that I don't remember having seen elsewhere:

  • Magnificent Flying Carpet: Requires level 70, tailoring (450). Use: Calls forth and dismisses a flying carpet. This is a very fast rug. This mount can only be summoned in Outland and Northrend. Requires artisan riding skill or higher to use.
  • Floral Foundations: Encrypted, requires inscription (50). A small collection of rare herbs. [No, I have no idea what this is, aside from something to do with Inscription.]
  • Spring Loaded Cloak Expander: requires engineering (425). Use: permanently modifies a cloak so it can be activated by a skilled engineer, causing them to fall slowly for 10 sec. The effect can only be activated every 5 min.

This last item ties in to what Jon LeCraft (WoW's lead profession designer) was saying about engineering having items to give effects to gear, as opposed to replacing gear outright like the Parachute Cloak. Engineered enchants, basically. Overall, I continue to be more and more excited about professions in Wrath.

Filed under: Engineering, Tailoring, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Blizzcast Episode 4 reveals Warcraft information and insights

Blizzcast episode 4 is now live and available for listening, and with it, of course, has come a wealth of new World of Warcraft Information. Some of it is stuff we've gotten wind for before, but there's some interesting insights into the whole game. You can listen to it here and read the transcript here, or join us after the break for a breakdown of the juiciest information from the Interviews

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Filed under: Fishing, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard, News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

WoW Insider Show, Episode 41: Arenas, healers, and Blink for Hunters

This past week on the WoW Insider Show (a recording of which is now available over on WoW Radio), we were honored to welcome Matt "Matticus" Low to the show to talk about his career in WoW and his experience healing endgame raids. Amanda Dean was also in attendance with some Arena opinions, and Turpster and I rounded out the crew. We talked about:
Plus, we answered reader email (including taking a little Blizzard-inspired quiz) and chatted with Matticus about how the popular Spiritual Guidance column is going. All in all, good show -- check it out on WoW Radio's website right now, or listen in (and feel free to give us a review, good or bad as long as it's honest) over on iTunes.

And if you've got something you want us to talk about on the show, drop us an email at theshow@wow.com. We'll be back next week with Turpster's big ding event, and another show next Saturday afternoon at 3:30 Eastern.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Death Knight, Arena, WoW Insider Show

Blizzcast episode 3: Dungeons and raids edition


The long-awaited third episode of Blizzcast, Blizzard's official podcast, has just gone live. Blizzard's US web sites are still down, but you can listen to it and read the transcript on the European site. As usual, since this is a Blizzard podcast and not a WoW-specific one, they spend some time covering the Starcraft universe as well, including an interview with Dustin Browder, SC2 lead designer, which I won't cover (good material on Zergs though). But later they brought in Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan, WoW lead designer for dungeons and raids, and here's what I found interesting in his segment:
  • The original WoW raids were too hardcore early on; in BC they eased up on that and they hope to continue this in Wrath.
  • Lessons learned in BC:
    • Heroic loot needs to be definitely better than normal-mode loot
    • Introductory raids need to be more friendly – he says "I don't want to say to casual players, but a little bit more accessible to people in general." Cites Maulgar and Mags as examples of less-than-friendly intro raids.
    • How to itemize raid content vs. other content

Read more →

Filed under: Podcasting, News items, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

Bornakk: Next Blizzcast to include talk on the status of badge loot in WoTLK

One of the biggest and most successful features of Burning Crusade has been the inclusion of Badges of Justice. Especially in 2.4, these badges have allowed even relatively casual players to get their hands on gear that comes close to the same stuff raiders are able to pull out of end game instances. While the system seems to have been mostly a success, there's still some question as to how it will evolve in WoTLK. The current 2.4 badge loot seems to have been created in part to allow a smoother gear transition between BC and WoTLK for both casuals and ubers, with badges dropping out of 10-man instances and the most powerful badge gear yet. But the question is, will this continue in WoTLK? Will we see badges off of Naxxramas' 10-man version (perhaps earning it the name Badgeramas)? Will we see loot purchasable from a Dalaran vendor that will be comparable to what raiders are pulling out of Icecrown Glacier? Or will they dial it back, or maybe not even include the badge loot system at all?

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

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