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Posts with tag brian-holinka

New WoW Source: PvP and Class Changes

WoW Source has made a return, with Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas, and Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut. They're talking PvP and Class Design.
  • Diminishing Returns categories have been cut from thirteen to five.
  • Fear's PvP duration has been reduced from eight seconds to five.
  • CC needs reduction, but without it the game would be boring.
  • In WoD every PvP item will have two item levels, e.g. 550 for PvE and 590 for PvP. This will be effective in the world too.
  • We saw an early map and description of Ashran -- looks like a League of Legends style ARAM-esque back-and-forth with other activities around the main central run.
  • There was some more information on Skirmishes, they may drop Conquest gear, and will drop bags containing Honor, Honor gear, or gold.
  • Tanking will not go back to being about Threat
  • Button Bloat has focused on redundant or duplicative abilities
  • Sometimes cutting or simplifying buttons has made class flavor/fantasy better.
  • They do want to give players new things where appropriate, but they need to free up some space to do so.
  • The devs do their best to avoid different spell behaviors in PvP.
  • The devs endeavor to make classes fun to play without affecting their numbers.
  • The devs are listening to feedback and nothing is final.
You can view the video above or on Battle.net.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka interviewed in Korea

Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka was interviewed in Seoul, Korea, as part of the Press Event that's taking place worldwide this week. The video is above, but some of the key points covered are below. These are in chronological order so it's easy for you to find more information on the video, rather than arranging them by topic:
  • Blizzard is not yet ready to talk timelines with Warlords beta, or release, but are happy with how things are progressing. It's on schedule.
  • The changes to PvP in Mists and Warlords have all been focused on improving PvP participation
  • One of the main reasons why Holinka is so active on Twitter is to be a point of contact for PvPers.
  • There will be a tutorial zone, as discussed at BlizzCon that is to provide a starter experience for all players going into Draenor. The option to use this as more of a tutorial will exist.
  • Garrisons will offer a lot of playability, and are continuing in development beyond 6.0 with potential new features. Garrison PvP is a potential example.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Ready Check interviews Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas

Eye of C'Thun
This past week the hosts of EU-based podcast Ready Check were lucky enough to go visit Blizzard's offices in Versailles, where they met up with Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas for a lively round of Q&A. The podcast--with attendant full transcript, don't you worry, folks who can't play the podcast--covers a very broad range of topics, and PvPers should be particularly interested in the broad discussion about arenas. Gothiques and Athene bring up some wonderful points about arena queuing, and matching, and the little ways in which the system often results in unexpectedly wasted time, as well as the ways in which not-entirely-honest players can manipulate that system in their favor. Both Holinka and Hazzikostas have insights to offer on these problems, and there's some good back-and-forth about potential solutions and improvements to the existing arena systems.

In addition to the excellent PvP discussions, the interview features some talk of Warlords of Draenor and the future--some of which we've already heard about, but I am so excited for garrisons and a toys tab that I could listen to this stuff all day long. Do you know how many bag spaces I'm going to get back once that toys tab goes live? In the words of the Diablo Templar companion, it will be glorious! There's also some really fun discussion on the philosophy and practice of encounter and mechanics design, and how the WoW team goes about building raids and bosses. This was perhaps my favorite part of the interview, because I am a hopeless PvPer and am much more at home among WoW's raid bosses. In any case, no matter what part of the game you enjoy, there's something in this interview for you. You can check out the full transcript and podcast episode at Ready Check's own website, so make sure to click on over to the whole thing!

Filed under: Podcasting, Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Patch 5.4.7 PTR: 5 minute Dampening reverted to 10 minutes for 3v3 and 5v5

Community Manager Lore has delivered some news to the official forums that has made me rather cheerful.
Lore
After some additional discussion, we've decided to make this change only apply in the 2v2 bracket. Dampening will remain at 10 minutes in 3v3 and 5v5 arenas.

I've been posting a lot about this potential change, since Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka tweeted about it a while back when changes went in by accident after BlizzCon. And while I am still not a fan of the change, I can agree with it way more in 2v2 than in 3v3 or 5v5.

Why is that? Well, in 2v2, especially in healer-DPS versus healer-DPS, matches can go on longer, and even result in draws far more often than in the other sizes. Simply, a healer is not designed to be easily killable by a single DPS. As a result, it's harder work to take them down in 2v2. I won't pretend that I like the Dampening system, but it's better at 5 minutes in 2v2 for (hopefully) just one season.

What we don't know yet is just how far it will go.

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Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Four reasons why PvP Dampening shouldn't start at 5 minutes

This is something I discussed, in vague and mysterious exchanges, with Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka on Twitter. While he certainly didn't confirm that Dampening would be moved to starting at 5 minutes, like it was at the BlizzCon tournament, he certainly implied that that was something the devs were considering. For the uninitiated, Dampening is a debuff currently applied to all arena players after 10 minutes of a match that reduces their healing and absorbs by 1% every 10 seconds.

Now, first and foremost, I have to make it very clear that on a purely personal level unrelated to game design, I dislike this debuff immensely. I dislike the change in power, I dislike knowing that as a PvP healer, no matter how carefully and efficiently I play, my effectiveness will decrease and decrease as the match continues. It's a horrible feeling, and I think Brian Holinka was right, way back in May 2012, when he said the devs "didn't really like the idea of your power changing over time" in response to a tweet asking for an ever-increasing Battle Fatigue. And yet, here we are.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP

Warlords of Draenor: Base resilience and Battle Fatigue potentially eliminated

Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka has been tweeting up a storm today on the topic of PvP design plans for Season 15 and Warlords of Draenor, the most interesting of which is the following:

I think this is an admirable goal, base resilience and battle fatigue are confusing to some, and annoying to others, but I'd be really interested to see how they do it. Resilience, although not Battle Fatigue, has been part of the game almost since PvP first got instanced, and it's a valuable option for the devs to tune incoming PvP damage so that it can cope with the ever-inflating stat levels in PvE. Yes, there'll be a squish, but then PvE will still almost certainly scale up.

So I'm pleased they aren't planning on taking the rather bold step of completely removing it, to leave themselves without the option to reintroduce it easily would seem a little foolhardy, and not something they'd be likely to do. I'd imagine that if it were to go, there'd have to be some method to increase player health, or at least effective health, in instanced PvP, and there'd have to be some formula changes to healing, too. I'm looking forward to beta!

Filed under: PvP

Live video interview with Ghostcrawler and Brian Holinka

Today starting at 3pm Eastern time, Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, and Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka will be interviewed live on video over at Gamebreaker.tv. You can watch the stream above, where they will discuss upcoming PvP and PvE changes in patch 5.3, with Gamebreaker's Gary Gannon, and WoW Insider's Olivia Grace.

If you miss the live interview above, it will be replaced by the stream recording once it is uploaded, and you can also watch it on Gamebreaker's site. WoW Insider's Anne Stickney also interviewed Ghostcrawler, talking about patch 5.3, from a more PvE-focused angle.

And If that isn't enough patch 5.3 information you can check out all WoW insider's patch 5.3 coverage, as well as our write-up of Convert To Raid's earlier interview with Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas. The fansite interviews are coming in thick and fast, with patch 5.3 launching tomorrow in the US and Wednesday in the EU.

Filed under: Blizzard

Live WoW Developer Q&A Thursday, April 25

Next week Thursday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. PDT, the World of Warcraft community team will be hosting a live Q&A session with Blizzard developers/designers Dave Kosak, Ion Hazzikostas, Brian Holinka, Cory Stockton, and Greg Street. The last time we saw one of these with a developer collective was back in October 2011. More recently, in December 2012, Blizzard Customer Support hosted a Q&A of their own.

The full details and job description of each of the developers involved can be found below.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Potential Patch 5.3 PvP changes from Twitter

Potential PvP changes from Twitter
If you're even remotely interested in WoW PvP, and aren't yet following Brian Holinka on Twitter, you really should be. We've been talking about him quite a bit lately here at WoW Insider, as he's the main agent behind the huge PvP changes coming in in patch 5.3. He's also incredibly responsive, open and helpful on Twitter, and seems to set aside a huge amount of his free time to respond to players' concerns, and hold open and constructive discussions, while not being afraid to fire out some sarcasm crits on the trolls that often haunt those in his position.

He's previously tweeted about the return of the skirmish system, and has been very responsive indeed about the 5.3 changes, and lately he's also been discussing some more confirmed and potential changes in patch 5.3 and beyond.

Now, please do take these changes with a pinch of salt, these aren't even PTR patch notes, but potential changes, some of which are being tested and appearing on patch notes, and some of which are just in the pipeline for the future.


Potential Battleground Changes

One thing that caught our eye here at WoW Insider was a very recent tweet regarding some changes in the the larger battlegrounds such as Isle of Conquest and Alterac Valley.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP

Patch 5.3 PvP Gear Changes: Don't Panic

Patch 53 PvP Gear Changes Don't Panic
I can understand why you did panic. The patch 5.3 PTR notes had a little section of PvP gear notes -- five bullet points that pulled the rug out from under our feet. These changes are characteristic of the bold, sweeping alterations that Blizzard's new PvP Designer Brian Holinka has been spearheading since he joined the company in August of last year. And these are big changes. If you missed the notes, let me repeat them for you here.
  • All characters now have a base Resilience of 65%.
  • Resilience has been removed from most PvP gear.
  • Season 13 Tyrannical gear had their item levels increased to ilevel 496, up from ilevel 493.
  • Season 13 Tyrannical Elite gear had their item levels decreased to ilevel 496, down from ilevel 512.
  • Battlegrounds, Rated Battlegrounds, and Arenas now have an ilevel cap. All gear will be scaled down to ilevel 496.
What does this all mean? I've been relentlessly bothering Brian on Twitter for your benefit, so let's run down how he's addressing players' concerns. Do note that Blizzard will release an official blog on this some time next week.

Read more →

Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Blizzard confirms that skirmishes will return

Blizzard confirms that skirmishes will return!
Blizzard's recently recruited PvP designer Brian Holinka has confirmed via Twitter that skirmishes are coming back to WoW.



PvPers rejoice! Our unrated arenas will be making a return. They were removed in Cataclysm, for those who don't recall, and replaced with the current wargame system, which is great for players who want to face off against specific teams or comps, typically higher end players who have a good network of other PvPers, but far harder to use for players who only PvP casually, or don't really have many PvP contacts. A major downfall of the wargame system was that it required not just one, but two teams, so a minimum of four people, and those people had to be willing to split into two groups of two, and face off against each other. Certainly no great demand, but a good deal harder for the casual PvPer to pull off than simply hopping in a queue.

The skirmish system, although, or perhaps because, it awarded no points and no rating, was a great way to try out new classes, new comps, or new specs, and generally just have some fun in the arena without the pressure of dropping rating for your team. It was PvP for the sake of PvP, just because it's fun, and WoW Insider is thrilled to hear of their return, even if it's not in patch 5.3. We're holding out hope for patch 5.4, how about you?

Filed under: News items, PvP

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