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Posts with tag dave-fargo-kosak

Dave Kosak talks quest design in Cataclysm

World of Warcraft Lead Quest Designer Dave "Fargo" Kosak posted a long entry today giving a post-mortem of Cataclysm's questing experience. It's a very interesting read for everyone who wants a little insight into the inner workings of WoW's design right now.

Of note is that Blizzard felt spread too thin with the ambitious revamping of the entire old world. That lead to less-than-ideal elements in the current endgame experience, which in turn is a key component of many player's dislike of Cataclysm.

Say what you will about people's complaints, but it's a good thing that Blizzard is able to look at itself with such a critical eye and fine tune its future processes to make things even better.

Some of the key points:
  • The primary goal of Cataclysm was to remake the 1-to-60 experience, keep it relevant to new players.
  • Blizzard is happy with the old world revamp.
  • Blizzard felt spread too thin, which resulted from the total revamp of the old world.
  • The 80-to-85 zones don't feel as connected to each other as Blizzard would have liked.
  • "Phasing is like a story sledgehammer."
  • They want future phasing to not split players up but to provide visual changes only you can see (like in the 4.2 dailies).
  • "Cataclysm was in many ways Thrall's story."
  • Future legendary quest lines will be a lot like the Fangs of the Father quests that rogues are experiencing right now.
  • Blizzard is refocusing on core gameplay mechanics.
The full post after the break.

You can also take a look at our own post-mortem of Cataclysm's zones we did in late 2011.

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Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Dev Watercooler: Faction favoritism

Fargo
Lead Quest Designer Dave "Fargo" Kosak has just posted the latest Dev Watercooler. This time, the topic is faction balance. In the wake of BlizzCon, this perennial topic has flared up pretty brightly. While the devs did indicate they wanted to give the Alliance a bit more good stuff during some panels, some other incidents during and after BlizzCon (including the news that Theramore, one of the most iconic Alliance cities, will be razed to the ground) has left some doubtful, leading to intense debates and 100+ page forum threads on the subject.

The way Kosak explains it, the devs definitely want to make sure that there is faction pride for both sides, and, he argues, while the Alliance may be getting beat up, the Horde has taken its share of lumps too. But in the long run, heroes are not born out of easy times. The Alliance will go through tough times, but it will give heroes the opportunity to arise. The Alliance's time is coming.

One thing he did admit to is that Blizzard needs to do a better job of making sure people can interact with their heroes. He acknowledges that the Alliance may not think of Thrall as theirs or part of their story, and he promises that once Cataclysm as over, we will catch up with other characters.

Whether you agree with all of his reasonings and conclusions or not, it's a good read, and it does prove that Blizzard is hearing us and is at least planning to try to address some of the complaints of faction parity and Thrall overload. Check after the break for the complete text of Kosak's post.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore

Sunday Morning Funnies: Mind your Elders

A male Orc in a pink festival dressAs I'm sure you all have heard by now, one of our favorite comics, Flintlocke vs the Horde, is slated to be set aside. Its creator, Dave "Fargo" Kosak, landed a shiny new job at Blizzard helping to give the game we all love some extra oomph. Fortunately, the storyline won't just be dropped, and you can expect it to wind up sometime in April.

In response to reader Keyra's thoughts on last week's Ding! comic, I would like to offer my own. I would have to bet that almost every single person who has played WoW for any length of time at all does ponder why none of their farmers seem to have skulls, or why you can't get enough blood out of a giant monster to fill even one vial.

We've all joked about it too. I mean gee, if only I could learn to rip off Troll ears without dismembering them into tiny chunks, I'd be in business. The lame jokes crop up on almost every quest with a poor drop rate, and I don't personally feel that the comic took it any further than I ever have, or any of my uninspired friends (no offense guys). It isn't that there isn't a humorous element to it, but that it's been done better in-game while roaming around by ourselves.

I'm thrilled that you liked it, I just wanted to explain why so many of us are bucking it, other than that we miss the old stuff.

Enough rambling, here are the comics:
  • Cru the Dwarf: Deserous had better watch out, because someone intends to exact revenge. I don't blame him either, what Deserous did was mean. /sniffles.
  • Speaking of sad stories, maybe you ungrateful masses should start treating your Elders better. Dark Legacy Comics knows how they feel.
  • Experience Points knows what some of you really pray about (please don't send me hatemail, because I don't know what you pray about. It was all a gimmick to work this comic into a sentence when I haven't had my coffee yet). They also know that not all dogs make good anti-burlar hunter pets.
  • Flintlocke and his overzealous ladyfriend are suddenly in a hurry to flee the scene.
  • GU Comics: Lucky Red Envelopes. Now this orc isn't as respectful of his elders. Think of the poor elders!
  • Shakes and Fidget learn that Two is Better than One (or well, maybe not).
  • Check out the latest from LFG.
  • Manic Graffiti: Noobcow and Monster Anatomy 101.
  • NoObz: Laaag. Coincidentally, if you scroll down to the blurb beneath the comic, there's yet another confirmation that no one listens to their elders.
  • I was afraid to look. This week's Ding! is definitely an improvement of sorts. The story is funnier, although not really in the comic format. Maybe if it had been told by a talented comedic writer, or as entertainment on a Podcast? I'd even take it as a guildie tale over Vent in between pulls. Still, I suppose I like pictures of people with their mouths open to show that they are indeed talking.
  • Teh Gladiators: The Ten Storms. I love the artwork in this one!
  • By saying this, I will totally ruin any of the funny in the note from the author beneath the comic strip, but I totally choked on my water when I read the first part of the second paragraph. In all seriousness though, I'm one of this comic's biggest fans, so you totally have a following. The Adventures of Disgraph T. Dwarf: Lunar LoLs.
  • There is less beaver in the latest artwork from World of Warcraft, eh? than there was the comic before, but it is definitely the sexy we were all promised. Go girl power and however you say that nowadays.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Features, Humor, Comics, Sunday Morning Funnies

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