In addition, Ion covered:
- Creative use of ingame mechanics vs exploits
- Adjusting the difficulty of encounters
- Unintended strategies
- How mages make life difficult for encounter designers
The European raiding team Method had a chance to interview Ion Hazzikostas, World of Warcraft's Lead Encounter Designer. Most of the discussion centered around the recently released item upgrade system that came in patch 5.1. One of the more interesting tidbits is how item rewards and raids are slightly different in Asia compared to the European and North American regions.
Items that drop in 10-man raids have 0/2 upgrades. Items that drop in 25 man raids have 2/4 upgrades. This is similar to the Wrath of the Lich King model of rewards. Blizzard has already stressed that Asian realms aren't used as "experimental realms" for possible system changes in other regions around the world. In other words, it isn't likely that we'll see these types of reward systems in place anytime soon. But it's an interesting solution to the whole 10 man vs 25 man raiding issue and logistics incentives.
The interview dove into other topics such as:
To those of you who play on Asian realms, we'd love to hear from you regarding your raiding experiences and this reward structure. 25-man raids seems to be the dominant raiding format compared to 10-man raids in that region.
Filed under: News items
Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer, a.k.a. Daelo, posted an updated testing schedule for the Crusader's Coliseum on the Patch 3.2 PTR today. The good news is that EU players get to try another set of bosses -- this time the Faction Champions. The bad news is that the US PTR instance servers are still broken following last night's aborted testing attempt. Not good.
Here's the current schedule for Trial of the Crusader PTR testing:
On the European test realms:
Faction Champions - Saturday Night, July 11, starting at 19:00 CEST.
The issues that were preventing raid testing on the North American PTRs are still not fully resolved. We're looking into alternative means of enabling testing on these realms. I'll update this thread when I have more information.
There's been a lot of speculation as to what Patch 3.2's new raid instance, the Argent Coliseum, will contain. We got a taste of what bosses we might fight a little while back when the 3.2 PTR launched and some Achievement information was datamined, but I've taken it all one step further.
As with my previous post on the 5-man content in the Coliseum, I've datamined a ton of information from the PTR game files, including NPC and spell data (another massive thanks to Boubouille of MMO-Champion for his help), to determine not only who we're facing up against (for sure), but how exactly the encounters will go down once we've gotten our epicly-clad heinies into the
The same disclaimer as last time applies. The encounters could change at any time, datamining isn't an exact science, I could be misinterpreting files, etc, etc. But I'm pretty solid on what I've written down, and anything I'm speculating on will be noted as such.
Any spell or ability listed in this guide will likely be a random rank, given the spell database's knack for throwing me 10-man and 25-man spells in the same area! Don't assume that the damage values are accurate until you get killed by them!
Remember: MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD!
Ready? Let's go!
Okay, gonna say this right now.
This article is so full of spoilers you'll think you're in a movie with Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. The Argent Coliseum will be so spoiled that its parents bought it a car before it could drive. There will be less mystery to the Argent Coliseum than in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village."
There. So. Thanks to Boubouille of MMO-Champion's help, I've spent the past few days digging through the spell and NPC data in patch 3.2's current PTR game files, slogging through thousands of new entries to find out how exactly the new encounters in the Argent Coliseum will be like (and who they'll be!). Well, I've been mostly successful in that regard, and I'm prepared to spoil about 90% of the Coliseum's encounters for you. But that's not all! This latest PTR patch was also kind enough to provide me with a ton of sound files related to the Coliseum and its set of instances, which has given me a very firm insight into what happens around the encounters. This particular article will focus on the 5-man instance.
Basic caveats apply: The encounters could change at any time, datamining isn't an exact science, I could be misinterpreting files, etc, etc. But I'm pretty solid on what I've written down, and anything I'm speculating on will be noted as such.
Any spell or ability listed in this guide will likely be a random rank, given the spell database's knack for throwing me 10-man and 25-man spells in the same area! Don't assume that the damage values are accurate for your favored raid size!
Remember, BIG SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP. But if you can't contain yourself, then go right ahead, dear readers. Let's go down the rabbit hole.
Intrepid 3.1 PTR reporter Michael Sacco here, reporting for duty and giving you the skinny on all that Ulduar has to offer you. The developers have allowed players into Ulduar to test some encounters, usually one at a time, and they've been steadily gathering feedback each night. Prior to this engagement, the boss that was up was Flame Leviathan, but we've seen him a few times already. I was ready for something new.
Flame Leviathan may give me guns, but I want to go to the gun show. What do you say, Blizzard? How about you give me a boss who exercises his right to bear arms?
Kologarn? Why yes. This will do. This will do nicely. Let me grab Matt "Matticus" Low and my other, less important coworker Alex Ziebart.
This writeup will be spoiler-heavy. If you don't wish to know anything about this or any Ulduar boss, don't click the link below. You've been warned.
Coming back to my post as official 3.1 PTR raid reporter after an offensive usurping by my dubiously sentient coworker Alex Ziebart, it's time for a new roundup of tonight's PTR Ulduar testing events. Last night we got a taste of the Flame Leviathan fight, which brought us motorcycles and tanks and floating pyrite containers, but tonight ... tonight we got a taste of a good, old-fashion player vs. comically gigantic dude raid encounter with Ignis, the Furnace Master.
Matt "Matticus" Low, the aforementioned plantlike Mr. Ziebart, and I formed a 10-man raid. As usual, Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer, a.k.a. Daelo, was around for the fun. Making travel considerably easier was last night's addition of a teleporter to different areas of the dungeon. Our trip past the large gate guarding the end of the Iron Concourse to the Colossal Forge was instant and uneventful. Then we waited for our barrel-chested braid-bearded friend to spawn.This writeup will be spoiler-heavy. If you don't wish to know anything about this fight, don't click below. You've been warned.
Last night was round 2 of the Ulduar encounter testing on the 3.1 PTR, and after last night's attempts at Hodir, my guildies and waste-of-a-raid-spot coworker were excited to get back into the beautiful Titan dinner party and sink our teeth into another new encounter.
And if we wanted a snack, we got ourselves a three-course meal: The Iron Council, a veritable Three's Company of dudes made of metal. Except Three's Company really had one dude in it regularly, and the other two were women. And none of the Iron Councilmen are Councilwomen. Clearly Iron society is not as progressive as ours.
As expected, the server couldn't be convinced to just let us get in and do what we needed to do, so we spent an inordinately long time logging in, stalling at the loading screen, getting in, crashing out, getting stuck in queue, swearing loudly in Ventrilo, and getting alcohol to ease the pain.
But we did manage to try the fight a few times.
This writeup is spoiler-heavy! If you don't wish to know anything about the strategy for this or any Ulduar boss, don't click below. You've been warned.
Yes, yes, we know you're curious about what the Ulduar boss encounters will be like, loyal readers. With 14 bosses, 11 hard modes, and an optional heroic boss, we wonder, too! We'll be able to test some of these encounters on the 3.1 PTR soon, but there are, of course, those of us who just can't wait to know anything about what's going on in Ulduar.
Luckily, ever-resourceful players and dataminers have acquired information about spells and abilities related to bosses in Ulduar from the 3.1 PTR files. There's a lot of of stuff in here -- some of it may make it into the live game, some may not, and some may be related to vehicles or other sundries involved with encounters. I'm going to go into detailed analysis of those encounters for which detailed spells exist.
It goes without saying that these will be huge spoilers to anyone who doesn't want their Ulduar experience to be anything but pure, so don't read past the jump if you don't want to know!
Filed under: Breakfast Topics
|Call to Arms: Strand of the Ancients||3/7 - 3/10|
|Call to Arms: Deepwind Gorge||3/11 - 3/13|
|Call to Arms: Isle of Conquest||3/14 - 3/17|
|Call to Arms: Arathi Basin||3/18 - 3/20|
|Call to Arms: The Battle for Gilneas||3/21 - 3/24|
|Call to Arms: Eye of the Storm||3/25 - 3/27|
|Call to Arms: Twin Peaks||3/28 - 3/31|
|Call to Arms: Alterac Valley||4/1 - 4/3|
|Call to Arms: Silvershard Mines||4/4 - 4/8|
|Darkmoon Faire||4/6 - 4/13|
|Call to Arms: Warsong Gulch||4/8 - 4/11|