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Posts with tag game-systems

The tension between balance and player interest

I'm looking forward to Ashram, the new PvP island zone in Warlords that seems to combine elements from zones such as the Timeless Isle, Wintergrasp, and the old days of world PvP. So I tend to go looking for information on it, which is where I found the following.
With cross-realm groups being possible on Ashram, this is a perfect example of the ways the game has to balance what most players will do vs. what some players will do - balance the min-maxing attitude vs. the more common, and more often executed, use of a feature or game element. Ashram as it stands will allow players to group cross realm - this is intended so that players who have characters on separate realms (my wife and I, for instance, often would run the Timeless Isle on characters that were on separate realms) can still go to Ashram. This is a good and fun use of cross-realm grouping. But there's a potential down side to this.

Since cross-realm grouping is possible, we know the next step - something like oQueue that allows you to put together a group of 40 players and go destroy Ashram on an already imbalanced server. If a certain server is already heavily skewed towards the Alliance, putting together a 40 player group (since Ashram exists in the world and not in a raid instance) and just destroying any hapless Horde you come across, or vice versa. Even if you don't pick a server with a faction imbalance, it's still feasible that a big raid group could end up owning Ashram for an extended period of time, and using players that aren't even on the server.

Decisions in the game's design are always made between these two poles - between the ease of abuse, and the benefit it brings to individual players. Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, things don't work out like we'd hope. Reforging, as an example, falls into the 'possible player imbalanced use trumps player convenience' category.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Warlords of Draenor

Ghostcrawler talks game systems in final Cataclysm post-mortem

Blizzard's Cataclysm post-mortem blog series has seen Dave "Fargo" Kosak discuss quest design and Scott "Daelo" Mercer discuss dungeons and raids; today, Blizzard wraps up the series with a look at Cataclysm's game systems. As with Fargo and Daelo, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, WoW's lead systems designer, talks about what worked (the 1-to-60 revamp, choosing a spec at level 10) and what didn't (a long list of other things). GC is surprisingly candid in this particular blog entry, and it's definitely worth a read to get a bead on what Blizzard learned from World of Warcraft's third expansion.

The full interview is after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

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