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Posts with tag ghostcrawler

Flying mounts may not be allowed in Draenor until patch 6.1

Netherdrake mount
In episode 347 of The Instance podcast, which was recorded at BlizzCon in front of a big crowd, Ghostcrawler was kind enough to answer some fan questions live on the podcast. The topic of transportation in Draenor came up and he revealed that Blizzard wants to delay flying as much as possible, and has even considered delaying it until patch 6.1.

Their goal is to have Draenor feel like a very dangerous place. The comparison Ghostcrawler used was Fel Reavers in Outland, only instead of Fel Reavers there will be giant Gronn like the ones seen in the Warlords of Draenor trailer. Situations like that are much less dangerous when you can just hop on your drake and fly away.

The topic comes up at 58:30 in the podcast for those interested, but the entire episode is worth a listen.

Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2013: Huge changes coming to itemization

BlizzCon New Item Stats
In the gameplay and systems panel, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street just revealed some massive changes to gear itemization in Warlords of Draenor. The fabled item squish is finally coming, stats are being removed, new stats are being added, and reforging is gone. There's a lot to cover so let's get right down to it.

Enchanting, reforging, and gems
  • They feel like there is too much modification needed to be done every time you get a new piece of gear: enchants, gemming, and reforging your caps.
  • There will be fewer items which can accept enchants, but the items which can still be enchanted will have more powerful enchants and more choice.
  • Fewer gem sockets, but gems will be much more powerful. No more socket bonuses or metagems. Sockets are a bonus which can appear on gear and do not count towards item budget.
  • Reforging is gone!

Read more →

Filed under: BlizzCon

Meet WoW devs at the BlizzCon Community Corner

Free swag alert! BlizzCon attendees who stop by the Community Corner between halls B and C will have the opportunity to meet WoW community managers, and possibly get their hands on a free Warcraft t-shirt or hat by sharing BlizzCon photos on social media.

Members of the WoW development team will be stopping by at scheduled times to meet with the fans:

Friday, November 8
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Senior Game Designer Brian Holinka
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton, Senior Game Designer Jonathan LeCraft
4:30 - 5:15 p.m. - Lead Systems Designer Greg Street
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. - Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas and Lead Software Designer Patrick Dawson

Saturday, November 9
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. – Lead Software Engineer (UI) Tom Thompson, Software Engineer (UI) Jacob Segal, Associate Software Engineer (UI) Bea Metitiri
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.– Lead Narrative Designer Dave Kosak, Lead Quest Designer Craig Amai

Filed under: BlizzCon

Cloud serpent riding to remain per-character

A while back Ghostcrawler let drop on Twitter that Blizzard was considering moving the cloud serpent riding to an account-wide unlock, rather than on a per-character basis. Well, it seems like that idea has been shelved. Each character will need to get the achievement in order to use cloud serpents.

Ghostcrawler explains in his tweet:

This should also serve as a good example to folks of situations where Ghostcrawler talks about something as a possibility on Twitter, and then notes later that it doesn't become a reality. It's important to remember that Blizzard uses Twitter as an informal means of having a discussion about game mechanics -- rarely do they announce anything of importance over the medium (or at least announce it via a non-public relations/marketing channel).

In other words, it's okay to be disappointed that this change didn't make it through (I am) -- but don't say that you were promised it/the pony.

Filed under: News items

We may be in debt, but the chips on our shoulders are chocolate

Olivia's debt
Actually, we are not in debt. Not us, plural, here at WoW Insider.

Just Olivia.

Do you see that screenshot above? That is an IOU note on the wall of the Alliance PvP room in Valley of the Four Winds, where NPC Armsmaster Holinka (named after WoW PvP Director Brian Holinka) usually stands. And the initials of the unfortunate soul who now owes him one million cookies belong to none other than our very own Olivia Grace.

It all began with the following: simple tweets back in June from Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street and Brian Holinka about exciting, non gear-related PvP changes to come. And Olivia -- dear, rash Olivia -- replied to them saying that if said exciting changes were cross-realm arenas that she would bake them each 1,000,000 cookies.

And now, in patch 5.4, PvP season 14, we have cross-realm arenas. Oh, Olivia! What fate has thy hasty words wrought. For now you must hold good on your promise, and Blizzard will not forget. They've written it into the very code of their biggest game, woven straight into the finality of binary, in black and white and ones and zeroes. I hope you can dual-wield your wooden spoon and spatula. No noodle cart can save you now.

Filed under: PvP, Humor

What's the least fun you ever had for rewards?

What's the least fun you ever had for rewards
Let's face it - we do stuff in game to get stuff in game. It's in our greedy little natures. So it isn't surprising to hear that players will do things they don't enjoy if they believe the reward is sufficient to warrant it, but it still has interesting things to say about us as players. Ghostcrawler tweeted the following and it got us thinking.
For myself I'd have to admit this is true - as just one example, I really didn't like the Isle of Quel'danas when it first came out (on my server at the time the area was extremely crowded) but my tauren needed a good shield and the expertise neck for his tank set. I didn't need the expertise proc, however, so I had to switch from Scryers (which I was exalted with) to Aldor (which I was not) at the same time I was also grinding Shattered Sun reputation to exalted. It was, frankly, agonizingly painful for me, but I did it. The best part was, of course I eventually got a better neck. But there was no way I was going to grind Scryers back up to exalted by that point, and so he remained exalted with the Aldor.

So this leads to the question - what about you? Have you done something you didn't want to do or didn't enjoy purely for the reward at the end of the rainbow? Was it worth it? Or, like me, did you end up with a sour taste in your mouth (and a whole lot of trouble remembering which base in Shadowmoon Valley was safe to land in)?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding

The hope for more future five-mans

Dire Maul
A common refrain among casual players this expansion has been the lament for five-man content. Mists of Pandaria hasn't added any new five-man dungeons since it launched, and for fans of that format, it's a bit of a bummer. In fact, Mists of Pandaria marks the first time that Blizzard hasn't added new dungeons post-launch. In classic WoW, Maraudon was added in patch 1.2, and the Dire Maul set in patch 1.3. The Burning Crusade saw Magister's Terrace in patch 2.4, Wrath gained the three Icecrown five-mans in patch 3.3, Cataclysm had Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub retooled as 5-mans in 4.2, plus the Well of Eternity dungeon suite in 4.3. Yes, if five-mans are your thing, Mists probably has you feeling pretty glum right about now.

So maybe the following tweet from Ghostcrawler will cheer you up a bit:

Instead of five-man dungeons, Mists definitely saw a focus on scenarios for casual group content. And while scenarios are fun, if you're a healer or a tank, you're not really necessary for them. I personally would love to see a bit more balance in the future between implementing scenarios and implementing five-mans, so here's to a WoW future where both will shine. What about you? Are you hoping for more five-mains, or could you do without them?

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler on crafting professions and leveling

Ghostcrawler on crafting professions and leveling
Sometimes I actually love Twitter for how it can bring the players and the developers together in a more immediate way. Case in point, this tweet from Ghostcrawler. When asked about crafting professions falling behind as the expansion progressed, the answer was clear and unambiguous that Blizzard agrees it's a problem.

While it's light on specifics I'm glad to see they get the problem. At this point I'm only keeping blacksmithing for the extra sockets, and I know a lot of JC's who were mighty disappointed when they found out there would be no epic gems this time around. Maybe a return to BC style scaling items is in order? Maybe not. Making my original Lionheart Blade was a pain.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Cloud Serpent riding account-wide? Yes please.

Cloud Serpent riding accountwide Yes please
Ghostcrawler took to Twitter last week and dropped a nice little hint at his thoughts process: Cloud Serpent Riding might be going account-wide.

Okay Greg, what battle pet do I have to sacrifice for this to become a reality? Do you want one of my rare drakes? You can have it. Consider it forsaken to the crab god for this bountiful gift. Just make it a reality, and not one of those forgotten ponies.*

The idea that cloud serpent riding could become an account-wide thing really pleases me in so many ways. First, it opens up a handful of mounts that I really like to use on my alts, and secondly, it means that on some of my "second main" alts there's one less reputation that I will feel guilty about not leveling.

I suspect that this will encourage more people to work on the reputation as well, given it's going to apply across the board. One thing that this dose beg the question though, is how easily could other reps / achievements be linked in account-wide. I'm looking at you Netherdrakes.

Of course this is all just a tweet, and absolutely should not be taken as a for sure thing. Ghostcrawler and others at Blizzard get very open and philosophical about their ideas, and tweets like this do not constitute an announcement in any way, shape, or form.

*Editor's Note: That paragraph might be the most confusing and awkward thing in the world to read for someone new to the game. Suffice it to say, he has not harmed any equestrians.

Filed under: News items

Dance Studio and Abyssal Maw shelved, not cancelled

Ghostcrawler tweeted a bit of information in response to some of the angst over new models only being 25% done (people are not happy they're only that far along). In a series of tweets, Ghostcrawler says:


The amount of QQ over "models are ~25% done" is hurting my brain.

The good news is this is something actively being worked on, not a shelved project like dance studio or abyssal maw.

Also, shelved does not mean cancelled. :)

Now the important thing to remember is that last sentence: "shelved does not mean cancelled." There is still every possibility these things are going to happen, just not anytime soon.

Companies commonly shelve things when there are more important priorities for departments to work on. With a graphic / modeling heavy task like redoing all the character models for WoW, that takes a lot more priority than giving people new dances. So personally I welcome this news, I'm glad to see that Blizzard is putting things in this priority order.

Filed under: News items

Blizzard livestream today at 1:30 pm Pacific time with Legendary

Patch 5.4 is just around the corner and plenty of Blizzard developers are doing the rounds of interviews. Today, at 1:30 pm Pacific time, World of Warcraft's Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas and Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street are going to be on Gamebreaker's Legendary livestream. We'll be watching, so you should, too.

Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Are passive buffs a bad thing?

Are passive buffs a bad thing
Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street posted an interesting tweet today, in response to a question about warrior and DK buffs:

The original question was asking why Warrior and DK buffs are only five minutes in duration, referring to spells such as Horn of Winter. His original response was that these buffs also provide resources, and therefore ought to be refreshed more regularly than things like Blessing of Kings. For example, Horn of Winter grants 10 runic power on use.

So the question is whether buffs like these should be given a longer duration, or whether they should be passive altogether, like Ghostcrawler's Trueshot Aura example, or the shaman Grace of Air. While these are certainly convenient and, obviously, extremely easy to use, they do lack some flavor, some skill, and certainly some interest. Particularly as a shaman, where in the space of an expansion, we went from being able to replace just about any buff with an admittedly often slightly lesser version of our own, attached to a totem, to having just a passive buff. The old system was ridiculously complicated, but fun, and part of me misses it.

What's your take? Do you prefer active, interesting buffs that have the inconvenience of complication or a regular need to re-cast, or do you think passive buffs are the way to go? And if we all have passive buffs, why bother with buffs at all?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Will we see an ability purge?

Will we see an ability purge
A fact of any MMO is that over time, as we get expansions to the game, we get more abilities, talents, and spells and as a result, our bars get complicated. Cynwise in his recent return to blogging (hopefully a long return) pointed out this exact issue recently, and now Ghostcrawler has tweeted a response to a question about ability bloat that has me wondering.

Clearly, the easiest way to reduce the number of spells on the action bar is to remove some of them. Either fold separate attacks/spells into a smaller amount, combining them or just flat out removing ones that see less use. We saw some of this moving into Mists of Pandaria (one example that springs to mind is the folding of Deep Wounds and Rend into one ability) and we could always see more. Of course, the concern is always that you're getting rid of someone's favorites in the process. At any rate, we have only the idea that there are plans out there, and that they will cause some crying.

Keep an eye out, folks.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Dev Watercooler: On patch 5.4 class changes

dev watercooler
It's been a little while since we've last seen any Dev Watercoolers, but boy, was this one ever worth the wait. Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street lays out, in reasonable detail, the general thoughts and ideas behind many of the class changes coming in the next WoW patch, starting with Death Knights and going the whole way down the list. Paladins and Hunters especially have a lot of meat to their discussion sections, as Ghostcrawler explains, because many of the changes coming to those classes are relatively complex and require greater explanation to fully understand. Overall, classes and specs facing significant changes are blood DKs, resto druids, all hunter specs, frost mages, mistweaver monks, all paladin specs, combat rogues, affliction warlocks, and protection warriors. In addition, there are many changes to talents and glyphs for all classes and specs.

As a raiding restoration druid, I personally am very happy about a lot of the changes coming our way. Making Nature's Swiftness a base resto ability in particular is a nice return to some Good Ol' Days, and now I'll have to decide whether I want the new Ysera's Gift talent, or Cenarion Ward (for now I'm leaning Cenarion Ward). I also--from the perspective of a resto druid--find the discussion on the state of holy paladins, and the changes coming their way, to be interesting as well. Ghostcrawler talks a bit about the way the developers at Blizzard believe paladin healing should feel, and specifically contrast it against druid healing. Many players have long pointed out how druid healing and paladin healing were basically opposites on a spectrum--the former being primarily pre-emptive, healing over time focused, and the other being primarily reactive, direct healing focused--and it's fascinating to read about the official thoughts on just those differences.

The full blue post is after the break.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Mists of Pandaria

Twizzcast live interview with Ghostcrawler at 3:00 p.m. EDT

Watch live video from Twizzcast! on At 3:00 p.m. EDT today, August 12th, Twizzcast of BlizzPro will be holding a live interview on with Blizzard Entertainment's Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street. The interview is scheduled to last about half an hour, and hopes to cover topics on patch 5.4 and the Mists of Pandaria expansion overall, as well as potential future developments in the game. We have it embedded above, but if you can't watch it live, make sure to check BlizzPro's homepage for a YouTube link later tonight.

Filed under: Podcasting, News items, Interviews

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