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Posts with tag ghostcrawler

My greatest strength is knowing my weaknesses


My warrior is different than my friend's warlock. This might seem like a rather basic and unimportant statement to a lot of people, especially those reading a WoW blog, but examine it further to draw some conclusions:
  1. The way I approach encounters will be different
  2. The way I approach the game will be different
  3. I can do things my friend's warlock cannot
  4. My friend's warlock can do things I cannot
Okay, so now we're a little deeper. The underlying premise of different classes is that the game becomes a different experience. When you play a game that's forced with one-on-one direct combat, versus indirect combat, the stress is changed a lot. You have to actually walk to to an enemy and shout in their face, while on a warlock you can just sit back and laugh at them making jokes about how they look and smell like a paladin while your pet takes the brunt of it all (and complains rightly so).

So what am I getting at?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Things Ghostcrawler did not confirm yesterday


These two articles, one from an interview with 2P, and another from an interview with QQ, made the rounds yesterday. They're interesting quotes and information from Ghostcrawler talking with people overseas at Chinajoy. In the interviews Ghostcrawler goes on, as he is often wont to do, about WoW and the decision making behind their changes.

The reaction to these articles created a lot of confusion. So I thought it'd be worth noting the things that Ghostcrawler confirmed and did not confirm. I've made a list:

Confirmed Confirmed Loosely Not Confirmed
Ghostcrawler was at Chinajoy Blizzard thinks WoW can handle another class/role beyond DPS/Healing/Tanking -- a "buffer" Naga Playable
Content areas available to explore the lore in: Trolls, Burning Legion, Emerald Dream

It surprised me to see the numbers of comments around the interweb saying that Ghostcrawler outright confirmed the next expansion, or that he said Naga were going to be a playable race. The new translation posted by 2P outright kills any idea of that, yet even the original interview never said that (just that they were thinking of it at one point, which was incorrect).

The only thing that was confirmed is stuff I've spoken to Blizzard about personally, and that was that Ghostcrawler was at Chinajoy, a big game conference. The "Confirmed Loosely" category is for things that were explicitly stated in the original interview articles, which we had translated by multiple reliable sources -- however Blizzard has not come outright and said them again.

And that's okay -- we work with Blizzard and their folks to bring you the news; however when something is said (as was the case about a buff class/role) we'll run with it. But even in that bit of news, no where did Ghostcrawler say that it's happening.

The things in the "Confirmed Loosely" category should also not come as a shock to anyone. A new class? It's not like that hasn't happened twice before. And more Troll lore? Check. Burning Legion and Emerald Dream? There's already books about them and tons of hints dropped by Wrathion about the return of the Legion. None of this is ground breaking.

Ghostcrawler thinks of a lot of things. WoW, ponies, gin in coffee, etc... Take it for what it is, and don't make it more than that.

Update: We are issuing a correction. Ghostcrawler does not put gin in his coffee, he drinks gin out of a coffee cup. WoW Insider apologizes for any confusion this may have caused.

Filed under: WoW Insider Business

New World of Warcraft class coming? Ghostcrawler drops a hint


In an interview with the Chinese gaming site QQ during Chinajoy, World of Warcraft Lead System Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street let drop that a new class is being considered, one that is focused on buffs.

This has been speculated about for a long time, and previous comments by Blizzard designers have indicated they believe there's room for another class. However, this is the first time we've heard what they're considering implementing. A buff class would, well, give out buffs to other players increasing their abilities. We don't know anything more beyond that, however Blizzard has had buffs as a major component of classes before in the early (Pre-Burning Crusade) designs of Paladins and Warlocks.

Please keep in mind that this is an interview conducted in another language, and while we've acquired a human translation of this particular part of the interview, it is possible things have been lost in translation.

Many thanks to Spoiledleftie on Twitter for assisting with the translation.

Filed under: News items

Ghostcrawler, potentially, details the future of WoW at Chinajoy [UPDATED]

Ghostcrab
There are some eyebrow-raising bits in a foreign Ghostcrawler interview, and we caution everyone that none of this has been confirmed with Blizzard (we reached out earlier today), and we have a feeling that a good deal of nuance may have been lost in translation. That being said, if the interview is correct, it gives us some fascinating hints as to the directions that Blizzard may be exploring for future WoW content.

Apparently Blizzard either was or has been considering the Naga as an addition to the playable races, though their lack of legs is a big hurdle to overcome for things like armor design. In terms of future plot, the interview seems to imply that following Mists of Pandaria we will be headed back into mainland Azeroth, and that further story lines involving the trolls, the Burning Legion, and the Emerald Dream are slated to "gradually develop". Now, we know that an Emerald Dream expansion is something that many fans have been hankering after for a good long time, so this kind of news would be very much welcome to hear. Here I feel compelled to state that again, there is no official confirmation for any of this. However, there is one bit about the lore that I feel relatively confident is accurate, and that's Ghostcrawler's assertion that the relationship and conflict between the mogu, the Old Gods, and the Titans will be revealed in patch 5.4.

Happy speculations, everyone!

Update 10:42 p.m. EDT: 2P, the Chinese gaming site, has updated their English translation of the article noting that Naga will not be the next playable race. They also modified the way in which the next areas of WoW's content were talked about; however the three big areas (Trolls, Burning Legion, and Emerald Dream) are still areas in which Ghostcrawler noted content can expand into.

Filed under: Interviews, Rumors, Mists of Pandaria

Greg Street and Marco Koegler Korean Q&A on WoW and its future


Some very interesting things were revealed in this Q&A from Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street and WoW Technical Director Marco Koegler. The interview was conducted in Korea, so there's a bit of down time while translations are being made between interviewers and interviewees, but the hour-long video is worth watching for a few meaty tidbits. In particular, Ghostcrawler has essentially stated that Garrosh will not be replaced at the end of patch 5.4. Oh, his days as warchief will be over for sure, but the patch is intended to end with his defeat at the hands of the players. These actions will set in motion a chain of events which will lead to the new warchief's implementation--but not in patch 5.4. So it seems that the mystery of who will next lead the Horde draws on!

Other bits of information worth noting include the confirmation that patch 5.4 will be the final raid patch of Mists of Pandaria, which leads us here at WoW Insider to speculate on the timeline of the next expansion. Considering that traditionally new WoW expansions have been announced at Blizzcon--still a few months away--and given that the next warchief will not be revealed quite as soon as we expected, it seems reasonable to speculate that there might be a non-raid 5.5 patch in the works to take us through to 6.0. However, there is no mention of that in the Q&A and really, it's just idle speculation on my part. Still, I'm now more fascinated than ever to see what the future holds in store for us denizens of Azeroth! How about you?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Preparation, Readiness, and other cooldown resetting abilities may have grim future

Preparation, Readiness, and other cooldown resetting abilities may have grim future
Classes with cooldown resetting abilities probably won't find one of Ghostcrawler's most recent tweet all that surprising. The abilities (Preparation, Readiness, etc.) have been targeted by several nerfs and changes this expansion. Ghostcrawler wrote the following in reply to a tweet that said it may be time to stop adding cooldown resetting abilities to the game if they're constantly going to be nerfed.


The abilities are particularly problematic in PvP, where players can chain several attacks or crowd control abilities together within a short period of time. What do you think? Do cooldown resetting abilities belong in the game? Are they overpowered?


Filed under: News items

Ghostcrawler might be having Zarhym's baby

Gather round, and let me tell you a story. A story about a crab and a floating skull. A love story. It all started yesterday, when a warrior called Rendan posted that the reason Ghostcrawler no longer frequents the forums is that he has fallen pregnant with Zarhym's baby.

Senior Community Rep Zarhym was first to weigh in on the thread. He told the story of how he wooed Ghostcrawler with Al Green's Let's Stay Together, and things rapidly escalated from there. A Doodle Gnome by the name of Paululum provided a first image of the happy family, as can be seen to the right, and the thread went on with what must be a record number of blue posts detailing little Zarcrawler's godfather, babysitters of dubious quality, and his various other relatives. Rygarius even managed to tear himself away from patch notes to join in the fun.

Paululum the Doodle Gnome continued to document little Zarcrawler's early days, depicting everything from the infant's first words, through the terrible twos and the tough love, the games of peek-a-boo and the pictures. Zarcrawler's awkward questions, first outings, and nerf bat training, all documented by one talented gnome! WoW Insider wishes Ghostcrawler, Zarhym, and little Zarcrawler all the best for their future together.

Filed under: Humor

Patch 5.4 PTR: Virtual Realms announced

What, you may ask, are virtual realms? Well, they're a very interesting new feature (and if you choose, you can pretend they're the new feature Ghostcrawler mentioned for 5.4) that will have quite an impact on how we play the game. To quote the patch notes:

Rygarius - Patch 5.4 Coming Soon!
Virtual Realms are sets of realms that are fused together, and will behave exactly as if they were one cohesive realm. Players on the same Virtual Realm will be able to join guilds, access a single Auction House, join arena teams and raids, as well run dungeons or group up to complete quests.

This is basically the first step in the creation of a unified, single realm across whole regions of World of Warcraft. Similar in concept to a PvP Battlegroup, this basically allows you to treat players from other realms in the shared virtual realm as if they were on your selfsame realm, including all the benefits of guilding, grouping and raiding.; This is an enormous game changer, and I admit, I don't think I ever expected to see it happen. For guilds on low pop servers, this drastically increases the potential player base that you can recruit, for just one potential benefit.

Do remember, however, that this is the PTR. As Ghostcrawler says:

Stay tuned for more news -- this is definitely an exciting change.

Filed under: Guilds, Blizzard, News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne: Addressing ability bloat in death knight skills

Lichborne Addressing ability bloat in death knight skills
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Recently on Twitter, Lead systems designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street was asked what issues he'd fix if he could immediately wave a wand and make it better. One of the ones he mentioned was ability bloat. Ability bloat is the term used to describe a class needing to press too many buttons simply to perform the basic tasks expected of them in group PvE and PvP content.

Ability bloat is certainly something that's been on my mind as well, so this week we'll consider the possibility of ability bloat in death knights and figure out various ways to address it. Much like how talents were pared down for Mists, I wouldn't be surprised to see abilities pared down in major ways for the next expansion, and we might as well start anticipating it.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Diminishing returns on valor instead of a cap?

Diminishing returns on valor instead of a cap
Ghostcrawler tossed out a tweet last night that raised my eyebrow:


The design of valor (and the emblems before points) has been an interesting progression. We've gone from many types of emblems to a point system, and then to a system where you could do a week's worth of points in a day, and then to a system where you had weekly caps but to hit them in the most efficient way you had to log in every day, and now (likely and as to be expected) more changes in the future. What exactly theses change will be is up for debate, but diminishing returns is a popular option.

As a simplified example, the way the system would work is as follows:
  • Heroic #1 for the day: 200 valor points
  • Heroic #2 for the day: 100 valor points
  • Heroic #3 for the day: 66 valor points
  • Heroic #4 for the day: 50 valor points
  • Heroic #5 for the day: 40 valor points
The idea is that after each heroic (or after some number of heroics), the amount of valor you'll get continues to decrease to the point of not making it worthwhile at all to run them. This concept could also be applied to raids and other systems that distribute any kind of currency. In the example above the rate of change is linear (200 valor/number of runs), however in practice the rate of change would likely be piecewise (the rate not determined by a function, but by set values the designers choose that are loosely based on a function), and also it'd probably have minimums so running heroics would never return virtually zero valor.

It's an interesting exercise to write numbers down on paper and see what the best way to reward valor for yourself would be. For me a 1/x curve with a lower-bound limit of 33% feels about right (ie: the lowest valor you'd get for running a heroic would be 33% of normal valor).

As with most things Ghostcrawler, please be aware that his insights should often be taken as an academic discussion of WoW's design. Don't try to suss out truths and what the future of WoW will hold. Instead use them as interesting bits into the minds of the designers, realizing that the final product of WoW comes from hundreds of ideas from hundreds of people.

Filed under: News items

Off-spec loot options, are you using them?

Offspec loot options, are you using them
As we've mentioned before, one of the biggest changes to patch 5.3 is the ability to get off-spec loot in LFR. It has the potential to be a real game changer for players who occupy a critical non-DPS role. This means if you queue up for LFR as a tank, you'll be able to get DPS gear instead of tanking gear. And for tanks this is especially important, as they always seem to lag behind in DPS gear (while this might not help for a heroic tank having to go DPS, for everyone else it's a boon).

Last night Ghostcrawler tweeted the following:


Honestly, Ghostcrawler's tweet raises an eyebrow. Why did he do this? Without reading too much into what he's saying, I think it's obvious that to some extent it's because he feels not enough people are aware of it or are using it as they should be (otherwise why say something). I'm wondering if Blizzard has preliminary stats already about the number of people using off-spec loot and it's not where they want it.

One of the reasons for that is it's tucked away in the menu options, somewhere that is relatively hidden from the visual crawl (where you move your view around the window/UI and look for options). Even as a veteran WoW player I occasionally forget that something is in the player menu, and I know there's been a few times when I'm suddenly surprised something's there.

I hope that players are using this to their full advantage; run LFR as a tank and get DPS gear is a pretty sweet deal. What's your use of the function so far, or are you waiting until the weekend to start your LFR runs? For more of the really important things about 5.3 you might have missed, check out or post listing 'em.

Filed under: News items

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

Patch 5.3 and more with Ghostcrawler

Patch 53 and more with Ghostcrawler
In case you hadn't heard the news, patch 5.3 is set to hit live servers tomorrow. While 5.3 doesn't include a new raid, there are a host of different new activities, including four new scenarios, heroic scenarios, a ton of pet battle changes, and of course the advancement of Mists of Pandaria's storyline as the heat ramps up between Alliance, Horde, and an outlier faction of Horde rebels. It's back to the Barrens again -- and this time, Crossroads isn't the area of contention.

But on top of all of the new content comes a ton of different class and content changes as well. We sat down to chat with Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street about patch 5.3's changes, as well as some upcoming changes for patch 5.4, response to subscription losses, Vengeance changes, that big unannounced feature we've all been dying to hear more about, and much more.

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 5.4

Ghostcrawler on Vengeance and patch 54
Yes, patch 5.3 isn't even out yet, and we're already looking towards patch 5.4. Thanks to Ghostcrawler, we have this to think about for the future, namely that Vengeance is getting capped at a significantly lower threshold in raids in the future. If you remember back at August of last year, Vengeance saw some significant changes that increased how fast it could ramp up in raids and also gave it a far larger maximum potential. It's been adjusted over time, but in general what GC said back last August has held true -- tank DPS in raiding really did go up. To the point where on some pulls it's not unusual to see tanks leading the DPS, sometimes by extremely large numbers.

Since this is a big change that will drastically lower tank damage output (25-man tanks with their 600,000 or more health buffed will lose roughly 300,000 AP on fights where Vengeance was capping at 100% of their health) I'm not surprise it won't be coming in 5.3 -- I am a little surprised it's happening at all, because we all knew Vengeance and tank damage would do exactly what it has done when it was changed. Still, I wait to observe if it has much practical difference since aside from AoE tanking where a multitude of hits can roll in a short window of time (that 20 second ramp up period) and the tanks can make effective use of all that AP I'm not sure it will matter. 5-mans and scenarios were not mentioned, so for now I'm assuming this is only for the raids mentioned.

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Why raiders and multiboxers are overestimated

Do you want to raid Do you multibox
Recently, Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street tweeted the following:
This was something of a surprising tweet. Now, of course, there are several subjective notions in there, but it merits some discussion nonetheless. Firstly, what is considered the forum posting or tweeting community? It seems that this would simply be those who regularly contribute to either of those venues, putting it simply, and indeed those with whom he is in regular contact. Do you consider yourself part of either community? And why does that community overestimate the number of people raiding or multiboxing, if they do at all?

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is a cognitive science term, that describes a human tendency to search for, remember or interpret information in such a way that it confirms one's own preconceptions. A fine example of this is the "everybody thinks X" idea, which crops up a lot. If you believe that, for example, frost mages don't have enough burst, you might seek out other opinions that support your own, and partly ignore the clamoring crowd who assert that frost mage burst is out of control. Confirmation bias is particularly prevalent on the internet, where it's almost always possible to find another opinion that supports your own.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

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