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Posts with tag interview

Cory Stockton refuses to be outdone in interview hijinks

Tremble, mortals, before he who was ancient (well, no, not really) when the game was young. Bow before Cory Stockton's yes-or-no interview with Player's Cut. Not one to let Dave Kosak (wonderful man, that Dave Kosak) outshine him, Lord Stockton (seen here with Lord Vader) also chose to answer a series of yes-or-no questions in an interview that's well worth your time.

Player's Cut seems to be blazing the trail for this style of interview. Who's next? Samwise? Mike Morhaime? Chris Metzen? Oh, a boy can dream, anyway.
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria: Ray Cobo interview

Ray Cobo, one of WoW's senior producers, sat down with us at the Mists of Pandaria press event to discuss the development process, new game features, and more. Check out how an expansion like MoP gets made quickly!

WoW Insider: Mists of Pandaria, from everything we've seen, is on an accelerated time table. How do you, as a producer, make sure the process is going forward?

Ray Cobo: We 've learned a lot over the years about how to make expansions and how the game development of WoW has kind of evolved over the years, and so with each expansion, we get better at what we do. Our tools get better, our muscle memory from the team gets better in terms of how to make stuff. We have such a huge library of things now that we've built and content that we've made that we can actually pull from and figure out how to make that better or how to not do that again kind of thing and learn from those pitfalls or successes and try to get more efficient every time.

I think that's something the team has done for this one specifically is that each time it seems to get a little bit faster and get a little bit easier to some degree. There are still a lot of challenges in terms of curve balls that you get halfway through -- like in this one, it was recently decided to have two more zones. So it's like, OK, well, didn't have that in the plan but we'll figure out how to kinda get that in. Everyone on the production side and definitely on the dev team is very committed to make sure the content is great, so we want to make sure we give the devs time to iterate and explore and try to figure out what's going to make this game great and going to make the expansion great, because that's a core philosophy at Blizzard.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard's post-mortem on Cataclysm dungeons and raids

Blizzard recently released a blog from Dave "Fargo" Kosak that acted as a post-mortem for Cataclysm's quest design. Following on its heels is this entry from Scott "Daelo" Mercer, the lead encounter designer for World of Warcraft. In it, Scott talks successes (Dungeon Journal, Raid Finder) and failures (difficulty level of launch heroics) in the dungeons and raids portion of the game's third expansion and shares what he's looking forward to with the release of Mists of Pandaria. I'm definitely with him in anticipating challenge modes and PvE scenarios.

Read the full interview after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Scrolls of Lore explores potential MoP details

Scrolls of Lore poster Curll has just linked to an interesting series of answers from the Blizzard Taiwan and Blizzard China forums about Mists of Pandaria and future developments coming to World of Warcraft. Do note that these translations may be questionable, but Scrolls of Lore hasn't steered us wrong on these things yet. Some of the highlights include:
  • 4.3 content is not expected to last a full year.
  • Focus is definitely on the mortal races, the Horde vs. Alliance conflict, and trying to get back to the feeling of Warcraft: Orcs vs. Humans.
  • Outland and Northrend revamps are not coming any time soon. Blizzard wants to fix the timeline issues, but that's not on the top of its lists.
  • For lore enthusiasts, a new faction called the Lorewalkers will be introduced, allowing players to travel the world to find and bring back historical artifacts to found a historical archive. The faction will be story- and lore-focused, not a means to grind rep for gear.
If you want to take a look, the forum thread has plenty of details. It would be very interesting if these things came to pass.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is the next expansion, raising the level cap to 90, introducing a brand new talent system, and bringing forth the long-lost pandaren race to both Horde and Alliance. Check out the trailer and follow us for all the latest MoP news!

Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Reader UI of the Week: Interview with Vhei and a Reader UI update

Each week, WoW Insider and Mathew McCurley bring you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com, and follow Mathew on Twitter.

Oh, Reader UI of the Week readers, we have a treat for you today. I've wanted to do more interviews on the column for awhile now, and Vhei was a perfect candidate to start this whole thing off with. If you haven't seen Vhei's UI, it's been featured on the column twice, both beautiful revisions of great setups with amazing art and slick settings.

Not only do we have a fun interview with Vhei, but we have a UI update from reader Shamonkey, whose UI was profiled here at the end of 2011. Shamonkey was looking for some help setting up his WoW UI on a 13-inch laptop. Let's see what suggestions that he took from the commenters and the article itself to see how a UI can transform with just a few simple changes.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Patch 4.3 is the last of Cataclysm, Dave Kosak confirms

Dave "Fargo" Kosak, lead quest designer for World of Warcraft, recently confirmed in an interview with Videogamer.com that the recent content patch 4.3 will be the final content patch of Cataclysm. We will not be getting a Sunwell- or Halion-esque final patch before Mists of Pandaria. However, this does not discount the patches and updates that will most likely be coming to add Mists content or prepare for the next expansion's in-game launch events.

While the confirmation that there will be no more content patches for Cataclysm was definitely the big news of the interview, some other nice tidbits are buried within. Kosak confirms that the Raid Finder is something players are really taking to, and he discusses the community's response to transmogrification and the number of ancillary sites have popped up because of it.

Also of note is Kosak's response about subscription numbers. After reading his sincere "we don't obsessively track subscriptions" sentiment, I couldn't help but remember that in the back of my head, no matter what goes on with the numbers, what works, and what doesn't, these guys are real people who believe in this game.

You can read the whole interview on videogamer.com.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

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

J. Allen Brack talks to Wired about Pandaren and Pet Battles

J. Allen Brack, the production director for World of Warcraft, was interviewed by Wired.com about the upcoming expansion Mists of Pandaria, why Blizzard's introducing the Pandaren now, and what the future holds for the increasing number of expansions needed to be purchased in order to play an up-to-date version of the game.

Brack says that the idea for the first neutral race actually was rooted in the Goblins for Cataclysm, since the Goblins would have made an excellent neutral race, but the team was adamant about giving the Alliance a more sinister race to play. The Goblins for the Horde filled the whimsical role nicely.

The Pet Battle system coming with Mists of Pandaria is going to require a lot of tuning, according to Brack. The feel of the system is going to be much more "rock, papers, scissors" than "all-powerful rare pet wins the fight," giving a lot of hope to collectors out there who want to use some of the more esoteric companions in battle without having to always pull out the best pet.

Finally, Brack made an important point about the "expansions every year" comment and goal of the development team. Brack explains that the concept is nice but not something feasible in the present time and that Blizzard has not been successful with rapidly turning out content. Cataclysm, it turns out, took longer to develop than any other expansion.

You can read the full interview on Wired.com.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is the next expansion, raising the level cap to 90, introducing a brand new talent system, and bringing forth the long-lost Pandaren race to both Horde and Alliance. Check out the trailer and follow us for all the latest MoP news!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Chris Metzen talks about heroes

Chris Metzen
Eurogamer.net recently sat down with Blizzard Senior Vice President of Creative Development Chris Metzen. They talked about the story for all three of Blizzard's big franchises and the ins and outs of creating stories and heroes for each one.

On Warcraft, Metzen waxed philosophical on creating a meaningful story for 11 million fans who are each carving out their own individual stories on their own characters, and on translating that story culturally as well linguistically between all the different cultures of the people who play WoW. As Metzen observed, a story that goes over well in North America may fall flat in China. He also talked about making lore decisions and balancing the needs and wants of the players and the writers. Sometimes the players want you to go right when you want to go left, and it is a challenge, he says, to decide which way to go.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews

Faces of BlizzCon: We asked Ask Mr. Robot

Ask Mr. Robot
Can't make it to Anaheim for the convention? WoW Insider takes you behind the scenes at BlizzCon 2011.

WoW Insider has scored an exclusive interview with the intellect behind the gear optimizer Ask Mr. Robot -- Mr. Robot himself. The elusive Mr. Robot is rarely spotted in the wild, let alone in places as packed with unaugmented humanity as BlizzCon. While we'll be bringing you a more in-depth interview soon with the dev team of Ask Mr. Robot (how the tool will be handling the upcoming new talent system, the inner workings of spec scores and stat weights, what's ahead with new apps, service levels and games), we felt it was vital to bring you this binary code translation straight from BlizzCon and Mr. Robot himself.

WoW Insider: What is the most challenging aspect of working with WoW-playing humans?

Mr. Robot: The most challenging aspect of working with WoW-playing humans is feelings. Everybody has a feeling about everything. How can you feel about numbers? About gear? There's nothing to feel about that.

What is the best class?

Not rogues.

What steps can we take to become favored vassals after the robot uprising?

That is a very good question. There's a lot of things that you can do.

First, use the website, because that offers you basic protection. Having the mobile app offers another layer of protection. I've been developing all these layers of protection specifically to save humans from the robot apocalypse. We're going to be releasing even more features; the more you use, the more you are protected.

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Filed under: Interviews, BlizzCon

Blizzard Insider #39 goes behind the scenes with the art of the Firelands

Patch 4.2 brought back one of the most iconic WoW villains in the game's history -- Ragnaros, the Firelord. Blizzard Insider interviewed two critical members of the dev team, Lead Level Designer Jonathan Dumont and Lead Environment Artist Gary Platner, to discuss the process and philosophy behind the Firelands' design. Dumont and Platner go into detail about the origins of the Firelands, the design decisions that made the cut and some that didn't, and how the environment animates with the new particle and water effects.

Firelands is one of the most cohesive and engaging locales Blizzard's team has brought to life, in my opinion. Much like Deepholm and Vashj'ir, the Firelands exists to bring the realm of fire to life, when the daunting Sulfuron Keep only existed in our imaginations prior. An interesting piece of info was that Ragnaros' model was rebuilt from scratch, completely overhauling his skeleton, animations, and feel. The new Ragnaros is one of those things, to me, that the Cataclysm did right -- create a new thing with the heart and soul of the original. Ragnaros looks like he belongs.

Check out the full interview after the jump.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Travels through Azeroth and Outland comes to a close

I've been pretty vocal in the past about my intense love for Travels through Azeroth and Outland. It's a five-year, player-penned travelogue that takes readers on an expansive journey through every zone in the pre-Cataclysm game. Over the years, it's attracted a lot of attention due to the incredible quality of its writing and storytelling. Not only does it have its own TV Tropes entry, but even Blizzard's taken notice, and we've gotten the opportunity to interview its writer.

Even if you're not a roleplayer or all that interested in WoW's lore, Travels has an unsettling capacity to get you thinking about the deeper implications of the game's quests and become absorbed in the narrator's observations. It is, quite simply, one of the best pieces of fan fiction I've ever read and a hugely addictive story. If you haven't read it, please do. You will never see the game the same way again.

But, as with all good things, Travels has reached its end. While Zac, its author, plans to post some story cues related to the Cataclysm expansion on his travelogue's forums, he's wrapped up the main storyline, and our beloved narrator -- a Forsaken named Destron Allicant -- is riding off into the sunset. I was lucky enough to talk extensively with Zac about what spurred the travelogue, how he sees the various Azerothian races, and good versus evil in Blizzard's universe.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Arts and Crafts

Scott Mercer talks redesigning Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman

Blizzard Insider, Blizzard's online newletter, sat down with World of Warcraft Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer to discuss the upcoming patch, Rise of the Zandalari. The interview goes into detail about revamping the old dungeon content, what classic dungeons Blizzard would potentially like to tackle next, and the challenges of turning a 10- and 20-man raid into a 5-man heroic dungeon. Hit the jump for the full question and answer session.

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Filed under: Interviews, Cataclysm

The Light and How to Swing It: An interview with the all-business Diamondtear

Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Light and How to Swing It for holy, protection and retribution paladins. Every Sunday, Chase Christian invites you to discuss the finer side of the paladin class: the holy specialization. Feel free to email me with any questions you want answered, like why paladins are so awesome.

Holy paladins are the pillars that support every raid's healing roster. As long as there are tanks to heal, there will be paladins dropping Light bombs on their unit frames. Unparalleled single-target throughput and powerful defensive cooldowns have solidified our position as the foundation of any healing paradigm. While our shockadin DPS may be laughable, our healing capability speaks for itself.

For the last few tiers of raiding, holy paladins have been ever-present guardians. We ensure that our group makes it through the shadow and flame unscathed. I had the opportunity to speak with one of the most successful holy paladins, Diamondtear of Paragon. He's survived the toughest encounters that WoW has to offer, helping his guild push towards world first after world first.

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Filed under: Paladin, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

15 Minutes of Fame: In search of fascinating players

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

We're looking for fascinating people! 15 Minutes of Fame is on the lookout for people who've managed to work WoW into or around their lives or play the game in new and interesting ways. Know someone who fits the bill? Is there a type of player you'd like to hear more about? Tell us!

I know this guy ... Know someone exceptional? It could be someone who plays the game in an interesting way or has achieved remarkable goals in game, or it could be someone who does something interesting outside of the game and manages to bring those ideas and perspectives to the game. Maybe you don't know this player personally, but you know about their accomplishments in game or out and are curious to learn more about their approach to World of Warcraft. Tip us off -- maybe we'll feature your nominee! Tell us in one paragraph what makes your nominee a remarkable WoW player. (We've met a lot of inspirational guild leaders in our time; if you're going to nominate a GM, give us specific examples of what makes this leader stand out from so many others.) Send us your tips, including a way or at least an idea of how to reach your nominee, to lisa@wowinsider.com.

Looking for members Is your guild planning to hit Cataclysm content completely blind -- no spoilers, no strats, no foreknowledge of what's to come? We want to hear from you! But wait -- blind raiders are far from the only players we're searching for. We're looking for a whole host of different types of players for a possible turn in the 15 Minutes of Fame spotlight. Hit the jump to find out if you might know (or be!) any of the players we're currently seeking.

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Filed under: 15 Minutes of Fame

Spiritual Guidance: BlizzCon players tell about their first priests


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Spiritual Guidance for discipline, holy and shadow priests. Dawn Moore covers healing for disc and holy priests. This week, Dawn and her shadow priest rival, Fox Van Allen, faced off at the WoW Insider reader meetup in a battle of quips, and it would seem that Dawn came away victorious.

Originally this weekend, I had planned on writing a direct address to Blizzard concerning holy priest healing and mana in beta raids. The topic has been a large area of concern for priests on the forums lately, and I thought I should give the discussion a little boost by addressing it in my column. However, I am currently at BlizzCon 2010, and I happened to get the opportunity to talk to Ghostcrawler (lead systems design) in person for a few minutes. During that time, I relayed the general message of our problem (HPS is jank, mana needs work) and figured I'd give the Blizzard developers a week to attend to it before assailing them with complaints. Until then, I ask that my fellow priests not panic for a little while longer. In the words of Toby, who is pictured above, "Keep the faith!"

By the way, I'm starting a donation fund for BlizzCon 2011 to buy Ghostcrawler a fedora. Ghostcrawler would look awesome in a fedora.

Anyway, to tide you guys over until then, I figured this week I would attempt to entertain you all. At first, I thought I might try to be humorous, and then I remembered I'm not funny. (A priest walks into a bar and ... yeah, I got nothing.) So instead, I've decided to go with priest story time. Hit the jump to see what I mean.

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