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Posts with tag jeff-kaplan

Kaplan to speak at the Game Developers Conference

Jeffrey Kaplan (also known as Tigole) is scheduled to speak at this years Game Developers Conference, which should prove to be really, really interesting for us WoW players. The conference is aimed at sharing knowledge among game developers, and Kaplan's panel is aimed at discussing World of Warcraft's questing system, as well as how gameplay has an effect on lore and story.

As someone who regularly geeks out about the lore of Warcraft, it disappoints me that I can't be there to listen to it in person. Gameplay always has a really large effect on how the lore of a video game world is allowed to play out (especially in MMOs) but a lot of those constraints have been overcome with the advances made in Wrath of the Lich King. The things they've done to overcome those issues largely come from Tigole's team of developers.

I very much hope that transcripts of GDC's panels find their way to the web shortly after the conference. One of my favorite parts of BlizzCon and BlizzCast is the somewhat behind the scenes look into the process, and the philosophy that goes into how and why Blizzard does what they do. This pretty much sounds right up my alley, and I know a lot of you have expressed the same sentiment each time a new BlizzCast has gone live. I'll definitely be watching for any transcripts that pop up.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Blizzard

Champion of the Frozen Wastes bugged

Many people are starting to notice that as they're completing 10-man raiding they're not getting the achievement "Champion of the Frozen Wastes." This is a known bug and will be fixed in an upcoming patch.

The achievement calls for you to kill all of the 10-man bosses and all heroic bosses present in Wrath of the Lich King at launch. The bug is in the fact that while Malygos isn't listed as a required boss kill, it really is. If you kill Maylgos, along with having killed every other 10-man and 5-man boss, you'll get the achievement.

Tigole originally announced this bug back on November 3rd, but it really hasn't been coming into play until now. We've received a few tips and complaints about it, and thought it worthy to bring to your attention.

We're expecting this to be fixed in patch 3.0.4. While no official announcement has been made, with the numerous announcements of 3.0.4 changes last week we're expecting the PTR for patch 3.0.4 to drop soon – if not this week.

Filed under: Bugs, Raiding, Achievements

BlizzCon 2008: WoW Q&A Panel Liveblog

Hello Everyone! The Panel is about to start, and we have a front row seat. Check out the latest updates behind the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, Bosses, Classes, Buffs, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Who's who at BlizzCon: WoW Insider's guide to the staff of Blizzard

Everyone going to BlizzCon this year will get to roam around the convention hall with some of the very people who bring you World of Warcraft and other Blizzard games. While many World of Warcraft fans might be familiar with the online pseudonyms such as "Drysc" and "Tigole," very few probably know what they actually look like.

We've searched the internet high and low for pictures of these folks and have compiled them into a nice and handy gallery complete with some biographical information. The pictures are small and mobile enough that they can be saved to an iPhone or other mobile device that can be brought into the convention hall.

If you happen to be going to BlizzCon be sure to stop and say hello to these Blizzard people. And if you aren't going, check out WoW Insider during the convention for the latest and greatest reporting right from the floor.

Filed under: BlizzCon

Mage class not being removed at this time

In a startling announcement, European CM Vaneras has confirmed that Blizzard has no plans to remove the Mage class from the game. "Current plans," the CM later clarified. "Please remember that the expansion is still in the middle of extensive beta testing, and many aspects of the game are being balanced. If we find that a crappy talent or class is not working, we will remove it."

The statement was met with mixed reactions among the playerbase, as many have agitated for an existing class to be cannibalized and its sweet innards redistributed in order to preserve raid balance in Wrath of the Lich King. Other, less pointless ranged DPS classes saw much debate concerning the issue. While Hunters could regrettably not be reached for comment as it was dinnertime and Mom was calling, the Warlock community, found at their collective den of iniquity, replied, "Nerfing us is not the answer. Buff other classes." When asked about Mages, they thought for a moment and said, "Classes worth buffing."

WoW Insider has thus far been unable to confirm with a developer that Mages will indeed remain in the game through patch 3.02. Reached at his office late Tuesday afternoon, Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan responded, "The what class?"

Disclaimer: the author of this post may possibly be bored and prone to making things up about expansion hysteria.

Filed under: Mage, Odds and ends, Expansions, Humor, Classes, Forums

"Tigole Deep-Breaths more"

Interesting note from the forums, although apparently quite a few threads are being deleted or locked even as I write this; Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan appeared momentarily in this thread written by a player complaining about the 51-point Restoration Shaman talent, Riptide. The original poster notes Blizzard's guiding philosophy of never shipping a game before they're truly done with it, and contrasts that with the fact that some of Riptide's visual and audio effects are unlikely to be finished in time for Wrath (the spell itself is apparently 100% functional, just not the bells and whistles Blizzard usually programs to accompany player spells and abilities).

Another player down the thread characterizes this as Blizzard caving to demands made by Activision. Tigole appears a few comments down to ban the first commenter for "trolling," adding that the game is still being worked on. The second of the two commenters mentioned is then handed a ban by Tigole as well. One of the response threads that appears to have survived is here, with a set of reactions ranging from sympathy to Tigole to a recountment of EverQuest history to concern over how the two players were banned.

I'm somewhat torn, and had wondered whether the whole thing was a joke; I've not seen Tigole appear on the forums to ban people before (although it's entirely possible he has and I've just missed it). I've seen worse behavior on the forums escape official comment, but it does seem as if the number of complaints (rational or not) has hit fever pitch on the discussion boards. And -- let's be frank -- a lot of it does seem like pretty pointless carping. I've had a chance to see the beta myself now, and I don't think anyone could realistically accuse Blizzard of skipping its usual attention to detail (indeed, the only running complaint I've seen on the beta servers is that they're too popular). Still, these particular bans seem a little out of the ordinary, unless there's something going on I haven't seen.

**EDIT: as of 4:12 pm EST, it looks like the above referenced response post has also been deleted, but the original source thread is still intact.**

Filed under: Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums, Rumors

Collector's Edition and Blizzard Events items will become "Bound to Account"

Jeff Kaplan a.k.a. "Tigole" announced today that the following items will become "Account Bound":
This is an interesting change to say the least. Blizzard will set this change in motion on the Beta first, and if everything goes smoothly it'll go live (no word if it will happen in Wrath of the Lich King or patch 3.0.2).

Kaplan notes that with this change Collector's Edition pets will no longer disappear when you put them into your pet spell book. The spell will still be added, but you will be able to send the pet item around to your other characters on your account.

He does point out that if you've already put your pet into the pet spell book, you won't be able to be refunded the pet on the beta. Of course, that does not apply to the live realms – since the pet spell book isn't implemented in live.

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Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Should your GM be able to tax you?

This idea's been floated before, but a few people on the forums have responded pretty enthusiastically to the notion of introducing a "guild income tax." Others...not so much so. Basically, there was a proposal made in the Beta forums that Blizzard give GM's/officers the ability to levy a percentage-based tax on members' earnings. Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan responded, saying that it "was an interesting idea" and they're considering options for improving guild administration, but there was no way they could program a change like this in time for Wrath. Bear in mind that the original tax being suggested would apply to your toon both inside and out of raids (although no one was seriously suggesting that the tax should apply to non-raiding members of the guild).

I have to admit that I'm not too keen on the idea of a broad-based "income tax" on players, if only because the game's current mechanics make it all but certain that the main beneficiaries will be people who either can't (due to class/spec) or won't put much gold into the guild coffers. Moreover, the taxation idea acts as an incentive for people not to guild their alts, thus avoiding taxation entirely on toons that are usually the real means of support for a raiding main (someone remind me to go reserve a hunter named Swissbank). As an herbalist/alchemist, I farm a lot for friends and have been known to chuck the guild bank a few hundred gold from time to time. Maybe I'd save time and money under a system that required me to hand over 2-3% of my income, but still. Being taxed removes an element of individual responsibility, and it certainly takes away the nice feeling you have for voluntarily helping others.

If nothing else the idea's given rise to a few nice jokes (Cacora of Hellscream: "Do I get money back at the end of the year if I claim multiple alts as dependents?"), but the final word may well belong to Grig from Whisperwind: "So, Blizzard is considering taking one of the most universally loathed concepts from real life and adding it to a game. Why, they'd be silly not to do it."

Filed under: Herbalism, Alchemy, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Economy, Making money

Level 80 and other major new highlights from the Beta [Updated]

Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan posted several new changes that are appearing in the Wrath of the Lich King Beta tonight. The highlights include:
  • Level cap raised to 80.
  • Less XP required for 70 to 80*
  • Storm Peaks zone available, Icecrown unavailable.
  • Follow dungeons available:
    • Halls of Lightning
    • Halls of Stone
    • Caverns of Time: Stratholme
    • The Occulus
    • Utgarde Pinnacle
    • Heroic Nexus
Tigole also notes that premade characters will be made available at a later date on a different server. It looks like they'll actually be doing this now. More changes and analysis of the latest Beta patch to come throughout the evening. Stay tuned.

*We did some rough calculations. Daniel's Hunter was approximately 50% of the way through level 70. His hunter is now 60% of the way through level 70. Thus, the XP required to level was reduced by approximately 20%. These are just rough estimates, and no official word on the percentage has came out yet.

Update 11:49 p.m. EDT: Zarhym has said that patch notes are still being compiled. We'll have them up as soon as Blizzard releases them.

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Brack: Will Blizzard consider a graphical overhaul? "Yep, probably."

Chilton and Brack are just all kinds of talkative at the Leipzig Games Convention this year -- in addition to chatting with the buffed.de folks, they also sat down with Jeff Kaplan and Eurogamer, and the results of that conversation are now up on their site.

They start out by talking about the changes with 10 and 25 man raiding, and Kaplan says plainly that the Burning Crusade endgame was just too plain hard: "We just had: 'OK, welcome to level 70, here's a brick wall. Maybe you can climb it.'" There will still be a hardcore endgame in Wrath, but it'll be later on, near the very end of the raiding ladder. They also describe Wrath as a "coming home" moment -- after an "exploratory" period in Outland, Wrath will be a return to Warcraft's tradition and lore. And perhaps most surprising, Brack actually lends a lot of credence to a question about a graphical overhaul "from the ground up." He says that by the next expansion they'll "probably" have to look at updating the graphics system completely.

And finally, Blizzard believes that yes, even though it doesn't seem like it now, eventually there'll be something bigger than World of Warcraft. Brack's last word is an interesting look at the future: "Something will come along and WoW will be like EverQuest: a great game I played back in the day."

[via WorldofWar.net]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzcast Episode 4 reveals Warcraft information and insights

Blizzcast episode 4 is now live and available for listening, and with it, of course, has come a wealth of new World of Warcraft Information. Some of it is stuff we've gotten wind for before, but there's some interesting insights into the whole game. You can listen to it here and read the transcript here, or join us after the break for a breakdown of the juiciest information from the Interviews

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Filed under: Fishing, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard, News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Kaplan on Achievements and how Blizzard is doing them differently

Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan must have finished his work on the expansion because he's talking a lot lately -- first he's all over the forums giving us tidbits about what's up with Wrath, and now he's had a chat with MTV Multiplayer about what Blizzard's planning to do the same and differently with their achievements system.

He openly acknowledges the impact of the Xbox 360 and Steam platform's achievements systems, and says that Blizzard even found themselves calling the rewards "achievements," just because the idea was so well established. But they're trying to do things differently as well: whenever they can they'll offer a progress bar, and give players access to many of the stats they have, so it'll be easy to track just where you're at in the process of earning the points.

Kaplan also says that the UI team is working on completely opening up the system to mods as well, so expect to see some wild achievement addons when the mod community gets their hands on it. We do still have one more question, though: just what kinds of rewards will all these achievement points be used for? Kaplan, if you're still up for talking, feel free to chat with us.

[via WorldofWar.net]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Quests, Achievements

Kaplan reveals a stinky achievement

It was just a quick sentence that went by almost completely unnoticed, flew totally under the radar. But in an interview which WoW lead designer Jeff Kaplan gave to WoW Vault, he mentioned a heretofore unknown achievement reward coming up in Wrath that will definitely pass the smell test.

Current Wrath beta testers may have been able to peruse the approximately 500 achievements in the current build, but Kaplan has indicated that by the final release there will be 600-700 achievements for players to attempt. One of these achievements, Kaplan said, can be acquired by collecting pets. It seems that if you collect all the available pets in the game -- and I'm not sure if he meant tameable pets or collectible/vanity pets or both -- you will be granted a unique pet in the form of a skunk called Stinker. For my two "scents," I do love me some cute vanity pets, but I'm really glad that WoW doesn't come in a scratch-n-sniff version or with smell-o-vision.

So now it's time for you to earn a WoW Insider achievement! Anyone under the age of thirty who can guess the name of the character in the picture will get this achievement: "Le kittee quel terriblay odeur!!"

Filed under: Items, News items, Expansions, Humor, NPCs, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Kaplan announces Outlands leveling to be shortened

Jeff Kaplan, the lead game designer, posted in the forums under his username Tigole that Blizzard will be speeding up leveling in the 60 to 70 bracket just as they sped up the 20 to 60 bracket. This has long been rumored and it's great to see this get implemented.

Initial reports tell us the amount of experience points necessary to progress to each level has been decreased by 30% (for the 60 to 70 range only). Additional posters are reporting that mobs which give 500xp on the live server are now giving 600xp on the beta server. There doesn't seem to be any increase in the XP rewarded by quests yet, but this might be a future change.

Kaplan asks everyone to provide feedback on the change (if you're in the beta), and it looks like they've got his ear for the time being. So if you're in the beta and want to weigh in on the subject, now's the time.

Many thanks to the various users who submitted this news tip.

Filed under: News items, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

All things Wrath of the Lich King

Over the past week, particularly in the last few days, the crisp Internet air has been abuzz with news from the upcoming expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. Fear you're out of the loop? Here's a quick round-up of all the information being released, along with analysis and opinion.

Don't forget to keep checking back, as this page will be updated as information becomes available:

Dungeons and raids
  1. An analysis on Arthas as a ten-manned event, including its impact on the 25-man raiding structure, as well an exploration of its consistency with the lore.
  2. Did you know that all expansion raids will have a 10-man setting, as well as a 25-man?
  3. Read through some of our initial impressions on the 10-man raiding set-up.
  4. We also wrote up a concise overview of the ins and outs of dungeons post-expansion, including a new token system, similar to [Badge of Justice].
  5. The Nexus has been announced on the official site as one of the new dungeons.
  6. The WoW Insider Show discusses 10-manning Arthas.
Zones, factions, and relevant lore
  1. Alex has written an excellent overview of the Grizzly Hills, a soon-to-be zone for low to mid-seventies. With old factions reappearing, along with other surprises, it's definitely something to look forward to!
  2. If news of the Dragonblight has intrigued you, you'll be pleased to know that more information has been made available.
  3. While we're brushing up on our lore and learning about new areas and factions, Alex thought it fitting to illuminate the lore behind Azjol-Nerub, as the Nerubians will have their own role in the expansion.
  4. Alex asks us about lore figures we'd like to see in the expansion.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Screenshots, Raiding, Lore, Factions, Know your Lore, Galleries, Interviews, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

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