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Posts with tag jeffkaplan

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

More Wrath info from Leipzig

Howling Fjord Bridge
It seems that WoW Lead Designer Jeff Kaplan has a new bit of expansion information for every journalist he talks to at this week's European Game Conference in Leipzig, Germany. This batch of news comes from Curse gaming, who has sent a couple of journalists over to get the scoop.
  • We already know about the L70 instance called Utgarde Keep in the Howling Fjord zone. Now we learn that there will be a second wing of the instance for L80 players called Utgarde Pinnacle. Both dungeons will have Normal and Heroic modes. Yay for key grinding! Anybody?
  • The new Inscription profession will do more than increases effectiveness of spells and abilities. Devs are playing with the concept of using Inscription to improve other elements like range, duration, etc.
  • The "increased leveling curve" of levels 20-60 is going to be accomplished two ways: reduction of the amount of experience required per level and increasing the amount of experience a quest grants by 30%.
  • To address Hunter concerns, Blizzard is considering a Woodworking profession as well as a Mortal Strike kind of ability that reduces healing effectiveness on the target in PvP. These are just ideas they are currently considering and have not been confirmed as going live.
The full interview can be read on Curse's front page. Curse promises a video of the interview later tonight. I'll update this post with the link when it goes live.

As for the pre-60 leveling increase, I've been toying with leveling an enhancement shaman, but have been weary about the grind. This may be the incentive to get me to accomplish that goal. Is this enough for you? Will you level an alt before the expansion?

Filed under: PvP, Leveling, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Liveblog: World of Warcraft PvP Panel at BlizzCon

Hey folks, we're still here live at BlizzCon, and just minutes away from the start of the PvP panel, with dev Tom Chilton. We expect to hear about balance between classes, PvP troubles (including how they're going to fix AV, hopefully), and hopefully some new info about PvP in the next expansion.

Drysc just said it's time for a "calm and rational discussion on PvP" (with laughter from the crowd), so let's do it.

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Filed under: Blizzard, PvP, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

Liveblogging the BlizzCon WoW Class Panel

We're still live on the BlizzCon floor, and now we're liveblogging the WoW Class Panel after the break. Stay tuned for news about classes, talents, and everything you need to know about how Blizzard developed the class you chose for your character.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Expansions, Classes, BlizzCon

Wrath of the Lich King Demo panel: liveblogging from BlizzCon

We are live on the floor at BlizzCon, and in just a few minutes, the devs will sit down on stage and show us everything that the Wrath of the Lich King entails. Tom Chilton, Jeff Kaplan, and Lee Sparks will all be here right around 1pm (2 minutes by my clock), and updates are forthcoming.

The liveblog starts right after the jump. Here we go!

Read more →

Filed under: Blizzard, Expansions, Features, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

The masterminds of WoW on gaming

Have you ever wondered what the names and faces behind WoW do in their off time? In the recent interview 1up had with Shane Dabiri, Rob Pardo, Jeff Kaplan, and Tom Chilton, we get to find out a bit about that -- at least in regards to some of the games that they're playing right now. Two of them were really no surprise to me: Guitar Hero II and God of War. Those two have been all over the gaming media and are a lot of fun to play, so it makes total sense. The two titles that caught me off guard were several mentions of Viva Pinata and Rob saying that he plays the PopCap game, Peggle. They also covered some great background information from their gaming roots, to some ways they think WoW has changed the genre. Check it out!

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Interviews

Tigole doesn't deny the idea of player housing

The good guys over at Curse Gaming have pointed to a Jeff Kaplan interview at, in which he talks about comparisons to Second Life, how the Sword of 1,000 Truths didn't make it to the expansion, and the idea of player housing!

They caught him on the phone at the BC Launch at Universal CityWalk in LA (where, strangely enough, he's being asked to sign things as "Tigole"), and it seems as though the interviewer doesn't quite have a grasp on online gaming-- Kaplan is asked how Second Life compares to WoW, and as he says, while Second Life is great, it's not really a competitor to what Blizzard has built. There's a huge difference between Blizzard-created content, and the user-created stuff. He also namechecks the Starcraft and Diablo universes (not the first time we've heard those hinted at).

But the most interesting part of the article is what Kaplan says about player housing: "I think housing can take 'World of Warcraft' to the next level." That's definitely not a "no" to the idea, and frankly it's much more credit than I ever thought Blizzard would give to creating an in-game customizable area for players. While he does say it's an idea they had in the beginning (the huge inaccessible instance in Stormwind was rumored to be a player housing area at one time), Kaplan also confirms that if they're going ahead with it at all, they won't release anything until they have a "Blizzard-quality feature." So while there's no way we can expect it in the next patch (or even the next expansion), it's very interesting news that the gears appear to be turning over at Blue HQ about player housing.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Blizzard, News items, Expansions

Blizzard devs are able to go outside again, give interviews

I guess since the expansion is finally done, all the Blizzard devs have time to talk. While reviews on the Burning Crusade are still forthcoming for the most part, there's been a couple dev interviews pop up post-launch.

There's not much you won't hear on the Collector's Edition DVD, but over on Firing Squad they have a short one-on-one with Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan. Most interesting is probably how the dev team is justifying adding the sci-fi stuff to Warcraft, via the Draenei and their spaceships-- Tigole suggests there's been an "otherworldly leaning" from the beginning, with the Titans and their worldmaking, and the alien origins of the Orcs. Also, he talks about his favorite creatures in Outland, and while I've only seen Fel Reavers so far, I was definitely impressed.

And at Gamespot UK's site, they catch Blizzard's Jon LeCraft. He says that the expansion's delay turned out to be time well spent and that the devs had a lot of fun making starter areas again (since their philosophies have changed so much-- that means we need more midgame content now, guys!). Finally, he acknowledges that the new 25-man cap on instances will mean breakups for some guilds, but that making everyone in the raid necessary was more important to Blizzard than simply allowing 15 people to stand around waiting for loot while the other 25 actually did the work.

Nothing super new, and unfortunately, no news about what's next, either in terms of an expansion or a patch direction. But we're definitely glad the devs are getting a chance to catch their breath, and learn some lessons from this week's release.

[ via Curse ]

Filed under: Orcs, Blizzard, News items, Draenei, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Lore

Joystiq Interviews Jeff Kaplan

Joystiq managed to get a interview with World of Warcraft's lead designer, Jeff Kaplan, (you may know him as "Tigole" on the forums) - and there's some interesting stuff here. Of course there's a lot of info here, but some of the most interesting talk revolves around the new PvP system. As was posted earlier, the system will consist of arena matches of 2v2, 3v3, or 5v5 which will can be alliance v. horde, alliance v. alliance, or horde v. horde and cross-server. And the honor system as we know it will be gone entirely - to quote Kaplan:

It's a competitive-based ladder that uses a rating system similar to the chess ELO rating. One of the key differences is that we require a minimum number of games that you have to play. Unlike in the chess system where if you're on top, you can just sit there, we wanted to ensure that the No. 1 guy can be knocked off his top spot. But, we don't require too many games. We'll require something around ten games.

Further, honor points as we know them will be significantly changed. There will be no more honor decay and instead of determining your PVP rank, the honor points you accumulate can be spent to purchase PVP gear.

And other tidbits touched on by the interview include...
  • News that there's been some thought about implementing voice chat in the game, though it won't be coming in the Burning Crusade.
  • Dungeons (though whether all dungeons, or simply expansion dungeons) will have a "normal" and "hard" difficulty setting, and loot will be adjusted accordingly.
  • They're currently anticipating new races with every expansion - though there is a finite limit on the number of races in Azeroth.
I can't help but be excited about this news.

Filed under: News items, PvP, Expansions

Xfire's E3 Coverage

Xfire has posted a video of their E3 interviews.  It's not really focusing on news (which we've probably all seen by this point already), but  commentary (some interesting and some just for comic value)  from Jeff Kaplan (Tigole), Caydiem, Ordinn, and Eyonix.  It's an entertaining watch with a few interesting tidbits, though I must admit that I had to laugh when Tigole commented, "We know the honor system is a bit of a grind."

Filed under: Blizzard, Expansions

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