Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag mechanics

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite quest mechanic?

Breakfast Topic What's your favorite quest mechanic
Remember when everyone loved to hate The Oculus? Group members dropped like flies the moment some hapless noob intimated not having flown a drake before. Or jousting in the Argent Tournament -- ah, yes, another quest mechanic that united many players with the burning passion of unmitigated hatred.

The thing is, some players like varied quest mechanics, even flying things and jousting at things. They like a change of pace from MMO standards such as Kill 10 Rats and the Fed Ex breadcrumb delivery (or in Blizzard's case, anything to do with poop). Me, I usually resent the intrusion. I prefer to play my character, galloping around the hills to find things and using my entire arsenal of spells to peek, tweak, and then slay everything in my path. I must admit, though, that Mists of Pandaria could be swaying me from this stoic path. While I'm adamantly not a fan of the quests that put you in the shoes of the quest giver and his saga, the general variety of quest mechanics has been ... distracting. Refreshing. Dare I go so far as to even say they're downright fun? A little variety is turning out to possibly be a good thing.

(I said "a little." I still want to play my character. Harrumph.)

Do you enjoy playing a variety of quest mechanics as you move through WoW's storylines, or do you prefer to stay in your character's own skin with your own spells and abilities? What are your favorite quest types? Which would you be just as happy to never encounter again?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Mists of Pandaria Beta: New strings hint at help for sweeping class changes

Image
One of the biggest complaints players have about the ever-changing system design of World of Warcraft is that each expansion brings with it sweeping changes or new mechanics that need to be relearned. In addition, if you were absent from World of Warcraft for an expansion or two, your class will not look the same in any way, shape, or form (with respect to rogues, of course). Blizzard has apparently been listening to these concerns, if these new beta strings are any indication.

With the release of a new beta patch comes new data strings and the information contained within. Recently uncovered was a family of strings called "What has changed," with some examples for the warrior listed in the files. "What has changed" looks to re-educate old players or bring new players up to speed on the design, rotation, and role of each class. The warrior, for instance, has four strings at this time, letting the player know about the Rend/Deep Wounds change, how some old talents are now just learned specialization spells, and some examples of the new rage mechanics.
  • WHAT_HAS_CHANGED - What has changed?
  • WHC_WARRIOR_1 - Many old talents have become specialization spells.
  • WHC_WARRIOR_2 - Warrior abilities no longer require specific stances. You can use any ability in any stance.
  • WHC_WARRIOR_3 - Rage is generated by Mortal Strike (id 12294), Bloodthirst (id 23881) or Shield Slam (id 23922). Only use Heroic Strike (id 78) when you have more Rage than you can spend.
  • WHC_WARRIOR_4 - Rend (icon ability_gouge) is now called Deep Wounds (id 115768). It is automatically applied so it won't appear in your spell book.
I couldn't be happier for these new helpful tips. I don't even know where to begin with rotations or strategies with new classes (especially mages, for some reason). Hopefully with these new tips, old players and players tired of mechanics changes will be able to slip into Mists of Pandaria much more easily, if that's what these strings indicate at all.

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: Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: What post-launch game features do you most appreciate?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

World of Warcraft has been up and running for six years now, and to anyone who played in the early days, the game is barely recognizable. I'm not talking about the Shattering; I'm talking about the meat of the game, the interface and UI and mechanics that allow us to interact with Azeroth. Blizzard is a great innovator, and over the years we've gained such features as battlegrounds, linked auction houses, meeting stones, heroic dungeons, arenas, the dungeon finder, heirlooms, and the in-game calendar. None of these were present at launch, but they all affect our playstyles today.

These are all great, but that doesn't mean I stop daydreaming about what else Blizzard could do. I love the armory calendar view, but I'd be thrilled if the Blizzard calendar integrated with my Google calendar so I could see raids and guild events alongside my real-life schedule. I also yearn for variable speed scrolling quest text. Instant text encourages me to skip to the end, but the scrolling option is vastly slower than my reading speed, and I just can't handle it.

Which feature added after launch do you think was the biggest game-changer and why? What new innovations would you like to see? Which new Cataclysm features do you think will have the greatest impact on the way we play?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Blood Sport: Resource mechanics in arena, Part I


Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.

Listening Music: Roger Waters and the classic combination of Pink Floyd's "The Happiest Days of Our Lives + Another Brick In The Wall, part II." I hate when the radio only plays half of this piece. Even though Floyd split the piece into two on the album, I find it hard pressed to do the latter half justice by dropping the epic "intro." The helicopters and interlude scream is the best part, be honest with yourselves.

Last Week: We addressed the issue of protection warriors in arena. We talked a bit about a few of Ghostcrawler's posts dealing with the most annoying specialization to face. After that, we discussed some of the problems with both perception and design.

This Week: Before getting back to the beginner's guide to arenas, we'll be discussing energy, focus, and rage. Each have individual benefits and detriments in an arena setting, often very different from one another. More after the break!

Read more →

Filed under: PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Advanced screenshotting techniques and tips

This discussion over on WoW Ladies has me thinking that we probably need to do a post on something I don't think we've ever covered before: screenshotting. Sure, they're everywhere -- almost everybody sees tons of screenshots every single day, and occasionally, you can even win some real-life loot for taking one. But I don't know that we've ever actually covered the mechanics of how to take one. So let's do that now.

First and foremost, taking a screenshot is usually bound to your "Print Screen" key -- whenever you're playing the game, just hit that key on your keyboard, and a screenshot (in JPG format -- it used to be saved in TGA, but Blizzard changed that a while ago) will show up in the /Screenshots folder inside the World of Warcraft installation on your hard drive. Of course, on a Mac keyboard, there is no Print Screen button, so I have mine bound to the "Home" button instead -- you can rebind it to whatever you want in the options menu. And that's just the basics -- it gets more complicated from there.

Read more →

Filed under: Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Blizzard, Screenshots, Wrath of the Lich King

Justifying the tiered badge system

Wrath is almost all wrapped up, and while we didn't know much about it before the expansion, we've all certainly experienced the token system that Blizzard implemented as they went along, where early instances drop one kind of badge/token, and then the newer instances offer up new tokens, which can then be exchanged back for the older ones and their rewards. Now that we see the big picture at the end of the expansion, it's pretty ingenious, actually, and it even allows Blizzard to beef up other parts of the game, as they did with the rewards in the new Dungeon system.

Not that he needs to, but Bornakk steps up on the forums to justify exactly this kind of tiered system. Players complain that Ulduar is "useless" now that you can obtain its badges from lots of different places, but Bornakk says this system is definitely preferable to what Blizzard did in vanilla and BC, which was requiring new raiders to run through all of the old content before seeing the new and shiny stuff. They don't want the old content to sit useless (and it's not -- lots of guilds are still running Ulduar and even Naxx for the hard modes and achievements), but after the high-end raiders have their fun, it's important to get everyone else up to speed as well.

Read more →

Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Wrath of the Lich King

Why Hit is a "sexy stat"

This post on Gray Matter has some pretty insightful thoughts about the much-maligned Hit stat. We've posted quite a few times about Hit with the various classes, and yet it's still fairly hard to get a handle on -- most people know their class has a "hit cap" that they have to reach to keep any of their swings or shots from missing, but other than that, they haven't really tangled with the stat much the way they might have some of the more core stats for their class. But Grey Matter argues that "Hit is sexy" -- despite the fact that, unlike other stats, Hit is required just to make your class do the right thing (rather than doing it better), Graylo still likes the idea, and actually likes the balance that Hit requires. No matter what ilvl your gear, you still need a certain amount of Hit on it, and the balancing job of keeping your hit cap met versus providing other stats on your gear is what Gray seems to like about Hit. While other stats just go up and up, Hit is the great limiter -- having more of it frees up space on other gear for more pressing stats, but you still have to balance out the pieces you wear to try and meet the cap.

To that extent, I agree. I do think that Hit is a relatively arbitrary stat (we know what it means in real life to be Stronger or have more Intelligence, but Hit is really just designed to keep game levels in line), but on the other hand, Gray's right -- because you need a certain amount of hit in your gear, it does become an interesting balancing game of "do I need this more powerful piece of gear, or this weaker piece of gear with some extra Hit on it?" It does a nice job of mixing things up as an endgame-balancing mechanic.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Classes, Buffs

The making of the World of Warcraft

Eurogamer has a nice long look at the early days of World of Warcraft, way before Northrend and Outland and even Molten Core, back when the question wasn't just how big the game would get, but whether Blizzard, a company known for their polish rather than their size, could pull off an entry in this new MMO genre. They've interviewed some of Blizzard's luminaries, and the piece offers a really good look at what it was like at Blizzard even before WoW's release, when they were hashing out some of the ideas and mechanics that have now set the bar with World of Warcraft: the stylistic Warcraft look, and questing as storytelling (originally, they thought they'd only do quests through the starting levels, and then have the game move to a grinding, monster-killing stage towards the end, but players said the game was boring without quests).

There are all kinds of great little tidbits in here: originally, Warcraft III was planned with the over-the-shoulder look that WoW now has, and that's one of the reasons they wanted to create a more straightforward RPG game. Tom Chilton showed up on the team about a year before WoW's release, and to his surprise, the game was almost completely unfinished -- the level cap was only 15, the talent system wasn't implemented, the AH or mail systems weren't in, PvP wasn't in at all (of course, even at release it was pretty barebones), and endgame raiding was nonexistent. Most of the things we think of as intrinsic to the World of Warcraft -- even things like the Horde and Alliance not speaking to each other -- were debated and almost not in at all as they moved towards release.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Interviews

Speculating on a new resource system for Hunters

As we said on the podcast this weekend, one of the most interesting things to come out of the Hunter Q&A last week was that vague about "long-term plans" to "[remove] the need for hunters to rely on a different resource system then mana." That one kind of came out of nowhere, and the answer was even more vague: basically, they promised to talk about it at BlizzCon. Of course, that's what our attracted our attention: is Blizzard planning on getting Hunters off of their mana system completely?

That would be quite a change -- since the beginning of the game, Hunters have relied on mana as their "resource" -- Warriors have Rage and Rogues have Energy, but Hunters somehow got looped in with the other DPSers as mana users. That doesn't make much sense -- not only does it depend on Intelligence (a stat which Hunters don't really have a reason to go after anyway), but it's lead to the problem of keeping Hunters powered up. Hunters are almost continually out of mana, and Blizzard has made some wacky mechanic tweaks (with both AotV and Replenishment) to try and keep them up and running.

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Classes, BlizzCon

We won't see many more class changes in Wrath of the Lich King, says Ghostcrawler


So here's some news that'll probably make you feel good if you're okay with your class and just want to grab consistent set of talent specs and go at it, but may get you a little down if you still dislike where your class is. Ghostcrawler said yesterday that he believes there won't be many drastic class changes. In fact, he says, most of the 3.1 class changes were meant to compensate for or tinker with the changes made in 3.0 or to further tweak the classes that got the largest amount of overhaul.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Classes, Talents

The pros and cons of autolooting

Gnomeaggedon has a really insightful post about one of my favorite "hidden" features in patch 3.1. The first time I ran Naxx after the patch, I was a little worried on the first boss that I couldn't loot my badges or Stone Keeper's Shards. But of course, I'd missed it in the patch notes: all of that currency stuff now works like currency should. Whenever one person in the group or raid loots it, everyone gets their own as well. No more forgetting to loot your Badge, as it all goes automatically into the currency screen. Very nice change.

But as Gnomeaggedon says, there are still a few kinks in the program (aren't there always?). Quest items still don't get auto-looted, and since Badges do, that's even less encouragement to go check the loot to see if there's anything you need. He'd also like it if items got autolinked while Master Looter is on -- right now, it's the responsibility of the Master Looter to link and give out items that get looted, and that doesn't always get done clearly. That second one is kind of a good point -- my raid looter does pretty well with showing off items, so I don't really have much of an issue with that, but it would be helpful to see for sure what's in there.

But back to autolooting: the flip side of this is that if Blizzard uses autolooting too much, the game becomes that much more simple -- they already show you where the monster is and how to kill it, and now you want them to give you the loot automatically too? While it would be easier to have quest items sent to your backpack automatically, let's not forget that mobs with loot on them are shiney. It might make sense in raids to do autolooting (since everyone is grabbing for the same quest item), but autolooting while soloing might be a little too streamlined.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Bosses

Forum post of the day: Great idea, poor implementation

I'm still moderately excited for dual specs on my level 80 characters, it should be handy for switching between raids/instances and dailies. Cvarto of Proudmore began a thread about poor implementation about only allowing level 80 characters to use this feature. He fears that players will level as a single spec and have to relearn the other options for their class once they hit level 80.

GC's reasoning is that MMOs are overwhelming for new players to learn without working with two specializations. Cvarto contends that it still more difficult to learn a completely new aspect of the game, such as tanking, at level 80. I'd like to add that most players have little patience for inexperienced tanks and healers at max level.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, Talents, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

The pros and cons of raid IDs

Freya recently posted a plea on the forums: Please, Blizzard, get rid of raid IDs. Raid IDs were put in the game as a way to make sure the best loot in the game didn't flow freely: rather than just running endgame raids over and over (and over), Blizzard put a hold on just how much one player can run them. If you get saved to a raid ID, you're usually out of that raid until things reset on Tuesdays.

But there are lots of issues -- at this point, agrees Zarhym, it's too easy to get saved to a raid. It's lame to jump in on a PuG where you do one boss and then the group breaks up for the rest of the week, and it's even lamer to have your raid ID ninja'ed by a few folks who decide they want to disband the group early. The mechanic is important to keep around, though -- if you think it's too easy to get endgame gear now, just think what things would be like if people could run Naxx or OS daily or even hourly.

But the actual saving is an issue, and one that the developers are working on -- they're planning on making it so that you would only be saved to an instanced when it's partially or even completely cleared (though that too would likely spread a little more loot around than wanted -- people would run the instance until the last boss and reset it to do it all over again). We'll have to see how this pans out.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, NPCs

Searching for the Vanish bug

Are you sitting down, Rogues? Ghostcrawler finally addressed the Vanish bug over on the forums, but not in the way you'd want him to: he says that while it probably is a bug, they can't seem to find it. According to Mr. Street, every time they sit down and try to recreate the bug issues with Vanish (aggro isn't lost when it's supposed to be), they come up short, like a mechanic who never hears that rattling in your car.

I'll echo what many players in the thread say: it is there. I've had it bite me many times -- given that I don't Arena much, it's usually when I pull aggro from multiple mobs while soloing, and try to Vanish away: one of them will strangely keep attacking me. But in terms of reproducing it, GC's got me -- I don't know when it happens, or what circumstances make it happen, I just know that it happens. And when it does, it's annoying.

He also says that like Onyxia Deep Breath-ing more, the Vanish bug has moved into a kind of legendary perpetual problem, so much so that they can't tell the real complaints from the jokes. So maybe for your favorite bug in the game (ahem, someday I'll get a Cower bug fix), it's not so much a matter of Blizzard just fixing it, as Blizzard finding out why it's happening in the first place.

Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, Classes, Forums

Upcoming 3.1 class changes: Rogue, Priest, Shaman

Development just relayed major class changes coming in content patch 3.1 for rogues, priests, and shaman on the forums. Eyonix advises the list is in no way comprehensive, is subject to change, and is likely to receive additions as the weeks go by.

Major class changes include:
  • Priest's Divine Spirit is now a base ability of all Priests.
  • Priest's Power Word: Barrier, a new Disc Priest talent that acts like a Power Word: Shield for the entire group.
  • Rogue's Killing Spree increases damage an additional 20%.
  • Rogue's Mace Spec now additionally increases haste.
  • Shaman's Mana Spring and Healing Spring totems combined, along with Poison Cleansing and Disease Cleansing combined.
  • Shaman's Spirit Weapons now reduces all threat.
  • Shaman's Chain Lightning now hits 4 targets.
What are you waiting for? Check out after the break to read 'em all!

Read more →

Filed under: Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Patches, News items

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories