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Posts with tag post-mortem

Ghostcrawler talks game systems in final Cataclysm post-mortem

Blizzard's Cataclysm post-mortem blog series has seen Dave "Fargo" Kosak discuss quest design and Scott "Daelo" Mercer discuss dungeons and raids; today, Blizzard wraps up the series with a look at Cataclysm's game systems. As with Fargo and Daelo, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, WoW's lead systems designer, talks about what worked (the 1-to-60 revamp, choosing a spec at level 10) and what didn't (a long list of other things). GC is surprisingly candid in this particular blog entry, and it's definitely worth a read to get a bead on what Blizzard learned from World of Warcraft's third expansion.

The full interview is after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm, 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

Cataclysm Post-Mortem: Uldum

Alex Ziebart and Mathew McCurley (that's me) decided to give each Cataclysm zone the once-over now that we're many months out from the release of the expansion. In this post-mortem series, we'll examine what worked and what didn't work in terms of story, quests, and overall feel for the zones and the cool moments that dotted the landscape.

On the southern end of Kalimdor, a forgotten civilization hides behind otherworldly technology, forged by the Titans to protect the great machinery of Reorigination. The tol'vir, great protectors of the ancient machinery, stand stalwart against the corruption and fighting. Some tol'vir have succumbed to the aqir long ago, but the civilization remained unknown to the whole of Azeroth. After Deathwing's violent breach from the Maelstrom changed the world forever, the resulting chaos broke the shield that hid Uldum and revealed its sands. Now, Deathwing and his allies fight to corrupt the tol'vir and bring chaos to Uldum and beyond.

Uldum continued the Cataclysm zone progression by moving you from the rocky, subterranean world of Deepholm into an open-air desert, a welcome change for the claustrophobic adventurer. Giant pyramids, monumental statues, and an Egyptian motif made Uldum one of the most beautiful and well-realized zones in Cataclysm. As players embarked on two very distinct quest lines, the story of Uldum unfolded as the forces of the wind broke the Skywall through the desert sky and into Azeroth's realm. On the other side of the zone, players were sent on a sprawling adventure with fan favorite Harrison Jones on a bumbling expedition to figure out the purpose of the Obelisks of Uldum and get into some wacky trouble.

This is going to be the most controversial of the Cataclysm post-mortems. I can feel it. Uldum was a zone that people either loved or hated during the content push to 85. We are going to try to keep it civil.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Post-Mortem: Deepholm

Alex Ziebart and Mathew McCurley (that's me) decided to give each Cataclysm zone the once-over now that we're many months out from the release of the expansion. In this post-mortem series, we'll examine what worked and what didn't work in terms of story, quests, and overall feel for the zones and the cool moments that dotted the landscape.

The Earthen Plane. Therazane's domain. The place where primordial rock and earth and stone were banished after the Titans subdued the elemental lords and their Old God masters. Deepholm is where Deathwing laid his broken body and waited, watched, heaved, and went mad. In the center of the mighty plane of earth stood the World Pillar, the only support keeping Deepholm from crashing into Azeroth itself. When Deathwing unleashed himself upon the world, the World Pillar shattered. Only through the tireless and diligent efforts of the Earthen Ring, shaman from all walks of life and races, could the tear in the Maelstrom be contained. Now flooded by members of the Twilight's Hammer cult, a raging war between earthen and trogg, and the harshness of the Stonemother herself, the Horde and the Alliance must find a way to restore the World Pillar and save Azeroth from the very plane of earth it rests upon.

Deepholm was the first bottleneck zone after the two opening Cataclysm leveling experiences, Hyjal and Vashj'ir. Everyone passed through Deepholm on the way to 85, getting to experience one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring zones ever created for World of Warcraft. From the rocks that hung eerily in the air to the various factions and allegiances, Deepholm provided one of the most unique leveling experiences in World of Warcraft to date.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Cataclysm Post-Mortem: Vashj'ir

Alex Ziebart and Mathew McCurley (that's me) decided to give each Cataclysm zone the once-over now that we're many months out from the release of the expansion. In this post-mortem series, we'll examine (in our own opinions and words) what worked and what didn't work in terms of story, quests, and overall feel for the zones and the cool moments that dotted the landscape. Join us for a discussion about Cataclysm's new level 80 to 85 content and what made the cut as the most compelling experiences.

The Sunken City of Vashj'ir lies off the coast of Stormwind, with pieces of the forgotten land rising up from the waves after the devastation of the cataclysm and Deathwing's sundering of Azeroth. The Alliance scrambles to secure this territory so close to their shores to prevent any malicious entities from causing more havoc on their shores. The Horde, seeing a golden opportunity for a land grab so close to the human capital, has sent its navy in full force to take the now surfaced islands of Vashj'ir. Little does either faction know that a war rages in the very heart of the sunken city between the Lady Naz'jar and her army of naga aided by the Old Gods and the kvaldir. Lady Naz'jar's ultimate goal -- enter the Abyssal Maw, home of the water elemental lord Neptulon, and seize his power for her naga army.

Vashj'ir's story

Mathew: Before we begin, I have a confession to make. I finally finished Vashj'ir, from start to finish, only recently for this article. Zones that are built in such a way, as to emphasize the 3D space of the water, etc, are one of those things that occasionally bugs me. It's not that I didn't want to participate in Vashj'ir -- quite the contrary. I just had no reason to go here since Hyjal was so straightforward and had my flying mount ready to go from the get-go. Also, Vashj'ir was notably bottle-necked in beta, as many players streamed in and getting out of that initial sunken ship was a rough ride. Now that I had the zone to myself, it was a much better experience.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

Cataclysm Post-Mortem: Hyjal

Alex Ziebart and Mathew McCurley (that's me) decided to give each Cataclysm zone the once-over now that we're many months out from the release of the expansion. In this post-mortem series, we'll examine (in our own opinions and words) what worked and what didn't work in terms of story, quests, and overall feel for the zones and the cool moments that dotted the landscape. Join us for a discussion about Cataclysm's new level 80 to 85 content and what made the cut as the most compelling experiences.

Hyjal is home to the majestic world tree Nordrassil, once under siege by the Burning Legion and Archimonde, an eredar leader and lieutenant of Sargeras. In Warcraft III, we vanquished Archimonde at Nordrassil and subsequently went back and ended his campaign in Hyjal through the Caverns of Time. Now, Ragnaros the Firelord has returned to Azeroth with the help of Deathwing and has invaded the sacred mountain with one goal -- destroy the wardens of Hyjal and burn their tree to the ground.

Hyjal's story

Mathew: I had an odd experience with the story at Hyjal, mostly because at first, I couldn't have given a damn about the druids and the Emerald Dream and all of that. The first time I went through Hyjal, it was a sprint, and I never stopped to smell the roses, since we were racing to 85.

It was only after I did Hyjal a second or third time that I truly dug in and found the wonderful story of the zone. Now, I am 100% involved in the Hyjal story and am really excited to see where it's going. Now, the druids are my best friends, and there is nothing I want to do more than help ancients punch fire elementals in their fiery faces.

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Filed under: Cataclysm

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