The proof of the proving grounds is in the, um, proving? That poorly constructed phrase is what the WoW Insider Round table set out to explore this week, with Matt Low, Dawn Moore, Sarah Pine and Olivia Grace sitting down to discuss the new feature coming in patch 5.4 which just recently went live on the PTR.
Between the panel we'd tried out all the different roles within the Proving Grounds system, to varying degrees, and had quite some differing opinions on the ease and difficulty of the systems, as well as whether or not gear should be scaled, and how hard they should really be. We discuss the endless mode, the achievements that come from it, and class balance within the proving grounds system.
We also chat about the NPC artificial intelligence, and their rather patronising flavor text! We hope you enjoyed this Round Table, and if you have any suggestions for future discussions, do let us know!
The WoW Insider Round Table returns with a somewhat longer discussion of the hottest news of the moment: the In-Game Store. This was recently datamined, and latterly confirmed by Blizzard. We start off by getting a clarification from Matticus on just how Asian servers work, and why their different structure came about, then move into why this store is relevant for those regions. Then we chat about the in-game XP boost, and whether that is a good or a bad thing to sell on the store, before moving into uncharted waters and talking about the other items that have been both confirmed and rumored to be appearing.
The panel are all very positive about the idea of an in-game store, and would encourage more and more items to be sold on it, or at least would buy them themselves, but also see the downsides and the risks of such a move by Blizzard. Overall, the end of the world is not nigh just yet.
Welcome back to episode three of the WoW Insider Round Table! This week, we had Olivia Grace, Dawn Moore, Matt Low and Sarah Pine, and new panelist Joe Perez, and our topic of discussion was, inevitably, flexible raiding. We started off, selfishly, by giving our own opinions, the panel runs teh gamut from the hardcore end to the casual, so we had most perspectives covered. We discussed whether this would cause or contribute to burnout among hardcore raiders, as well as wondering what the impact on casual guilds would be.
We then moved on to consider the new tier's impact on the Raid Finder, whether players would choose to run this new content instead of the Raid Finder, particularly tanks, and while the panel concluded that a good number of them would, they were fairly sure that, while queue times were likely to increase, the Raid Finder would not die an untimely death.
As far as other considerations for the new raid system, the panel discussed some of the issues inherent with flexible raid sizes, particularly the numbers and how abilities would scale, before moving on to talk about the looting system chosen -- the same as the system for Raid Finder. We concluded, just as we began, that this was a system that would have a positive impact, far more so than the Raid Finder. One panelist even asserted that this was what they always should have done, instead of LFR. We hope you enjoyed this panel, and if you have any ideas for future topics, do let us know!
The WoW Insider staff at the Round Table this week are Dawn Moore, Matt Low, Sarah "Sally" Pine and Olivia Grace. We all sincerely hope you notice that we got lower thirds.
Welcome back to another WoW Insider Round Table! In this second round table, we're talking diminishing returns on valor. Managing Editor Adam Holisky posted a brief editorial last week on this topic, and it was interesting enough that we decided to bring it up for discussion.
We began by explaining just exactly how such a system would work, as clarified in Adam's original article, and then delved into the pros and cons of such a system. The Round Table was pretty universally opposed to such a system, based purely, of course, on our own gaming experiences, and while we tried our best to isolate redeeming qualities, we failed pretty miserably. And, finally, on comparing previous expansions' dungeon valor methods, the surprise winner was Cataclysm!
We're really hoping you continue to enjoy this new format, and do remember that you can actually watch the Round Table live on our YouTube channel every week. Keep an eye on Twitter for announcements of when we're going live. And if you have any ideas for future round table discussions, let us know!
Welcome to the first WoW Insider Round Table. Every week or two we'll give you the inside scoop on the key opinions and facts about a specific area of the World of Warcraft. In today's inaugural video we're talking about what's on everyone's mind: heroic scenarios.
They're beasts right now. People are quite divided on how useful they are, and what the best way to go about finding a group for them are. We've even had Ghostcrawler weigh in on the mechanics of the rewards via Twitter. Olivia, Matt, Dawn, and Sally sit down in a Google Hangout and share their thoughts and opinions. And we want to hear yours! What do you think heroic scenarios are doing for the game? Are they everything you wanted them to be ... or can you not even find a group for them?
You may have spotted Monday's post on how to design a raid, which was the first half of the Gamescom 2012 Raids and Dungeons round table with Ion Hazzikostas and John Lagrave. The second half of the Round Table was a Q&A session in which many interesting questions were asked, shedding light on some hot issues as well as simply providing a little more insight into the Blizzard Encounter Design Team's creative processes.
Again, these aren't verbatim quotations from Ion and John, as I simply can't write that fast, but the overall statements are accurate representations of their responses.
Are there any encounters Blizzard have had to alter or leave out due to technical constraints?
There was a boss leading up to the Lich King who you had to heal (Valithria Dreamwalker), and that was a huge challenge for their existing technology. If you think about it, Ion explained, up to that point, every healing spell in the game was designed to be cast on a friendly target, that is to say, a player. So the devs were faced with the task of reworking every healing spell in the game. They didn't want players to only be able to use certain spells on her, as that would have been bad, so they redid every healing spell. The technical team changed the game's design so that the boss basically became a raid team member. Ion and John explained that it's all about working out creative ways to implement the designers' ideas.