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Posts with tag the-occulus

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

Nonlinear dungeons return in Wrath

To me, one of the most exciting parts of this morning's Dungeons and Raids panel at the WWI is the fact that they're going to add more nonlinear elements to five man dungeons. Thank Uther! As far as time it takes to complete dungeons, The Burning Crusade was a massive improvement, but I couldn't help but feel something major was lost when they all amounted to pull-drink-pull with solid hallways guiding you straight forward. I really started to miss places like Blackrock Depths.

The Caverns of Time was a gloriously refreshing change from that, and I'm glad they took something out of that poll they did awhile back. The previews of The Occulus and Caverns of Time: Stratholme were fantastic, and that nonlinearity is one of the best parts, easily. Even though you will probably have killed all of the same bosses in the end that you would have if the dungeon were linear, just in a different order, having choices available and environments that aren't simply enclosed hallways that go in one direction really brings a place to life. It's hard to believe that the Botanica is just one really long constant hallway, for example.

Here's hoping that these elements extend beyond Old Stratholme and The Occulus, and Wrath will bring dungeons back to life.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

WWI '08 Notes from the Dungeons & Raids Panel part 3

11:13 AM: Faction. Want to make it not feel like a grind. Championing -- Earn faction outside of your current dungeon. Choose a specific faction to earn rep with, system will use tabards, put tabard on in any heroic and every kill will give rep towards the faction whose tabard you're wearing as well as dungeon faction. Small bonus if you wear the tabard of the dungeon faction too. Details not final but this is the direction. Don't want you to feel you have to grind certain dungeons mindlessly.

11:15 AM: Remove faction requirements for heroics. Don't want people to feel like there are so many barriers.

11:16 AM: PvP rewards will show up in faction too. Similar to current lowlevel pvp faction sets. Will continue this trend. Greater variety of faction rewards full stop. Only a certain amount of items they can make in the time they have. Items that fit different specs and classes. More recipe plans, something done in TBC but not all trade skills were represented in factions. More rewards in general from faction.

11:17 AM: How does the Death Knight fit in? Will be able to tank both raids and dungeons. Not intended to be 'the new tank' but is a unique tank and want to make sure they can tank raids and 5-mans, heroics, as well as DPS. Just going to do it in a different way, keeping classes unique. Looked at what players need -- people always need a tank. More tanks = more dungeon runs.

11:19 AM: Sneak Peek: The Occulus. Level 80 dungeon located in Borean Tundra (Coldarra). Unique; first dungeon players can fly in. Get a drake partway through the dungeon and do mounted combat as if it were a vehicle, individual spells on different drakes. Tank drakes, heal drakes etc. Nonlinear; started as a high fantasy pitch and has become a high concept design.

Occulus is a series of rings floating in the sky, can pick and choose bosses. Concept art shows circular and frozen themes. Dungeon design shown, they design on paper and try to feel how big the space is, is it big enough to fight the boss, the trash. Layouts turn into concept art and 'blockout' phase, turning 2D image into 3D so they can run around it in 3D. Dungeon is complete, internal playtesting at the moment.

11:24 AM: Halls of Stone. Part of Ulduar, located in Storm Peaks. Tied to Titan lore. Level 77-79. Will need a flying mount to access. Nonlinear. Want to make you feel like you're infiltrating Titan area, feel like it's something new even though scope is very different. Epic scale. Level 80 dungeon in Ulduar (Halls of Lightning) and raid dungeon too, but Halls of Stone is first dungeon players will experience

Wanted the scale to be big but not annoying (to the level of wanting a mount to travel through it). Showed blockout, walked 5 players through game to see if there's basic things like enough room to pull mobs, enough room for cameras etc. Platinum Discs quests from Uldaman -- this is the next evolution, continuing the story. Location where we can read the discs and maybe find out information about how Azeroth was created, deliver lore to players.

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Worldwide Invitational

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