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Posts with tag tom-chilton

Tom Chilton: Blizzard had hoped to have Warlords out a couple of months ago

In a recent interview with Icy Veins, Tom Chilton talked about Warlords of Draenor and one of the things he mentioned that struck me immediately was that Blizzard was hoping to have Warlords out by now. Specifically, a few months ago.
We did a good job earlier in Mists of Pandaria, having the content come at a more frequent intervals, and certainly we had hoped to have Warlords of Draenor out a couple of months ago. The reality is that scaling up the number of people that we have, to work on multiple projects at once has slowed us down. Honestly, it should have not come as a surprise to us. We increased the size of the team by 50% and the majority of those people had never worked on World of Warcraft before or any other MMO, so it is really difficult for them to create content right away, without getting up to speed.
This echoes what other developers have said in interviews and it interests me because one of the things we've bemoaned is the huge drought in content between the end of Siege of Orgrimmar and now - if they'd intended to have Warlords out in June, that would have been a fairly reasonable amount of time for a new expansion, really. (September to June is 10 months, long, but much more reasonable) and the idea that just throwing people at development doesn't immediately bring more content because they have to learn what they're doing makes sense.

I still feel like it's been a heck of a dry spell, all things considered. I really would like to see the alternate timeline where Warlords released in June.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Tom Chilton: "We are already in progress with our next expansion"

According to an interview with gameplanet.co.nz Blizzard isn't just working on Warlords of Draenor right now - they're in fact working hard on the next expansion, and have ideas for six or more future expansions they could do.

We are already in progress with our next expansion. We already have zones in production for it. Our next expansion after that, we have a couple of different options that we'll be choosing between over the next several months. Beyond that, there are about six or seven different ideas for expansions that we can take elements of and say, 'You know what? Let's take that and put it in this one for our next expansion after the next one.' Or we might shift the timelines around from what we originally envisioned. There's easily 10 years worth of stuff that we can draw from – more, really.

When I first heard that Warlords of Draenor will be coming out on November 13th, I wondered if that meant it would be all that Blizzard had to talk about at BlizzCon this year. Now that I've read this, I wonder if they'll have the fortitude to announce a new expansion before Warlords even comes out. As crazy as that sounds, if they're working six expansions deep, even if just conceptually, it's definitely a possibility.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Final boss revealed

In his interview with Vanion.eu at this year's Gamescom, Tom Chilton has revealed the identity of the final boss for Warlords of Draenor. Watch the embedded video to hear it from Chilton himself (this spoiler begins at 11:00), or click on to read about it behind the cut. You ready for some spoilers? Okay!

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

WoW Archivist: Expansion gaps

Gap in the bridge on the Timeless Isle
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Expansion gaps are the most reviled of all content gaps. It's not just because they are the longest -- it's because at the other end of the gap lies so much to look forward to. Expansions change WoW from top to bottom. They usher in brand new worlds to explore and bring us new ways to play the game. That's part of why it takes Blizzard so long to release them.

In the meantime, we wait, mired in the old, but excited about the new.

We are experiencing what is likely to be the longest expansion gap so far in WoW's 10-year history. But what about the expansion gaps of the past? How do they stack up? What did Blizzard offer and what were players' reactions to them? Read on to find out!

Classic WoW to The Burning Crusade

Dates: August 22, 2006 to January 16, 2007
Duration: 4 months, 25 days
Subscriptions: Rising
Mood: Excited

The first expansion gap was also the shortest. It felt like a long time to players back then, since classic WoW offered patches and content at a blistering pace for the first two years of the game. Players were impatient, yes. That never changes. But we knew WoW was a hit and we were thrilled that the success of the game had made an expansion possible. We couldn't wait to roll a blood elf or a draenei, or take to the skies and fly for the first time. Plus, most raiding guilds hadn't conquered every boss (or even close), so they had plenty to keep them busy.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Source talks Warlords of Draenor, new female Forsaken models

In the latest episode of WoW Source, Morgan Webb sits down with Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas, Senior Art Director Chris Robinson, and Game Director Tom Chilton to talk BlizzCon 2013 and the next expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Along with an overview of the various features of Warlords, there's an exclusive look at the new female Forsaken models. Although these are just stills of the character model in progress, they're gorgeous -- and I can't wait to see them in action and live.

Check out the full video for insights and news about BlizzCon 2013, the development of Warlords of Draenor, and more. Those amazing new character models pop up at about thirteen minutes into the video, along with more footage of the other new character models already revealed at BlizzCon 2013.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, BlizzCon

Warlords of Draenor: 5 cool things you may have missed at BlizzCon 2013

Warlords of Draenor trailer
There has been so much news over the past few days that it can be difficult to keep up. I'm still finding little bits of information here or there that I managed to miss amidst the onslaught. Here are a few interesting things that may have slipped under your radar.

1. The in-game group finder is being expanded

No, I'm not talking about random matchmaking with the dungeon finder. I am talking about Blizzard's answer to the oQueue addon. According to Ghostcrawler in the gameplay and systems panel, they recognize this is a feature players really want, so they've decided to add it to to the base game. You'll be able to create and browse for groups of all types and sizes. Want to PUG a cross-realm RBG team? No problem. Want to set up a group to do an achievement run in Icecrown Citadel? You can do that. Maybe your guild raid group is short a healer and you're looking for another? This is all possible since normal mode raids (soon to be heroic mode) will work cross-realm out of the gate.

Blizzard would prefer if you pugged and made new friends rather than use random matchmaking, so they've added a new mechanic called "stacking the deck" which will earn you bonus valor for every member of your group who isn't added via random matchmaking. Random matchmaking via dungeon finder and raid finder will still exist, of course.

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Filed under: BlizzCon

Furor returns to World of Warcraft

Alex Furor Afrasiabi
Alex Afrasiabi, AKA Furor, has returned to work on World of Warcraft. Alex began his career as the guild leader of a famous Everquest guild (Fires of Heaven) and then came to work at Blizzard, eventually becoming Lead World Designer for WoW. He left WoW and was rumored to be working on the Titan project. But now, according to the BlizzCon schedule, he is the Creative Director for what we assume is the next expansion. He will be on World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues panel.

Also appearing on the panel is Game Director Tom Chilton and Dave Kosak, who was formerly the Lead Quest Designer and is now listed as the Lead Narrative Designer. As this panel will be discussing the direction of the story, Chris Metzen will of course be there as Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development.

The panel will be at 2:30 p.m. PST on the A Panel Stage. So if you are interested in the story and/or the return of Furor, the Adventure Continues panel is for you. If you're not attending BlizzCon and don't have the Virtual Ticket, WoW Insider will definitely be covering this panel.

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

What race needs new character models the most?

Breakfast Topic What race needs new character models the most
Over the weekend at Gamescom, Game Director Tom Chilton and Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton revealed that new character models for the older races are currently in development and are about 25% done. Chilton also added that he wasn't sure if all the new models would be launched at the same time, or if Blizzard would opt to release them over several patches as they are completed. I'm in favor of the latter myself, though I can see that resulting in an unbearable amount of QQ from players whose characters didn't initially receive model updates.

The whole thing makes me wonder which races are likely to get updated first. It's possible the developers will go after the most popular races first (humans and blood elves) since that will appease the largest number of people. It's also just as possible they'll work in order of which races need new models the most. That raises the question though, which race is in the most dire need of a character model update?

If I had to pick one I'd probably go with dwarf, specifically the female dwarf because so few people play it. Granted, I don't think female dwarves necessarily suffer from the worst looking model, but they're somehow still one of the least popular choices among players. That alone makes me feel like the model needs some time and attention to not only update it, but to broaden its appeal somewhat. Mind you, female dwarves don't need to have the same appeal as blood elves or humans, but they certainly should have more than they currently do.

Which race do you think needs a character model update the most? Tell us why.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Low level dungeon and raid scaling technology complete

Low level dungeoun scaling technology completed
Blizzard's Game Director Tom Chilton and Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton have really gone out on a limb with interviews at Gamescom, spilling every bean and answering every question with the transparency and openness we're coming to expect from new look Blizzard. One question they were asked related to the up-scaling of low level dungeons. Tom responded as follows:
That's something that we did actively work on and certainly the technology is pretty well in place at this point. We were also hoping to get the dungeons to a point where they were scaling, however we didn't actually end up coming up with a reward scheme that we felt fit correctly.

I think it's important to remember that today, players can go back and do old content by soloing it and they usually do that to get the transmog gear, and I think if they were going to to go back and do it as a true 25-man raid of Black Temple, as an example, they'd would have to feel like they were getting something that was useful for it as well as transmog gear, and we still have to figure out what the right reward scheme for that is.

We don't want it to compete with the new raid in terms of getting you the best possible gear, but at the same time, it has to be worth something. So that's something we haven't really resolved yet, so we won't be seeing scaling raids until sometime in the future.
So what do you think they could offer as a reward for redoing old content "properly", in an upscaled raid or as downscaled characters? I feel like points, Valor, Justice, whatever, would be a good reward, along with the transmog gear and pets, but maybe also a low and random drop-rate of Garrosh-style heirloom weapons. What's your take on it?

Filed under: News items

Item Squish extremely likely for WoW's next expansion

Item Squish very likely for WoW's next expansion
Gamescom is drawing to a close, and with it a flurry of developer interviews have been taking place. One which happened just a couple of hours ago was a raiding-specific round table with Game Director Tom Chilton and Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton. One of the questions asked related to the much-debated item squish, and whether we would see it in WoW 6.0. Tom and Cory responded as follows:
TC: "If we don't do the item squish it's going to require a lot of re-engineering of our combat code to actually support bigger numbers. We're getting really close to the point where the code can't..."
CS: "Yeah, the code can't compile the numbers"
TC: "Yeah it can't compile the numbers, so we are testing the item squish internally with the expansion, and I think a good time to launch it would be right before the next expansion so people are already used to it by the time the expansion launches. So, that's the current plan, but we'll see how it works out. I hope we can."
Of course that isn't a firm confirmation, there have been many changes, certainly ones of this magnitude, that have gone into internal testing and not ever made it live. This is no cast iron guarantee. But, the devs mention how their combat code is nearing the point where it can't actually handle the big numbers, and it seems that a full expansion of item level escalation would do nothing to help with this issue. So an item squish certainly seems extremely likely for the next expansion.

Filed under: News items

Tom Chilton talks mistakes and successes in WoW design

quest tracker in action
In case you hadn't heard, Gamescon is going on over in Germany, and Blizzard has a good chunk of representatives over there giving interviews, showing off Hearthstone, and talking about all kinds of stuff. If you're familiar with Blizzard interviews, one thing that becomes apparent over the years is the way they're willing to talk openly about design decisions that they consider to have been a mistake.

You may remember the furious storm in a teacup that accompanied the statement that the implementation of Arena PvP was, in retrospect, something they regretted. Well, over at PCGamesN they've got a similarly candid interview up with Lead Designer Tom Chilton about the limitations of questing, dailies, and secondary professions.

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Filed under: News items, Interviews

Tom Chilton: "At some point it's possible that World of Warcraft could end up being free-to-play..."


According to NowGamer, WoW's Game Director Tom Chilton said the following to them at Gamescom 2013 regarding WoW going Free-to-Play:

Tom Chilton
I definitely think that free-to-play MMOs will be around for a very long time. At some point it's possible that World of Warcraft could end up being free-to-play, but I do think there's always room for there to be subscription games.

This is about as close to WoW going Free-to-Play as we have yet seen, however the intention is clearly there that Chilton believes WoW won't be doing so soon.

Read the whole topic over on NowGamer for more information... and keep in mind this doesn't mean the next expansion will bring Free-to-Play WoW, or that there are any plans for it to happen. Game Directors like to talk about possible futures, and that's all Chilton is doing (like any good Game Director should).

Filed under: News items

Patch 5.4, flexible raids, dailies and more with Tom Chilton

Patch 5.4 is nearing completion, and soon we'll see the Siege of Orgrimmar and the fate of Garrosh Hellscream on live servers. But 5.4 has much more to offer than the raid itself -- we'll have plenty of other content to play through as well. Featuring new pets, new mounts, a new raid difficulty and much, much more, patch 5.4 is shaping up to be a substantial addition to an already massive expansion.

We had the opportunity to chat with Lead Game Designer Tom Chilton regarding all of the above, as well as plenty of other topics of contention in regards to both patch 5.4 and Mists of Pandaria as an expansion. Read on to hear what he had to say about Flexible raiding, the upcoming Connected Realms feature, the future of daily quests and the challenges of creating a raid out of a capital city.

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Tom Chilton chats about what's coming in patch 5.3

blizz tom chilton interview wip
We know Blizzard has a lot planned for patch 5.3, which could go live any time now. But to keep us busy while we wait for the next batch of new WoW content, Blizzard Insider has posted an interview with Game Director Tom Chilton. Though the interview mostly summarizes what we already know about the upcoming patch, it provides a great overview of what's coming with a bit of added insight Blizzard's development thought process. Covered in the interview are how the devs felt patch 5.2 performed, the storyline of patch 5.3, PvP changes and the new battleground, new scenarios (and heroic scenarios), gear and the ability to choose which spec you'd like gear for, and visible pet battles.

The patches are certainly coming our way quickly. Are you looking forward to patch 5.3 or still working on patch 5.2?

Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard developers discuss patch 5.2 and more

Patch 52 Developer fansite interviews
Last week was a flurry of preparation for patch 5.2's launch, including a whole host of developer interviews. WoW Insider had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak, but there were plenty more interviews to be had as the week progressed. And just in case you happened to miss any of that developer excitement, we've put together a roundup of all the fan site interviews in one handy spot.
While the same developers may have done multiple interviews, each interview offers a different look at what's in store for patch 5.2 and beyond. It's certainly nice to see the developers out and about in the community and talking content -- and one thing's for certain, everyone is pumped for patch 5.2's release. Be sure to check out all of the interviews for the most in-depth look at patch 5.2 you can get.

Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

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