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Posts with tag tom-chilton

Mists of Pandaria: Press tour interviews from around the web

Not only is there a ton of information about the next expansion's features floating around, there are plenty of interviews with the minds behind the expansion as well. All of the fan sites got their own chance to ask developers questions about Mists, so each interview has different information. Check out these links to other developer interviews from around the web.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Tom Chilton suggests Mists of Pandaria "wildly overhyped"

Maybe Mists of Pandaria isn't quite as likely as we all thought. IGN PC had a chat with Game Director Tom Chilton about the rumors of the upcoming expansion, as well as the upcoming patch 4.3 and the possibility of WoW moving to a free-to-play model.

Chiming in on the subject of transmogrification was Art Director Chris Robinson, who explained a little about the details behind the feature and its restrictions. Robinson clarified that protecting class integrity was an important factor in both armor design and the upcoming transmogrification feature: "When you see those demon wings you know 'Okay that's a warlock,' you know you can apply that to his tier twenty-one armor but it's still a warlock."

So what about free-to-play? Chilton confirms that it's "definitely a possibility," but for those of you looking for an immediate free-to-play version of WoW, you're going to have to wait. Chilton clarified that the change would be a dramatic departure from Blizzard's current business model, and it would take quite a bit of convincing to switch models.

As to the subject of Pandaren ...

Speculation swirled recently regarding Blizzard's decision to trademark "Mists of Pandaria," as many thought it may indicate the name of the next World of Warcraft expansion. Pandaria, in Warcraft lore, refers to the home of the Pandaren, basically humanoid war pandas you may remember making an appearance as neutral heroes in Warcraft III. Chilton said the speculation was, "wildly overhyped." He added, "if you look at traditionally how we've handled that race it's been in those secondary products because we haven't realized it in the world. Most of the time when we do anything panda-related it's going to be a comic book or a figurine or something like that."

Comic books, figurines, or a new expansion? Time and undoubtedly BlizzCon will tell. Check out the full article over at IGN PC.

Filed under: News items, Rumors

Blizzard looking for "meaningful difference" in expansion releases

World of Warcraft's expansion cycle is not the norm in the MMO genre. The Blizzard expansion cycle is a new boxed expansion every two years, on average. According to Gameinformer, which got to talk to Tom Chilton at the Gamescom show in Germany last week, Blizzard is on track for a more timely release schedule with World of Warcraft expansions.

Chilton told Gameinformer:
We've been able to do it in one sense, but not as much as I would like to in another sense. I would like for all patches to reliably have raid bosses. Our first Cataclysm patch didn't have raid bosses. From a raider's persepctive, it probably doesn't feel any faster than it did before. For us, where the biggest improvement is going to be in this cycle is in the actual expansion release. Traditionally we've only been able to do an expansion about every two years. We're really hoping to make a meaningful difference in that.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

More details emerge on Void Storage -- 80 slots of space

More details are emerging from Blizzard's recent talk at Gamescom. Kotaku sat down with Blizzard's Chris Metzen and Tom Chilton to talk about it all, and one of the things they covered was the upcoming void storage, slated to be released in patch 4.3.

The details on the new void storage are as follows:
  • 80 slots to store items
  • All items put in void storage will have the following removed from them:
    • Enchants
    • Gems
    • Name of player who crafted the item
Kotaku's article doesn't list what exactly are the item restrictions in the void storage. It does say "extra items," which could lead one to believe there are no restrictions. However, in the past Blizzard has said it wants to do a gear-only storage for older gear sets, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise if there are some item restrictions in place. We'll be finding out about that as patch 4.3 is released on the PTR (eventually).

The full bit from Kotaku's interview with Chris Metzen and Tom Chilton is as follows:

Another addition coming with the patch is "Void Storage", a new 100 to 150 [See Editor's Note] items slots. Like transmogrification, void storage comes from the Ethereals. Void storage is a pocket dimension created for a player that allows them to store extra items, but there is a downside.

Anything stored in the void is stripped of its enchantments and gems and the name of the person who crafted it, Chilton said. The stripping isn't tied to the lore of the game, either, but is the byproduct of a technical issue that makes this new storage system possible. (Read: Silly databases!)


Editor's Note: Blizzard has sent word that it's actually 80 slots in the Void Storage, not 100 to 150 as originally reported at Kotaku.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Look at what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: News items

Raid finder coming in patch 4.3

It seems like only yesterday the blues were giving hints at a beefed-up raid finder coming in a future patch or expansion.

According to an interview with Kotaku:

Finally, Chilton and Chris Metzen, vice president of creative development at Blizzard, explained a new feature coming with the patch called "Raid Finder". The Raid Finder essentially operates like a dungeon finder, automating the search for fellow players on the hunt for a good raiding party. It will be built into the game's updated user interface when the patch hits, they said.

The Kotaku article doesn't call it a "cross-realm" raid finder, but I think it's safe to assume that it will be -- otherwise, it'll just be like the one that's in game now (you remember that one, right?). There's no more details on the interface or accompanying restrictions on the new raid finding, but expect that information to be discovered or announced soon.

Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Look at what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!

Filed under: News items

Patch 4.3: Deathwing, cosmetic armor skins, and armor storage

European gaming convention Gamescom is in full swing this week in Cologne, Germany. German entertainment site Gamona.de sat down with both Tom Chilton and Chris Robinson to discuss the details of the upcoming patch 4.3, the patch where your dreams come true. It was revealed that the patch will include:
  • Deathwing's raid and three new 5-man dungeons
  • Cosmetic armor skins (!)
  • An armor closet to store old gear, freeing up bank space
As patch 4.3 will include Deathwing's raid, that probably means it will be the final patch in the expansion's overall narrative. If you doubted for a moment that Blizzard will announce the next expansion at this year's BlizzCon, doubt no more. We expect that these new 5-man dungeons will provide a new tier of heroics as well, pushing difficulty about Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub.

Follow us past the cut below for details on cosmetic armor skins and more!

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Filed under: Cataclysm

BlizzCast Episode 16: World of Warcraft patch 4.2

BlizzCast episode 16 is a little different from what we've come to expect from the BlizzCast. It isn't an audio podcast. It's video! A vodcast, if you will. In the first-ever video BlizzCast, Blizzard's Rob Simpson speaks with Game Director Tom Chilton, Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak, and Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton on the content of patch 4.2, from the raid to the quests and back again.

You can watch it embedded above, over on YouTube, on the Battle.net BlizzCast site, or if you're a little more old-fashioned, you can still download it in MP3 form on Battle.net.

Filed under: News items

GDC 2011: Tom Chilton discusses Cataclysm design, talent and zone revamps

Tom Chilton gave a comprehensive and enlightening talk today at the Game Developers Conference, discussing remaking the World of Warcraft through Cataclysm's systems and content revamps. Chilton talked about some very interesting topics, including WoW's talent tree revamp, how he feels that the revamp of Desolace fell incredibly short of its potential, and a warning about the illusion of choice.

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Alex Afrasiabi and Tom Chilton on Cataclysm

"I think people are blown away. I'm blown away, and I'm so jaded at this point." If you're looking for the big quote from this interview G4's Feedback did with Alex Afrasiabi (WoW's lead world designer) and Tom Chilton (its lead designer), then look no further, my friends. Discussion topics include whether Blizzard is going to take over Harmonix (all signs seem to point to no), the attempt at parity between goblin and worgen starting zones, how it feels to step into these new zones as a player once you've taken off your designer hat, and the battle between design intent and scheduling.

If you're interested in hearing from the horse's mouth what Blizzard was thinking when it implemented Kezan or redesigned your favorite zone, here's your chance.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Cataclysm dev chat on Best Buy forums this Thursday

Want to ask Tom Chilton and J. Allen Brack questions about Cataclysm? Well, you can, this Thursday on the Best Buy gaming forums. Straight from Best Buy:
This Thursday, Nov 18 at 4pm Pacific (12am GMT) Best Buy is hosting a live chatroom Q&A with Blizzard's Tom Chilton (Game Director) and J. Allen Brack (Production Director) about World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. The event is open to the public but is limited to 500 participants.

The chatroom will be hosted on the Best Buy Forums here: http://bbyurl.us/CataclysmCHAT. A forum account is required to participate. If you don't make it in under the 500-user limit, check out the overflow broadcast on Ustream: http://ustream.tv/channel/wowdevchat
Might be a good time to ask about your pet issue, like worgen females, ret paladin DPS, or cosmetic slots.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

BlizzCon 2010: Day 2 round-up

Day 2 at BlizzCon 2010 saw the two most traditionally popular panels (the class Q&A and the general Q&A) go live, but there was plenty at the convention to keep you busy even if you were among the two or three people there not interested in developer panels.




BlizzCon 2010 is upon us! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. We're bringing you liveblogging of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2010: Tom Chilton interview transcript -- Dance studio still in the works

DirecTV did a surprise interview with Tom Chilton, and there's some interesting stuff out of it. In particular, the famed and somewhat vaporware Dance Studio is still in the works and will be released once they have enough content! This is the first thing we've heard about it in a very long time. A great little surprise for the day! The full interview transcript below and after the break.

Interesting decision to make Tol'Barab similar to the Isle of Quel'Danans. What is your thinking? What is it going to look like?

It's what you'd consider an Alcatraz to be. It's an abandoned island. It's a central hub for daily quests. Really where players are going to be and do their daily activity. On PvP servers it's going to create a lot of friction and action all the time. At the central part of the island, it's going to feel a lot like Wintergrasp did.

Tell me a little bit about Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks is one of our new BGs where introducing. Capture the flag, solid game play. A lot like Warsong Gultch. It's a proven game play style, a lot of people like to capture the flag.

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Arcane Brilliance: Fire mage 4.0

It's Saturday, and that of course means it's time again for Arcane Brilliance, weekly mage column, hero to the downtrodden, vanquisher of evil, dispenser of justice. That's right. By day, Arcane Brilliance is a mild-mannered mage-related wall of text. But by night ... Arcane Brilliance is Deathspank.

Another beta build hit a couple nights ago -- as they tend to do -- and it brought a number of class changes. A quick glance at the new talent trees revealed the expected (some talent position swaps, a few talents vanishing, some tooltip alterations, the occasional loss of a rank here and there) and the ... unexpected. Three changes in the fire tree, particularly, caught my eye:
Yes, the tooltip for Molten Shields really is "Redesign!" With an exclamation point. For emphasis.

So clearly the fire tree is in a certain amount of flux? I became instantly excited. The fire tree, perhaps more than either of the other two trees, really has been due for some focused attention. Then I saw this, from none other than Lead Game Designer Tom Chilton:

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance, Cataclysm

Tom Chilton can imagine a future where WoW is free-to-play

PC Gamer posted an interview with Tom Chilton where he discussed the possibility of World of Warcraft eventually going free-to-play. He clarified that there are no active plans for this now, but he can imagine a future where it would be possible.

As massively multiplayer games become more mainstream, a common tactic to compete with WoW is to make the games free to play while charging microtransactions for in-game content. It makes games more accessible, and in theory can make publishers enough revenues that they can be profitable. If enough games break even this way and WoW starts losing momentum and market penetration, instead of shutting down, it would only make sense for Blizzard to keep the game available for the residual income. The original EverQuest is still live, for example. Instead of leaving vast empty realms populated by a very small number of nostalgic gamers, however, making WoW free-to-play could keep it residually profitable for longer.

While WoW will undoubtedly lose the majority of the market share some day, this day is not close. Warcraft is past the red-hot growth phase of its life cycle; however, it's still the largest player in the market. Chilton acknowledges that there's no reason for Blizzard to make this change while this is the case: "We're not spending a lot of time thinking about it. It's not something that's a reality for us in the near future."

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

Stockton: Max of 6 bosses per raid in Cataclysm

Some very important information was released about Cataclysm yesterday on a G4 Xplay segment, discussing a Cataclysm storyline preview. However, some awesome pieces of news came out unrelated to the story at all. Check out the video to hear Tom Chilton, Cory Stockton and others discuss some pretty cool reveals. The two new important pieces of information were:
  • Auto-quest complete technology: Players are able to complete quests in the field and immediately begin the next quest in the chain, without running back to the quest giver for the next step in the quest, allowing multiple quests to be completed without returning home. Think of it as Archmage Vargoth's staff on steroids.
  • Raid boss quantity limits: Every raid in Cataclysm will have no more than six raid bosses per instance. Instances like Icecrown Citadel and Ulduar in boss number are gone, and the Serpentshrine Caverns/Tempest Keep model is back in. With a reduced number of raid bosses per raid, three full raids will be available at Cataclysm's launch.
Very interesting, especially the capped raid boss numbers. If you never played World of Warcraft during The Burning Crusade, you missed the proto-concept to these smaller, but more numerous, raids. Serpentshrine and Tempest Keep added up in boss numbers to a full 11-12 boss raid, but was separated into two encounters. Blizzard can now itemize across multiple raids instead of just one environment.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

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