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Posts with tag tuning

Dev Watercooler: Watcher on encounter tuning

Dev Watercooler Watcher on encounter tuning
While it isn't quite the PvP watercooler post that some of you have been looking for, Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas, the Lead Encounter Designer for the World of Warcraft team, published a blog post earlier today regarding encounter mechanics. It offers excellent insight behind various decisions to nerf or buff bosses. He went on to deliver the reasoning behind hotfixes to Heroic Gara'jal earlier in the expansion and how the Ring of Frost talent for mages made Heroic Will of the Emperor easy.

In addition, Ion covered:
  • Creative use of ingame mechanics vs exploits
  • Adjusting the difficulty of encounters
  • Unintended strategies
  • How mages make life difficult for encounter designers
Read on after the cut to see the full post!

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Wintergrasp lag a big issue after patch 3.1

Zarhym has got some answers to the widespread problem of lag in Wintergrasp after patch 3.1 the other week. He says Blizzard figures the problem is simply population based -- there are many more people playing in the battleground than there were before the patch. For that reason, they're having trouble coming up with good solutions: the battleground is designed to be non-instanced, and that's why a lot of people like it, so putting a limit on the amount of people in there is not the way to go. Hardware isn't a solution either -- Blizzard's hardware is already top-of-the-line, and not only would upgrading it take a while anyway, but my guess is that most of the lag issues come not from Blizzard's side, but from the connections between players and them, which they may not have any control over anyway.

So yes, we're more or less out of luck -- as long as Wintergrasp is extremely popular (and even Zarhym remembers the naysayers before the release with a smirk), there will always be a certain amount of lag in there. There are a few good suggestions floating around the comments thread -- one is that Wintergrasp should always be conquerable, which seems like it would keep down on the flood of people, though of course there'd be other issues if that were implemented.

At this point, Wintergrasp lag may just be something we have to live with. Eventually, you have to think the population will drop back down, and then those of us still in there will enjoy lag-free battles again. But Blizzard has taken on quite a goal trying to do non-instanced PvP full of vehicles and towers without any lag at all.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Battlegrounds

Arenas hotfixed, more changes to come


I said it before, and I'll say it again: the new Arena maps suck. The gimmick-laden maps of the Ring of Valor and Dalaran Sewers are great fun in a Takeshi's Castle sort of way but are a bad idea in serious Arena play. You would've thought Blizzard learned their lesson with the cyclone effect in the Nagrand Arenas. The new Arena maps introduce unnecessary RNG that some high ranked Arena players don't appreciate. In fact, both of the new maps are banned from the recent ESL Arena Tournament in Germany.

Blizzard applied some hotfixes over the past few days that should help make the maps less of a circus. The gates have been removed from the Ring of Valor, allowing players to engage as soon as the problematic elevators hit the arena floor. The moving pillars were adjusted to start the match in the elevated position, whereas they used to rise a few seconds after the match started. Most importantly, the damage from the flame wall was changed to break certain effects such as Fears and Roots after a certain amount of damage has been dealt. The last change is nice, but it's still problematic. The only thing that should damage another player in an Arena is another player.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Forums, Arena

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