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Posts with tag watercooler

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

Dev Watercooler: Rate of change

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street's newest Dev Watercooler just went live today, discussing all manner of timing and the design process behind updating the game. This Dev Watercooler is perhaps my favorite Ghostcrawler has ever written because it eschews the wrappings of a news post and instead focuses on the actual mechanics and thought processes behind the trials and tribulations of updating and changing such a massive game.

The post starts off with some general technical information about how WoW works based on its client-server relationships and why the game works the way it does. From there, Ghostcrawler begins to discuss different time frames that Blizzard looks to when deciding when and how to update the game. Time frames run the gamut from patches to exploits, which get little to no attention in terms of announcements, and class balance, which mixes parts of expansion announcements and brand new changes that fundamentally alter a class.

If you've ever had an inkling of interest in how game design works and the thought processes that go into keeping a game like WoW running as smoothly as it does, this is the post to read.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Dev Watercooler: Bloody mitigation

In Ghostcrawler's last Dev Watercooler blog entry, tanking and threat were given a new focus when it came to World of Warcraft encounter design and gameplay experience. Threat for tanks was greatly increased, and the focus for tanks in the future seemed to hinge on active mitigation versus a combination of threat generation and damage mitigation.

Today, Ghostcrawler (lead systems designer Greg Street) posted more thoughts about overhauling tanking. He delves into what active mitigation means for the WoW team, some potential models that the future of tanking can hold for many tanking classes, and a deep, introspective look into what it means to hit buttons as a tank. Plus, he goes in-depth on how these major changes ahead will affect death knights first.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Dev Watercooler: Ghostcrawler discusses the number of player abilities

In his continuing conversational blog series Dev Watercooler, Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street (lead systems designer) muses about the number of abilities players have, what the sweet spot is in terms of quantity, the need for all classes to have a viable AoE rotation, and the difference between rotational abilities and situational abilities. From a game design perspective, this might be the coolest Dev Watercooler yet.

Read this full Dev Watercooler after the break, or check out the other Dev Watercoolers with Ghostcrawler:

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Dev Watercooler: Ghostcrawler talks critical hits (and misses)

The Dev Watercooler, Ghostcrawler's conversational community blog series, continues with a look at the theories behind critical hits. After a bit on the history of critical strikes in WoW, Ghostcrawler gets down to business with an awesome discussion about the homogenization of classes, the issue with healer critical hits, and the pros and cons of homogenizing critical hits across the board.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

Ghostcrawler chats about interrupts at the Dev Watercooler

Ghostcrawler (WoW lead systems designer) is blogging up a storm over at the WoW community site, with a new series called Dev Watercooler. The aim of this new column is to have candid chats with the community discussing game mechanics and pose questions that relate to the ongoing development of World of Warcraft. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that this is pretty cool.

In his first Dev Watercooler, Ghostcrawler talks about interrupts, where interrupt mechanics are going, and what he hopes they can look like over time.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

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