Thursday, August 21, 2008

An Interview and Some Lore

On Lore. The OP was asking about NPCs / structures and their movement around the place according to Warcraft lore. The blue post addresses the movement of Naxxramas and Dalaran, as well as how Alliance get more Ashbringer / Arthas type lore than Horde. He also mentions the Warcraft fiction, such as comic books and such that have been written with reference to the worlds and their lore.


"By the way, regarding Naxxramas, I just wanted to confirm that this would only be moved to Northrend and the level 60 version will not be available anymore. It's likely there won't be any achievements relating to the old Naxxramas, except there might be something related to Atiesh."

Tom Chilton (aka Kalgan, Lead Game Designer) and J. Allen Brack (Production Director) were interviewed at


How is the beta going ? Is everything alright?
T.C. - Things are definitely going very well, we've got a lot of very good feedbacks through the beta process. We've been making a lot of changes and improvements based on the feedback but overall it's coming along very well.

The beta servers have been very unstable in the last days, is there any improvement ?
J.A.B - We've got our server team who is looking into all problems, the point of our beta process is to actually figure out what problems we have and get them all fixed before we do the big release.

Is there any plan to open more beta realms ?
T.C. - We do actually have plans to start up a realm that has premade characters at level 80, the reason being that we're going to want to give players another opportunity to test some of the end game content without having to go through the leveling process. We can probably do that near the end of the beta process but it might be on a different server, this isn't decided for sure.

When do you plan to open more instances and rise the level cap to level 80 ?
T.C. - Each time we do another patch on the beta we try to open up new content for the players. [...] I don't know if we'll be able to patch this week while we're being here in Europe but that should be coming very soon.
J.A.B - For each patch we try to evaluate how much content do we have, is it time to give players the chance to open that up ? We're talking internally about when it is time to rise us up to level 80 but we're getting close.

Why didn't you separate PvE from PvP more?
T.C. - We made that decision because prior to The Burning Crusade, what we found as people increase their gear they die quicker because PvE gear is specialized gear. For DPS classes as an example it is designed to do the most damage as possible in the shortest time as possible and it does not have a lot of survivability. If that's the best gear players have available, then what happens is they take that into PvP is that they die very quickly and there's not much time for their strategies to evolve. What we've found is that in PvP we had to create gear with balanced offensive capability and survivability and because of that we had to create this separate set of gear with the new stat called resilience to make sure fights lasted long enough so that they are interesting and have depth. [...] Well, certainly something that we want to do for Litch king is better crossover so that when you're doing PvE you are actually able to accumulate some PvP gear in case you decide to try out some PvP you'll have a good starting point. The same would go in reverse, if you're doing a lot of PvP, you might have a couple of really good items that you could use into PvE and do pretty well.

What about the paladin, is there any plans to nerf the DPS Paladin's damage from what it is on beta servers now?
T.C. - We are just now beginning on going through the heavy tuning phase, we really don't do that until the end of the beta generally, where we start going through all of the classes and finding the things that are way out of balance and there's no doubt right now that the ret paladins are doing a lot more damage than what we would expect.

Are you satisfied with how the death knight is going?
T.C. - Yeah, the death knight has been coming along very well, we've been getting a lot of good feedback from it, people seem to like the class, they seem to enjoy the starting experience very much, we really kind of put our heart into the death knight class, hopefully that's going to pan out.

What talent tree do you prefer on the death knights?
T.C. - Personally, I really enjoy the frost talents, but I believe all three trees are very strong, they all definitely all have a strong role to play.

What else do you plan? Are there any more instances coming?
T.C. - Well, certainly, there are a lot more instances we plan to release, CoT: Strath instance, Ulduar, a handful that we are play testing internally that are pretty much ready for players to see, should be one of the patches that come out any time now [...] but it should be rolling out there very quickly.

All the instances were very well designed, however, I consider it unfortunate that say, Azjol-Nerub only has three bosses, its very short.
T.C. - Most players would consider that a fortunate thing, we've been getting a lot of feedback in the past that some of the instances were taking too long, so we're going for the middle ground here, we want to have some diversity between the instances too, there are a lot of players that miss the old big dungeon crawls, like BRD, etc. We want to find ways to deliver that too, but ultimately I think the core experience is that players should be able to get through an instance in less than an hour. Its something that we're trying to be very conscious about in Wrath, unlike in Burning Crusade when we had the heroic instances, those take a very long time to get through, 3 hours, 4 hours, 5 hours depending on your quality of gear. We're trying to make sure when Litch King comes out that when you do the heroic instances, it doesn't take as much time going through it as you did before.

But, we need the epic feeling from the Blackrock Depths too.
T.C. - We're trying to capture that too as much as possible.

How do you plan to balance the 10 and 25 man raid instances? Are there any changes in boss design?
T.C. - There definitely are changes in boss design, for example, not only do we have to have changes in boss design even to get it down to 25 from the way Naxx used to work, certainly in the past at level 60, the four horseman boss took eight different tanks for instance. There definitely has been design change, but the integrity of the encounter remains the same, you still have the four horsemen, they all are still there. The mechanics of the fight are different, you will tank them in different ways, the horsemen will be tanked by different classes, even non tanking classes, kinda like what we have done in the past with warlocks tanking. We have some mechanics like that in place so that we can maintain the integrity of the encounters even though the actual mechanics will be different.

Will Naxx still be one instance?
T.C. - It is still a single instance, it still has that epic feel.

When will Wrath be released?
T.C. - When its ready. Specifically, the fifth of when it's ready.

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

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