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Irc Chat Developper with Kalgan and Tigole: Live report


Developper Chat is now finished, Patch will go live tomorrow.

As i am writing these lines, World of Warcraft Lead Designers Tom Chilton [Kalgan] and Jeffrey Kaplan [Tigole] (they are in charge of game systems, balance and world design) are currently answering various questions on #StraticsHoC channel (server: irc.glowfish.de).

Q: When will Azeroth being getting a significant revamp, it is practically a ghost town with the exception of low level guildies?
Tigole: Azeroth isn't entirely a ghost town -- there's actually a good amount of traffic in the old world. We are looking at revamping some older zones at some point. Also, with future expansions we want to add more dungeons like Karazhan and CoT to keep the flow coming.

Q: From the CM's replies on the forums regarding the diminishing role of priests in the current game content (PvE and PvP), we're led to believe there is going to be future review of priests. Can you provide us any insight on the changes that could be a possibility?
Kalgan: Well, i think some of the diminishing role of priests had a lot to do with the power of the illumination talent. With 2.1 there are some significant balance changes that should improve the role of healing priests in endgame content regardless of the fact that it wasn't the hpm/hps of the priests themselves that changed significantly.

Q: Do you have plans to add more 10 or 15 man instance dungeons like Zul'Aman for casual players?
Tigole: Karazhan has been a big success and I think a lot of players really dig the 10 man raiding size. We're going to try to make Zul'Aman for 10 people as well. It's still a little ways off so there's always the chance something can change but we think ZA would make a great 10 person zone.

Q: Are there any plans to move forward with classic realms where the level cap is 60 and there is no content beyond Naxx?
Kalgan: Nope, no plans for a classic realm. We plan to keep wow moving forward, even though there are always some that would like to revel in nostalgia.

Q: Some Points were brought up about tuning shamans in upcoming patches, but very little specifics were given...is there anything that can be elaborated on at all?
Kalgan: We do plan to do some more refinement of the shaman class in an upcoming patch. That being said, we're starting to settle in on a pretty good spot for elemental and resto specs. By and large it's the enhancement spec that we'd like to see become more than "just" a leveling spec (same can be said for the paladin retribution spec).

Q: Players can enjoy the heroic mode of each instance dungeons in Outland. But they commented that they want to enjoy the instance dungeons in Azeroth. So they suggested adding heroic mode to instance dungeons in Azeroth. Do you have any plan about this?
Tigole: We'd absolutely love to go back and revisit some of our classic dungeons and do Heroic versions. We've been discussing that ever since we designed the feature for Burning Crusade. We still have quite a bit of *new* content to get out to you guys first though ;)

Q: What do you think of the current state of melee DPS in end-game raids? Since the expansion, bosses and mobs alike have gained more mitigation then before, causing melee DPS to be considerably lower then caster DPS on average.
Kalgan: I think that pre 2.1 melee raid dps needs some help. However, after 2.1 it's quite possible that melee dps will be where it needs to be after the glancing blow changes. From the testing we've seen the glancing blow change makes a very meaningful difference. However, I don't really think the current state of melee vs spell raid dps has much to do with the mitigation values on the raid targets, I think it has more to do with mages
Tigole: We're also a whole lot less punishing on melee dps in 2.1

Q: With the changes to encounters in TBC and the development of KTM threat meter, Safe DPS is not as important as it was 2 years ago. Also, many raids are dropping down to 1 or less hunters with only MD in mind. Tack that onto the most difficult method of DPS in the game, the buffs given in 2.1 seem to be nice but they will not be enough to bring hunters back into raids so my question is...What are you going to do to save t
Kalgan: We'll keep ratcheting up hunter raid dps as needed. I do still think there's value in "safe" dps regardless of threat meters. It doesn't change the fact that hunters have the potential to be less threat limited than other classes.

Q: Given the almost silly amount of what most people would consider 'useless' socket bonuses, are there plans to rework the socket system or otherwise make it more appealing? Did the socket system live up to the designer's expectations?
Kalgan: I think we've learned quite a bit about itemizing the socket bonuses in a way that they aren't ignored. However, it is intended that the bonus be simply an incentive to match the sockets, not a mandate. However, I do think the socketing system has provided players with some great customization choices that that wouldn't otherwise exist.

Q: Was it intentional that cloth armor at level 70 provides less damage reduction than did cloth at level 60?
Kalgan: Yes. In fact all types of armor provide less mitigation at 70 than they do at 60, it isn't specific to cloth at all.

Q: Any plans for more world wide events such as Naxxramas, or the horrid AQ40 opening?
Tigole: Well if I answer yes is that a good or bad thing? YES, we plan to do more World Events. NO! They won't be *horrid*

Q: With the advent of multiple tanking classes in The Burning Crusade, Paladins and Druids are now competing for the role of main tank in 25-man raiding content, extending from Karazhan up through the Black Temple. Has WoW development reviewed the game mechanics of Crushing Blows? In 2.1, the Glancing Blow mechanic has been changed to assist DPS classes - has any similar discussion been undertaken for Crushing Blows?
Kalgan: Yes, we have had a similar discussion regarding crushing blows. We feel they add too random an element for players in endgame content. We expect to deal with this issue at some point in the future (although it may not be immediate).

Q: Players think the increase of cooldown on Shadow Word:Death causes nerf in PvP as well as PVE. Many priests say that shadow priests should only depend on DPS because they don’t have CC except Psychic Scream and Shadow Word:Death is previously pretty useful for PVP. Do Devs have any plan to review cooldown time on Shadow Word:Death in the future?
Kalgan: Yes, it is a nerf. Although, it's arguably less of one in pvp than pve. So far we're satisfied with the new cooldown.

Q: Are there still plans to add weapon procs and potions back to druid forms as previously stated?
Kalgan: It's possible, but not certain.

Q: Whats the deal with the ashbringer?
Tigole: The saga continues! We're really enjoying the ongoing storyline with Ashbringer and hope to continue it through the game.

Q: One major complaint healers/tanks have is that they can not grind very well. Have you ever considered letting people have 2 specs they could swap freely between? Like the weapon swap in diablo 2. Having respec cost simply cost alot of people off from trying strange builds/tatics.
Kalgan: Well, it's a bit different conceptually than a diablo 2 weapon swap. There aren't any plans to give players multiple specs, since that really kind of defeats the purpose of having to "choose" a spec. However, where necessary we'll add grind power to trees/specs that traditionally have a hard time in those areas. In some ways I do believe that some of the specs have gotten overspecialized over time.

Q: Are the harsh keying requirements for entry level->end game raid zones going to stay for future expansions, or will some sort of backflagging option be available?
Tigole: First off, players will be happy to know that there are some *limited* backflagging solutions going into the game tomorrow. It's not for all zones but for a select few. Regarding the keying process, I think a certain amount of keying is cool... it allows for guilds to separate each other from one another. Most of the keying issues have become issues more because of tuning. The Karazhan key isn't terribly hard to obtain. Btw Patch Tomorrow!
Kalgan: omg patch tomorrow

Q: What sort of "average weekly time investment" do you design the end-game around? How do you determine how much time should be spent on gear acquisition, consumable farming, assisting guildmates, etc.? On that note, how "organized" do you intend for the average raiding guild to be?
Kalgan: Personally I intend the average guild be |---------------------------------| organized (but no more or less than that).
Tigole: It's not so much that we design around an "average weekly time investment". We more look at having a big suite of things to do at any point in the game, whether you raid or pvp or do 5 mans or solo... I think a lot of raiders LIKE to feel useful outside of raiding -- doing 5 mans, pvp etc. When it goes too far (herb farming for example -- it's no longer fun. We hope to reduce the tedious elements and focus more on end game PvE fun for the average WoW raider. Not sure if that answers the question.

Q: Retribution specced paladins are not seen as a viable raid choice as their DPS is 'low' and the support they bring could easily be done by another DPS class. Will retribution be made into a viable end-game raiding spec through either DPS increases or support increases?
Tigole: but then who will save the hunters, kalgan?
Kalgan: Yes, I'd like to see ret become a bit more raid viable in terms of dps and overall utility. the ret pallies will save them! next patch'! ok, maybe not or maybe... Right. At any rate, something we've noticed in our testing is that ret pallies are in kind of a jam where their dps isn't enough to get the put in a dps group in a raid. ... which makes their dps suffer even more. Hopefully we can get that solved in a way that doesn't cause ret pallies to rule the pvp universe.

Q: What is the developer vision on the subject of "pure" and "hybrid" classes? Are pure classes supposed to be better than hybrids in their specialized role? Tanking for a warrior, healing for a priest, magical dps for amage, physical dps for a rogue.
Kalgan: Generally speaking we want "pure" classes to perform better in their primary roles, with hybrids coming close, but providing additional group utility to offset their reduced primary role power. Some restrictions apply, your mileage may vary.

Q: Arena matches are becoming longer and longer as teams are gaining more cheap stamina and resilience, while mana is still relatively expensive. In future I can see non-mana classes takeing the definite upper hand as they can continue doing their task forever, unlike casters. How do you see this situation evolving and are there any plans to counter it?
Kalgan: Well, at least the fights aren't getting shorter with gear progression like they were at level 60 right? =]
One thing we've done in patch 2.1 is make water available through the honor system that players can drink in the arenas. Spam that drink button! We'll see how it goes from there.

Q: Will Karazhan Lower Side and the Crypt be opened in the future as dungeons? Warcraft: The Last Guardian mentioned Khadgar discovered a doorway to the bottom of Karazhan, a mirror copy in reverse of the tower above.
Tigole: Perhaps, although there are some other Old World locations we'd like to visit first. Grim Batol, Dalaran, Uldum all come to mind. We have some pretty cool ideas for future Caverns of Time instances as well.

Q: When should a warrior choose fury over protection or arms? You say you want to lover a fury warriors damage but you consider a arms warriors damage ok. Arms warrior also bring 4% melee damage to raid and he is king in arena.
Kalgan: As far as our tests indicate, fury warriors do significantly more raid dps than arms warriors (when equivalently geared). I don't think many raids are favoring arms warriors over fury right now in my experience.

Q: I like how your adding in a large ammount of solo and small group content alongside the Black Temple, will future pates continue this trend?
Tigole: We have a big dev team that's really dedicated to adding all sorts of content to the game -- through patches and expansions. Our hope is to add all sorts of content raging from solo to group to raid to pvp content. We also want to make changes, additions and improvements at all levels of the game. Sometimes a patch might focus on a certain aspect more than another but we're trying to include something for everyone.

Q: Are the developers actively evaluating the 10% Mage coefficient nerf? Also, please explain why it was implemented and why it is still in place. Many Mages aren't fully aware of this issue and it doesn't appear within the Improved Fireball/Frostbolt talents themselves.
Kalgan: I can't say we're really actively evaluating it at this point. Melee classes are only starting to approach where they should be in terms of damage output relative to mages, so we don't expect to make fireball/frostbolt do more damage right now. The reason we don't put it in the tooltip is that bonus coefficients are already a very hidden and expert game mechanic. We don't want every new mage totally mystified by excessively nerdy information in the tooltip.

Q: Why are there so few quests within the 5-man instances in TBC? One of the jewels of early WoW was how well instances like Shadowfang Keep and the Deadmines were integrated into the overall story arc."
Tigole: To be honest, it just came down to time. The instances stand up on their own in regards to coolness and fun factor. With that said, we definitely want to add more quests to the 5 man experience. We're really trying hard to focus the exterior zone quests on the instances within that zone. I think a good example is how the boss of the Mechanar is foreshadowed in some of the earlier zone quests in Outland. We'll try to do a better job.

Q: My question is regards to buggy/overpowered encounters, I want to ask how they get left like this, taking in example Al'ar, as I've done him myself, during Phase 1, if DPS is not high enough, after about 4-6 minutes, he starts spawning adds after every teleport, I can only assume this was purposely implemented as some kind of "enrage" timer, to make phase1 a DPS phase, but regarding that, how much testing was done?
Tigole: Nothing was deliberately left broken -- I can assure you of that. Lots of testing on the Burning Crusade raid content was done before many of the item and balance changes were complete. This makes it harder to get accurate raid testing done. Also, not a lot of guilds (read: 0) made it to A'lar on the PTR's. Luckily in 2.1.0 we've had an amazing turnout on the PTR's. Today we've had 6 different raids in EU on the PTR's. We've gotten extensive Black Temple testing, Hyjal testing and we've even taken some of the guilds back to Vashj and Kael to fine tune those encounters

Q: Six words. Caverns of Time: Fall of Gnomeregan. Say it can be so!"
Kalgan: If you count "say it can be so" that's 11 words.
Tigole: Uhm.... yes Gnomeregan could use some love. Maybe the Gnomes should take it back... where's Metzen?

Q: The change to Aran's Flame Wraith made the encounter more pet accessible. Any ideas of making other encounters more pet friendly, like immunity to the melee AoE effect at gruul?
Tigole: I think the upcoming changes to the hunter pet will help. We have to be careful about going too far with immunities on pets though. I know it sounds silly -- but we can overpower their presence. It's actually a fine line.

Q: What do the Developers see as the future of the Shaman class pertaining to a raid environment? While Shamans CAN spec for raid DPS at the moment it is not very logical for a raid leader to bring one considering they don't tend to out preform a "pure" DPS class, is there a chance this may change, or do the Developers see us as just another healer? In correlation, is there any talk of an "aggro" dump ability for Shamans?
Kalgan: I think shaman raid dps is a bit underrated personally. However, I would like to stick to the philosophy that we should get their dps to be "close" to pure class dps and make up for the rest in group utility. As a side note, we don't really plan to give every class "an aggro dump", ... even if you could call the ankh a once per hour aggro dump hoho.

Q: I've noticed that items from the new instances have new features such as Ignore Armor and Haste rating, what other effects are being introduced in addition to these?
Kalgan: Yes, we have introduced a few new item effects. That's all we plan to introduce for tier 6 though.

Q: Can we expect to see more raid bosses similar to the chess event in Karazhan where the entire raid can avoid dying/having to repair on a failure? As a followup, I think this was a great idea but it seemed like an implementation that was rushed; was the chess event as we see it today the same as it was in planning?
Tigole: The chess event was very unique. We'd like to do more stuff like that but it takes a tremendous amount of time. Before planning any raid encounter we discuss how hard/easy it should be based on it's relative placement and complexity within a raid. We saw the chess event as more of a Reward for just getting there (and for being a solo rogue...jk). The trick with the Chess encounter is that it would be extremely easy to make the event overpowered and unbeatable, we wanted to err on the side of having it feel like a bonus. There are some changes to the event coming, Medivh will use the fire cheat more but when all is said and done, it's just a fun, rewarding *intermission* event for the raid. Enjoy your free king's defender.

Q: Will the Emerald Dream come into play soon?
Tigole: Not any time soon but we do have plans for it. We've actually done a lot of work on the Emerald Dream but we scrapped what we had for bigger, grander plans.

Q: What is the design status of Arena speculating, and will there ever be a chance to earn gold from arena games?
Kalgan: I do like the idea of gambling on arena battles personally, but it isn't something we have in the works right now.

Q: Why was it necessary to apply a nerf to the shadow priest's DPS? Can shadow priests expect better spell coefficients and itemization end-game to balance this out?
Tigole: too...much...face....melting...
Kalgan: Well... because it doesn't seem like the priest should be out dps-ing the rest of the raid, while also acting as a mana and health battery.

Q: Have you guys looked into possibly bringing life to WoW? what i mean by this is, Have you considered monthly story driven events which are controlled by GM's? ex. Invasions, war efforts, city defense?
Tigole: We try to have our events unfold either by players or at the hands of the designers. The game is extremely large and in many countries. Quality of play experience is absolutely king for us. I'm not sure the events would be of the quality that players have come to expect if they were being run on an individual basis. Our GM's are extremely talented but we count on them for their customer service skills.

Q: Any chance there will be more lore added to the gnomes? As of now, they're the most loreless playable race around - any plans for that to change?
Tigole: We do have more plans for the Gnomes.
Kalgan: well they're also the shortest.
Tigole: Toshley's was a cool little hub out in Blade's Edge but we have big plans for some future Gnome areas. More to come on that. Also, Gnomer really needs some love -- I'd love to redo that dungeon.

Q: Do you have any plans to add enchanting and jewelcrafting specializations?
Kalgan: Not really.
Tigole: I want to specialize in Solid Star of Elune making.
Kalgan: In some ways we think the specializations narrow the play experience for professions and we want to avoid that happening.

Q: Are there any plans to address the issue of crit/spellhaste not benefitting Affliction locks/Shadowpriests? Seeing many items in the future it looks very dismal to have so very few upgrades when these specs function nearly soley off +dmg alone.
Kalgan: Well, we did make spell haste affect channeled spells in 2.1. We considered having it affect dot duration, but that was going to be op.

Q: With the current status of raid progression and the corresponding attunements, it is becoming more and more clear to many people that their chances of beating (or even seeing) Black Temple or Hyjal before the next expansion is out are quite low. Only the most hardcore of the hardcore, even among raiders, seem to be making significant progress. Are there any plans to making BC raiding somewhat less unforgivable?
Tigole: Yes, tomorrow, first thing in the morning 2.1.0 will go live and I think there are *many* significant changes to help with raid progression issues. If raid progression is still a problem after 2.1.0, we'll make further changes. We WANT people doing the content, we want the encounters to get beat, i'd rather have fun, beaten encounters then a raid game full of mysteries that no one is going to see, plus all your epics are getting a big buff tomorrow. if all that fails, there is always STARCRAFT 2 omg?
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7 December  7 December @ 2010-10-04 23:25:04


When will be released Catalysm?  When will be released Catalysm? @ 2010-01-24 18:39:53


Me too  Me too @ 2008-11-06 02:26:17


Preordered on Amazon allready and I hope they wont let me down  Preordered on Amazon allready and I hope they wont let me down @ 2008-11-06 02:23:29


Just 6 more days to wait....  Just 6 more days to wait.... @ 2008-11-06 02:22:45





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