Posts Tagged ‘Discussion’

Notes from the Blizzard Developer Q&A, No. 6

The sixth round of the Ask the Devs Q&A chats have finally been posted over at the official blog, and the answers are pretty interesting. If you didn’t know already, this round focuses around the topic of guild advancement. As always, I’ll highlight some questions I think are particularly interesting from the roundup – not everything. For the full transcript, head over to the blog and check it out!

Without any further ado:

Q: The guild perks system makes it unnaturally hard to start a new guild, since a guild without all perks is at an obvious disadvantage in recruitment. In addition, it rewards just recruiting random people (who might only care about the perks) to get guild XP. What are your thoughts on this? Will it be addressed? – Lolisa [Europe, English], Mith [North America]

A: We knew when we decided to add guild features for Cataclysm that this was one of the risks. If the guild perks and rewards aren’t interesting, then there is no motivation to join a guild or work to improve your guild. On the other hand if they are too powerful, then you feel shackled to your old guild, even if it’s not a healthy relationship for you. We were careful to only choose perks that didn’t contribute to player power, and we let you keep any rewards you earn if you ever have to leave your guild. The perks are nice, no doubt, but you’re going to have less fun in an established guild of jerks than you would starting your own guild with fewer perks.

We don’t think recruiting random people is healthy for a guild. Rewards are never going to be a substitute for strong social ties. We really encourage as many people as possible to seek out guilds (and we hope the new Guild Finder will help with that), but joining a guild at random will likely end in tears.

On the other hand, there may be some benefit to having less churn on starting guilds. Before Cataclysm, some guilds would get started halfheartedly and then crumble again after a few weeks or months. Maintaining an active guild asks a lot of the guild master and leading officers. If you join an established guild in Cataclysm, hopefully it will continue to be around for awhile. But because of reputation, even brand new guilds may seem like a more serious option than they were before Cataclysm, since the founders of the guild know that anyone interested is likely looking for a long-term home and are not just hopping from guild to guild.

This is a good one, and something that’s been on my mind for a while now – makes sense it’s the first question. Honestly, the questioner does have a good point – some people just won’t join a guild without the perks, but I have to agree with the devs that in most cases, people won’t stick to a cruddy guild because they have the perks, and people won’t skip over a great guild without perks for a bad guild that has them. Still, I could see this being tweaked a bit over time.

Q: Are you planning to address the issue of Guild Leaders mass kicking members, once the guild reaches level 25? – Bloodbliss [North America], Юхани [Europe, Russian]

A: We don’t really have any interest in controlling who a guild leader chooses to kick, or when. Guilds are fairly transparent and simple player-run groups, and we have to be extremely careful about what systems we implement that impact how people can operate their guilds. We could absolutely make it more difficult for guild leaders to kick their members, and that might help very slightly with these situations, but the result would actually be that guild leaders would just be much less likely to invite new members. We want people to be in guilds, as opposed to making guild masters afraid that if they invite someone they may never be able to kick them if they don’t work out.

Allowing players to keep some level of guild reputation is an option we can look into to help with this situation, though.

Wow – I suppose it’s just an indicator of how little time I’ve had to really get arms deep into the game lately, but I didn’t even know this was an issue. That’s a pretty cruddy thing for a Guild Leader to do, honestly. I see why Blizzard doesn’t want to get involved, but I can see how it would be a problem. Don’t expect Blizz to do too much until it gets to fever pitch, though.

Q: Are we going to see guild houses someday so we could finally get a special gather place for the guild, to meet and interact easily? – Ellidryl[Europe, French], Греланд[Europe, Russian], Ledieri [Europe, Spanish], Bodywreckér [North America]

A: Guild housing is something we have discussed many times. It would be neat to have a place for people to hang out, but every time it has come up as a possibility we don’t think that is worth the amount of time and resources it would take to implement (and do it right). This is one of those features where if we ever decided to do it, the benefit would have to outweigh other content we could be working on. Also, we don’t feel that we need any new ways for players to hide themselves away. If possible we at least like people to be hanging around in the cities, if not out in the world. We know that many guilds, despite lack of official guild housing, have designated meeting locations throughout the world, which we think is really cool. If you don’t have one yet it might be something to explore.

Ah, the old guild housing question. And, of course, the answer that Blizzard has given us many many times: they like the idea, they really really do like the idea, but they just don’t think it’s high enough on the priority list at this point to take development time away from other tasks. Interesting. I wonder if it’ll ever be high enough on the priority list – it’s been something people have wanted since Vanilla.

Q: Are there any plans to allow for easier alt access to the same guild rewards as someone’s main character? Perhaps some kind of +rep item that is BoA and can only be bought by an exalted character? – Serule [North America], Xheevas [Europe, French]

A: This is one of the main reasons 4.1 has new guild tabards with 50/100% bonus to rep. We made sure to place these at friendly and honored so they would be easy to obtain by alts. We are considering adding an even larger bonus to an exalted, BOA version as well. Great minds think alike!

Hah! Awesome – I was wondering when this was going to happen, and sure enough, we have it already. Well done!

And that does it for another round – we skipped a lot of questions this time, but they’re all pretty interesting. Make sure to read the full thread for the whole scoop!

Discussion :: How Do You Stay Motivated in WoW?

I admit, I have a bit of a problem. I’m losing motivation and interest in World of Warcraft. For most people, this would equate to a play-break; a time where they just don’t play for a while and then regain their interest slowly over time. That’s been working for me to some extent – I actually haven’t logged in for a while now and I’ve been toying with other games (ssh, don’t tell!) but I’m starting to wonder how the next time I start to feel a little down about the game that I can keep myself up and motivated to keep playing and having fun.

So, I figured I would ask you, fair readers: how do you stay motivated when playing World of Warcraft? How do you manage to log in regularly? Is it something you look forward to doing the moment you get home? Or maybe it’s something that you do for your friends and guild-mates? Maybe you’re passionate about the lore, or you’re passionate about role-playing?

What’s your secret sauce? Let us know in the comments.

What’s Your Favorite WoW Weapon?

Each week over at The Blog Azeroth Forums, the community comes together around a shared blog topic – interested WoW bloggers can pick up the topic and make posts on their own sites to respond to it, and all of the responses are collected and linked at TwistedNether.net. “What Is Your Favorite Weapon?” is this week’s topic!

This week’s shared topic over at Blog Azeroth was a particularly fun one to think about. Kallixta asked the group:

I was comparing a new upgrade to my older item when it struck me how much I liked my old item. Like is wonderfully subjective and I hope others will explain their measure.

Is your favorite weapon something with strong memories for you? Is it something that just works well for RP purposes? Or maybe the balance of abilities meshes better than normal to your spec and play style?

Admittedly, I don’t do much RP, and I’m not exactly an endgame high-end raider who doesn’t have time to think about the looks and story behind a weapon because he’s too busy min/maxing to care, so I think I’m right there in the middle with those players who have fallen in love enough with a couple of his items that they simply won’t ever leave the bank. Here are a couple of them.

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Discussion :: How Are Those New Races Working Out For You?


(image courtesy of Penny Arcade. Click to see the original comic!

Cataclysm has been out for a while, and although many people have spent the bulk of their time rushing to get up to 85 and geared up for heroics and other dungeons that represent the state of end-game content right now, a lot of other people have taken the other approach: take it nice and slow, and roll on the of the new races or character race/class combinations, start from the beginning, and take your time getting through all of the new quests, changed zones, and updated content.

So, if you’re one of those folks who decided to roll a goblin or worgen and start from level one, how are those races working out for you? Do you find the lore works out for you, or that it’s all just a smashed-together trainwreck?

Some people have noted that the Worgen feel kind of abandoned, much like the Draenei were in The Burning Crusade, that they’re essentially leveled to about 10 or 15 and then shipped off to do quests that essentially already exist and join the storyline of another race (namely the Night Elves.) The Goblin experience, however, is much better – but this is all secondhand that I’m hearing. What I want to hear is what you think! Sound off in the comments.

What Would You Like from the Azeroth Metblogs in 2011?

Behold, the command center behind the Azeroth Metblogs.

Okay, not really. But it does illustrate a point – we’ve got your comments up on the big screen, and we want to know what you’re looking for from the Azeroth Metblogs in the coming year. Cataclysm is out and is clearly all the rage, and we do lots of discussion posts, cover relevant WoW-related news, do some Blizzard general coverage, and bring you lots of videos to watch, so what would you like more or less of this year? What can we bring you that you’d like that you’d like to see, or don’t get elsewhere?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Discussion :: What Are Your Warcraft Resolutions for 2011?

So 2010 is coming to a rapid close. But what does 2011 hold in store for us World of Warcraft players? We already have Cataclysm, what more could we ask for?

Well – since we’re all busy making resolutions and claiming we’re going to lose weight or get to the gym or something else like that, I was curious what some of us were planning in terms of Warcraft resolutions – things we wanted to see 2011 bring to us, or things we wanted to do with a new year and a fresh start. So what did I do? I asked Twitter, of course!

@errant_pastor says:

I want my ‘mad scientist’ of a huntress to be a Professor, of course!
…and camels! CAMELS FOR EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE! They are so cute!
And I’d really like to kill Deathwing. Not because I’m a big raider, but, damnit it’s PERSONAL this time.

@tongarityphooon says:

Personally, I’m going to make up for only getting two toons to the level cap in Lich King. The others were all SO CLOSE.

As for me? My Warcraft resolution is to experiment with some classes that I had normally thought were practically unplayable by my play style: that means I need to get back to leveling my Shaman, and maybe try out a Druid. I’m also planning to hit the level cap with a few more characters this time around – by the time Cataclysm hit, I only had 2 level 80s and a ton of lower level alts. I’d love to have some variety, fill different needs in heroics and raids.

Perhaps my biggest resolution though is to get back to playing more often! RL just keeps getting in the way, and I want to dive back in full force now that Cataclysm is out. I’ve been away too long, and my enemies have grown soft, as it were.

What are some of your 2011 World of Warcraft resolutions? Let us know in the comments!

Today’s the Day!

Throngs of people lined up outside of electronics stores and game retailers, people fidgeting with the digital download to try and make it go faster, people rushing into game to get world firsts – it’s on, folks, Cataclysm is here and officially launched!

Me? I’m still waiting for my copy of the collector’s edition to be delivered before I can crack it open and install it. If you’re curious what’s inside the collector’s edition, you can check out these awesome unboxing photos over at Gearlog that we posted about yesterday. Maybe you’re waiting eagerly for the UPS of FedEx truck to come by your home or business too? Maybe you took a few days off in anticipation of the event: over at the World of Warcraft Livejournal Community there are tons of people who didn’t sleep at all last night and are already in-game and have been since midnight PST last night!

So what will you do first? Head to Hyjal and start kicking butt under the shade of the world tree? Or perhaps you’re off to Vashj’ir to beat up on the Naga? Or better still, maybe you’re starting the game from the beginning with a shiny new Goblin or Worgen? Let us know what you’re up to in the comments!

Discussion :: How’s That Shattering Working Out for You?

So now that the world has shattered, Deathwing is free from the elemental plane, there’s a lot of brand new smoldering gaping holes in the ground where lots of cities and zones used to be, and the battle between Horde and Alliance are themselves burning anew, how’s it going?

Seriously, earlier this week, most of us went to bed on Monday with one Azeroth – old Azeroth, the one we’ve known, many of us, for the past 6 years – and we woke up the next day to the world breaking while the servers were down. When the servers came back up, we got a brand new world, brand new zones, new character class and race combinations, and more. We essentially got a brand new game.

So how are you adjusting? Still overwhelmed with all of the changes? Already happily leveling your new gnome mage or tauren paladin? Or maybe you’re still keeping your head down and waiting for the fuss to blow over and the queues to dial down so you can get into your server? Sound off in the comments!

Discussion :: Waiting for the World to Change

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake…

Okay, for those of you who read the title and were looking for the song that it matches up to, here you go. Still, while we’re all sitting here, waiting for the servers to come back up, waiting for our beloved Azeroth to change forever, and waiting for The Shattering, I figured I would ask everyone what they’ll miss from old Azeroth. You can see a lot of those responses over at Twitter if you’re following me (I’m @halophoenix,) but I asked the Twitterati what they would miss the most, and the responses were great.

I started the discussion with one of mine:

@halophoenix says: think the Crystal Caverns in Un’ Goro were the first place I saw and said “wow, that’s really really gorgeous.” #goodbyeoldazeroth

Here are a few or the responses I got:

@immamoonkin asked: “I wonder what’ll happen if I jump off this big tree.” #goodbyeoldazeroth

Which of course got her, myself, and a few other people talking about the quintessential newbie Night Elf experience: finding the branches off of the World Tree in Teldrassil and jumping off. The first time I jumped off was the first time I landed somewhere that I couldn’t wisp back to my body. I was so freaked out I thought I had broken the game. I even logged off for a while hoping I’d be able to sort it out when I came back. Yup – completely forgot about the Spirit Healer. We also discussed that first epic ride from Darkshore into Ashenvale, and the huge, towering, bright trees and winding paths we encountered.

Speaking of which, one of my friends had a minor freak-out about the event, and explained there were a number of things she’d miss about old Azeroth:

@tongarityphoon: – EVERYTHING. I don’t even know. Darnassus, Teldrassil in general. ASHENVALE. Oh my god.
– Mene hit level 20 and I was so fucking PUMPED for Ashenvale, it was BEAUTIFUL and I felt so big and strong ;;
– Oh gosh, and Blackrock Depths. THE PLAGUELANDS, those were always what made me feel like I was really reaching the high levels.
– WHAT ABOUT SCHOLO dear god I three-manned that once at level 60, pre-BC.
– AND I WILL MISS STRANGLETHORN VALE. I never thought I would say that but BOOTY BAY T_T OH GOD. And the cities. THE CITIES.
– Stormwind and Darnassus not so much Ironforge OH GOD AND ORGRIMMAR and the UNDERCITY Thunder Bluff, meh. I MIGHT CRY
– THE DEEPRUN TRAM AND THE SEA CREATURES YOU CAN SEE THROUGH THE SIDES OF IT I already miss running to Ironforge as a baby for AH
– WINTERSPRING AND ITS LUDICROUS BEAUTY

You can see she’s a little distressed about the whole “end of the world” thing, but then again, who wouldn’t be?

I have to admit, I’m right there with her though – I remember the days of having to make the Wetlands run from Menethil Harbor all the way to Ironforge as a lowbie, with crocolisks on your ass the whole way. Oh, those were the days.

I took the opportunity to remind her that Orgrimmar is currently on fire. I’m not mean, am I?

@errant_pastor said: sob. uh. everything. ;_; so many goals unaccomplished. sob

And @immamoonkin had another one for me – one that reminded me of me back in the vanilla days:

@immamoonkin chimed in: I got another: “Oh… there’s a FERAL and RESTO tree? Uh… *continues to put points in balance*” #goodbyeoldazeroth

Yeah, this was me with my first hunter way back in the day. My horrifically embarrassing n00b claim to fame? For a while there I never trained traps. I was level 60, and my hunter main couldn’t lay a trap to save his life. I looked at them as optional: I didn’t NEED them for anything, and I had gotten this far without them, so…why bother? When I went into an instance with a PUG and they asked me to lay a trap to CC a mob, I sheepishly admitted I didn’t know the skill. Yeah, you can imagine how well that went over. But it did get me to train them up right quick!

@Raevyns had this to say over IM:
– The calm green purple of the forests around Auberdine..
– Hours spent in the Barrens, killing Quillboar…
– And those loooong twilight’s hammer quests in Auberdine and Silithus…
– Being pounced by Tiny in Ungoro

I wish I could say that Quillboar were going away, or their horrific dying scream would be changing, but alas, I know from what I’ve read about the Tauren starting quests now that we’ll still hear from the Quillboar, whether we like it or not.

And oh, “Tiny.” Tiny was our name for any of the three devilsaurs that roam Un’Goro Crater – their massive hulking frames scaring the bejeezus out of characters who ventured into the crater for the first time. They’re huge, they make the ground shake, and they had a HUGE aggro range. Yup – when you’re level appropriate, those guys are seriously OP.

We waxed rhapsodic about the time in the game when you HAD to get faction with the Timbermaw to get through their tunnel, and that was pretty much the only way to progress in the game – sure you could try and do other things, but all of your level-appropriate quests were in Winterspring, and well – good luck getting there if you weren’t a Druid.

My friend Syddie took the high road though, and reminded us to not look back, but look forward to all of the new and wondrous things we would see in Cataclysm!

@thesyddiegirl said: I’m going to miss being able to somewhere and have certain memories tied to it but really looking forward to changes as well!
– There’s just too much that is new and exciting and revitalizing for the game for me to fuss about things that are going away.

She has a good point! The world will change, but now there’ll be much much more to explore and see!

So what are some of your memories of old Azeroth? What will you miss the most, and what will you be looking forward to as soon as the shattering is all finished and the realms come back up again? Let us know in the comments!

Discussion :: Cataclysm World Events In-Progress – Is the End Near?

So the end is near, the elementals have started attacking, and the cultists are making their voices heard, and the authorities of the Azerothian factions and groups are busy making sure that the cultists don’t get enough of a voice to turn people to their side, or frighten the masses into panic. And in the middle of it all, you’re there to help.

Now that the world events are starting – the ones that you know already will inevitably lead to Cataclysm – what do you think? Are you ready for the expansion? Do you just want it all over with so the fun can begin? Maybe you’re not even looking at it until the expansion launches fully?

Sound off in the comments – let us know how the end times are working out for you!

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