Blizzcon – Open Q&A with Wynthea

Matticus is still finishing up his epic vacation in lovely southern California, and so you’re stuck with me providing as much content as I possibly can for the next couple of days!

(Yes, that means the how-to Disc piece will definitely finally go up. I’m sorry it’s taken so long.)

Meanwhile, the thing on the top of my mind is still Blizzcon, and more specifically Cataclysm. I’m sure you’ve already read all about my adventures, but if you have more specific questions, either about the con in general, or the xpac specifically, I’d love to answer them as best I can. To that end, this post is an Open Thread – you ask your questions; I’ll answer them! Talk to you soon!

Luv,
Wyn

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Comments

  1. A few questions…. First, how does one become as awesome as you?
    Second, with the changes coming in to old world Azeroth, what do you personally think will happen with the old world level grind? I know they said they didn’t plan on decreasing the amount of exp needed to level, and that they hoped that the changes would better facilitate leveling, but what do you think will happen? Do you think they will end up reducing the exp-to-level, or just mix things up a bit so its different?

    Also, what do you think the new racials will be like, given examples of how you have seen the Worgen and Goblin racials?

  2. Can the worgen girls stand fully upright? And can they have cute hairstyles?

    Edit: now I see your other comment. Color me disappointed! They need to start with the pink ponytail and work their way out from there as far as I’m concerned.

    In general, I’d like to know your opinion on the art of what you saw of Cataclysm.

  3. First – I’m torn between thanking you for the compliment, and pointing out my distinct lack of awesome…. I think I’ll just thank you and keep quiet!

    Second – I think they’ll do as they said, and leave the current amount of xp-to-level where it is. The developers seem to have cottoned to the idea that the vast, vast majority of players leveling through are players leveling for at LEAST the 2nd (if not 9th!) time. The idea is to re-arrange the quest hubs to be more intuitive (remember how much better the draenai and blood elf starting zones were than the original races?) and to give better rewards – green stat gear sooner, bags, etc. They seem to have the balancing act in mind of making an easy entry level for truly new players, but making leveling fun for those of us doing it yet again.

    Also – I think the racials will be a bit more outrageous, more fun. An exploding rocket belt?? I hesitate to make predictions, since there are two conflicting ideas here – let’s make it fun, but let’s also keep the races relatively balanced. One thing i DIDN’T see was that either Goblin or Worgen have an increased skill with a specific type of weapon. It looks like they’re getting more creative.

  4. Syd: I was very disappointed to not be able to play female Worgen, too. 🙁 I suspect, judging from the makeup and clearly effeminate look of the Halloween Mask, that they will have cute, if not pink, hair available.

    My general impression of Cataclysm was similar to my first impressions of WotLK – they’ve taken the game another step forward.

    Interesting note: One of the Q&A panels brought up the question of a WoW II, and Blizzard clearly stated they have no plans to do that. I think this ties in firmly to their decision NOT to make “classic” servers, as well as the news that even players who do not purchase the Cataclysm xpac will see the changes to the old world – each xpac effectively IS WoW II or III – it’s just that rather than support two versions of the game, and split the community, they in essence fully retire the “old” game, as the newer version is released.

    You wanna play WoW II ? You’re playing it. You wanna play Wow I ? sorry, that game no longer exists – it has evolved into WotLK, and will soon morph into Cataclysm.

  5. Syd, I totally missed the word “art” in your question.

    The look of Cataclysm is STUNNING. The Lost Isles are very similar to Stranglethorn Vale, but with updated textures, little if any texture seams, and amazing colors.

    The look of Gilneas is even better, imo, with misty, grey, gothic, forlorn, and yet very artistic elements. They borrowed a bit from Duskwood, but the architecture takes on it’s own feel, with steep pointed gables, blown glass and copper elements, top-hatted NPCs (i can’t get over that!!!), and cobblestone streets.

    It’s just lovely.

  6. About the changes to stats like AP, mp5 and all being gone – have they actually said anything specific about Hit and Expertise?
    I would personally love if they folded those into a single stat, maybe just keep Hit. I definitely think they’re not gonna get rid of both, but have they been specific about it at all?
    .-= Wangari´s last blog ..Does it burn when you PVP? =-.

  7. Wangari – I did not hear any specific mention of Expertise, but Hit was mentioned, casually, in the discussion of the new profession feature Reforging. The idea was that if a piece of gear has a stat you don’t want, you can break it down and add more of another stat, not already on the item. They want to continue to ask players to chose between Haste, Crit, and the new stat, Mastery, but used Hit as an example of a stat that you either DO want or DO NOT want on your gear, and would be a good candidate for reforging – so I believe hit will continue to exist.

    Also, they mentioned evening out the +hit in player talent trees, and perhaps removing hit-increasing talents all together.

    I shall continue to google for information on expertise, in case I just missed it, but I haven’t found anything so far.

  8. So no idea on hairstyles for female worgen? Did they look interesting in the art at least? I know, I’m shallow, but it might make a difference in whether I role one, LOL.

    And how does the shape shifting work? Is it pretty much like shaman shifting to wolf form?

  9. Although there were character sketches of male and female Goblins, I did not see any concept art for Female Worgen… except maybe this. I think that pony tail denotes female. Hopefully, they’ll figure it out.

    (for those of you that are interested, the /dance and other emotes were also not implemented yet.)

    The shape-shifiting is instant cast, no cooldown, and looks badass. Watch this:

  10. Wyn, I know that you said your boyfriend mostly focused on StarCraft II, but I would like to ask you a little bit about it.

    1. Do the different races appear, at first blush, appear to be different yet balanced?

    2. How were the graffics and the UI? Was everything clean and easy to see?

    3. Did it look like it was fun?

    Thank you!

    ~Frangus

  11. Yup, we also watched the Starcraft II demo round between the internal development teams – (which was enlightening, because while these guys know the game inside and out, their speed was much more… human-seeming than the tournament champions who had JUST been on stage for the Starcraft I final)

    1. Yes, the races DO appear to be different, yet balanced. My boyfriend described Starcraft II as “Almost exactly like the gameplay of Starcraft I but with much, much better graphics and maps. Which is exactly what it should be.” (as a hardcore fan of the franchise, I just took his word on it.) At the panel discussion re: Starcraft II, there was a mention that the Zerg seem slightly underpowered, but they are closely monitoring this, and feel that the upcoming beta test will really bring any imbalances to light.

    2. The graphics and UI were VERY clean, and easy to read. There is also a new feature window that monitors the progress of all new units and tech you are researching, you no longer have to keep a mental list of items and timers. For observers, it shows the same data for all of the players.

    3. It looked AMAZING – I plan to play it myself.

    another note: there are new features coming over battle.net for observing, recording, replaying, and publishing matches. They are HUGELY committed to the community surrounding this game, and want to make map design, publication, and participation as awesome as possible – and they’ll release more information on the new functions of Battle.net as soon as they can.

  12. Awesome Wyn. Thank you!

    You are absolutely correct. That is exactly how SC II should be.

    ~Frangus

  13. I played Starcraft 2 myself first hand. Reminds me of classic Starcraft with the drops, the rushes, the economy management. Its like the entire game just got updated and repolished. I know I will definitely be picking up.

    Siege tanks especially have a circular range finder that displays the radius of their attack when in siege mode. I thought that was pretty cool.

    Didn’t get a chance to play Protoss. Had to try out the classic siege tank drop to see it was established.

    Oddly enough, I didn’t see many Terran players employing the Supply depots as chokes. I simply walled off my choke, set up a bunker and a tank which deflected most ground attacks before using 9 drop ships full of armor on the supply line.

    I love this game!

  14. I totally can’t wait now then. I love and still love StarCraft… this game sounds just like I always hoped the next one would be!

    ~Frangus

  15. I’ve probably missed it mentioned on something somewhere, but your link to the Worgen transformation animation earlier flagged the thought in my mind, what are the in-game walk/run animations like in Worgen form? Do they still do the same loping run on their all fours? Or have the animations had the same Anthropomorphising upgrade the character models seem to have had?

  16. Arkaneena says:

    I did find this link on the cataclysm site. http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm/media/screenshots.html#18 It convinced me to level a worgen as a priest. I love healing in all its forms. I leveled a paladin as Holy Prot for awhile, but switched to pure holy for my guild. I LOVED IT. After that experience I am working on leveling all the healers.
    I hate the look of the worgen as a druid though, I am sticking with my nelf for that. Currently working on her and my shammy to get them to 80. I just wish there was another healer class. I want to level a gnome priest, I mean I actually think that would be fun and cool to level through only battlegrounds as a gnome. And this is coming from someone who normally hates PvP. You would never see the healer, lol.
    Here’s hoping they decide to put in another healing class for gnomes.
    /crosses fingers
    .-= Arkaneena´s last blog ..Paladin Instance Healing by difficulty Trial of the Champion =-.

  17. Is there anything that will help Matt become a better Arena player?

  18. Hi Wyn, what’s your opinion as a healer about the whole revamp they plan on doing with the stats changes for Cataclysm? More specifically, since there has always been a choice between going with MP5 or Spi as a regen stat for us healers (won’t get into how it currently affects some dps classes like Mages/Locks) and each class/spec picked whichever they felt more confortable with, how will this affect our stat pick between longevity vs throughput?

    Also, thanks for all the info about blizzcon that you posted about 🙂 glad you guys had lots of fun!

  19. Gribbs – they have a loping bi-pedal walk, but do run on all fours when they dash. Their movements are just the same as the Worgen currently in-game.

    So far there aren’t many changes in the animations – no /dance, /silly, or anything like that. I’m sure these finishing touches are in development.

    Kimbo – Nope.

  20. Celinne – So far, I really like what I’m hearing about the stat changes. Warlocks have never really, and will continue to not, care about mana-regen, and I’m glad to see them not need my spirit gear any more for spell power purposes.

    Honestly, I think now longevity/throughput will be tied together. They tried to do some of that by tying your spirit to your spell power with talents like Spiritual Guidance, but now, since replenishment AND spell power will be dependent on int, I think they’ve done that rather effectively. I, for one, always hated having to do the spirit/mp5 conversion when deciding on my upgrades, and this will also normalize “class-agnostic” items like maces, rings, and cloaks.

    Also, any tweaks that need to be made to your gear can be done, to a certain extent, by the new Reforging process, which will make tailoring your gear to your playstyle (and getting that extra bit of either longevity or throughput) so much easier.

    You’re welcome for the info; thanks for reading!!!

  21. Yeah i mostly meant the Spirit part for the SP conversion for locks (not MP5 :P) and i’m glad my Priest’s Tailoring will further help with customizing her gear needs (i love my Darkglow Embroidery and almost free Spellthread but Reforging will take Tailoring a step up).

    On a side note, that Worgen video looks extremely cool :O!

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