BlizzCon 2009 Part 2

Sad to say, not as much information from the second day.

The stream had some real issues, to the point where I was missing 2-3 minutes of content at a time.

The ever-so-helpful live tech support informed me that there was a problem with the low-quality stream and I needed to watch it on high definition. Ya know, if I thought my system could handle it on high, it would already fucking be there. Fix your shit.

Dungeons & Raids

Cory Stockton, level designer, and Scott Mercer, encounter designer, handled the raid and dungeon panel.

The little bits I was able to get in between screaming at the word “buffering” is as follows:

We can expect 4 raids, 6 dungeons, and the 2 heroic revamps (Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep).

The clips of the concept art that I got to see were really beautiful and I’m sure the walkthrough of how they design dungeons would have been fascinating with fluid sound.

They did talk about the layout of Icecrown as well – 12 epic bosses, not the 31 that Ghostcrawler joked about.

There will be a section of the raid accessible only by airship. But that’s not enough – you board an airship for your faction and are racing the opposing faction’s airship to the next level of the citadel, firing on them, boarding, being boarded, sounds really exciting!

There was talk of a cross-server looking for group feature. They didn’t go into the specifics of how you would actually summon people from another realm into your instance, but it will start linked across the current battlegroupings.

This should really alleviate problems on lower-population servers (or transfer servers like my own) where no one ever seems to be on to do lower-level content.

Then there was a Q&A panel for Diablo 3… since I don’t have a lot of Diablo experience, a lot of that went right over my head and I painted my nails instead.

Then there was a Starcraft lore panel where they brought out the voice actors to talk about what was going on.

That was supposed to lead into another Starcraft panel, but for whatever reason, they showed “Bonus Coverage” of the continuation of the WoW Class panel, which is really what I wanted to see!

PvP, Class, other stuff

Rated BGs will gain you rating and arena points when you win. I’m pretty sure they said that the rated BG map would be rotated on a weekly basis, like the honor weekends are now (if I’m wrong, I blame the crappy stream).

You won’t get ratings unless you are in a preform of 10 or 25 people – but this can be a random preform from trade channel, you just need to queue as a group.

As opposed to arena, where your points are handed out weekly, you will pick up your points after each match.

There will be a limit to the amount of points you can gain each week in an effort to cut out the grindy feel.

If you lose a BG, you will not lose rating but you will accrue no points.

They are bringing back the honor titles so look forward to Warlords and such again.

Other rewards will include epic ground mounts (flying mounts will continue to be an arena reward), you will gain arena points, and your wins will count towards the guild achievement/level system.

Speaking of Guild Advancement…

As a member of a guild, you can earn experience for your guild from boss kills, rated BG matches, ranked arena matches, leveling professions, and just leveling in general.

The idea is to make being part of a guild an important, valued thing.

The top 20 “earners” each day will contribute their points at the end of the day. This means that a guild with 500 people has no real advantage over a small guild in progressing the guild level. The top 20 names will be made available to the guild so you know who your breadwinners are.

The guild will have a talent tree with convenience talents. No talents will be “must haves” that serious raiding guilds will take for damage boosts or things like that. The perks will be things like lower repair costs, raid buffs no longer require reagents, mass resurrect, or a raid summon. The talents chosen will affect all members of the guild.

The guild will be able to respec as they wish, using guild currency.

Guild currency is somehow received as part of gaining experience for the guild and can be used to purchase nifty perks. The guild currency will be permissioned – so not just the GM has access to it and this is important.

Not only will the guild be able to purchase fun vanity items like mounts and pets, but banners with the guild logo and guild profession patterns/recipes.

These guild recipes are used by the crafters in your guild to create guild heirloom items. These items are guildbound. If you have one equipped and leave the guild, it will return to the guild bank. Ninja proof! These will be similar to current heirloom items and will scale with level.

There are other items that will be purchasable, like reagents to make some crafting professions easier.The example given was you may get a reagent that replaces Frost Lotus in flasks so that you can more easily churn out flasks for the guild raid.

There was a mock up of a new Looking For Guild screen where guilds can advertise what they are looking for and prospective members can shop around.

Guild Achievements will be fun things like having a grand master of every profession present in the guild (I think we might be there on that one) or having an exalted level in all reputations found in the guild. (I know someone has Bloodsail, but I’m probably the closest to Darkmoon Faire… taking forever!)

They are implementing a guild news feed to the armory where you can scan the achievements, boss drops, loot drops, etc, that the guild has recently gotten credit for.

We will also have access to the profession information of guild mates through a panel when in the game, if they also happen to be logged on you can review their profession pane without bugging them to link it.

The calendar is being updated to allow for guilds to invite other guild to events. Here’s the catch – if you want a kill to count for your guild, you need to have at least 75% of the raid comprised of your guild.

With the extra emphasis now being placed on guilds, they are looking into the possibility of offering guild transfers when a guild wants to change servers. They want guild identity to have a more permanent feel to it and breaking down a guild to transfer servers doesn’t meet that vision.

Mastery – new and exciting with the purpose of making the talent trees simpler and more fun.

They aren’t pleased with the “must have” talents that people feel forced into taking, or the addition of several abilities to single talents that were made in an attempt to tweak up damage.

The talent trees will receive a massive overhaul, as will their display – view all three trees at the same time with no scrolling!

Passive talents are being removed, leaving the talents that influence personal game play.

As you put more points into each tree, you will see down at the bottom, what the Mastery affect will be.

Masteries will be passive things like damage, healing, or tanking buffs, or stat-like (an increase in haste or crit) or maybe even something unique.

It sounds like some gear will have a Mastery stat that modifies this piece, and it will appear “correct” to the character viewing it (a subtlety rogue looking at a sword will see a different mastery effect than the fury warrior looking at the same sword).

Once you hit level 85 and you stop gaining talent points, you start focusing on the Path of the Titans. Titan cults have sprung up in the wake of the Cataclysm and they offer 10 Ancient Glyph slots.

This glyph system is separate from the glyphs provided by Inscription, but will appear on the same pane and work in a similar way.

The real big difference is that the glyphs are not class specific so we should see some pretty bizarre stuff in here. One of the examples was a buff to the healing of bandages.

It is unlikely that all the glyph slots will be available at launch so they can keep people from power-leveling it out of the gate.

Then there were a couple more interviews, Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain are now know as the Artists Formerly Known as L80ETC, complete with Prince-esque symbol.

Ozzy rocked the stage, thankfully the sound quality improved as the show progressed – he sounded very hollow and small in the first song but picked up strength around song number 3 or so.

As I’m typing this, he can’t fucking hear the audience asking for one more fucking song and he’s beseeching the audience to go more fucking crazy than they ever have in their fucking lives.

I may have found someone that says fuck more than I do.

So in closing, show me your fucking hands!

2 comments on “BlizzCon 2009 Part 2

  1. some orc says:

    d [-_-] b


  2. […] Second day had more goodies, here’s what I gleaned: As a member of a guild, you can earn experience for your guild from boss kills, rated BG matches, ranked arena matches, leveling professions, and just leveling in general. […]


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