Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Roll on 5.4!

So as most of you likely already know, there was an interesting interview courtesy of Twizzcast yesterday with Ghostcrawler on Twitch.tv.

Logging in the first thing I noticed was that the chatroom was a veritable Who's Who of people from Blizz and all the fansites, in fact so much that I worried myself by wanting to go "squeee" each time another name popped up that I knew. So many exciting people and I was in a chatroom with them :D (yes my life is that dull that I found it all rather exciting, even if none of those people knew who I was ^^)

Also quite amusing was the fact that a photo was used on the video as GC was taking a phone interview, and a lot of chat was about how he was just grinning and staring to freak people out

Interview wise, a few interesting things came up! I'm also grateful for the summary of the interview posted in various places as listening to it and trying to keep up with chat was rather challenging! (Love you MMO-Champion :D)

Siege of Orgrimmar
  • The heirloom weapons that drop from Garrosh are personal loot in Flex, Normal, and Heroic difficulty.
  • The first heirloom weapon that drops for you will be for your current loot spec, but after that you will get one at random.
  • The heirloom weapons are also intended to make Mists of Pandaria a little more alt friendly.

Wooo for heirloom weapons \o/ Also the fact that the first one is spec specific then random after makes me happy, means I can farm them on my more raid capable characters until I have as many as I want/need for the rest of the alt family. Am also happy about the acknowledgement of needing to be more Alt Friendly!

Proving Grounds
  • For Patch 5.4, Proving Grounds remains targeted at level 90 players learning new roles.
  • As long as Proving Grounds works out well, it could be used as a lower level training environment in the future.
  • Proving Grounds could even be used to replace item level as the gating requirement for Raid Finder or other things that use matchmaking.
  • Proving Grounds won't be perfectly balanced for every class and spec, so it shouldn't be used as a class or spec ranking tool.

I also like this idea of training and the idea that it could replace ilvl gating is a good idea! I would much rather group with someone who has an idea of how their role works or how to actually play their spec regardless of whether their ilvl is over 9000.

Flex Difficulty
  • Most guilds should be able to make progress in Flex difficulty.
  • Scenarios might be a useful place to apply the Flex scaling tech in the future, scaling from 3 to 5 players.
  • Any other content that doesn't need very tight balance is also a good candidate for scaling. This means heroic raids are not a good candidate.
  • The idea of scaling raids past 25 players has also been considered, allowing you to scale up to a higher limit like 30 players.

Now the idea of Flex possibly allowing raids to go up to 30 interests me (despite never having enough people wanting to raid to fill a 25 man let alone 30!) Flex raiding should be a massive positive change for a lot of raiding guilds, especially that ones that had to reduce to 10 man from 25 man raiding over the years. Should make things interesting again. I for one am really looking forward to this and will be doing Flex raids with The Drafia, even if I have to drag people in and lead some raids myself ^^

Connected Realms 
  • Connected Realms will be merged in groups large enough to come to a good population level. This could take anywhere from two realms to many more realms.
  • Connected Realms will be rolled out slowly to make sure everything works well. Blizzard will start with a small pool of realms and ensure that the tech and gameplay works properly before adding other realms.
  • Everyone will be able to keep their player and guild names. Server names or other indicators will be used to differentiate between identical names from different realms.

As someone who has recently (well 6 months ago :-p) transferred from a nearly dead server to a bustling one, the quality of life change this will bring to so many people (hopefully!) makes me really happy! Even if it isn't exactly relevant to me anymore, I'm really hopeful that this works out as intended!

  • It is easy for your character's level to advance much faster than your profession skill level. Fixing this will take a significant amount of developer time, as what to do with all of the recipes have to be considered.
  • Future expansions will make leveling professions a little bit nicer, similar to the mining and herbalism changes.
  • Swapping professions is somewhat painful now, which is something that can be looked at in the future.

This made me pay attention! So many times I have wanted to switch professions around on my alts and balked at the cost and time involved to relearn something new. A few times over the years I have changed professions and it is an expensive thing to do! The hunter was originally Skinning and Leatherworking, having both pretty much maxed by halfway through WotLK, when I decided I wanted to learn Jewelcrafting instead, then dropped Skinning for mining, and switched the druid from enchanting maxed to Tailoring. Nowadays I just level the profession on a new alt, still, I sometimes I could just swap a fully levelled profession from one alt to another!

  • Valor Points will not be converted to Justice Points for Patch 5.4. "Players who want to stockpile their 3,000 Valor before Patch 5.4 hits will be able to do that, and probably should start thinking about that."

An important bit of information there for those that like to stockpile their VP! Not something I do myself but I know a few friends that do it ^^

All in all, it certainly looks like 5.4 is going to bring some very interesting changes and quality of life stuff back to the game. Gief Flex Raids!

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