Mists of Pandaria Interviews and News Round Up
Blue posters were hard at work yesterday, covering a variety of topics: LFR's new loot system, item squish, female pandaren, DotA-style battlegrounds, new models, and as a bonus--a creative blog covering Mists' content features. Here's what's new since yesterday's coverage:
There will be many more options for her hairstyle, face, and features. There will also be options to have a long tail, or a more traditional pandaren stub tail.
Can teleport to dig sites after finding an artifact, and can dig more times at a single digsite.
Players can level by making staves and wands now.
Craftsman tokens from new faction currencies allow you to buy items like fun toys or pets.
Allow players to purchase new items, convert to Valor, or buy Charms of Good Fortune--allowing players to buy another go at a boss' loot table
A solo instance that allows players to try out their new rotations while getting achievements.
Interviews from the Press Event
We showcased our
exclusive interviews with Blizzard
at last week's press event, but we also wanted to highlight all the great interviews from other fansites in attendance. We've rounded them up--they're definitely worth checking out!
Developer Interview with Tom Chilton
Developer Interview: Dave Kosak
Developer Interview: Chris Metzen
Developer Interview: Ray Cobo
Cory Stockton Video Interview
Greg Street Video Interview
Tom Chilton Video Interview
Blizzard's J. Allen Brack on Mists of Pandaria
Chris Metzen Interview
Ray Cobo Interview
Interview with Dave "Fargo" Kosak
Check out all the blue posts, including a ton of detailed LFR clarifications, after the cut!
The New LFR Loot System
A few salient points here:
First, other players will not affect your loot in any way. Another player winning will not cause you to lose. Another player winning a mace will not mean that she took your mace. If there are many rogues in the raid, your chance of winning a rogue item is not diminished. We may decide that each player has an X% chance to get loot, or we may decide that X number of players get loot, and then randomly determine who those lucky players are.
Second, the item you win will be “useful” in the sense that it’s potentially usable by your current spec. This does not mean that warriors will get leather because warriors can equip leather (at a huge stat loss). It also does not mean that the game will always give you an item you want or an upgrade for the items you have. It just looks and says “You are a Holy priest, so here is a random item chosen from the Holy priest-appropriate items that this boss can drop.”
This system is a different feature from the “bonus roll.” When choosing to cash in on your bonus roll, you will always win something, but it may only be gold. If you win an item, the game again looks at your spec and only awards you an item appropriate for your current spec (using the priest example above).
Finally, this loot system will only be used in Raid Finder, and possibly for world bosses. We might consider using it for Dungeon Finder depending on how it works out. However, we still like the basic design of organized groups of guilds or friends deciding who should get loot. We will also no doubt iterate and refine the system once players can try it out in beta.
This sounds far too complicated for the average player.
That isn’t our intent. We’re providing details here because players want to understand them. In the game, the experience will just be “You won this.” You will either be happy because it’s an item or really happy because it’s a big upgrade for you. You may be jealous of other players who won great items, but you hopefully won’t hate them since they didn’t take an item away from you.
The main reason that they need to "fix" the way loot is gained is because people are too greedy/stupid and roll need on things they don't really need.
There’s probably some of that, but overall it’s not strictly a problem of players being malicious or uninformed. Raid Finder just feels different from a normal or heroic raid. The experience a lot of us have in Raid Finder is an item pops up, but the raid may already be pulling the next boss, and there isn’t time or inclination to sit down and discuss who should get the item, so you just hit Need if the game lets you. Often times you don’t even realize which items you won until the run is over. We think Raid Finder is a streamlined way to raid so it needs a more streamlined loot system. Reducing loot drama among strangers isn’t a bad goal either, but it wasn’t our only concern.
Sounds good so far.
On that note however, if the tech is being added to determine specs and rolls in raid to that detail though, can that system at least be used to have a boss not drop rogue items for a group that has no rogue, 8 weeks straight? WTB a system that doesn't drop holy plate when you hava resto shaman and resto druid, etc. You get the idea :) Something for guild/normal mode groups to at least filter so many wasted drops that are useful to no one.
Perhaps, but our concern was that if players have too much control over what loot dropped, it invites a lot of group engineering. You might be able to force the game to drop druid items if you formed a raid of nothing but druids. Both Valor Points and the new bonus roll design are intended to partially offset the potential for just having really bad luck.
It also does not mean that the game will always give you an item you want or an upgrade for the items you have.
one of the other big questions is since this is a random item...how is it handling duplicate items..
Boss drops Tier chest token..Bob wins it, next week boss drops same token and bob wins again...is it possible for him to get the chest token again, even though he is wearing the one from last week.
Same idea but with weapons... say souldrinker, Bob wins it this week, is it possible for the loot system to give it to him again next week if he wins his roll?
The new system won't have a record of your loot history or check your inventory. In your example, Bob might win the same item off of the boss every week (assuming he's running as the same spec each time).
The only thing the system looks at is 1) if you are eligible for loot (have you killed this guy already this week?), and 2) what your current spec is.
so how does someone save up on gear to change spec?
I mean if an arms warrior wanted to respec prot, how can he get a decent shield before respecting? I mean if all shields are tank items and since he's not tank specced, does he have to respect to tank and then get run through an instance and contribute next to nothing as a prot warrior due to not being able to use alot of key abilities and doing less damage than with his arms spec?
Before this I would try and keep an eye out for good items for my off-spec assuming no one else needed the item in the group. When you do the same instance several times you're bound to get a tank that already has that item and so on
Ideally, you would gear up through dungeons or other sources of loot and enter as main spec. One of the sources of current loot frustration is when a player who isn’t in a role earns gear for that role. We also don’t want to give DPS players a bunch of tanking items that they don’t want. In Mists, the one way you can communicate to the game what gear you want is through the role you're filling in the raid.
So you can win the same item over and over? Doesn't this seem like a waste of loot?
Loot gets wasted today if someone needs it who already has it (probably because they need everything), or if the game just keeps dropping the same stuff over and over. Some amount of loot wastage is okay -- we don't actually want loot accrual to be too efficient or players finish the content too quickly. On the other hand, we don't want it to be so frustrating that players give up. Slot machines need to pay off once in awhile, but not every time. :)
We're confident there are enough alternate means to obtain viable loot for your off spec in Mists that you'll be adequately equipped to perform in that role when you want to.
There seems to be a fair amount of confusion about this system, so let me clarify some of what I'm seeing. Before jumping into it, just know we have plans to do a developer blog on Mists of Pandaria looting soon. We'd like to cover some of the larger questions/concerns in a more visible way, rather than further burying them in responses here.
Will the items that we win be trade-able?
You can’t trade loot if the game assigns it to you in LFR. That would defeat the whole purpose. Imagine it works like completing a quest – here is your personal, soulbound reward. If you enter with a full pre-made group, then you can use Master Looter or the loot system of your choice (just like today) and can trade items as normal.
You have a personal slot machine to play, and so do each of the other 24 raid members, and no ones personal slot machine affects the outcome of anyone ELSE'S slot machine.
This is correct. The only reason I offered that the game might decide how many players get loot in advance, is we thought it might be weird if sometimes 25 players or 0 players got loot -- that might feel broken to participants. However, for the sake of argument, just assume that other players won’t affect your loot. That is the whole point. It won’t matter whether you killed the boss with 1 player or 25 players, and it won’t matter what the spec or class is of those players. The loot is per person and not per raid.
If you are in a 25-player group, can people "pass" and increase the chance that other players will win, by reducing the number of people rolling in the group?
No. There is no concept of rolling in today’s sense (again, only when using this particular LFR looting system). A boss dies and the game says “You won this,” and gives the item to you… hopefully with a little more ceremony than that. :)
What's going to happen with bows?
In Mists of Pandaria, bows, crossbows and guns would be considered hunter-appropriate weapons. In LFR, a rogue or warrior would never be offered a bow as a loot reward. Rogues and warriors will still be able to equip ranged weapons, but they would be very sub-optimal for doing so (sort of the equivalent of a warrior wearing cloth). We left the ability to equip weapons for role-playing reasons and because some existing rogues and warriors have epic or legendary ranged weapons, and it would be mean if they could no longer equip them at all.
The way I understood it is:
Everyone rolls - after everyone rolls, the top rollers will be eligible for loot - the boss then releases its random loot and whoever the top rollers are (who are able to use the items) wins the item
The new system is more different than that. Players aren’t asked to roll. The game just “makes the roll” behind the scenes. The game then picks appropriate loot for each of the winners. This is an important distinction because you aren’t competing with other players for specific items – all of the Arms and Fury warriors could win the two-handed Strength sword, or two could win the sword and the third could win a plate Strength helm, if that were also on the boss loot table.
Can't you guys just make the obvious: Make all the drop items unique?
Sure, we could do that, but it seems like all you are really asking for is for the loot system to be more efficient so that you have to run the raid fewer times to get the items you want (since you won’t “waste” a roll on a duplicate item). If we need for raiding to be more loot-efficient, there are many ways to do that, but we don’t want players to gear up too quickly or they run out of things to do. (We also don’t want them to gear up so slowly that they could lose interest.) Also consider that some players may want more than one copy of the same item for different spec or gemming purposes.
This still doesn't really address the problem of people rolling when they really don't need anything. What if those top 4 or 5 rollers all don't need anything off the boss and just receive gold? Completely unfair to the other 20 people who could have made use of the boss drops.
There is no roll like you are describing. A boss dies, and some players in the game will receive loot. They don’t have an option to pass or to get gold instead. But that’s okay, because what they do won’t affect what happens to you. Imagine everyone entering the raid gets a lottery scratch off card for each boss, and after a boss dies, everyone scratches off a card. Some players win. Some don’t. The game then pushes loot to the winners. Then you kill the next boss and scratch off another card.
This just seems like a waste of time and energy. There has to be a better way of making it fair.
I don't have a problem with someone winning a role if they can use the item even if it is offspec. I just don't like people being inconsiderate and rolling need when they don't need it or already have it.
We don’t think it’s reasonable to expect a group of strangers who may never play together again to be considerate, especially at the pace at which most Raid Finder groups progress. Often, there is barely time to hit Need or Pass, let alone have a discussion about who gets what loot. The goal of the system isn’t really to be “more fair,” but to make a more streamlined system to match the fast pace of Raid Finder, and to cut down on the number of arguments over loot, because the game will now be making all the decisions about who gets which item instead of the players. Life may still feel unfair sometimes, in that a player who contributed less than you wins a good item, or the player running the raid for the first time gets an item that you spent weeks to get, or someone may have six trinkets to your one. We still want random loot to be random, though the bonus roll system will help a little with being terminally unlucky.
If you have additional questions or concerns we haven't already addressed here, feel free to bring them up in this thread. We'll take your posts into consideration when crafting the developer blog.
Item Squish and New Models
Title says it all. Kind of sad about these two things.
First, we will have to see how things go. If things need a look at (squish wise) we'll look at them, as always. It's too soon to know how this will play out, but I think Ghostcrawler has explained a bit about the thoughts on this in a
previous blog post
also does a good job of explaining a bit more about this topic that perhaps make this not the issue it was before.
Rather than compressing item levels and retuning seven years' worth of content, the developers appear to have opted to go with the concept of Mega Damage, replacing a bunch of spare 0s with a K or an M where appropriate. When killing mobs in Pandaria, my four-digit damage was not compressed. If I hit something for 3,000 damage, it displayed as 3,000 damage. However, five-digit numbers and higher were compressed. 30,000 became 30K. It's a very simple solution and should have very little impact on your gameplay overall.
We'll be keeping an eye on things however.
Second, we are working to update character models, but this isn't an easy undertaking. As you may have seen already, there has been a lot of work done to get Mists of Pandaria this far (from BlizzCon) and I'd hope that everyone can see that the developers have been very hard at work getting us here. Character models aren't something you can do overnight and make them stack up to the expectations of what that means. We want to make sure (like everything we do) that we do our best to get it right.
There's a lot of information out in the wild right now that we are working to gather for you all, and understanding the concerns or questions people have after seeing all of that will help us to provide more insights or answers where needed.
I'm going to attempt to nip "complaints" in the bud a bit. First I'll link you to WoW Insider's write up about what they saw so that it's not just my word about how great this model looks- Go here to read.
Next, I'm going to simply say that what you are seeing is a small sample of what this character looks like. You have a choice of the red version (with long tail) or the more traditional pandaren style with the stub tail. She has many amazing new hairstyles you will get to see as well as many choices for her face and features. On top of this, this model looks amazing in motion.
I don't want to squash any discussions, because I think constructive feedback is always valuable, but we're pretty happy with how she came out and from what I've seen so far, a large portion of the community is as well. When you all get to see her within the game, we can talk some more if you still have some concerns. Again, I'm not trying to be dismissive, but seeing the character in motion with all of her options may well change this whole conversation you're trying to start up.
I mean I know in BC, Wrath, Cata we knew what the end boss would be and such, but I was thinking its kinda...I dunno....anti climatic now that we know how MoP is going to end (with Garroshes death).
We run into a couple problems with the idea of keeping this a secret. As you mentioned, everyone knew who the end bosses were for the previous expansions. This set an expectation for each one. You could argue that this had to be done since the storyline was largely based on getting to that end boss and killing them.
But, either we don't say anything now and expectations go a different direction than we intend, or we tell people and "spoil" it. There's not going to be that same direct path to an end boss (at least initially) to get people prepared the same way as you were for Arthas or Illidan, or Deathwing. That said though, I don't think that, in the end, we're spoiling anything.
The news is out there now and we can focus first and foremost on getting to Pandaria and exploring it (while killing new and exotic creatures) and secondly, we can get right to the real enemy (war itself) after we've run amok there and caused all kinds of havoc with what should have remained a relatively tranquil place in the world.
By Blizzard deciding to come out with this, this tells me that the writers(or Blizzard itself) has so little faith in their ability to tell the story that they would rather just spoil their own plot twist rather than rely on their story telling capabilities to tell it.
While I can understand you're upset, this is your personal inference and isn't what we're thinking at all. The story will unfold itself how it unfolds whether you know who the end boss is or not.
As always, we welcome constructive criticism, but only as long as it stays constructive.
Cory Stockton addressed this during the press event. We stated at BlizzCon we had three map ideas we were considering, but the plan was always to choose two for the initial launch of the expansion. The DotA-style map was the one we decided not to run with for launch. It's still a Battleground gameplay style we'd like to do during the Mists of Pandaria life cycle.
A Night in Mists of Pandaria
With all of the great coverage coming out today on the upcoming expansion, we thought it’d be fun to take some of the details we’ve been revealing and relate them in practical terms. One of our main goals in this expansion is making sure that no matter what day of the week it is, and regardless of your experience or progression, that when you log in you can make meaningful progress toward advancing or customizing your character.
To set the scene for this article: Mists of Pandaria has been released, and as a long-time player I’ve enjoyed exploring all the new high level zones and tackled countless quests. I’ve leveled my character up to 90 and I’m logging in to play for the night. What is there to do?
Acting All Professional-like
I haven’t hit max on my professions yet, and as an avid cook I’m interested in maxing out each of the new branching trees of cooking specialization. The changes to Archaeology are pretty great so maybe I can mix in some dig sites as I go. I actually got a chance to teleport to a different dig site last night after finding an artifact, which really helped, along with now being able to dig more times at a single site.
I haven’t worked on Inscription much, but I really love the looks of the staff or wand I can make with the profession. Being able to level my tradeskill all the way to 600 by just working on them doesn’t hurt, either. Of course, I could go hit the cooking, fishing, and archaeology faction dailies and level those professions that way too.
Factions Speak Louder Than Dungeon Finder
I should probably work on my factions some more. With the new factions and their currencies I can acquire Craftsman tokens to spend on vanity items like fun toys or pets, and with Elder tokens I can purchase new items, convert them to Valor, or purchase Charms of Good Fortune. The charms actually allow me to “buy” another go at a boss’s loot table (including LFR) once I’ve downed them. I’m really glad the bonus roll loot tables are class specific, so I don’t run the risk of getting an item I can’t use. I do have a chance of just getting gold or some consumables, but it’s not a bad deal since I’m still getting rewarded for working on my factions.
I’m only Honored with a few so far, and one of my friends hit Revered with Golden Lotus last night so I want to keep up. Exalted is pretty tough to hit and I want to try to be the first in my guild to get one of the new factions maxed out. I can complete dailies to get faction, and even earn more powerful items along the way.
I have all of the dungeons and raids at my disposal, and now that all of the raids are supported by the Raid Finder I don’t need to wait for my guild’s raid night to get a shot at some upgrades; plus with some Charms I have a lower probability of experiencing “loot rage” with the option of a second roll. Speaking of loot rage, the change in Raid Finder to per-player loot has made running random raids so much nicer without people fighting over rolls. I really wouldn’t mind running another one tonight.
With the new Valor system, I can work toward upgrading my current gear by increasing its item level and adding on a few stats at a time. Raid Finder is an option for a little Valor from boss kills, or I could get some more from dungeons, challenges, or scenarios. Regardless of what else I have to do I could be earning Valor and improving my items, which makes scenarios, challenge modes, and dungeons a very appealing option for tonight. If I do make some gear improvements, I’ll probably want to hit the new Proving Grounds. They’re like lored-up solo instances that make trying out my rotations a lot more fun since I can chase achievements.
Oh, You Fancy, Huh?
So maybe I’ll work on getting some item upgrades from dungeons, raids, or faction rewards, or I can improve my current item levels with Valor earned from challenge modes, scenarios, dungeons, and Raid Finder. I’m not ashamed to say I’m kind of geeked up over the new Pet Battle system. I wasn’t a very avid pet collector before, but after battling some of my friends (and seeing how much some of the trained pets sell for on the auction house) my interest has definitely skyrocketed.
But you know, I’ve seen some people strutting around with new transmog items, and I’m thinking it’s time I start looking a bit fancier. I have a few friends on and we can use dungeon finder to fill out a challenge mode run, which is where the coolest looking transmogrification set (IMO) for my class comes from. I just need another medal in Gate of the Setting Sun and I’ll be able to get the boots, and then move on to the chest piece. It’s pretty easy to build a group too since none of us really need to be chasing the same medals, as long as we hit them we’ll be able to make progress toward some rewards. The ultimate prize for completing all the challenges is a mount, of course, and although I’m still a ways off from that it’s a good goal to shoot for.
Rogue Sappin' My Totem
Those are some ideas, but I’ve really been getting back into PvP lately. With some of the changes it’s pretty enticing to get out into the world and mix it up. By accomplishing some of the outdoor PvP quests and objectives I can actually raise my weekly Conquest cap, which means I can build my PvP set that much faster. I’ve flown over some pretty intense looking outdoor battles, and I can’t help myself as I jump in and work toward increasing my cap for the week. Plus, with the change from Resilience to two new stats and the accompanying item budget changes, the PvE gear I’m wearing isn’t totally awful if I do want to jump in (or get jumped while trying to work on my dailies). Once I start getting more PvP gear I also won’t be totally awful if I decide to hop into a dungeon.
I’m still working toward a set of PvP and PvE gear, but it’s nice to be able to work on what I want and not be completely underpowered if I change my mind or want to dip my toe into one or the other. The other two people from my 3v3 team are online, and we should probably group up and go see about increasing our caps. Once I increase my cap I definitely want to get back into one of the new objective-oriented Battlegrounds. Protecting and pushing a mine cart as you fight off attackers in Silvershard Mines is a ton of fun, and the Murderball-esque Temple of Kotmogu is super intense.
One More Thing…
Well, I clearly have a lot of options for tonight. I almost forgot about finding some of the new mounts that are hidden around Pandaria; cultivating my garden and earning faction with the Tillers; caring for, hatching, training and eventually riding my own cloud serpent mount; building my historical library with the Lorewalker faction; and advancing my progress in the persistent sacred Vale of Eternal Blossoms by driving the Mogu out. There’s clearly no shortage of things to do at the level cap.
So what should I do tonight?
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Interviews with Greg Street, Cory Stockton, Tom Chilton, and J Allen Brack
Interviews with Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak, Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas
Pandaren Character Customization and Mogu'shan Vaults Preview
Mists of Pandaria Preview: Scott Mercer and Ion Hazzikostas Interview
News Round Up: Class Beta Feedback, PvP Gear, Leaders of Azeroth
News Round Up: Patch 4.3.4 Live, Hotfixes and Customer Support Changes
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