Blizzard held its first developer chat on Twitter yesterday, and thankfully Aratil posted the questions and answers in the official forums for all of the players who missed it or don't use the microblogging site. Game Director Tom Chilton and Director of Production J. Allen Brack answered numerous questions from the community, which covered topics such as patch 3.3 and Cataclysm.
You can read the full Q&A after the jump and discuss it in this thread in our official forums. What are your thoughts on Blizzard's first foray into Twitter dev chats? Both Nethaera and Bornakk suggested this was a trial run and may or may not be held again. Do you feel it was a success? Would you participate in other Twitter chats?
Q: Will Path of the Titans be as time consuming as obtaining Sons of Hodir reputation?
A: Sons of Hodir was easy, we're thinking more along the lines of Argent Dawn rep actually. JK! As a matter of fact, we don't want the paths of the titans to feel grindy at all so we're trying to make sure that each step along the way feels more like a great quest, or a key achievement (like killing all the bosses in a new raid zone). So, it should be more oriented around accomplishing something that feels important rather than grinding.
Q: What’s Deathwing’s current relationship with the Old Gods?
A: In facebook terms, I'd list it as "It's Complicated". "Single" or "Married" are probably too extreme in this case.
Q: Love the steps taken to making high-end content accessible to casual players. How committed are you to continuing this?
A: This is something we talk about on a regular basis. There isn’t a line in the sand we have made, it’s much more on a per piece of content basis. We do like the way the regular modes are shaping up to be more casual friendly, while the hardmodes are a way to reward very hardcore play.
Q: Ulduar had one kind of hard mode(triggered).. ToC had another (ToC vs TOGC).. Ony has none. What will ICC have?"
A: ICC's hard modes will be triggered, but via in-game UI (much like how you toggle between normal and heroic modes today) rather than triggered by game mechanics (like not killing the three drakes before you attack Sartharion).
Q: For Cross-realm LFG if the group is composed by members of other realms do they have to go on foot or will they be teleported?
A: The current plan is for players using the LFG system to be automatically teleported into the instance, similar to how battleground queuing works today. This is active on the PTR now, and we plan to host a community event around this feature soon!
Q: Will there be Wintergrasp-like capturable zones in Cataclysm?
A: Yes, there is an island off the coast of the Eastern Kingdoms named Tol Barad. Players will fight for control of the island and its famous prison. However, while the battle for Tol Barad is not in progress, players will find that it will remind them much more of the Isle of Quel'Danas, in that it'll be a major daily quest hub with quite a bit of random world pvp (presumably).
Q: Will Alliance ever get an ingame band like the Hordes L80ETC?
A: Sure, if somebody knows of an awesome Alliance band...
Q: Any chance to have LFG menu to show classes you're looking for I.E just showing all tanks or healers currently qued in LFG.
A: The plan right now is to allow players to register for roles they are capable of filling, then have the queue system make the best decision possible for the player. This is to give all classes an equal chance at participation. We also have plans to diversify the class makeup in a future PTR update.
Q: Thousand Needles is getting a big change in levels; how has the Cataclysm affected it?
A: As a result of the Cataclysm, Thousand Needles has been completely flooded with water!
Q: With T10, are we going to see tokens like in Ulduar? or like CC? CC style had every class and spec rolling on same thing.
A: With t10 we're going to see a hybrid. The tier 10 items (the ones with item levels you'd find in the 10-player raid) will be purchased with Emblems of Frost.
The tier 10.5 items (the ones with item levels you'd find in the 25-player raid) will be obtained by getting a token (one that is specific to 3 or 4 classes, much like the ulduar tokens) and using it to upgrade the tier 10 item that was purchased with emblems of frost.
Q: With Cataclysm revisiting the old world, any plan to make the old reputations worthwhile again?
A: With each expansion, we introduce new reputations with new rewards. Sometimes we introduce reputations that are obviously related, such as Argent Dawn/Argent Crusade and Cenarion Circle/Cenarion Expedition. We don’t update the rewards for existing reps, as we don’t want to put new characters at such a significant disadvantage.
Q: With the removal of defense in Cataclysm, will plate gear still have avoidance stats or will tanks and dps be sharing?
A: Tanking gear will still have avoidance stats, they just won't have the defense stat anymore. So to answer your question, tanking and dps gear will not be the same.
Q: Any plans of doing anything with Grim Batol in the Wetlands?
A: Yes, we currently plan for Grim Batol to be one of the raid zones in Cataclysm. =]
Q: Any plans on adding bonuses to certain titles your character obtains? Like "...of the alliance" gives +5 to all stats
A: We have no plans to introduce combat advantages to titles. Titles in World of Warcraft are very specifically set up as prestige rewards only.
Q: When do hunters get to tame druids?
A: Right after druids get a hunter form.
Q: What are the plans for the current Goblin-run towns after Cataclysm is out?
A: Most Goblin-run towns will continue to operate as normal. In general, the existing Goblin cartels tend to be self-serving, and therefore aren't taking sides.
Q: Will there be anymore epic storylines with cinematics like the wrathgate questline?
A: We have big plans for additional in game cinematics! We are happy with how the Wrathgate questline worked out, and want to do more lines like this.
Q: May I create a group with 4 friends and then use the LFG interface to gain the random dungeon reward?
A: Yes. In fact, you can join it with a full group of 5 and still get the random dungeon reward. The reward is for doing a random dungeon, not necessarily for having random members.
Q: Crowd control is all but dead in raids. Is that something you plan on bringing back?
A: Like say... with the Faction Champions encounter in ToC? ;]
Q: Can locks have a summonable flying mount now please
A: Now? As in right this second? No.
Q: There's plenty of great endgame content, what about some new early/mid content to keep new players entertained?
A: We actually have some small changes to the early game going live in 3.3.0 to help eliminate some new player confusion. This is not content specific, it is more focused around easing the new player pain.
Q: Will leveling from 80-85 be like leveling from 70-80?
A: It's too early to say. We base our leveling more around how much quest content we have and how good the reward pacing feels. If we have as many quests as we did from 70-80 and if it feels like your character is getting a reasonable amount of new stuff for the time invested, then it could end up being similar.
Q: Are hardmodes going to get anything to make them feel like a different fight visually or auditory
A: I find the hard modes very different visually. Much more black and white imo.
Q: Will players be able to do 'old world' quests after Cataclysm is released?
A: Only "old world" quests that we don't change. However, once the Cataclysm happens, it happens for everyone and there's no going back.
Q: How will you handle beginning characters and higher level friends after Cataclysm? WIll they be out of phase?
Players will not be out of phase. The Cataclysm changes the world for everyone.
Q: Are there any plans to open the other "sanctums" in Wyrmrest (i.e. Obsidian Sanctum, Azure Sanctum, Emerald Sanctum)?
A: Possibly. =]
Q: Any chance the Legendary items will grow stronger as players level up as heirlooms? Its too much work, just to ditch after a patch.
A: This is something we have talked about a great deal. One of the concerns about making a weapon “best in the game” that scales up, is that players will continue to do old, outdated content in order to obtain the weapon. This ends up being not very fun for the other participants. While obtaining a legendary weapon is an incredible accomplishment, it is important cycle out weapons on a somewhat regular basis to make sure players are always playing new content.
Q: Any chance that the hybrid system that is going to be implemented for T10, could be retro fitted to all WotLK raids?
A: I'll take that as a good reaction to the t10 system. =] However, it unfortunately won't be retroactively applied.
Q: Are Worgen going to have mounts?
A: Both Worgen and Goblins will have new, racial specific mounts.
Q: Will there be events where ally + horde players have to work together to kill a boss?
A: Generally speaking we don't do this because we prefer that the horde and alliance feel like enemies rather than a big happy family working together to defeat a common foe. If anything, we want tension between the sides to rise.
Q: Will Hyjal be made for exploration in Cataclysm?
Q: Do you have plans to have acheivement points redeemable?
A: Achievement points are a prestige reward only. There are no plans to turn them into some kind of currency.
Q: Will 10-man raiding guilds see Legendary quality weapons (items) drop in their raids anytime soon? Or in Cataclysm?
A: Our current plan is to reserve Legendary weapons for the 25 person encounters, I wouldn’t rule it out in the future though.
Q: Any chance of being able to link more then one authenticator on one account? (in case I lose or break one)
A: We are talking about the authenticator and how to make it a better experience. Your suggestion is one we are talking about.
Q: Any plans for a gated system in IIC like in Colliseum that prevents us from doing hardmodes from day 1?
A: We do have a system that unlocks bosses similar to how we handled TOC and Sunwell. We are restricting hard modes to raid leaders that have defeated Arthas in regular mode.
Q: What will happen to Mankrik's Wife? Please don't tell me she's gobbled up by the lava?
A: You'll have to wait and see. =]
Q: In the future will hard modes have greater fidelity like Sarth, Sarth+1, Sarth+2, Sarth+3 rather than the Binary Normal/Hard?
A: Generally we have learned that hard modes should be more binary, but that doesn’t mean we will never do something like Sarth 3 drakes again.
Q: When Race change is live will we be able to change to any race in our faction no matter what class we are?
A: No, you can only Race Change to a race that allows your specific class.
Q: Who are the two developers answering these questions?
A: Game Director Tom Chilton and Director of Production J. Allen Brack.