E3 2010: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Lead Systems Designer Interview

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Lead Systems Designer Interview

Greg Street speaks on the nuts and bolts of the latest World of Warcraft expansion, including the revisions coming to stats system.

Also see our interview with Tom Chilton, Game Director for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm here.

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I like hearing Ghostcrawler say that he thinks it should have been two expansions for Cataclysm. People have been complaining that it's, "Not enough," or that it, "Should've been just a content patch." He's basically trying to say that it has been a lot more work than people are giving credit for, and even if that work isn't something many of the vocal players have wanted, it's coming anyways (and for good reasons).

Ghostrawleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer
"... going there as a young troll." That made me smile

The alaince are more evil then the horde...
Allaince:
Human: Racist
Night Elf: Abusing Nature for immortality
Gnome: Not Evil... I think
Dwarf: destroying countryside for recorces
Draani: Racist
Horde:
Orc: making up for past mistakes
Troll: Havn't done anything notebly evil or at least this faction
Blood Elf: Arcane Addicted
Tauren: Havn't done anything notebly evil
Undead: OK these guys are pure evil... but cool.

OT: Cact looks good I just might start playing again...

How can they remove armor penatration?
As a rogue my gear is stacked to the max with armor penatration,well I might as well stack Attack power

Should've just put "Interview with GC", you'd get people from everywhere viewing it.

This is tempting me greatly to make a WoW user group on here made for the ones playing WoW.

Hell, a guild could even be made.

But I suppose I'm just dreaming... *sigh*

EDIT: I deem this worthy for my 1000:th post.

Although I quit WoW a long time ago, it is good to see Ghostcrawler doing his job as always. Honestly, he was one of the best things to happen to the WoW community, the only developer to communicate with gamers on a regular basis.

Anyway, an update to the old world is good and was sorely needed. Even though I have stopped playing, I can still remember at least a few zones that would benefit a lot from an update. Like Desolace and Azshara....and Stranglethorn Vale. -_- Man, I hated Stranglethorn Vale. I don't think I was ever as glad to leave a zone as I was with Stranglethorn Vale.

Unfortunately, while the expansion looks interesting, I am going to have to pass. I just don't have the time or the money to play an MMO and I love raids too much to be able to play in small sessions. Besides, there are a few handheld/PC games that I want to purchase and I also need to save up money for the 3DS.

Pink dragon:
How can they remove armor penatration?
As a rogue my gear is stacked to the max with armor penatration,well I might as well stack Attack power

And therein lies his point. It's so good that you don't want anything else, because the more you have the better it is. It's inverse diminishing returns.

As much as I'm excited for this, I want Warcraft 4! >.< I wanna finish Rexxar's Story-- via the RTS.

masher:
As much as I'm excited for this, I want Warcraft 4! >.< I wanna finish Rexxar's Story-- via the RTS.

I'm really looking forward to both. Really hope there is a Warcraft IV on the horzon and this will tide me over nicely, easily my most anticipated release of the year thus far... I t better be released this year ! :P

Alar:
I like hearing Ghostcrawler say that he thinks it should have been two expansions for Cataclysm. People have been complaining that it's, "Not enough," or that it, "Should've been just a content patch." He's basically trying to say that it has been a lot more work than people are giving credit for, and even if that work isn't something many of the vocal players have wanted, it's coming anyways (and for good reasons).

Yar I think it's clearly enough content for an expansion: 2 new races, new zones AND re working all the old ones. This is the biggest expansion yet! Can't see why people have a bee in their bonnet. Ah well, you'll always get them when playing an MMO eh?

It's also very nice that they hinted towards listening to the fans of the game. I play horde and have wanted a goblin for so long and I'm sure many others have and that's how they came to this conclusion. The Worgen puzzle me, more feral race for the alliance I get, but imo they didn't make them look intimedating- kinda just puppy dogs with legs atm. But I have heard a lot of people be positive about this decision so just goes to show you what I know!

masher:
As much as I'm excited for this, I want Warcraft 4! >.< I wanna finish Rexxar's Story-- via the RTS.

Isn't Rexxar's story finished within Wc3 or are you referring to some WoW plot as well?

I think the main problem most people have is the simple numerical thing of it only going to 85, if they'd spread the content to 90 without adding anything, I think they'd be getting far fewer criticisms.

As for Defence leaving, they have a valid point, that you get asked if you're def capped, and it's a simple yes/no, but I feel whatever it's replaced with will get number crunched and we'll just have a new cap, armour maybe.

Unfortunately, since GS appeared, there's millions of people obsessed with nothing but numbers, I don't know why they dont all just quit and play with a calculator instead :D

Fallen-Angel Risen-Demon:
The alaince are more evil then the horde...
Allaince:
Human: Racist
Night Elf: Abusing Nature for immortality
Gnome: Not Evil... I think
Dwarf: destroying countryside for recorces
Draani: Racist
Horde:
Orc: making up for past mistakes
Troll: Havn't done anything notebly evil or at least this faction
Blood Elf: Arcane Addicted
Tauren: Havn't done anything notebly evil
Undead: OK these guys are pure evil... but cool.

OT: Cact looks good I just might start playing again...

Wow, that was just stupid.

The idea that Worgen are being brought in as a monstrous race for the alliance makes me giggle a little. The simple fact is, yes, they are techinically monstrous, but they are also undenyably furry and thus I suspect a number of furries will be drawn into WoW. Amusuingly, they will be joining the alliance, already widley slated- I find- for being incompetent ten-year-olds. I wonder if they'll improve or worsen this?

For the record, I'm not baised against the alliance, I play alliance :P

masher:
As much as I'm excited for this, I want Warcraft 4! >.< I wanna finish Rexxar's Story-- via the RTS.

You may not know this, but the two extra orc missions in The Frozen Throne were added through a WC3 battle.net update. If you do, then that IS his story. There isnt anything more to add since after that point WoW basically begins.

GoGo_Boy:

masher:
As much as I'm excited for this, I want Warcraft 4! >.< I wanna finish Rexxar's Story-- via the RTS.

Isn't Rexxar's story finished within Wc3 or are you referring to some WoW plot as well?

Rexxar's story was a demo campaign in Wc3.
EDIT:

Computer-Noob:

You may not know this, but the two extra orc missions in The Frozen Throne were added through a WC3 battle.net update. If you do, then that IS his story. There isnt anything more to add since after that point WoW basically begins.

I am corrected. :P

Computer-Noob:

masher:
As much as I'm excited for this, I want Warcraft 4! >.< I wanna finish Rexxar's Story-- via the RTS.

You may not know this, but the two extra orc missions in The Frozen Throne were added through a WC3 battle.net update. If you do, then that IS his story. There isnt anything more to add since after that point WoW basically begins.

No I did not know that! Thank you.

Good interview. Most of the time he just answers the same damn questions again and again, but it was good to hear his personal opinion on stuff like which zone was most fun to destroy, or which moments of the new expansion he liked the most.

Fallen-Angel Risen-Demon:
The alaince are more evil then the horde...
Allaince:
Human: Racist
Night Elf: Abusing Nature for immortality
Gnome: Not Evil... I think
Dwarf: destroying countryside for recorces
Draani: Racist
Horde:
Orc: making up for past mistakes
Troll: Havn't done anything notebly evil or at least this faction
Blood Elf: Arcane Addicted
Tauren: Havn't done anything notebly evil
Undead: OK these guys are pure evil... but cool.

OT: Cact looks good I just might start playing again...

I'm sorry, what? Racist? You sound like a whining bleeding-heart liberal. This is the more correct version:

Humans: Proud, tenacious, and steadfast, yet arrogant and quite conservative.
Night Elf: Aloof, haughty and reclusive, yet have bigger concerns than the petty war between Alliance and the Horde. Like the Burning Legion say.
Gnome: Working day and night to retake their irradiated home.
Dwarf: The mining thing has been toned down, so it is more a concern of archaelogy than getting rich.
Draenei: Literally holier-than-thou, and concerned with destroying the Burning Legion above all else.

Orc: I'll give you that, they are trying to make up for past mistakes under Thrall. But ones like Garrosh come and fuck everything up.
Troll: Until very recently, were practicioners of voodoo (Still are in some cases) and cannibalism.
Tauren: Peaceful bouvines that are basically more down-to-earth night elves.
Blood Elves: Quite a foolish race, as they refused to take the steps the night elves did after the War of the Ancients, and continuied to feed their reckless addiction to the arcane.
Undead: Dead humans with a bad-temper.

There you have it.

OT: I'm pretty happy with the way Cata is going, although having the Worgen district in Darnassus and not Stormwind makes it kinda worthless; apart from new-starters, who even uses Darnassus?

Fallen-Angel Risen-Demon:

Orc: making up for past mistakes

Never been to Ashenvale, huh?

What's the bet Blizzard will try to sell Battle.net compatibility to other developers in a few years' time?

I'm happy i left it. The learning curve has been lowered way too much, it's too easy to obtain gear and the chat of WoW has been reduced in quality to something you will see when playing games like CoD mw2 with minors.

I'm gonna have to say that it was all so much better in vanilla, struggling to get poorly itemized gear, and running from instance to instance to get buffs, just so you could get summoned to the raidboss and wipe at 1%.

I agree that the game is far more balanced, requires less grinding and let more ppl see content through how it is today. But it gets to the point where all of this makes it conviniently boring rather than awkwardly hilarious through doing insane stunts to get a 1-1000 chance on a boss.

Philbyy:
The idea that Worgen are being brought in as a monstrous race for the alliance makes me giggle a little. The simple fact is, yes, they are techinically monstrous, but they are also undenyably furry and thus I suspect a number of furries will be drawn into WoW. Amusuingly, they will be joining the alliance, already widley slated- I find- for being incompetent ten-year-olds. I wonder if they'll improve or worsen this?

For the record, I'm not baised against the alliance, I play alliance :P

Let me correct you.

Furry:


Not furry:

10 year olds are on both sides, you are just blind with racism :)

John Funk:

Pink dragon:
How can they remove armor penatration?
As a rogue my gear is stacked to the max with armor penatration,well I might as well stack Attack power

And therein lies his point. It's so good that you don't want anything else, because the more you have the better it is. It's inverse diminishing returns.

I gotta say i'm a little confused by this being an issue.

'The more you have, the better it is'.....
..when did this become a bad thing?

In this reasoning you have the basic premise of an MMO....continually strive to obtain X so that you can be better at your job (ie: healing, tanking, dps in this case).

Or in real world terms, if i'm ...say....amazing in bed......
(if only...)

...why would I need to learn how to cook?

' )

Speaking as both a rogue and pally tank, I gotta say this reversal kinda makes me wonder why I bothered to better myself gaining gear to improve my role all this time.

Subsequently, this also makes me wonder why I should bother re-acclimating to whatever new system they put in, as they apparently can destroy all our hours/years of progression on a whim.

(yeah yeah..I understand MMO's change all the time...still doesn't make changes like this sting less)

Unoriginal069:

John Funk:

Pink dragon:
How can they remove armor penatration?
As a rogue my gear is stacked to the max with armor penatration,well I might as well stack Attack power

And therein lies his point. It's so good that you don't want anything else, because the more you have the better it is. It's inverse diminishing returns.

I gotta say i'm a little confused by this being an issue.

'The more you have, the better it is'.....
..when did this become a bad thing?

In this reasoning you have the basic premise of an MMO....continually strive to obtain X so that you can be better at your job (ie: healing, tanking, dps in this case).

Or in real world terms, if i'm ...say....amazing in bed......
(if only...)

...why would I need to learn how to cook?

' )

Speaking as both a rogue and pally tank, I gotta say this reversal kinda makes me wonder why I bothered to better myself gaining gear to improve my role all this time.

Subsequently, this also makes me wonder why I should bother re-acclimating to whatever new system they put in, as they apparently can destroy all our hours/years of progression on a whim.

(yeah yeah..I understand MMO's change all the time...still doesn't make changes like this sting less)

You're missing the point. Take crit rating, for example. It has diminishing returns; as you start to get more, then you get less benefit from GETTING more. The higher your crit, the less you get per point of crit rating. That encourages people not to just stack any one stat (in theory).

With armor penetration, it is more effective as you get more. The higher your ArP, the more you get per point of ArP rating. That isn't something codeable, it's just in how armor works in the game (removing a flat % of damage).

John Funk:

Unoriginal069:

John Funk:

Pink dragon:
How can they remove armor penatration?
As a rogue my gear is stacked to the max with armor penatration,well I might as well stack Attack power

And therein lies his point. It's so good that you don't want anything else, because the more you have the better it is. It's inverse diminishing returns.

I gotta say i'm a little confused by this being an issue.

'The more you have, the better it is'.....
..when did this become a bad thing?

In this reasoning you have the basic premise of an MMO....continually strive to obtain X so that you can be better at your job (ie: healing, tanking, dps in this case).

Or in real world terms, if i'm ...say....amazing in bed......
(if only...)

...why would I need to learn how to cook?

' )

Speaking as both a rogue and pally tank, I gotta say this reversal kinda makes me wonder why I bothered to better myself gaining gear to improve my role all this time.

Subsequently, this also makes me wonder why I should bother re-acclimating to whatever new system they put in, as they apparently can destroy all our hours/years of progression on a whim.

(yeah yeah..I understand MMO's change all the time...still doesn't make changes like this sting less)

You're missing the point. Take crit rating, for example. It has diminishing returns; as you start to get more, then you get less benefit from GETTING more. The higher your crit, the less you get per point of crit rating. That encourages people not to just stack any one stat (in theory).

With armor penetration, it is more effective as you get more. The higher your ArP, the more you get per point of ArP rating. That isn't something codeable, it's just in how armor works in the game (removing a flat % of damage).

I suppose I can see your point John.

Tho I still contend it's unfortunate that they have to scrap a stat outright to fix this.
That fine line the devs have to burn in the name of 'balance' in this ever-evolving medium I guess.

But having lived through the last re-itemization that Pally's had to go through (Strength now instead of spellpower?? wtf??) i'm almost not looking forward to the expansion in a way.

And that makes me a sad panda.

Figure i'll give it a month, then check back to see what the fine folks at Elitist Jerks have come up with so I can be effective again after the 'improvements'.

' )

An okay interview, though I would have liked some follow-up questions on a few points (namely why was it a more difficult decision to Make Gobs a playable Horde race). The part about his Troll character going to the Barrens made me remember when I first entered that evil place.
Also, it's good to know why ArP is being done away with. A friend of mine tried explaining it to me, but he didn't really understand himself, so it was mainly just him hating on Blizzard.

Philbyy:
The idea that Worgen are being brought in as a monstrous race for the alliance makes me giggle a little. The simple fact is, yes, they are techinically monstrous, but they are also undenyably furry and thus I suspect a number of furries will be drawn into WoW. Amusuingly, they will be joining the alliance, already widley slated- I find- for being incompetent ten-year-olds. I wonder if they'll improve or worsen this?

What are Tauren but cow-people, or Draani but goat-people? Don't answer that. I doubt wolf-people will make that big an impact on the furry population of WoW, so don't worry about them...worry about Twilight fans :D
Plus the Worgen help to lessen the difference in terms of pure physical strength between Horde and Alliance, which is pretty neato.

peterwolfe:
I doubt wolf-people will make that big an impact on the furry population of WoW, so don't worry about them...worry about Twilight fans :D

...oh lord, I hadn't even thought of that...

Mackheath:

I'm sorry, what? Racist? You sound like a whining bleeding-heart liberal. This is the more correct version:

Do you not recall the Blood Elf campaign in TFT? Racism, or at least extreme ethnocentrism/xenophobia, is an accurate description of many humans. Varian Wyrnn among them. Night Elves so missed their great tree that they made a fake/cloned/impure copy just to not feel as feeble as the lesser races.

Practicing voodoo in a game is bad? That's idiotic. Regardless of what your own religious bias is against voodoo is in real life in games it becomes necessary to vary up cultures from race to race to give each race its own unique feel. That has absolutely nothing to do with whether their cause is just or not. Alliance are prettyboys, but they do not represent the moral highground of the WoW mythos, something EQ and DnD converts to the series have been failing to grasp for a long time.

Seamus8:

Do you not recall the Blood Elf campaign in TFT? Racism, or at least extreme ethnocentrism/xenophobia, is an accurate description of many humans. Varian Wyrnn among them. Night Elves so missed their great tree that they made a fake/cloned/impure copy just to not feel as feeble as the lesser races.

I do, and yes; they did suffer under an awful, racist commander. But to lump the whole race with one moron is simply being selective. Consider the WotLK Garrosh; he wants nothing more than to exterminate the Alliance, and in Cataclysm he is (or was, last time I read the info) he was turning out every non-Orc out of Orgrimmar.

Practicing voodoo in a game is bad? That's idiotic.

So sacrificing people to dark gods like Hakkar is not idiotic or bad? Trolls can be xenophobic and worship deities who (often) demand blood offerings, yet Night Elves cannot regrow a tree in an attempt to recapture the heart of their civilisation, which has been around for 10,000 years and more? Smells like bias.

Regardless of what your own religious bias is against voodoo is in real life in games it becomes necessary to vary up cultures from race to race to give each race its own unique feel.

True, but I still find the Horde in general to still have not progressed much, because people like Garrosh and Burx have to keep dragging the Horde back into the bloody days.

That has absolutely nothing to do with whether their cause is just or not. Alliance are prettyboys, but they do not represent the moral highground of the WoW mythos, something EQ and DnD converts to the series have been failing to grasp for a long time.

Again, the Alliance are certainly not perfect; far from it. But the Horde are certainly not better than them either. Both race has deep-seeted faults, and the Horde seem to be doing little to actually combat them.

 

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