Ask the Devs - Answers #4: Armor and Weapons

85 Worgen Death Knight
5085
Q: Is it possible to let the players create/edit their own looks? - Zed Loft (Taiwan), Vysha (NA/ANZ), Ráchel (EU|German)

A: As we said in an earlier Q&A, we definitely hear loud and clear from players that they want more customization for their character. This is something we want to provide, but we want to do it in the right way. Consider the Barber Shop feature. It lets you change your character's hair, but there’s not a lot of gameplay to it. We're not sure that feature really added a lot to the game in retrospect. Is WoW more fun for you now that you have a Barber Shop? Are you more likely to keep playing because of it? Maybe, but it wasn’t a cheap feature to add in terms of development time. Dumping a bunch of dyes on the game might have a similar effect, where some players might have fun playing around with the system for a bit, but a lot of players might change their colors once or twice and then forget about the feature after that. Now, not every aspect of the game needs a ton of depth and a lot of interesting decisions, but we tend to attract more players to a feature the more robust the feature is.

We also think it's fair to argue that the game just needs more armor and weapon art. As we said above, we deliver a lot of art these days, but we also produce an enormous number of new items every expansion or patch and it’s understandably disappointing whenever items use the same art. It would be really cool if not every mage or priest converged on the same look after a given expansion or patch.


I must say as admiring as my PURPLE pvp armor is... I'm really starting to feel like a gay death knight...

TLDR: I would enjoy my play time more In gear that looks good, than in gear that makes me look gay.

(I suggest taking a look at how rift's dyes work :P)

lots of colors, ability to add them as a Primary, or Secondary color change = ability to make some sick looking basic gear.

(like I could turn my gay purple pvp gears into a dark gray with red outlines, or even go for a dark blue/gold look.)
Edited by Xandrik on 4/5/2011 4:42 PM PDT
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85 Undead Warlock
12590
for example, fire spiders for the warlock set


OOOoooOOOOOooOOOooooooooOooOoooo
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85 Blood Elf Warrior
9835
04/05/2011 11:00 AMPosted by Lylirra
We plan on implementing a system where winning an item via Need (when using the Dungeon Finder Need Before Greed loot system) will make a BoE item soulbound. We hope to have this working for the 4.2 patch.


This is actually going to be a big problem, because Greed and Disenchant have equal priority. If rolling Need on a BOE causes it to be Soulbound, you need to remove DE as an option for BOE items.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
0
First i want to say im sad you did not say anything on Tier 0 being added back in. I loved those sets D=

04/05/2011 11:00 AMPosted by Lylirra
Consider the Barber Shop feature. It lets you change your character's hair, but there’s not a lot of gameplay to it. We're not sure that feature really added a lot to the game in retrospect. Is WoW more fun for you now that you have a Barber Shop? Are you more likely to keep playing because of it? Maybe, but it wasn’t a cheap feature to add in terms of development time. Dumping a bunch of dyes on the game might have a similar effect, where some players might have fun playing around with the system for a bit, but a lot of players might change their colors once or twice and then forget about the feature after that. Now, not every aspect of the game needs a ton of depth and a lot of interesting decisions, but we tend to attract more players to a feature the more robust the feature is.


I might not use it alot but when i do I LOVE THE BARBERSHOP!!! The barbershop is one of the best things you EVER added to this game. I LOVE IT!!!! DO NOT THINK IT WAS A BAD ADDITION!!!
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100 Blood Elf Rogue
11985
:(

I wanted to know if honor weapons would ever come back. I hate having to beg for weapons, specially my ranged weapon, it's a damn green cause they're only for raiders *tear*
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100 Undead Warlock
13055
04/05/2011 11:18 AMPosted by Drbad
It really disappoints me when they reference finances as a reason for not doing anything. At this point, I really don't think money should stop them from doing anything. They have enough money to do whatever they want.


you forgot time, mister. As goblins say, "Time is money"
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85 Blood Elf Priest
3450
My main character customization goal is to be able to make my blood elf obese.
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100 Human Paladin
11785
04/05/2011 11:00 AMPosted by Lylirra
inside jokes (Chestplate of Hubris),

04/05/2011 11:10 AMPosted by Lukar
I admit to being curious where this comes from...


There was a thread in the forums a lil while back that was critical of some of the blue/GC posts...
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90 Blood Elf Warrior
10695
04/05/2011 05:05 PMPosted by Decapitator
My main character customization goal is to be able to make my blood elf obese.

thats why i have a dwarf :)
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86 Night Elf Rogue
12205
I apologize for not phrasing the following concerns as questions, but my limited writing skills prevented me from doing so effectively.

For whatever it may be worth, the game could benefit from simpler gear designs. There are several risks in spending too much effort on intricate gear. One is that gear often gets so shiny and bulky that it leads to the shoulder and belt inflation that is finally being addressed, but neglect the inflation of the rest of the slots, especially arms and legs. Another, is that where simple gear design evokes the spirit of classes very well, the believability of classes can often get lost in a sea of details. This seems particularly true for rogues across the board. Conceptually, I would think that subtlety and assassination rogues wouldn't wear bulky armor for the same reasons they don't wear plate: it inhibits their ability to do what they do best. In addition, it seems characteristic of the swashbuckler to reject bulky and heavy armor more out of their rejection of the standard military class of their race, namely, the warrior class and its tenants. From this point of view, shiny swords may appeal to combat rogues, but shiny, bulky anything, would be unacceptable to the kinds of rogues that are not meant to be noticed.

As this game as gone down the long, sad slope of gear stat inflation, this also hinders classes that in earlier concepts would reject armor, and also current classes that are what they are because they reject heavy armor. It also ignores the fact that some characters in game are as powerful as they are not because of their gear, but their natural acumen. For example, Malfurian isn't the most powerful druid in game because he has the most epic staff, beard, or attire, but because of his talent, nature, development, etc. All things that don't register in his appearance. Warcraft 3 had an interesting solution to this problem in the tomes of skill one could acquire, which provided permanent stat bonuses without changing the character's appearance. I think more development along this conceptual line could free up a lot of cool ideas for gear implementation. Finally, although it is pedantic to end with a quote, and I don't even know who I am robbing it from as I ruin it, but: "An artist knows he has achieved perfection, not when there is nothing left to add, but nothing left to take away."

P.S. Please, please give one handed swords and daggers sheaths, they look silly without them and we get to see them just fine when they are drawn.
Edited by Ereshkigal on 4/5/2011 5:20 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Warrior
10695
We really need a tool to make our armor look like we want.
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Dumping a bunch of dyes on the game might have a similar effect, where some players might have fun playing around with the system for a bit, but a lot of players might change their colors once or twice and then forget about the feature after that. Now, not every aspect of the game needs a ton of depth and a lot of interesting decisions, but we tend to attract more players to a feature the more robust the feature is.

I would have hoped to have seen an at least HALF-hearted to response to this issue. This issue has been in place since vanilla, every expansion (except for BC , my personal preference though) I have worn armor that I have not been particularly fond of. Hell, even if my armor and is almost perfect looking and caters specifically to my taste I get bored after a while and wearing that armor through a tier gets boring. I like to change things up and I get bored easily, an appearance tab would break the tedium, and coming from a person who is almost all about aesthetics it's frustrating to see this issue skirted such as this. We're not interested in dyes, dyes would be hell to implement anyway, coming from a company who likes to use the "time is money" so frequently when it comes minor UI and graphical changes when game mechanics are being hot-fixed and classes are getting changed every patch (or in my case, EVERY EXPANSION, and at least 3 times during an arena season -_-) I don't expect a complete overhaul as far as that's concerned.

TL;DR: Barber shop was OK, but when we're wearing helms we don't even see our hair. The most prominent aesthetic when it comes to our character is our ARMOR. We don't want dye's, we want to wear different things once in a while and don't want to look like clones. Saying such a feature would be overlooked is a fallacy, due to the fact that new armor comes out every major patch, and if they don't like the current set of armor they have a choice of whether to swap it out or not. I do appreciate that this issue was at LEAST covered but most who advocate this implementation of such a feature would find that such a response is starkly disappointing.
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100 Blood Elf Mage
16120
Q: Will enchanters be getting back the ability to make wands? - Trustybee (Taiwan)

A: We have been discussing what role in the game wands are supposed to fill. We generally consider it a failure these days if a caster ever wants to wand for dps instead of using their spells. Working the wand into the cast animation (as in the question above) is one idea. In any event, we want to figure out what we want wands to do before we give them any more prominence.


I'm glad this got answered, as I was asking it too.

Honestly, rather than wands just being stat dump items that don't do anything else, it would be interesting if wands were either mastery/hit items and/or if they had bonuses to a specific spell or type of magic. They used to do that (and you might change wands out based on the +shadow or +arcane or +fire they had) rather than just +spell power. In addition, the type of energy a wand had used to make a difference, which it doesn't any more.

So:

Wands: +mastery/+hit
+mana
+spell power of [type] or +to spell of type

I know, that makes them even more niche specific, but at the same time, it makes them more like a specific spell caster tool rather than just another stat boost slot.
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85 Human Paladin
0
I've been thinking about the whole customization gear look/stat issue and I have an idea to share.

If players could choose which gear graphic they wanted to display, then Blizzard would no longer need to create new gear graphics every dungeon tier. There would be no point in designing a whole 10 sets of gear if nearly no one was wearing them, and that is a good thing. Blizzard is likely spending countless hours on these gear sets for each class.

Instead of designing new gear for each tier, Blizzard could take a different path with gear progression.

-Stats upgrade could come from books purchased and dropped from books that would magically enhance equipment. These books could be dropped from boss the same way they currently drop gear.

-New armor appearance could be object that player find in various location. A certain quest could reward a player with this unique armor 'hull' or maybe completing a certain dungeon tier would allow the player to pick from new sets of gear looks.

This make the designing process a lot lighter for Blizzard and allow them to come out with more fantastic content that will be appreciated by players. I see this as a win-win situation. What do you think?
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90 Blood Elf Warrior
10695
04/05/2011 05:26 PMPosted by Migs
Dumping a bunch of dyes on the game might have a similar effect, where some players might have fun playing around with the system for a bit, but a lot of players might change their colors once or twice and then forget about the feature after that. Now, not every aspect of the game needs a ton of depth and a lot of interesting decisions, but we tend to attract more players to a feature the more robust the feature is.

I would have hoped to have seen an at least HALF-hearted to response to this issue. This issue has been in place since vanilla, every expansion (except for BC , my personal preference though) I have worn armor that I have not been particularly fond of. Hell, even if my armor and is almost perfect looking and caters specifically to my taste I get bored after a while and wearing that armor through a tier gets boring. I like to change things up and I get bored easily, an appearance tab would break the tedium, and coming from a person who is almost all about aesthetics it's frustrating to see this issue skirted such as this. We're not interested in dyes, dyes would be hell to implement anyway, coming from a company who likes to use the "time is money" so frequently when it comes minor UI and graphical changes when game mechanics are being hot-fixed and classes are getting changed every patch (or in my case, EVERY EXPANSION, and at least 3 times during an arena season -_-) I don't expect a complete overhaul as far as that's concerned.

TL;DR: Barber shop was OK, but when we're wearing helms we don't even see our hair. The most prominent aesthetic when it comes to our character is our ARMOR. We don't want dye's, we want to wear different things once in a while and don't want to look like clones. Saying such a feature would be overlooked is a fallacy, due to the fact that new armor comes out every major patch, and if they don't like the current set of armor they have a choice of whether to swap it out or not. I do appreciate that this issue was at LEAST covered but most who advocate this implementation of such a feature would find that such a response is starkly disappointing.


I really get tired of using the same armor over and over again, and new armor implementations is not always the answer, why? because i dont like all the new models when they came out. i have my personal preferences for some armor models, the ones i like most are from BC and WOTLK, mostly because they have really nice colors (BC) or nice designs (WOTLK). Idk if other people fell sorry for dumping the Dk starting armor for some ugly BC dungeon item or quest item. Sometimes i want to look like the class im playing, but with classes like druid and paladin, that have a special roll in the game, using black/Brown or even Blue crystal armor (on paladins) fells weird, i dont have to say the same thing for Dk's who are using a ugly purple armor.

The Dressing Room feature in the game could be usefull to make this new "apperance" tool. you could just use a <-, -> bottom to just change the design to other designs avaible in the game, acording to your lvl and armor type.
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90 Blood Elf Warrior
10695
I've been thinking about the whole customization gear look/stat issue and I have an idea to share.

If players could choose which gear graphic they wanted to display, then Blizzard would no longer need to create new gear graphics every dungeon tier. There would be no point in designing a whole 10 sets of gear if nearly no one was wearing them, and that is a good thing. Blizzard is likely spending countless hours on these gear sets for each class.

Instead of designing new gear for each tier, Blizzard could take a different path with gear progression.

-Stats upgrade could come from books purchased and dropped from books that would magically enhance equipment. These books could be dropped from boss the same way they currently drop gear.

-New armor appearance could be object that player find in various location. A certain quest could reward a player with this unique armor 'hull' or maybe completing a certain dungeon tier would allow the player to pick from new sets of gear looks.

This make the designing process a lot lighter for Blizzard and allow them to come out with more fantastic content that will be appreciated by players. I see this as a win-win situation. What do you think?


it's not possible people would start complaining about blizz about no taking new armor designs or having to use armor they dont like, we really need a special tool for this feature.
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90 Human Paladin
7170
Q: Is it possible to let the players create/edit their own looks? - Zed Loft (Taiwan), Vysha (NA/ANZ), Ráchel (EU|German)


A: As we said in an earlier Q&A, we definitely hear loud and clear from players that they want more customization for their character. This is something we want to provide, but we want to do it in the right way. Consider the Barber Shop feature. It lets you change your character's hair, but there’s not a lot of gameplay to it. We're not sure that feature really added a lot to the game in retrospect. Is WoW more fun for you now that you have a Barber Shop? Are you more likely to keep playing because of it? Maybe, but it wasn’t a cheap feature to add in terms of development time. Dumping a bunch of dyes on the game might have a similar effect, where some players might have fun playing around with the system for a bit, but a lot of players might change their colors once or twice and then forget about the feature after that. Now, not every aspect of the game needs a ton of depth and a lot of interesting decisions, but we tend to attract more players to a feature the more robust the feature is.

We also think it's fair to argue that the game just needs more armor and weapon art. As we said above, we deliver a lot of art these days, but we also produce an enormous number of new items every expansion or patch and it’s understandably disappointing whenever items use the same art. It would be really cool if not every mage or priest converged on the same look after a given expansion or patch.


So, every feature in WoW has to draw inspiration from Skinner's Box in order to be considered valuable? That attitude is extremely disturbing to me. I know the addiction to the grind keeps many people playing, but what about the rest of us? Throw us a bone already.

Using the barbershop as an example of players not making use of customization is just plain manipulative, as the available styles are extremely limited and many of them are outdated. Furthermore, why even mention a dye system? It has been stated that older armor models don't have the proper meshes to make use of this. It would be more time consuming for less payoff than the vastly superior appearance tab.

If we must think of things from a time-sink/addiction perspective, would running old raids, starting new characters to pick up long-vendored quest gear again, and the like not fit these criteria? Casuals would actually have a reason to play again aside from mindless dailies and soul-crusing PUG groups. But, no, I suppose you are catering to 11 million raiders... :P
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Very awesome. Thanks for this thread, guys. Some of the answers were disappointing however you gave straight up answers. For that, I thank you.
Edited by Areh on 4/5/2011 6:02 PM PDT
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