Ask the Devs - Answers #4: Armor and Weapons

100 Night Elf Mage
11105
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?


A lot of us do keep playing because of small things that make us different from every other player out there. I agree that barbershop was a great small step in the right direction. More choices would make the barbershop used more often.

Dance studio is still an issue for some players because in a game with little to no character customization, it would be one more thing to set us apart from every other player. Sure there would be others with the same choices, but I wouldn't feel so much like a nameless pixel in a sea of pixels.
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85 Dwarf Warlock
4060
I am also going to chime in related to the appearance tab, the dyes as well as the barbershop.
The barbershop would DEFINITELY get more use if it was expanded upon after you guys just threw it in our faces.... All you guys did was just "Here, have your barbershop, play with it, but we are not going to do anything with it".... You guys did it for the sake of just doing it and that's very insulting.
I find the answer to the Q & A related to these issues I mentioned earlier very and extremely "slap in the face" and degrading. Are we not players to you if we just like to customize our appearance through these features and not just being all obsessed with ONLY armor and weapons? Gear is not the ONLY way to customize our characters... Please understand that.
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90 Human Paladin
8440
Will Paladins ever get a visual option to make our DPS / Tanking Belt, Boots, and Wrist match our Tier/PvP Armor?

It doesn't have to be it's own item, but just on non-set armor pieces it would be awesome if Reforging also allowed you to change the appearance of those items.
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78 Goblin Rogue
7280
If the holdup is findin' a way to use customization options to drive gameplay, then have the Dance Studio come wit' a quest line like a holiday quest chain. You show up, and there's just one little guy sweepin' the floor, mutterin' about how they can't find any dance instructors. That lets the player start a dialog wit' the guy that puts 'em on quests to find instructors to come to the studio and teach 'em to dance like members of their race. Maybe gettin' your own faction's people to come teach you would involve somethin' fairly low level, but gettin' enemy races to teach would require some additional legwork (HAHAHAHAH, I kill me!)

The Appearance Tab is a no brainer. Make it so you gotta "unlock" individual slots. Make it a faction grind or a throttled scavenger hunt or somethin' - I really don't care. Then once you got the slot open, you gotta track down the piece of armor you want for the looks, so unless you already got it in the bank that's more gameplay right there.
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87 Draenei Paladin
10190
04/05/2011 12:24 PMPosted by Lylirra
This perhaps, should have been worded a little differently.


We agree. We certainly could have worded the sentence better, or at least provided more clarity on what "expensive" meant in the context of that specific response. In this case, it referred to time invested (as Sabiras properly deduced), not simply money spent. Animations are an important element of design, but they require a lot of time and attention to do well.

I've gone ahead and made an edit to the original post to avoid further confusion, but I also wanted to call out why it was made. Thanks for the feedback, too! We really do appreciate this kind of constructive criticism, as it'll help us improve these Q&As going forward. :)


While I would love to see casters use their weapons more while casting there is another thing not mentioned - the amount of different weapons casters use. Across all caster we can use:

- Staff
- Mace
- Dagger
- Sword

All of these would have to have a different animation along with it applying to the race/gender of the toon. Right now my priest alt has a caster mace that looks like it could take down a wall by just tapping it, it is that huge. Watching her cast something while holding up that mace would be a bit silly.

There's also the off-hands we carry when not carrying a staff. Would it show our off-hands as well as our weapons when casting? More coding right there.

While this just may be personal preference, it seems to me that showing animations for a staff and off-hands would fit casters more then say with some of our weapons. I can see a mage casting with a book in hand more then with a dagger. But that's just me. :)

As a side note, as a melee class with spells, it is really weird to see my tank sheath her shield and mace to use some of her abilities, such as WoG or some of my hands, lifting her hands up to cast, then taking her weapon/shield back out and continue on. While having casters be able to show their weapons while casting would be awesome, perhaps we should work on some of the animations already in game so they feel natural then add more. I can see my tank lifting up her hands quickly to preform a spell, she should just have her weapon/shield in her hands while doing that.
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87 Draenei Paladin
10190
04/05/2011 01:34 PMPosted by Mordenkainen
Funny how they tend to answer a question ambiguously with another question. Must be related to politicians. BTW, when the heck fire is patch 4.1 coming out? I mean jeesh! It's been ont the PTR now for 6 weeks! I'm burned out trying to farm boe 359 world drops from generic trash to replace my 346 heroic gear. I want me some 353 gear with crit and mastery please!!!


Please, please do not take my next questions as snarky, that's not how I mean it. I honestly want to know. :)

If you aren't raiding why do you want the higher gear? Is it because you push yourself to preform at your best regardless of what content you are clearing?

I ask because when I wasn't raiding on this pally I didn't worry about maxing her gear out, only to get the best gear for her outside of raids.

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85 Human Death Knight
0
Blizzard.

I would use a dye system on my armor. I used it all the time in Warhammer.

The barber shop isn't used as much because the creativity is very limited. Its boring.
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73 Orc Warlock
10545
04/05/2011 12:50 PMPosted by Aetheriå
TIME not money.


same difference


I'm sorry but its not. Your just looking at it through a very narrow perception. Think of it this way maybe. They have a set team, that works a set amount of hours over a set amount of time regardless of what there working on. Now, say for example, they have a 4 month development window between releases of updates/content. More expensive in time in this context means they may have to denote 3/4 of that time on new animations alone, leaving very little room for anything new to implemented.

Of course my numbers up there are completely made up as I have no idea of there actual development cycles the point remains. The amount of time they would need to spend is probably more than they can justify when there are so many other things that need developing such as...new content.

While I can appreciate the wants of casters to see there shiny epic weps used in the cast animations, which of the two do you honestly find more important to spend time developing. New content, which any a 5 minute trip through these forums will show endless amounts players frothing at the mouth for, or a new animation.
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100 Gnome Mage
14230
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.


Wands are much better than the stat blocks that relics have become. So, I'd be very disappointed if wands further degenerated into just another stat slot. My opinion is that wands should be dps caster's version of 'white' damage. The wand would constantly fire at your current target while you are casting spells. (healing priest wands, well you can think up something for it to do) Or each spell cast fires off the wand.

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70 Worgen Warrior
430


Q: Any chance we can start heading away from WWE-esque belts? - Catriona (NA/ANZ)

    A: Azeroth is stricken by a terrible plague that inflates the size of shoulders and belts over time. Our artists like the belts because they have more room for detail when they’re larger. That said, your concern is duly noted.


Give me a break, we want serious answers not sarcasm. The belts look horrible, they are way too big as well as shoulders. The belt I wear on my shaman covers half of his tabard it doesn't look right at all. The gear in this game has gradually gone downhill in terms of appearance and I'm really starting to think we'll never get the options we want when it comes to appearance. This doesn't affect gameplay whatsoever, and a huge portion of your player base would like to see this happen.

Edit - While I appreciate feedback I wish certain answers like the one I quoted would be more serious and explain more into their reasoning, more room for detail is nice but not when it's obviously too big and covers up gear it shouldn't.
Edited by Grimmjøw on 4/5/2011 1:58 PM PDT
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85 Tauren Druid
5160
I personally have spent an alarming amount of gold in the barber shop lol. I love the feature and often change my hair depending on my gear, spec, and character level. It's nice not to be stuck with hair colours that clash horribly with themed sets, and sometimes it looks better up or down depending on gear style too. Any kind of customisation is worth it (at least to me :0D), and it is something that really does add to my enjoyment of the game.

Dyes would be a great idea, and I think we would see some really nice combinations (it kind of reminds me of the person who collected old sets to match their non combat pets, and look some beautiful screenshots). We have a pretty broad community and a lot of very artistic people who would absolutely love this feature. I would love it just to get my gear to match, especially when levelling lol.
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64 Gnome Death Knight
220

Seriously people. Just because you personally "feel like" Blizzard has a lot of money, doesn't mean they do,


Okay, go ahead and explain what you mean by that. It sounds like you're saying they don't make a lot of money on the profit side. Again, it's asinine to say they don't. I don't think I need to quantify what a lot of money is for you in regards to this, you're being dense. Google is your friend here. Fanboy less.

I meant... well, exactly what I said. Your feelings about how much money they have don't have any bearing on how much they actually have. I'm not sure what was confusing about that.

And I'm personally aware what quantities we're talking about, because I've read the Activ/Blizz financial reports. But if you're going to actually make a case that Blizzard can afford to make these changes, some numbers would help your case. Giving an estimate of how much it would cost, and what percentage of their WoW budget that would actually be, would be a valid point. Saying "They have a lot of money, they can do it" isn't. $150,000 seems like a lot of money to some people, but having 3 people work on something for six months may not be enough to develop a full feature from scratch, and would probably cost more than that 150k.

Was my generalization wrong in your case? Have you run a business? Had to answer questions in a stockholder meeting? Answered to a board of directors?


Yes, no, no. When you start letting the board of directors or stockholders dictate how you run your game you've failed as a business. You're putting out the product they are investing in which means they are supposed to like what you're doing. Usually when it reaches that point the company is only after one thing, money. When it comes to that point, with a video game, fun is going out the window.

(a)Companies are only ever after money. That is pretty much the definition of a company. If you're not after money, you're a non-profit, not a company. (b)Investors invest because they think they'll get money out of it, not to support a charity. They may like what you're doing or they may not, but they're investing because they expect a return on that investment. (c) A Board of Directors entire purpose is to dictate how the company is run.

Fun doesn't go out the window just because the company is after money. People aren't willing to part with their money for a video game that isn't fun, so it's in the interest of the investors for Blizzard to make a game that's fun.

Read one of Activision-Blizzard's financial statements sometime. It'll give you a pretty good picture of what the company's goals are, and how those fit into how they make money.

(Wall of text crits for over 9000!)
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90 Night Elf Druid
13175
04/05/2011 01:32 PMPosted by Mypali
A: Azeroth is stricken by a terrible plague that inflates the size of shoulders and belts over time. Our artists like the belts because they have more room for detail when they’re larger. That said, your concern is duly noted.


Bah. Most disappointing answer ever. I'm sick of this huge piece of #@#@.


This is more for lols but...

Would you have preferred "This is a planned move by Blizzard, eventually gnomes and dwarves will be able to use their shoulders as mounts, and roll around Azeroth."
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100 Draenei Paladin
6910
Q: Can we see gear won via need rolls become soulbound? - Lorinall (NA/ANZ)A: Yes. 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. To expand on that idea in case it’s not obvious, we don’t think players should be able to claim certain loot drops based on their class if their only intent is to sell the item. If you want to use the item yourself, awesome, go ahead and roll Need on it and you’ll get preference over players who can’t use that armor type. But if all you want to do is run to the Auction House, then everyone should have equal dibs.


Thank you, blizz.
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12 Undead Mage
50
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.


Not to sound mean or anything, but what does that have to do with enchanters making wands?
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100 Tauren Warrior
12400
Q: Is there any chance we could have caster weapons involved in casting animations? It would look cool to be holding a staff and casting a spell through it, at least as a customization option. - Dromanthis (NA/ANZ)

    A: This is something we would dearly love to do. We agree that melee specs get to see their weapons a lot more often in combat while it's easy for casters to forget about them. It's definitely on the list, but understand that we have so many races now (and two sexes for all existing races) that the animations take more time to do right/well.



that the animations get expensive to produce.(this was the original text.)



I get really really REALLY upset when I hear you use the excuse of expense in any issue. The very fact that you're making cash hand over fist I as the customer expect to see alot more than we're getting. I've been vocal opposition to the reuse of content, because ultimately it's nostalgic, but it's just not right. You guys said we were going to get smaller raids more often, but we are now going on 6 months and we are going to get firelands with what, 7 bosses? So basically we're getting half the raid content in the same period of time.

I'm not trying to be inflammatory with this post but this is something that is really bothering me lately, and as a customer I really have to voice my displeasure. We're seeing reused item models in ZA/ZG in 4.1, we've seen reused models in SFK and Deadmines, where does it stop?

We want new models, new character animations, and new raid content. Thanks!
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60 Night Elf Mage
340
Q: Is there any plan to allow Account Bound items to be transfer to other realms? This could really give meaning to the phrase "Account Bound".

A: Yes. Some day. It will take a lot of programmer time to implement, but it’s something we want to do



This has been addressed like 50 other times with the same response.


Why was a question wasted on this?


Because in the 4.1 patch, they have change the description from Account Bound to Battle.net Account Bound. With this new description people want to know when and if you will be able to transfer BoA items to different realms and if this is something that blizzard is thinking of implementing.
Edited by Spankymage on 4/5/2011 2:17 PM PDT
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21 Goblin Shaman
190
Q: Is there any plan to allow Account Bound items to be transfer to other realms? This could really give meaning to the phrase "Account Bound". - 텔레토비아스 (Korea), Деадхил (EU|Russian), Åtchøûm (EU|French), Tellua (NA/ANZ)

    A: Yes. Some day. It will take a lot of programmer time to implement, but it’s something we want to do.


Damn, that means it's never going to happen. I was hoping it would be soon...oh well.
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