Ask The Devs #8 - Firelands (Answers)

17 Human Warrior
130
If anything, we wanted to make sure that 25s weren’t significantly harder, since many of the 25-player guilds were convinced we were trying to force them to become 10-player raiding guilds.


I can't imagine why your players were convinced you were trying to force us to downsize. I mean, have you SEEN how badly 25 guilds outnumber 10s? Actually, no, I'm going to lay off the sarcasm, since I know it'll just fly over the heads of most responders.

I don't know if you devs have noticed in your own guilds but recruiting alone for 25man guilds is miserable. Unless your 25man guild is among the top guilds, you're pretty much screwed. Far fewer players are applying to 25s, because of nothing more than the simple fact that it's easier to organize and control a group of 10 players than it is for 25. In addition, you removed all incentive to run 25s over 10s. Wait, you mean 25s get 20 more VP and extra loot per boss? Who cares? Don't give me the same schtick about "people who enjoy 25man content can continue to do it". That's crap, and you know it. There are those who simply enjoy raiding with a larger group but a higher number of your players will only run with whatever group gives them the best gear for the least amount of time spent while causing the least stress. Their motivation is gear and nothing less. That's what kept 25man guilds in a good state in wrath, and what is destroying many of them now.

How are we to believe anything less than you were deliberately trying to phase out 25s in favor of smaller groups, to appeal to the majority of your player base?

Hell, you guys did the same thing with rated BGs. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to enjoy the 15s week far more than the 10s, with the exception of Strand, of course. It was going fine, but all of a sudden we see a blue post about you guys downsizing ALL rated BGs because far fewer players participated in 15s. So instead of expecting 10man RBG teams to recruit more people, you decide to screw over the larger guilds in favor of the smaller (again).

I can't wait to read the headlines for patch 5.0: "New 5man raiding and rated BGs! Now it's even easier!"
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85 Draenei Paladin
0
Erf. So still no word on if we'll be able to get Tier 12 via just Valor Points.

Hopefully we can get full Tier 11 through just Justice Points; the upgrade they'll provide and the set bonuses will help my guild a lot with getting through Tier 11.
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5 Troll Rogue
0
All the times I've been in the ToT instance I've never noticed him getting kidnapped by the giant squid... maybe i should go back one more time...
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85 Worgen Druid
6500
05/25/2011 10:50 AMPosted by Fatowlbert
Silithus revamp?

Nothing changed there yet, except the Qiraji area map.
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A: Our initial plan for this raid tier was to have fewer bosses in Firelands and a small number of bosses in the Abyssal Maw. As we looked more closely at Firelands, though, we realized that it deserved more bosses. We also got excited about designing item art (and set bonuses!) that were very fiery in nature, and the Molten Front questing area was turning out to be really cool, so we ended up piling more resources into Firelands. That led to the decision to focus on one strong theme (fire), rather than a more diluted fire-and-water theme.

The case for Abyssal Maw pitch was that we could reuse a lot of existing assets (the fights were to take place in a giant shelled demigod like Nespirah), and while we are willing to do that, we thought Abyssal Maw would just pale in comparison to the magnificence of the Firelands. So, we put all of our eggs into that one basket. We’ve decided for now that the Vashj’ir quest line along with the Throne of the Tides dungeon does a pretty good job of finishing the Neptulon story.


What a cop out. Sure can't wait to kill 7 bosses for 5-7 months while we could have had more if you had just put a few bosses in the Abyssal Maw.
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86 Tauren Druid
4665
Basic Instinct had a better ending than the Neptulon storyline - I mean, he's currently playing "Jonah" inside a giant demonic squid.
Edited by Tend on 5/25/2011 11:03 AM PDT
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85 Human Death Knight
11390
Was still holding out hope that they'd somehow make Abyssal Maw into a 359 5-man to be released alongside Firelands. Guess that's done.

So I'll basically be running the same 7 bosses over and over for the next 6 months. Oh, and Zul'Again for Valor, since unless they raise the VP per raid boss, clearing the entire tier will only yield 490-630 Valor. Might be time for another WoW break.

Thinking you all might just want to stop these "Ask the Devs" topics. The melee question that went unanswered bothered me. You all talk a lot, but nothing really gets answered or said. That works well in Politics, not necessarily in game-design.
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100 Night Elf Rogue
13640
No answers regarding how loot will be balanced with only 7 bosses dropping it.

I am not optimistic.
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85 Tauren Druid
8865
Was still holding out hope that they'd somehow make Abyssal Maw into a 359 5-man to be released alongside Firelands. Guess that's done.

So I'll basically be running the same 7 bosses over and over for the next 6 months. Oh, and Zul'Again for Valor, since unless they raise the VP per raid boss, clearing the entire tier will only yield 490-630 Valor. Might be time for another WoW break.

Thinking you all might just want to stop these "Ask the Devs" topics. The melee question that went unanswered bothered me. You all talk a lot, but nothing really gets answered or said. That works well in Politics, not necessarily in game-design.


The updated holiday loot is 365 so most likely whatever 5 man (Abyssal Maw or not) that gets added in 4.3 would drop that ilvl of loot. Of course Blizzards idea of 'faster patching' has so far not been true at all (Firelands is going to come out 2 months later than Ulduar did) so I worry about when we will see the 4.3 dungeon patch since that also means we may be waiting for 4.4 till the end of this year.
Edited by Fehnris on 5/25/2011 11:12 AM PDT
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85 Gnome Priest
7185
Q: Do we have any plans to include events similar to the Wrath Gate?Mushik (LA), 잔메르 (KR)

    A: We have a short cinematic or two, but nothing on the scale of the Wrath Gate cinematic for 4.2. We enjoy that kind of epic spectacle and we’ll do it when it makes sense; however, we also received plenty of feedback from the Cataclysm questing experience that we occasionally took control away from players too often, especially in Uldum, in order to tell the story, so we want to be very careful when we do that in the future. That said, there are some very cinematic moments in 4.2 such as watching the druid trees on the Molten Front grow or seeing the bridge form to Sulfuron Keep.


For the love of Cthulhu! Really?! Blizzard develops, please don't let the complain-- er, "feedback" of a whiny handful take away our cinematic-styled storytelling! Uldum was just fine. In fact, it was probably one of the best zones in Cataclysm. It remains high on the list of favorites when I hear people talk about the new content.
Edited by Marcoma on 5/25/2011 11:29 AM PDT
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85 Tauren Druid
8865
05/25/2011 11:14 AMPosted by Amkar
Wait.. WHAT? No more Abyssal Maw content? that was some of the best visuals in the game. Does this also mean no Old God this expansion? I was really looking forward to that.


Eh we already pretty much knew N'Zoth wasn't going to be in this expansion considering Azshara follows him and she is also not going to be fought in this expansion. Now the NEXT expansion will deal with him and very very likely have her as the main antagonist (unlike N'Zoth it's been specifically said we won't fight her in Cataclysm).
Edited by Fehnris on 5/25/2011 11:16 AM PDT
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85 Tauren Druid
8865



Eh we already pretty much knew N'Zoth wasn't going to be in this expansion considering Azshara follows him and she is also not going to be fought in this expansion. Now the NEXT expansion will deal with him and very very likely have her as the main antagonist (unlike N'Zoth it's been specifically said we won't fight her in Cataclysm).


Thats not going to fly. Naga just aren't cool enough to carry an expansion. They made perfect sense as an elemental side plot for cataclysm, but really, they just aren't that cool. I don't mind that it won't be this patch. Firelands merits full attention for now.. but I REALLY hope we get an underwater raid before we tackle Deathwing.


The entire 'side'plot' in Vashj'ir was setting the stage for the next expansion. :p Kinda like how the Obsidum Sanctum (badly) set the stage for Cataclysm and Deathwings return.
Edited by Fehnris on 5/25/2011 11:19 AM PDT
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85 Troll Druid
5415
Q: A majority of the fights in T11 favored having little or no Melee DPS. Are there plans to fix this? – Merissa (NA), Espiritu (NA)

A: We view this more of a class problem than an encounter problem. It used to be the case that casters really suffered whenever they had to move, which was the penalty they paid in order to make up for the fact that melee took a lot of extra damage. Nowadays, melee classes don’t really take that much extra damage, and we’ve also given casters a number of movement-oriented tools designed to keep their DPS from dropping as much as it used to when they are asked to shoot-and-scoot.

Whenever there are situations in an encounter that encourage grouping, the ranged often move into melee (with the occasional exception for hunters), but melee never move to ranged. Any of the fights that punish clumping also tend to punish melee more. We recognize all of these problems, as do many players, but it’s challenging to address them quickly. For example, without compensation, casters would suffer a lot in PvP if their movement tools were suddenly stripped away.

In the meantime, we don’t want to over-constrain encounter design, or worse, make it feel very formulaic by getting to the point where players expect the “melee fight” to be followed by the “adds fight,” followed by the “Patchwerk fight,” then the “ranged fight.” We’re making sure that melee have some fights where they can shine in Firelands. To use just one example, the Sons of Flame on Ragnaros tend to be better handled by melee than ranged.

A class problem? You've made efforts in this direction to be sure, but in trying to balance burst potential for pvp you've gibbed a lot of melee by giving them absurd ramp-up times. Definitely a work in (very early) progress.
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85 Undead Mage
9140
05/25/2011 10:33 AMPosted by Fehnris
How does the 5 man finish the Neptulon story when Neptulon is sucked up at the end of the instance? That's a pretty large cliff hanger to abandon there.
What this guy said.
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10 Dwarf Paladin
80
05/25/2011 10:11 AMPosted by Kaivax
The case for Abyssal Maw pitch was that we could reuse a lot of existing assets (the fights were to take place in a giant shelled demigod like Nespirah), and while we are willing to do that, we thought Abyssal Maw would just pale in comparison to the magnificence of the Firelands. So, we put all of our eggs into that one basket. We’ve decided for now that the Vashj’ir quest line along with the Throne of the Tides dungeon does a pretty good job of finishing the Neptulon story.


I'm going to join everyone else in asking...what? Seriously?

Neptulon gets taken away by Ozumat, leaving us with a pyrrhic victory, and that's a good job of finishing it? What on Earth happens to Neptulon? Just going to let one of the Elemental Lieutenants languish in the belly of a kraken?

Great Blizz. Just great. I can accept not having the 5-man (it would be a 5-man, right? Seems confused at this point) in 4.2, but...it better still be coming.
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85 Tauren Druid
8865
I really wonder if they didn't think we were going to focus so much on the Abyssal Maw 5 man and REALLY look into whatever answer they gave on it. Just the fact that it pretty much says the 'story is ended' when it clearly is not instead of just saying 'yea it may be in a future patch' such as 4.3.
Edited by Fehnris on 5/25/2011 11:23 AM PDT
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