Ask the Devs - Answers #4: Armor and Weapons

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I wanted to comment that I played quite a few other MMO's before I gave WoW a try. I didn't want to follow the herd and just play what everyone else was playing. When I started, one of the first things I absolutely loved was that the developers took the time to create a barber shop. I loved that I didn't have to spend so much time at the start picking how my character would look from now until the end of time. It really helps with the immersion, and honestly, it's one thing I held above every other game I played.

So to answer: "Is WoW more fun for you now that you have a Barber Shop? Are you more likely to keep playing because of it?"

Resoundingly yes.

It's the little things like this that add up, for me, to make the game easier to stay with. Even if it's not used frequently, just having the option, knowing you're not locked into something forever, that the flexibility is there... is enough. I think you'll find the same thing true if you ever add the ability to change colors. Don't underestimate the psychological effect such a thing will add, even if it's not used all the time.
Are there any plans to see different companion types. For example there are tones of reptiles, birds, weird things, and CATS. Why cant we have a puppy?! or a dog. LOL. Thank you. I would love a Beagle puppy please.
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 think maybe the thought was more towards an enchanter making a wand for stats much like an inscriptionist making relics. A cool look certainly couldn't hurt, but I don't think the actual role of the wand would change. Spells over wands in a fight for sure. To me the argument would be that wands are currently the ONLY ranged slot item you can not craft.
I think adding a character look to game would and to the fun of RP. Having a skinny elf or fat human would be neat to RP development say you where once skinny hero and then became a fat trader.
Q: Is it possible to let the players create/edit their own looks? - Zed Loft (Taiwan),


This was kind of side-stepped, or avoided, I think. There are two parts to this question, and we were only given the answer for one part. There is the Clothing/Armour part, and then there is the Physical appearance part, which I understand this to be directly asking of.
As for the Clothing/Armour issue, I am glad that there is work being made on this. Many, if not all 11-million-plus members of WoW make. play and like/dislike the characters based on how they look. I have been with WoW for years, and have had many characters, most gone now, because I got tired of how they started looking as they advanced and appeared. (Who wants to play a Shammy if it looks like a deranged Druid the day of a I wanna-be-Barney psychotic-break? Or a Hunter if its going to look like a freak of nature with gold trim and a nice pet?) So I am glad that there is change being made to the colours/designs on some of the clothing/armour and the stats for them, also.
Why can't I make my Orc a little thinner/leaner, Tauren a little more lithe/stout (Face it Blizz, almost all the races look like the Ah-nold or Beyonce, with the exception of the cows & bulls, they look like the same no-gender race, just some of them appear to have moobs, if you look closely), or my Dwarf taller, NE fatter, Human a little less like AH-nold or Beyonce', or Gnome a little taller/Fatter? ([i]There is no change.)
Why can't there be a Troll or Gnome Undead skeleton to make as an Undead? (They are the Risen Dead. Why are they Human-only? Only Humans are worthy to be Undead, the rest of Azeroths races can suck on it and be happy??) Shouldn't Undead be of ALL the races of Azeroth, too? If DK's can be All races, then shouldn't by the same rule, Undead be of All races?
Ok, I hit the wrong button and submitted it before I was done. Here is the rest of what I have to say:

Couldn't, and Shouldn't (after 6 years) an update or re-do of the creation screen be done, to give more than just the limited shades of hair/skin colour & hairstyles that we have? Like STO (Star Trek Online, for the newbies) has for adjusting height and weight, skin shade and even markings like scars? Maybe an addition to the barber shop to do that as well as to choose piercings that we can actually see? And Tattoo shops, which should be Non-Factional. They would have to be in Shattrath or Tanaris (for some suggested places to put them), where we could choose racial or class-specific tatts and mostly non-racial/class specific tatts? The specific ones could give some (very?) minor buffs or permanent bonuses for different achievements of dungeons completed.
This is what I took the question to be asking, and I hope I have provided some positive feedback to really consider and implement in some way into WoW.
they didn't address the part about all the recycled weapon and armor designs did they?
As far as allocating money or time to make changes, you can only break games down into so many parts for different people to work on, after a certain point programmers, artists and animators start stepping on each others toes. Think of it as a car, only so many mechanics can work on the engine.
04/12/2011 06:04 AMPosted by Halen
The difference between DKs and other classes are the levels they start at and might I mention that most competent people who are able to level to 55 understand the game. And in line with what devs have said in the past, mindlessly grinding levels forever doesn't unlock some secret magical talent for the class;


It may not unlock anything, But it sure as hell makes a huge difference when they think after 30 levels they can own everything on their button mashing toon yet get owned by clothies!..

Once the Dk was nerfed the 55 level should have been nerfed as well..

The entire point of the hero class was it was better then the regular class..

My dk is nothing more then an herb farmer.why? can`t really stand button mashing toons my first ever toon was Halen! then Druid then rogue then hunter then DK..

The dk did however level from 76-85 on nothing but herb farming. so he was officially my second 85.. but my druid who just hit highbank will be my second 85 who will be used in dungeons!

I first want to say thank you for your time in responding. Next I want to point out your only complaint was that they are a "button mashing class" but I would like to point out that they actually have a very large rotation spectrum compared to some of the other classes. Regardless however of the complexity of the rotations of classes and specs, I fail to see how this is detrimental to the legitimacy of the class itself. The DK class has a vibrant story, balanced stats, unique abilities, and is a credit to the game.
In an unrelated note, congrats on your 85s and good luck leveling your druid :)
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.


GOOD! Now I want to know why the GM wouldn't help me when this exact situation happened with a BoE epic shield rolled on by a dps in a heroic that had no tank spec and sold it.




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.


Please just do it like Everquest 2 did it. I had so much fun farming the reflective armor, and some other armor sets that looked cool.
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.


How about using reforging instead?

It would work similarly to how reforging currently works, but it would allow you to transfer all the stats from one item to another item instead. There would have to be restrictions based on armor type or weapon type (ie. you would have have to transfer cloth to cloth, leather to leather, one handed sword to one handed sword, gun to gun etc.), but you could give the stats of any item to another similar item. This would do several things: it would allow blizzard to stick with models and colors that they choose and have already made/implemented; allow players to wear their favorite "outfit" from past or present; bring life back to older content since people would be searching out older gear; and it would work using a system that is partly already in place (reforging). Love that Defias set from Deadmines? Just keep upgrading the stats whenever you get new gear!

This could also be used as a type of gold sink for Blizzard. Really like that old T1 set you have lying in your bank? Well you can give it T11 stats but you have to pay to do it. Upgrading an ilevel 12 set to ilevel 351 stats? 10g per ilevel (or something of that nature). This way you can steadily upgrade for the same price as a huge jump.

Lastly, players would still be required to earn the gear they wanted whether they wanted certain stats or a certain look they still have to get the drops!
How about making the Throne of Four Winds drop something that is not, well useless............
^ Agreed, appearance armour FTW!! And if you can`t (won`t) do that, houses would be nice.
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.

Again, it seems as though the developers have a fundamental disconnect from the players on this issue. Who considers aesthetics gameplay? The point is that it's a matter of appreciation, quality of life, sheer enjoyment, etc. I don't need an engrossing, deeply meaningful system of chocies to pick an outfit, I need it to be something I like. Why do you think forcing people to wear things they don't like makes for any more compelling gameplay? How is that any more likely to keep players "attracted to a feature?" What is attractive about the game being, literally, unattractive?



If you actually hear us loud and clear, you'd realize everyone and their mother is quite attracted to the idea of being able to customize. I'm sorry improving your decades-behind level of customization is considered an overbearing expense.


^ what he said, more customization, We play to enjoy, and see new features and looks.
You keep everyone looking the same it gets old quick, then they change to something like the 5 goblin faces u made with donkey noses and pretty ears its a complete let down.
Customization might not be something you will always appreciate and want to play with in a game, but the fact that its there and you get to make more choices to your appearence is gonna satisfy 100% of the people more then it is now. So what?, other people wont use the system... (MY ASS). Even if they don't who gives a crap they aren't useing it anyways as it is now. Therefore it won't effect them, it won't disapoint them and it will be something there for later when they get in the customization mood. Look at Soul Calibur, you think most of the people who play that game play it for the dynamic fighting system?. Hell no they play it for the AWESOME >>graphics<< and seeing there "awesomely" made time consumeing avatar kick some faces in on there TV with decent gameplay. That falls under customization. The end

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