Ask the Devs - Answers #4: Armor and Weapons

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In response to the character customization issue... I think Blizz is missing the boar here. You (blizz) say that when you look at the barber shop ability you added and if it was worth the dev. time you question the decision in retrospec. It sounds like you're basing an armor customization decision on this.

I think you're looking at this the wrong way to be honest. If someone changes their armor/look on their toon (personalizes their toon) once or twice and then forgets about it you view the overall development a failure. I think its the opposite. If I am able to customize my toon I am able to make it mine. I am able to make it different. I have more ownership and investment in my toon. If I only change the look once and Im happy with it, and I think its the best look possible for my taste I am happy. This will indeed keep me playing longer. Ive got more emotional attachment/investment to the game now. My toon is even more of an extension of me.

I think the cost of the development of something like that would pay for itself in the long run. Obviously you (blizz) are a business and look at the bottom line like any other business. Will the investment of dev time/money come back to us in account longevity/new accounts. I think it would. Anytime you can get someone emotionaly attached (as you well know already) to your product/service the customer is more willing to pay to continue using the product/service. I know I would LOVE to customize my toons.

Make it so that you can only customize high level 85 armor. Give people more incentive to continue to level (spend more time playing). Give the people who already leveled more incentive to stay. It's a win win really.
Any chance we can start heading away from WWE-esque belts? - Catriona (NA/ANZ)


I was happy with leather belts in Cataclysm and mocked my friends who had to run around with life rings on their waists...until patch 4.1 inflated the leather belts too. But thank you at least for the slim [Belt of Slithering Serpents] that 4.1 also introduced.

04/05/2011 11:00 AMPosted by Lylirra
Our artists like the belts because they have more room for detail when they’re larger.

But doesn't this then give less room for detail on the armor? Plus, as a worgen, I can't even see the entire belt model now (on [Belt of the Untamed] for example), as it stabs into my chest. And it looked every bit as detailed before getting inflated!
04/05/2011 11:00 AMPosted by Lylirra
Barber Shop? Are you more likely to keep playing because of it?

I'm not more likely to play because of barbershop but I AM more likely to have QUIT because my character's look was stupid when I started him.
I've just lost all my hopes for an appearance tab and I'm back to my old conclusion. I'll buy a new game card when the appearance tab is implemented. I bought a new game card recently because the Devs essentially said "It's on the way, just might not be perfect." That's better then telling me "Lol, we thought about it and it's just gonna be like barbershop. No one will use it."
Although this may not be what the Dev above meant but it certainly sounded like it.
I'm probably late to the party on this one, but for whatever reason, I was watching Blizzblues and thought this episode deserved to be in this thread.

Regarding the time "expense" of adding caster weapons to their casting animations:
Q: Would it be possible for city quartermasters to sell the same equipment that guards wear? Stats wouldn't matter. - Pokemonmasta (EU|English), Tajit (NA/ANZ)

    A: Cool idea. We'll talk about it.

I feel like this could be used for a potential Achievement reward..
Maybe a reward for City Defender?
Are there any plans for Legendary 1 handed weapons for DK's,Rogues and Enhancement Shamans?I think it would be nice to see 1 for every class;)
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.

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 love playing the caster classes. I do find it frustrating with the lack of integration with the wands. For a reasonable flow, why not make auto-attack for primary weapons AND wands to have the same casting animation? Keep casters to meleeing when they have nothing in their long-range slot.

Simply restrict non-cloth classes to not cast with primary weapons and have these weapons have a similar casting animation of the wands unless the wands are specifically being used.


A mage using a 1-handed sword to cast a poison bolt from a nature damage wand.
A warlock using a 2-handed staff to cast a fireball from a fire damage wand.
A priest using a 1-handed mace. to cast a shadow bolt from a shadow damage wand.
You can already change race and faction. How about a class change. I have an 85 warrior I absolutely hate.
How come Undead can't change their faces at the barber like you can in the create character screen. hope that changes ;) thanks for reading and maybe fixing this.
Perhaps your artists would be able to "put more detail in" if we actually had meshes for body and leg armor. Your artists feel the need to overcompensate with what they do have in order to achieve a silhouette that isn't embarrassing.

That being said, the new Tiers are... well it's best I didn't say. You've made Paladin gear in the past that was robe-like that still maintained at least some feeling of being class-appropriate. This time I really thought I was looking at a fire mage, and yet the mage's tier (hat, yes hat, it's cloth after all.) appears much more helm like than the hood the Paladins are sporting.

People aren't frustrated with a set of tiers having an overarching theme, people are frustrated with the fact that they have (yes have to, considering WoW's armor progression is 100% linear) wear something that has broken completely and utterly away from class aesthetic.

05/01/2011 08:38 AMPosted by Demonae
Will it cost Blizzard money to implement, YES! But make no mistake, it is the #1 requested change to the game on the forums, and has been for a long time.

Obviously whoever shoulders the burden (you can't really call it that) of implementing such a system would have to be payed, but I seriously doubt money is their concern with this one. It would be deathly simple to implement. Being able to visually gauge an opponent's gear level, or even what class they are (though who can tell with the armor designs lately) is most certainly the issue.
I would just like to say to the last questions that it isn't disappointing when you reuse art. For example, I love Cataclysm's Edge. It's disappoiting when you reuse art we don't like :P

Obviously you can't cater to everyone with this with in the aspect of reusing art or not. The only way is allowing the toons themselves to choose what art they wanna use. Something you could implement into professions.
I would really love to see more 1-handed weapons that get holstered on the characters back. As a caster, there is really no need to have a weapon on my belt. If it would be on my back it would look way more awesome with power torrent. Also I just think it looks more badass.
WAZ UP PEPPS no just kidding how do i get boa?
04/05/2011 12:16 PMPosted by Goarbane
every paladin in this game will be wearing some sort of judgement gear if the put the gear change thing in

Darn Skippy. I think one of the frustrating things about certain expansion patches is having to move to gear you dont really like. Cata? Meh. If the pallies look too much like warriors, you lose the "holy" feel. Or, as is now the case, you look like a bone covered psycho troll witch doctor. While it looks cool, where is the "holy warrior" aspect of that? And now my rogue will soon look like a glowing djinni reject. sigh. Its a matter of personal preference, of course, but some sets are bad, some so-so, some good, and occasionally Blizz hits it out of the park. Judgement gear was one of those times. Nothing else for pallies has been close, though I did like the ICC stuff (Armor and Robes, gotta love it). And I loved the frost witch set for shammies, all that shaggy leather and tundra skulls/horns. Great stuff. One last point - I'm a ROGUE, I'm STEALTHY. WHY DO I FREAKING GLOW IN THE DARK?????? lol

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