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  • More Burning Crusade News...

    Originally posted by
    World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
    22-Sep-2006 Senior VP of product development at Blizzard, Frank Pearce, takes us through the Dark Portal

    World of Warcraft fans are excitedly spitting frothy expulsions in anticipation of The Burning Crusade, Blizzard's first expansion for its world-dominating MMORPG. The massive add-on features a plethora of WoW goodness including new zones, dungeons, heaps of gear and items, flying mounts and, of course, new races, and it's guaranteed massive sales - World of Warcraft has an active subscriber base that's topped the whopping 6 million figure, after all.

    The Burning Crusade should be with us November/December and Blizzard was recently poking the expansion in the eyes of thoroughly impressed games journalists here in Old Blighty. Naturally, we took the opportunity to grill the developer on its latest addition to the WoW world - answering questions, Frank Pearce, Senior VP of product development at Blizzard.

    Can you explain more about the world event that's going to be opening up the Dark Portal?

    Frank Pearce: No. Details are to be revealed.

    What are the first things players will find themselves doing as soon as they go through the Dark Portal?

    Frank Pearce: Well, there'll actually be a number of options available but I think a lot of the players, right through the gate, are going to be doing quests from the respective faction powers in the Hellfire Peninsula. I think a fair number of players are also going to want to head off to the dungeon instances right away. We want to get you right into it.

    Will there be any... what I noticed is that the Alliance hub and the Horde hub are quite close together. Is the idea that it'll be one almighty scrap?

    Frank Pearce: I don't know about an almighty scrap, but all the Outland zones are going to be contested territory. And there'll be outdoor PvP objectives, or goals to have outdoor PvP objectives in all those zones. Whether or not we'll hit them all up at once with PvP objectives remains to be seen. But that's our goal.

    The outdoor PvP objectives in the zone of Nagrand involve the town of Halaa If you don't control that town, if your faction doesn't control that town then you'll have PvP objectives to kill the guards and whatnot and part of that will involve strafing runs over the town 'on rails' where you'll drop bombs. That should be fun.

    What about flying mounts? Will they operate in the same way was ground mounts, in the way you buy them...?

    Frank Pearce: Yeah, that's the plan. You buy them from vendors, there may be some prestige drops from certain instance bosses and some PvP rewards as well. And Warlocks and Paladins don't get their mounts for free anymore.

    There's surely going to be a mass influx of Blood Elf and Draenei characters when the expansion launches. Have you worked out ways to handle/tackle that?

    Frank Pearce: Well, we'll have to see what happens. I don't think you're going to see a big imbalance in terms of a lot of players rolling Blood Elves or Draenei and abandoning their existing avatars. People have invested a lot of time and energy into their existing avatars.

    In what ways will Shaman and Paladin classes change now that you're making them available to both Alliance and Horde factions?

    Frank Pearce: A lot of that will change right out the gate with the launch of The Burning Crusade because we're introducing new spells and abilities for all the classes and extending the talent trees. A lot of the homogenisation of the Paladin and Shaman occurred as a result of their roles in raids... we'll be trying to create raid experiences that hopefully will provide people with alternatives and viable alternatives in talent builds and whatnot.

    What's happening with, or happened to, the hero classes?

    Frank Pearce: Hero classes. Yeah. So, hero classes have fallen into the category of feature backlog. We don't have any immediate plans for hero classes, it's not part of The Burning Crusade. It's something we'd like to evaluate more going forward. But, you know, if and when.

    Why did you decide not to introduce any brand new classes in The Burning Crusade?

    Frank Pearce: Well, it wasn't so much a factor of what we decided not to do, as where we decided to draw the line and say 'This is more than enough'. Two new player races, 13 exterior zones, at least seven dungeon instances, the PvP arena system, outdoor PvP objectives - not to mention the items and the functionality that's just taken for granted and all the new talents and spells and thousands of items and gear on top of that. Our hope is that we chose to draw the line at the right point.

    Can you be drawn at all on what's going to happen in the Caverns of Time?

    Frank Pearce: You can ask, and I'll tell you you'll have to stay tuned for more details at a later date.

    Any idea when that later date will be?

    Frank Pearce: Soon, by Blizzard's definition (laughs).

    Blizzard said recently that the plan is to release WoW expansions on a yearly basis...

    Frank Pearce: That's our goal. (IE: Yes)

    How set in stone is that plan, and how far into the future are you looking in terms of overall WoW development?

    Frank Pearce: Well, the goal is concrete. That's our goal, and we've publicly stated that. Whether or not we'll be able to achieve that goal remains to be seen. An expansion set of the scope of The Burning Crusade is a lot of content to deliver on, on an annual basis. We're working to improve our production methods, to try and be more efficient on delivering and creating quality content. But at the end of the day, the quality of the experience is more important than the timeline it's delivered in. It's our goal to do it in that timeline but, if it's not ready, then... [sounds, on our dictaphone, like someone was eating a big bag of crisps at this point so we couldn't quite hear what was said. No one was actually eating a big bag of crisps, but that's what it sounds like].

    And as far as how long we'd do that, that depends on the community, right? Because if players are playing WoW, we certainly want to continue to support it.

    Is TBC going to available via digital distribution as well as traditional retail?

    Frank Pearce: That's a really good question. Actually, it's something we're talking about. The retailers, and our relationship with traditional retailers, is something that's really important to us. We are doing digital distribution of the original client in North America, and it's something we're talking about for Europe. But no final plans there yet. It's something we're talking about, but no final plans for The Burning Crusade.
    Neutral capturable town that involved bombing runs to get control?
    No more free paladin/warlock mounts at 70?
    Plans for yearly releases of expansion packs?
    Last edited by Tarenth; 09-23-2006, 05:55 AM.
    My sanity is not in question...
    It was a confirmed casualty some time ago.

    Light, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they ticked me off.

  • #2
    Re: More Burning Crusade News...

    it is amazing that they can say so much and say so little :)


    • #3
      Re: More Burning Crusade News...

      That's what they're trained to do. Answere the question without actually being specific.

      |TG-Defiant| - It's you and me against the world. We attack at dawn.

      You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you.


      • #4
        Re: More Burning Crusade News...

        Originally posted by Vaneck on woweurope
        We’d like to share the following Honour changes that will be introduced with The Burning Crusade:

        • Players participating in Battlegrounds and outdoor world pvp gain honor points (by killing players and getting bonus honour from battleground or world objectives).
        • Players will be able to spend honour points on special honour rewards.
        • There are lots of honour rewards (armour, jewelry, trinkets, gems, weapons, mounts, etc), that include totally new stuff for level 70, including all the old stuff from battleground reputations and the old honour rewards.
        • The level 70 honour rewards are not currently planned to have item levels as high as the best raid or arena stuff.

        • If you're on an arena team, you gain arena points at the end of each week based on your arena team's rating (higher rating equals more points, lower rating gives you fewer points).
        • You spend arena points on arena rewards.
        • Arena rewards will all require level 70. And it will be seriously phat lewt, which will also most likely be more PvP oriented.
        • The arena rewards will include 5-piece armour sets and weapons (but not other stuff like gems, mounts, trinkets, jewelry, etc).

        After the Expansion, the old Honor system will be completely removed and players who achieved ranks in the old Honour system will be able to choose to display their highest gained Rank as a title. We are interested in reintroducing these titles in the future but we have no specific plans in place yet.

        There will be new titles that players can earn through the Arena system and these titles will only last for the duration of each Arena Season.

        Arenas are currently planned to be cross-realm just like the Battlegrounds. The Battlegroups should be the same as they are now.

        ZOMG! I want to get a high PvP rank now just to wander around with Commander or something as a title. :D

        Also I guess that means while the current level 60 PvP set could be considered T1.5 (somewhere between T1 and T2 for most damage dealing classes) the level 70 PvP set might be around T2.5 or T3.5. It won't be as good as T3 or T4 depending on what 'the best' set for raids would be at the moment, but pretty damn close.

        Also...the ability to purchase [item]Grand Marshal's Warhammer[/item] with honor? w00t!
        My sanity is not in question...
        It was a confirmed casualty some time ago.

        Light, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they ticked me off.


        • #5
          Re: More Burning Crusade News...

          I am sure the Grand Marshall Weapons are going to be insanely priced in honor points, but I agree, the option to buy stuff with accumulated Honor points is a major improvement for those of us who don't want to PvP all the time but would like to see benefits for the time we do spend doing it.
          Sajaman/|TG-Irr|Sajier - WoW Resto Shaman, BF2/BF2142 Assault/Medic

          | | |


          • #6
            Re: More Burning Crusade News...

            Its just an assumption, but my guess would be that the 'insanely high price' won't exactly be that high or insane.

            Example: If you hit PvP rank 13 you've probably wasted away weeks, if not months, of your life in the PvP grind. However, you don't get just once piece of equipment, but 3 pieces of the epic PvP armor set.

            I'd say the weapons are priced around 5 million and each piece of armor at 800,000 to 1,000,000. Since you can get a little over 150,000 in a good day of PvP (if you put your mind to it) that's just about 5-10 days of good effort per piece of armor. If you're a casual PvPer it'll take you a little longer to get there, but its still not unachieveable like getting rank 14 in the current system.
            My sanity is not in question...
            It was a confirmed casualty some time ago.

            Light, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they ticked me off.


            • #7
              Re: More Burning Crusade News...

              Oh agreed whole heartedly Tarenth, I love the change, I think it provides real rewards for people who can't or don't want to PvP for hours every day. No matter the price of the items, I think this is a major improvement.
              Sajaman/|TG-Irr|Sajier - WoW Resto Shaman, BF2/BF2142 Assault/Medic

              | | |




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