BlizzCon 2010 Liveblog: WoW Dungeons and Raids

This is the transcript of iTZKooPA’s liveblog coverage of the WoW Dungeons and Raids panel at Blizzcon 2010.

1:34 And we’re off for the Dungeons and Raids panel.

1:35 We’re seeing some of the beta content for the SFK and Deadmines, including the bosses.

1:35 “A few things might have changed in Deadmines.” Such as new quest lines!

1:35 Classic Dungeon revamp goals:

1:35 Make less confusing, more compact rather than long for the sake of being long.

1:36 Shorter, BRD, Maradon.

1:36 Main goal, more fun. Methods of doing so…

1:37 Making more of the classic dungeons winged, which started with the classic dungeon Scarlet Monastery.

1:37 Same style, but different dungeons that can be done in chunks.

1:37 Uldaman classic map is shown. Very long and mazey.

1:38 Now showing the revamp, far more straightforward (too straightforward?) with obvious wings.

1:38 Still has the same content. Old back entrance is now the beginning of the second wing.

1:39 Maraudon now, the incredibly confusing green, orange, purple mess is shown.

1:39 New winged version is easier to see where you are.

1:40 They expect a lot of new people to role new races, duh, so revamping these old dungeons is very important.

1:40 The second method is cutting content :sadface:

1:40 Nip and tucking parts of dungeons that are pointless, too much trash, walking.

1:41 Sunken Temple map is shown, crowd cheers.

1:41 Giant dungeon on the z-axis. Think they can make it better…by taking off the bottom level.

1:42 Wow, it’s very trimmed. But they say the players won’t be losing much. “No one really loses.”

1:42 Wailing Caverns, another map that looks very unwieldy.

1:43 They just cut a large chunk off the right side of the map. Moving the bosses to new rooms.

1:43 Old dungeons didn’t have rooms designed for a boss like they do now. So it’s easy to move and revamp a room while making it more logical.

1:44 Corey’s done. Time for Raid chat with Scott Mercer.

1:44 Raid Philosophy:

1:44 More raid zones on ship of Cata!

1:45 Coolest encounters yet. Just started beta testing the encounters. “Super excited” reports.

1:45 Bite-sized chunks. Finishing raids in one night. More closure, easier to schedule and manage.

1:46 Content for everyone. Normal/Heroic style of raiding. Really liked the way ICC and the Lich King turned out.

1:46 Flexible. Flexible raid lock system, which is the new topic.

1:47 Ulduar encounters and their flexibility, tower, drakes, etc, are the basis for the ideas.

1:47 Then Trial of the Crusader and its choices. ICC followed that by encounter-by-encounter settings. Flexibility trends.

1:48 How the flexibility works now: RaidID’s GONE!

1:48 Normal difficulty raid progression is saved on your char. Can join multiple normal raids of any size – 10/25.

1:49 Key things is you can only defeat each boss once per week.

1:49 Heroic difficulty works like it did in Wrath, it’s a bit more strict than normal.

1:49 You can drop from heroic down to normal if needed though.

1:50 Many obvious reasons to add the flexibility, easier to schedule, easier to show up (odd schedules), real life won’t mess with raiding!

1:51 We are seeing the new raid pane with the new raid info and a list of all the encounters telling us if we’ve defeated or not.

1:51 “Trying to be as clear as possible.”

1:51 The UI needs some work (my opinion).

1:52 Back over to Cory Stockton. You can shift-click the raid locks to send to people, just like loot.

1:52 Patch 4.1.0 Preview time!

1:52 Firelands Raid:

1:53 First patch raid. It’ll be part of the Elemental Plane of Fire. It’s part of Hyjal which has two starting zones (like Wrath had).

1:54 Ragnaros is trying to re-enter to burn down the World Tree. We’re going to go to his plane, which will let us ACTUALLY kill him. Will introduce more backstory to Rags.

1:54 Raid is to have 7 bosses, shooting to have it doable in a night. More raids at launch will have us doing a few raids a week.

1:55 We’ve got the raid layout now. Lots of lava, naturally.

1:55 Outdoor area mostly, then we run in to Sulf. Keep to fight Rags.

1:56 We will be able to use mounts while outside. Mix of locations allow mixed art and encounter types.

1:56 And here comes the concept art.

1:57 Abyssal Maw dungeon now. They plan to release new 5-mans alongside raids from now on.

1:58 This is in the Elemental Plane of Water. Nothing like The Oculus.

1:58 We’ll have four bosses.

1:59 We’ll be doing the underwater fighting thing here. Still seems so odd.

1:59 They’ve developed new tech to make it feel like we’re underwater, but that it’ll “work out well.”

2:00 Now we are seeing some Abyssal Maw concept art. It looks familiar, I think we saw it last year.

2:00 Oh, new feature time.

2:00 Enhanced Maps, was supposed to ship with Cata but they couldn’t get it done.

2:00 Will come in a later patch – didn’t confirm 4.1.0.

2:01 The new maps will help keep people from being lost. An extension of the maps we received for Northrend maps.

2:02 The enhanced maps are a lot more than just a map. We get detailed boss info including lore, loot and even abilities.

2:02 Basically, the new map system will eliminate a lot of alt-tabbing to check sites. Oddly, we’ll be able to see these abilities before killing a boss.

2:03 “We think this will be a huge feature for the game.”

2:03 3D portraits will be included as well.

2:03 Enhanced maps is for Dungeons & Raids.

2:05 That’s all the info they are going to deliver, but we’re getting a video preview that comes with what’s shipping in Cata.

2:05 We’ll have screenshots to add later for you.

2:05 A lot of dragons, including the blind dragon. Cho is here.

2:06 Descendants of the Elemental Lords.

2:06 Four Winds has some crazy awesome art. Looks very Middle Eastern/Babylonian inspired. Feature wind, of course.

2:06 Q&A time.

2:07 LFG question – Any plans to making a more stringent looting system to get rid of ninja, etc?

2:07 Cory says there will definitely be changes, including class-based restrictions. It’s in the beta already.

2:08 You may be restricted by you spec even. “An area we’ve known we have to work on.”

2:08 10/25 raid question – How to balance the difficulties getting the same loot?

2:09 We think we can balance them perfectly, we have tools.

2:09 “There will be some bumps and bruises along the way.” Some may have 10 hardier one boss, then 25 is more difficult the next.

2:09 Getting them as close as we can.

2:10 Tuning question – Making the difficulty jumps more linear, not easy, easy, IMPOSSIBLE.

2:11 The Lich King was purposely more difficult.

2:11 “We try to make it a nice line. The further in the harder it gets.”

2:11 The main issue is that group composition is often what makes something really hard for one guild and easy for another.

2:12 Flexible raid lockout system – How will this mess with PuGs if they can just go in and out easily?

2:12 “That will play out over time. Initially, it’ll be rough.”

2:13 As players learn more encounter, you’ll see a much better PuG experience than you did before.

2:13 Best of all, if you do get a crappy one, you won’t be screwed for the whole week.

2:13 “Yes, it’s easier to break up, but it’s easier to get new people.” Overall, it’ll be a net positive.

2:14 Legendary weapons – We have 10/25 lockouts combined, are there plans to go back to Ulduar and ICC to make them drop everywhere?

2:14 “I don’t know the answer off hand.” They will have to check. “Great question.”

2:14 Dungeon – Are you changing BRD as well? You didn’t mention it.

2:15 We’ve trimmed a lot of “the suck.” Breaking up is very tricky because it was cleanly made in the first place. But “I put in some teleporters.” Crowd cheers.

2:15 Cata dungeons have teleports, DM, SFK, to lessen death runs.

2:16 Graveyards are very close now, max distance is a 30s run.

2:16 “We want you playing the game, doing the encounters.”

2:17 Guild/PUG question – Has a raid observation or queue system ever been investigated?

2:17 Great question, IMO.

2:18 “We don’t have that planned, but it sounds like a cool idea.”

2:18 That’s along the lines of LFG dungeon system for raids. It can be very messy due to the complexity of raid encounters.

2:18 We don’t have a great solution for queuing, but observation mode is a good idea.

2:19 I have no idea what this guy is trying to ask.

2:20 I think he’s asking about the “stupid” people that don’t get out of the fire.

2:21 Blizz is attempting to make these issues more clear, to tell the player what’s happening. So far they’ve been making things more visual.

2:21 Visual meters instead of a stacking buff number, for example.

2:21 Blind dragon, where you have to be quiet, has one of these meters.

2:22 They don’t like encounters getting so complicated that it needs to be explained forever.

2:22 Is there any plan to make Legendary wpns guild bound?

2:23 That’s currently not planned, but it is an idea that came up.

2:23 When they began looking into it, it was realized that it was more complicated than it was worth.

2:24 So much extra design would have to be done for something that only effects a few dozen people. Legendaries will be for one person for the foreseeable future.

2:24 Last question, probably.

2:25 [Comment From Amatera: ]
How many neckbeards are sitting in your immediate vicinity?

2:25 Far too many, Amatera.

2:25 Last question is a loot question for 25man. Turns out he just didn’t know about the new badge system.

2:26 The REAL last question is clarification on the personal raid lockout.

2:26 And we’re done. I need to go stuff my piehole.

2:26 Till the next panel. iTZKooPA out.