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Saturday, October 23, 2010

[4.0.1] BlizzCon 2010 Notes - Day 1

I was not lucky enough to get tickets for BlizzCon, but I did fork out the cash for the Virtual tickets.  Thankfully, RayV enables me to check out the BlizzCon events when I have the time...so, perhaps a little belatedly, here come my notes on the first day of BlizzCon.

Disclaimer: I am only going to highlight the stuff that resonated with me.

The Virtual Ticket Kinda Sucks

Buffering and freezes were pretty commonplace, far too commonplace.  This was even worse, given that we have absurd fiber optic access here.

And pausing was a crap shoot.  There was a pretty good chance that if you paused it, it would never unpause.

It was also hard to watch what I wanted when I wanted.  I was going to watch the WoW Tournament, and all I saw was a screen showing what match-ups were next.

For the price and having to squat at my PC for hours to watch it...the level of service quality makes me a sad panda.

Moonkin Hatchling Pet

So, if you took a Moonkin and made it cute, would you get the following?


Hmm, maybe that's more freaky than cute.  What will no doubt be cute is the Moonkin Hatchling that was announced as a future pet.  It was announced in the same breath as the Panderan Monk pet, so my assumption is that it will be purchasable like the Panderan Monk was.  I wonder if it will have a charitable component too.

Dungeons & Raids

Some notes from Dungeons and raids.
  • Dungeons
    • Quests for dungeons right at the entrance
    • Shadowfang Keep and Deadmines made into climactic ends for their zones
    • Breaking old dungeons into wings
    • Trimming Sunken Temple to make it a lot more navigable and digestible
    • Trimming some of the excessive dead space in the Wailing Caverns
  • Raids
    • More raid zones
    • Funky new mechanics, e.g., sneaking past a monster
    • More bite-sized chunks
    • "Content for everyone" (more casual vs. more hardcore)
    • More flexible raiding (flexible raid locks)
    • Normal raid difficulty progress is saved on your character (you can only defeat each boss once a week)
    • Heroic raid difficulty works just like Lich King, locked to a specific lockout
  • 4.1.0 preview
    • Firelands Raid - Elemental plane of fire; Ragnaros' home; 7 bosses
    • Abyssal Maw Dungeon - Elemental plane of water
      • Adding mechanic so that when underwater and you touch the floor, you stick to the ground and walk along it (as opposed to swimming)
    • Enhanced Maps (could not finish for Cataclysm release)
      • Gone back and done 2D maps for every game in the dungeon
      • Detailed information on the boss - lore, loot, abilities
      • 3D animated portraits (for the bosses)
      • Works in both dungeons and raids
  • Q & A
    • Looting? More stringent on class constraints.
    • Old legendary fragment drops rate change?  With reduced lockouts, can they increase the rate?  Going to look into it.
    • BRD changes?  It's very tricky to break it up, so we put in some teleporters.
    • Side note: Graveyards are super close, none farther than 30 seconds away, most near the instance portal
    • Spectator mode to let extra players be able to watch the raid even though they can't attend the raid (e.g., raiders #26-31 can watch from someone's perspective)? Sounds cool.
    • Any plans for guild-bound Legendaries?  Thus far, our view is that the cost outweighs the benefits.
    • We get the same number of loot 10 (2) vs. 25 (5), what about the "more lucrative" claim? You get more Justice points.
That last one raises a point of interest.  So, more lucrative means more justice points.  As a fan of rewarding 25s, I am a little disappointed.  Here's hoping that those extra Justice points are actually significant.

Tournaments

Watching this made me long for playing in the arena. /pine

It's not surprising, but it is still amusing to see every team's certainty that they will win.  I only watched the first match because it was already late (I was not able to watch everything live, so I was behind the curve).

The match up was MLS (they kept calling them "the Korean MLS" team, so I guess there is another one named that) vs. *aAa*.  MLS was...an MLS team (Mage 'Lock Shaman).  *aAa* ("Against All Authority) was a Druid(Resto)/Shaman(Elem)/Warlock team.  Both Warlocks were Soul Link builds with Fel Domination (big surprise, huh?).  The Mage was Frost (another big surprise, huh?).

The lag out on the first match was...amusing, but I also felt bad for the players, as the match was well underway.  The first match (that counted) was exciting to watch.  It was in Dalaran sewers and both teams did a lot of good work, but *aAa* eventually pulled out the win.

By contrast, the second match was maddeningly long.  After a while, I just wanted someone to die so the game would end.  Very close to the time for a draw, *aAa* managed to get a kill.

So, the entire time, one of the commentators kept suggesting the best strategy for MLS over and over and over and over and...seriously man.  Well, in the third match, they pretty much seemed to do what he had said.  That said, their strategy may simply have been "wait until Barkskin is on cooldown and push the Druid really hard."

Then match 4 started...and lagged...and started again.   It was pretty long.  It was Nagrand, both teams played very defensively, and were very good at it.  There was so much pillar humping that I think some sort of sexual crime was committed.  But eventually, *aAa* focused the Mage when he didn't have Ice Block available, taking the match and the overall win.

Of course, this all has me wondering if I will be happy PvPing in Cata.  It seems that Feral should be better at PvP now.  I hope that perception is correct.

Well, that's the last show I am watching tonight (early morning*, whatever), so...good night. :)

* - my business trip this week really hosed my sleep cycle.

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