A recent wave of developer interviews have produced a lot of general information about MoP and what Blizzard thought about it internally. With patch 5.4 about to drop, and work to begin on the next expansion, it seems like a good time to look at some of the hits and misses over the last couple patches and expansions.
The longer version of the interviews is summarized here. Below I highlight some points that I found most interesting.
- Garrosh will be dropping heirloom items (weapons). For hunters, the weapon is Hellscream’s Warbow. And the first heirloom you receive will be for your current spec, but then you’ll be able to receive any of them at random. This should give some players a reason to keep farming Garrosh even as the expansion nears. Except for Frostheim, whose Dwarven curses at another damn bow can be heard half a country away.
- The “flex” concept from flex raiding is being considered for expansion. It could apply to scenarios, and they’ve also discussed upping the scaling limit to 30 players. I love the flex idea, so anything like this seems cool to me.
- Proving Grounds could also be expanded upon in one of several ways, including making it catered to more than simply endgame players. Blizzard has expressed this interest if Proving Grounds prove to be popular.
- In general, the popularity of a gameplay mode seems to drive new content. For example, pet battles are very popular. Ergo, Blizzard wants to expand the available content for it. If players are willing to commit to a particular new mechanic or mode, Blizzard will continue to expand and refine it. This seems to be the case for flex raiding, pet battles, proving grounds, brawler’s guild, and even things like old-world content, which Blizzard has tried to make more accessible with each expansion.
- Leveling professions should be a bit easier in the next expansion. As level caps increase, and grinding continues, this is good news to many players.
- Blizz will be rolling out several new character models in the coming months.
- Button bloat is not a problem limited to hunters. Several classes have begun to experience this. One dev stated that the outcry that would happen from not adding new abilities every time we level for an expansion would be another large problem. So there isn’t always a perfect solution to this issue.
- ilvl squish is already being tested internally, and is likely to happen in the next expansion.
- One dev stated that in terms of total subscriptions, Diablo III had a bigger impact on WoW than any MMO. As we’ve seen, the trend in subscriptions has slowly dwindled, but it’s still a MASSIVE player base. And Blizzard has begun collecting realms together so that the experience feels as populated as ever.
- The devs are happier with MoP than they were with Cataclysm. This seems like a no-brainer – there have been MANY new gameplay modes and improvements in MoP – but Cata wasn’t entirely a bust. Changes to the old world were still cool, and things like revamping old instances for endgame players continue to be popular and fun for long-time players.
There’s a LOT more to talk about; this is just a taste. And we’ll undoubtedly receive more news in the coming months. So go take a look at the full summary (link above). What caught your eye?