The latest BlizzCast is now up for listening or download. This episode is entirely focused on World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the game's third expansion. Zarhym, Nethaera and Lylirra sit down with a number of notable members of the World of Warcraft team, and even some who directly contribute to all of Blizzard's titles. There are a few tidbits dropped here and there throughout the podcast, so it's worth listening to all of it.
It kicks off with Zarhym chatting with World of Warcraft Lead Designers Cory Stockton and Alex Afrasiabi about the content and zone creation, new character threats and alliances in the expansion, and what they're most excited about digging into as players on December 7. Afrasiabi -- known as Valnoth from the forums -- even hints at future character development for King Varian Wrynn and Garrosh Hellscream, the new Warchief of the Horde. Plus he touches on Sylvanas Windrunner, stating that he's a really big fan of her and her story, and that "he doesn't trust her," dropping a hint that we may see even more of Sylvanas' evil side in the future.
It then transitions into Nethaera sitting down with Director of Audio Russell Brower and Senior Composer of Music and Sound Derek Duke, where they talk about the creation of the expansion's music, ambient sounds, the differences between music selected for the soundtrack and in-game, what the login screen music is intended for, and more.
The third segment focuses on voice acting with Producer of Casting and Talent Relations Andrea Toyias. Most notable from this portion of BlizzCast is the discovery that Toyias is a huge geek and gets very excited about voice over recording sessions. She mentions that two of her favorite sessions were recording the voices for Trade Prince Gallywix and King Genn Greymane, two characters she says the voice overs make much more interesting.
To close out the BlizzCast, Lylirra chats with Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street about all of the systems changes in Cataclysm, the challenges of some of the overhauls, how the process works, and much more. Extremely notable from this segment is Street's mention of the "ranged" slot for classes, and that they would actually like to get rid of it completely, but that it's such a large change that we probably won't see that until 5.0, which would be the World of Warcraft expansion after Cataclysm.
He also talks a bit about mounts to close things out and discusses how cool a spider mount could be, why the Horde guild mount changed from a thunderlizard to a scorpion, and how hard it's become to come up with new ideas for mounts. Oh, and while he didn't quite promise it, we can probably expect the next "pony" or "moose" meme on the forums to be "Ghostcrawler promised me a musk ox." Maybe.