Recently PC Gamer interviewed Tom Chilton alias Kalgan, one of three Lead Designer's. Kalgan usually focus on PVP oriented things and is known as the 'Blizzard PVP guru'. If you're able to buy PC Gamer in a store near you, I highly recommend you get the latest issue, since it's filled with Lich King goodness.
One of the things that Kalgan unveil is that the spell-damage only type of gear will get replaced by a whole new system in Wrath of the Lich King. This is certainly interesting and fortunately he share further information about it:
PC Gamer: What else is changing?
Tom Chilton: We're also going to be doing away with spell-damage only type gear. We'll be moving to a system that, as part of your talents, will let players convert healing into spell-damage and vice-versa as part of their talents. That way they can use the exact same gear, but their talents just adapt what it does.
So, converting spell-damage to healing and the other way around is going to be a reality come Lich King. I'm not exactly sure how to react to this just yet, but it's definitely one way to solve some of the underlying issues with gear and it might balance things out or go the opposite direction -- unbalance things.
If done right, with the help of talents being able to go the spell-damage route or healing without having to change your items.. well, it's great! This will make it much less annoying for players and there will be no special need to carry around many different sets. At least not a spell-damage only set and a healing set.
In the very latest issue of PC Gamer UK there's a Wrath of the Lich King preview and interview with J. Allen Brack, the Lead Producer of the Lich King expansion.
J. Allen Brack (JAB) tells us about the biggest lesson they learned from The Burning Crusade. He say that he felt Illidan wasn't involved in the overall storyline of TBC, they wanted Illidan to be more interwoven into the plot and continue being there as players advanced further into Outlands. This is something he want to work on with Wrath of the Lich King, Arthas will be more involved from start to "finish".
I felt the same way in Burning Crusade, while I enjoyed most of the aspects, I always wondered why Illidan mainly remained in his Black Temple and wasn't out there more. It's good to hear that I'm not alone on thinking like this. Lich King will be more grim and darker with Arthas looming around -- a welcome and interesting change, also something I agree with since I played some Lich King at Games Convention last year and it felt darker, more grim and simply "cooler" (no pun intended).
Another thing is that he absolutely feel they are getting better at making World of Warcraft -- especially since 95% of the development team that made Burning Crusade, are now working on Lich King. And with time we learn a lot, this is a given. All lessons they've learned should show as you enter Northrend. Time will tell... time will tell.
Now, one of the biggest concerns is content being consumed too fast and the lack of it afterwards. JAB comment on this and feel it's the greatest challenge of World of Warcraft pretty much (from a Blizzard standpoint) -- to provide players with enough content. Due to the high standards of quality Blizzard have set, they just can't pump out content as fast as players might like. On the other side of the coin, you will be greeted with quality content when it finally is out. It's worth it, wouldn't you say? Or do you feel they should release content unfinished with more bugs?
There's a lot more and some of it have been mentioned in other interviews, articles and what not, but it's still a great read and if you're at the least curious about the future of World of Warcraft, check out the full interview.