The Blizzard insider recently interviewed World of Warcraft lead producer J. Allen Brack and art director Chris Robinson about The Burning Crusade, the most current patch Fury of the Sunwell and what the future has in store with Wrath of the Lich King.
Insider:Do you see a lot of parallels between Naxxramas and Sunwell Plateau?
J. Allen Brack:
J. Allen Brack:I see Sunwell Plateau more as an evolution of what we did with Naxxramas. Like I said, Sunwell Plateau serves a dual purpose of concluding The Burning Crusade’s story as well as representing the ultimate challenge for PvE content. In that regard, you could say it’s the Naxxramas of The Burning Crusade. But there are also some noticeable differences reflecting what the team learned from developing Naxxramas: Sunwell Plateau definitely has a more focused layout than the massive expanse of Naxxramas. Naxx’s immense size was one of its defining characteristics, and that was not a bad thing in itself. It allowed us to populate the necropolis with some of the game’s most memorable raid bosses, but at the same time I think its size made it difficult for some players to fully experience the dungeon. Sunwell Plateau’s smaller scale will let more players access the raid and give them a reasonable chance of clearing it before the launch of Wrath of the Lich King.
In addition, we consider Magisters’ Terrace to be an integral part of the complete Sunwell package -- a small group experience that, along with the slew of new daily quests, new badge rewards, and new crafted items, shows our continued commitment to providing meaningful, rewarding solo and small group content.
Insider: Speaking of Wrath of the Lich King -- How is Northrend progressing? What are your feelings about going from the world style of Outland to the very different Northrend setting?
Chris Robinson:Coming up with the high concept look of The Burning Crusade was a great experience, and as a team we really enjoyed working in this style. For a designer, it’s always a breath of fresh air to have some new elements to play with. So naturally it’s great to now have this opportunity to go back to the more traditional elements of fantasy that comprise the look and feel of Wrath of the Lich King, even though this poses new challenges in and of itself. Northrend has a very Nordic, gothic fantasy feel that’s a departure from the wild scenescapes of Outland.
One way we’re attempting to reflect these new visual themes is by making sure all the item rewards of Northrend faithfully embody the new style. From the get-go, players will earn trophies of war that are very “Northrendy” -- for example, say, a two-handed axe that’s made of a dragon jaw, covered with spikes, leather, and other traditional materials. We want players to see the new gear and think, “Yeah, that guy’s been to Northrend.”
Check out the full Blizzard Insider Interview here!
WoW Arena Tournament interview with Blizzard's Lead Designer Tom Chilton and Joong Kim
GameSpy: The World of Warcraft Arena Tournament has been a great excuse for us to transform the WoW players on staff from emoting clickers into full-fledged PvPers. It's been a difficult transition to say the least. It's a whole new game for us. So let's talk about the Arena Tournament, and what it means for World of Warcraft.
Tom Chilton, Lead Designer: The big objective is to build WoW into a viable eSports game platform. We feel like with the introduction of the arena team and the arena system, we've got a way to set ourselves up for competitive eSports. We've been pretty happy with how the system has been turning out, it's a very popular system within WoW. It's fostered a strong sense of competition and community within that. It's turned out as a real sub-game within the game.
GameSpy: Why eSports and why now?
Tom Chilton: Before this, we didn't really have a good forum for competitive eSports. WoW PvP was just kind of there. For example, our battlegrounds always had the limitations of the Horde having to play against Alliance, it was very themed toward the conflict within the game itself. So it didn't lend itself all that well to an eSports kind of setup. It works with arenas, and we feel like arenas can break through that.
Full interview is available at Gamespy here.
Epic Gems down to 10 Badges (Armory data)
Once your realm reaches Phase 4, Shaani the "Jewelcrafting Supplies" vendor will spawn, however she won't sell epic gems until the Alchemy Lab is completed. Back on the PTRs you could buy these gems for 15 Badges of Justice, but a new price of 10 Badges appeared on the armory