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Ask Questions of the World of Warcraft Team

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the can-i-get-a-rez-please? dept.

Role Playing (Games) 1000

You may have already heard of Blizzard's most recent title. World of Warcraft was released in November of last year to high critical praise and a favourable player reaction. While technical issues were a problem for the first few months of retail service, prompt patching and additional world servers have left the game in excellent shape. World of Warcraft has since gone on to become not only the largest MMORPG in the United States, but also the world, with 3.5 million subscribers as of July 21st. Given all this, the likelihood that Slashdot readers would be interested in asking the development team some questions seemed pretty high. The team has kindly offered to take some time out of their extremely busy schedules to answer questions. So, feel free to ask whatever question is burning in your heart. Please stick to World of Warcraft related topics, and only ask one question per comment. We'll take the best of the lot and pass them on to the Team. Their answers will be posted when we've gotten them back.

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WHY? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323477)

Why did you invent something so good that it drains the life out of anyone who touches it and turns them into mindless WoW slaves? You fiends! Even crack cocaine has nothing on WoW.

why (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323480)

Why won't you nerf pallys?

Which Demographic (1, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323483)

To Which Camp Do You See Yourselves?
  • 1337 c0d3rz w1th m4dd3 5ski11z, t-shirts and jeans, cold pizza for breakfast, drive a 84 Celica with the back seat crammed with McD's/Jack in the Box/Burger King bags, work from 10 AM to 3 AM and drink massive quantities of Coffee and/or Redbull/Rockstar/etc., live with parents or rent a dark and sinister fortress of squalitude, wonder what you'd do on a date assuming you ever had time for/got one and have a maxed out overclocked PC at home with liquid nitrogen cooling.
  • BSCS, suit and tie, eat to stay fit, drive a recent Volvo you wash once a week, 8 to 5, spring water from a bottle, live in a 3 bedroom house or condo, in a stable relationship, only enough personal technology to get you through personal business.

wow cheat (3, Interesting)

AlexTheBeast (809587) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323488)

Many long-term users were troubled when people like MickeyMouse publically described the the recent duping cheat. [tech-recipes.com] I think many WoW users would like to know what steps the administration and code gurus took to correct the problem. Do you get a call from your pissed-off boss at 3 am in the morning?

Just one question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323489)

Will it run Linux?

Re:Just one question (1)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323595)

Will it run Linux?
Fixed: Will linux run it?
I guess more appropriately, since Cedega runs the game without many major pitfalls or bottlenecks, does Blizzard plan to officially support a natively compiled- or at the very least cedega-wrapper compiled- version of WoW, including but not limited to patch testing on cedega, closer integration with linux-based systems (or even XFree in general. Yay for OSX!)?
I haven't bought the game yet partially because I hear it's addictive like crack, but mostly because I'm not completely convinced of the functionality on my linux system running cedega. I would love to see a native linux build (which may also further the use of linux as a gaming platform)

Addiction (5, Interesting)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323493)

How do you guys react to all the negative press we've been hearing lately about the actions of gamers who have a severe addiction to your game?

Economic Monitoring... (5, Interesting)

nweaver (113078) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323495)

How much economic monitoring do you do? Both in-game and on the secondary market (eBay)? Have you considered working with an economist ( Steven D. Levitt comes to mind, but there are dozens of others as well) to study some of these phenomenon?

OK, I have a question. (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323496)

What the hell where you thinking with the Darkmoon Fair? Can I at least get an epic t-shirt that says "I went to the Darkmoon Fair and all I got was this stupid Jubling"?

SuperShammy (1)

blinkless (835747) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323503)

So, what was it like being the first lvl 60 Tauren sham*BLAM**THUD*....

whoa (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323504)

Few today haven't felt the touch of censorship that is Michael Sims's modus operandi. Anything labelled subversive by this fascist editor is immediately moderated to -1 and its poster's account subjected to all sorts of terrible modifications meant to make it impossible to reveal the truth about Michael Sims. Truth that I, in this exposé, will reveal to you.

Michael Sims: What You Aren't Supposed to Know Daddy's Little Boy

Having killed his mother in childbirth, Michael was left with only his father to raise him-- a man with well-documented social disorders and sick sexual fetishes.

During his youth, Michael Sr. was known by the nickname "Mikey the Twink," a reference to his thin, hairless body, and chest that was smaller than his waist, like a young boy's. The crowd Mikey the Twink ran with was more than just a little questionable. How many times would you have been allowed to arrive home at midnight with your clothes torn and semen leaking out of your bruised mouth? Well, this was San Francisco, and evidently Michael Sr. got away with this behavior while he was growing up gay on the mean streets of the Faggot Sex Capitol of the world.

Fastforward to middle age, and this homosexual cock-lusting faggot is left with a son to rear. No wonder the Michael Sims we all know is so angry and apt to censor!

Growing Up Fast

By the age of 13, Michael Sims had endured years of sexual abuse at the hands of his father and other realtives-- let's be frank about this!

Michael was forced to suck his father's erect penis while his "Aunt" Jack would penetrate Michael's anus with his 5" thick throbbing meatpole. All while "Father" O'Reilly (yes, the same publisher Tim O'Reilly of Open Source fame) videotaped the gay orgies with a tripod as he sodomozed young Michael's penis with his hot tongue or made Michael eat his hairy Irish asshole out!!!

Occasionally a ruddy streetman named Eric would join in the festivities and rub his crooked dick on Michael's smooth face and cover the lad in cumshot as he dribbled Jägermeister all over himself, singing the praises of "Open Sauce" and being "surprised by cock."


Too many years of cum-baths and anal sex had gotten to Michael. In the wee hours of April 19, 1993, at the tender age of 16, Michael Sims secretly boarded a plane to Germany to join the Hitler Youth, hoping to escape the the excess sodomy in his life while gaining some discipline in the process. Little did Michael know that he was going from the frying pan and into the flames.

Faggotry Unbridled: ESR, Teutonic Gas Baron

Upon entering the "Hitler" Youth, Michael smiled for the first time in his cock-filled life. He was surrounded by boys of all ages, and his cock-lust-- cultivated by years of faggotry at his father's hand-- blossomed in the harsh environment of the Hitler Youth. Michael progressed rapidly through the ranks until one day, he was called upon to serve in the elite SS. And then the bottom of Michael's world fell out.

Michael was greeted not by Adolf Hitler (long dead by now) or any other Nazi. Michael Sims was instead greeted by a homosexual face from the past-- the insidious, ruddy complexion of ESR, the "streetman named Eric" that had fornicated him years ago! Yes, ESR was the dastardly Deutsch Gas Baron, and the "Hitler" Youth was nothing but a faggot recruiting front to satiate the twink-lust of ESR!

The Long Hard Road to Freedom

For the next six years, Michael Sims was almost constantly involved in some sort of homosexual activity-- either sampling the famous gay bars of München (Munich), training recruits new to Raymond's Youth Corps (the facade of Hitler having since been dropped), or satisfying ESR's bottomless hunger for gay faggot cum-lusting sex. Michael was even one of the first Germans to contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

ESR's stake in Michael increased, as did Michael's lust for ESR's thin erect cock, until finally Michael had been made a general in ESR's diabolic Gas Barrony. And it was at this time that Michael was given his very own life-long mission.


ESR needed someone that could take the literary world in their faggot hand and turn it to use for ESR and his worlde-wide Petroleum Fifedom: propoganda for Crude Oil and Faggotry! Who better than Michael?

His first objective was to find a platform with which to gather mainstream literary credibility... Enter Censorware.org, which Michael infiltrated and later destroyed. Read the story of censorship, terrorism and ransom here [spectacle.org] . And do not forget it.


With Censorware destroyed, Michael's name got out into the Nazi and Faggot literary scenes, leading to the day that he received a phone call from none other than Rob Malda, of Slashdot.org, whose staff were the most desperate of homosexuals and whose editors were most Nazi-like in nature. Rob Malda was offering Michael Sims a job.

Present Day

Michael had finally found his home and means of completing his homosexual mission. To this day he enjoys gay anal sex all day and all night, and a way to censor the truth-bringers, like me, on a whim...

Challenges (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323507)

What sort of challenges did you face in taking a universe that was always primarily for RTS gameplay, and translating it to an RPG? And how does the MMORPG setting allow you to further the story of Warcraft differently than if you'd just made another RTS (if there even is a difference)?

Question of venue (5, Insightful)

Fjornir (516960) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323509)

How is it that you have time to answer questions on Slashdot but elect to ignore questions and problems reported by paying users on your own forums?

Re:Question of venue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323561)

mod this one up!


Fr05t (69968) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323631)

I'm sure someone who hasn't played WoW, or tried to get a real answer from someone with a clue on the forums will see the parent as a troll.

IT IS MOST CERTAINLY NOT! I left WoW because they made it obvious they didn't care to give me customer service, and blocked every attempt at getting a question answered by an actual developer. Seeing them catering to /. in this way before their actual users makes me feel even more justified in canning my account.


catch23 (97972) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323695)

Oh please, if I had mod points, I would mark you as a troll. Given there are 3.5 million subscribers, I seriously doubt the development team would attempt to do customer service. As a professional developer myself, I really do not want to go through all our customer complaints with our software. It's something to keep in mind when developing, but dealign directly with customers is a whole nother matter. Especially since about 80% of the questions could easily be answered by a non-developer, it doesn't make sense to overwhelm the development process by forcing customer support down all the programmer's throats.


Retric (704075) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323697)

They have 3.5 million users an you think their is some reason you should get to talk to a developer?

For 14$ a month you get to play the game not have a chat with somone they have to pay 30+$ an hour.

Re:Question of venue (1)

smileyy (11535) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323686)

I stopped moderating a long time ago, and this is (and will be) +5 already. I hope this gets asked.

Re:Question of venue (1)

bigwavejas (678602) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323711)

Fjornir brings up a very legitimate concern and is spot-on with this observation. I know WoW has had individuals like "Caydiem" answering questions (on their forums) as best he can, but even then there's never really been resolution to many outstanding issues.

Re:Question of venue (5, Insightful)

dave-tx (684169) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323733)

While this is a very fair and appropriate question, the obvious answer is that the Slashdot Q&A is a one-time thing, while answering questions by their own users is a never-ending process.

Not trying to sound flippant, but that's the reality of it.

Disclaimer: I don't play WoW or any online games, but this Q&A interests me nonetheless.

Playable for normal people? (1, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323515)

Are there any plans in the pipe to make the game playable for "normal" people (ie: people older than 15 who do not have 10 hours day to play/cheat, etc.)? I'd love to be able to play online, but the experience quite frankly, sucks.

Re:Playable for normal people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323589)

Given that they're the biggest MMORPG in the world now and have been hauling in buckets of money every minute, I'd say no.

Re:Playable for normal people? (2, Interesting)

blooba (792259) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323612)

Why does it suck for you? I'm over 15, play mostly during the weekends, and my experience rocks.

Re:Playable for normal people? (3, Interesting)

TMFUberman (256853) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323663)

I don't understand the "playable by normal people" complaint. Is the game only interesting/enjoyable if you are a lvl 60 badass? Otherwise, it's completely enjoyable without a huge time commitment.

Either the game is about the journey, or it's about the destination. I've been enjoying the journey for several months with just a few hours a week (10). As of now, I'm just shy of lvl 50.

One of the great things about WoW is how well the game difficulty scales as you go along.

Other MMO's (2, Interesting)

_Hiro_ (151911) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323516)

How much play time have the members of the dev team put into playing other MMO's, either to look for features that may benefit WoW, or to look for stumbling blocks to avoid?

For example, unclear quest instructions like in FFXI or the staggered leveling system in City of Heroes, etc.

What would you have done differently? (5, Interesting)

Trespass (225077) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323531)

It's the biggest MMORPG to date in terms of number of subscribers. It's easy to guess that you've encountered challenges due to scale that no other developer has before.

Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently, and when?

Re:What would you have done differently? (1)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323670)

No doubt that WoW is the largest MMO here in the states, but the largest overall? Not by a longshot. [mmogchart.com]

LEEROY JENKINS!! (3, Interesting)

goldspider (445116) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323535)

Are there any plans for a player hall of (f/sh)ame?

Re:LEEROY JENKINS!! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323662)

Learning's fun http://www.shagwall.com/leeroy.wmv [shagwall.com] http://www.shagw all.com/leeroy.wmv

Subscribtion Fee (2, Interesting)

Maagma (714192) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323537)

Since your game is subscribtion based, do you think you'll feel a lot of heat from games like Guild Wars who aren't charging a monthly fee to play the game?

(My personal thought is that you won't simply because a person could by both games and only pay for one. I know the reason I don't play WoW is because I would feel guilty by not playing because I know I dropped a good amount of money so I could play that month!)

Linux version? (4, Interesting)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323538)

How about a native Linux client? It runs great under cedega (transgaming wine), even better in opengl mode.

Re:Linux version? (1)

Compholio (770966) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323610)

Plase mod parent up.

Read the LGP interview (3, Interesting)

T0t0r0_fan (658111) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323675)

http://www.linuxgazette.com/node/10249/ [linuxgazette.com]

Blizzard is definitely no friend to Linux or the open source community. Sure they make good games, but thats about it. There is a Linux version of the hugely popular World of Warcraft, and Blizzard canned it, without warming or explaination, even though it was functionally complete and ready to go, and after a discussion of a support agreement with LGP. It would have risked nothing for them to make the game available, and they chose not to.

Why, for the love of silicon why? (0, Flamebait)

LoganTeamX (738778) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323539)

Why is this damn gamn worse than crack, liquid crack, and liquid crack with powdered crack inside of it put together?

Look Lock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323541)

Look-lock is the ability to have your character's facing be tied to mouse movement without having to hold down a key or, worse, a mouse button. First-person shooters are a perfect example.

Why then isn't look-lock native to the game, requiring an add-on to implement? If I hadn't installed the look-lock addon, long ago my RMB finger would have fallen off or I would have left the game.

Server setup question (5, Interesting)

GoatMonkey2112 (875417) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323542)

I would like to know what kind of servers, how many, network bandwidth, etc., for WoW.

World Economy (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323544)

Is there any consideration for guild halls, house or player cities in the future? SWG's had many issues but their Cities where a very interesting concept, and since blizzard is in a position to use the lessons learned is this something you guys would consider?

Women (-1, Troll)

mr_gerbik (122036) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323546)

Have any of you ever had sexual relations with a female?

Human female that is.

Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323660)

Why bother? Mares are much sexier.

Mutiple platforms (5, Interesting)

Fizzlewhiff (256410) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323550)

Blizzard is one of the few companies that distribues Windows and Mac games together on the same media. Going further, WoW allows Windows and Mac users to play together on the same realms, something which isn't done in other MMORPGS. What kind of hurdles did you have to overcome to get both Windows and Mac versions to co-exist and have you had to make any sacrifices because you were only able to do something on one platfrom and not both?

Re:Mutiple platforms (1)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323699)

Square-Enix allowed players of FFXI to play together from either PC or PS2 - and soon Xbox 360. I'm pretty surprised they don't have a Mac version yet.

Should I ask a question? (2, Funny)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323554)

It depends, will I get an answer? When I use the Blizzard technical support forums, they don't answer there.

Success of Everquest (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323556)

SOE has been in the MMORPG business for quite some time. Everquest (version one) is even the largest game in the world, I'm told. Why do you think WoW turned out to be more successful than SOE's Everquest 2?

Server or Gameplay? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323558)

Did you base everything around the gameplay and try and increase server capability afterwards, or did you try and create the gameplay to the capacity of the server's that you wanted to use?

Breaking Through the Great Wall (2, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323559)

I've been into video game editing for some time, with mods and stuff like that. Now I've pretty much given up on it as a viable career, due to the instability involved with trying to obtain (and most of all SECURE) a good video game designing career.

I have had a few interviews, and some really bad experiences with video game companies out there who shall remain anonymous for the purpose of this question.

In once instance, I've been lied to by HR directors on the annual salary, told it was around $65k and it turned out to be $35-40k (which must have meant $35k right?). In another instance, I was strung along for months by a company who decided at the last minute to drop me as a candidate. What a huge waste of time that was. I've been promised before by a designer from a major company that we would do a big project together and get funding for it, only to have the guy over for a steak dinner (filet mignon no less), and a week later he went off and took a job somewhere else, and dropped the project.

What do you say to someone like me who has had ONLY these kinds of experiences with the video game industry?

WHY? (1)

Orclover (228413) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323560)

Whats left in this game for the casual power gamers? We did the 'end content raids' like MC and Onixia and BWL...over and frickin over. PVP got old after a month, it wont matter how many extra pvp maps you throw in. So whats left? For the love of god is there only Treadmill Level Grinding (TM) and then your off to Treadmill Equipment Grinding (TM)?!?!?

Re:WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323703)

Whats left in this game for the casual power gamers?

Urrrm... Isn't that an oxymoron?

Warlocks (1)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323562)

Really what where you guys thinking when you layed this class out.

Why do I need to buy a copy? (1, Insightful)

g051051 (71145) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323564)

I would love to play WoW, but there is not freely downloadable client. Further, a friend gave me the trial CDs that came with his collector's edition, and quit after I determined that even though I had a fully functional, legal copy, I couldn't upgrade to a paid subscription without going out and buying another box.

This seems to be a problem with most of the genre. I haven't played City of Heroes (no free trial), and I didn't follow up the Star Wars: Galaxies free trial because you have to go buy the full box even though you already have the full client installed.

I cannot justify spending money to buy the box for a game that CANNOT be played in an offline mode without a subscription. Why do MMORPG developers and publishers think this is an acceptable practice?

Re:Why do I need to buy a copy? (1)

bellmounte (883810) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323659)

they have 3.5 million reasons why this is an acceptable practice.

Re:Why do I need to buy a copy? (1)

GoatMonkey2112 (875417) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323688)

Why should installing a FREE trial allow you to get a cheaper version?

Re:Why do I need to buy a copy? (1)

xtapalapaquetl (793683) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323729)

They justify it because they can make that much more money initally. When they realize nobody will pay the full fifty dollars anymore, they discount it.

Linux Support (1)

crache (654516) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323568)

What are the factors in your decision to support Linux? Are future projects going to be built for Linux?

Reduced priced restricted accounts (4, Interesting)

spludge (99050) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323570)

Are there any plans to introduce accounts that cost less?

I'd like to try out WoW, but I don't have a huge amount of time and paying the high up front and monthly cost seems excessive to me for the amount of time I would play it. However if there was some form of time restricted cheaper account I think I would try it out.

If I wanted to work as part of your team... (1, Interesting)

HaloZero (610207) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323575)

...who would you be looking for, in terms of technical skills, and what sort of background would you be hiring from?

Warlocks (1, Interesting)

wpmegee (325603) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323578)

When are our complaints that have existed since retail going to be resolved?

I love my class, but have a few issues.

1) soul shards - We are the only class that must go grind and collect reagents to go about daily functioning. Make them purchaseable, or perhaps give us a trinket that lets us summon one for free once every ten minutes.

2) escape spell - Mages get Polymorph and Ice Block, Priests get Insta-cast AOE fear (ours takes 2 seconds) and mind control. Please give us something to stop us getting repeatedly raped by rogues. Perhaps give us banish back like it worked in the beta, useable on everyone, perhaps cost a shard, with a cooldown

3) end game pets - Make the infernal not cost a reagent, it's a nice pet no doubt, but gets expensive. Also the cooldown time is ridiculous, how bout 30 mins. with guaranteed 10-min enslave? The doomguard is nice, but please give us a reliable way to get one. Waiting for curse of doom to proc sucks.

4) Enslave demon. Far too short to be useful for the danger envolved.

5) Voidwalker - please buff his dps - hitting for 20 is seriously gimped. Also I can break is agro very easily with a shadow bolt or Immolate crit.

6) Invisiblity - why the hell are mages getting invis. back. If they get it back, all the other casters are entitled to it as well - they already get portals and free food, water, and mana pots.

Yes i know this is more than one question. Thanks blizz.

Oh yes, nerf shamans.

Re:Warlocks (1)

catch23 (97972) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323626)

Jesus, if you want to ask these questions, why not use the blizzard forums where they belong? For slashdot, I would have expected questions that are not directly affiliated with the game content itself. For example, a question regarding how the servers handle all the traffic in Ironforge during peak hours would be fair game, but a question about character specifics should be directed to the blizzard forums.

Re:Warlocks (0)

wpmegee (325603) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323681)

I don't have to. Dozens and dozens of other players have posted all these concerns, both on the official forums and on forums.worldofwar.net. The official site forums are full of so much spam and BUFF THIS NERF THAT OMG NINJA posts that they're pointless anyway. There are hundreds of thousands posts a day there, search is a mess, and the threads expire after a week or so - good luck trying to bookmark a thread and come back in a month.

Also, not a single one of the Blizz customer service reps plays a Lock as their main. How the fuck are they ever going to understand our concerns if they do not experience the game mechanics for themselves. We're supposed to be evil mages, but at this point in time, we're crippled mages.

item duping (1)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323580)

Item Duplication is something all online RPGs are currently dealing with, what are you going to do to fix this situation before it gets out of hand?

Caydiem (0, Flamebait)

Kraken137 (15062) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323581)

Which one of you is Caydiem sleeping with, to make druids so powerful?

Re:Caydiem (1)

wpmegee (325603) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323625)

Let's see, druids cat form is far worse than a rogues, their Bear form is average - no better than a Pallie tanking. I *never* see a druid in any form other than Humanoid/Night Elf in an instance.

They are made to be healers which they excel at. They get the best buff in the game and are superb healers, with heals-over-time, aoe heals, and combat rez which is very nice if you Paladin/Priest dies. They also get leather which makes them more likely to survive than priests. I've never, ever heard druids called overpowered... in fact their feral forms are underpowered if anything.

Re:Caydiem (1)

Kraken137 (15062) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323684)

One of our druids has tanked Onyxia, and is a standard offtank in MC.

Also, shapeshifting removes all debuffs. Boy that sure isn't overpowered.

final decision process? (5, Interesting)

grungebox (578982) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323586)

Let me be up front: I don't play any MMORPG's...probably never will. I'm sure WOW is fantastic, but I generally stick to console games.

Which sort of leads to my question. How in the world did the decision for a Warcraft MMORPG get made? I mean, I know it seems like a great idea now but at the time that idea represented a huge amount of money to invest in a new area of gaming Blizzard had limited experience with via Battlenet. The new game also faced the once (and possibly still) formidable Everquest juggernaut. When I first heard about WOW, the general rumors going around were that it'd be an action adventure title about a single Orc in the style of say, God of War or Prince of Persia. I'm just curious who first said at the weekly staff meeting, "Uh...dudes? Like, let's totally go all MMORPG with this biatch and like stuff!" and what was the reaction of the staff and Blizzard overlords.

"Game Exploits" and Economic Farming (2, Interesting)

DarkGamer (462552) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323588)

I have heard tales of accounts being banned for using game exploits (mind-controlling mobs in UBRS to give a special fire resist buff for use in MC) to me, this seems like it is just a part of the game. How do you determine what is an exploit and what is not, and how do you handle the closing of an account that a player has spent potentially months playing and building?


What is your take on Chinese farming? It would appear that a lot of people are making thier livelihood dealing in virtual goods in your worlds. Do you account for such things in your continued development of WoW?

What are you doing to curb farming and ebaying? (5, Interesting)

Amich (542141) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323596)

I've noticed that "bot"'d characters programmed to do nothing but farm money and items has become a growing problem in WoW. Farming bots can frequently be spotted in the game, and I have evern personally recieved in-game mail spam advertizing mmobay.com . What do you plan to do to curb this issue that is eating away at the economy and atmosphere of your realms?

24 night elf Druid

Balance (5, Interesting)

zaffir (546764) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323613)

What is the process the dev team goes through for balancing character classes, items, NPCs, etc.? Seemingly minor changes can have a huge effect on gameplay, how do you avoid unwanted negative effects on the overall gameplay experience with each content patch? Also, How much of an effect does feedback from the community have on this process?

Please... (5, Funny)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323616)

I'm stuck in Arathi Mountains (in the wilderness outside of Hammerfall)... can you warp me to Stromgarde Keep?

Long vs short term players (5, Insightful)

edderly (549951) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323618)

How do think you are doing keeping long term players interested in the game whilst making it enjoyable and worthwhile for new (or short term) players. Isn't the problem here is that you have to proportionally repay the effort and time that players have put into the game, but at the same time you want to allow people progress without devoting their entire lives on WoW [or getting their backside continuously kicked by the more devoted(obsessive)]

Bonus question: What do you think/compare/dislike about StarWars Galaxies? I'd also be interested to know whether you think the combat upgrade for SWG was worthwhile or whether they should have rewritten the game from scratch i.e. SWGII. Any interesting lessons for WoW to learn from this?

How will you catch up? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323622)

With so many improvements in EQ2, it is clear that they have surpassed WoW in terms of quest content. EQ2's quests require creativity and ingenuity to solve, while WoW's feel like I'm working a 2nd job (just kill X numbers of monster Y)...

How do you plan to catch up?

Here's one! (5, Interesting)

paulius_g (808556) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323629)

Earlier this year, the WoW servers were encountering numerous problems. Some servers crashed and the load was so high that you even has to suspend new subscriptions for a short while.

So, how does today's WoW server infrastructure look like? Did everyone take precautions? Do you use a load balancing system to equal the loads? Did you create more optimized patches? What kind of server hardware do you use?


User feedback (1)

jakbutler (867442) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323630)

Many WoW players are familiar with the activities and roles of the CMs on the forums; what is unfamiliar is the process by which you gather the information they collect. What is the organization by which you gather information and act and, perhaps more importantly, what factors do you use to judge user suggestions in light of game balance?

Fallen comrade (1)

TrueSpeed (576528) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323634)

Can you please elaborate on the ingame tribute to one of your fallen comrades.

How to keep players happy + the alternative. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323635)

Many of the past MMORPGs (UO, EQ) went through a peroid in which their respective games were changed in order to market them to new players, and to show they were open to new ideas submitted by their player base. Unfortunately some of these changes had detremental effects on the current playerbase, as some thought the companies were "ruining" the games and left.

My question is how do you plan to please your current player base when things change to the point they are not happy anymore (Ex. Pre-patch servers)? Also, what are you thoughts on the "free-server" community, which is has become popular among many "legacy" MMORPGs?

Game Designer's Favorite Games (1)

wormbin (537051) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323637)

What other (non-Blizzard) games do your designers like?

Computer games? Console games? Table-top RPGs? Chess, Go, Bridge?

What are your favorite german board games?

Warcraft and Minimum Gun Range?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323638)

For those not familiar, in Warcraft ranged weapons have a minimum range of 8 yards (24 feet) and cannot be fired any closer than that. This leads to the interesting game mechanic wherein players actually charge up to people with guns, hold them in place, and stand 20 feet away destroying the gun user while the gun user is powerless to stop it.

The question then is what inspired such an odd distortion of reality? Was it a traumatic incident involving gun use and a dev team member, or simply an attempt to instill in young game players the idea that guns are very limited and should not be used?

Incidentally, this limitation has made the gun using class ("hunters") the worst in the game, and it is currently being redesigned because of this...

Why don't the developers speak for themselves? (5, Interesting)

Erioll (229536) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323643)

In the WoW community, we have "community managers" that continually insist "sometimes the devs don't tell us" or "we need to check with them", etc. Why don't the devs speak for themselves? On many (most?) other MMOs, the developers (even down to the programmer level) speak for themselves on the boards, and are often VERY open on the direction they are thinking of going. Then even if the players disagree with what occurs, they at least understand it, and know that SOMEBODY is listening to what they say.

But not in WoW. Apparently the community needs to be "handled" by go-betweens. I don't blame the go-betweens as much for this, as this is their job, but why not be as open as others? Feedback could actually come on ideas BEFORE they are implemented on a test server (of which I have yet to see anything NOT implemented on there, INCLUDING bugs), and result in a more streamlined process overall.

"Community Managers" just seem like a way to keep the community away from making the game better, which seems like a mistake. The cries of the majority are RIGHTLY not always heeded, but never knowing the direction of the development at all is far more frustrating from a player's perspective. Why can't the development team speak for themselves, and forget about keeping secrets? We all want to know the future of our game.

Still competitive? (5, Interesting)

iamsure (66666) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323646)

With games like City of Heroes, there is an effort to revamp not only upper-end content, but also (importantly) lower-end content as well. Having run over 6 different players through levels 0-40, over a 9 month period now, I can say fairly accurately that there have been virtually no changes in the low-level quests (let alone additions).

Worse, the Battlegrounds/PVP changes have made crafting virtually useless - even at higher levels - because player-crafted items are inferior to drops in instances, which are ALSO inferior to hardcode PVP-earned items.

So with the exception of long-term players, who play hardcore PvP virtually every day, there is little new to enjoy.

What then do you say to a nine-month subscriber who is looking at alternatives (SWG, CoH) that are doing those things better?

Character Transfers (1)

LnO313 (767034) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323648)

Why does it seem there is a bias towards quests and the Alliance side? I play Horde and I would like to get keyed for Onyxia but I don't have the time to run a 5-man 4 hour instance run. And all I hear is how the Alliance version of getting keyed is much easier. This seems to be a general theme I've heard about alot of the quest chains between each side to side.

Why innovate, if you're just going to stop later? (5, Interesting)

Mirkon (618432) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323650)

World of Warcraft was the first MMORPG I gave more than a passing play. Everquest, Asheron's Call, Ultima, SW: Galaxies; none of those interested me, because I saw and read about the endless toil and trouble just to gain numbers on your character stats. WoW was different - I saw the simplicity of Diablo/II in it: easy to play, rich in content, and with a wide world to explore.

But then I got to level 60, and all that ended. Now, instead of being able to do most things alone or with a small group of friends, game accomplishments take a full raid of 40 people? You need someone to plan it all out in advance, you need everyone to agree to common rules and to get along with each other; and you need everyone to be coordinated in order to defeat ridiculous enemies. With this, the challenge of the game ceases to be learning techniques and honing skills, and becomes social. The difficulty is not in playing, but in making sure everyone else is playing.

Endgame is a different game, and I don't care for it. It's not the game I bought. Rather, it's the games I declined to buy in the past. Friends of mine who played Everquest and Final Fantasy XI are right at home, but I'm decidedly out of place, and don't really want to invest hours, days of my time on goals with exponentially increasing difficulty and exponentially diminishing rewards.

The early game is brilliant, and playing it was a joy. Why is that so hard to retain in level 60 play?

Dealing with the Negativity (2, Interesting)

Kaellenn (540133) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323651)

As a developer and / or game designer on an MMORPG, you will always experience an extreme amount of negativity from the very vocal minority of players who seem to be displeased with every decision that is made with regards to the game.

That said, how are decisions made with regards to these "suggestions" from players? How do you decide the difference between "You can't please everybody" and a suggestion with merit?

Mac and Windows Co-Existing Challenges (4, Interesting)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323655)

First off, as a Mac user who loves MMORPG gaming it was an utter delight to be able to log on the day of launch and play with my brother who is 1800 miles away and running a Windows machine. The way other MMORPG vendors talk this was an impossible task. I thank you for making it either looks so easy, or calling BS on those who said it was hard.

My question is:

What challenges did you/do you face in bringing together clients from different software and processor architectures on an ongoing basis? I'm working off the asumption that the graphics content is similar if not identical and really it's the data translator that sends/receives information from your servers that does most of the client interaction.

Thanks, looking forward to more things to come.

More role-playing? (4, Interesting)

Sivar (316343) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323656)

World of Warcraft is an excellent game, but at the same time it tends to have a "canned" feel about it. What I mean by that is that it seems as if almost everything that a player can achieve has been expressly thought of, balanced, tweaked, and timed by Blizzard.
This is good in a sense--it makes the game simple and somewhat predictable, which is one truth that has made Blizzard games so appealing to the mainstream in the past.
On the other hand, I can't help but wonder if the game would benefit from more depth in some ways.
For example, it would be interesting to have a Morrowind-style enchantment system, where certain (possibly rare) "base items" can hold varying degrees of enchantment, and enchanters can assign a wide variety of abilities to those items. If a player chooses to have an item hold two different types of enchantments, each will be far weaker than just having the one.
In order to prevent extreme specialization, it may then be necessary to implement some sort of penalty for having multiple items with the same enchantment. For example, it would be a BadThing® if every single item on a warrior were enchanted with +1% chance of critical hits.

Another important item, at least important to me, which I believe to be missing from WoW is the role-playing. WoW is classified as a role-playing game, but there really aren't any moral choices of any kind as most RPGs would include (and make an important part of the gameplay).
For example, many of the quests are "good deed" quests, but there exists no option to do the quest "out of the goodness of your heart" or to have to choose between "evil" and "good" quests.

I suspect that perhaps a good way to implement this would be to have an attribute like "virtue", similar to faction "meters."
The benefits of this attribute would be up to Blizzard of course, but a few possible suggestions might include: 1) Requiring that warlocks maintain a fairly low virtue and and that paladins maintain a high virtue (or have penalties).
2) High virtue may lead to a discount at stores
3) Virtue effects faction

I am sure the creative minds at Blizzard could come up with good uses for this idea without ruining the simplicity and streamlining of the game. I hope they do!

Legacy of Past Games (1)

Goatbert (22577) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323666)

World of Warcraft comes from a line of games with not only amazing gameplay, but an incredibly rich backstory (spanning excellent novels, in my opinion, as well as games). How much do you find yourself reaching back into this existing base of content for ideas for quests, zones, etc. and do you feel at all "locked in" by events/ideas that appeared in previous games?

When can we expect... (1)

rogabean (741411) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323667)

When can we expect an actual full blown expansion with possibility of new levels, new talents, new PVE content? Any idea on cost?

Programming model? (4, Interesting)

Defiler (1693) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323668)

One of the first things that struck me as I played WoW, (other than, "hey, this is a lot of fun") was how sophisticated the server-side code had to be to cope with various tricky things like instance dungeons, visibility, etc.

Assuming it isn't a trade secret, how do your lead engineers "think" about the problem? A first-that-comes-to-mind object model would probably be fantastically hard to scale up and/or verify, due to the huge amount of state associated with even the smallest little things in the game.

On the other hand, you probably didn't write your auction house code in Haskell.
How "cool" is your model of the world?

WoW does not have the most subscribers... (1)

njen (859685) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323672)

Lineage had over 4 million subscribers. WoW does NOT have the largest subscriber base in the world. I really wish they would stop saying that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lineage_(game) [wikipedia.org]

Prompt Patching? (1)

jasonmicron (807603) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323674)

...prompt patching...

Who is the submitter trying to kid? I remember waiting months inbetween patches.

Not trolling, just saying that using the term "prompt patching" is very misleading.

Gold Farming (1)

vDiver (62458) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323678)

In guild discussion yesterday, one of the big topics was the real world purchasing of gold.
I am aware of your ToS concerning this issue, but what is being actively done about it?

Hero classes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323683)

Will hero classes be developed as part of a regular patch expansion, or a retail expansion pack?

Moving and/or battling on other servers... (1)

DA_MAN_DA_MYTH (182037) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323689)

In the near future will it be possible to freely switch servers, not just using the random character transfer page? - (My friends created characters on different servers.) Also is there any plans for Cross-Server Battlegrounds, that's being talked about on the forums, to reduce queue times for BG content? Check it out here here [worldofwarcraft.com] .

PvP vs PA (2, Interesting)

Mercano (826132) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323691)

Recently, webcomics PvP and Penny Arcade have virtually taken over the Dark Iron server with thier respective megaguilds. While it seems boths sides are having quite a bit of fun, it also seems the trafic is bringing the server to its knees. Whats your take on these "specialty servers", and are there any plans for reenforcement, or is the hardware maxed?

Question about game design (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323692)

World of Warcraft Team:

What process do you use in the game to give it its addictive properties? Do you modify the screen refresh rate to simulate a "flashing light frequency" which induces a soothing and mildly euphoric reaction in the brain? Or is there something in the way the characters and scenery are modeled which puts the user into a highly suggestive state, leaving them susceptible to subliminal messages in the audio that say "keep playing; your outside life and responsibilities are insignificant compared to the welfare of your half elf wizard" over and over again?

I'd be very curious to know which process works best.

Pat Highgate
-Assistant new-media producer, Republican Party of California

How much? (1)

TehMonkeh (830749) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323696)

How much of the feedback that is given is actually used and accepted? I have seen a lot of consumer feedback, with no response. This includes Bugs, exploits, and information regarding each of the various classes.

Double Jeopardy (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323704)

why does the game cost far more to buy than the cost of manufacture + 1 month's subscription. Don't you think it's cheeky to charge the cost of a normal game AND a monthly subscription, and that more people would have a try if it weren't so expensive?

Class Changes before Launch. (4, Interesting)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323707)

Two weeks before world of warcraft was launched the Paladin class was totally changed, with their two main talents (holy strike and crusader strike) being removed as well as their ability to cast undead spells on undead players. What prompted you to make a change so close to launch, and how do you evaluate what needs to be done to balance out the classes?

prompt patching? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13323709)

"prompt patching and additional world servers have left the game in excellent shape"

All I can say is LOL. Any regular WoW player can't help but laugh at this sentence.

World & character design (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323714)

Is a world were everybody can have superpowers hard to design and control? Everybody who plays long enough and survives is able to start interacting with this world in such a way that it can become disruptive to other players.

OS and Database choice (5, Interesting)

NixMonk (887624) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323716)

If you could start over, would you use Linux and Oracle again?

Why is there no native Linux version? (5, Interesting)

pyite69 (463042) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323728)

ID does such a good job of making Linux releases - what will it take for you to do the same?

I am glad to help out the Cedega folks, but it would be nicer to not have to use a band-aid.

Other games that you play/played (1)

calibanDNS (32250) | more than 9 years ago | (#13323732)

What other games (both MMO and not) did members of the development team play while initially developing WoW? What other games are developers playing? Did any of these games impacted design decisions during WoW development? If so, can you give us any examples of how?

Thanks, and keep up the great work.

Yeldarb, Undead Warrior, Durotan
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