Here at WoW Insider, we pride ourselves on bringing you the latest, greatest news about the World of Warcraft we all know and love. (You haven't all gone off to play Diablo, have you?) What this means is that we crawled out of bed at what our watch says was three in the morning, even though by local Paris time it was already mid-morning under a sunny sky. We've fought our ways through crowds at the Worldwide Invitational to bring you a front-row seat to today's PvP panel, starting shortly. For the latest updates on the game's PvP system -- right from the developers! -- keep reading for live updates from the panel.
1:30 PM CEST: Tom Chilton (Lead Game Designer) and Cory Stockton (Lead Level Designer) take the stage.
To start off, Chilton talks about Lake Wintergrasp.
- Non-instanced PvP
- Siege vehicle combat: we'll talk about that more later
- Air combat: there are two types of air vehicles
- Destructible buildings: wouldn't be fun to have siege vehicles if there wasn't stuff you could blow up
- Supports both large and small scale combat: Blizz has been trying to predict average participation and make it fun for small and large groups
- Attack / Defend game type: Like the Spirit Towers. One team claims territory, but only holds it for a set amount of time before the other side has a chance to attack again. Each time territory changes hands, the attackers become the defenders.
- Rewards: Northrend "Spirit Shards" that you can use to buy rewards you can't get through other mechanics (read: honor or arena points). But these won't be more powerful than other PvP items -- just alternatives. Don't want people to feel they aren't competitive if their faction isn't winning. Also honor and marks of honor just like you'd get from a normal instanced battleground.
1:39: Stockton talks about the iterative map design process -- from a very simple hand-drawn map, to a carefully drawn out map, to detailed in-game maps, to the same with notes on where they'll add items, destructable buildings, etc.
The placement of water in the zone is important because siege vehicles can't move through water, so these will be potential chokepoints.
1:43: Graveyards will be like graveyards in other battlegrounds with a basic 30 second respawn. You'll also be able to capture graveyards so your team isn't always respawning across the map.
Stockton shows off a keep. All parts of the keep are destructible. The scale is described as "epic" -- it's large enough for siege weapons to fit inside. Had to make them big enough for gameplay because, since it's non-instanced, there could be 50 people in the zone or 200 people in the zone.