We're seeing how this goes. We know a lot of you don't use Twitter, and that many places of business block Twitter. If this twitter-induced liveblog goes well for us, we'll do it again during future Twitter chats. If not, we won't! Enjoy it now either way.
Update: Chat over!
The transcript of the liveblog after the break. We'll do a review of this tomorrow, talking about our thoughts concerning the event overall. After you read the transcript you'll likely come to the same conclusion we did: Save for a couple items nothing new was really presented. There was a lot of fluff and very little substance.
4:50pm CDT: They're now taking questions, tweet to @warcraft with the hash tag #blizzchat.
500pm CDT: Lots of questions are being asked, no answers yet. Most of the questions are not too good, to be honest.
5:05pm CDT: Nothing yet over their twitter feed. Although we're told this is today...
5:09pm CDT: Q: Will Path of the Titans be as time consuming as obtaining Sons of Hodir reputation?
A: Sons of Hodir was easy, we're thinking more along the lines of Argent Dawn rep actually. JK! As a matter of fact, we don't want the paths of the titans to feel grindy at all so we're trying to make sure that each step along the way feels more like a great quest, or a key achievement (like killing all the bosses in a new raid zone). So, it should be more oriented around accomplishing something that feels important rather than grinding.
5:10pm CDT: Q: What's Deathwing's current relationship with the Old Gods?
A: In facebook terms, I'd list it as "It's Complicated". "Single" or "Married" are probably too extreme in this case.
5:11pm CDT: Q: Love the steps taken to making high-end content accessible to casual players. How committed are you to continuing this?
A: This is something we talk about on a regular basis. There isn't a line in the sand we have made, it's much more on a per piece of content basis. We do like the way the regular modes are shaping up to be more casual friendly, while the hardmodes are a way to reward very hardcore play.
5:13pm CDT: Q: Ulduar had one kind of hard mode(triggered).. ToC had another (ToC vs TOGC).. Ony has none. What will ICC have?"
A: ICC's hard modes will be triggered, but via in-game UI (much like how you toggle between normal and heroic modes today) rather than triggered by game mechanics (like not killing the three drakes before you attack Sartharion).
5:16pm CDT: Q: For Cross-realm LFG if the group is composed by members of other realms do they have to go on foot or will they be teleported?
A: The current plan is for players using the LFG system to be automatically teleported into the instance, similar to how battleground queuing works today. This is active on the PTR now, and we plan to host a community event around this feature soon!
5:17pm CDT: Q: Will there be Wintergrasp-like capturable zones in Cataclysm?
A: Yes, there is an island off the coast of the Eastern Kingdoms named Tol Barad. Players will fight for control of the island and its famous prison. However, while the battle for Tol Barad is not in progress, players will find that it will remind them much more of the Isle of Quel'Danas, in that it'll be a major daily quest hub with quite a bit of random world pvp (presumably).
5:20pm CDT: Q: Will Alliance ever get an ingame band like the Hordes L80ETC?
A: Sure, if somebody knows of an awesome Alliance band...
5:21pm CDT: Q: Any chance to have LFG menu to show classes you're looking for I.E just showing all tanks or healers currently qued in LFG.
A: The plan right now is to allow players to register for roles they are capable of filling, then have the queue system make the best decision possible for the player. This is to give all classes an equal chance at participation. We also have plans to diversify the class makeup in a future PTR update.
5:23pm CDT: Q: Thousand Needles is getting a big change in levels; how has the Cataclysm affected it?
A: As a result of the Cataclysm, Thousand Needles has been completely flooded with water!
5:24pm CDT: Q: With T10, are we going to see tokens like in Ulduar? or like CC? CC style had every class and spec rolling on same thing.
A: With T10 we're going to see a hybrid. The tier 10 items (the ones with item levels you'd find in the 10-player raid) will be purchased with Emblems of Frost.
The tier 10.5 items (the ones with item levels you'd find in the 25-player raid) will be obtained by getting a token (one that is specific to 3 or 4 classes, much like the ulduar tokens) and using it to upgrade the tier 10 item that was purchased with emblems of frost.
5:26pm CDT: Q: With Cataclysm revisiting the old world, any plan to make the old reputations worthwhile again?
A: With each expansion, we introduce new reputations with new rewards. Sometimes we introduce reputations that are obviously related, such as Argent Dawn/Argent Crusade and Cenarion Circle/Cenarion Expedition. We don't update the rewards for existing reps, as we don't want to put new characters at such a significant disadvantage.
5:27pm CDT: Q: With the removal of defense in Cataclysm, will plate gear still have avoidance stats or will tanks and dps be sharing?
A: Tanking gear will still have avoidance stats, they just won't have the defense stat anymore. So to answer your question, tanking and dps gear will not be the same.
5:28pm CDT: Q: Any plans of doing anything with Grim Batol in the Wetlands?
A: Yes, we currently plan for Grim Batol to be one of the raid zones in Cataclysm. =]
5:30pm CDT: Q: Any plans on adding bonuses to certain titles your character obtains? Like "...of the alliance" gives +5 to all stats
A: We have no plans to introduce combat advantages to titles. Titles in World of Warcraft are very specifically set up as prestige rewards only.
5:30pm CDT: Q: When do hunters get to tame druids?
A: Right after druids get a hunter form.
5:32pm CDT: Q: What are the plans for the current Goblin-run towns after Cataclysm is out?
A: Most Goblin-run towns will continue to operate as normal. In general, the existing Goblin cartels tend to be self-serving, and therefore aren't taking sides.
5:32pm CDT: Q: Will there be anymore epic storylines with cinematics like the wrathgate questline?
A: We have big plans for additional in game cinematics! We are happy with how the Wrathgate questline worked out, and want to do more lines like this.
5:32pm CDT: Q: May I create a group with 4 friends and then use the LFG interface to gain the random dungeon reward?
A: Yes. In fact, you can join it with a full group of 5 and still get the random dungeon reward. The reward is for doing a random dungeon, not necessarily for having random members.
5:34pm CDT: Q: Crowd control is all but dead in raids. Is that something you plan on bringing back?
A: Like say... with the Faction Champions encounter in ToC? ;]
5:35pm CDT: Q: Can locks have a summonable flying mount now please?
A: Now? As in right this second? No.
5:36pm CDT: Q: There's plenty of great endgame content, what about some new early/mid content to keep new players entertained?
A: We actually have some small changes to the early game going live in 3.3.0 to help eliminate some new player confusion. This is not content specific, it is more focused around easing the new player pain.
5:37pm CDT: Q: Will leveling from 80-85 be like leveling from 70-80?
A: It's too early to say. We base our leveling more around how much quest content we have and how good the reward pacing feels. If we have as many quests as we did from 70-80 and if it feels like your character is getting a reasonable amount of new stuff for the time invested, then it could end up being similar.
5:39pm CDT: Q: Are hardmodes going to get anything to make them feel like a different fight visually or auditory
A: I find the hard modes very different visually. Much more black and white imo.
5:40pm CDT: Q: Will players be able to do 'old world' quests after Cataclysm is released?
A: Only "old world" quests that we don't change. However, once the Cataclysm happens, it happens for everyone and there's no going back.
5:41pm CDT: Q: How will you handle beginning characters and higher level friends after Cataclysm? WIll they be out of phase?
Players will not be out of phase. The Cataclysm changes the world for everyone.
5:42pm CDT: Q: Are there any plans to open the other "sanctums" in Wyrmrest (i.e. Obsidian Sanctum, Azure Sanctum, Emerald Sanctum)?
A: Possibly. =]
5:43pm CDT: Q: Any chance the Legendary items will grow stronger as players level up as heirlooms? Its too much work, just to ditch after a patch.
A: This is something we have talked about a great deal. One of the concerns about making a weapon "best in the game" that scales up, is that players will continue to do old, outdated content in order to obtain the weapon. This ends up being not very fun for the other participants. While obtaining a legendary weapon is an incredible accomplishment, it is important cycle out weapons on a somewhat regular basis to make sure players are always playing new content.
5:45pm CDT: Q: Any chance that the hybrid system that is going to be implemented for T10, could be retro fitted to all WotLK raids?
A: I'll take that as a good reaction to the t10 system. =] However, it unfortunately won't be retroactively applied.
5:46pm CDT: Q: Are Worgen going to have mounts?
A: Both Worgen and Goblins will have new, racial specific mounts.
5:47pm CDT: Q: Will there be events where ally + horde players have to work together to kill a boss?
A: Generally speaking we don't do this because we prefer that the horde and alliance feel like enemies rather than a big happy family working together to defeat a common foe. If anything, we want tension between the sides to rise.
5:47pm CDT: Q: Will Hyjal be made for exploration in Cataclysm?
5:48pm CDT: Q: Do you have plans to have acheivement points redeemable?
A: Achievement points are a prestige reward only. There are no plans to turn them into some kind of currency.
5:48pm CDT: Q: Will 10-man raiding guilds see Legendary quality weapons (items) drop in their raids anytime soon? Or in Cataclysm?
A: Our current plan is to reserve Legendary weapons for the 25 person encounters, I wouldn't rule it out in the future though.
5:50pm CDT: Q: Any chance of being able to link more then one authenticator on one account? (in case I lose or break one)
A: We are talking about the authenticator and how to make it a better experience. Your suggestion is one we are talking about.
5:51pm CDT: Q: Any plans for a gated system in IIC like in Colliseum that prevents us from doing hardmodes from day 1?
A: We do have a system that unlocks bosses similar to how we handled TOC and Sunwell. We are restricting hard modes to raid leaders that have defeated Arthas in regular mode.
5:52pm CDT: Q: What will happen to Mankrik's Wife? Please don't tell me she's gobbled up by the lava?
A: You'll have to wait and see. =]
5:53pm CDT: Q: In the future will hard modes have greater fidelity like Sarth, Sarth+1, Sarth+2, Sarth+3 rather than the Binary Normal/Hard?
A: Generally we have learned that hard modes should be more binary, but that doesn't mean we will never do something like Sarth 3 drakes again.
5:55pm CDT: Q: When Race change is live will we be able to change to any race in our faction no matter what class we are?
A: No, you can only Race Change to a race that allows your specific class.
5:56pm CDT: Mike Schramm: I've figured out what this is. This is an interview conducted by Barrens' chat.
5:58pm CDT: Q: Who are the two developers answering these questions?
A: Game Director Tom Chilton and Director of Production J. Allen Brack.
5:58pm CDT: Chat over!
Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.