Eastern: 4:30 p.m.
Central: 3:30 p.m.
Pacific: 1:30 p.m.
This live blog is happening right here on WoW Insider, not on Joystiq. The live blog right after the break.
1:23 p.m. PDT - People are filtering in. Starting soon.
1:30 p.m. - Here we go!
1:30 p.m. - Cory Stockton, Scott Mercer on stage, talking about the dungeons and raids coming up in Cataclysm.
1:31pm - Patch 4.1 info coming out.
1:32pm - Classic Heroics are key aspects of the new expansion.
1:32pm - Initial release of Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep. New quests and encounters in the dungeons.
1:33pm - All quests for the dungeon will appear in the dungeon right at the front, including all classic dungeons. No info if it's Wrath and BC.
1:34pm - Normal difficulty versions of old world dungeons are updated as well for Deadmines and Shadowfang keep.
1:35pm - Goals of classic dungeon redesign:
- Less confusing
- Shorter. Mara is bad for new players.
- More fun.
- Dungeon wings (like S.M. wings)
- Uldaman and Maraudon getting broken up? They're showing examples of how to break up old classic dungeons into smaller wings / dungeons.
- Trimming things that don't work well from dungeons, sections that might be to long, etc... No fighting trash for too long.
- Sunken Temple is going to get trimmed up. Cut off the last big half of the dungeon (bottom floor). Sunken Temple changes will be in on release of Cataclysm.
- Wailing Caverns is getting trimmed up.
- More raid zones for ship
- Coolest encounters yet
- Bite-sized chunks -- Really want raids to be done in one night.
- Content for everyone
- Flexible (ie: Flexible raid locks)
- Evolution of Lich King raids (Ulduar - Heroic Encounters, Trail of the Crusader - Heroic Raids, Icecrown - Dynamic Difficulty )
- Blizzard knows about getting easy heroic loot off the boat (no nerf announcement though).
- Normal difficulty raid progress is saved on your character.
- You can join multiple normal raids of either size
- You can only defeat each boss once
- Heroic difficulty works just like it did in Wrath (once you kill a heroic boss, you're locked to that raid group with that raid id).
- Helps players with erratic play schedule
- Real life emergency doesn't end your raiding for the week
- Raid leaders have more schedule and roster flexibility
- Firelands raid (Elemental plane of fire). Part of Hyjal.
- Firelands raid sends you to the home of Raganaros!
- Will give the backstory of Rag and the quest lines of Hyjal.
- Firelands raid will have 7 bosses.
- Layout of Firelands raid (coming up in pictures soon)
- Will fight Rag in Sulferion Keep.
- Will be similar to Hyjal raid in that you fight bosses out doors, but then you'll go into Sulferion Keep and fight Rag. You'll be able to use your mount to get to various places.
- Abyssal Maw Dungeon (Elemental Plane of Water).
- Blizzard will always try to deliver a 5man dungeons with a patch now.
- Abyssal Maw will be nothing like Oculus.
- You'll play under water, on risen areas, and travel from one to the next. You'll not be on mounts (it sounds like), but you will be under water.
- New Cataclysm Tech: When you touch the ground under water, you lock to the ground and can then "walk" under water.
- Abyssal Maw is going to feel a lot like Throne of the Tides, we want them to feel similar, but get different experiences.
- Response for Wrath maps was very strong.
- Every single dungeon in the game will get 2D maps in Cataclysm.
2:02pm - Enhanced maps:
- Tried to make it into Cataclysm, couldn't.
- Details boss info on your map.
- Shows what loot drops per boss.
- Lore, loot, and abilities of the boss on the map.
- They want you to get WoW Head info inside of WoW and not have to go out of the game.
- 3D portraits of the bosses.
- Will work in both dungeons and raids.
2:07pm - Q&A time
Any plans to make a more strict looting system with the LFG system to prevent ninja looting?
In the beta we're more strict to allow people roll on items. If the people can't wear it, they shouldn't be able to get it.
With 10 & 25 man raids having the same loot, what do you think of the balancing and making them the same difficulty?
It's very hard, we think we can make difficult encounters for both 10 and 25, roughly the same difficulty. There will be bumps and bruises along the way, but we can get to the same difficulty. We know it's an extremely high priority.
It's kind of weird that we have 7 or 8 bosses on heroic ICC that are easier than normal Lich King.
Lich King is a special encounter for us, it's Wrath of the Lich King, so we wanted to make it super hard difficulty. There's always going to be a little bit of variation in difficulty.
Are you going to go back and change the way the shadowmorune fragments drop, make them drop on 10man?
That's a good point, we don't know the answer. It's a great suggestion. I don't see why we woudln't.
Are you going to change BRD?
Breaking up BRD is really super tricky. What we did was put in teleporters. Similar to Ulduar. Teleporters at the entrence, bar, and the city somewhere. Graveyards are super close. Graveyards no further than 30 seconds away from any dungeon.
Have you ever considered a raid observation system? Could they spectate through, say the view of the main tank? So they can learn the fights and be involved at least watching.
We don't have a plan for that, but it's a cool idea.