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Kaplan talks Wrath with Eurogamer

Amanda Rivera

Recently Blizzard guru Jeff Kaplan sat down to talk with about the upcoming expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. Now, I don't know about you, but I have been positively drooling for any information we can get from the Blizz devs ever since the announcement was made at BlizzCon.

The interview asks some pointed questions about the problems encountered with TBC and what Blizz might have learned from them. How about the daunting attunement and access difficulties that hardcore players encountered when they first loaded the expansion onto their computers? Kaplan points to how they realized that access to the instances needed to be tweaked and they did so with recent patches. Blizz would like to have world events that include the whole server again, much like Ahn'Qiraj (and I couldn't agree more, as long as the guild that opens the event doesn't do it on Monday morning like they did on Elune), and they are looking to avoid with Wrath what Kaplan "personally consider[s] a mistake in the Burning Crusade."

In addition to world events and the possibility of unlocking an attunement for all a player's characters once one of them has achieved it, Kaplan also says they are looking into improving the trade skills with Wrath. He points to leatherworking as an example of a trade skill that received little lovin' in TBC. Essentially leatherworking became obsolete as players entered Outland and received dropped items that were superior to anything they could make. "In the Wrath of the Lich King, we want everyone to be satisfied with the trade they choose and we want it to be rewarding. Therefore we're going to analyse[sic] everything we did with The Burning Crusade and previously to work out what was good and what was missed out."

Eurogamer next asked Kaplan why Blizzard has taken so long to add the additional character customization features -- tattoos and barber shops and dance instructors, oh my! -- into WoW when players have been clamoring for them for quite some time. Kaplan replied with a reference to the massive amount of development resources required to add character customization into the game. Blizzard has always said their focus is on adding new content into the game, and so I suppose they had to wait until they had sufficient hands on deck to get those lovely new hairstyles and wicked ink into the game.

When Eurogamer asked about Death Knights, it was Chris Robinson's turn to chime in. The new class will draw their powers from runes based in three schools of magic, Blood, Unholy, and Frost. As we've seen before, Robinson reiterated that players will not have to consume a character in order to create a Death Knight. Once a player completes the requisite questline, the Death Knight will be unlocked for creation as a separate character. Still no specifics on what level the Death Knight will start out as, but the range given is still between 55 and 70. I've heard 55 bandied about quite a lot, first at BlizzCon when Tom Chilton spoke about the new class, and now in this interview. My guess is that we will see the Death Knight start at that level, or somewhere very close to it.

Also of note is that Wrath will introduce large-scale non-instanced PvP into the game, on a grander scale than anything we've seen previously. I'm particularly intrigued by this since the battleground instancing system has brought order to the PvP system, and the world PvP definitely needs some TLC. I greatly hope that we will see some epic server-wide battles, and no, I'm not talking about the battle over Sentinel Hill.

[thanks Spimmy!]

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