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WWI '08 Notes from the Dungeons & Raids Panel part 2

Jennie Lees

11:01 AM: Lessons from TBC. A big project, heroics were an interesting tuning problem, hard enough to be a challenge but easy enough that people just starting out could do them. Were a great success. But too hard, want to make them more accessible. Don't want e.g. lacking a prot spec tank, holy priest, etc to bar people from doing heroics. Should be available to more players, open up to different classes and groups.

Some dungeons were too long. Took longer than they planned. Like to keep dungeons to ~1 hour long. Not their intention to have players stuck in dungeon in 3 hours. Going to really check length before releasing new dungeons.

Quests did not feel as connected as they should (kill end boss/kill 10 creatures). Really trying to allow dungeon quests to have interesting goals. Gundrak is cumulation of a long questline encompassing the whole zone. You know why you're killing the endboss, and what the outcome will be, connects players to dungeons beyond killing bosses for loot. More of an impact on the world.

Summoning changes worked out great. Stones/warlocks summoning into instance (audience applauds). Main reason was to remove barrier to entry to dungeons that were annoying to get to. Wanted to make it convenient.

Patch order. Has an impact on what players have available to do, have to make sure things feel right when releasing patch. They wanted to get Black Temple out asap so Zul'Aman ended up being released later, probably would have been better to deliver ZA first since most players weren't ready for BT but keen for 10-man content. Learned that lesson with WotLK. Arthas is final endgame boss so delivering content in the order they thinks works best for the players, whether that's a new 5-man, raid etc.

11:07 AM: Naxxramas... Again? Audience cheers; 'that's about the same way we feel about Naxxramas'. Huge labour of love. Always felt it was a dungeon that WoW needed. Most players never got to experience it because of the release timing. Loot was still really great but TBC superceded it. Made sense to come back to it and give everyone a chance to experience it. 10-man accessible. Extremely proud, want everyone to play it.

Lore-wise Naxx fits in perfectly, with Arthas/Northrend, history behind Naxx lends itself well to being a part of WotLK and something players can get into really early. Chance to retune it and make it even better. Huge dungeon with a ton of bosses, over 15 bosses in one raid dungeon, non-linear (wings) giving players a lot of choice.

11:10 AM: Itemisation. PvP gear will be available through PvE as well as PvP. Spirit shard system. Players that want to get started in arenas who love dungeons can get started through PvE. Won't be the best gear, but will give you a chance. More items per boss kill in 25 player raids. More items desired by more classes, big project. Trying to remove unnecessary stats because there are too many different types of loot, what if a ret paladin item drops and you don't have one? Merge some of the stats so that items will work across a group of ~3 different classes. Players can get loot that's more useful and accessible, killing a boss feels better.

11:12 AM: Recipe drops, pretty rare right now. Specific plans only drop off one boss at really low drop rate. Doesn't mean they won't put unique plans on hard to reach bosses but want most plans to be accessible, earlier bosses, easier dungeons. Might not feel like such a grind to get that one rare pattern.

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