10:45 AM CEST: The panel's about to begin and the audience's impatience is palpable. Instead of the panel beginning, we're treated to a panning camera showing us.. ourselves. Well, it's better than nothing I suppose. Finally, Blizzard devs take the stage.
10:52 AM: Cory Stockton, lead level designer; J. Allen Brack, lead producer and Tom Chilton, lead game designer are on the podium. They'll be talking about WotLK plans and theory, with a sneak preview towards the end of the panel.
10:54 AM: What's new for WotLK? 10 and 25 player experience for every raid dungeon. Probably the biggest change they've made - allows them to have a lot of new content, compared to earlier separate development on 10/25 man content. Now they can double the amount of content.
Heroics will return: really happy with the way heroics played out in TBC, want to bring it back. Lots of plans for heroics, more tuning, changing things up from standard 5-mans. Thinks players will like the direction.
More nonlinear content. More choices for players, don't always have one path to take in dungeons. Give players a bit more of a choice so dungeon is a different experience if you do it more than once. The Occulus is a good example.
New gameplay scenarios. Been trying to do this since shipping WoW. Gauntlets, timed events, nonlinear play. Being able to do things in a different way, so not every dungeon is the same thing that just looks different. Different experience too.
Spirit shard reward system for all raids/dungeons based on Wintergrasp PvP. Whoever controls Wintergrasp can get spirit shards from all bosses in all dungeons/raids in the game. Use them to buy unique items, enchants, etc. Still working on reward system but connects pvp with pve. Help the two merge together over time, somewhat separated, same goal for player: advancement.
10:58 AM: Lineup. 8 level-up dungeons. Similar to TBC. Were really happy with that amount of content. Can always do more dungeons, but would rather keep quality.
4 level 80 dungeons. Heroics for all Lich King dungeons. So total 12 5-mans, 12 heroics. Three first-tier raid zones.
10:59AM: Why 10/25 man raids? Opens up raid content to a larger audience. Takes more organisation and planning but doesn't mean that content shouldn't be available. Sometimes the hardest part of a 25 man raid is getting 25 people. So why not give that experience to people in smaller guilds?
Loot separation. Separating loot by a full tier worth of stat points, ultimate endgame content is 25-man so ultimate rewards. Still get great rewards in 10-mans. More loot per boss kill in 25 player raids (because there's more players). Been talking about giving more loot in 25mans for a while, will see that change in Wrath.