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BlizzCon 2009: WoW Q&A live blog

Alex Ziebart

The WoW Q&A session will start at 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT. We'll be live blogging the session the entire time.

The live blog after the break!

11:10AM And that's the end! Show's over! We have many panels still coming throughout the day, so keep an eye on, ladies and gents.

11:09AM Will they get rid of the 5 second rule with them changing mana regen? Ghostcrawler says they've discussed it heavily very recently. It might be going away, but they haven't completely decided yet.

11:09AM Will arena observation come around? Chilton says: "That'd be cool." Uh. Okay.

11:08AM Any chance Hunters can choose the talent tree their pet uses instead of it being based on species? Ghostcrawler says they'll be doing "soul searching" about that because they realize hunters just want to pick what looks best to them, but can't because of talent trees. Zhevras is a possibility for Cataclysm.

11:07AM Will there be another hero class coming soon so people stop crying over DKs? Ghostcrawler: "It won't be in Cataclysm." They want to be careful about adding more classes, and don't want to add tons of them.

11:06AM Will there be any class-oriented hubs in Cataclysm like BC and Wrath have had? Chris Metzen says very loudly, "YES. And it's mega."

11:05AM Will Mage abilities like Molten Armor be changed to use other stats since they no longer get Spirit? Easy answer: Yes.

11:05AM "I want my 31 bosses in Icecrown." "We can do that, we'll just give you the Ten Horsemen."

11:04AM Will Cataclysm do anything so people of varied levels can play together without powerleveling or running people through things? Chilton says they have ideas for 'mentoring' and things of that nature, but it will need to wait until "next BlizzCon. Or sooner. Or later."

11:03AM Chilton isn't too worried about it, ganking is just part of PvP servers. If you don't like ganking (which happens without flying mounts already) you can play PvE.

11:02AM How will flying mounts and contested zones play together with all of the ganking potential? Chilton: "Well... you could play on a PvE server."

11:01AM Any plans to improve phasing for Cataclysm? Stockton: Yes, we plan on doing more with it. We want you to be able to share your phase with people, so you can help people with things you've done already. Terrain phasing will also happen, like whole mountains moving.

11:01AM Any plans to bring Subtlety up to speed in PvE? Ghostcrawler again tells people to go to the systems panel to learn more about how they're changing talents overall, but ultimately talents will be the 'cool things' and less of the 'I need to pick this up to DPS.'

10:59AM "Will we get more inventory space?" Chilton: "I'm sure we'll have bigger sacks in Cataclysm." Audience cheers. "Our sacks get bigger every expansion." More cheering.

10:58AM Any additional character creation slots for Cataclsym? Brack says they've discussed it and are discussing it, but the number of players that have 10 characters they actively play on one server is actually fairly slim.

10:57AM "Will there be an option to fight Onyxia in her level 60 version?" Nope. Though for the things they do upgrade in Cataclysm, they do want to let you be able to go back to original versions of those as well.

10:56AM Chilton and Afrasiabi discussed it, and they decided it would be very interesting to bring in fringe groups, and have some Night Elves falling into the old ways. Metzen says, "You know, you could always RP that you're 11,000 years old and know it from way back then. Why not?"

10:55AM "Why Night Elf Mages?" Chilton: "...because they'd be pretty sweet." Serious answer inc

10:55AM Question about Demonology Warlocks falling behind on gimmick fights like Hodir. Ghostcrawler says they want demons to scale with all of your stats, and if there's a buff on you it should also be on them. It's technically challenging to implement but they gotta do it.

10:53AM How will the Thrall/Garrosh relationship play out and their interaction with Varian? Metzen: There's a lot going on there, and I don't want to spoil things but... come on. With the world in the state its in, what do you really think the world's greatest Shaman would need to do? I'll leave it at that.

10:53AM Now that Hunters no longer use mana or intellect, how will they handle gearing since they shared gear with Enhancement Shaman? Ghostcrawler: Ret Paladins are a good example of how they'll do it, because they don't gear Int anymore either.

10:51AM They don't want plate wearing DPS to use leather, but do they also plan on stopping Holy Paladins and Resto Shaman from grabbing cloth? It is a problem, but they're not sure how to address it yet.

10:51AM Enhancement Shaman: Any changes to Shaman so they don't need to run in and out of melee range constantly to drop and redrop totems, thus dropping DPS? Ghostcrawler: It's a concern of ours, but we're not sure how we'll address it yet.

10:48AM Will they do anything to make Arms iconic again, since Mortal Strike isn't really unique anymore? And will Arms get PvP buffs? Ghostcrawler doesn't agree that Arms has fallen behind in PvP, but they do want to give Arms something interesting or make MS neat again.

10:47AM Will Troll and Worgen Druids be getting unique feral forms? Chris Robinson hops on with a very clear "yes."

10:46AM With Armor Pen being removed, how will melee compete with plate wearers in PvP? Ghostcrawler: We're taking Armor Pen off of gear, but we won't get rid of the concept. It might come into play in talents or things like Battle Stance. And if the loss of Armor Pen really sets people back, they'll find other ways to buff them.

10:45AM Will heirlooms scale to 85? Stockton says that guilds will be able to craft guild heirlooms, for the entire guild in any slot. They will scale every level.

10:44AM If you guys couldn't tell yet, I'm very heavily paraphrasing. This is going fast.

10:44AM A lady asking about account security. Any plans to improve base account security, since people are getting hacked so often, or is it just authenticators? J. Allen Brack: We're focusing heavily on the authenticators because if someone gets keylogged, more often than not users still have it on their computer when they get their account back and it just gets grabbed again. Anything on-computer will be compromised. Authenticators are the way to go.

10:42AM Warlock asking for more PvP survivability, audience boos. Ghostcrawler says there was a problem for awhile, but it has improved and they're doing pretty good. Chilton adds that at the tournament going on at BlizzCon this weekend, Warlocks are seeing heavy play in various comps.

10:41AM Any further visual character customization on the way? Chilton answers: This problem has gotten worse over time now that more and more people can experience endgame content, so they want to address. They aren't sure how, but they want to hit it soon.

10:40AM Any plans to make old world reputations relevant, perhaps through achievements? Ghostcrawler answers, yes, they'll be looking at all of that for Cataclysm out of necessity.

10:39AM An Aussie, hooray! Wants to know if they plan on doing anything about the latency and inconvenient maintenance times. J. Allen brack says that's something they're actively talking about, how to better serve the Oceanic realms.

10:38AM Any plans to let us reorder our characters on the character selection screen? Chilton says it's on his "UI wighlist" at the moment.

10:37AM Professions. When Cataclysm happens, do they plan on improving professions so leveling say, Blacksmithing from 200-300 isn't a PITA? Yes, they will be doing that.

10:36AM Rogue asking about weapons, doesn't like being forced into Fists as viable endgame weapons. Any plans to encourage other weapons? Ghostcrawler says they want Rogues using daggers again, considering Assassination buffs for patch 3.2.2

10:35AM Ghostcrawler: I asked the team what trolls need recently, and they all said boots. But yes, we plan on looking at that racial.

10:35AM Question about the Troll race. Any plans to fix the regeneration racial? Ghostcrawler: I love trolls.

10:34AM "As a Fire Mage, I know this topic has come up a lot but... mage DPS seems a little low, and you seem to be okay with that." Crowd boos, calls him terrible. GC: "There's a lot of theorycrafting about who does what DPS, but we've seen a lot of guilds with great mages doing great DPS. They're fine now, but if they do fall behind we'll take care of it."

10:33AM Essentially, they can't stop people from just getting a 2nd account to play the same faction on a PvP server, so the point of the restriction is lost. No need to put barriers.

10:32AM Why do you think the Horde/Alliance faction changes are less game breaking than race changes? Chilton says they WILL be doing race changes, further down the road. BlizzCon exclusive!

10:31AM Metzen: "Frostmourne has a.... unique fate. The encounter is going to be mega. Keep your hats on."

10:31AM Illidan drops his warglaives, but Arthas won't drop Frostmourne... he drops Shadowmourne. What's the reasoning? Chilton: "It's because Frostmourne would take your soul... or whatever is left of it, DK."

10:30AM Will Spirit leave Shadow Priest and Moonkin gear? Yes.

10:29AM "Will the Cataclysm impact the Burning Crusade era starting zones, and will we see Khadgar again?" Yes, the Cataclysm will impact those quest lines. Not a lot of terrain changes, but the quest line will reflect what's happened. Chris Metzen: "As far Khadgar, that's a great idea." Meaning yes.

10:28AM Question about battleground XP gains being too low. Chilton says that yes, they will continue to tweak it, but they need to figure out a resolution for the much higher XP gains in Alterac Valley first so they don't encourage XP leeching.

10:27AM Are there plans to update old racials to match the new racials. Specifically, Dwarves. Ghostcrawler: "What, have a problem with Treasure Finding?" They do plan on revisiting the old races to bring their racials in line with the new ones. More fun.

10:26AM Guild leveling system. How will you make an old system like that fit WoW? J. Allen Brack: "You mean how we did achievements?" Stockton: They have a lot of ideas for what they can do with it, it will make people feel better about being in guilds and make it feel more important than glorified IRC. There will be details at this afternoon's systems panel. "We'll have a guild talent tree, can the others say that?"

10:24AM Chris Robinson added to it: It's going to be killer, when we release it it will be worth it.

10:24AM Question about dance studios. Chilton: We're actively working on it, the animation team is working hard at it. They've made several dances already, and want many more before they put it out.

10:23AM Will Hunters get more specific control over their pets? They've discussed it a lot, perhaps RTS-like waypoints for making it come back to you, perhaps a teleport spell on a cooldown so pets stop running through walls of fire when you call it back.

10:22AM Any plans for Warriors, since they've fallen behind? Any plan to make them on par with tanks without homogenizing? Ghostcrawler: It's an ongoing challenge to give people the tools they need without homogenizing. Warrior tanks did get two big buffs recently, and they will look at it again when people are in the new gear.

10:21AM All of Azeroth will be impacted, but Northrend won't be hit as hard as everything else. As for Outland, they feel it played its role, people still level through it. They'll look at the leveling flow in Outland for Cataclysm, and it will get Archaeology. Metzen says he'd love to do more with it, but hasn't convinced the rest of the gang to "do his bidding."

10:20AM Haha! 10 year old or so walks up to the mic. "For the Horde!" Audience cheers. "Will Northrend be impacted by the Cataclysm, and will you do anything with Outland? Feels disconnected from the rest of the game." Best kid ever.

10:19AM "We still want to make sure there's a place for the pure DPS, and we fear they would go away if hybrids could do everything. Hybrids are in a good place right now."

10:18AM "You've made hybrids able to do whatever role they choose, how do you see pure DPS playing out in the future?"

10:18AM Since every other class has had a chance to get a Legendary, will Feral Druids get one? Audience boos. Ghostcrawler: So you want a Legendary weapon so you can never ever see it in bear/cat? He was joking. He says they'll get one eventually, they have a lot to make.

10:17AM Metzen: "Everyone vibin' on Cataclysm?" Audience: /freakout

10:17AM Chris Robinson got some props, but the place roared for Metzen.

10:16AM Looks like... Chris Metzen, J Allen Brack, Tom Chilton, Greg Street, Corey Stockton, and Chris Robinson.

10:16AM Hey, it might be starting! 15 minutes late.

10:12AM People are still flowing in, we might be here awhile.

10:06AM Updated the times and time zones at the top of this post, Adam apparently fails at time zones. Realistically though, I don't expect this thing to start for at least another 15 minutes. Doors opened at 10, panel was scheduled for 10. Who would be in the seats if they started on time? Nobody.

10:01AM Main doors have opened. Thousands of WoW players currently stampeding toward the seats. Worried I may be assassinated for my seat.

9:59AM Oh ho! The convention staff is very carefully putting the Mountain Dew bottles in place.

9:59AM Good morning, everyone! We should be just a few minutes away from the show starting, assuming they stick to schedule. Turns out this panel is not in Hall C today, but rather Hall D. Meaning if you have the DirecTV feed, you might be able to watch it after all. Of course, I don't have the stream myself, so I could be completely wrong.

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