I asked a similar question to some Blizzard folks about a year ago.
In my conversations with them, yes, it really was. They basically had to go over every single inch of in-game land and fix holes, hidden areas, invisible walls, etc. And in doing all that, they couldn't change the basic outlay of the lands (except where they creatively wanted it because of my master Deathwing).
As one Blizzard employee put it to me, it's the difference between creating a new ability vs. trying to balance one that's been around for five years. Creating anew is easy; balancing is "f!@#ing difficult."
Do you think Blizzard will rebalance the combat/stat numbers so the numbers don't get out of hand? Or should we expect players to have 1 million health, weapons with 3000 strength, and bosses with 1 billion health in a couple expansions?
It's possible Blizzard will do it in several years, yes. Numbers are only necessary to relate things to one another; so as long as that relation can happen quickly and easily, it won't be necessary to rebalance all the gear.
For example, it's easy to say that 400 is twice as big as 200 and that you really want that extra 200 points. But the difference between 600,000 and 650,000 isn't that big of a percentage -- would you sleep any better knowing you made $650k instead of $600k? I wouldn't -- yet that 50,000 points could really make a big difference depending on nonlinear game mechanics (remember, there's a lot of piecewise functions in WoW). At that point, the comparison is not easily made and there'd be a case for rebalancing. We're not there yet, though, and won't be for a very long time.
Also, I'd lay odds Blizzard has already studied this internally and has a cut-off point where it'd need to make this happen. It's just a matter of the psychoanalytical understanding of the number system and comparisons.
Professor Oak asked:
Have the editors ever considered using guest writers for the Queue, similar to Breakfast topics?
It wouldn't really work. To be completely honest, we need writers we trust to deliver well-founded opinions, correct facts, and verbose explanations. While guest writers can produce great content for other parts of the site (like Breakfast Topics), it's prohibitively difficult to find out if they can write a successful Queue.
I know what some of you are thinking -- what about folks who comment a lot? Yes, they would have a history of good discussions, but that doesn't equate to writing a 500- to 1,000-word feature.
That being said ... who knows? Maybe one day, we'll work something out with a few of you. Pandas look like they'll be coming into WoW, so anything can happen.
i would think the next expac would be 5 levels. and then the final one would be 10 levels. (possibly 90-100?)
We haven't heard the final word yet about the next expansion levels, so we don't really know. And I do agree with Mat in yesterday's Queue that we can expect to have not as quick a leveling and content burn.
I can say with absolute certitude that Blizzard does not intend to stop the game at level 100.
"The shaman is set in stone as per his abilities."
WE ARE PATIENT.
Okay, so I know this really isn't a question, and you're commenting on shaman being patient. But I have to retort with two words: DOT shock.
Sometimes when I solo kill a level 85 Alliance scum I get 10 honor points, sometimes I only get 9. In BGs I sometimes get 2 or 3.... is there a mathematical formula to this?
Scum, huh? So you're either just extrapolating in your language here, or you're really one of those guys who takes PVP and things way too seriously. Either way, it's likely because of diminishing returns, having someone else do some damage to him, him being of a lesser level than you are, having NPCs do some damage to him while you are, etc... lots of potential reasons.
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