Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Mists of Pandaria live developer Q&A transcript


Blizzard held a Mists of Pandaria live developer Q&A this evening. It was moderated by Community Manager Zarhym, with most of the questions being answered by Cory "Mumper" Stockton and Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street. The questions ran the gamut from serious to silly and offered a lot of great insight into the upcoming expansion and the inner workings of the development team. Highlights include, but are not limited to:
  • The new Pandaria faction hubs
  • New guild levels and perks
  • New talent system
  • Pet Battle system, including a possible spectator mode
  • The possible abolishing of prime glyphs
  • Ghostcrawler's feelings on #OccupyGregStreet
  • Matticus. Just ... Matticus.
The developers have already expressed interest in holding more of these chats, and I know I'm all in favor of it. For more information on the content of this evening's chat, check the official site, or stick with us after the break for a complete transcript.

Zarhym: Hello everyone and welcome to our live developer Q&A with Greg Street and Cory Stockton! For the next hour we'll be fielding your questions about World of Warcraft's fourth expansion, Mists of Pandaria.

Comment From Dwight
How will one get to the continent of Pandaria?

Mumper: Players will get to Pandaria via new quests from Orgrimmar and Stormwind. We have tried to make these quests short and sweet to make sure players can into the new continent as fast as possible.

Comment From Ceantari
Any future plans (patches or in the MoP x-pac) on changing how player pets (in particular hunter pets) spawn upon dismounting? Prior to patch 4.2, whenever you dismounted, your pet would spawn with initial starting stats. A few seconds later, it's stats would update with the appropriate values. Sometimes this would lag, which usually resulted in fatality for the pet when the player (more appropriately, the hunter) would engage combat immediately after dismounting. Now, the 4.2 patch allows the pet to remain at your side while on a ground mount, but still despawns when on a flying mount. This brought up a new problem: when you aggro a hostile enemy while riding a ground mount, your (whether it be hunter's, warlock's, or mage's) pet's movement speed is reduced to 100%. If the player continues to ignore the aggro'ed enemy, the pet will fall behind and despawn upon leaving draw distance. This is more of an inconvenience for frost mages, since they have to spend a 3 min cooldown to summon it.

Bashiok: Hi all! Please keep in mind this is a *moderated* chat, meaning your comments won't show in the channel until we answer it.

Mumper: We are fixing pets so stats won't lag several seconds after logging in or dismounting in 5.0.

Zarhym: Greg Street will be fielding our next question...

Comment From Ceantari
Currently, it was announced that Monks might not have an auto-attack feature. With the lack of auto-attacks, are there plans on balancing the values for Hit Rating and Haste Rating for a DPS-spec'ed Monk, since one would only need to reach the "soft" hit cap (8%) for specials and Haste Rating will only be affecting their power regeneration and reducing their GCD?

Ghostcrawler: Monks will have the same hit cap as e.g. an Arms warrior and their energy regen drives everything they do, so their regen will scale the same as rogues and haste in general will scale their damage by the same percentages.

Comment From Eldacar
At Blizzcon Tom Chilton mentioned possible incentives for raiding enemy towns to encourage world PVP in mists, can Greg or Cory elaborate on this at all?

Mumper: In regards to extra rewards for world pvp, we are contemplating the idea of increasing players conquest point caps by an extra 10-15%.

Comment From Guest
With the new talent system, will you start to follow the model in place with Collosus Smash, where a move functions completely differently in PVE and PVP?

Ghostcrawler: We don't have a problem with specific mechanics working differently in PvP and PvE. Curse of Doom worked that way for years. Same with PvP durations on debuffs. What we don't want to do is just launch into having different coefficients and talents and everything for PvP and PvE. That just doubles the size of the game which makes it more complex to balance and harder for players to understand.

Zarhym: I see we have a few questions. :)

Comment From Timothy Maloney
Currently in 4.2 as a Balance Druid I have to kill critters before every boss fight so that I start in Solar Eclipse. Is there going to be more critters in MoP or even better, a cooldown that puts us straight into an eclipse?

Ghostcrawler: We don't think the answer is more critter spawning in instances. :) We don't have a specific solution we're ready to announce, but we plan to address the problem.

Comment From Jesse Kik
Where do we level from 85 to 90?

Zarhym: You'll be leveling on the new continent of Pandaria, of course! ;)

Comment From Guest
Hey there. Will Pandaria have a new Dalaran like city or will we be using the ones already existing ingame?

Mumper: We will have separate player hubs for both the Horde and Alliance on Pandaria. Separate hubs means we do not have to make them sanctuary and will encourage world PVP. These hubs will have access to an AH, Bank and general vendors. Valor, conquest, profession and faction vendors will be scattered around the world to encourage travel.

Comment From Greenmember
Will there be more guild levels in MoP, if so how far will the cap go and do you have any examples of new perks?

Comment From Ezioh
Are you still considering expanding the proposed talent system or is the general form already set? As in, is there still the possibility of get more choice from the new system? (Six overall specializing skills seems quite limiting)

Ghostcrawler: We tried a lot of tiers. We were worried at more than 6 that the combinatorial complexity of >729 different variations of talents would be challenging to balance or for players to even comprehend. We want to focus on having fewer awesome talents than many tiers that will force us to dilute individual abilities in the name of balance (for example, if you ended up with 6 forms of crowd control, then all of them need to be pretty weak).

Mumper: We will be adding new levels to the guild leveling system for Mists of Pandaria. These new levels will come with new perks too! An example of a couple perks we are thinking about are reduced cost on void storage and transmogrification.

Zarhym: Mumper's answer was for Greenmember. ;)

Comment From Dave Hovis
Where exactly is Pandaria located on Azeroth? many speculate that it is in the south, but I have always assumed it was to the west of Kalimdor.

Mumper: Pandaria is located on the south side of Azeroth. Think the exact opposite of Northrend. Come to think of it, we should have named it Southrend.

Zarhym: :o

Comment From David Nguyen
Often as an enhancement shaman, I find that weapon drops, specifically agility one handers, are always rare or not made to be slow (I know slow daggers seem pretty odd, but stay with me here). Is there any chance we would be able to reforge swing speeds?

Ghostcrawler: We don't want minute differences in weapon speed to have a non-obvious, massive effect. We like daggers being fast and other weapons being slow and will make shaman etc. mechanics work around that.

Comment From Mer
Since we're getting an account wide "pet library" so to speak, do you have any plans to extend this functionality to the mount page? Many players are hanging onto exclusive mounts on older/unplayed characters.

Mumper: We will be testing out account wide features with pet battles and if it proves successful there, we would certainly want to the same thing with mounts.

Comment From Walterodim
First off, just wanted to say Blizzcon was awesome. It was my first time there and you guys were all great! Look forward to coming back next year. During the first discussion on talents, you revealed that Druids would be receiving a fourth talent tree to differentiate between bears and cats. I think this has been mostly received as a positive change by the community. You also stated that the notion of a hybrid tax is an antiquated view on class structure. Are there any plans to provide unique buffs to the four pure DPS classes to compensate for their lack of diversity, or maybe, creating a 4th spec in their areas that would allow for another role, such as a tanking Warlock?

Ghostcrawler: We don't want to have unique buffs per DPS spec within a class, but we do want to make sure the DPS specs do offer utility that the tanks and healers can't bring alone. We also want to have greater variety and richness among specs for those classes with multiple DPS specs (e.g. hunter, warrior). We definitely want for there to be a reason to bring pures to a group as well.

Comment From Kcdope
In regards to the Challenge Mode dungeons, how many of the dungeons will offer these modes and will our entire level/stats be reduced to a level equal to lower level dungeons if applicable?

Mumper: We are hoping to have challenge mode dungeons enabled for all 9 of the new Mists of Pandaria dungeons. Assuming we like how it pans out, we would certainly be excited to extend the feature to more classic dungeons or raids.

Comment From Gil
With shadow orbs becoming a new resource, do you have any plans to improve the interface to make tracking shadows orbs easier, like what was done with paladins?

Ghostcrawler: If you saw the way we handled the monk resource bar at Blizzcon, we are experimenting with doing that for various classes and specs who have resources like that. So we could move shadow orbs down in the middle of the screen for Shadow priests if that paradigm works out.

Comment From molgive
Will you consider giving glyphs the same treatment as the talent trees? Glyphs are also somewhat cookie cutter, as passive damage increases are not fun and are mandatory for any player wishing to compete

Ghostcrawler: We aren't happy at all with Prime glyphs because they are no-brainers (but often mathy to figure that out). We want to expand the Major glyphs because that is where the real decisions lie. Not sure of the future of Primes quite yet. They *might* go away. (Don't freak, scribes!)

Comment From Guest
With MoP you're introducing the pet battles. Will that be a new way of earning XP and/or valor points ?

Mumper: We are hoping to implement XP gain for pet battles in a similar way to what players see with gathering professions now. You would not want to level your entire character just on pet battles, but we do think you should be rewarded for participating in it.

Comment From Avengerjk
So with the removal of talent points it seems like players leveling lose their "awesome I just got zealotry" feeling. Though the new talent system seems interesting and unique the gap between each 15 levels makes a dullish feeling in between each gap. Any word on how this will play out?

Ghostcrawler: Couple of points. With Ret specifically, we wanted to try and address some of the feedback from players about the rotation. Divine Purpose and Zealotry add too much complication or RNG for some players, which is why we think they make good optional mechanics. Overall, when you see the rate at which you get new spells, you are still rewarded about every other character level (much like today). There are just a lot of core or spec spells that used to be no-brainer talents.

Comment From Jim Smith
I think I read somewhere that resilience is becoming a base stat in MoP -- if this is the case, what does that mean for PvP gear and/or does this mean that end game guilds will be top in PvP.

Ghostcrawler: Resilience will still be an important stat for competitive PvP. Likewise, PvE gear will still be the best gear for PvE. The hope is to lower the barrier of entry by making the gap smaller (but not trivial).

Comment From Kubus
One of the current issues discouraging World pvp is the presence of highly overpowered guards around cities and hubs, 1-shotting anyone who engages in pvp. How will this be in MoP?

Mumper: We know this is an issue in the current game and we plan to address it in Mists. We want to encourage world PVP, not make it a one-shot game for npc guards. This is one of the main reasons we decided to make two separate player hubs instead of a shared sanctuary.

Comment From Mitchell John Goolmeeze
Will pet battles be created the same way as duals?

Mumper: We will let players duel other players that are near them in the world, but we will also have a queuing system you can join to fight against other pet trainers of similar level.

Comment From Aurora
I see two new poisons given to rogues in the new talent system, does this indicate we'll be seeing poisons reworked for MoP? As it is the Assassination spec relies so heavily on the instant/deadly combo for damage it's not viable to use anything else.

Ghostcrawler: We are reworking poisons. For starters, rogue damage is balanced around the expectation of two damage poisons, which makes it really brutal to use a utility poision instead. In MoP, you will have one damage poison and one utility poison so you can choose which utility poison to use (and not IF you want a utility poison). We also want to reduce the amount of ramping that rogue DPS requires, such as removing the need for Deadly Poison to stack. (And likewise we want to make Bandit's Guile less punitive when swapping targets.)

Comment From Karasan
Will the pandarian racial that benifits XP bonus give them twice the blue bar for the same amount rested, or will it give you a larger multiplyer when reciving XP

Zarhym: Their blue bar (rested XP) will last longer before running out.

Comment From Mistrpickles
The island of Pandaria is set to be located on the back of a giant turtle, will this turtle go under water?

Mumper: The starting zone for new Pandaren is located on The Wandering Isle (the turtle). The continent of Pandaria itself is not a turtle, its a piece of land.

Comment From Hazmatt
Is there any chance of a new spell for paladins to fill the role of Holy Wrath for single target fights?

Ghostcrawler: Holy Wrath becomes a nuke for Holy. Ret and Prot will generate Holy Power from Judgment, Exorcism procs, Hammer of Wrath and other abilities that make sense. We still want there to be some small gaps in rhe rotation, but smooth over some of the frustration of today.

Comment From KJCossin
Is Bashiok nice in person?

Zarhym: He's the best! (I'm within punching range.)

Comment From adarkguardian
How does the new death knight talent Asphyxiate work at this point? Does it last until the target takes damage, like Repentance or Hex, or is it channeled like the succubus minion's Seduction?

Ghostcrawler: Asphyxiate lasts 5 sec. There was a typo in the Blizzcon presentation. Asphyxiate is the same duration as Strangulate, which it replaces.

Bashiok: I am the best. You can tell because I say so.

Comment From Ashendant
What's going to happen to the currently existing Relics once the MoP arrives? will they be turned into gold/grey trash/off-hands/trinkets?

Ghostcrawler: Relics will turn into gray items that you can vendor.

Comment From Dave Williams
My questions concerns the limits to Pandaren faction chat. How do you intend to deal with if you meet someone at the starting pandaren area and friend each other (not RealID) yet choose seperate factions?

Zarhym: Much like the worgen and goblins cannot leave their starting areas, you cannot friend a fellow pandaren until she has chosen her faction.

Comment From Stephen LaFlamme
At Blizzcon you stated that mage's primary nukes will be spec specific ( Fireball for Fire, Arcane Blast for Arcane, and Frostbolt for Frost). However, what will happen to Frostfire bolt? Currently it is only used by Frost Mages and only when a talent procs. Is this spell going to be reworked or simply removed from the game?

Ghostcrawler: Frostfire Bolt is the starting spell at level 1. You get Frostbolt, Fireball or Arcane Blast at level 10. Fire or Arcane can still use Frostfire if they want a snare, or when Brain Freeze procs for Frost.

Comment From matticus
Is @ChrisMetzen the real Chris Metzen?

Zarhym: Yes sir.

Comment From Cerylia Dawnwing
I have a question about dungeons... many people have complained that there were not very many dungeons this expansion (compared to the number of dungeons in 1-60 Azeroth, Outland, and even Northrend). In Cataclysm endgame, there were very few normal dungeons for a casual player to easily PuG, and the rest are perhaps a dozen or so heroics (which do get boring after doing the same ones over and over!). Do you plan to have more dungeons come MoP? Will there be more choices for both regular AND heroic versions to have a little something for everyone?

Mumper: We will have 9 normal mode dungeons at launch for Mists of Pandaria. 6 of those will be on Pandaria and 3 will be classic heroics (Scholomance and Scarlet Monastery). All of these dungeons will have a normal, heroic and challenge mode version. We are currently planning to not have any max level, non-heroic dungeons. Most players never found a good niche for dungeons at that tuning level.

Comment From Rory Mayo
With MoP featuring the battle between the alliance and the horde, can we expect to see more prominent roles or appearances from famous NPCs?

Mumper: Yes, we certainly are.

Zarhym: ^.^

Comment From Adam John Mitchell
Is drain life ,death coil and soul harvest being removed since there are similar talents in it's place?

Ghostcrawler: Harvest of Life upgrades Drain Life (Drain Life turns into Harvest, which is a mechanic we use for several spells such as Strangulate -> Asphyxiate and HoJ -> Fist of Justice). Soul Harvest is being removed, but shards passively regen outside of combat or can Drain Soul in combat to replace them. Mortal Coil is the new Death Coil.

Ghostcrawler: Keep in mind all of this is subject to change. :)

Comment From Jackson
Will there be a system where you can turn pet battles on/off at will? Sometimes I don't want to be pestered by obnoxious pet owners that constantly want to duel. Or perhaps I don't want to get a random encountet while trying to get anywhere. Anyways, will there be an option to switch pet battles off temporarily?

Mumper: We will have an option to disable invites to pet battles. Similar to what we have for player duels.

Comment From Gillian Seed
The new Cold Snap talent resets Ice Block, Frost Nova, and Water Elemental. I realize that the talents are early, but given that the first two are baseline, might this mean that the Elemental (like Living Bomb) is becoming a core mage spell?

Ghostcrawler: Water Elemental is a Frost spec spell.

Comment From bulldude
how does the new warlock talent that allows you to move while casting, but doubles cast time affect channeled spells?

Ghostcrawler: Channeled spells take twice as long to tick after you have started moving with that talent.

Comment From Mondo
One of the issues with the Outland expansion was that it felt too 'off-worldly'. Northrend resolved this a bit by actually taking place -on- Azeroth, and Cataclysm brought back that wholesome Azerothian nostalgia. How does Pandaria handle this issue, considering how foreign the land (and indeed, the entire Pandaren lore) is to the world? When you're playtesting MoP, how do -you- feel about the land?

Mumper: We are actually working very hard on this specific concept. Pandaria is based on Asian landscapes but its important to remember that these landscapes need to feel like they fit in Azeroth, not the real world. So far, we feel really great about how we are doing on this. Hopefully that was clear to players at BlizzCon as well!

Comment From Feye
What place will the World Bosses have in the scheme of raid difficulty and the item level of gear they drop? Will they be a mandatory part of the raiding cycle?

Ghostcrawler: We want the world bosses to be optional, kind of like Baradin Hold.

Comment From Krazie
Are we going to require items to change talents like changing the glyphs?

Ghostcrawler: Yes. Our goal (which is more important than the mechanism) is that we don't want swapping talents to be a huge pain, but don't want it to be so easy that making the choice isn't interesting. We don't want players to feel the need to swap talents in 5-player dungeons or for every trash pull in a raid.

Comment From Ensanguine
How big are the MoP areas going to be in comparison to say Outlands or Northrend?

Mumper: The zones themselves are quite large, even bigger when you take into consideration that you will not be able to use your flying mount until level 90. If I was to guess, I would say you could imagine the entire continent feeling like all 5 of the Cataclysm 80-85 zones combined.

Comment From Krazie
Will their be any raid size PvE scenarios?

Zarhym: One step at a time, grasshopper. ;D

Bashiok: Try to snatch the Valor Points from my hand.

Comment From penguin
Will there be a way for pandaran to switch factions (once) after they choose alliance/horde? Can they defect?

Mumper: We are currently planning for this to be a permanent choice.

Comment From James Brooks Tost
I play Enhance - with 4.3 the cooldown for Wind Shear is going to 26 seconds untalented, with Talents back to 5 Seconds, when MoP comes out those talents are gone. Are there plans to give the 5 second Wind Shear to Enhance as a base skill, or can I kiss my reputation as my Guild's top interrupter goodbye?

Ghostcrawler: We want Enhance to still have a frequent interrupt that locks out for less time than other interrupts. However, overall we want to reduce the frequency of interrupts and increase their duration so that when you use them is more of a decision. We want them to be more impactful for both the interrupter and target rather than a spammy nuisance.

Comment From Khrow
Any plans to rework the crowd control system? Currently fear is not a reliable form of CC unless a glyph is used so they won't move others, like warriors have no real CC at all. Speaking of which, how much CC will be needed in the new dungeons?

Zarhym: We're currently exploring ways for Fear to behave more consistently without the glyph, but don't have a precise answer yet.

Comment From Wink
Regarding the talent trees, will there be trees as we know them at all? I like the way you guys are moving with talents, but I wasn't sure if combat/assassination/subtlety would exist anymore at all? Using a rogue as an example, will all three trees be merged into 'Rogue' now? It's hard to tell from the examples given.

Ghostcrawler: Specs as you know them will still exist. At level 10 you can choose Assassination and get Mutilate. We want the specs (especially for the pure classes) to be more distinct than they are today since some of the signature utility is now available to all members of that class. Specs will contain core rotational mechanics and the tools needed to perform your role. Talents complement that with various forms of utility.

Comment From Thersius
I don't like PvP, I play on a PvP server, because my friends on a PvP server and most people from my country is playing on that particular server. I have to face world PvP every time I am doing my bussiness in the new hubs in Pandaria? I love the new zone, but I don't want to be backstabbed by a rogue while I am selling my stuff, or buying equipment. Can non-interested players avoid the world Pv

Mumper: Yes, we certainly don't want you to always be back-stabbed while you are setting up your auctions. However, if a group of the opposing faction wants to form a raid and attack your city, we want them to have a chance to be successful. So yes and no. =)

Comment From aikouka
There seemed to be a bit of a backlash at BlizzCon against the idea of counters in the Pet Battle System. An example would be a water-based pet (Murloc) vs. a fire-based pet (Lil' Ragnaros). This makes the fighting seem a bit more intricate, but I can understand the desire to have Pet Battles be easier to approach. Is there any thought to more than one skill level?

Zarhym: We intend to create a simple combat system with some engaging depth. We're still in the process hashing out the details. Suggestions are certainly welcome! ;)

Comment From Guest
So far everything I have heard about the expansion sounds too good to be true! I was wondering however - I had heard that Cooking will become a primary skill, but others say I have misheard/read this. But wouldn't it make the Pandaren racial moot if that were the case? Can you clarify?

Ghostcrawler: Cooking will remain a secondary skill. We do have some cool stuff planned to match the Pandaren love of cooking. For example, you can choose to specialize in different styles of cooking. For example, grilling may create Strength food. You can choose the specialization that makes the most sense for your character and still unlock feasts at the end, or you can try and learn all specializations.

Comment From dude
I am keeping my gray relics! Who is with me?!?!?

Zarhym: Not me! I like my gold. :)

Zarhym: We'll be wrapping up the chat pretty soon, folks, but we still have a couple more answers to provide.

Comment From oliver
What will be the new cap for professions? Do you plan to create any new professions?

Mumper: The new cap for professions is 600 and we are currently not planning to add a new profession. We are hoping that pet battles will offer a fun, new type of activity for players to do that offers an alternative to player power progression.

Comment From SlowFatKid
Will there be any grasshoppers?

Mumper: Yes! It actually just got checked into the game by the artists today! Going to be awesome to use in pet battles!

Comment From brendan
will pandas become a mount as well

Zarhym: Inappropriate! :o

Comment From Ben Casaleno
Do you plan on making talent options for each class spec or only 1 set per class. In the preview it seemed that each tier complimented a specific spec rather the class. Also if you believe that talents should be fun choices why put damage dealing spells in the talent options rather then make them only things that increase movement speed, change rotation (ie makes 1 spell faster to cast),.This new system will not kill off cookie cutter builds if things people view as optional are mixed in with abilities. Make abilities base line with spec/leveling and make talents optional increases in power not through damage like the disc priest talent soul warding or rogues improved slice and dice....they both increases possible damage without a direct damage increase. Any comments?

Ghostcrawler: The damage-dealing talents aren't core rotational abilities, but situational or utility abilities. When there is a damage option, it should compete against other damage options. The idea is to get away from cookie cutter builds. We don't think there is always a right answer for whether you'd choose to run for longer or more often. Even today, guides will say "choose what you want" for those options. Some talents will probably be better situationally (if the boss can't be interrupted, then your interrupt talent isn't so sexy for that fight), but every e.g. shaman should not have the same talent set at the same time, or our design has failed.

Comment From T Williams
Just wanted to say awesome job guys, especially on the new talent system, looks like a huge improvement

Zarhym: Thank you. We've spent a lot of time working on it. We can't wait to get further feedback and suggestions.

Comment From EldacarJS
Does Bashiok occasionally run around the office yelling "Rakanisu!" like his imp brethren from D2??

Bashiok: No way. Bishibosh 4 lyfe!

Comment From Spinner
What will happen to passive abilities like trueshot aura, arcane tactics, improved icy talons and unleashed rage? Where will they go in the new talent system?

Ghostcrawler: Many of those become passive abilities you get for your spec. We are removing some of the less interesting buffs and debuffs (+bleed damage, armor, 3% damage, resists are all on the chopping block at the moment).

Comment From MattWedra
At Blizzcon it was mentioned that PvE Scenarios will be something that we will queue for...Will we be required to be in the area that the PvE Scenario will take place in order to queue, or will we be able to queue for them from the cities like we do for the Dungeon Finder. If they are instanced events how will this "get the players out into the world" other than standing around a specific area waiting for the queue to pop, or am I missing the idea?

Mumper: We are planning to only let players queue for scenarios from specific spots in the world (where the scenario is located), not in the cities. We want players out in the world, not spamming the queue button in cities.

Comment From Grunbold
Is there any chance we'll be seeing more weapons with procs? Something akin to thunderfury, sulfuras, or even the Revenge of Kalimdor?

Ghostcrawler: Yes, proc weapons are fun. There are several in the 4.3 raid. We will add more.

Comment From Zolstice
what will the pandas ride? non anthropomorphic pandas?

Mumper: We are still working on ideas for their mount. An epic turtle is certainly one of the most popular options around the office right now!

Comment From Val
At Blizzcon you said that demolocks will create demonic fury and turn into a demon when it is maxed out. will this be automatically or will we be able to choose when we use our full demonic fury?

Ghostcrawler: You have control over when you transform. The amount of Demonic Fury you have determines the duration of the Metamorphosis.

Comment From Ferel
Has GC seen #OccupyGregStreet ?

Ghostcrawler: Heh.

Zarhym: I had nothing to do with that! ...

Comment From Juan Tejada
can other people watch the pets battle?

Mumper: We are working really, really hard to have spectating for the pet battles. Trust me, we want it just as bad as you guys. Stay tuned.

Comment From Viktor Voko Lindvall
Is Zarhym this flirty in real life?

Zarhym: Wouldn't you like to know? <3

Comment From Raghnall
With the world PvP that is being talked about, are there any plans to add any Quest Hubs in Mists of Pandaria which functions like a smaller scale of Baradin Hold/Wintergrasp that will change faction when it is assaulted? Maybe even ones with actual leveling quests instead of just more dailies to add a dynamic questing experience like the ones that were talked about at Blizzcon?

Mumper: Yes, this is exactly the kind of thing we are thinking about. We will share more info on our ideas for this soon. The idea is that we want to give players more options and not just always have one place to go or one thing to do.

Comment From Varthsic
What exactly is a PvE scenario?

Zarhym: It's a short, instanced 2-3 player experience without the need for a tank/healer. Think of them as a short series of group quests with a queuing option available.

Comment From Coercion
It's clear from the consideration and thought you give your answers that you all have a deep understanding of the theory behind MMOs. Is this all knowledge learned on-the-job, or did you have any guidance such as school or peers when making these design decisions?

Ghostcrawler: There isn't a lot of formal training that goes into it (though that seems to be improving over time). A lot of it is playing a lot of games, but it helps to have a bunch of really smart dudes on the WoW team (and throughout the company) who can poke holes in what you were certain is a brilliant idea. The guys behind the scenes don't get enough credit for the success of our games.

Comment From Damian Liu
Will there be any new underwater zones in MoP? I personally loved Vashj' and would hope that there's at least some mini-zone in the starting area or something.

Mumper: Nope, we are not making another Vashj'ir. Glad you liked it though! =)

Comment From Matthew
If you get skinning as a Pandarin, will they weep when skinning another bear?

Zarhym: :*(

Comment From Blizzhoof
I'm in a high end raiding guild and if the racials for Panderan stay as is, we are almost all going to have to race change. Do you plan to have the Panderan racials (specifically the double food buff) nearly balanced with the other races on release or do you want them to be the best to start with so more people play them?

Ghostcrawler: The food buff is the equivalent of racials like the haste or crit buffs of the goblin and worgen.

Ghostcrawler: The 100% number is a ballpark number.

Ghostcrawler: We are still evaluating the power of our primary vs. secondary stats. Primary stats (Agi etc.) are a bit good right now, but that also helps ensure that new tiers of gear are nearly always upgrades.

Comment From Zac Williams
Will Arms Warriors do an equal amount of damage when using Bladestorm (lvl 90 talent) as Fury warriors, who have double weapons over arms?

Ghostcrawler: We don't want there to be obvious talent decisions. We can make Bladestorm do more damage with two weapons or let Arms do more damage to keep Arms vs. Fury equivalent.

Comment From Nathan Drake
When do we except this x-pack to come out? (hopefully not late 2012)

Mumper: Based on what we showed at Blizzcon, hopefully sooner rather than later. =)

Comment From Zyde
Just have to say Blizzard are doing a wicked job with this expansion. It is very hard to hype up an expansion without some epic badass villain. The idea of the raging war between the two factions and the Pandaren being stuck in the middle (somehow trying to find peace?) looks to be so cleverly laid out. So very well done for that. New talent system is one of your best ideas yet. Just one question. How will the story be planned out with no villain, will there be a consecutive story eg every patch will release a raid focusing onto the main raid in the last patch. Or will every patch be unique in terms of story?

Ghostcrawler: There are definitely villians in Mists of Pandaria. We just didn't want to put one on the "box cover" so to speak (we don't know what the box looks like yet of course). You have seen some of them, like the mogu. We know who the final boss is. Seriously. It's just too epic to share. Yet.

Comment From XLM
Come on guys, time to wrap up.

Zarhym: You got it. =)

Ghostcrawler: This has been cool. It's nice being able to interact so directly with players (aside from the approximate 5000 people I met at Blizzcon). We look forward to doing it again. I want to give a shout out to all the other designers that helped Cory and I get all the answers right. :)

Mumper: Thanks for all the great questions guys! There is only so much time at the BlizzCon Q&A so this was great to get a chance to field some more questions! Thanks and hopefully we can do it again soon!

Ghostcrawler: We'll try to address the item inflation question soon in a dev watercooler.

Zarhym: Thank you all very much for participating in our first-ever CoverItLive developer Q&A! We have plans to hold these events at regular intervals going forward on much more specific topics. Stay tuned to for details.

We appreciate you being a part of our first run!

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr