BlizzCon 2010 Coverage: Dungeons & Raids

BlizzCon 2010 Coverage: Dungeons & Raids
Classic Heroic Dungeons
  • Boss-evi u redzajniranim istancama Deadmines i Shadowfang Keep će se pojaviti kao questline u Westfall i Silverpine Forest.
  • Velike promene u klasičnim istancama (prave ih da budu više kao što su u tbc i wotlk)
  • Mnogo izmena u istancama videćemo u 4.1 Patchu. Neke istance imaće dva krila. Ulduman će biti odvojen i napraviće se iz dva dela. Maraudon će takodje postati istanca sa dva mala dela -"living" i "Princess" sekcija.
  • Sunken Temple odredjene sekcije se ukidaju, čime će se smanjiti trash. Zvuči kao da će skoro ceo gornji sprat da se smanji u 4.0.3 Patchu.
  • Wailing Caverns' maze sekcije se uklanja. "Some of these decisions weren't too hard to make."
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  • Blizzard je želeo da ima više raid zona kad je Wrath of the Lich King startovao. Oni žele više oblasti na početku, nego neke beskrajne gotičke oblasti kao Naxxramas, koja je i bila primarna istanca u Wrath of the Lich King.
  • Blizzard želi da raid bude kao "bite sized chunks" u Cataclysm - u prevodu jedan raid da se završi za jednu noć.
  • Moguće je da linkujete vaš raid lock na kanale, što je dobro za raid lidere. Kada igrač klikne na raid link može da vidi koji su bossevi ubijeni, a koji i dalje dostupni.
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Patch 4.1 Preview
Firelands Raid
  • Firelands raid će biti dodatu 4.1.0 patch. To je deo Hyjal Planine, i to je mesto elementala vatre. Ovaj raid kulminira Hyjal priču.
  • (Molten Core was merely a setback.) - Ragnaros je veći i mnogo besniji u Firelands.
  • Firelands će imati 7 boss-eva. (Oni žele da igrači odrade više istanca u jednoj nedelji, umesto da cele nedelje rade Ulduar ili ICC.)
  • Reka lave prolazi kroz Firelords, sa Sulfuron Keep, Ragnaros castle, prema severu. 
  • Concept raid istanci kreće radovima 2D crtanja koje su posle pretvarali u 3D Modele od samog starta raid dizajna.
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  • Od sada pa na dalje, novi patch će uvek sa sobom doneti 5man istancu. Abyssal Maw je jedna od istanci koja će biti ubačena uz patch 4.1. Mesto puno vode, ali ne kao Oculus - Poredjenje oculusa je zato što ova istanca ima 4 bossa i do njih ćete doći prolazeći kroz vazdušne balone.
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Enhanced Maps

  • Poboljšane mape istance, dodaće se u Cataclysm patch, uključujući boss informacije, lore , loot i njihove mogućnosti.
  • Blizzard ne želi da nam kaže kako boss ustvari radi ... ali želi da vam da neke informacije bar šta taj boss radi, bez toga da ne morate u toku raida da alt tabujete i da odete na wowhead. Poboljšane Mape će takodje imati integrisane 3D portrete bosseva, i radiće u Raid i Dungeon Istancama.
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Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Enhanced Maps
  • The 2D maps for each dungeon was the first step.
  • Detailed boss info will be added to the map, including loot, lore, and abilities! (Yep, in-game AtlasLoot)
  • You won't have to pull a boss and die anymore to find out what he does.
  • "We're not going to tell you how the boss works, but we want you to have an idea of what you're getting into."
  • 3D Portrait of the bosses will be available.
  • It will work in both Dungeons and Raids.
Patch 4.1.0 Preview - Firelands Raid
  • The Firelands are on the Elemental Plane of Fire. Lava is all over the place.
  • Ragnaros encounter will be completely different. They want to give you an idea of his true power.
  • The instance will have 7 bosses
  • Plane of Fire is an outdoor area similar to the Hyjal Raid (the layout, not the terrible waves upon waves)
  • To the north is Sulfuron Keep, you'll go indoors here to fight Ragnaros. Sulfuron Keep looks very similar to the area in Cataclysm's Hyjal levelup zone.
Patch 4.1 - Abyssal Maw 5-Man Dungeon
  • Blizzard wants to release a 5-man Dungeon with each content patch to make sure that nobody feels left out.
  • It will be a continuation of the story players are going through in Vashj'ir and Throne of the Tides.
  • Abyssal Maw is the Elemental Plane of Water.
  • "Nothing like The Oculus"
  • The dungeon has 4 bosses.
  • "Risen areas" where you fight and then travel to the next
Classic Heroics (Heroic SFK / Deadmines)
  • New quests and encounters are now available in the dungeons.
  • All dungeons in Cataclysm now have their quests inside the dungeon right at the front. They no longer are part of huge quest chains outside of the instance.
  • The instances have been updated and completely revamped, they are not like Naxxramas in WotLK and you can expect a brand new instance. Normal difficulty is also updated.
Classic Dungeons
  • Classic dungeons have been revamped to be made shorter and less confusing. Dungeons such as Maraudon or Uldaman were really really long to get through.
  • For example dungeons can be split into multiple wings. Uldaman will be broken up into 2 wings. Ironaya will be the final boss of the first wing for the Dungeon Finder.
  • Maraudon will also be broken up into 2 wings as well. The dungeon now has a "living" section, and a lower section where Princess Theradras is.
  • Other dungeons will be trimmed. The top portion of the Sunken Temple has been removed and only the bottom floor remains.
  • Wailing Caverns's maze has been removed and bosses have been moved around to just make the instance smaller. Moving bosses wasn't hard because bosses didn't really have their own rooms.
Raid Philosophy
  • Tons of new mechanics have been added to the game, "Try to be as quiet as possible so this big blind dragon doesn't kill you." , "Players flying through the air during the fight."
  • These mechanics are added to the game in bite-sized chunks to make sure that players aren't overwhelmed.
  • One of the most important goal is to have content for everyone, the normal/heroic mode system worked out great in WotLK and they will keep doing it.
Flexible Raid Locks / Difficulty
  • Ulduar Heroic encounters worked fine, Blizzard decided that they could just make the whole instance Heroic (Trial of the Crusader). They decided to make the difficulty dynamic in Icecrown Citadel because ToC was just a pain in the ass.
  • With the new system, you can join multiple raids of either size but you can only defeat each boss once per week.
  • Heroic Difficulty works just like it in Wrath of the Lich King - Once you kill a heroic boss, you're locked to that raid group with that raid ID. However, if heroic bosses get too hard you can kill normal mode bosses with other people. (You can't do the same boss on Heroic and Normal in a week)
Raids & Dungeons Q&A
Q: Will there be a better system to prevent "ninja" looting on the LFG system?
There are a couple of improvements in Cataclysm. The loot system is more strict and people aren't able to roll on something they cannot wear.

Now that 10 and 25-man raids have the same difficulty, how do you balance them and make them the same difficulty?
Balancing is very hard but it's also a very high priority, encounters should be roughly the same difficulty. It might take some time but developers will get them to the same difficulty.

With the flexible raid lock system, is there anything to prevent people from leaving the group as soon as something bad happens?
It will get better over time, as player gets better and get used to the new system you will most likely end up getting a much better PuG experience.

Legendary weapons, with 10 and 25 man lockouts being combined in cataclysm are there any plans to go back to Ulduar and Icecrown citadel in regards of Shadowmourne and Val'anyr
Are we going to go back and change the way fragments drop? That's a good point, will bring that up in the office on monday. It's a great suggestion.

Are you changing BRD as well in Cataclysm?
I've done a pass on most of the old dungeons, trimming a lot of the suck. Things like 20 seconds sleep and 10 seconds disarms and things really really obnoxious. Unfortunately breaking up BRD is very tricky, so what we did do is put up some teleporters, there's a teleport past the bar, in the city, etc ... There are also teleports in Cataclysm dungeons such as Shadowfang Keep, Deadmines. Graveyards are also super close now, all dungeon graveyards are right outside the portal now. Developers want you to do the encounters, not run so much.

I'm concered about encounter mechanics like more hard stuff, my main concern is that the binary sort of thing that certain mechanics are big and flashy or something really subtle or obvious but it wont kill you immediately. Is there any middle ground there?
We talk about that quite a lot, and it's actually a pretty nasty design problem. Tanks and healers have a lot of things on their hands, if you are taking a little bit of damage you're probably going to blame the healer. We're trying to make things more visual and hopefully you won't have to look at a buff stacking for an encounter, one of the new things we have in Cataclysm are meters that the dungeon guys can script to make some of the mechanics more visual and make sure players know why they die. The blind dragon (Atramedes) for example needs you to be quiet, that's visually indicated with a sound bar.

Is there any plan to make a legendary weapon guild bound due to achievements
It's not something we're looking into, there's an achievement for it but we have no plans to make a guild wide legendary. It's an idea that came up but there are a lots of design problems with that, it was more complicated than what it was worth. For the time being, in the future legendaries will be for one person.

Originally Posted by Zarhym (Source World of Warcraft Dungeons & Raids Panel)
This year's Dungeons & Raids panel with Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton and Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer focused on the developers’ design goals for Cataclysm -- starting with a look at what’s in store for two classic dungeons, Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep.

A New Feel for Classic Dungeons

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, many classic dungeons will be updated to reflect our ever-evolving design philosophy, and the reworked Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep should serve as two good examples of how classic dungeons can be greatly improved without losing their “classic”; feel. Even after players have long memorized every last corner of a dungeon, classic dungeons can be made to feel fresh again by adding new quests, new encounters, and interesting lore lead-ins from their respective zones (in this case, Westfall and Silverpine Forest). This subtle approach helps revitalize classic dungeons for low-level characters and provides meaningful content for level-85 characters through Heroic versions, while still retaining the spirit of what made the dungeon popular in the first place.

One exciting new change that Stockton announced was that all key dungeon quest givers will now be located just inside the dungeon entrance. You will no longer have to beg your party to share their quests with you, or make your way to a dungeon only to find you haven’t completed a mandatory quest chain.

The primary goal for touching up any classic dungeon is to make them less confusing, shorter (in the case of the most sprawling crawls), and -- overall -- more fun. One way to accomplish this is to tweak the layouts and divide larger dungeons into separate wings. Come Cataclysm, players will see this philosophy in action in places like Uldaman and Maraudon, now separated into wings that are easier to navigate. Other dungeons are better served by trimming away the excess, as in certain sections of Sunken Temple and the maze-like portion of Wailing Caverns.

Raid Philosophy

One of the first things level-85 raiders will notice in Cataclysm is that more raid dungeons will be accessible right off the bat, in the form of multiple, smaller-scale raid dungeons. Our goal is to provide a dynamic and wide range of raid content that offers a little something for everyone.

Ever since Ulduar, our philosophies for Heroic raid dungeons and lockout systems have been steadily evolving. Ulduar presented players with the first-ever opportunity to toggle the difficulty of a raid boss for a greater challenge and access to better loot -- but the system was somewhat confusing, requiring players to know how to trigger Heroic difficulties through specific gameplay mechanics that varied by encounter. In Trial of the Crusader, players were granted the ability to toggle Heroic difficulty directly through UI, but could only change it for the entire dungeon at once. In Icecrown Citadel, we melded the mechanics of Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader to give players the flexibility to choose between normal and Heroic difficulties via the UI on a boss-by-boss basis… and we’re still making tweaks to give players even more options.

Patch 4.0.1 introduced the flexible raid lock system, which will be used in Cataclysm raids. While the Heroic raid lockouts will function the same as they did in Wrath of the Lich King, normal raids will lock players to specific boss kills each week, rather than to entire dungeons. This system is designed to give players with fluctuating schedules more flexibility to progress through content, to help keep players from being locked out of raiding for a week if an emergency comes up, and to give raid leaders more options when scheduling raids and maintaining a raid roster.

Patch 4.1

The panel closed with a first look at the Firelands, an all-new raid coming in patch 4.1. Continuing the quest to save Hyjal from an elemental invasion, players will be called upon to enter the Elemental Plane of fire and extinguish seven unique bosses… including Ragnaros himself. Too soon?

Also coming in patch 4.1 is the five-player Abyssal Maw dungeon, which takes players into the Elemental Plane of water to challenge four new bosses…and while it’s technically an underwater dungeon, the designers promise that the layout and mechanics are nothing like those in the Oculus.

Another major feature of patch 4.1 will be enhanced dungeon and raid maps. While dungeon maps currently show the dungeon layout and locations of bosses, 4.1 will allow players to find a host of new information for each boss, including 3D boss portraits, the lore behind the encounter, a full loot list, and a breakdown of boss abilities (by phase, if applicable).

At this point the audience was shown video footage of two new raid zones being introduced in Cataclysm, Bastion of Twlight and Throne of the Four Winds. That's all from the World of Warcraft Dungeons & Raid panel. Thanks for reading!
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