Wrath of the Lich King Classic Interview - Lead Dev Brian Birmingham - Countdown To Classic Podcast
Colleagues from Wowhead interviewed the leading engineer-programmer World of Warcraft Classic Brian Birmingham. In their material, they affect the topics that are related to Wrath of the Lich King Classic as a whole, and with the search for dungeons, the CD of the raids, the change of race, the balance of fractions, the double specialization of talents and the PVP in the arena in particular. For you, we translated everything that was discussed there. You can familiarize yourself with the original by the link.

CALLISH conclusions

Here is a brief presentation of some key conclusions from this interview with Brian Birmingham:

  • Due to the fact that Wrath of the Lich King Classic was deleted by the search for dungeons, the developer team is looking for various ways to improve the experience of players when looking for a group.
  • The team discussed a change in how the CD raids works in order to find out how to reduce the number of “mandatory” visits to which players can feel obligated after heroic raids are available.
  • Services for changing races and fractions, most likely, will not be available in Wrath of the Lich King Classic, and the team studies various ideas on how to balance racial abilities, considering something fantastic.
  • The imbalance of fractions is a serious problem for the Classic community, and the team is looking for ways to solve the problem regarding the population of the worlds and lakes of ice shackles.
  • In Wrath of the Lich King Classic, the mechanics of clashes with bosses before and after nerf will not matter.
  • Double specialization of talents will not be limited in Wrath of the Lich King Classic.
  • The Classic developers team considers various ways to introduce a valor arena in Wrath of the Lich King Classic.

Brian Birmingham : Thank you for talking to me! I really appreciate the opportunity to talk about some of these all the more detail!

Deleting Dungeon Finder in Wrath of the Lich King Classic

Question : One of the hot problems of the community is to remove the dungeon search tool. One of the central parts of the conversation – what will happen to the insignia if the search for the dungeons is deleted, what type of system the team considers to help with the search for the group, and finally, will the search for the dungeons are in order if it is not cross -hearth? Can you share information on the topic?

Brian Birmingham : Firstly, I want to emphasize that our goal is to provide a tool that facilitates the search for groups without prejudice to interaction between people. Over the past years, many versions of group search tools have appeared in World of Warcraft, and we can learn lessons from each of them, including an accidental search for dungeons. We look at the modern search tool for ready -made World of Warcraft and the Burning Crusade Classic group for inspiration and ideas.

Looking at modern tools, we consider it attractive and optimized by the flow of a user interface that helps you find the action you are looking for. We also believe that it makes sense to declare your role in the group, so that it is clear what roles you already have and what you are still looking for – perhaps we will borrow these ideas. But, as you mentioned, the group between the regions is one of our problems with modern tools. When you are unlikely to see your classmates again, this can make your interaction more transactional, which can unintentively provoke other negative social actions.

What we like about the Burning Crusade Classic tool is that you can announce your availability without registration for organizing a group. It is nice to be able to say: “I’m affordable, but I do not want to lead.” We heard from some players that they really like to work with the grouping tool in this way, so we want to support this behavior. The biggest problem with the Burning Crusade tool is that it is not used little, so we would like to make it more attractive by optimizing its interface or adding an incentive to try it.

You also asked about emblems. It is important to remember that the emblems fell out of the bosses both in the dungeons and in the Wrath of the Lich King raids. Before the introduction of the dungeon search in patches 3.3, there was also a daily quest aimed at a specific dungeon, for which bonus emblems were given, which replaced the bonus of accidental search for the dungeons. We are currently planning to restore this bonus for daily tasks.

As for the LFG channel, we know that some major worlds see a lot of spam in this chat, and we have several ideas on how to clear it. We consider the possibility of making some changes in the season of skill that reduced spam, and soon we will have more information on this topic. It is worth noting that the policy of advertising on the group search channel applies to both classic and modern WOW.

Finally, and, perhaps, the most important thing will be a way to get a cheerful pug. We know that you have not forgotten this little guy, and we too. It will be available through intra -game activity, probably associated with the group, as was originally. We are still talking about the specifics, and we are also interested to hear ideas from the community about this.

Change Raid CD in Wrath of the Lich King Classic

Question : The team talked about a possible change in raid CD to reduce the number of times when players feel obligated to launch the same raid instance during this week. The problem is that the affordable production for different levels of complexity/size of the raids varies greatly, how will the team solve this problem?

Brian Birmingham : the idea to change the CD of the raid was born from some negative memories of starting the trial test four times a week, and we think that this is where the problem is most obvious. This meant that the players prematurely stopped launching Uldar, completely replacing it with various configurations of the Crusader Testing. This was caused by access to all four levels of complexity every week, and by the fact that even normal equipment for 10 people from testing the crusader was better than almost anything from Ulduar.

A sharp improvement of equipment in the test of the crusader also directly led to some problems described by the developers at that time, for example, to the “cold of the throne” in the ice crown. So, we consider the changes here, but we want to act carefully.

At a minimum, normal and heroic regimes will most likely be separated by kuldown, and heroic regimes do not exist before the “test of the crusader”. We could try to make them activated gesture modes, as it was in Ulduar, which in essence would make them separate one common CD.

We are interested to hear reviews on the topic. The presence of several difficulties of the same raid was new in Wrath of the Lich King, and as a result we tried many variations with the kuldowns of the raids throughout the addition and subsequent additions. Whatever we decide, we would like it to be the same system, and not changing from patch to patch, as it was in the original version.

Change of race and fractions in Wrath of the Lich King Classic

Question : Several interviews said that the team was “not sure” whether they will add a change of race and fractions for Wrath of the Lich King Classic. In addition, it was suggested that the restrictions on the PVP server were removed during the original WRATH due to the faction change (the restriction was that you can only have 1 faction of characters in the PVP realm). Why doesn’t the team want to add this function, and is there any other information that you can share?

Brian Birmingham : it depends on how each of us sees our connection with the game, and also on whether you consider your account as a set of achievements or as a set of characters with unique experience. Part of the attractiveness for some players is the feeling that they enter into a fantastic world, which, although it is not real, it seems that it can be real. We noticed great interest from the role of the role -playing games in the initial launch of Classic, and part of the attractiveness for this audience is that your impressions are consistent with the world in which you are. The meaning, if a giant Tauren can stun you with a hoof blow to the ground, while a tiny dwarf can break out of confusing roots, and there is no reason in the world why Tauren could suddenly become a gnome or vice versa.

On the other hand, PVP players are more concerned about their personal achievements and a game field than the story of their character. The abilities of each race have changed between Burning Crusade and Lich King, and they want to access what is considered the best abilities, while maintaining the achievements and titles that they have already earned.

For example, in Burning Crusade Classic, we provided the alliance with the seal of a martyr, so that something like this is not quite excluded here, but this is a more difficult task than a simple reflection of the press of the paladin. To illustrate why this is a problem, let’s return to the previously mentioned example of tauren and gnomes. Imagine, if we gave everyone the strength of the gnome: this would remove the opportunity to use a combat clamp for players-toureds if you thought you have a creative way to use it. Or, for example, if we gave everyone the opportunity to choose any race in the arena, this would prevent your ability to predict the enemy and confront him. In the end, you usually do not expect to see War Stomp from the gnome, but players know that Tauren can do it.

We would like to do something more fantastic to solve this problem, but we still do not know what exactly. We joked about the complete ban on racial abilities and the presence of goblins-arbitrators who run out on the field to throw a red card if you use it, and although we most likely do not do anything stupid, this gives you an idea of how We would like to solve this problem.

As for the restriction of the transfer between PVE and PVP servers and the restrictions of PVP servers with one faction for each account, we are still talking about this and probably soon telling more.

imbalance of fractions and Wintergrasp in Wrath of the Lich King Classic

Question : Speaking about fractions… The problem of imbalance of fractions is always the subject of discussion in Classic. In Wrath of the Lich King, the lake of ice shackles and Arkavon’s vaults have a huge impact on the balance of fractions. How is the developer team going to solve this problem? In addition, how much a buff of resistance is folded – I would not mind playing a robber with 100 stacks of resistance on the lake of ice shackles!

Brian Birmingham : When Olo was originally launched, this was one of the things that unintentionally led to the imbalance of fractions in different worlds. With an accessible change in the faction and the “Arkavon repository”, locked in Olo, if your faction cannot win, it would probably be better to surrender and change the faction. Although we do not plan to allow the change of fraction, you can still simply go to the world where your faction dominates, and we do not want to encourage the further imbalance of fractions. Our current idea is that perhaps there will be a kind of back door to let you into “Arkavon’s storage”, if you are not currently controlling the lake of ice shackles, but this entrance will cost something, so you have There will still be an incentive to participate in competitions.

On the other hand, as you determined, you just need to achieve a reasonable match in a world where one side dominates greatly. I think that you understood something with the idea of 100 stacks of perseverance. If you like the idea to play for a strong outsider, maybe others will like it! Maybe this motivates people to play for a weaker fraction? In the history of World of Warcraft, the balance of factions has always been difficult to solve, but the imbalance occurs due to the fact that players play where they want and they like to play where they have an advantage, therefore, perhaps an increase in heaven resistance is answer.

We are still considering the options here, but the big stacks of resistance and the back door in the “Arkavon’s crypt” are our main applicants for how to cope with the “Lake of Ice Oks”. We are interested to hear what people think about these ideas.

Meetings with bosses in the states of “before” and “after” nerf in Wrath of the Lich King Classic

Question : One of the most exciting aspects of the upcoming phase 5 TBC is meetings with bosses to nerf on the “Sun Colle Plateau”. Will this trend be preserved in Wrath of the Lich King Classic, and can players expect clashes before Nerfom in each raid?

Brian Birmingham : In Burning Crusade, many fights, especially at the beginning of the game, began in an incredibly difficult condition, and then were intentionally weakened so that the players could catch up. We introduced the levels of complexity to Nerf, because in this addition it would be a big mistake to miss more complex versions of the bosses.

In Wrath of the Lich King, this was not the case. There were simply not many “catching up” nerves, with the exception of several points, such as nerves of health in Naxramas and direct transitions to Sapphiron and Kel’Tuzada. We plan to view these emissions and see if it makes sense to supply them in the initial state, but we do not plan to create a system before/after about this time, since there are not many changes that deserve attention as it was in a flaming crusad.

On the other hand, we are looking forward to the original progressive aura of Nerf, which became stronger every week in the “Citadel of the Ice Crown”. Initially, you could talk to the NPC to completely remove the aura of progressive nerf, and one thing we consider is to make the number of stacks selected, therefore, if your group wants to try it with a slightly smaller number of non -number every week, you can configure it a little, Until he reaches his most powerful form.

We think that serious raiders have many problems between this and the complex “Ulduar” modes, although we understand that today players are much more experienced than in 2009. We are talking about what we can do in order to complicate the task, but we also want to make sure that the raids are not so complicated as to scare off speedranners or players who simply want to hang out with friends and spend the evening, destroying Internet drives.

Stop bots in Wrath of the Lich King Classic

Question : Unfortunately, the death knights can be created without a character of the 55th level, which means that bouts accounts will be able to start from the 55th level, which can aggravate the problem with the bots. Does the team know about such an opportunity and is there any measures to combat bots in Wrath Classic?

Brian Birmingham : Yes, and this is one of the reasons why you can create only one death knight without restrictions. We do not want to create a situation when you suddenly have an army of pharmaceous altas on servers throughout the region.

Messages of players about the bots noticed in the world is one of the things that helps us track them down, and we have an improved reporting system with the right mouse button, which is now part of the modern World of Warcraft, and which will also be in Wrath of the Lich King Classic. The new system is designed to standardize categories by which you report people to make it easier to track messages about bots compared to fraud of a different kind. He also automatically collects some additional information that is designed to help us work on it on the scale in which the problem arises.

Question : During the original Wotlk, players who had a key to access to Algalon an observer of 10 or 25 people and were not yet stored in the dungeon, could enter the zone, accept the call from the criminal and open the gate, all before preserving In the ID raid. Is this what the developer team put an end, or is it just smart use of game mechanics?

Brian Birmingham : This is what we would like to fix.

We value the ingenuity of our players and the creative use of game mechanics, but we like it when this mechanics supports the internal logic of the game. Even if this logic is magical or supernatural in nature, it should still be meaningful and coordinate with itself. Raid locks are designed so that the group that tried to make a raid is together to prevent the participation of an individual in more than one raid per week. Permission to someone who is not included in this group, to enter and provide special opportunities for several other raids, contradicts this imagination.

In short, this is just a bug, and we plan to fix it. Thank you for reminding!

Double Specialization of Talents in Wrath of the Lich King Classic

Question : on Twitter it was mentioned that specialization on two talents would be in Wrath Classic, but with restrictions. Can you clarify these restrictions and why does the team believe that they should be limited?

Brian Birmingham : I’ll start with the fact that we no longer consider any new restrictions, besides the fact that it was originally part of this function. You cannot change the characteristics in battle, on the battlefield or in the arena. So you will not do it at the whim. This is all that was originally true, and we will also send him this time.

Motivation to consider the possibility of its change arose due to the desire to encourage people to experiment with interesting specifications or hybrid specifications. Some of us, including me, believed that double specialization would lead to one specialization for optimal damage per second, and the other for optimal tanking or treatment, and we wanted people to feel that they needed a specialization that balances these Roles can be fulfilled either from them, it was still an acceptable choice, so you could bend in a tank in battles with several tanks and not feel like a burden in battles, where fewer tanks or healers are required. This led to the fact that we thought about such things as the need for a recreation area, the use of a folio of a clear mind, a ban on its use in dungeons and the like. But we heard a lot of reviews from people saying that double specialization gave them freedom to experiment more, and this is good.

PVP and Arena in Wrath of the Lich King Classic

Question : One of the amazing (and funny) things that the developer team did in Burning Crusade Classic was the addition of tornadoes for the first season of the Arena of the Nastrand. Well, in Wrath of the Lich King, the valor ring was presented as a arena map and many changes have underg1. I believe that it was a patch 3.2.0, when the fiery walls were removed from the map. Is this what we can see in Wotlk Classic?

Brian Birmingham : I’m glad you liked them! They certainly led to some memorable moments. We really see part of our mission to provide people with some of the unforgettable impressions of the past, and sometimes things were sophisticated because they had some roughness. But ultimately, we do not want to introduce something that seems erroneous or inconsistent. We talked about the Arena of Valor, and the opinion of the team is not unambiguous. Some people want it to be launched without fiery walls, others want it to keep pillars and flame mechanics, but be limited by skirmishes, not rank matches. We probably land somewhere in the middle. My favorite idea is to block the pillars when starting, but leave the fiery walls for one season.

But, having said all this, I’m definitely not going to make the final decision. We have much more experienced PVP players than mine, and I am sure that they will make the right decision, as soon as we delve into the details and see how the pillars and fiery walls work inside.

Question : Speaking of arenas, engineers were able to enchant their shoes with nitro -accelerators, which allowed them to fly forward. This could be used during a certain period during the original WotLK, before it was ultimately removed from the game. Could this be returned from some part of Wotlk Classic, similar to Tornado in Karenda?

Brian Birmingham : Perhaps, but we are not yet sure of the details. We want your race and your profession to be an expression of the personality of your character, and not something that you need to constantly change in order to be competitive in raids or in the arena. Nevertheless, we also like the idea that the first season can be a little more funny, while later seasons will become more serious, so this is still an open discussion. We like something that changes the arena strategy every season. Both cyclones and our list of prohibited items served this goal in Burning Crusade Classic, so we will probably do something like this again. We hope that this will give people something exciting in order to look forward to every season, not feeling that they need to constantly chase the dish of the month.