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Last Week's Dev Interviews: Recap!

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This week, a number of fansites released exclusive interviews with Blizzard's employees. Today, we decided to list these interviews and give you an overview of what you can read in them.

Arena Junkies interviewed Tom Chilton, Lead Designer. The interview takes the form of a 30-minute Youtube video. Arena Junkies being a PvP website, most of their questions are about PvP class-balance, battlegrounds, and arenas.

Convert to Raid, a popular World of Warcraft podcast for raiders, released a special issue that features Ion Hazzikostas (Lead Encounter Designer) and that lasts for approximately 30 minutes. A number of subjects are discussed.

  • Will Challenge Modes be extended to dungeons from past expansions?
  • Why were daily quests designed the way they are? What will change in the future? Why were faction tabards removed?
  • What is the feedback on the Brawler's Guild and the Scenarios?
  • When a queue for a dungeon or a raid is ready, why does it no longer show the current progress of the group I am about to join?
  • Is the raid progression pace (boss tuning) satisfying you?
  • How do you come up with fight mechanics for the raid encounters?
At the end of the interview, Ion reaffirms Blizzard's commitment to releasing smaller content patches at a higher frequency. Also, we learn that Patch 5.2 will most likely feature a large raid zone, possibly of the magnitude of Ulduar or ICC.

Method, the #1 25-man guild, also asked questions to Ion Hazzikostas. They extensively discussed the the new upgrade system, asked why it is different in Asian realms, and how it will affect the item level of the gear from the next tier of content. We also learn in this interview that new bosses and ranks may be added to the Brawler's Guild in the future. There are also a few questions regarding Patch 5.2, gated raid progression, and the way hotfixes should be announced.

Darkmoon Herald, another popular World of Warcraft podcast, interviewed Dave Kosak, Lead Quest Designer. He mentions a number of interesting lore/questing issues:

  • how storytelling and the design of quests, daily quests, scenarios, and dungeons are intertwined;
  • that there is an easter egg in Jade Forest that not a lot of people have found (at 06:30 in the interview);
  • which tools Blizzard can use to support storytelling in the game, such as phasing;
  • how user feedback influences the design of quests and daily quests;
  • how they deal with people not reading quest text;
  • how the quest design team ensures coherency with the lore of the game;
  • whether we will see a resurgence of class-specific legendary quest lines;
  • that there are teasers in Mists of Pandaria for the next expansion.

Wowhead also got a chance to interview Dave Kosak. The interview starts with questions about the Brawler's Guild and the new Patch 5.1 factions and scenarios in Krasarang Wilds, such as the design decision they had to make or the motivations behind those new features. Then the interview switches to questions about the factions of Mists of Pandaria and their daily quests.

WaracraftPets interviewed Cory Stockton, Lead Content Designer. Below, you will find the highlights of the interview.

  • Cory provided a sneak peak at the pet design process.
  • Future patches and expansions won't contain quite as many pets as we saw in MoP and 5.1.
  • Blizzard is very pleased with Pet Battles — more than 50% of players are participating.
  • Epic (and possibly legendary) pet qualities will definitely come, in time.
  • Pet gender may play a role down the road — think "cross-breeding" your pets.
  • Older pet models will see some updating (frogs and snakes were mentioned), possibly for 5.2.
  • Some wild pets will become tradable... eventually.
  • Wild "boss pet" encounters, where you’d use your entire team to take down an über pet, are in the works.
  • Dog-lovers rejoice! More traditional-style dog pets à la Perky Pug are on the horizon!

All Things Azeroth, another popular World of Warcraft podcast, interview Greg Street, Lead Systems Designer. The interview starts at approximately 46:00 in the podcast. Here are the main questions that were asked:

  • What differentiates WoW from other MMOs?
  • What was learned from the failures of Cataclysm?
  • What aspect of the game are players most pleased with?
  • Anything you can share on 5.2, any Ulduar-like raid in the works?
  • Which classes could still use talent adjustments?
  • How do the numbers of players with Gold Challenge Modes compare with your initial expectations?
  • Which classes do you think need the most work now?
  • How do you feel about Justice Points in Mists of Pandaria?
  • Do you have a specific timeline for the new patch releases?
  • Will legendary weapons be usable for transmogrification?

Legendary also interviewed Greg Street. They discussed the following subjects:

  • 10 vs 25-man raiding;
  • Cross-Realm Zones;
  • Daily Quests;
  • Making Reputation Easier for Alts;
  • Reputation Tabards?
  • Class Balance;
  • Boss Encounter design;
  • LFR Loot system;
  • New talents a success?
  • PvP Balance;
  • PvP power and PvP resilience;
  • Gear Escalation;
  • PvP balance’s influence on PvE.

Lastly, Anne Stickney interviewed Jonathan Brown (Zarhym - Community Manager), Dave Kosak (Lead Quest Designer), and Cory Stockton (Lead Content Designer) for WoW insider. She asked a number of very interesting questions about how the Patch 5.1 features (Brawler's Guild, Landfall daily quests, and scenarios) came into being. She then moved on to discuss the Tillers faction before mentioning the recent changes to raids from previous expansions that allow most classes to solo them. Being a lore specialist, she ended the interview with a few lore questions.

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Won't be too long until Icy Veins has its own Q&A with a Dev! Posted Image

I can't wait! I think we could come up with some interesting questions :)

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