' Are we there yet?
“While in recent years Blizzard’s been in the habit of announcing BlizzCon in the first quarter, we haven’t yet reached two of the dates on that list, and we’re not far past March 25th. So really, just under half of all BlizzCon announcements happened right around this point in the year.” Blizzard has yet to announce the dates for this year’s BlizzCon and people are getting antsy. And hey, there may not even be a BlizzCon this year. Elepheagle gives a rundown of BlizzCon yearly announcements so I can worry about other stuff, for now.
% Will the real daughter of Argus please stand up?
Senior Art Director Chris Robinson revealed the team’s current progress on the new Draenei model. Thank goodness, because I don’t know how much longer we could have waited after that whole April Fool’s thing.
+ “On a certain level, how you move in the game is one of the most important things you experience as a player. It’s your main interaction with the world around you. For Warlords of Draenor, we wanted to improve the locomotion of WoW’s player characters with brand new rigs.” Steve Aguilar, lead animator for the World of Warcraft team, introduced the new male Tauren model and delved into the animation process.
Esoth is embarking on an impressive journey: To complete the gold wave in Proving Grounds for all 31 specs in the game. He discusses his goals, what he looks for in a spec-agnostic UI, and how he plans on tackling this monumental task.
! But what about me?
Along with news of new heroes and legendary cards, Blizzard released Warlords of Draenor beta keys into the wild at PAX East. Given to attendees who play WoD, HotS, and Hearthstone demos, the keys grant a guaranteed spot in a later phase of the expansion’s development. But what about the rest of us? No love for the folks who attended BlizzCon? According to CM Lore, there will be other ways to get into the beta.
If you're not at PAX, don't worry, there will be plenty of other opportunities to score beta access before we roll out the red carpet :)
— Lore (@CM_Lore) April 11, 2014
' Mo’ Money
The devs revealed that Engineering items like Nitro Boosts and MOLL-E would have BoE versions in the expansion. I’ll spare you my feelings on that here, but what about the effects for players in general? Phat Lewts discusses the implications and viability of Engineering as a gold-making profession in WoD.
" Mo’ Loot
“Loot is an incredibly important aspect of Diablo games and we will continue to keep a very close eye on it. If more problems arise we will continue striving to address them. It isn’t our goal to take loot away from people, we just want to make sure they are having as much fun as possible while finding it and these changes all support that goal.” Game Designer Travis Day revealed a hotfix in which the bonus legendary drop rate for rifts was increased from 25% to 100% and unique monsters will drop fewer items.
+ Grimiku posted about future quality of life improvements based on community feedback.
% Mo’ Awesome
The folks at Blizzard know how to get down. To celebrate the release of Reaper of Souls in Korea, the team put together an epic release party including awesome Diablo cosplay from the Spiral Cats cosplay team. Tasha’s fantastic Crusader cosplay is featured in this issue’s header.
' Make It Last
“We are creating an experience where a team has a chance to do a few things before people start dying.” Dustin Browder talks hero lethality in Heroes of the Storm. What, still think every battle should be 10 seconds long?
# That’s for the Juggernaut
Heroic Siegecrafter Blackfuse is a clusterfu… complicated fight with a ton of moving parts. But when you learn where you fit in to the encounter as a player, everything falls into place. The belt assignment can be intimidating as it’s a key assignment in the encounter. Reesi demystifies the belt team with her 10-man Heroic SCBF belt guide:
“None of that discussion addressed what would eventually be a crucial (and in the case of our beta test results, deciding) factor: what makes a good metric?” Theck and Meloree created the TMI metric with the goal of calculating the threat of spike damage to a tank. Using Simulationcraft, it’s relatively easy to determine the effectiveness of a healer during a boss encounter, but not as easy when it comes to assessing a tank’s survivability. Theck recaps the process of (re)-building the TMI metric in two parts.