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    #1

    Interview: Blizzard's Greg Street on new systems in Cataclysm

    Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street should need no introduction to Blizzard fans. As World of Warcraft’s Lead Systems Designer, Greg’s the perfect guy to talk us through the axing of the much-anticipated Paths system, the newly-overhauled PvP system, introducing the Mastery system – in fact, all things “System.” We also chat about “concentrated coolness,” and what horrifies him.

    Gameplanet: What precipitated the removal of spell power, defense and similar item statistics?

    Greg Street: The problem was that we had these competing stats, like intellect and spell power. Intellect didn’t really do much except affect the mana pool for spell casters, so it wasn’t super-exciting for them. Spell power is what they really cared about on their gear and we felt that instead of having one lame stat and one exciting stat, let’s just make them the same thing.

    We removed armor penetration because it was just not balanceable. It was a thing where the more you got the better it was going to be and it was just never going to work out.

    A stat like defense: Instead of being something exciting that tanks could try to gear for it felt like a barrier to entry so that they couldn’t even do their job until they hit some magic number.

    So we just tried to get rid of anything that was problematic like that. Our philosophy is to try and make gear as widely attractive to lots of different types of characters. We want dropping a piece of gear to be exciting, we want players to make a choice about it, rather than having players say, ‘Well, this boss has one item I want and this boss has one item I want’ and feeling like the choices are limited.
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    #2
    Wow needs to die already, it was ruined a long time ago since BC.

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    #3
    That's why it's the most popular MMO ever right?

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    #4
    I wonder if Blizzard just deleted everyones accounts and closed all the servers, how many people would kill themselves?

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    #5
    Quite a few I'd say..

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    #6
    after some of the youtube vids ive seen of people that got hacked or banned and their emotional responses i wouldn't be surprised if a few thousand people topped themselves

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    #7
    Great article. Always like to hear where the designers are coming from.

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    #8
    Holy shit, 48124 views and 7 replies.

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    #9
    I hope Cataclysm is better than BC and WotLK by some stretch of faith

    It'll have to be pretty awesome to top BC

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    #10
    jdz wrote:
    Holy shit, 48124 views and 7 replies.
    Yeah it kind of got MMOChamp'd

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    #11
    Gotta love the WoW nerds that made it 88k views.

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    #12
    Pxndx wrote:
    I wonder if Blizzard just deleted everyones accounts and closed all the servers, how many people would kill themselves?
    None, we would just be sad to be forced to play some other, worst MMO :P

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    #13
    Rungus wrote:
    Gotta love the WoW nerds that made it 88k views.
    Gotta love someone that have the rank of "forum whore" in a gaming site and call who plays OTHER games nerds. 7 trolls versus 88k people that wanted to know about the game, don't you feel a little small trolling here?

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    #14
    OK I am sick of hearing people QQn about the Vanilla and BC days. Get over it and prove that you can still pwn without exploiting some old game glitch.

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    #15
    What the hell are you on about Necrolord

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    #16
    menace.nz wrote:
    Wow needs to die already, it was ruined a long time ago since BC.


    iRoN wrote:
    That's why it's the most popular MMO ever right?
    Really want me to get started on this argument? Just because it's popular doesn't make it good. Just means the masses suck shit up like they did with CoD.

    Fact is WoW is to easy these days and anyone that thinks different is a retard, Blizzards attitude of 'everyone should see end game content' is pathetic. End game is supposed to be a reward and a challenge not a sight seeing adventure.

    Casual gamers kill games. End of story.

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    #17
    And yet you haven't given a plausible reason as to why the game itself should be ended, why stop printing money?

    And that's the end of that chapter.

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    #18
    HappyCamper_NZ wrote:
    Fact is WoW is to easy these days and anyone that thinks different is a retard, Blizzards attitude of 'everyone should see end game content' is pathetic. End game is supposed to be a reward and a challenge not a sight seeing adventure.

    Casual gamers kill games. End of story.
    Creating end-game content is a long and involved process, costing a lot of time and money: It's not in Blizzard's interests as a business to spend months designing content that the whole user-base funds but that only a handful (figuratively speaking) see. This was the logic behind heroic raiding: Those who want to be challenged and receive extra reward can, but the fundamental experience is available to many.

    Without a doubt it's decisions like this that have allowed WoW to sustain its millions-strong subscription base.

    If you're hoping that future MMO's will cater to a niche core who demand content unattainable by significant proportions of the player base, you're going to be disappointed, I'm afraid.

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    #19
    I just don't see why maybe 1% of a total game population expects said game to be designed and catered only to them, do you think you have any say or pull or claim of loyalty just because you moan the loudest? Sure the game began with you but it's grown far beyond the hardcore crowd, all blizzard is doing is applying good business sense.

    Design a game around 1% of the population or 99%? that sure is a tough one..

    I'm not saying i don't prefer things the way they were, but the constant moaning and hard done by feelings are getting beyond old, Wow is obviously not for you anymore if it repulses you so, it doesn't need to end, just go find a game that does cater to "you" (Like bt did when he found ffxiv)

    I can't believe i'm sticking up for the man... i'm going to run away and jump back on the fence now.

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    #20
    I'm not disagreeing that it's good business sense but it's killed what was a great game.

    As you stated the hardcores were the ones that were there from the start and nutured the game through it's first steps but now it's ****ing us in every concievable way so we go the way of the dinosaur. Similar to the COD series bitch slapping it's original console and player base in the face by pumping out low quality, recycled games with the minimal story line needed and feeling, to me at least, like cheap console ports.

    Heriocs aren't a challenge either; the fact is WoW has now become an achievement grind and nothing more. The gear/loot side of it becomes pointless as high quality gear is now so easy to obtain it loses all value and status.

    The casual player base whines and Blizzard bows. Arguably if they had continued to pump out content aimed at their earlier player base they could have sustained their game in a quality state, as it's always been very profitable but it just wouldn't profitable to the same degree (business sense comes in), but they decided to pamper the casual gamer and listen to the players that will won't really last.

    It's not like there's even a slight challenge in that game. I feel downsizing raiding was one of the worst things they've done. If I went back now and played that game from 1 - 80 and then continued through and did all the raids/heriocs etc I would feel no sense of achievement or unity with my guild as I could probably PUG the whole damn thing. Game is a cakewalk, no longer a challenge and therefore (to me at least) no longer fun.

    In the end I also feel they are hurting their lore, the final bosses feel weak and listless; it's no longer a boss fight it's a bitch fight.

    Edit: I'll bitch because what's the point of standing by and doing nothing?

    I'd rather not see the gaming industry turn into one massive cluster **** of profit based games - even though it's heading that way. I don't play the game anymore and I haven't really 'played' for a few years. But I know what it's like and i'll occasionaly fill in for a friend in a raid etc.

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    #21
    ^ - Go play EVE Online then.

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    #22
    The lore is mainly what pisses me off, firing perfectly good VA's because blizzard is stingy and Chris Metzen thinks he has talent / can voice every 3rd character (he really can't)..

    Kael (one of my fav characters) being blatantly ass pulled as a villain. Same with Illidan "going insane"
    I could go on for years about the lore

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    #23
    wow this thread was dug up from the deep... 29th June, some random settler? drags it up lolz

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    #24
    majority of wow community is so retarded and the hardest thing about the game is managing people. raiding is exactly this on a bigger scale. just find the right people with gear, and copy pasta scripted events.

    shitty dungeons - vanilla had way better 5 man dungeons. dungeons had 2-5 different "runs" (e.g brd emp run, jailbreak, arena etc). bc/wotlk dungeons are pretty much "follow the hallway" from start to finish.

    the best loot 5 man dungeons ever get are gimpiest of epics, even if people were/willing to put more effort than raids. though in wotlk end game tokens to the casuals were introduced, weekly token/daily dungeon only gave so little per week.

    butchered lore - look forward to the expansions after cata

    revamped pvp: pvp was/is/and never will be "balanced" in wow. it's actually laughable because it's so stupid. it's like competitive fps using controllers.

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    #25
    One thing that bothers me is that in their evolution of the game they've shit on the original players and subscribers who made the game popular in the first place by radically changing it so much to cater for people who didn't have MMOs are their favorite flavor when it came to game genres, effectively stealing and morphing the game (and debatably the whole genre) into something that misses the point and fundamentals of MMO gameplay.

    The main thing that bothers me is this WoW fanbase now go to every other game saying they feel like something "fresh" yet when a new MMO launches they shit all over it like WoW came out the day before instead of seven years prior and leave shortly thereafter and all the bad press and word of mouth drive new games into the ground because they don't have X feature which WoW has, therefore it sucks.

    If you want polish and a glorified chatroom then go to WoW, if you want a real old-school MMO then you'll keep looking like me. (Although as Ramza stated before I believe i've found it in FFXIV. I am actually happy most of the subscribers have left because I know they'll take their ridiculous expectations and whining about how hard the game is, elsewhere).

    In saying all of this, I think Cataclysm is a step in the right direction development wise and i'll be playing both games when it launches and hope the same amount of fail that infested WotLK doesn't leak over, reason being I feel certain gaming responsibilities when my partner has nearly 10 level 80s and doesn't touch any other games xD