It’s the second time I’ve managed to hit the spot with a Q&A question, and Thursday night’s Dev Chat was a welcome ray of sunshine for those of us with no interest in the ongoing mechanics wankfest. In fact, an awful lot of what happened in that 60 minutes makes me quietly confident that the future of Warcraft’s ‘breadth’ is in solid hands.
It was very clearly stated at the top of the hour that Paul Kubit has no connection with the Class Balance team, much to the annoyance of pretty much everybody in Twitch chat. Once that was out of the way? We got a remarkable amount of really interesting detail on the 7.1.5 content. It wasn’t just about what made it into the final build either, but the rather interesting things that never saw the light of day.
There was also answers to some questions I’d been pondering since the Patch was announced:
There was also a comment on how ‘Vanilla’ timewalking isn’t really ever going to be a thing because those dungeons can’t be altered to the new tech with any ease. I know however that one of the early iterations of the updated Scarlet Halls, for a time, was bugged and worked with what appeared to be scaling ‘code’ (there was even a video around at the time.) I’m pretty certain I even went and played in it, on several characters. I doubt therefore that we’ll see a raiding version of SSC or original Gruul in Timewalking as a result, yet Timewalking raids are still on the table. Working on the theory that you’ll not see anything from Draenor until we’re into the NEXT Expansion (Current expansion level -2 is the provisio for making Legacy into Timewalking) this throws up some interesting possibilities. As I never raided with any seriousness in Warlords, would I consider a Legacy raid?
The other major takeaway from the discussion was that Blizzard understand only too well what the consequences have been for Legion with not only the introduction of Artifacts, but the way this part of the game is ‘played’ for gold. When the Company comment at several points how much more expensive this Expansion has become, someone is doing spreadsheet math in exactly the same way that players are. That means looking at how raw materials are farmed, and more importantly factoring time in gathering and construction as a significant consideration with everything else. In the entire broadcast, this part of the discussion convinced me of Kubit’s grasp not only of what he’s doing, but of what is being aimed for in the process of professions redevelopment. People may complain about dungeon requirements and rarity of recipes, but both of these use time almost as a raw material in ways that are far more subtle than I suspect many players are aware of.
This comment was the most telling of all for me, at least as an opportunist player who grasps that it doesn’t matter whether a mob is tapped for me or not in a World Quest zone in which I’m the only Skinner. That was me last night as I picked up another Vanity Pet to turn into a mount, and for the 30 minutes I stayed in the Swarm zone in Stormheim I earned about 5000g without having to generate a single node for myself. Sometimes, there is a fine line between being entitled and opportunist. There’s a ton of cash to be made still from Skinning, and knowing new recipes will be coming as a continuous stream going forward only means more cash for everybody willing not to be too greedy. As in all things, it is grasping an appropriate limit to activity, and planning carefully your ideas in advance.
Oh, and I may actually have cheered at this announcement. All in all, a really encouraging hour, hugely more entertaining than listening to how classes are being micro-managed, and a great deal to plan on for the future.
Could we have more DevChats like this please, ActiBlizz?