BlizzCon 2015: WoW Systems Panel Live Blog
This is the live blog for the WoW Systems Panel of BlizzCon 2015. The live blog will take place at the following times:
- 4:00 p.m. EST
- 3:00 p.m. CST
- 2:00 p.m. MST
- 1:00 p.m. PST
- 9:00 p.m. London
- 10:00 p.m. Paris
- 8:00 a.m. Sydney
The live blog begins after the break!
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3:00 p.m. CST: Welcome to the panel, guys! We’ve got several devs here – information overload incoming about items, professions, classes, the demon hunter, and Craig Amai is here to talk about artifacts and class halls.
3:02 p.m. CST: Craig has been heading up the artifact feature, and we’re going to see what it’s like to play with them. We’ll look at the Deadwind Harvester, a scythe given to the first necrolyte by Gul’dan — it’s a weapon for Affliction Warlocks. You meet up with the Black Harvest and follow a quest that takes you to the Dark Riders of Deadwind Pass and head to the catacombs beneath Karazhan!
3:03 p.m. CST: This is a soul-stealing weapon – every time you kill something, your spells do increasing damage. The souls in the weapon try to escape, you can re-capture them. Once it’s enhanced, you head to the Broken Isles and collect artifact powers that you use to unlock new abilities. Get them from quest bosses rare spawns, rare drops, dungeon bosses, raid bosses – once you get enough power, you can unlock a new trait.
3:05 p.m. CST: The first trait they’re showing is an active trait that you can put on your bar. For the scythe, you release the souls for a super-DoT, long duration. After you unlock the first active trait, the tree opens up and you can decide where to go.
3:06 p.m. CST: There are some interesting powers being shown here – some offensive, some defensive, even a talent that allows your healthstone to be a full heal. Eventually you’ll be able to unlock every single trait – first trait is almost immediately, but it’s going to take months to fully unfold and unlock all of these traits. Your weapon grows with you for the entirety of Legion.
3:07 p.m. CST: There are also relics – items you can socket into your weapon. You can increase your item level, or you can get bonus ranks in the traits you choose. This allows you to specialize to what you’re interested in playing the most.
3:08 p.m. CST: Those relics over time will be able to tap into major traits as well as the minor ones. There’s many different types of relics – different people are going to be seeking out different relics. Once you reach max level, you’ll undergo a questline where you can upgrade your weapon – this will unlock an additional relic slot, and a new model for your weapon.
3:09 p.m. CST: There are even more questlines that will give you access to even more models over time. And even beyond the models, there are many different colors for the different models as well – color swaps. They’re more like achievement rewards. But these rewards can also be unlocked by achieving significant story points as well.
3:11 p.m. CST: Now we’ve got video of other weapons available – some great variations in model styles here.
3:12 p.m. CST: On to class halls! Class halls or order halls – they’ve been referred to as both. Let’s talk about location – whatever location is chosen, they want you to feel like you’re class when you’re in that area. When you think of a place like Fray Island for warriors – that’s the kind of feel they’re going for, only more interesting, grander, they want you to feel like a warrior. And whatever groups they were going to bring in, they wanted to bring in the greatest breadth of class fantasy – warriors for example – barbarians, knights, veterans of the battlefield, etc. They should ALL feel at home in that space.
3:14 p.m. CST: They are forming on the front lines, forming to fight the Burning Legion – that’s their cause, and it needs to be reflected. We won’t be seeing every class hall unfortunately, but we’re going to see one of them here.
3:15 p.m. CST: Druids! It’s your hall – Moonglade is one of the first places they thought of for druids, it’s pretty close to hitting all points, welcoming all varieties of druid, but it could do a better job of surrounding druids with nature, and be a better home for cat and bear druids, could reflect the Emerald Dream a little better. At the same time, we’re going to the Broken Isles, where druidism was born.
3:16 p.m. CST: The Dreamgrove is where the fabric between the Emerald Dream and Azeroth is thinnest. It becomes what Moonglade couldn’t be – encompasses the elements that Moonglade was missing.
3:17 p.m. CST: Other things in class halls – a special shrine to unlock and empower your artifacts. For Shaman, it’s in the eye of the maelstrom. You can also see your class champions in your class hall – bigger figures, lore figures – the Council of the Black Harvest is being shown, and Lady Liadrin. You’re also going to be interacting with your scouting map – you use it to explore zones and choose where to go. There’s plenty of class content – some of it is little flavor things, pickpocket quests, demon hunting quests, etc.
3:19 p.m. CST: There’s a variety of features and bonuses in the halls. Armor stands to show off your gear! Hunters have a lodge in Highmountain and they can access a special flight network with eagles. Druids have access to the Dream that allows them to traverse to different areas. Warriors have an arena where they can spar for bragging rights.
3:20 p.m. CST: You’ll have your class hall with your class features, and Dalaran for their city features. Every class hall will have its own brand of deathgate like death knights – a mechanic to quickly get you to your class hall.
3:21 p.m. CST: Jonathan LeCraft is here to chat about Demon Hunters. Demon Hunters are dark heroes, they’ve sacrificed their souls to fight a threat that nobody knows exists. They are melee, wear leather armor, and they take the weapons of their enemies and use them against them — warglaives, fel magic.
3:22 p.m. CST: You can choose your horns, your blindfold, your tattoos, your skin, and there are new voices for all demon hunters. Havoc is one of the two specs – melee dps, emphasis on mobility. They use a resource called Fury, which is similar to rage for warriors, classic built it up, spend it on attacks.
3:23 p.m. CST: Demon’s Bite is one ability that generates a random amount of fury – Chaos Strike uses 40 Fury, but if it crits, it doesn’t use any Fury at all. There’s also Throw Glaive, which is a ranged attack – no minimum range, can hit multiple targets. No Fury cost, but there’s a cooldown involved.
3:25 p.m. CST: Blade Dance looks really cool – it’s a talent, they’re considering moving it to a core spell. Mobility — Double Jump! There’s also Glide, it reduces your falling speed, like a built-in goblin glider with demon wings. They can be activated by the jump key so they don’t take up space on your bar. Then there’s Vengeful Retreat and Fel Rush – they don’t require a target, and can be done mid-air. This looks really cool in action.
Mitch edit: Seriously, this looks incredible!
3:26 p.m. CST: Fel magic has Chaos Nova – nuclear level AE stun, Eye Beam, frontal cone attack, channeled. And then there’s Consume Magic, medium range interrupt – when you interrupt, you get a full bar of Fury.
3:27 p.m. CST: The inner demon comes out with these spells. Metamorphosis transforms you into a demon — transforming midair, AOE stun. 100% life leech while it’s active.
3:28 p.m. CST: Spectral Sight allows you to see through your demon hunter’s eyes – through physical barriers, stealth, and invisibility. (Poor rogues can’t hide anywhere!)
Mitch edit: This looks exactly like Widowmaker’s ultimate in Overwatch.
3:29 p.m. CST: Second spec – Vengeance – not a ton of abilities yet because it’s still in development. It’s a Demon Inquisitor — they inflict pain to extract information, and cast protective spells. They have their own Metamorphosis, a strong defensive cooldown.
3:31 p.m. CST: Now on to the rest of the classes! Talking about class fantasy, and looking at the classes with Kris Zierhut. What is a class fantasy? Something immersive where you really feel the theme of the class. Distinct as well, they feel completely different from each other. And they’re empowering, you feel like you’re playing a powerhouse of a character that has total control.
3:33 p.m. CST: Death Knight runes – there are six runes, three different types, and you can’t push the buttons you want to push because you’re waiting for a rune. There is now one type of rune, but you can use it when you want to use it – still six on the bar, just one type. Fury warriors have ability charges right now – all gone now, it’s been cleaned up, charges are gone. Anywhere there was a stacking buff or debuff, it’s been removed or turned into a resource. Arcane mages now have a resource – arcane mages didn’t feel particularly powerful.
3:34 p.m. CST: New mastery for arcane mages – Savant, increases the amount of mana in your mana bar, and how much damage your arcane blasts do. Survival hunters: Going back to 2004 WoW, they are melee hunters now, fighting with a spear. Disc priests feel like a different flavor of the holy priest, but not distinct enough. So they are doubling down on Atonement – they heal by damaging their enemies now. Rogues – Sub rogues has a strong fantasy of being the master of shadows but it wasn’t distinct. Shadow Dance is a cool ability but is there a better version – yes, passive version now every time you dance you have a chance to re-enter stealth, cannot be broken by taking damage. There’s also Shadow Strike – they can teleport to a target and do Ambush level damage to that target. True ninja, moving to where you want to be.
3:37 p.m. CST: Generic rogue abilities got removed – Honor among thieves is gone. Demo Warlocks! Demo should be about summoning demons, they now have more demons to summon, but not about turning into one. Guardian druids – should be like a grizzly bear that you just can’t get past. Now about increased health, armor, survivability. Shadow priests! Shadow priests don’t really fit into a cohesive whole – so they’re about tapping into the powers of the void … like the Old Gods. New resource for Shadow Priests is Insanity – spells build up Insanity and they start getting darker and transform into a Void form. It’s ultimate but fleeting power.
Mitch edit: I’m having trouble holding back here! SHADOW PRIESTS!
3:40 p.m. CST: Talents! Big talent revision – same format, but fewer “theme” rows. There are more choices that matter now, more ways to customize your character and make choices that matter – hundreds of new talents on the way in Legion, more than in any other expansion. Starting tomorrow, there are going to be blogs detailing every single class and spec and the new stuff we’re getting.
3:41 p.m. CST: And let’s get into professions with Paul Kubit. They want to give us more stuff to do. Gone are the days of going to a trainer and paying to learn everything – they want us to get out in the world and find recipes out there. Example – tailoring, you meet your trainer, she sends you on a quest to find out what kind of cloth they have in the Broken Isles. You get the cloth, take it back, but it doesn’t take the thread you have. Then you have to go find someone who knows how to address that sewing problem — you go find one of the natives of the Broken Isles, chat with someone and it looks like there’s a lot of lore being compiled into all this profession acquisition here.
3:44 p.m. CST: Speaking of gathering professions and people sniping nodes – won’t happen anymore. Nodes are shared with EVERYONE.
3:45 p.m. CST: You learn all your recipes, but there’s ranks beyond just learning the recipes themselves. You can go earn these ranks by doing things out in the world. Whoa – new professions UI, much larger!
3:46 p.m. CST: There’s a favorites list option now so you can pull the recipes you make the most up to the top. There’s also a learned and unlearned tab – you can complete your collections now!
3:47 p.m. CST: Ranks help with efficiency and mats – power takes Obliterum. Once you hit 110 you make a giant forge that can produce out of things you don’t need. Sounds like a disenchanting kind of mechanism, but it’s just to increase power of the items you can craft. Professions are now more about going on adventures to acquire things, and you can craft at your own pace — you won’t run out of content.
3:48 p.m. CST: Crafted gear should feel special. Goggles for engineers are made of gun parts and you’ll be able to shoot things with them. Jewelcrafters can make necklaces that include a gem slot automatically. Scribes – glyphs feel a little redundant. Major Glyphs are gone in Legion! Darkmoon Cards will be in – minor glyphs will be in, the cosmetic stuff, these will be consumed when applied to a spell. One glyph per spell, but you can have more than three now – glyph as many spells as you want. New item, Vantus Rune – it buffs your damage against a certain boss, it’s there for a full week.
3:50 p.m. CST: Archaeologists get a quest chain! Nomi’s back for cooks! He’s going to help you discover recipes and you’ll be able to cook bacon now! Fishing should feel like an adventure too. First aid has two new bandages.
3:52 p.m. CST: Now on to items and itemization with Matt Goss – they want more excitement in the world. Rare world drops were shown – what would rare world drops look like in Legion? They want them rare, and they want them something where the power is relevant throughout the expansion – and they want unique effects, role-based or maybe even spec-based.
3:53 p.m. CST: These used to be epic items, and epic items stood out. Now they’re Legendary. Legendary items are now the rare world drops!
3:54 p.m. CST: Duplicate personal loot can now be traded! If you have an item that drops that is equal or lesser too what you have, you can trade it with anyone on the tap list.
3:56 p.m. CST: TRANSMOG TIME! The goals with transmog were clear – they want to get the items in our banks and bags out of the banks and bags. They want to expand customization options as well, and allow us to collect the things we’d like to collect!
3:57 p.m. CST: Wardrobe collection – as soon as you learn an item, that item is added to your collection, once you learn it you can get rid of it. It is account wide! You have to be able to equip the item to use it. The UI is somewhat familiar — you can see how many different items you have unlocked. And now we have outfits added to transmog – you can store what you look like as an outfit, and you can link that outfit to other people so they can see what to look for or take on that outfit for themselves.
3:59 p.m. CST: Every item in your bank will automatically added – and every item from every quest you have ever completed will automatically be added to your collection, even if you didn’t choose that quest reward.
4:00 p.m. CST: You can save hidden slots in outfits – and you can hide your shoulders now! Weapon enchants can now be saved, shirts can now be saved, and tabards can now be saved, all in the wardrobe.
And that’s it for the panel!
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