Friday, April 2, 2010

Blue Post: Account-Bound Emblems, Expansions discount

Quote from Blizzard staff
Account-Bound Emblems?
Account bound emblems would encourage players to continue to play on their decked-out main character then toss stuff to their alt, get them decently geared and maybe not do anything with them at all because they are already decently geared.

The interest in playing an alt should be that it's something you want to do. The current emblem system allows these characters to gear up much faster and that is through playing the alt itself which is a good thing. (Source)

Expansions discount
We're always looking for ways to make World of Warcraft as affordable and worth every dollar possible for players, particularly as it will soon require purchasing one game and three expansions just to receive access to all of the latest content. This is why we have offered boxed sets and discounted prices on the original game and The Burning Crusade. You can expect similar discounts going further as the life of this game moves on. Of course, this type of marketing is more to benefit those just getting started who are interested in experiencing more than just the 1-60 game.

We also know a lot of couples and families set out to purchase multiply copies of each expansion released in order to play together. It can understandably be much more of an investment in such cases. I don't have any direct plans to share with you at this time with regard to potential package deals for buying multiple copies of Cataclysm, but it's always something to consider. We do what we can when marketing any Blizzard product to players -- whether it be games or in-game pets for sale -- to be as accommodating as possible, letting customers decide what is valuable to them. Smiley (Source)

Why doesn't Blizzard sell ... ?
We're of the philosophy that, if there is a market for some fun, virtual flavor items which can be purchased using real-world cash to aesthetically enhance a player's character in a way they deem valuable, we'll provide that service. So far the virtual pet store has been very successful in this regard. Some players might think it's ridiculous to spend real money on a virtual pet that serves no gameplay purpose, so they can easily choose not to invest in that market. There's a very important distinction here though. If a person deems a virtual item not to be worth its value in real money, that person is not negatively impacted when someone else feels differently and runs around in the game with the virtual item on display.

It's an important part of the philosophy that, while we will expand the market for those who are willing to purchase with real money virtual flavor items, we want to avoid selling direct combat advantages to people. We want players to want to play the game to set themselves apart from other players, get more powerful items, or obtain in-game wealth. The reasons for playing the game become almost completely compromised if the best gear rewards for continuing to play can just be bought. (Source)

Are paid companion pets better than free ones?
Do we want to make sure any pets we sell for real money are very cool? Of course. Does that mean more design resources are dedicated to them than other pets? Not necessarily.

Sure, some pets have higher polygon counts because they were added to the game much later, but we're not intentionally saving the "best" pets for sale. Ultimately, your opinion of what are the best or highest quality pets is subjective. I have all of the pets from the store. I have some of the pets we've released for limited purposes (i.e. Murky). My personal favorite pet right now is the Onyxia Whelpling. Players literally had to do nothing for that pet but log in within a certain, fairly generous window of time and check their mail. It isn't very rare, wasn't hard to obtain, and did not cost money, but I love it.

I digress. The one major distinction here is that the value of flavor/vanity items is determined subjectively by each player. The value of a piece of gear is determined by its stats, rarity, how difficult it is to obtain, and the number crunchers who know how to min/max a class. That value is much more intrinsic in terms of gameplay. (Source)

Druid (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Tier 10 Restoration 4-Piece Bonus Bug
Thanks for the reports! We're looking into this and should have a fix in a future patch. (Source)

Mage (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Frostfire Bolts / Brain Freeze
We are going to change it (or perhaps already did judging from some of these posts) that Frostfire Bolt can't proc Brain Freeze.

It's not an ideal solution for some of the reasons that you guys have been mentioned. However technically we don't have the ability to start the internal cooldown on use instead of when the proc is gained. It's possible to get the code changed, but that means it's unlikely something we could hotfix in. Long-term we'll look into a solution that isn't so mean to Frostfire Bolt. (Source)

Warrior (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Rage management
Heroic Strike is supposed to be a rage dump and in an environment where you are converting every swing into a Heroic Strike, it's a safe assumption that rage isn't really a resource anymore. The decision is supposed to be "Do I have enough rage to Heroic Strike?" vs. "If I don't Heroic Strike now, am I wasting rage?" Warriors need to be balanced around doing some Heroic Striking -- not converting every white swing to a HS and not so rage starved that they can never hit it either.

I've been hinting that we're likely to change rage in Cataclysm, and I'll do so again in the hopes that some smart players will come out and defend that decision when we get a lot of "You can't change rage!" posts. Smiley (Source)

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