View Full Version : Jeff Kaplan Burning Crusade Q&A

05-10-2006, 09:54 AM
The NY Times also has a <A HREF="<A HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/09/technology/10warcraftqa.web.html">Q&A with Game Designer Jeff Kaplan</a> which is a very interesting read. It talks about the Draenei, Outland, new dungeons, past mistakes (i.e. +NR items on +NR bosses), Naxxramas, itemization (be relieved, no more token PLUS rep grind items.. it's all token for Naxrammas). Here are a few highlights:
<ul><font size=1><b>Q. Why were the Draenei the right choice for the Alliance expansion race?</b>
A. It was the right choice for a number of reasons; it wasn’t just one factor. One of the main reasons is that the expansion mostly takes place in the Outlands. The Outlands were formerly the land of Draenor, the orcs’ homeworld. It was this nice peaceful planet at one time and then it was corrupted. In the story of the Draenei they were a very pure and good race aligned with The Light, sort of this holy representation.

<b>Q. What classes will be available to the Draenei?</b>
A. Warrior, Priest, Paladin, Mage and Hunter. We might change that, however, maybe add or remove a class.

<b>Q. Tell us about the physical appearance of the Draenei.</b>
A. Well, the Draenei share a heritage with one of the major enemies in Warcraft, Archimonde. They are both descended from the Eredar. Lots of players have wanted to play demons, and Draenei are the closest you can get to looking like an Eredar. They have these cool forehead features, and one of the customization features is switching around these facial features and the tendrils hanging beneath the chin and so on.

<b>Q. Why not add any new low-level instances like Deadmines?</b>
A. Stuff like the Deadmines and Wailing Caverns is extremely popular and gets a lot of use. But at the same time people skip over and pass that content extremely fast and they never go back. So there’s not a lot of bang for our buck in those dungeons. And Draenei and Blood Elves will be able to do those dungeons anyway. If we put the time into making another Deadmines, it would mean one less instance at level 60 or something when you need it to level up.

But you raise an important point in that we want low-level players to really feel invested in the world and not feel like they’re off killing rats or something. So for example we have a new area called Deatholme and it’s in sort of the Blood Elf version of Westfall, like the level 10 to 20 zone. And when you get to the final encounter area in Deatholme it’s this staging base where Arthas and his Scourge army got ready to march through Quel’Thalas straight through Silvermoon City to the Sunwell. So you have this crazy Scourge base with banshees and all these big building models and stuff like you see in Eastern Plaguelands, but its only level 19 and 20 elite mobs. So even though it’s not instanced, it will have that epic dungeony feel to it.

And in that sense Deatholme is actually more epic than Stratholme; Deatholme comes after Stratholme in the storyline. The point is that we don’t want to rob low-level characters of having that content. Even at those levels we want to give you some big meaty story content that makes you feel like the hero.

<b>Q. So for the Tier 3 sets, is Naxxramas a token system or are there straight-up drops?</b>
A. It is a token system but a refined token system. In Ahn’Qiraj and Zul’Gurub we realized we made a bad mistake with itemization. Token systems can be good and reputation systems can be very useful, but combining token systems with reputation requirements is not necessarily a good design decision, or at least it wasn’t with ZG and AQ. For example, ZG was supposed to be a stepping stone into raiding. So you take a guild that has little experience and they go into ZG and for a new group, it’s going to take them a few tries to down the first boss, Venoxis. And they finally kill Venoxis and what do they get? Probably one blue item and then this token item. But even using that token item might require Honored reputation, and so they feel like they’re not being rewarded.

Instead for that first boss we need to be saying, “Good job! Here’s two good items.” Instead they get something like a purple Hakkari item that only makes blue shoulders, and then only if they have Honored rep. I had that happen to me on one of my characters and I was like, “This is just broken.” So we realize things like that and we’re moving to fix them.</font></ul>Thanks to Tysar for the link. Be sure to check out the article as there are a lot more very interesting questions and responses there.

05-10-2006, 10:02 AM
Those arent Draenei, those are Eredar. :sweatdrop Whatever they say, its a lame excuse. Im not going ooohhhhh. Because it makes no sense.

Gnomes are PIT LORDS!

05-10-2006, 10:08 AM
Jesus, the token sistem will die, FINALLY Blizzard, took you long enough.

05-10-2006, 12:07 PM
Deatholme sounds cool! I might just make a blood elf for that!

05-11-2006, 10:58 AM
Yeeeees! Zul'Aman isnt gonna be a level 20 instance! YEEEES!
Instead we get Deatholme, which I look forward to play.

05-11-2006, 12:38 PM
It would have been lame as hell if Zul'aman had been a level 20 instance!

05-11-2006, 12:39 PM
I wonder if we'll find Zul'jin inside... that would suck :P since its all forest trolls...

05-11-2006, 12:42 PM
I wonder if we'll find Zul'jin inside... that would suck :P since its all forest trolls...
My theory is that Zul'Aman is Scourge controlled and Zul'Jin is the final boss.

Though the fact that living forest trolls are in the Beastiary pretty much makes my theory false.

05-11-2006, 12:47 PM
All the potential Zul'jin could have as a living character would make it sad if he was just an undead thrall, or an instance boss living or dead.

Well, since he ownz Revantusk Village, perhaps we can take reassurance that he wont hang around in Zul'Aman to be farmed.