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Wrath of the Lich King Progress Report

Author: inwowgold Source:

Since its launch, World of Warcraft has been running for roughly four years now. And with its Wrath of the Lich King expansion presumably set to release sometime in the near future, the game's popularity (10.9 million subscribers according to lead producer J. Allen Brack) can only increase. We had an opportunity at GC 2008 in Leipzig, Germany to sit down with Brack and lead designer, Tom Chilton, to find out how the current Wrath of the Lich King beta is going and what to expect in World of Warcraft in the years to come.

So how much longer might Blizzard run the Wrath beta? "We are definitely in the later stages of beta where the vast majority of the content is in the game," said Chilton. "We should be raising the level cap to 80 in the beta very soon at which point almost all the content will be available. So there's not a whole lot left to test, just a lot of tuning and polishing."

Chilton went on to describe some of the tuning they're doing on high-level talents. "One thing that we've found is that some of the talents aren't as usable as we'd like them to be. [wow gold] have their 51 point talents in all the different trees are like living bombs of fire tree, deep freeze tree, the arcane barrage for the arcane tree, and we're going to be massaging a lot of those. We're doing some of our early DPS testing and we're finding that the class does way more damage than we anticipated it would do like by a factor of two. So we'll be looking into why that's happening and making some adjustments based on that. And that's the case with a lot of different classes. We have some work to do on the shaman, we have some work to do on warlocks and warriors, so there's a lot of stuff to be done to get it into final shipping condition."

How does Blizzard determine when it's final shipping condition? "Nothing in the game is really ever done," said Chilton. "There's always more we can do…At some point we have to say 'hey, here's the date when we're going to ship this game' and just have it as tight as you can by that time."

"We also see trajectories of how big the changes are," said Brack. "So at the beginning we're making huge, sweeping changes and as time goes on the size of the change we're actually making is getting smaller. So when we get to the point of doing more surgical-type changes we know we're getting close."

One of the many things still being tweaked is the new inscription profession. "The core of the profession is the ability to make glyphs," says Chilton. "Glyphs are what you apply to your spells and abilities to enhance them in different ways. We have two categories, we have major and minor glyphs. The major ones are all very core, substantive glyphs that affect the power of your class in one way or another. The minor glyphs are intended more for flavor or convenience. Players are able to use up to three major glyphs and a few minor glyphs, so they get to pick and choose from all the glyphs that are available for their class…so it's really just another form of character customization. Other than that the profession has some other auxiliary components such as the ability to make scrolls [that] provide buffs for other characters. Also they are able to create these tarot cards that are used as quest turn-ins that return random items."


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