Buffed.de interviews Dave Kozak – March 9th, 2013.
The system for unlocking the Isle of Thunder in WoW 5.2 is based not on population, but on participation. This makes it so that if you have a small server pop or your faction is underrepresented, you can unlock just as fast, if not faster, than others.
It should take roughly about six weeks for the average server to unlock the Isle of Thunder. For some servers, it might take a little bit longer, but it should only extend it by a few more weeks.
Jaina and Lor’themar are the focuses of this patch, but Garrosh and Varian will return to the spotlight in WoW 5.3. Dave says that the gist of it is that the Alliance is becoming tighter while the Horde is unraveling.
The change in philosophy for dailies basically amounts to getting rid of the stuff that feels necessary to grind for and replacing it with flavor based rewards like mounts and tabards. Kozak says that this makes dailies feel optional, which is closer to their original design intent.
In order to keep dailies from being too repetitive, the team tries to mix it up by doing things like companion quests, going to different points each day, etc. but in WoW 5.2 specifically, they tried to also add in things to do besides the dailies. Summonable bosses, rare mobs, etc. are added in order to really make the isle feel alive.
Although nothing can be said on the direction dailies will take in the next patch, Kozak did say that the team loved the way that the farm went. It probably won’t have anything added to it in WoW 5.3, but they will be doing more stuff in the future with the farm.
In order to get people out into the world again instead of just relying on LFG and LFR queues, there has been an increase focus on outdoor bosses. This is very prevalent in WoW 5.2. Kozak makes it sound like the dungeons won’t play as big of a part in the game in terms of player catch up between patches. This is what LFR was created to do.
There are no more five man dungeons planned for this patch. However, there are definitely going to be some new scenarios.
Scenarios in the future will be much more bite-sized. They will also be much more rewarding. There will possibly be heroic and/or challenge mode scenarios. There is also a possibility of 40 man scenarios in future WoW content.
The High King storyline for Variann Wrynn will continue in patch 5.3. The reason it didn’t show up in WoW 5.2 is similar to the Sylvanas issue stated in previous interviews. There was no time and no gameplay to be able to focus on the character’s story.
While it won’t be as big as Cataclysm was, there will be some small changes to the look of Azeroth in order to reflect the war that is going on between the Horde and the Alliance.
As a Saurok, players get to learn about a dinosaur named Kroshik. The players find out about his life from egg to his death as a Saurok meal. This interesting bit of fluff was all started by one of the designers, Paul Kubit, making the player able to turn into a Saurok. Quests developed around it. Being able to talk with actual Saurok came from that. Thus the story of Kroshik was made.
In terms of the lore of Pandaria, almost everything has been discovered as of WoW 5.2. The only thing left for the player to learn about is Emperor Shaohao, Pandaria’s last emperor. There will be an animated e-book coming out soon. It covers his story.
After all the years of fighting the Zandalari, they are still not finished. Not by a long shot. There is still Zul and King Rastakhan that need to be dealt with.
Call to Auction interviews Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street – March 13th, 2013.
Nothing radical is in store for the future of the WoW auction house, although there might be some minor “quality-of-life” features added, like the ability to sort by unit price.
There has been quite a bit of talk about the future of professions. Due to how many there are, including the secondaries, it is not quite possible to share the love equally among all of them. Blizzard is trying to figure out the best remedy to this situation. This might eventually lead to being able to learn more than two professions at a time.
Continued in part 7!