WoW news

Shadowlands – Eclipse Feedback, Mike Morhaime Interview, Earthfury Layering Disabled

Shadowlands Alpha – Eclipse Feedback

Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Eclipse: catching up (slightly belatedly) on updates this week.

Summarizing some of the biggest points coming out of early feedback:
–General negative feeling on the RNG startup of Eclipse. A few people did notice that there was pretty strong bad-luck protection on the proc, but ultimately that didn’t seem to help in this case.
–The idea of the 30s ICD wasn’t worth all the confusion. It was intended to simply alternate Eclipses in long combats, so it’s clearer to straightforwardly do that.

An important detail of the change (the number of casts to start an Eclipse is now fixed at 3) is that the count is visible in the default UI–highlighting this since it won’t be obvious to people who have only seen datamining. This lets you know, among other things, when you’ve been out of combat long enough to “reset” and be able to start with either Eclipse again, so you don’t have to guess about that. It also makes the mechanics clearer, for example that you can enter either Eclipse immedately after Celestial Alignment ends.

Another problem solved by no longer being random is that you’re not stuck in the middle of a “wrong” cast when Eclipse starts (Eclipse feels a bit longer when you play it in this version, for this reason). You can plan a buffed nuke or Starsurge crisply at the start of Eclipse, as well as allowing more advanced planning around DoT refreshes and movement.

Finally, it’s expected that there are better and worse Eclipse timings in a long encounter based on whether Wrath or Starfire is more valuable at given moments, and there’s some ability to manipulate it as you learn what’s coming. There hasn’t been a lot of opportunity for people to explore this yet, but Starsurge timing, DoT timing, Celestial Alignment, and choice of starting Eclipse are all ways to influence the cycle.

Interview – Mike Morhaime
VentureBeat had the opportunity to sit down with Mike Morhaime recently.

Gaming Companies

  • More venture capital and media companies are starting to pay attention to gaming.
  • Now is a great time for indie game studios.

Mike’s Investments

  • Mike invested in Rally Cry, which is creating a more organized way to connect, play, and compete with each other.
  • Mike also invested in VENN, a video network targeting gaming, pop culture, and esports audiences.
  • Mike is passionate about gaming bringing people together. He saw the power of gaming very clearly at Blizzard, and looked forward to BlizzCon every year.

Working from Home and Coronavirus

  • The tools to support working from home are quite good.
  • Persistent video and audio to simulate an office environment is a way to deal with working from home.
  • Gaming is one of the forms of entertainment that hasn’t been hugely affected.
  • The gaming community knew the magic and power of gaming. People outside of the gaming community that no longer have access to some of their regular pastimes are discovering gaming now.

WoW and Social Gaming

  • In the beginning, Mike thought WoW would reach a smaller audience and have to grow from there. Right away the curve was a lot steeper than he ever imagined.
  • His takeaway was that WoW was the most social of Blizzard’s games at that point. You had groups of people experiencing the game together. Especially in the beginning, you needed to join a guild to experience some of the content.
  • The social experience, being able to share your entertainment with others, is important.
  • MMOs aren’t as popular anymore due to accessibility and time investment. They could have a resurgence in the future.
  • Maybe there are other types of games that can capture the social experience even more.
  • As WoW evolved over the years, it became less social. In an effort to increase accessibility, the team removed some of the reasons why you needed to play with the same group over and over.
  • Making WoW less social takes away some of the reasons why some people play.
  • Blizzard can count on the community to let them know very directly and critically when they aren’t doing things well.

Game Monetization

  • It’s nice to have a toolkit with more monetization options.
  • When you are choosing a monetization model, you have to think about whether that model serves the content and experience you want to create. It puts different types of pressures on designers, what content they’ll create, how you measure success of the product.
  • You want to make sure that what the game needs to be great is consistent with what types of pressures you are going to be under with a certain business model.
  • You have a lot more options if you are starting a company right now, in terms of how you can get that funded. You used to have to go to a big publisher and get an advance on royalties. Now there are lots of companies interested in funding projects.
  • The gaming industry is full of dreamers that want to focus on creating great content and not necessarily interested in focusing on the business and logistical side of things.

Ghostcrawler’s Tweets – WoW’s Social Feature
Ghostcrawler provided a response to the interview with Mike Morhaime. (Yes, this section is back)

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion

I have been asked a bunch about Mike Morhaime’s chat with Seth Schiesel. While WoW did a lot of things right, some of its greatest contributions were social….

People forget sometimes that when WoW became popular, things like instant messaging didn’t really exist, let alone having social features in every game….

Early WoW players would see another player and be all “Is that another human? That’s crazy.” …

People connected on WoW. It was the first experience for many gamers of making a friend online instead of IRL. There were these stories we received about kids who used WoW’s mail system as email, of fathers who could only talk to their teenagers through the game….

It is going to be really hard for any MMO in the future to recreate the sheer novelty of social interactions that WoW produced. The world is different than it was then.

WoW Classic – Earthfury Update

Originally Posted by Blizzard
(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
A few moments ago, the Earthfury realm was successfully returned to a single layer.
This reflects a recent decrease in peak population on that realm, but may lead to occasional, small queues in the evening on Earthfury.
We continue to monitor realm populations closely, with an eye on opportunities to bring other layered realms back to the intended single-layer experience.

MMO-Champion Forums Moderator Recruitment
Good news everyone! We’re recruiting moderators for the forums again! Please be sure to read the entire post before applying!