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Day II panels

Posted by Cob on October 29, 2005, 05:45 PM
Hello everyone!

I had intended to stay for all of the panels in room 204 today, including the StarCraft Ghost demo and the comic book artist panel, but by 4pm, both my camera batteries and I needed recharging.

I apparently took 249 pictures this morning and afternoon, about 158MB worth of images. They are uploading now as I write this. Photos are a bit less blurry today as I turned the lcd display off and shot with the viewfinder to save battery power. There are some great photos in the gallery. 2d Adobe illustrator maps of some of the early development one of the end dungeons in the Outlands.

The other big news today was some concept art of further revamps of placeholder art for the tier 2 armor sets. First thing this morning, I immediately got in line to play the expansion, with the intention of writing down some details, but I asked the staff and they were OK with me taking photographs of the gameplay, so I got a lot of pictures of the starting Blood Elf quests in Sunstrider Isle. Just as an addition to my post last night... they can ALSO play as warlocks. I was looking to play as a Blood Elf Rogue this morning, but the seat I got had a premade warlock instead of a rogue. =)

There is a LOT of stuff for me to do once I get back to Portland tommorrow, I'll be entering the data as it exists into a full GW quest writeup, and writing a full review of all my notes from the panel meetings. I only saw two other people taking notes in any of the discussion, and neither of them were writing as furiously as I was. =) (Although, I'm sure some encoded video will show up soon.)

Today I hit Art, where they showed off some of the content from 1.9, as well as StarCraft Ghost. (I'd totally hit it, if it weren't a PSP/Xbox console game.) They are creeping up the polygon count in Ahn'Quiraj and beyond. I also got some game lore out of that on some of the concept art for The Burning Crusade. There will be fel-energy lightning storms in the outlands. Someone tried to get Chris to tell if the alliance were getting an 'ugly race' in the next expansion, and he said he wasn't going to spoil it. Someone yelled that the alliance already has dwarves, which got a lot of laughs, and then people started yelling about wanting to play pandarans. I (again in the front row) mentioned that some of us are looking forward to killing pandarans, which I think got a smirk out of the devs. =)

Next up was dungeon design which was one of my favorite sessions. It was being lead by Jeff Caplain (Tigule) who seems like a very likeable person. He's an excellent speaker, and both the dungeon panel and the raid panel yesterday were one of the livlier, and funnier sessions. They mainly spoke about what they hope to achieve with the dungeons, and their philosophies at play. Spoke about what worked (Scarlet Monestary, Dire Maul) and what didn't work. I think Zul'Gurub is really a good example of what Blizzard dungeons will be like in the future. Raids will not be more than 40 man, if anything they will be smaller.

Outlands Dungeons: Hellfire Citadel (level 60, levelup dungeon) Tendris Keep (lvl 70, endgame dungeon)

Briefly on Battlegrounds, since I'm running out of time. The Azura Crater map has been put on hold due to the flaws of AV. There will be a requeue timer for /afking out of a match. (Not so happy about that one personally, but...) They are working on better matchmaking. Honor in BG's will change, and the honor system will supposedly be changing dramatically in TBC. They want to tie battleground battles into affecting the world more. Some examples they spoke about BGs that only open during world events, or BGs that cause world events to happen. I assume they mean similar to the Hall of Legends in Guild Wars.

The item panel was another popular panel, with a lot of people there. Real briefly, since I have to get back to the convention for the raffle, they are going to be adding sub-specialties for tailoring and alchemy. As you already know, jewel crafting for socketed stuff will be in. The token system from ZG will be used in a similar fashion for Ahn'Quiraj. Not everything will be socketable.

OK, I'll have more refined stuff later... I'm just banging this out as fast as I can type it. There's only about 30mb left of images uploaded right now, however not all pictures are labeled. If stuff doesn't make sense right now, check back in a couple of days, after I've poured over all my notes and filled in names and what not.

Cheers! I'm off to the raffle and the concert. Might not have enough battery for all of it, however.