Archive for June, 2008

New Quest Mechanics

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

New Quest Mechanics

The quest designers are hard at work to make sure that the road to level 80 will be paved with quests unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The Burning Crusade innovated with bombing runs and daily quests, and Wrath of the Lich King will continue this trend with still more unique and varied adventures to undertake.

Just one example of the new mechanics you can expect from the expansion is the new vehicle-based content, which puts an interesting spin on some of the concepts originally developed for PvP siege gameplay. Certain types of vehicles and mounts can now carry passengers, making it possible for players to, for example, break a prisoner out of a tightly guarded compound by attempting a daring escape on horseback. While the NPC steers the horse, the player lobs explosives at a pack of pursuing worgen. In another quest, the roles are reversed as the player takes to the skies in a flying machine to track down and rescue survivors of a catastrophic event. Even beyond the ability for vehicles to hold passengers, Wrath of the Lich King introduces an aerial combat system that will add a new dimension to gameplay.<

10 and 25 man Raiding

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Paradigm Shift: Dungeons and Raids in Wrath of the Lich King

Heroic dungeons were one of the most popular innovations of the previous expansion, so it’s no surprise Heroic mode will return in Wrath of the Lich King. Just as in The Burning Crusade, every five-person dungeon will have a Heroic variant that will present players with an added challenge and improved rewards.

One exciting new feature in Wrath of the Lich King is that all raid content will be available as either a 10- or 25-person dungeon with completely independent progression paths. Both the 10- and 25-person versions will be the same dungeon; the look, layout, and design of the dungeon will remain the same. However, each will be adjusted, tuned, and balanced for its respective player size.<

Introducing the Death Knight

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Death KnightDeath Knight Class Information

The fearsome death knight, World of Warcraft’s first Hero class, is not your average adventurer seeking to prove his or her worth on Azeroth’s fields of battle. No longer servants of the Lich King, they begin their new calling as experienced, formidable adversaries, heavily armed and armored and possessing an arsenal of deadly and forbidden magic learned in the Lich King’s thrall. Here is an introduction, subject to change, of some of the death knight’s core gameplay mechanics and abilities:

Unlocking and Creating the Death Knight

Simply have a character of at least level 55 on the World of Warcraft account you play, and you will be able to create a new level-55 death knight of any race (if on a PvP realm, the death knight must be the same faction as your existing character). Upon entering the world, your neophyte death knight will undertake a series of quests designed to teach you your new abilities. You will be able to create one death knight per realm, per account.

Class Roles

 

  • Tank: The plate-wearing death knight is a capable tank for small groups as well as raids. His or her damage output while tanking will be respectable.
  • DPS: The death knight can also spec and gear for a melee DPS role, which draw upon many debilitating disease effects as well as direct damage and instant attacks.

Talent Trees

The talent trees for the death knight are Blood, Frost, and Unholy.

 

  • Blood: Talents in this tree focus on weapons, armor, and strikes.
  • Frost: Talents in this tree focus on control, counters, and combos.
  • Unholy: Talents in this tree focus on spells, summons, and diseases.

Example Abilities / Presences

Death knight talent trees are complemented by Presences — self-only auras that benefit the death knight. Selecting the matching Presence for each tree augments the class abilities for that school of magic.

 

  • Blood Presence increases damage output by a percentage and restores a percentage of damage dealt as health.
  • Frost Presence increases threat and lowers damage taken by a percentage.
  • Unholy Presence increases attack speed and reduces the global cooldown on death knight abilities.

The Rune System

The resource mechanics for death knights are runes and runic power. A skilled death knight makes efficient, timely use of runes and runic power to maximize his or her damage-dealing or tanking abilities.

 

  • Runes: Every death knight ability requires runes, which come in three varieties: blood, frost, and unholy. Depending on the ability, it may require runes of a single type or a combination of types. When a rune is used, it has a cooldown period before it can be used again. Death knights can customize which array of six runes to have available at a given time, which can aid their ability to perform certain roles. For example, a tanking death knight may wish to load his or her rune array with more Frost runes.
  • Runic Power: As rune abilities are used, the death knight also generates another resource called runic power. The death knight has certain abilities that consume all available runic power, with varying levels of effectiveness based on total runic power spent. Similar to a warrior’s rage, runic power decays over time if not spent.

Summoned Creatures

Creating minions from the ranks of the unliving is a core ability of the death knight.

  • Raise Dead: The death knight can raise a ghoul companion from the corpses of fallen creatures, as well as those of both friendly and enemy players. If cast on a friendly player, that player will have the opportunity to actually play as the ghoul, controlling its movements and actions.
  • Army of the Dead: This channeled spell raises a group of undead followers who will attack the death knight’s enemies but only exist very briefly before disintegrating.
  • Summon Deathcharger: Every death knight can summon the level-40 version of a deathcharger land mount. At higher levels, they can complete a quest to learn the epic version.