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Blizzard Confirms $60 lvl 90 Character Boost

Blizzard spoke to Eurogamer about the $60 price for the instant lvl 90 boost. Ion Hazzikostas had the following to say:

Quote from: Blizzard
We realised as soon as we came out with Warlords of Draenor boost to 90, we knew that there was going to be demand for more than 1. It’s tremendously awkward to tell someone that you should buy two copies of the expansion just to get a second 90. That’s odd. So we knew at that point we were going to have to offer it as a separate service. In terms of the pricing, honestly a big part of that is not wanting to devalue the accomplishment of leveling. If our goal here was to sell as many boosts as possible, we could halve the price or more than that – make it $10 or something. And then hardly anyone would ever level a character again. But leveling is something that takes dozens if not over 100 hours in many cases and people have put serious time and effort into that, and we don’t want to diminish that. I am not an economist, I’m not the one setting the dollar value myself, but it’s not the profit maximizing price. That was not our aim here. The intent here isn’t to create a world where no-one levels. It’s just to allow people who want to purchase additional level 90s, maybe they want a second or third alt and they don’t have time to level it themselves because they have a family or etc – it’s to allow them to do that.

If you haven’t yet seen it, check out Mezzy’s editorial on why $60 is a perfectly acceptable price for the instant lvl 90 boost.

More WoD Press Tour Information

More information has come out in the past few days as the fan sites, who were lucky enough to attend the press event, are posting the results of their time there.
First off buffed.de actually posted a video interview with lead encounter designer Ion Hazzikostas:

Some highlights from the interview:

  • There will be a total of 17 raid bosses (7 in Highmaul and 10 in Blackrock Foundry) and possibly up to 3 world bosses
  • World bosses will be released over the course of the patch (so 1 will get released first, a few weeks later the next one and further into the patch the last one)
  • The raid instances will be nonlineair. Highmaul more like firelands where you can choose which order you do them in and Foundry like the 2nd part of ICC with the wings.
  • There will be two progression paths.
    • Normal Dungeon -> LFR -> Normal Raiding
    • Normal Dungeon -> Heroic Dungeon -> Normal Raiding
  • Doing the random challenge mode daily quest will reward you with an epic item with LFR quality item level.
  • Other than max lvl Scenarios, there will be scenarios during the lvling process to end epic quest lines. For example to fight in an epic battle.
  • Gul’dan could possibly become an ally against the Iron Horde

Up next we have the actual interview from mamytwink.com the french site we reported on last.
Again the (new) highlights of the interview:

  • Garrisons are specifically a feature for Warlords, they are bases that players use to help int he fight against the Iron Horde. You want to build up an army. However the technology we use to create Garrisons will most likely be used again in the future.
  • Heroic Dungeons will be in the difficulty range of easier heroic dungeons in Cataclysm such as Vortex Pinnacle and Lost City of the Tol’vir.
  • Patch 6.0 will include an in-game event, however I can’t say anything about it yet.
  • We will continue to add bonus bosses or phases in Mythic Mode raiding where we see fit. One of the bosses in Patch 6.0 will have an important difference in Mythic Mode. A nice surprise is waiting for you.
  • To reduce ability bloat we’ve removed about 20% of class skills and abilities, even if we will probably have to add a few more. Players will probably ask for it during the beta.
  • Karazhan was originally planned to be used for the event pre-WoD however we eventually decided against it and the developers then had fun with the dataminers from MMO- Champion.
  • The beta is of course.. soonTM

And then finally, another french site, JudgeHype, also released some new information. Again the highlights below:

  • Highmaul will open in the 2nd week of the expansion, just like MSV in MoP. Blizzard wants players to experience the lvling content without feeling rushed to start raiding as soon as possible.
  • Highmaul will be located in Nagrand.
  • All bosses in all difficulties will be available when a raid opens, except in LFR where wings will unlock progressively like they did in Siege of Orgrimmar.
  • One of the world bosses will be an ancestor of the gronns we know, but 3 or 4 times bigger. He’s made of stone and will attack players with stone shards and other earth-based attacks.
  • The second world boss will be a giant plant that lives in the jungle of Draenor.
  • The lvl 90 character boost will work differently if you already have a high lvl character or not. If it’s your first character and you boost it to lvl 90 directly the game will offer you 3 or 4 skills first, to familiarize with the game. It will then give you more abilities progressively.
  • They admit it’s a flaw of the system. Blizzard wants players to be able to use the feature but also understand that there’s a danger to see poorly played characters because of a lack of knowledge.
  • The world PvP zone Ashran will be somewhat based on the classic Alterac Valley. Where it could takes days for one side to win. Things such as resource collecting and summoning creatures to help the fight will be part of the zone.

Podcast Episode 23

This week in Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor PvP gets an overhaul, a silver medal will be needed to queue for a random group for Heroic Dungeons, and is $60 a fair price for an additional instant lvl 90? Additionally note that next week there will not be a podcast.

Proving Grounds Silver Medal Required for Heroic Dungeon LFG in WoD

There’s more information coming in from the different press interviews and now Ion Hazzikostas, Lead Encounter Designer, has posted a clarification about one of the interviews. He says the following:

Quote from: Blizzard
To at least get everyone on the same page in terms of information, since a summary of a translated version of a translation of a few sentences in a single interview may not be the best foundation for a 24-page discussion, here’s an overview of our current thinking:

  • We will have Normal and Heroic versions of our max-level dungeons. (Note that we did not have Normal level 90 dungeons in Mists.)
  • There will be no special requirement other than basic level/ilvl requirements on queuing for Normal dungeons or LFR.
  • Level-up quest gear will get you into Normal dungeons/scenarios, and Normal dungeon/scenario gear will get you into LFR.
  • Heroic dungeons will be more challenging than the Normal version (not brutally difficult, mind you — just somewhat more demanding).
  • You will need a Silver Proving Grounds medal in a given role in order to queue for random matchmaking for a Heroic Warlords dungeon. If you form a premade group, you can zone in regardless and no such requirement applies.

In the past, challenging content and random matchmaking have often not gone so well together. Relying on item level does nothing to prevent a random group from getting, for example, a tank who may literally have never tanked before. Everyone has to learn somewhere, but we’d rather not have that learning come at other players’ expense. One option would be to require a full premade group to do Heroic Dungeons, as we do with Heroic Scenarios, but that would present a very high barrier to entry (finding 4 other people with rigid role requirements is much harder than finding 2 other people with no role requirements). This solution represents a compromise in order to allow the content to see a broader reach via matchmaking, while minimizing frustration.

And yes, we realize that by formally using Proving Grounds as a qualification, it will be incumbent upon us to further refine their balance and mechanics. We’ll be updating them for Warlords, and we’re confident that we can make them a fair test of baseline ability within a given role.

His second to last paragraph really explains the reasoning well, let’s hope the proving grounds update will provide more interesting game play!

Is $60 fair for another lvl 90 character?

Welcome to another Mezzy Talks! This time I’d like to talk about the screenshotted price of $60 for the lvl 90 character boost, ahead of Saturday’s podcast.

So on Tuesday after patch 5.4.7 hit the US servers for a short while you could see the following in the ingame blizzard shop:

On first glance this seems a bit much doesn’t it? It doesn’t come close to any other blizzard service in terms of price. And as expected a part of the community became mad over the price. And I in return, am frustrated beyond belief with those very people who refuse to think it through. Why? Because it’s a perfectly reasonable, maybe even cheap price. Let’s break it down shall we?

The original concept of the lvl 90 boost and it’s intent

The original lvl 90 boost when it was presented at blizzcon was to give a chance for new and returning players catch up to the current content and play with their friends when Warlords of Draenor was released. You would get the lvl 90 boost with Warlords of Draenor, the expansion. Now a rightfully so good question came up, what will prevent people from buying multiple games (accounts) and the expansion along with it, to get an extra lvl 90 which they can then transfer to another account on their battle.net account? The solution blizzard presented and are moving forward with is the instant lvl 90 also buyable in the ingame shop as a service to prevent the mass influx of what would really be dummy accounts, just for the extra lvl 90.

The price

So without that solution, what would people have to buy to get an additional lvl 90 on top of the free one they’re getting when they buy Warlords of Draenor for their main account? They would have to buy:

  1. The battle chest, which is currently $20
  2. Mists of Pandaria, which is currently $20
  3. Warlords of Draenor, which will likely be $40 for the normal edition and $60 for the collector’s edition

So until Mists of Pandaria gets added to the battle chest, to get the extra lvl 90 on top of the one they’ll already get on their main account they’d have to pay $80 for getting another account up to Warlords of Draenor. But we’re not done yet! They’d still have to buy the character transfer to transfer the character to their main battle.net account. Which as of right now, costs $25. So now we’re up to $105.

Assuming MoP gets added to the battle chest pretty quickly it will go down to $85. And that’s just from all the things you would have to buy to get that far.

Compared to the current situation

Instead of having to do all that, people will get to pay $25 less than it would require without this service. Then add to that the fact they do not have to spend any time lvling a character up. Time after all, is also a different kind of cost. Which for an extra one on top of the original one you’re getting, would be fair to add in the price. Anyone who is whining about the current price has absolutely no right to. Not only is it cheaper than the alternative that would’ve been without the service, it saves you time if you really want another instant lvl 90. If you don’t want to pay for another instant lvl 90, lvl a character up like you’re meant to do.

In closing, the instant lvl 90 is meant to catch up to your friends if you’re returning to WoW for warlords, or if you’re joining as a new player so you can play current content. The character service is only a measure to make it easier for you to get another instant lvl 90 character if you really want to dish out the cash in favor of lazyness. It is not meant for everyone to massively buy lvl 90 boosts when they play new characters.

Female Dwarf New Character Model Preview, WoD Press Tour And More Info Soon To Come!

The new female dwarf

In another surprise, not just one but now a second character model preview has come out this week! However instead of an Artcraft blogpost they put the new model up on the Warlords of Draenor website. The preview is a bit different from others but check it out here or the images down below (click on them for the full image)!

Blizzard WoD Press Tour

Blizzard also started a WoD Press Tour in Europe and Korea, so we can expect more information from those in the next few days/weeks! To start off with the french site Mamytwink.com got to play in Draenor and he gave his first impressions. The full article can be found here, below is a translation (My french is not brilliant but I’ll do my best):

  • I played a Gnome Warrior in Shadowmoon Valley, the area of the alliance. After playing for about 5 hours and 80 quests I reached the end of the zone and lvl 92.
  • The new character models are excellent. The facial expressions are great!
  • At lvl 91 I had 63k health as a tank.
  • Mobs had around 100k health.
  • I did between 1k and 5k noncritical damage. I hit for 10k with crits.
  • To get from lvl 90 to 91 I had to get 597k experience and 640k exp for 91-92.
  • Quests grant between 10k and 15k exp with the hardest ones giving 20k experience.
  • There’s a new type of quest, the bonus quest. When you walk into a zone bonus quests can appear in your list. If you complete them you’ll get bonus experience and if you leave the zone it’ll be removed.
  • Shadowmoon Valley consists of big lush plains, everything happens in the moonlight. The surroundings are calm and feel good. The trees and plains are beautiful (colorful). The zone contains the Naaru, Draenei Villages and an Iron Horde base.
  • The Alliance starting area is very far along. Many details, impressive vegetation and full of different types of mobs.
  • I found a whole lot of The Burning Crusade mobs: Talbuks, Turtles, Larvas, Bears, Sporebats, Wolves, Bees. The new Talbuk and Sporebat models are EPIC.
  • The Alliance area focusses on Sporebats, Draeni / Iron Horde. Ner’zhul is the main bad guy in the zone.
  • The Zone ends with a scenario which I could not test.  It’s called “Grommar’s Purge”.
  • I got to listen to the new music which was very good.
  • To conclude I thought the zone was really well done. The fact that it exists out of the colorful plains it immerses you in a new game with out a feeling of déjà vu (with the exception of the mobs but that’s not a real shock).

The Korean site Inven posted 3 videos with Warlords of Draenor footage on youtube:

Celestalon Tweets

And then to end this Warlords packed news post, Celestalon tweeted we’ll be seeing much more WoD information soon!





So all in all we can hear the drums of Draenor getting closer!