Die für die Saison der Entdeckung verantwortlichen Entwickler von Blizzard Entertainment veröffentlichten gestern Abend einen überraschend umfangreichen Bluepost über die Zukunft dieser Spielversion. In diesem Beitrag äußerte sich das Team unter anderem zu der Levelphase, den erhaltenen Erfahrungspunkten, kommenden Raids und der Itemization im Endgame. Das Ganze beantwortete viele Fragen der Spieler und es zeigt mal wieder, dass die Entwickler in der Saison der Entdeckung erstaunlich kommunikativ sind.

Der vielleicht wichtigste Punkt aus dem Beitrag läuft darauf hinaus, wie viele Spieler in Zukunft die Raids im Endgame des Spiels besuchen dürfen. Mit einigen wenigen Ausnahmen sind Raids auf Stufe 60 für gewöhnlich auf 40 Spieler ausgelegt. Für die Saison der Entdeckung möchten die Entwickler diesen Umstand aber wohl zumindest in der ersten Phase auf der maximalen Stufe verändern.

Laut dem Bluepost werden sowohl der Raid für Stufe 50 als auch der auf Stufe 60 zugängliche Geschmolzene Kern eine Gruppengröße von 20 Spielern erfordern. Damit wird die Spieleranzahl für MC direkt halbiert. Bisher erforderten die Raids in der Saison nur 10 Spieler und die Entwickler wollen Stufe 50 und den Anfang von 60 dafür nutzen, um Spieler langsam an größere Raids zu gewöhnen. Die auf MC folgenden Schlachtzüge könnten dann wieder auf 40 Spieler ausgelegt sein. Allerdings ist das Team sich in diesem Punkt noch nicht sicher und es sammelt derzeit Feedback in diesem Bereich.

Ansonsten wurde auch noch betont, dass die Entwickler an umfangreichen Verbesserungen an der Itemization im Endgame und neuen Inhalten für Stufe 60 arbeiten. Spätere Raids sollen wohl wieder 40 Spieler erfordern, um nicht von den anderen neuen Inhalten für das Spiel abzulenken. Man darf also gespannt sein, was das Team sich für die späteren Abenteuer auf Stufe 60 überlegt hat.

Raid Size at level 60

Recently a hot topic of debate is the raid size at level 60 and we’ve been watching the commentary on this closely. To help quell confusion, here’s a look at exactly what to expect in the net few phases in terms of raid size:

  • The yet-to-be-announced level 50 raid will be a 20 player experience
  • Molten Core will also be a 20 player experience in Season of Discovery

Past that, we are still discussing exactly what raiding in the later tiers of Season of Discovery will look like in terms of raid size.

For a bit of background, when we first concepted Season of Discovery we felt that it was perfectly natural for a version of Original World of Warcraft to have 40 player raids. This is partially because the development time needed to scale them was not planned within the scope of what we set out to accomplish on the aggressive schedule we have, but mostly because 40 player raids felt like such a defining characteristic of Original WoW and are utterly unique to this version of the game. It wasn’t really even in consideration to eschew them entirely.

When we set out to create our level-up raids however, we did feel that asking people to field 40 players would be a tall ask at level 25. We wanted these first few raids to be somewhat easy to form pick-up groups for as well. As a result, we decided on 10-player experiences instead for the first two level-up raids. As we’ve played the game ourselves and watched how players approach community building, we’ve realized that we’ve set some communities up to potentially struggle a bit by asking them to recruit up from one or two 10-player raid groups to a full 40, should they choose to. As a result, we wanted make it clear now what our plans are to start “bridging” from 10 player raids to higher raid sizes.

While overhauling all 40 player raids down to 20 would be theoretically possible, this may be prohibitively difficult and detract significantly from the other features and content we have planned to implement in a post-60 Season of Discovery. We are doing some investigation now to help us understand what would be needed and what the framework of the Original WoW data can support in this regard. There are some features that just cannot currently exist in Original WoW as well, such as Flex Raiding, so we are constrained in exactly what we are able to do here. Molten Core is definitely unique here in that it is simple enough mechanically and under the hood that it would be relatively easy to pare down to a 20 player experience.

Itemization changes at level 60

One thing we’ve also not talked about yet is our thoughts around level 60 endgame rewards and the very significant changes we have planned there, and that may also be a key piece of context missing to help illustrate our philosophy on different raid sizes in Season of Discovery.

  • We currently plan to revamp many items from dungeons and raids (including the existing 20 player raids) at level 60, as well as adding new items across all phases of endgame. We have a ton of exciting playstyles that are new or were traditionally seen as “off specs” that have been given life in Season of Discovery and will come into their full power at 60. We want to itemize well for as many different builds and playstyles as we are able to in the time we have.
  • We currently also have plans to make adjustments to the difficulty of all raids, as well as the power level of rewards available. This does not mean making raids harder or easier across the board relative to player power, but looking individually at each experience and defining what those experiences are about and what their purpose is.
    • Theoretical Example: A raid that may have traditionally been considered to be “catchup” raid such as Zul’Gurub could see adjustments that bring their challenge level up slightly, but also greatly increase the quality and diversity of the rewards so that they feel like a viable progression path alongside other current content in that phase, such as Blackwing Lair.
    • On the flip side, we also always wanted to make sure that any 40 player raids that exist remain approachable (i.e. able to be completed in pick-up groups) and that they maintain that “soda and pretzels” feel of 2019 Classic raiding, where you could bring almost any group composition or experience level and have success.

We think that adjusting the quality of rewards to a more consistent level between different raid sizes could help provide a larger “menu” of activities to do that all feel rewarding or worth doing to a wide variety of players or playstyles, and add a lot of fun things for players to chase to increase the efficacy of their chosen Season of Discovery role or playstyle.

Ultimately, we recognize that not knowing what’s coming can be a cause for anxiety. We also recognize that what we set out to create and the audience we created it for have grown and evolved in the short time since we announced Season of Discovery. It’s also difficult for players outside of our development process to understand what the true “endgame” is for SoD without us being extremely specific, but it is a bit too soon to really share the nitty gritty details on every aspect of the level 60 endgame. Some things are still in concept, and other things will change based on other future learnings and where your feedback takes us. We want to arrive at a place where, ideally, if your guild wants to strictly stick to a smaller raid team of 20 people the rewards are compelling enough that you don’t feel “behind” a team focused on 40 player raiding.




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