4 Days Until Blizzcon

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Tidehollow is also known as Sententious, a warlock who had a cameo in <slashdance> vs. Ulduar. But of course, DPS is easy to find. We'd often be short a healer. "Bring in the shaman!" And obviously you can't go in without Heroism. "Bring in the shaman!" So I gave Tidehollow a break and let his shaman have some fun.

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I'm having a hard time believing this is going to be a short work week for me, as I'll be driving down to Anaheim on Thursday. Do I have everything together that I'll need? Are my passengers ready? Or to say it another way: Am I prepared?

Don't answer that.

On with the countdown!

#4: Amazing phasing quest areas

Wasn't questing in Northrend awesome? There were quest hubs every five feet (totally not an exaggeration), and even within a single zone, you'd find a huge variety of adventure and eye candy. Now just imagine that every zone in Azeroth was like that from level 1. That's what we'll have in Cataclysm.

This is great news, right?

As a machinimator, I'm not so sure; I might judge this as a net loss. One of the toughest parts of shooting on the live realms is finding a nice secluded area to capture footage free from conspicuous quest events and meddlesome players. Now that levels 1-60 have gotten a makeover, it may get a lot harder to avoid that kind of activity--especially soon after the expansion hits, when the huge alt population will be gobbling up this new content.

I might be overreacting. Azeroth is, after all, a huge place. So you might be able to find the perfect locale for your scene, and there are no players around, and you're set, right? Maybe.

Another effect of the new quest design hitting the old world: phasing. You know that technique the designers use to make players, mobs, and now even terrain change as you progress while questing? I have seen firsthand how this can screw up a shoot. I had the backdrop for my shot all picked out: against the exterior of Icecrown Citadel. I waited around for 10 minutes for the extras to arrive, only to realize that they were there, we just couldn't see each other. Quest phasing may add another layer of complication when it comes to getting a group together at the right place for filming purposes.

I have heard rumors, now, that there will be some kind of mechanism in effect to help get players together that are in different phases. I have to wonder, if this is true, how much control we might get. It would be totally awesome if we could phase at will, to get to the right terrain state or maybe to film in the least populated step of the quest. Shh! Don't tell me that would open up all sorts of gameplay exploits. I need to savor this...

Sedrin on October 18, 2010 7:38 AM
filed under: blizzcon