Updated Mon, Sep 19, 2011 by Saia
Ten Ton Hammer: Will there be a vendor or is going into content the only way to get items from previous tiers?
Greg: No we’re actually asking them to go back and do the old content, at least for pieces that can still be acquired that way. There are a few cases where really popular gear are no longer available, like the original dungeon set we made and the Death Knight starter gear so what we’re going to do with that is we’re going to put it in the Darkmoon Faire and one of the things players can do is earn currency to try and buy gear from the Faire. And, as time goes on, if we see pieces that players are requesting a lot, like a quest item you can no longer get or a sword then we’ll consider adding that as well.
Worgen mounts are just one feature of 4.3!
Ten Ton Hammer: So what else does 4.3 hold? There must be some features you’ve not yet announced.
Greg: Yeah sure. We’ve talked about the dungeons and the raid, the legendary item, the Darkmoon Faire, Transmogrification and Void Storage … we are trying to do a Raid Finder tool. It’ll work a lot like the Dungeon Finder and will be fairly casual but offer much more difficulty than players will be used to in a raid. It’ll be cross-region and everything, like players are used to in the Dungeon Finder, to just get them into a raid. It’s targeted at players who, maybe, don’t have the time or haven’t found a guild they really gel with yet and kind of want to see the content.
We know there’s a pretty big pugging phenomenon for raids, especially as content gets easier and we wanted to support that, more officially, without players having to use trade chat or find a group.
Ten Ton Hammer: And the Worgen will be getting horses in 4.3, correct?
Greg: Yes that was certainly … interesting. We did that largely to help a problem where players would faction transfer and lose the number of mounts they had. We really are trying to sell it as finally here’s the long-awaited Worgen mount but Running Wild, the racial which has them on all fours, is intended to be the Worgen mount but this is really to give both factions similar numbers of mounts because players are really sensitive to that when it comes to Achievements and faction transfers.
Ten Ton Hammer: You’ve just announced a nerf to the Firelands tier. Is this your way of saying to people “Deathwing’s coming, hurry up!”
Greg: Yeah, that’s exactly it. We’re trying to get our patches out and we’d reached the point where the rate of new boss kills had dropped off a little bit, both on normal and heroic, so we wanted to give a little nudge to players who might have been thinking about quitting raiding to show them there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and new content is coming.
Ten Ton Hammer: Are you worried that the Deathwing encounter will just be for the uber-raiders like Ensidia, Paragon and Vodka?
Greg: No, we eventually want everyone to see it. It’s not a fun story if you don’t actually get to kill the bad guy at the end. The heroic Deathwing encounter is going to be particularly hard at launch but, over time, we’ll make it easier as the super-guilds go through and get their World Firsts, then the rest of us can go in and have a challenging encounter that will take a lot of learning but we’re not trying to lock people out.
Ten Ton Hammer: What’s your favorite part of 4.3
Greg: I would say that both the raid and the dungeons are very non-traditional for us. They don’t really have the standard going into a dungeon hall-of-trash-then-a-big-room-with-a-boss feel. They’re very story, very event driven and I think they’ll feel a lot more like players are participating in an adventure rather than clearing out an abandoned tomb. There are a lot of cutscenes, a lot of interaction with NPCs. I think it’s going to feel really different and players will feel they’ve never seen anything like this before.