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Greg 'Ghostcrawler' Street Presenting During Blizzcon


Hildegard: Today I welcome Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, lead designer of World of Warcraft, as an interview partner for our Arena Junkies interview. We will start with my trademark question. What did you eat today?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: I just had salad with beets and blue cheese.

Hildegard: Sounds nice. When you started responding to players on the WoW boards you said "A year from now I will probably be the most hated person in the gaming industry." Do you remember that quote?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: Haha. I don't remember it, but it sounds like something I'd say.

Hildegard: Did it come true?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: Oh I am sure there are people that are more hated than me. Which is not to say I'm universally loved, but it goes with the territory.

Hildegard: Did you follow the recent online arena tournaments like NAO, Yaspresents, Curse Invitational or Bleached Bones?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: Yes, we follow all of that stuff. That's the work we live for.

Hildegard: The start of Mists of Pandaria will offer a tournament realm soon after the launch. With the PvP mechanics overhaul in Mists of Pandaria and streaming becoming massively adapted among more and more players, this all sets a great foundation for PvP to grow in popularity. Is a new dawn for the WoW arena scene coming?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: It would be awesome if that was the case. If you are talking from a professional level or about people watching it - arena always suffers a bit that it's fast paced and it's hard to tell what is going on. It has never been the most easy to watch game out there. It may be a pipe dream that it is going to grow in popularity like Starcraft. But can we make it more fun for the players who are interested in arena. Absolutely that would be great.

Hildegard: You recently said over Twitter that you would like to work on the tournament UI. This would be a huge boon to the PvP community and could start bring organizations like MLG to take WoW back in.

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: We don't have any announcements. I totally get how valuable that would be. We would love to support it. It's just a matter of finding the time and resources to get it right and come up with a system that people would actually use and be excited about.

Rapture: Do you have any opinions on the tournament UI people have been using for the tournaments?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: We usually let the community come up with a UI mods that are filling holes in what we currently offer. From that standpoint that is awesome. It's something we don't provide, yet, but hopefully can at some point.

Hildegard: How about announcing player-made tournaments on official resources like the website or even the launcher?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: That would be cool. It's a little outside of my area, as it's about the PR and community aspect of the game, but it sounds like a cool thing to me.

Posted Image
Snutz and Venruki during the WoW 2012 North America Arena Invitational


Hildegard: Do you think there is a place for professional players in World of Warcraft?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: That's a really good question. I watched tons and tons of arena and battlegrounds and I just don't know if it ever will have the spectator experience that a game like  Starcraft or hopefully Blizzard AllStars will have. We will always be challenged from that point of view. It would be awesome and we surely have nothing against it but I don't know if it will ever have the kind of popularity that professional players would expect.

Hildegard: A lot of ideas to increase competition and participation for arenas have been thrown around: Shorter seasons, region-wide queues and titles, cosmetic rewards and rating decay. Do you have plans to work over the matchmaking and reward system for arenas?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: I think the matchmaking system is pretty solid. It's not unlike the one we use for other games. The same people design all these systems. I know there is a lot of concerns about rating decay and should we discourage people from getting high ratings and then just camping and not playing again. That's a valid concern. Right now we are in this lame duck season where the patch has been going on for a long time and people know there isn't going to be another season until the expansion comes out. So it's understandable that the participation is off a little bit, but I think it's unfortunate anytime players want to play and feel like it's risky to play because, God forbid, it might hurt the ratings. That is an aspect of the rating system we can improve.
The reward system overall works pretty well in terms of the gear you can get. We think the changes to PvP Power and resilience will make PvP gear more attractive, than it has been traditionally when we ran into problems where sometimes they were weaker than weapons or trinkets from PvE. That change will help. I don't know how popular cosmetic rewards would be. The mounts are certainly exciting, as are the titles. I don't know if adding tons and tons of toys and transmog gear will make the PvP community as excited as the PvE players. We approach it more from the point of "what can we do to make the games themselves more enjoyable" and look to make it more surprising in good way when you are doing arenas with your team or are running battlegrounds over and over.

Hildegard: High rated arena players hate the long queue times, especially the long wait for cross-battlegroup queues that can take up to ten or 15 minutes. Any chance to make the search for cross-battlegroup teams shorter?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: Yes. We have a lot of opportunities to improve that. The battleground queuing system is pretty ancient at this point. Players could only meet players from their own realm and then we extended it to battlegroup level. Meanwhile we created this whole new system for dungeon finder that then developed into raid finder and it is much more clever and advanced system. Occasionally players can still hit queues for it, but I think there is a lot of promise in taking that system and try to integrate the battleground queuing there.
We would like to able to support things like letting five players queue together for rated battlegrounds instead of having a whole group of ten before you go into it. That would be really cool. We talk more about letting players queue together as a group, even for the non-rated battlegrounds. But only matching these pre-mades with other premades. It's a lot of fun to get together with a bunch of friends and be coordinated and we would like to support that rather than work against it.

Hildegard: According to early numbers heroic PvE weapons will be stronger for PvP than tier 2 PvP weapons. Is this true?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: We follow that math, but I am still not convinced that this is the case. The PvE gear is higher item level but when you consider the PvP power and also the resilience that is on the weapons that should be enough to make up for the difference. The PvE gear item level isn't so high that that should overcome it. There is always a possibility that if we introduce another Gurthalak or one of the trinkets that there will be procs that will make up the difference. Based on the stats alone we believe that PvP gear will still be superior for PvP.

Hildegard: Why do the PvP trinkets have different stats? Mastery/Crit/Spirit for the Medallion and Battle Master, PvP Power for the on-use and proc trinkets?

This question was skipped at first due to audio problems, but answered later on.

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: I will follow-up on this.

Hildegard: I know this is not your field of expertise, but the recent title disqualifications haven't touched players that stated themselves they were boosting or wintraded with other teams. Do you plan to correct this?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: We have a team that looks for players exploiting and abusing the system. They try to catch it, when it happens and follow player reports. We try not to go into too much detail on how they do their job because the whole point of them is to catch exploiters. It's not something that is up to me. It's a system that we have in place as a company. I do think that, when listening to the forums, it's happening a lot more than it is. It's a fairly isolated case. It can have ramifications on the highest rankings, just because the population size is smaller in that group. Not sure what else to say about it. We try to have open channels for players that feel like they were disqualified unfairly or that other players got away with it. It's always tough when you are trying to mediate punishments like that.

Hildegard: Many players are worried that overpowered abilities will allow players to reach high rating within the first two weeks and camp it for the rest of the season. We talked about camping, what about balance? Examples such as BM Hunter Burst, Frost Bomb, Totemic Restoration, Blood Fear, Wild Charge, hybrid healing or Psy Fiend get mentioned a lot. Will you make fast balance fixes if classes are not competitive or other too strong or do you prefer to do changes only with major content patches?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: That's a really tough decision. Players really recent it if you suddenly go through and do nerfs particularly. We do have a break in between Mists of Pandaria launching and the season starting. It's a time to catch the problems at level 90. We have seen PvP at level 85 and have seen some players at level 90 on the beta realms. That is nothing compared to having millions of players on live. If BM burst or Wild Charge or Avatar are overpowered we will have a chance to get them. Whether or not we make huge sweep changes is just going to depend on the magnitude of the problem. It really pisses players off to suddenly be nerfed. Particularly say two weeks after the season started. If you build your arena team around this synergy among these class and then we suddenly pull out the rug from under you, players understandably get upset.

Voice from the off: We have time for one more question.

Hildegard: Let's try two. I'll be quick. Do you read Arena Junkies from time to time?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: Sure.

Hildegard: I personally like the approach you took to crowd control on monks, where every cc except the disarm has a downside: you either need to be in melee range, are rooted yourself, have to be behind or in front of the enemy, the projectile has a travel time etc. Is this a general approach to give crowd control a trade-off that we may see in future designs?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: We didn't want to copy a lot of existing abilities and give them to the monk. So we tried to have some interesting quirks on them. We were also super careful not give them tons and tons of crowd control.  Monks are a very mobile class and they have a lot of off-healing capability and the healers have a lot of damage dealing abilities. So we think that a combination of these two advantages would be so much that they did not need mage-level crowd control or we would end up in a situation like we were with the death knight were the class was just kind of a joke.

Hildegard: Thank you for your time. Will you continue to write over Twitter after the launch?

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: I will be traveling after launch. I don't know how much access I will have. But I have been enjoying it so far and so I'm planning to keep it up. It can't answer every single question that players send in, but so far I really enjoyed the communication.

Hildegard: Well thank you again for the interview.

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street: Sure. I will follow up on that trinket question.
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Comments

#1 Dagin

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:07 PM

That was such a let down.
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"Too Big"- Nerd Vexo
Sorry guys too big
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#2 Sanaubia

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:07 PM

[quote name='Saikx' timestamp='1348091233' post='3775131']
w/e my point is you try here to blame the community, not wanting their class to get nerfed etc, while its blizzard who dont give a shit about esport/arena/pvp and literally take over a year to "fix" a class. Or in fact lets take it real, they don't actually do anything and give us this "fuck that mentality", gear will fix it", next season will fix it, next addon will fix it"
[/quote]
^^^^ This is the reason i stopped playing WoW. Blizzard can just do what the fuck they want because the number of ppl who want this game to be BIG esport is like 5% from all the wow players

#3 Zong

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:09 PM

[quote name='hairpiece' timestamp='1348092092' post='3775138']
one of the things i wanted to know is what happened to the concept of the game being in a wounded state?  at this moment you are either dead or topped off.  I liked the concept of being wounded, but now burst healing is so crazy to counteract the burst damage (frost bomb lol???) game just feels gimmicky now.  Whoever can burst the most and instant/endlessly cc the most.
[/quote]

Was the game ever at this point? I would say it was completely the opposite in Cata and Wrath, if anything only BC emulated this, and I'm pretty sure that was only because of the ridiculous amounts of RNG on everything.

This does remind me of another thing Blizzard said they were going to do....more frequent balance changes. Where'd that go? I seem to remember them saying that they were going to be trying to balance more freqently(like with hotfixes), but it seems like they just gave up and went straight back to sweeping changes every [s]3-6[/s] 7-9 months in the major content patch.

All these kinds of signs really do point to Blizzard actually giving up on PvP.
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#4 Sanaubia

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:14 PM

[quote name='Zong' timestamp='1348092561' post='3775144']
Was the game ever at this point? I would say it was completely the opposite in Cata and Wrath, if anything only BC emulated this, and I'm pretty sure that was only because of the ridiculous amounts of RNG on everything.

This does remind me of another thing Blizzard said they were going to do....more frequent balance changes. Where'd that go? I seem to remember them saying that they were going to be trying to balance more freqently(like with hotfixes), but it seems like they just gave up and went straight back to sweeping changes every [s]3-6[/s] 7-9 months in the major content patch.

All these kinds of signs really do point to Blizzard actually giving up on PvP.
[/quote]

yea... to me it feels like blizzard is just milking money from players and watching other mmos for stuff to copy and use that stuff in titan

#5 Pritchard

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:18 PM

[quote name='Zong' timestamp='1348092561' post='3775144']
Was the game ever at this point? I would say it was completely the opposite in Cata and Wrath, if anything only BC emulated this, and I'm pretty sure that was only because of the ridiculous amounts of RNG on everything.

This does remind me of another thing Blizzard said they were going to do....more frequent balance changes. Where'd that go? I seem to remember them saying that they were going to be trying to balance more freqently(like with hotfixes), but it seems like they just gave up and went straight back to sweeping changes every [s]3-6[/s] 7-9 months in the major content patch.

All these kinds of signs really do point to Blizzard actually giving up on PvP.
[/quote]

yea, its really just getting worse, and unfortunately the common excuse is "its balanced for 90" when we all know that the majority of the current problems are still just as broken at 90 due to people doing arena on the beta.  i guess we will what happens in 2 weeks when arena goes live.

#6 Lauviah

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:29 PM

[img]http://i.imgur.com/2j1pK.jpg[/img]

#7 myboomstick

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:38 PM

Shit answers.... GC just doesn't get it....

GC could invest a relatively small amount of time and money into wow arena and make it back tenfold. What a clown...

#8 Enlileon

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:00 PM

There were at least half a dozen suggestions for the state of rogues questions in the forum for "gc interview questions" and then not a single 1 in your interview. I get that you were short of time but quite frankly I'm still shattered. Rogues are currently broken(in a bad way) due to retardedly long cds vs comparable abilities of all other classes, shit mobility and fu^&*d survivability. There are examples galore that plenty of multi-glads on here have already illustrated. I was waiting with bated breath for the interview transcript and then...nothing. Good try Wildehilde, maybe next time. I wish that Blizzard would just hire some decent pvper's (2200+) to help with balance. Because currently its obvious as dog's balls that they dont.

#9 WildeHilde

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:09 PM

My humble opinion after testing for many games on beta.
Rogues are viable. They are only a lot harder to play than in S11. I expect a lot less rogues from 1800-2500, but on tournament level rogues will still work pretty well in certain comps. They do not act as main damage dealer anymore, but the burst with Shadowblades, Tricks and Prey on the Weak is very strong. Means RLS won't work, RMP and RHD will.

#10 Puskakana

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:12 PM

Was a little disapointed, but good job anyways WildeHilde. :)

#11 Justblaze

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:39 PM

[quote name='khuna' timestamp='1348087829' post='3775098']
Just wanted to back you up on this, i think you are right that was my first reaction when i saw this.
I think commentators are the main factor to make a game understandable for viewers, and i think WoW is easier to understand than Starcraft 2 for new players with great commentators like Azael or Conrad.
Starcraft 2 commentators are just so good, they know the game almost as much as top players do and they are funny/dynamic so it makes it so much easier to understand what's happening.
I dno why GC answered that but i hope thats not cause he doesnt understand shit himself, would be sad.
[/quote]

+rep

#12 Lazeeqt

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:53 PM

[img]http://i.imgur.com/BbD0F.jpg[/img]

#13 Mazdak

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 03:12 AM

[quote name='khuna' timestamp='1348087829' post='3775098']
Just wanted to back you up on this, i think you are right that was my first reaction when i saw this.
I think commentators are the main factor to make a game understandable for viewers, and i think WoW is easier to understand than Starcraft 2 for new players with great commentators like Azael or Conrad.
Starcraft 2 commentators are just so good, they know the game almost as much as top players do and they are funny/dynamic so it makes it so much easier to understand what's happening.
I dno why GC answered that but i hope thats not cause he doesnt understand shit himself, would be sad.
[/quote]

For real? WoW is easier to understand than Starcraft 2?

So basically you are saying that it's harder to understand the basics of SC2 than the ones of WoW?

Let's compare:

3 races with ~20 Buildings & 20 units per race - Goal: Destroy the main buildings of the enemy.

12 races, 10 classes ~30-40 abilities per class - Goal: Kill the enemies


Everyone is able to understand SC2, if you just explain the races to them while saying "It's a war in the space, they are fighting until someone is too strong and then kills his buildings!"

No one is able to understand WoW when you say "Ok that's RMP vs 3DPS, they need to watch out for the DK, because the priest will die very quickly if the DK can stack necro strike on him. If he doesn't use trinket for strang, he's 100% dead, but if he runs out of cooldowns the warrior and the paladin are going to destroy him completely. He needs to rely on his rogue to peel off one enemy completely while the mage cc's them long enough to set up a burstcombo together with the rogue. Oh but if they go on another target, then [..]"


Obviously you are biased because you wan't WoW to become a real eSport with weekly tournaments and big offline events - and I can understand that. But let's be honest, this will never happen. If people had to choose between LoL/Dota, SC2 and WoW - WoW would always be the last choice.

You can just buy SC2/Dota and dl LoL and you are able to instantly play the game that you just saw. To play arenas on the other hand, you need to grind up the new toon all the way to level 90 - without heirlooms or any game experience.

The game is just not designed to be an eSport

#14 IPhoenixIofITichondriusI

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:30 AM

[quote][b]Hildegard:[/b] Why do the PvP trinkets have different stats? Mastery/Crit/Spirit for the Medallion and Battle Master, PvP Power for the on-use and proc trinkets?[/quote]

Am I blind or is there no answer/follow up answer on this question?

#15 angelownzz

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:38 AM

I'm in fucking shock. I guess the fate of PvP depends on the community. I honestly thought WoW was leaning more towards PvP and for some reason I'm still hoping that they are. But with the answers to these questions this is probably not the case.

#16 kannetixx

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:39 AM

[quote name='Mazdak' timestamp='1348110765' post='3775277']
For real? WoW is easier to understand than Starcraft 2?

So basically you are saying that it's harder to understand the basics of SC2 than the ones of WoW?

Let's compare:

3 races with ~20 Buildings & 20 units per race - Goal: Destroy the main buildings of the enemy.

12 races, 10 classes ~30-40 abilities per class - Goal: Kill the enemies


Everyone is able to understand SC2, if you just explain the races to them while saying "It's a war in the space, they are fighting until someone is too strong and then kills his buildings!"

No one is able to understand WoW when you say "Ok that's RMP vs 3DPS, they need to watch out for the DK, because the priest will die very quickly if the DK can stack necro strike on him. If he doesn't use trinket for strang, he's 100% dead, but if he runs out of cooldowns the warrior and the paladin are going to destroy him completely. He needs to rely on his rogue to peel off one enemy completely while the mage cc's them long enough to set up a burstcombo together with the rogue. Oh but if they go on another target, then [..]"


Obviously you are biased because you wan't WoW to become a real eSport with weekly tournaments and big offline events - and I can understand that. But let's be honest, this will never happen. If people had to choose between LoL/Dota, SC2 and WoW - WoW would always be the last choice.

You can just buy SC2/Dota and dl LoL and you are able to instantly play the game that you just saw. To play arenas on the other hand, you need to grind up the new toon all the way to level 90 - without heirlooms or any game experience.

The game is just not designed to be an eSport
[/quote]

you clearly do not understand sc2 .. its a lot more than just "killing buildings.."

there are specific timings that you need to look for - understand why your opponent is doing what  at XXX time .. is he getting gas a little too early or is he not? .. did you scout completely to prevent your base from being over run by 11/11 rax - 6pool - 4gate .. yatta yatta is he/she going to transition into a certain build out of what they are currently using if so What and how do you figure that out?

there is a lot more to sc2 than just that my friend .. you can go into deal with sc2 just as much as wow has and sc2 is way more complex than wow in terms of design and gameplay

i watched WoW tournaments back with MLG when hafu and those few players played in tournaments and i had no fucking clue what was going on but as someone mentioned before Commentators help tremendously in delivering a game and helping the novice players understand what is going on.. SC2 Casters are GREAT at doing this they explain what a certain build is .. why is being built - what its going to actually do .. they explain upgrades and everything in between to keep the audience involved in it and that is what WoW needs and that is what it certainly has among the number of players who are pretty great casters.


using your example you can simply say RMP vs TSG Trip DPS to a novice player
RMP Stands for Rogue Mage Priest
Basically the priest needs to survive the other teams cooldowns or else hes dead his team really needs to help him here ..
novice asks why - the armor they wear is weaker compared to the damage the other team can do.

pretty simple explanation to someone who has no idea wtf they are watching but can now understand simply .. dont let the white bar character die to the brown / pink / red.

if they have an interest further than that .. then you can go into deeper details

for someone who has never watched a certain sport what is the general thing someone mentions? Team A vs B and you give a general explanation of the gameplay .. you don't bombard them with plays and all of that and they can still enjoy the game.. it just has to be spectator friendly and have a little information to help some one along the way and it becomes watchable.
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#17 Deeklol

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:27 AM

........





sure
Hey, add me on LoL :)

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#18 Udderly

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:38 AM

Anyone who wonders why WoW wouldn't care about this community should just read some of the responses to this thread.  I truly hope many of you don't have such massive amounts of negativity in your real lives as well....

Nice attempt, haters gonna hate

#19 Wallirik

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:40 AM

[spoiler]
[quote name='kannetixx' timestamp='1348115952' post='3775290']
you clearly do not understand sc2 .. its a lot more than just "killing buildings.."

there are specific timings that you need to look for - understand why your opponent is doing what  at XXX time .. is he getting gas a little too early or is he not? .. did you scout completely to prevent your base from being over run by 11/11 rax - 6pool - 4gate .. yatta yatta is he/she going to transition into a certain build out of what they are currently using if so What and how do you figure that out?

there is a lot more to sc2 than just that my friend .. you can go into deal with sc2 just as much as wow has and sc2 is way more complex than wow in terms of design and gameplay

i watched WoW tournaments back with MLG when hafu and those few players played in tournaments and i had no fucking clue what was going on but as someone mentioned before Commentators help tremendously in delivering a game and helping the novice players understand what is going on.. SC2 Casters are GREAT at doing this they explain what a certain build is .. why is being built - what its going to actually do .. they explain upgrades and everything in between to keep the audience involved in it and that is what WoW needs and that is what it certainly has among the number of players who are pretty great casters.


using your example you can simply say RMP vs TSG Trip DPS to a novice player
RMP Stands for Rogue Mage Priest
Basically the priest needs to survive the other teams cooldowns or else hes dead his team really needs to help him here ..
novice asks why - the armor they wear is weaker compared to the damage the other team can do.

pretty simple explanation to someone who has no idea wtf they are watching but can now understand simply .. dont let the white bar character die to the brown / pink / red.

if they have an interest further than that .. then you can go into deeper details

for someone who has never watched a certain sport what is the general thing someone mentions? Team A vs B and you give a general explanation of the gameplay .. you don't bombard them with plays and all of that and they can still enjoy the game.. it just has to be spectator friendly and have a little information to help some one along the way and it becomes watchable.
[/quote]
[/spoiler]

Probably different opinions to this (orly lol), personally, before i ever played starcraft once, it was rather easy following a game being casted, i had an idea of what was going on without ever playing the game. If I never played wow I don't think i would be able to grasp what the hell is going on, or who's ahead etc.

I think this is what he's getting at.

#20 Dakkrothy

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:42 AM

View PostVioz, on 19 September 2012 - 08:55 PM, said:

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ROFL

<