View Full Forums : (REPOST MARCH 1, 2004) Exclusive TDG Interview - Game Play and the Druid Class

03-01-2004, 06:43 PM
<br>Interview - The Druid’s Grove - March 1, 2004

Blizzard Entertainment's: "World of Warcraft ("<hr>
Game Play and Character Creation:

If abilities are purchased with points via a skill-tree, will a character at max level have enough ability points to have all the abilities at useful (or max) levels, or just some? If only some, what sort of tradeoffs in other abilities will we see?

Both the skill point system and the talent system are being iterated on. Each character will have to make choices as to which skills, tradeskills and abilities he chooses to specialize in. Players should be able to gain exposure to a wide variety of skills but no one character will be able to master all skills. Players also have the ability to forfeit skills in order to pursue other interests. --Tigole

You've stated that there will be encounters which require a "guild" size force. What is a guild size force? And will these encounters be the only means of getting the "best" gear, or will there be comparable gear available through other, more "casual" means (e.g., grouping, questing, etc.)?

Currently, our thinking is raid encounters will be designed for a force of approximately 25-30 people. We feel that a number in this vicinity captures the epic feel of a raid while allowing each individual involved to play a significant role. The exact numbers are still up for debate though. There will also be a handful of "world" encounters that will require the server to band together and overcome a great foe.

Some of the best items in the game will come from raiding. You will still be able to get great items through group encounters, quests and tradeskills. But the loot that drops off of raid bosses will definitely be highly sought after. -- Tigole

How important will having and/or earning money be to gameplay? How can a character in the game earn cash (e.g., dropped coin from mobs or quests, sell back on dropped items, selling tradeskill-made items, etc.)?

Money is very important in the World of Warcraft. Players need money to train skills and abilities, for tradeskills, reagents, extended bank space and vendor items such as weapons and armor. Money can be earned by killing creatures, selling back items to vendors or through the player trade economy. --Tigole

In current MMORPGs, the difficulty of instanced dungeons varies with the playing levels of the characters, but the look, style, and feel of the dungeons does not vary greatly. How will this be different in World of Warcraft?

Each of our instanced dungeons is tailor made for one level range. Early on we discussed re-using dungeons and swapping out creatures according to level range but we decided it would be more fulfilling for players to have new dungeons to experience rather than constantly returning to the same ones. Each of our instanced dungeons has a totally unique story and theme behind it. They are scattered throughout the world, on all continents and across all level ranges.

I think our four *newbie* dungeons stand as a good example of the variety of locations players will have to fight in. On Azeroth, the first dungeon experience will be the Deadmines, a full blown mining operation hidden within the hills of Westfall. In Lordaeron, players will adventure in Shadowfang Keep, a castle overrun with Worgen which were summoned by a deranged Archmage. On Kalimdor, Night Elf players will adventure in Blackfathom Deeps, an old sea temple infested with cultists and naga. Also on Kalimdor, Horde players will adventure in the Wailing Caverns, a lush, overgrown cave which is being terrorized by reptilian creatures summoned from a sleeping Druid's nightmares. These four examples are just the tip of the iceberg. These are the first four dungeons players will see. It only gets bigger and better from there =) -- Tigole

Having options to pick from a variety of faces, builds, etc.. while creating your character is important to the players; is this issue being addressed?

Yes it is. Character customization has been given a high priority status for the design team. It is being looked at carefully and the team is in the process of adding new ways for people to create unique characters. -- Katricia

Druid Spells and Shifting abilities:

Is shifting instant, or does it have a cast time? Can shifting be done while moving? Does shifting cost mana?

Shape shifting is done instantly with no casting time and can be done while moving. The “cost” of shape shifting will vary depending on the form. -- Katricia

Bear form is rumored to be a "warrior" form, Panther form is rumored to be a "rogue" form. What differences are there between a druid forms and the true classes?

The bear and panther forms are truly subsets of the in-game classes but with unique abilities that will not be available to the classes, making them very unique in their own rights. -- Katricia

What other spells will be available to druids?

One new spell that has recently been added to our classes section is Mark of the Wild. This spell is meant to really make the druids a valued part of any group. It will give druids the ability to aid themselves and others by enhancing attributes. At higher levels we anticipate this as being one of those buffs that everyone will be asking for. -- Katricia

Besides appearance, what things change when shifting into a new form (e.g., in Warcraft 3, a druid shifting into bear form gains AC, melee damage, and hp, while losing mana regen)?

Things will definitely change for a druid once they have shape shifted into a new form. For example, when in their aquatic form druids will swim faster and be able to breathe underwater, in bear form they will use rage much as a warrior would with the unique added ability to “roar” just like WarCraft III. -- Katricia

Are stat modifiers and effects from worn equipment, potions, and similar items taken into account in shifted form? How does the weapon held prior to shifting affect the druid's damage in shifted form?

Oh yes, every item worn by the druid while shape shifted will still carry it’s effects after they’ve transferred. For example, in bear shape the druid will be attacking with claws and teeth, but the speed and damage will come from their weapons with modifications added from their new found “bear” strength etc. -- Katricia


I, the Druid's Grove staff and the entire Druid's Grove community would like to express our deepest thanks and appreciation to Blizzard for responding to our questions about World of Warcraft, the druid class and game play. We are afraid, however, that is has only whetted our appetites for more! Congratulations to Blizzard for the huge interest in WoW and good luck with the beta launch!