World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Interviews

Those of you planning to witness Azeroth's shattering next week will be interested in hearing about two new Cataclysm interviews that have surfaced on the web. First up is this Q&A with chief project manager J. Allen Brack on Guardian:
Cataclysm is bringing shared loot and lock-outs between 10- and 25-man raids. Is this a continuation of Wrath of the Lich King's policy of letting the more casual player see more of the endgame? And do you intend to carry this on throughout the expansion?

Well, we've evolved the raiding philosophy with every expansion. And we've tried to make changes based on what we did before. The origin for the shared lock-out was not "Hey, let's make raiding more casual". It was actually trying to solve a couple of problems that existed with the Wrath raiding locks.

For instance, you would do your 10-person raid and then you would start working on your 10-person heroic and that was pretty challenging. Sometimes you would work for days, kind of like in the old pre-Burning Crusade days where you would spend days or weeks on a boss before you got it down. You got the boss down, you got loot, and it was an incredible feeling. Then, the next day you would get into a 25-person raid, and half of them had never been on a raid before and you'd kill the boss on the second attempt, and you would get the same loot that you'd spent days and weeks getting on your 10-person heroic.

So, while there was more players required for the 25-person version, the effort did not feel like equal work. That was really the seed of doing something different for Cataclysm. Doing the shared lock-out is our attempt to try and equalise that. The extra effort required for the 25-person version will be rewarded by giving more loot.

It's a contentious issue, and frankly, it's contentious every time. What I can say is we're going to try this and if there are problems or it's not working out the way we expect then we'll make changes.

And then we have another Q&A with lead systems designer Greg Street on Games On Net: Well, speaking of dungeons, the next question is (Are there any plans for a system to analyse the gear obtainable from an instance that people need, compared to what they have equipped? I've been in many instances like others everywhere where all the gear that everyone wants never drops and is therefore a waste of time unless you just wanted XP.) How do you feel about that?

Greg: Well, the loot is random, and we like it that way so that players do come back to run the dungeon over and over. Now obviously if you've run a dungeon a hundred times and that drop hasn't come down to you, that can be pretty frustrating, but that the same time, if you got everything you wanted in the first run the dungeons wouldn't have a very long life either. So we try to mitigate that a little bit with things like the points you can earn, it could be called badges, so if you are really unlucky, there are other avenues to get items similar to the ones you were looking for.