World of Warcraft Path 4.2 Interviews

In addition to the earlier previews, we have a pair of interviews for you on the upcoming 4.2 patch for Blizzard's World of Warcraft MMORPG. Get Buffed interviews lead content designer Cory Stockton. .
getbuffed: What size should we expect from the actual raid zone? How does it compare to past and current raid instances? Especially since the tier 11 instances are rather small and there's not a lot of running time between bosses. Firelands on the other hand seems to be pretty huge.

Stockton: It is pretty big, but we are going to allow players to use mounts. So you will be able to ride in between all the different areas. As far as size goes -- let's see what a good reference point would be. It is probably four times the size of the Obsidian Sanctum, Alterac Valley might be a good comparison as well. It is built in a way that when you come in you can see everything. We tried to build unique areas. So off to the left there's a spider type boss, a lava spider. And you can see the web right when you come in. Off to the right there's a giant boss that's basically made out of volcano himself. So when you come in you can kind of see the areas and they feel unique.

What's also really cool is that the first four bosses are non linear. So you choose what you want to do first and in which order you want to kill the bosses -- before you get to the final three that are in a linear fashion, with Ragnaros at the end. interviews lead systems designer Greg Street. So there's no amazingly new steep level curve to deal with?

Greg: Shouldn't be, although the heroic mode of Ragnaros is going to pretty epic. That's going to be a real challenge for players. Except for that fight, they should be able to do everything else. How do you think this ties into the recent discussions on the Blizzard forums about some of the old guard complaining that the raids are easier now than ever? Do you think this Encounter Journal will help to allay those fears, or perhaps even make them worse for those people (not that I agree with their position!)

Greg: (laughs) Well. We think about the experience of going into a raid and the raid leader will say things like "Okay, at first the boss is gonna cast some fire spell. I can't remember what it's called, but you'll know it when you see it, and then he's gonna cast something else, I can't really remember what that is, um, here, just watch the video". And we really don't feel like that is the epic experience of going into a dungeon and fighting these creatures. So the Encounter Journal gives the leader the ability to say "Okay, the first ability you're going to see is this", and then link it from the Encounter Journal. Then they can base their strategies around that information rather than going in blind.