No extra slots, no wardrobe, and plenty of whines: what we learned from Blizzcon Q+A

The question and answer sessions at Blizzcon are one of the great puzzlements of the event. Do people really want to go halfway around the world and get the chance to talk to the developers in real life just so they can repeat endless whines about paladins?

Why yes, yes they do.

WoW Insider liveblog of the Class Q&A panel

WoW Insider liveblog of the General Q&A panel

To me, the class Q&A in particular is a waste of an opportunity. If there’s really nothing new to say, then let the designers talk about class balancing and how they approach the challenge of making a class fun. Maybe we can all learn something (because this is something that Blizzard do very well.)

Larisa commented on Tobold’s blog that when she compared Blizzcon to fan-run SF conventions, the content seemed very weak. I cannot get that thought out of my mind when trying to think what the class Q&A could have been replaced with.

Where are the panels on gender or disability representation in WoW, or roleplaying different races? Where are the theorycrafting nuts talking about how they approach the task of modelling new mechanics? Where are the panels about blogging, about organising raid guilds, about crafting and items? Where are the panels about the economy? Where are the panels on raids and instances? Where are the panels that talk about MMOs in general?

They’re not there. And the reason they aren’t there is the same reason why SF conventions will always be more fun than gaming conventions. It’s because the organisers think we’re thick.

General Q&A hits some points home

I wish they’d monitor the questions better in this session, because half of them are class related and belonged in the other Q&A. Generally still a waste of time but it’s nice to know finally that they didn’t think it was worth adding extra character slots for Cataclysm. Or a wardrobe function.

  • Blizzard aren’t sure how well LFG will work when instances are harder. (They haven’t thought about this? No plans for cross-server friends lists for example?)
  • Jeers for the woman who asked if future female characters could not be dressed in underwear. All they had to say was that they agreed it was an issue and (in fact) that they’d been moving away from that in Wrath anyway. But nope.
  • More jokes for the person who asked for female druid forms. Take a moment, if you will, to imagine the outcry if the standard druid forms had been female …
  • No plans for achievements points to ever be useful (hurrah!).
  • Guild mounts in Cataclysm will be account bound. That means that you could send them cross faction.
  • No immediate plans for a wardrobe (somewhere to store gear that isn’t your general bag space.)
  • No immediate plans for more character slots – wait and see, it’s been discussed. Well, maybe they should have gone a bit further than discussions.

HOWTO: Dual Spec

I hopped onto the Euro PTR yesterday to check out the current state of dual specs for myself.  I’m impressed. It’s easy to set up, easy to switch, and easy to understand. Note: I promise this is the last dual spec post until the patch hits.

You start the process off by talking to your class trainer of choice. (Does everyone else have a favourite class trainer who you always go to?)

And the trainer now has an extra option, if you want to learn about dual talent specialization. You’ll also notice that he doesn’t think a warrior’s role is to hit stuff hard with 2 handed weapons. Not much of a trainer, now that I come to think of it.

So you talk to him/her about dual specs and this is what you are told. And finally at the bottom is where you get to spend your 1000g for a shiny new tab on your talent screen.

So you spend your money and then go check your talents. You’ll see a second tab has appeared on the right hand side. Near the top of the window some text now reads “These are your active talents.” In any case, I have the top one selected at the moment and can respec that as per usual.

I can also slot in glyphs and arrange my hotbars just as I would normally.

I can also select the bottom tab and assign points for my secondary spec. BUT until that spec is set as being active, I can’t organise glyphs and hotbars for it yet. So to set up the hotbars, click on the second tab and then on the ‘Activate these talents’ button which will appear at the top of the talent screen when you’re looking at the set that are not currently in use.

It has a 5s cast time, and then you’re set. From what I can tell, it seems to save the hotbars in the state they were in when you last swapped talents. (ie. there’s no special way to save them.)

Last step: both sets of talents are now assigned. You can see that the icons on the right-hand tabs have neatly now changed to show which tree I’m most heavily specced in for each talent set. (Fury and Protection for me, I assume most people can recognise their own talent tree icons).

In this screenshot, I have just finished sorting out my hotbars for Fury and I want to switch back to Protection.

So I look at my talent screen, select the Protection tab, and then hit the red “Activate these talents” button. And 5s later, I’m specced, glyphed, and hotkeyed for Protection again.

Switching Gear

There is also a new wardrobe type function that lets you save gearsets. This is activated from a new button on your paperdoll screen (ie. the one that shows your character and the gear it is wearing).

I wasn’t so impressed with this so didn’t take screenies.  It lets you ‘save’ sets of gear that you are wearing (so first wear the set you want to save, then use the new wardrobe to save it under whatever name and icon you want to choose) and then retrieve them by clicking an icon. There’s no extra storage, the gear is still in your bag.

I found it a bit clunky to use and I think I prefer other addons to for gear switching and don’t plan to use the baked in one. It also isn’t synched to spec swapping in any way that I can see.