08/12 Q & A

A new Q & A was posted yesterday by Block and I missed it! I have copied it over, and made the questions stand out by bolding. It is a great read full of information.
    We were surprised to find out that some of you still had questions about the game. Just kidding; we werenít really surprised. The dev. team is working hard to prepare the next beta patch, but we did manage to snag some time with EnoYls, who provided the bulk of the answers below. Thanks go out to everyone who helped put together this Q&A, and thanks to you all for bringing up some good topics for discussion. What should players expect in the World of Warcraft end-game? That is, is there an end-game for casual gamers as well as power gamers, small guilds, groups of friends, large guilds, etc.? New content will be continuously added into the game and players can always expect to see new events and things for them to do and achieve in the game. Players that do eventually hit the level cap will have the option to participate in a variety of end-game content, such as:
    • Individual players can work toward a hero class.
    • The PvP System will be more advanced than it is today -- including the addition of rewards.
    • Guilds will have an extensive amount of raid content available to them with many zones and "uber" bosses to defeat.
    How much of the world, including dungeons, is unlocked and available to testers today? What is the end-of-beta goal that the developers want to see for released/tested content? With the next patch, we will be raising the level cap to level 55 and we will be opening up the corresponding zones and dungeons to accommodate characters of that level. We have almost finished all the adventuring zones for characters up to level 60, and we only have a few more outdoor zones and dungeons to go. We are also adding "raid" content to the game (epic encounters that take several groups to defeat); however, while we intend to have a great deal of this content, we will only beta test a small amount and reserve the rest for discovery by players on release. Will there be any special areas in the game that require a lot of effort before they can be entered? Yes, there is actually a full spectrum of areas that will challenge players and require them to exert some (or a lot of) effort in order to gain access to them. By "full spectrum" we mean that we intend to have areas that are challenging for casual gamers and some that will even test the hardcore "power gamers'" abilities. The Scarlet Monastery is an example of a quest area that requires a small amount of effort to unlock, as players merely need to find a key to gain access to the more advanced parts of the Monastery. Conversely, opening the Dark Portal is an example of a very difficult and epic quest that would require lots of effort on the part of many Warlocks to complete. Does Blizzard have a team for designing world events, role-playing content, etc.? We do have a world event team that will be in charge of maintaining and adding to the calendar of events that will span across the world. World of Warcraft is structured to have world events, contests and other social events regularly so that events can be experienced by all players. The event system, and the world event team that will run it, will ensure that players will always have something to do beyond the quests and activities that players participate in on a day-to-day basis. We don't want to tip our hand just yet, but you can look forward to celebrating real-world and Azeroth-based holidays, world events like having a Human zeppelin raid The Crossroads, worldwide fishing contests and much, much more! What is the target average number of players going to be on retail servers? The concurrency rate is currently planned to be around 2000-2500 players at peak times. There won't be a maximum amount of players that are allowed to "live" on a server, but this is the amount of characters we expect to actually be in the world at any given time. Will there be a role-playing server at retail (one that will have a more strict role-playing and behavior etiquette)? We do not currently have plans to incorporate this in retail, but we'll continue to evaluate demand and see if it warrants the creation of role-playing servers. Will there be more options for character customization in the future -- to include, more faces, hairstyles, maybe weight/height, and even some rare armor recipes that have variable ingredients to modify the color (different dyes)? We don't have a significant number of additions in mind, but we will occasionally be adding new hairstyles, different faces and other customization details to the character-creation screen as we get closer to launch. As for apparel and armor, there will be a very large variety of pieces that can be collected, and we're continually adding new pieces, but there will not be an option to dye armor to change its color. Will maximum guild size be limited in World of Warcraft? Has this size been decided yet? We're still evaluating whether or not we want to put a cap on the amount of members any one guild can have. Will there be secret and hard-to-find pets and mounts that are rarer than others? Yes. =) Will there be pet and mount emotes? It's not likely that we will be able to add this in time for launch, but it is on our wish list of things that we'd like to add as time permits. Is the skill system going to be revised in the future? Yes, you'll see changes to the skill system not in the upcoming patch, but in the one after that. Will letters sent in the mail system be able to hold more than one item/stack? This is actually one of the topics that we're discussing, as a number of players have brought it to our attention. We don't have an answer to this question yet, but we do feel that it is a positive idea that we want to incorporate into the game -- one of a few "polish" tweaks that would be a positive addition to the overall feel of the game. It may or may not make it into the game in time for ship, but we do encourage players to send more feedback about changes like this that they'd really like to see. Will there be top hats to go with the tuxes already in game? They haven't been made yet, but we plan on getting them into the game soon, hopefully by launch. Are there going to be any rules put in place against corpse camping? We're currently discussing what sort of polices and procedures we would like to incorporate in the game to keep instances of griefing like this at a minimum. We'll continue to observe and balance how the PvP aspect of the game works, and we will incorporate changes in the game or policies as needed. Are more riddle/puzzle quests coming? We do plan on adding a few more riddle/puzzle quests into the game, in addition to the ones that are already available, such as Cortello's Riddle or some of the other quests like Captain Sanderís Treasure Map and Sweet Amber. If you would like to see more quests of this type, or any other type, please be sure to /suggest them. Will there be more weather effects than the random lightning by the Dark Portal? Yes, we do plan on adding more of these types of effects. This is on our list of things to do, but we don't have an ETA at this time. Will items produced by the Horde trade-skillers look different from those created by Alliance members when the final product is released? Trade skill items with the same name will not be different across factions, but there already are (and will be more) items that are specific to the Alliance and the Horde. For example, Horde players cannot make Ironforge Breastplates, and Alliance players cannot make any of the Barbaric Iron Armor pieces. Will we be able to untrain talents in the retail product? In the upcoming beta patch, we plan to allow characters to untrain in talents freely in order to better help balance the talents. However, we feel that investing in talents is a commitment that defines and distinguishes one's character and should not be allowed to be changed freely. Although we do not have a structure for how this will work in retail as of yet, we do intend to have a penalty to prevent players from talent-hopping to suit situations on the fly. --- Edit: Changed "With there be more weather effects" to "Will there be more..." and changed "lighting by the Dark Portal" to "lightning by the Dark Portal." Thanks SceneKid and Elfbane.
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