Game Informer Interviews Tom Chilton

Chilton promises Deathwing will be one of the most captivating villains yet.Twitter buddy and gaming journalist extraordinaire Phil Kollar posted a new interview with Tom Chilton on Game Informer's website yesterday. The piece, as part of the site's "Afterwords" column, is primarily a retrospective on the past expansion (and what a better time to do it than at the tail end of Wrath content?).

The three-page chat covers plenty of content and Chilton talks at length about several subjects including:

  • Death Knights and what other options were in the running for the expansion's hero class
  • Satisfaction with the Lich King storyline and progression of Icecrown Citadel
  • Graphical improvements and system requirements going forward
  • Pure DPS class versus hybrid class performance
  • Successes and failures with the design of Lake Wintergrasp
  • How world PvP will be handled differently in Cataclysm with Tol'Barad
  • Ulduar's position in the storyline (and how it could've been explained better)
  • How awesome Deathwing is going to be as a character and villain

Perhaps one of the interview's most interesting points comes towards the end, when Kollar asks if there are any more immediate plans for adding content to the game. We've already received some hints about what will change in terms of PvP, but Chilton mentions the possibility of opening up a boss in the Ruby Sanctum underneath Wyrmrest Temple.

It's comforting to know that they're working on something, but at the same time disappointing to realize that it likely won't be anything extensive. Either way, Chilton emphasizes that content coming before Cataclysm is more an extension of 3.3 than a true 3.4, so it's best to expect nothing but minor patches until the expansion.

So go read the interview, then come back here, and tell us what you think. Do your feelings on Wrath of the Lich King jive with those of the WoW's Lead Game Designer?

Battleground Changes In Next Minor Patch

Zarhym announced today that there would be several major changes coming to the Battleground system in the near future, and that these tweaks are directly related to the next PTR phase that we alluded to earlier today.

One of the major things being addressed is the issue of Battleground currency. Essentially, you can say goodbye to earning marks. Instead, it seems like Blizzard is folding almost all PvP rewards back into the Honor system.

Also on the docket: replacing the Battleground Holiday with Call to Arms and a Random Battleground feature which should function similar to the Dungeon Finder (complete with extra Honor rewards).

There are a lot more details and specifics in Zarhym's post, which you can find after the jump.

It is currently unknown what Blizz means by a minor content patch, though history would cause me to lean towards a 3.3.3 instead of 3.4.

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Protip 8.3: Hot on the Trail

Protip is short video series with various tips and guides. Leave a comment to let me know what you want to see in future segments. Follow @Heartbourne or subscribe in iTunes for notifications of new videos! 


We continue tracking down Snivel Rustrocket to find out the nature of the perfume bombs that the Chemical Crown Co. had. Stay tuned for more Love is in the Air goodness.



Frost Lotus Drop Rate Increased

The in-game fixes for 2/17 are not very extensive. In fact, there's only one item listed at all this week, but it's a fairly important one, especially for herbalists and those that consistently raid with flasks.

According to Bornakk:

Listed below are recent fixes we have applied to the game. Keep in mind that some of these changes may not be active until after the realm has been restarted. 

To review previous in-game fixes, please visit: 

  • The drop rate of Frost Lotus, from herbs in Northrend, has been increased by 50%. 

The primary justification for this move seems to be lowering the currently exorbitant Auction House prizes on the valued herbs.

Undoubtedly, this is going to mean a whole lot of different things to different people inside World of Warcraft's economic spectrum. As a raider who only casually hunts herbs on an alt, I couldn't be more elated.

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New PTR Phase Incoming?

What? So soon?! With the Lich King Hard Mode the only remaining unconquered content in Icecrown Citadel (well, for the guilds at the tip of the top, anyway), it may not be that big of a surprise.

Nonetheless, my ears perked up when I heard that WoW-Europe had recently activated their Patch Test Realm forum again, indicating that a new testing phase may be on the way.

Do keep in mind that, despite the curiosity of these events, there is no official indication that anything is about to happen. In fact, Wryxian emphasizes that the PTR is not currently live in one of his posts on the forum:

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Pandaren Monk Banks $1.1 Mil For Make-A-Wish

Blizzard's decision to release pay-for vanity pets several months ago was met with open controversy. Chief among the players' concerns was the idea that they seemed to be taking their first steps down the road towards charging for virtual content, a business model that has become standard fare in Asian MMOs. Even console gamers have been faced with the threat of paying several dollars for a code that would unlock content on the game disc they already bought.

Even getting beyond that issue, though, Blizzard was chided for their decision to give only half the proceeds from the sales of their Pandaren Monk pet to charity (not to mention they were keeping the full take of companion pet Lil' TK for themselves).

People felt like this was disingenuous. If they weren't going to give all the profit, why bother giving any at all?

Regardless of how you might personally feel about the issue, there's little denying that $1.1 million dollars is a weighty figure. According to a press release from Blizzard, that's the amount of money they raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation via sales of the Pandaren Monk pet through December 31, 2009.

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Healing Is Awesome

Those of you who have been following my WoW career on Project Lore may recall a priest I made at the tail end of The Burning Crusade.  I cut my teeth healing those late game dungeons, leveling holy from level 60 to 70, but never healed with enough frequency to feel comfortable in her shoes.  I ended up dropping her like a bad habit when Wrath of the Lich King came along.  It wasn't until my rogue had been topped off and geared for raiding that I returned to my space goat.  Thanks to the Dungeon Finder she's been geared up for some weeks now.

For fear of making a fool of myself I eased into healing like I do into a jacuzzi; feet first, acclimate, leg, other leg, acclimate, my precious, acclimate, the unimportant parts.  Guild run dungeons came first, with me rolling on unwanted gear before I pieced together a healing set deemed worthy.  Then I tried my hand at random heroics, hoping, praying that I wouldn't have to heal someone as poorly geared as myself.  After scoring some much needed epic gear there and honing my skills further, I ninjaed my way into a few weekly runs for my first taste of raid healing.  I may have been the bottom of the healing meters, but things went well enough.  That is to say the quests were completed.  After soaking up further badges in VoA and more random raids/dungeons I figured I was finally geared enough to tackle bigger projects.

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Protip 8.2: Snap Snagglebolt

Protip is short video series with various tips and guides. Leave a comment to let me know what you want to see in future segments. Follow @Heartbourne or subscribe in iTunes for notifications of new videos! 


On this Protip, we work with Snap Snagglebolt to start uncovering the ensidious plot by the Crown Chemical Co. to use perfume as a chemical weapon. Stay tuned for more Love in the Air guide goodness!

Name The Project Lore Audio Podcast & Win Prizes!

Our new listeners out there know that we've been struggling to come up with a name for Project Lore's official audio podcast.  We've currently recorded an entire trilogy of shows - impressive, I know - but the best title we've been able to come up with is the Dave Edition.  It was a hit with at least one fan, our current maximum.  Now we are asking, neigh begging, our fans to help us create the perfect moniker.  And this time we are offering rewards phat loot.

Tokyopop, makers of the World of Warcraft manga, my most beloved surprise of 2009, has donated three prize packs that will be awarded to the best names.  The winners will be chosen at the discretion of Project Lore's contributors, and a vote from Tokyopop will break any tie.  Ideas must be submitted as comments to this post.  Leave your real e-mail address or we'll have no way of contacting you should you win.  If you have submitted ideas on previous posts, please resubmit them for further consideration.  You are allowed to submit more than one entry, and more than once.  Feel free to explain the reasoning behind your submission as well.

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Starcraft 2 Closed Beta Imminent

Update: The beta client is now downloadable for people selected via Beta Opt-In. Keys will be sent out via e-mail.

Come for the World of Warcraft, and stay for the Starcraft 2 discussion! Those of you out there who love Blizzard products are probably already getting excited, and for the portion of readers who cut their teeth on the company's MMO first, there's no better time to start.

We announced not too long ago that Blizzard was looking to unleash the beta for the sequel to their genre-defining strategy game this month. Realize that this is an event roughly twelve years in the making. That's half my life-span!

People who played Starcraft as a kid have grown up, gone to college, gotten married, maybe had kids. And those who start their RTS journey by playing Starcraft 2 may not have even been born at the time of the first game's release!

And, to that end, think of all the unborn babies that will be spilled across keyboards and computer screens across the world once people have the beta in their grubby little hands.

Some are saying that very moment may occur later today, predicated primarily upon the launch of the Official Starcraft 2 Beta Forums.

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