It’s a little strange when a company interviews itself, but that’s what happens when you’re a multi-billion dollar corporation with huge resources and an audience that would make most national newspapers weep. Tom Chilton is a Game Director for Blizzard and he’s been talking to, well, Blizzard about Escalation.
Within the hallowed halls of Blizzard, Tom Chilton is regarded as the Guru for all things PvP (Player versus Player). The PTR (Player Test Realm) for the latest Warcraft release has been extremely busy, which will mean a ton of hours of real world beta testing ahead of the release of Patch 5.3 (Escalation) to the waiting world of Warcrafters.
Asked how the new update fits into the global scheme of things, Tom said, “Patch 5.3 tells the story of what’s been happening on the Kalimdor home front while the continent of Pandaria was being explored across the South Seas. As the name implies, the core conflict revolves around Garrosh Hellscream and his escalating war efforts. Of course, the Alliance opposes Garrosh—for obvious reasons—but now even large factions of the Horde have turned on Garrosh as well. They’ve grown tired of his constant warmongering, and so Vol’jin leads the Darkspear trolls in open rebellion against their former war chief. Garrosh seems to be universally despised, so now players on both sides of the Horde and Alliance will soon get a chance to take a swing at him”.
Anyone who’s studied modern warfare will know that an army marches on its stomach, so supply lines are crucial. With Escalation, attacks on supply lines will be crucial to setting up victory – something Tom knows that a lot of players will really get into. In fact, according to Tom, “Just having the Horde and Alliance together in the Barrens at the same time will open up a lot of opportunities for world PVP”.
When asked about how combat itself will change, the PvP master replied, “One of the biggest evolutions in PvP stems from the changes to the Resilience system. Mechanically speaking, Resilience stays much the same as before, but most of it has been removed from gear, and instead players are getting a much higher innate level of Resilience”.
There are new battlegrounds and arena coming, about which Tom said, “On the PvP content side, we’re also adding a new Battleground and a new Arena with Patch 5.3. The Battleground is called Deepwind Gorge and it features a “gold grab” mechanic, where both factions race to collect a certain threshold of gold for their side. Players can get gold in two ways, either gradually over time by holding key strategic points around the mining operations, or they can steal a gold cart from the other team’s base and drag it back to their own base. So Deepwind Gorge essentially combines classic “king of the hill” with “capture the flag” PvP mechanics. The new Arena is called the Tigers’ Peak, and it experiments with the concept of “high ground” in an interesting new way”.
KitGuru says: Despite WoW’s fall from a high of 12 million in 2010, down to just over 8 million today – it’s still a hugely popular game – and easily number 1 in it’s slot. Mists of Pandaria kicked up almost 3 million unit sales in no time at all, and the continuing improvements mean that it will be a while before Blizzard succumbs to a final deep freeze.
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