World of Warcraft Developer-Team: Hello everyone. Today we are going to be fielding general questions and talking about a few new features. On the table today are skills. mounts, instancing, combat any anything else you want to discuss. So in brief our skill system is comprised of class skills and secondary skills.

Class skills are abilities we consider integral to who a character is. For example, core to a Warrior is the ability to use swords, maces, axes, and such. These skills are developed in two ways: by leveling and through usage. Your level determines your potential and then usage determines your actual proficiency.

As for secondary skills, they are more general purpose and will allow players to uniquely flavor their characters. Now for some questions

Q: Is it possible to establish guilds in WoW with your own guild halls, emblems and such?

Dev Team: Absolutely. Socializing is a huge part of this type of game and a large part of that revolves around the creation of guilds. Guild members will be able to uniquely identify themselves through the use of Guild Tabards. These Tabards are worn over your armor and through the use of color and emblem will uniquely identify guilds and their members. As for guild houses… player housing is in the plan and guild houses are a part of that.

Q: Will the skills be in a skill tree, such as in Diablo II?

Nope, no skill trees… Instead, spread across the world will be various skill trainers. Many skills will have prerequisite skills or minimum levels, but there is no skill tree as such.

Q: Will any spells from the Warcraft or Diablo series be carried into WoW?

Dev Team: Oh ya… many, many of the spells from the WarCraft series will be available in World of Warcraft.

Q: Are there any plans to make guilds more dynamic, or easier to govern?

Dev Team: Hmmmmm. Not sure what you mean by more dynamic, but I”ll throw a few more details to see if this helps. We are planning web site support for listing key stats of the various guilds and we are planning fairly extensive Guild Master and Guild Officer commands for viewing and managing membership… whether members are online or not. :).

Q: Will the setting of WoW, for example, Azeroth, Kalimdor, etc., be the same as Warcaraft III?

Dev Team: Yes, the world is largely based on the known geography of WarCraft. From Khaz Modan to Kalimdor, from Azeroth to Lordaeron, you”ll be able to live in the world you are familiar with.

Q: Will quests provide adequate experience and/or items that will substitute for combat?

Dev Team: This is a great question. We view questing as an area that MMORPGs have only begun to develop. So the direct answer to the question is: Yes, we are planning a vast number of quests, that provide meaningful amounts of experience and lots of good loot. We are planning a Quest Log that will track currently assigned quests and one of our goals is that the log is pretty much never empty.

Q: Can you discuss the monster AI?

Dev Team: Well, this is still in flux but we can mention a few things. We are planning a higher level, group AI that allows the leader of a group of monsters to direct the group”s behavior. For example, a group of Gnolls, lead by a Taskmaster, might decide to sic a couple of Brutes on your Warrior and a Brute on your healer and a fourth on your Mage.

Q: Will there be mounts in the game, and if so, will they be unique to the races?

Dev Team: Good question. Yes, we are planning on a variety of mounts. For example, we have Humans riding around on Horses and Orcs on Wolves. Also, in some rare cases, player”s who choose to specialize in riding will be able to ride mounts normally reserved for other races. Just to be explicit, mounts will be player controlled and will be a great way for mid to high level characters to travel the world.

Q: How will you avoid player camping and kill stealing?

Dev Team: This is one of the big problems of MMORPGs today. Here”s our plan: Many of the areas of our world are instanced meaning that you and your friends can enter an instance that is essentially a private copy of the section of the world. Some player collision is good. It gives people an opportunity to make new friends. The key is that if you get to a location and find it “camped” you always have somewhere to go. Private instances guarantee there will always be somewhere for you to hunt in peace.

Q: How does combat work?

Dev Team: Hmm let”s start by discussing what it is not. It is not a “click-fest” or a “potion-fest”. These are questions we see frequently so we want to clarify that. Players will initiate combat with a simple click on a creature then go into combat mode. While in combat mode, the character automatically continues swinging at the target creature. Then to mix things up, the player will get to time a host of special moves and of course magical spells. As for potions they do exist in our game and are more abundant than in most MMORPGs. We think consumable items are interesting when properly balanced.

Q: How is death handled in the game?

Dev Team: The trick with death is to make it painful enough so that player”s respect the world but not so painful that is is overly frustrating.. We want people to explore and we want people to be heroic. When you die you will resurrect at your last bind site with all your items intact. There will be some sort of penalty but we haven”t settled on exactly what that will be just yet.

Q: Can we discuss multi-user spells.

Dev Team: Ah, we mentioned those a long time ago but haven”t really discussed them recently. We call multi-user spells ” Rituals”. The idea here is that a group of casters would need to get together to cast a Rituals. We”re not prepared just yet to discuss the specifics of what these will do, but rest assured they”re mighty nice.

Q: Will there be class-specific items in the game?

Dev Team: Yes

Q: Will there be ranged weapons and can Dwarves us guns.

Dev Team: Yes we have bows, crossbows and….guns. Warcraft just wouldn”t be Warcraft without Dwarves running around shooting stuff.

Q: When will we hear from Brann again?

Dev Team: Well, Brann has gone missing in fact… and one of the quests in the game will be to discover what happened to him.

Q: How large is the party size for players?

Dev Team: The current party size is 5. This allows us to balance the game in such a way that every member of the party is important. beyond the standard group we have the ability to link groups for some super-groups.. These super groups will allow players to tackle tougher monster, split XP, split loot and generally have a good time raiding together.

Q: Is there a way to finish the game, how long can we play?

Dev Team: Well in fact there is no real way to finish the game? We will have storylines that player”s can follow through to completion but the world is such a giant toy that there will always be hundreds of things to do. On top of that, our live team will continually add new quests , new items and new lands to explore, so the game really never does finish.