Odinn

Live Q&A with Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas - #WarlordsQA

Sign in to follow this  

1 post in this topic

12629-live-qa-with-ion-watcher-hazzikost

 

Icy Veins will be providing complete coverage of today's live Q&A with World of Warcraft Lead Game Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas. Details of the Q&A will be added to this post throughout the Q&A, and available for review afterwards.

 

You can watch the event live at http://www.twitch.tv/wow beginning at 2:00 p.m. PDT today (Saturday, June 13). Questions and answers will be added to this post as the event progresses!

 

The Q&A is now over - an approximate transcript follows. Please note: This is not an official transcript. Some answers may be abridged.

 


 

Q&A

 

Q. Curious about the 6.2.x implementation of the flying achievement. Is it scheduled for after 6.2 for development reasons, or to allow the world to be seen without flying?

 

A. Draenor is largely flyable - people with ability_priest_angelicfeather.jpgAviana's Feather, etc. can attest to that. You can get around in three dimensions just fine. There were bugs we wanted to fix to give players a smooth experience, and we put off fixing them when we decided not to allow flying initially. We need to do that work now.

 

 

 

Q. Now that flying is coming back, how long will the rep grinds take and can they be done all at once?

 

A. There is one core reputation per faction, one for the Arrakoa in Tanaan, and one for the Sabreon. All of them can be done in parallel using daily/weekly quests. The "most gated" is the faction reputation, which should take 2.5-3 weeks of daily quests.

 

 

 

Q. If the Pathfinder achievement model for flying access goes well, do you see this being the plan for unlocking flight going forward?

 

A. We see this as a blueprint that could be used going forward, where you're tied to the ground initially. Being able to fly once you've explored thoroughly makes sense.

 

 

 

Q. Why add flying at the last moment? Personally, I like the game without it. Why the change of heart?

 

A. This was a hard decision. There's a certain amount of cynicism about the decision, as if we had always planned to add flying back. WoW has a large team, and the decision was made by the team as a whole. When we saw the feedback on "never flying again" versus not flying in Draenor, we realized that it felt like we were taking something very valuable away from players. We're satisfied with the way that the compromise has been received.

 

 

 

Q. Why are current reputations all mob grinds? Can we get a more modern reputation system?

 

A. We're not going to defend them - they're completely mob grinds. They were added late in the development process. We weren't going to have reputations at all, but we used them for the Trading Post, etc. It's unfortunate that it set the perception of reputations back as a whole many years. The 6.2 reps in Tanaan represent a more modern system.

 

 

 

Q. Apexis dailies feel like they take forever and I just skip them. Any plans to bring back normal dailies?

 

A. Dailies definitely have a place. We did that thing we so often do where we overreact and swing too far in the other direction - "World of Dailycraft" in Mists of Pandaria, for example. We approached Warlords development wanting to find a different direction. The way we looked at it was it offered more flexibility - instead of being asked to kill a set number of cannons, you get to an area and just need to deal with the enemy through choice and freedom. Two places where we failed were removing quests entirely, losing story and context, and secondly the reward structure was a complete miss.

 

 

 

Q. Draenor was a blast, but the end-game lacks world content. What's your philosophy on this moving ahead?

 

A. We're very proud of the level of questing in Draenor. We would have structured things like Apexis/dailies differently if we could go back and do it again. Some of it flows from the Garrison system - we approached Garrisons wanting to make sure we were rewarding the system adequately. A variety of playstyles should benefit from Garrisons, followers, etc. A lot of systems tied into the Garrison, and a lot of those things were served by the Garrison - gathering professions, for example.

 

 

 

Q. I feel WoD has been geared towards one character play, and players with alts are burning out.

 

A. Burning you out is not designed. Alts have become increasingly popular as World of Warcraft has evolved and leveling has gotten smoother. Where we come down on the general issue is that it's awesome, but we want alts to serve themselves (e.g. second character for PvP, etc.). Where it becomes more concerning is where people feel multiple alts should exist to serve one character (e.g. multiple garrisons to manage for one "main" character's benefit). On missions, we're looking into some diminishing returns on an account-wide level (like gold missions). That should help to alleviate the pressure from six times as much gold from six times as many garrisons (no nerf to a single character's garrison).

 

 

 

Q. What have you learned about what didn't work with Garrisons and why no one leaves it?

 

A. A lot of it has to do with the rewards. Garrisons are the path of least resistance to things you want. You can log on for five or ten minutes and feel like you're doing something, and that's fine.

 

 

 

Q. There has been criticism of the point-click-wait Garrison gameplay. How is the Shipyard content differently?

 

A. It's more condensed, and there is less micromanagement. We didn't increase item levels for followers, etc., because we didn't want people to re-do that work. Shipyard missions have more individually impactful rewards.

 

 

 

Q. Will future expansions have something like Garrisons too?

 

A. The Garrison as you know it in Draenor is something that is rooted and tied to Draenor. That is going to stay in Draenor. We might use the system again in a new form in a future expansion.

 

 

 

Q. There has been a truly massive decline in raiding guilds. Do you feel that changing the raiding paradigm was a good idea?

 

A. Fixed-size Mythic was a challenging transition. Many of them merged or recruited, some have struggled along the way. There are a number of high-profile guilds that have disbanded, but that has happened in every expansion/patch (e.g. Death and Taxes in Sunwell). The glue that keeps guilds together tend to be a small number of raid leaders and officers, and when those people move on, guilds break up. 10-30 player scaling is a huge success, and has tons more participation - on the other end of the spectrum, the Mythic raiders have gotten a better experience out of a fixed size, rather than us failing to balance 10 and 25 equally.

 

 

 

Q. Is Mythic raid difficulty justified when such a small percentage of players even attempt it?

 

A. It is something for people to aspire to, and something for the best players to differentiate themselves with. It's useful to be able to answer the question, "Who is the best?" At the same time, Mythic consumes a very small percentage of the resources that go into making a given raid. If we cut Mythic, it would reduce the amount of time that goes into making raid zones by 5-10%. People doing normal, LFR, etc. are the reason we're developing raids.

 

 

 

Q. Why limit Timewalking to certain bonus time periods?

 

A. The structure of rotating bonus events isn't to force people to do certain types of content. It focuses some of the purpose of Timewalking. It makes it a more condensed activity that is there to help gear up alts, but also makes it fit in better with other new dungeons.

 

 

 

Q. Why are dungeons becoming irrelevant?

 

A. There was no reason to go back to them. Mythic dungeons represents a way to some extent of salvaging that and giving players a reason to go back to running dungeons. They keep dungeons relevant. That works for 6.2, for dungeons going forward we need something else. We didn't keep Valor because running the same dungeons for progressively better rewards felt wrong.

 

 

 

Q. No new dungeons, but Timewalking, Adventure Journal, etc. - is this the plan going forward?

 

A. It would be terrible if we said we weren't going to add new dungeons. That's also not a reason not to add Timewalking or the Adventure Journal. They're not in direct competition.

 

 

 

Q. Why are you nerfing Demonology into the ground?

 

A. Because we don't want you to play Demonology. We have some concerns with how Demonology plays as a spec, and what's required to play the spec well. If you look at a guide like Icy Veins, it's an incredibly complicated heirarchy. Warlocks who preferred Affliction or Destro gravitated to Demo. It's all Demonology Warlocks at the highest level. We didn't want Warlocks to feel like that was the spec they were forced to play.

 

 

 

Q. Do you feel that ability pruning went too far?

 

A. Honestly, I don't. In some cases, I think that you can argue ability pruning didn't go far enough (Shaman, for example). We're not designing rotations to be complicated when you're fighting a target dummy. A lot of the changes we want to make are about improving the fantasy of the class - being a 'Fire Mage', for example. Rogues suffer as much as anybody from lacking distinct animations. We think we can do better than that.

 

 

 

Q. How do you see throughput healers enjoying the game in a world dominated by absorbs?

 

A. It's less dominated by absorbs than it was in Mists. There's less healing where people are either "full or dead". The niche of absorb-centric healing is one that we need to scale back going forward. It's not something that's changing in 6.2, but if you have any raid comp, you probably should have one Disc Priest plus something else. I think Holy Priests are in a great place, but the problem is if you only have one Priest, they should be Discipline. Disc Priest provides a unique benefit that often comes actively at the fun and enjoyment of other healers.

 

 

 

Q. Professions are really boring and constrained in Warlords.

 

A. The mixture of Garrison-centric gathering professions and time-limited cooldowns took away from the feel of being a craftsman. In 6.2, we're massively increasing the yield of people's personal cooldowns to make it more impactful relative to your Garrison. In general, when it comes to professions, things that make you go out into the world are better.

 

 

 

Q. What's the ideal Mythic fight length? Were some too long?

 

A. There's no one answer to this. We see fight length as determined by the nature of the fight and mechanics. Fights with consistent mechanics shouldn't be longer than 5-6m unless it's an endurance fight. If it's cyclical, you can probably stretch it out longer. For a classic, three-phase, multiple ability encounter, that's where you see it stretch out to 10+ minute lengths. Brackenspore was an endurance fight; keeping the moss in check, keeping up with adds, etc., it was a long fight. Mythic Mar'gok was just too long - that's the product of the extra phase after what was already a pretty full and thorough fight. Once we get to the 15m fight length, that's more than it should be. Seeing a brand new phase that you're going to wipe to and have to learn at 13 minutes is rough.

 

 

 

Q. Why do you keep making everything so convenient? Do you feel the game is becoming too convenient?

 

A. We don't want inconvenience and nuisance to be the things that stop you from doing something, while being mindful of the downsides of convenience. If we offer teleportation too freely, that tends to shrink the feeling of the world. A risk of something like LFD is that it reduces some of the social interaction of using trade chat for 90 minutes. The premade group finder is a strict improvement over spamming trade chat for 90 minutes. In general, we want to identify things that are preventing people from enjoying the game in a way they would like, but there is something to be said for removing too many barriers.

 

 

 

Q. Do you feel artistic integrity arguments carry any weight after the Twitter/S.E.L.F.I.E. patch?

 

A. Twitter integration isn't something that came away from the creation of outdoor content. It was something a couple of programmers worked on to integrate the API into the game. It's a convenience for players who already use Twitter. It's optional, and if you don't care about Twitter, you don't even know it exists. The S.E.L.F.I.E. cam was a fun side project from one designer and one programmer who came in and did it on a couple of weekends. A lot of the things that have come into the game were the product of an individual's initiative. We should have called 6.1 something like 6.0.5 instead, to soften the expectations. There's a reason the patch didn't have a formal name, like Landfall, because it wasn't advancing the story at all.

 

 

 

Q. Why are Tier 18 PvE and PvP gear sets recolours of each other? Doesn't really help player identity.

 

A. The only thing that differentiated players in MoP in terms of skill or difficulty was colour. It wasn't reasonable to expect people to have colour as the signifier of that. We moved to a world where there is one set of armor for 'average' accomplishment, and one set for 'extreme' accomplishment, and colour distinguishes content (PvE/PvP).

 

 

 

Q. Why are there no agility weapons that drop off Archimonde? All of the agility classes don't get 735 weapons.

 

A. We looked at how itemization worked out in Highmaul and BRF and realized that the kills later in zones become progressively less and less meaningful, because they already have items of that level. Plenty of guilds skipped end bosses entirely - e.g. skip Imperator and go straight to BRF. We want risk and reward to be somewhat commensurate. Itemization overall would be less interesting if we felt forced to have complete coverage of every weapon slot on Archimonde and Mannoroth.

 


 

Thanks for following along live if you did! The complete Q&A recap will be edited slightly and left online here for your review.

 

Coverage of the live #WarlordsQA event! Come see all the details here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan
      Naowh recently cleared Freehold +11 and Atal'Dazar +12 in time with a group of five Blood Death Knights.
      Both keystone runs have been completed with the following affixes active:
      Fortified Bolstering Skittish Infested Freehold Clear (Mythic +11)
      The group completed the run with 5 minutes and 14 seconds remaining (30:46 / 36:00).
      Atal'Dazar Clear (Mythic +12)
      The clear was completed in 29 minutes and 17 seconds.
    • By Stan
      New models for this week's 8.1 PTR build include baby raptors, Mekkatorque, 7th Legion riflemen & Zandalari guards.
      Check out our Tides of Vengeance hub for the latest Patch 8.1 information!
      Baby Raptors

      7th Legion Rifleman (Female)

      7th Legion Rifleman (Male)

      Mekkatorque
      The High Tinker is a boss in the upcoming Battle of Dazar'alor raid and thus received a brand new model.

      Zandari Caster (Female)

      Zandalari Guard (Male)

      Zandalari Honor Guard (Male)

    • By Stan
      This year's Hallow's End comes with a new toy Headless Horseman's Hearthstone that can be purchased with Tricky Treats. The Headless Horseman should drop ilvl 335 gear.
      The meta-achievement Hallowed Be Thy Name is required for What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been and the Reins of the Violet Proto-Drake mount. You can find more details about the event in our Hallow's End guide.
      Blizzard (Source)
      It’s time for Tricky Treats, costumes, and—of course—the return of the Headless Horseman during this year’s Hallow’s End!
      Hallow’s End celebrates the break of the Forsaken from the Scourge.
      Fun and mischief reign as the Innkeepers of Azeroth give treats, and tricks, to whomever asks.
      The spookiest time of year has arrived once more, and the Headless Horseman rides forth to strike terror into the hearts and minds of Azeroth’s citizens.
      When: October 18–November 1
      Where: Trick-or-Treat throughout the inns of Azeroth, Northrend, Pandaria, Outland, Draenor, and the Broken Isles (Dalaran) for tasty treats and currency to buy Hallow’s End delights.
      All together now! —the Headless Horseman is back to set fire to Razor Hill and Goldshire once more. You’ll need to lend a hand on the bucket brigade to put them out and face the infamous rider.
      Prepare yourselves, the bells have tolled! Shelter your weak, your young and your old! Each of you shall pay the final sum. Cry for mercy, the reckoning has come!
      THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN It would be a lovely time of year to take a stroll through the Scarlet Monastery’s Graveyard if the Headless Horseman hadn’t decided to make it his new lair. If you're lucky and succeed in routing this menace from within, you may ride off with his steed.
      Throughout Hallow’s End, characters level 23-120 will be able to queue up for this ghoulish encounter in the Dungeon Finder.
      This year you’ll be able to exchange your Tricky Treats for a newly added toy:
      Headless Horseman's Hearthstone Head to Val’sharah to undertake a quest that begins with the Hag of the Crooked Tree in Bradensbrook. Follow the tale through to its culmination and you’ll receive some Tricky Treats and a chance of receiving one of four utterly bewitching hats.
      Hat of the First Sister Hat of the Second Sister Hat of the Third Sister Hat of the Youngest Sister ACHIEVEMENTS
      There are a total of 21 achievements that can be earned during this event. Completing the Meta-Achievement, Hallowed Be Thy Name, rewards the title: The Hallowed. The eleven Achievements that need to be completed to earn this title include: Trick or Treat!, Out With It, Bring Me the Head of... Oh Wait, The Savior of Hallow's End, That Sparkling Smile, Rotten Hallow, G.N.E.R.D. Rage, Check Your Head, The Masquerade, Sinister Calling, Tricks or Treats of Azeroth.
    • By Stan
      Tides of Vengeance is available for playtesting and our hub contains all the latest information!
      Welcome to our Tides of Vengeance hub. Here, you'll find all the latest information about Battle for Azeroth's first content patch 8.1. We will keep the hub updated throughout PTR testing with the latest coverage.
      Introduction
      Patch 8.1 called Tides of Vengeance was pushed to PTR on September 21. Players are still unable to log in to the game right now (September 26). The patch will be released later this year.
      Latest Coverage
      This section contains contains the most recent coverage. Whenever there's a new PTR build, we'll move the previous builds down to the "Datamining Archive [PH]" section.
      Patch 8.1 Build #28151
      Patch 8.1 Build 28151: Overview Patch 8.1 Build 28151: Blood Elf Heritage Armor Patch 8.1 Build 28151: Marksmanship Hunter Changes Patch 8.1 Build 28151: Restoration Shaman Changes The Story of Varok Saurfang in Patch 8.1 Orc Running Animation Updated Patch 8.1 Content
      Heritage Armor will be added for non-Allied Races; Blood Elves & Dwarves are first on the list. There's no reputation grind behind this. If you're at max level and Exalted with Ironforge/Blood Elves, you can start the quest and complete a scenario to get your Heritage Armor. Reputation Paragon for BfA factions is coming. Champions of Azeroth reputation will be made account-wide. Incursions are a new feature similar to Legion assaults. Darkshore Warfront (Night Elves vs Forsaken theme) The outdoor zone will be updated just like Arathi Highlands with new quests, rares, etc. War Campaign continues with the Alliance leading a direct strike at the Zandalari Fleet. We can expect two new raids in 8.1: Siege of Zuldazar is a nine-boss raid where the foe is the opposing faction. Alliance players will join Jaina and her forces to fight their way up to the pyramid to confront Rastakhan. Horde players will try to defend the pyramid, fighting Jaina in the High Seas as the final boss. Crucible of Storms is a two-boss raid located under Shrine of the Storm that hints at Queen Azshara. It's Battle for Azeroth's "Trial of Valor" raid. Allied Races: Kul Tirans and Zandalari Trolls will become available for gameplay after the Siege of Zuldazar raid. You can find more details about how to unlock them here. Two New Islands: Jorundall (Vrykul-themed Island) & Havenswood (Gilnean-themed Island) Gnomeregan Pet Battle Dungeon Profession Changes New Scenarios Tyrande's Ascension - players will unlok new Night Elf Warrior customization options with dark eyes. Cooking Scenario with Nomi Unknown Tol Dagor Scenario Heritage Armor Scenarios Vol'jin's Story Continues - The Shadow Hunter is looking for answers s in 8.1 as he tries to figure out why he appointed Sylvanas for Warchief. Allied Races
      You will be able to unlock Legion Allied Races faster in Patch 8.1.
      Class Changes
      Multiple Classes are subject to changes in Patch 8.1. These include Elemental Shamans, Shadow Priests, and Protection Warriors. So far, Blizzard outlined plans for Elemental Shamans. They haven't decided what to do with Protection Warriors just yet.
      Elemental Shaman Changes Model Updates
      Draenei totems received new models with a higher polygon count in 8.1.
      Draenei Shaman Totems Model Update Interviews/Livestreams
      Game Director Ion Hazzikostas unveiled Patch 8.1 on September 18.
      Tides of Vengeance Livestream with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas Tides of Vengeance Live Developer Q&A with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas Datamining Archive [PH]
      As with previous patches, there's going to be a new PTR build every week and to keep things organized, we're going to post build overviews below.
      Patch 8.1 Build #28048
      Patch 8.1 Build 28048 Overview Patch 8.1 Build #27985
      Patch 8.1 Build 27985 Overview Patch 8.1 Build 27985: New Creature Models Patch 8.1 Build 27985: New Paladin Animations Patch 8.1 Build 27985: Solo Queue for Legion Raids Enabled Patch 8.1 Build 27985: Dwarf Heritage Armor Preview Patch 8.1 Build 27985: Siege of Zuldazar Weapons Patch 8.1 Build #27826
      Patch 8.1 Build 27826 Overview (Datamined Broadcast Text, Zones, Strings, Scenarios) *Spoilers* Patch 8.1 Build 27286: Vol'jin's Story Continues (Datamined Broadcast Text Analysis) *Spoilers* Patch 8.1 Build 27826: New Creature Models Patch 8.1 Build 27286: New Night Elf Warrior Customization Options Patch 8.1 Build 27286: New Druid Forms (Highmountain Tauren/Kul Tiran Moonkin Forms, Zandalari Aquatic Form) Patch 8.1 Build 27286: Kul Tiran Horse Racial Mount Patch 8.1 Build 27286: Nightsaber Mounts Patch 8.1 Build 27286: The Hivemind Mount Returns Patch 8.1 Build 27286: Vicious PvP Mounts Tides of Vengeance is Battle for Azeroth's first major content patch and we created a hub to keep track of everything.
    • By Starym
      There's a fair amount of changes and buffs for Marksmanship that have arrived on the PTR. The first part of the changes are to enhance Marksmanship's tools for keeping a target at range, so we're seeing Bursting Shot and Concussive Shot buffs.

      There's also a change to Rapid Fire to bring it in line with most other channeled spells in regards to line of sight, so it will now continue to do damage even after a target has broken LOS, and you can also Disengage during the channeling of it. The other big changes are to Trueshot, reducing its cooldown and making it also reduce Aimed Shot and Rapid Fire cooldowns during its duration, as well as to Careful Aim, making it more consistent by having it always trigger.
      Marksmanship (source)
      The Public Test Realms (PTR) are seeing several changes for Marksmanship Hunters. Here’s some context on those changes.
      One goal of ours for Marksmanship is proficiency in keeping targets at range in PvE and PvP situations. Marksmanship plays best when you have distance from your target, so we’re emphasizing some of the tools that help you either move a target away from you, or keep your distance.
      - Bursting Shot has had its knockback range increased, can no longer be dodged, and snares targets for 6 seconds now.

      - Steady Shot will now increase the duration of Concussive Shot on the target by 3 seconds. This will work on a Concussive Shot from any friendly Hunter, not just your own Concussive Shot.

      Rapid Fire has had some usability problems in PvP. Most other channeled spells will continue to deal damage when your target runs behind a pillar and breaks line of sight, but Rapid Fire requires constant line of sight. We’re changing that, and now it will behave like almost every other channeled spell that players cast, and will continue to damage a target, even if the target is no longer in line of sight. We also think it’s cool to be able to use Disengage while channeling Rapid Fire, so now you can.


      Aimed Shot is a driving force behind a significant amount of the damage a Marksmanship Hunter deals. There are a lot of different stacking bonuses you can get from various Talents and Azerite Armor that can swing the damage of Aimed Shot by a huge amount. Some of these bonuses are entirely uncontrolled, which made Aimed Shot an unreliable source of damage. We want Aimed Shot to feel like an impactful and more reliable source of damage, so:
      - Careful Aim is now a guaranteed bonus to Aimed Shot damage against targets above 80% health or below 20% health.
       
      Trueshot has changed a lot over the years, but it’s currently not a very exciting button, and it could feel much more impactful when you use it. We like that it makes your Aimed Shot cast time reduced, so we’re keeping that, and it now additionally causes your Rapid Fire and Aimed Shot abilities to recharge significantly faster while Trueshot is active. The new version of Trueshot is a significant pacing change for its duration, allowing you to cast multiple Aimed Shots and Rapid Fires during its duration. We’re also lowering its cooldown from 3 minutes to 2 minutes.