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

      An eight hour maintenance is scheduled for NA realms tomorrow. If you're playing on EU realms, expect the same eight hours of downtime on Saturday, January 20.
      NA: January 19th, 7:00 AM PST - 3:00 PM PST EU: January 20th, 2:00 AM CET - 10:AM CET (Source /u/zelwake) Patch 7.3.5 went live with a lot of issues. Some of them are discussed in the latest tweets roundup. Community Manager Ythisens confirmed that world scaling has a negative on older raid content and a fix should be implemented before the weekend, possibly during the extended maintenance.
      Blizzard (Source)
      We will be performing scheduled maintenance beginning on Friday, January 19th, 7:00 AM (PST) and we expect the service to be available again at approximately 3:00 PM (PST). During this time the game will be unavailable for play.

      Please follow @BlizzardCS on Twitter for further updates. The Blizzard Battle.net App has been updated with the following notification:

    • By Stan

      The release date of Patch 7.3.5 draws close and our content hub contains all necessary information to guide you through it.
      The latest information about Legion's final content patch.
      Patch 7.3.5 is Legion's last content patch. The most prominent features are world scaling, Ulduar Timewalking and the Seething Shore battleground.
      Update: (January 18)
      We have a round of new dev tweets with information about bugs in Patch 7.3.5 that continue to pop up on live realms. An extended eight hour maintenance is planned for all regions. You can find more details here.
      Update: (January 17)
      Hotfixes for January 17 are out!
      Patch 7.3.5 is now live in all regions and the first bugs started to emerge. World scaling crippled soloing old content and Blizzard is currently working to fix the issue. We also reported about Orb of Deception transforming Pandaren into Allied Races characters. At this time we don't know if that's intended, but expect a round of hotfixes soon! We also compiled a list of undocumented changes in 7.3.5 that can be found below.
      Black Qiraji Battle Tank Model Update
      Scarab Lords rejoice! The Black Qiraji Resonating Crystal mount received a new model.

      Legion Epilogue Cinematics
      Two new cinematics are available to all players that start the new quest line in Silithus.

      Undocumented Changes
      A list of undocumented changes that were omitted from the official 7.3.5 patch notes.

      Uuna Secret Scenario Hunt
      WoW Secrets Community Finding Discord is currently solving a mystery involving Uuna. Her drop rate has been significantly increased and Blizzard added a scenario for her in Patch 7.3.5.

      Update: (January 15)
      Patch 7.3.5 goes live this week. Here are the official patch notes.
      Patch 7.3.5 Release Date Speculation
      Ruby Qiraji Resonating Crystal and Sapphire Qiraji Resonating Crystal are new Qiraji mounts that have been added to the game in Patch 7.3.5. They will be available only during Call of the Scarab micro-holiday. Call of the Scarab is scheduled for January 21, 2018, so Patch 7.3.5 should go live before the event.
      Possible Release Dates
      Extended maintenance is scheduled for this week. We'll update this hub with additional information as they become available (official patch notes, background download, etc.)
      January 2 January 9 January 16 New Qiraji Mounts (Call of the Scarab Micro-Holiday)

      Allied Races
      Patch 7.3.5 contains files for Allied Races, giving Blizzard the opportunity to enable them at any time after the patch goes live. During PTR testing, we looked at unlock requirements, special Heritage Armor, racials, tabards, and unlock scenarios. Four Allied Races will be available before Battle for Azeroth launches. Dark Iron Dwarves and Zandalari Trolls are gated behind the new expansion's campaign. We still have no information about their class options, but in a Q/A, Blizzard mentioned they are exploring the option to allow Dark Iron Dwarves to be Death Knights and Zandalari Trolls will be able to roll Druids.
      Unlock Requirements
      You must purchase Battle for Azeroth and have an existing character of at least level 110 on the destination realm of your Allied Race character. Allied Races are also gated behind reputation and various achievements. All requirements are account-wide.


      Heritage Armor
      Level up an Allied Race character from 20 to 110 and unlock special account-wide armor that's not restricted by type.

      Highmountain Tauren Druid Forms
      Highmountain Tauren have unique Druid forms. In our preview, we looked at their travel, cat, bear and flight forms!

      Mounts
      Four new racial mounts have been added for Allied Races. Check them out!

      Racials
      Explore new Racial abilities and passives available to Allied Races!

      Tabards
      We datamined four tabards for Allied Races and a new tabard from Pet Battles (Master Trainer's Tabard).

      Alleria & Turalyon Reunion
      After a bittersweet victory on Argus, Alleria & Turalyon return back to Azeroth.

      Dalaran Mailroom Quest Guide for Patch 7.3.5
      A new quest line is available in Patch 7.3.5. Pet collectors will be interested in the Mailemental pet and a portable mailbox (Katy's Stampwhistle) always comes in handy!

      Flying Changes in Patch 7.3.5
      You can now fly in Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Pandaria, Northrend and Deepholm just by purchasing Expert Riding.

      Legendary Items in Patch 7.3.5
      While there are no new Legendaries in Patch 7.3.5, you can now purchase an item for 175 Wakening Essences that allows spec-based Legendary item targeting.

      The devs also posted additional clarifications for the Purified Titan Essence token.

      New Companion Pets
      A new Pet Battle meta-achievement and two new companions can be earned in 7.3.5.

      New Hunter Pet Tames
      Hunters can tame new pets in Patch 7.3.5. Find out more by visiting the link below!

      New Zones
      Blizzard added new Allied Races Scenarios, faction embassies and there's even a scenario for Uuna! Please note that these Scenarios haven't been tested on PTR.
      Allied Races & Uuna Scenarios
      A preview of Fate's Veil, Forge of Aeons and other zones added in Patch 7.3.5.

      Faction Embassies
      Faction embassies have been added to Orgrimmar and Stormwind. They serve for recruiting Allied Races; almost all faction leaders can be found there. Additionally, Baine Bloodhoof, Saurfang, Trade Prince Gallywix and Nathanos all received new models.

      Faction Embassies Preview #2
      Our second preview focuses on changes to embassies throughout 7.3.5 testing.

      Nightborne Hub (Uninstanced Nighthold)
      The uninstanced version of the Nighthold has been updated with new NPCs and portals. Pandaren are teaching the Nightborne the way of the Monk and more!
       
      Legion Epilogue
      Both factions have established base camps in Silithus. Will the price of victory be the very lifeblood of Azeroth?

      Ogmot the Mad Foreshadowing Riddles
      Ogmot the Mad is a new rare mob that can be found in Silithus. He drops Journal of Ogmot the Mad, where we learn how eager he is to become the vessel of the Old Gods. The journal has ten pages and covers interesting events.

      Seething Shore Battleground
      The new battleground is located off the coast of Silithus. It's a resource battle and both factions need to collect Azerite nodes to claim victory.

      Trial of Style Season 2 Rewards
      A couple of new items and rewards have been added to the Trial of Style micro-holiday. New sets cost Trial of Style Tokens.

      Ulduar Timewalking
      Ulduar is the second Timewalking raid, available during Wrath Timewalking. Defeating Algalon now rewards both titles (Observed) and completing the Ulduar raid achievements both mounts (Glory of the Ulduar Raider). There are probably no plans to introduce a transmoggable Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings and the raid now has a single difficulty.

      Vicious War Fox Mount
      The PvP mount datamined back in Patch 7.3 is finally available for 1 Vicious Saddle.

      Zone Scaling
      A highly anticipated feature of 7.3.5 is the introduction of zone scaling. Zones have level caps, difficulty and quest rewards scale with your level. At level 58, you can choose between Outland or Northrend, at level 80 it becomes a choice between Cataclysm zones & Pandaria. Find out more about zone scaling below!

      Zone Chapters
      In addition to zone scaling, all zones now have chapters and completing a fixed number of quests is no longer required for Loremaster achievements.

    • By Starym

       
      As is usual with a new patch, there are plenty of new issues popping up and aside from the hotfix posts, the devs also give us some info over the official dev twitter. Here's what they shared in the last few days that wasn't covered in the hotfix notes:
      First off, some players discovered an issue with a couple of battle pets and it was swiftly fixed:
      This general issue was mentioned in the hotfixes, but there's specific info on Na'zak the Fiend, and I for one deinitely enjoy the use of "smashed":
      It also seems more class ability bugs are popping up, specifically "on death" triggered ones, but no solutions for these for now:
      We then have a reminder of how the Seething Shore will unlock:
      Then there are the mount and transmog issues:
      And then there's the still pending issue with the latest and final Antorus LFR wing:
      And finally, a reminder on the new Wakening Essence legendary vendor and his interaction with bad luck protection:
    • By Stan

      Unreal Engine 4 is a suite of integrated tools for game developers to design and build games and visualizations. The talented Daniel L recreated a couple of Warcraft zones using the engine and the results are stunning!
      Durotar
      Duskwood
      Elwynn Forest
      Grizzly Hills
      Westfall
      For anyone interested, here's a development video of Goldshire. Notice the attention to detail and how long it must take do just one zone!
    • By Stan

      We compiled a list of undocumented changes in Patch 7.3.5.
      Patch 7.3.5 Undocumented Changes
      Below is a list of changes that were not found in the official Patch 7.3.5 Patch Notes. A list of known issues that will be fixed soon via hotfixes can be found here and the latest information about 7.3.5 here.
      General
      Uuna has a new secret scenario in Patch 7.3.5. (More Info) Lunarwing can now /sit. (More Info) Similar to how Glory of the Ulduar Raider rewards both mounts, so does the Observed title award <The Starcaller> & <The Astral Walker> titles at the same time. Alleria & Turalyon returned back to Azeroth. (More Info) Black Qiraji Resonating Crystal received a new model. (More Info) Levelling
      Cold Weather Flying, Flight Master's License and Wisdom of the Four Winds have been removed. You can now fly in Northrend, Pandaria and Cataclysm zones with Expert Riding. (More Info) Primary and secondary stats on heirlooms have been decreased, but the XP increase remains unchanged. All zones now have chapters. You no longer have to complete a fixed amount of quests to get credits toward The Loremaster achievements. (More Info) Micro-Holidays
      Trial of Style got a couple of new decoration items and set rewards. (More Info) Call of the Scarab received two new temporary qiraji mounts: Ruby Qiraji Resonating Crystal & Sapphire Qiraji Resonating Crystal. (More Info) Pets
      There's a new achievement from Pet Battles (Family Brawler) that rewards Master Trainer's Tabard. (More Info) A new quest chain is available in Dalaran that grants the Mailemental pet and the Postmaster title. (More Info) There's a new companion pet that should be available from the phased version of Silithus: The Wound - Silithid Mini-Tank. (More Info) New Hunter tames are available in Patch 7.3.5. (More Info) PvP
      The first battleground win of the day rewards Wakening Essences. (More Info) Vicious War Fox (PvP mount) can be purchased for 1 Vicious Saddle. (More Info) Quests
      Argus weekly quests Invasion Onslaught and Fuel of a Doomed World now reward 1,000 reputation with both Argussian Reach & Army of the Light factions. (More Info // More Info) Elite and Profession World Quests on Argus now reward reputation with Argussian Reach & Army of the Light factions. Many low-level items have been added to the game along with world scaling. (More Info) Ogmot the Mad is a new rare mob that can be found in Silithus. He drops Ogmot's Dream Journal, where we learn how eager he is to become the vessel of the Old Gods. The journal has ten pages and covers interesting events. (More Info) Toys
      Orb of Deception can turn Pandaren into Allied Races characters. (More Info)