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Official forum user Retributor recently posted his (and the EU forum's) concerns about no developers actually interacting directly with the EU player base, which prompted a response from blue Rejuvithorn, with a pretty detailed explanation of the situation. As you know if you've been following our tracking of blue posts at all, all of the news comes from the US side of the blue posts, which obviously makes a lot of sense as well, as Blizzard are a US company.
The explanationgives a pretty good overview of why the situation is as it is, but the responses to it in the thread have been less than enthusiastic, as you'd expect.
EU Blue Responses (source)
Do devs care about EU game playerbase? Can someone please give them a hint that we exist too?
I get where you’re coming from and totally appreciate the feelings that you’ve expressed here Retributor.
Anything the developers say is picked over with a fine tooth comb. One wrong word and suddenly something a dev said was “considered” can end up all over the internet as “confirmed by Blizzard next patch!” even if that’s not what they said at all. One poorly worded joke made in good faith can provoke a backlash that becomes a meme for years. Even the simplest response can take a lot of time to get right, especially when it’s not the author’s expertise. Posting can take even longer if the information needs to be approved for release and translated to other languages. While you and I are not developers, imagine how daunting, and scary, it could be to make even a casual interaction when your voice might carry so far and have implications not only for yourself, but the fans, and colleagues throughout the company.
So there’s risk of causing the wrong kind of storm, and there’s time. Time, that they’re spending full tilt into making and improving the game. There’s also something I’ve mentioned before. Any member of staff commenting on feedback instantly makes that idea “about the blue” and can detract from the OP’s feeling or message. The thread may get flooded with people who want to join in, or who click on through from one of the various blue trackers, but actually don’t care about the size of an orcs ears (or whatever the suggestion was) vastly skewing what the real community sentiment is on a subject. It’s often better to let a community discussion play out, and observe, to gain a more accurate perspective.
So does that mean your voice isn’t heard? No, not at all. Even if they may not post often, the developers can read the forums. In addition, various roles make lots of reports of what’s being said here and other places, as well as a large number of other activities and avenues that all play their part to convey the pulse of the playerbase and ensure you’re listened to.
Now, I can’t speak for the devs, but I do know that from all the interactions I’ve had with them, they care. The care a heck of a lot about the game and you, our amazing fans. Truly.
I hope this at least provides a little insight and helps put your mind to rest a little.
While we’re on the subject, if you haven’t already seen it, check out the recent developer update below
All classes now cast spells if you create a new character on the Alpha. The new animations are supposed to showcase how the individual classes look while in combat, and the new feature is especially useful for new players.
Blizzard continues to improve the character creation screen with each build visually. Recently, they made all classes wear different sets and added poses. In the latest Alpha build, they added new animations for all classes, and you check them out below!
Which one is your favorite?
Bellular interviewed Game Director Ion Hazzikostas and we learned more about the philosophy behind Conduits and Soulbinds, mainly, why they get destroyed when replaced.
What Are Conduits?
You can augment Soulbinds in Shadowlands to socket passives that enhance your Class and Covenant Abilities in various ways. You can read the official preview for more details on Soulbinds.
Conduits operate like gems, so if you put one in and would like to replace it later, the original Conduit gets destroyed. Bellular talked to Ion about the philosophy behind the destructibility of Conduits.
The Forge of Bonds also allows you to augment your Soulbinds with Conduits, socketed passives that enhance your Class and Covenant Abilities. Here are examples of Conduits for Warriors.
Warrior (all specs): Execute increases the critical strike chance of subsequent Executes for a moderate amount of time, stacking substantially.
Warrior (Kyrian, all specs): Spear of Bastion’s instant damage and Rage generation are significantly increased.
Warrior (Necrolord, all specs): Brandishing the Conqueror’s Banner (Covenant Ability) immediately grants you a moderate amount of Glory (used to prolong the duration of your banner), and while the banner is planted your Strength is moderately increased.
Warrior (Night Fae, all specs): Ancient Aftershock’s damage and Rage generation are significantly increased against the first target struck.
Warrior (Venthyr, all specs): Condemn’s damage dealt and prevented are moderately increased for each nearby enemy.
Warrior (Arms): Overpower has a chance to apply Colossus Smash for a few seconds.
Warrior (Fury): Recklessness now last moderately longer.
Warrior (Protection): Last Stand significantly increases your Rage generation.
Conduits are bonus drops that you get from dungeons, bosses, some will be on vendors. They want to add Stamina to some Conduits to offset Throughput benefits that are coming from the system. If you could pop Conduits out, the right way to play would be the massive nuisance of inventory management. You would have to carry a lot of Conduits with you and swap them out all the time, which is not what they want you to do. But the bigger philosophical reason is choice. There are a lot of systems that require micromanagement on an encounter by encounter basis. Conduits and Soulbinds offer a lot more customization flexibility than Legion Relics did, you didn't have two Ashbringer loadouts. They are loathed to add another layer of micro-changes that you feel like you have to make, so Conduits are destructible. They don't want you to resocket 5 conduits for every dungeon/raid/encounter, so if Conduits were not destructible, it would not add much but turn into chores that you have to complete in order to be optimal. You can watch the whole interview below.
Blizzard plans to disable the Corruption System in the Shadowlands pre-patch.
Another interesting bit from the PandaTV interview deals with Corruption that will cease to work in the Shadowlands pre-patch that should go live four to six weeks prior to the expansion.
Game Director Ion Hazzikostas said the game is broken right now and there's nothing they can do with someone who has 100% Critical Chance, that's why they are disabling the whole system in the first place, they will preserve a legacy tooltip on Preserved Contaminants that will turn into Spoiled Contaminants, e.g. Spoiled Contaminant.
Azerite gear and Essences won't stop working in the pre-patch.
Shadowlands will have no Warforging, Titanforging, or any similar system.
You can watch the part where Ion discusses Essences in the VoD below.
Game Director Ion Hazzikostas talked to PandaTV and confirmed that we will be able to swap our weapons during Mythic+ runs in the new expansion.
Ion compared Mythic+ dungeons to a long raid encounter in the interview and you can swap weapons there, so it doesn't make sense if you couldn't do so during a Mythic+ run. He also stressed out that gear swapping will be limited to weapons.
They also talked about Seasonal affixes in Shadowlands, the first one will be themed after Castle Nathria and will be easier because players will be learning dungeons at the beginning of the expansion.
Bursting and Volcanic have been changed in Shadowlands to scale with key level instead of health.
You can watch the whole interview below.