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Live Developer Q/A Round-up: Nov 16

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Summary of the latest Q/A with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas about Patch 7.3.5 and beyond.

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  • No questions about WoW Classic will be answered in this Q/A.
  • In BfA, the Azerite system adds depth and customization that was used for Tier sets. For Battle for Azeroth, a lot of art variety will be added to the armor. There will be 1 appearance per armor type though, but more variety across zones. For transmog collectors it means more customization.
  • There will be unique trinkets from raids. Azerite armor from raids will provide properties that can be found only in raids. Assembling people and maintaining schedule needs to feel worthwhile and properly rewarding.
  • Patch 7.3.5 TL;DR: We'll see zone scaling, Legion epilogue quest content, Ulduar Timewalking and a preview of the new Silithus battleground (Seething Shore).
  • In BfA, the focus shifts from racial identity to the faction conflict.
  • Unlocking Allied races is more story-driven. Reputation barriers will be lifted. Doing the campaign should suffice.
  • Heritage armor is restricted to races.
  • More Allied races will be added in the future, but they want to add those that make sense story-wise first.
  • Hunched races - Orc is the big one here. From the early beginning, we saw Thrall / Saurfang that had proper posture and it was a repeated request and they totally understand it.
  • Darskpear Trolls will remain hunched - it's a part of the troll silhouette. Zandalari Trolls are upright though.
  • Prestige system in BfA? They're looking at how the feeling of progression has been in Legion and are re-evaluating a lot of stuff. They want to make sure Prestige rewards are still available.
  • Artifact skins in BfA  will be spec-restricted.
  • Far fewer Legendary items will be seen in BfA, Blizzard will make them where it makes sense. As of now, they have no specific Legendaries in mind.
  • No plans to change the Mythic raid size at the moment. The raid structure remained the same in Warlords, Legion and the trend will continue in BfA. They want to explore an option to enable Mythic cross-server raiding sooner.
  • The team feels that Tomb of Sargeras was too difficult on Mythic difficulty. A few months after Antorus opens, there will be nerfs to Aggramar and Argus the Unmaker on Mythic.
  • Is Aman'Thul's VisionAman'Thul's Vision personal loot? There's value in preserving discovery. We'll see in two weeks.
  • When Mythic Antorus opens (Dec 5), you'll be able to get Mythic rewards up to +15. Order Hall Cache rewards will be retroactive
  • Will Titanforging still allow you to get Mythic quality gear in Normal raids? Yes. It's about the moment of surprise. While you can still get a lucky drop, the Mythic raider is in all cases better geared than that lucky player. Odds of Titanforging will be looked into. They think it's happening too often. The idea of upward loot scaling is being carried forward. The hard cap on Titanforging would limit progression.
  • World PvP will be revitalized in BfA. Creating a space where players who are looking for PvP can more reliably run across each other is the priority right here. Some players don't want to server transfer, yet they are stuck on servers with faction imbalance.
  • The current thinking is to preserve the identity of RP-PvP communities.
  • Legion is the expansion that brought the biggest class changes to World of Warcraft. It's jarring to come back only to see your class vastly reworked. Demonology will see a significant rework and Survival Hunter (the execution of the fantasy will be looked into). In terms of class changes, a good analogy would be Wrath of the Lich King to Cataclysm transition, minus removing 20 points of talents and adding 3 abilities to every class.
  • Class buffs provide utility and they are returning in BfA.
  • Some Artifact traits will be made baseline or baked into talents. For example StormkeeperStormkeeper is a new Elemental Shaman talent available in BfA. Removing drawbacks from abilities is an area they are the most hesitant to entrench.
  • What's happening with Hati for BM? It won't be carried forward. It's tied to TitanstrikeTitanstrike.  It's cool to have multiple pets up as BM. and it's definitely something they could expand upon in the future.
  • Improving animations is a long-term effort. New Warlock animations should be ready for the BfA pre-patch.
  • Relics diluted the excitement of weapon rewards. The plan is to go back to regular weapon drops.
  • The Underlight AnglerUnderlight Angler will be carried forward, unlike other Artifacts.
  • 50 characters per account limit will probably not be increased, but they're listening to community feedback.
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45 minutes ago, Stan said:

There will be unique trinkets from raids. Azerite armor from raids will provide bonuses that can be found only in raids. Assembling people and maintaining schedule needs to feel worthwhile and properly rewarding.

Honestly this was a big concern of mine re: no tier.  
If the only real reward I get is item level, there's a lot less drive to participate in a raid.  

I mean I will anyway, but that's because we rock at it.  

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I really hope that they will continue moving into making interesting items: compared to WoD there were no any kind of items we saw in Legion (ring that empowers aa a bit, ring that gives short buff to magic damage, etc), because it' really fun part of gearing character.

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3 hours ago, Stan said:

There will be unique trinkets from raids. Azerite armor from raids will provide bonuses that can be found only in raids. Assembling people and maintaining schedule needs to feel worthwhile and properly rewarding.

Raids still relevant confirmed.

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4 hours ago, Stan said:

Is Aman'Thul's VisionAman'Thul's Vision personal loot? There's value in preserving discovery. We'll see in two weeks.

Here is a thought: what if it works like the Tempest Keep legendaries? Everyone gets one just before the encounter, and it's gone afterwards. Just an idea.

Also, I pity those who only raid for gear. No one in my guild needs any gear from ToS heroic (except for the occasional insanely high TF) but we still do it nonetheless every week because we like raiding. Not to say that there shouldn't be any rewards, but raiding itself should be the incentive to raid.

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15 hours ago, Stan said:

In BfA, the Azerite system adds depth and customization that was used for Tier sets. For Battle for Azeroth, a lot of art variety will be added to the armor. There will be 1 appearance per armor type though, but more variety across zones. For transmog collectors it means more customization.

So that explains why they're removing Tier Sets entirely. If this means we'll have access to Tier Set equivalent of bonuses, then I'm really loving this idea.

15 hours ago, Stan said:

Unlocking Allied races is more story-driven. Reputation barriers will be lifted. Doing the campaign should suffice.

Oh thank god.

15 hours ago, Stan said:

More Allied races will be added in the future, but they want to add those that make sense story-wise first.

So no Tuskarr? =(

15 hours ago, Stan said:

World PvP will be revitalized in BfA. Creating a space where players who are looking for PvP can more reliably run across each other is the priority right here. Some players don't want to server transfer, yet they are stuck on servers with faction imbalance.

There, now that they will add the toggle PvP/PvE to all realms, PvP enthusiasts will have a place where they slaughter each other.

15 hours ago, Stan said:

In terms of class changes, a good analogy would be Wrath of the Lich King to Cataclysm transition, minus removing 20 points of talents and adding 3 abilities to every class.

I'm perfectly fine with this. Not every expansion needs a completely class overhaul, because a lot of the time they end up changing too much and people will whine "BLIZZ Y U DO DIS TO MY FAV CLASS QQ". Tweaking is fine enough. If it's not broken, why fix it?

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On 17/11/2017 at 9:02 AM, Valhalen said:

There, now that they will add the toggle PvP/PvE to all realms, PvP enthusiasts will have a place where they slaughter each other.

I'm really happy with this, hope they merge the servers, this way we can have a very populated realm, with people popping from everywhere, and of course, people happy with your own style pve and/or pvp.

Edited by HugoCosta
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Blizzard gained a lot when Ion stepped up to be the Game Director. He really listens to player feedback, is very straightforward and takes the time to clarify concerns that might be going around. Also, he learns quickly and knows when to scrap things entirely. Love him.

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On 2017. 11. 16. at 8:03 PM, Stan said:

The team feels that Tomb of Sargeras was too difficult on Mythic difficulty. A few months after Antorus opens, there will be nerfs to Aggramar and Argus the Unmaker on Mythic.

WTF?!?!?!?! Jes... guys. Please leave it hard. I dont want to play with a content what not give a challenge. Absolutely don't need to make it more casual. 

 

On 2017. 11. 16. at 8:03 PM, Stan said:

Will Titanforging still allow you to get Mythic quality gear in Normal raids? Yes. It's about the moment of surprise. While you can still get a lucky drop, the Mythic raider is in all cases better geared than that lucky player. Odds of Titanforging will be looked into. They think it's happening too often. The idea of upward loot scaling is being carried forward. The hard cap on Titanforging would limit progression.

Shame.

Really devs recently want to upset me. They have totally opposite thinking than serious players.

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"Azerite armor from raids will provide properties that can be found only in raids "

 

Welp we give up trying to balance pvp so lets throttle dps and survivability by making everyones gear worse 95 percent of the time.

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On 18/11/2017 at 1:21 AM, Hypersonic said:

WTF?!?!?!?! Jes... guys. Please leave it hard. I dont want to play with a content what not give a challenge. Absolutely don't need to make it more casual. 

 

Shame.

Really devs recently want to upset me. They have totally opposite thinking than serious players.

You seem to have a rather hardcore view of raiding. The "difficulty" they are talking about is the soak fest that was ToS. I guess what they want to take out is the you-fail-everyone-wipes bullshit, and it's good, because it served nobody's interests.

If you believe ilvl is the only reward you get from raiding, then you're not looking at the right direction. I'd guess "serious" players know that ilvl is not the only relevant thing in raiding, and it honestly only helps low-level players (which is good, because not every fucking one is raiding mythic), while high-level players really have a lot of other things to distinguish themselves from all the others :).

Edited by genbag

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On 2017. 11. 20. at 2:56 PM, genbag said:

You seem to have a rather hardcore view of raiding. The "difficulty" they are talking about is the soak fest that was ToS. I guess what they want to take out is the you-fail-everyone-wipes bullshit, and it's good, because it served nobody's interests.

If you believe ilvl is the only reward you get from raiding, then you're not looking at the right direction. I'd guess "serious" players know that ilvl is not the only relevant thing in raiding, and it honestly only helps low-level players (which is good, because not every fucking one is raiding mythic), while high-level players really have a lot of other things to distinguish themselves from all the others :).

Mythic should be the point of if someone fail then everyone die! This make it Mythic raiding hard and fun (of course this is not for everybody), and must to stay it like this otherwise it makes no sense if you can fail and get the maximum reward. Sure had some fail with immunity soaks on first weeks but this mechanics was fixed really fast after few weeks, this don't mean need to nerf the overall difficulty of Mythic. 

I don't believe Mythic raiding is about ilvl because the game actually have so idiot balance to some classes need to use gear from previous tier (2-set bonus or trinkets), but of course the loot is the most relevant. Everyone want the best if raiding and beside this want to enjoy the most hardest fights to get it, so if it would be easy then much less fun.

Who can't aggree with this fail->everyonedie terms then go HC.

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3 hours ago, Hypersonic said:

Mythic should be the point of if someone fail then everyone die! This make it Mythic raiding hard and fun (of course this is not for everybody), and must to stay it like this otherwise it makes no sense if you can fail and get the maximum reward. Sure had some fail with immunity soaks on first weeks but this mechanics was fixed really fast after few weeks, this don't mean need to nerf the overall difficulty of Mythic. 

I don't believe Mythic raiding is about ilvl because the game actually have so idiot balance to some classes need to use gear from previous tier (2-set bonus or trinkets), but of course the loot is the most relevant. Everyone want the best if raiding and beside this want to enjoy the most hardest fights to get it, so if it would be easy then much less fun.

Who can't aggree with this fail->everyonedie terms then go HC.

Your statement is proven wrong simply by the number of long-term mythic players who criticized this tier, both public figures and guildies of mine who have raided at very high level since BC.

Let's not forget the high number of guilds that collapsed due to a very unrewarding tier, retarded mechanics, lack of inventivity, and overall bad balancing (mathematically impossible encounters were okay for vanilla, let's not forget 12 years have passed).

Look at HFC : it wasn't easy, and yet everyone found the tier nice, everyone had fun, and the rewards were here.

 

The problem is that you make no difference between hard and unfair : A raid that calls on skills is hard, but a raid that will just punish you for the slightest error, so harshly that no amount of ilvl or skill will let you stay alive, is just unfair, and that's what makes a raid good, or not.

 

After other discussions, i can agree on your view on TF though, I think lowering the chance of WF/TF would actually make the system work, because i don't believe ilvl really changes anything anyway after certain levels (i mean, World Firsts do M raids with 15 ilvls less than everyone else, even with the difference in the skill level, I believe it still proves my point), but I get some people believe that's all you can get out of high level raiding.

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