Stan

Battle for Azeroth Live Developer Q&A Roundup: Apr 26

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We bring you a roundup of the latest World of Warcraft Q/A with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas!

Visit our Battle for Azeroth Content Hub for more information about the upcoming expansion!

Roundup

Allied Races

  • No plans to add High Elves in the near future as an Allied Race.
  • No Allied Races in Battle for Azeroth will be Hero Classes (Death Knights / Demon Hunters), but they're open to the idea in the future.

Artifacts

  • Demon Hunter Artifacts have been fundamentally intertwined with their playstyle in Legion.

Azerite Armor & Traits

  • The goal of Class balance is to build a fundament for external systems (Azerite traits in Battle of Azeroth, Artifact traits in Legion) that can be left behind in future expansions.
  • A respec system for Azerite Armor is coming soon. The goal here for respeccing is that you should not be locked into a set of choices, but they don't want you to switch them too often.
    • The initial cost of changing Azerite traits will be negligible, but it will ramp up quite rapidly, so if you want to change your talents around several times a week, it will be super expensive. The cost will decay over time (or reset every week).
  • Azerite traits from more lucrative sources will have a higher power level. Some of them will affect your playstyle. Not all will be boring passives; we should also see some Core spec modifiers.

Global Cooldowns [Learn More]

Quote

Why would we ever make a change that doesn't feel good?

  • Blizzard knows that the change to GCDs would be negatively received, but it is healthy for the game in the long term. Ion compares it to the convenience of teleports back in Cataclysm, where there were portals to capitals in all major cities. They will continue tuning Class abilities to accommodate the changes:
    • In one of the upcoming builds, Heroic Leap / Disengage will be off GCD.
    • Some Warrior abilities will receive an upfront damage increase.
  • GCD changes in Battle for Azeroth are primarily aimed at offensive cooldowns. *Fury Warriors*
  • All specializations have rotational adjustments that are on the table.
  • They see WoW as a fast-paced game (a series of rapid-fire decisions), and GCD sets the pace for the game.
  • World of Warcraft should be about planning your actions in short time frames, not blowing all your cooldowns at the same time.
  • Charge/Dash are on a GCD, but Sub Rogue's Shadowstep is off GCD right now. It adds flavor to the Rogue "ninja-esque" Class fantasy.

Island Expeditions

  • Island Expeditions primarily reward Artifact power.

Lore

  • A Twitter user asked about the Horde turning evil in Battle for Azeroth (the question is based on the latest Battle for Lordaeron Intro Scenario). Ion answered that evil is a matter of perspective, and there's more to the story, but they don't want to spoil it.

Personal Loot

  • Personal Loot will be the only loot option in Battle for Azeroth. There's more control as an individual over your fate. The change hasn't been implemented to address split-raiding.
  • Trading restrictions are the same as in Legion.

PvP

  • Predictive gearing is coming in Battle for Azeroth on top of Legion's random reward structure. Throughout a week, there will be a Conquest progression. Every week, you will get a different piece of your set.
    • PvP Season Week #1: You get a Chest armor
    • PvP Season Week #2: Insert another piece of armor here
  • Big battlegrounds will have a separate "Epic Battlegrounds" queue in Battle for Azeroth. Currently, the plan is to pull out the two 40v40 battleground from the regular queue and remove blacklisting.
  • Ashran will be retired in Battle for Azeroth, but it could return as an epic battleground in the future.
  • Gear only matters a bit in the outdoor world. Players with an item level of higher than you have will be stronger by approximately 10%.

Racials

  • Racials exist for depth and flavor. The point is to get them to a point where they still feel relevant, but are not outliers.

Sets in Battle for Azeroth

  • With the removal of Class sets, there will be just one appearance per armor type per raid.
  • Uldir has its own unique art sets.
  • More sets from Warfronts and so forth are coming. The goal is to offer different takes on expressions. What is Titan cloth? What is Troll cloth?
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Really unhappy that we can only have personal loot in bfa. It totally negates guild raiding, it takes away choice, and it takes away incentive to raid with your guild.

Worst change in a long time imo. 

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Disappointed in the GCD changes, and the comparison.    "It feels bad, but remember how those portals to everywhere were TOO convenient?    We don't want that back!"  (said no player ever)

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4 hours ago, Stan said:

A respec system for Azerite Armor is coming soon. The goal here for respeccing is that you should not be locked into a set of choices, but they don't want you to switch them too often.

  • The initial cost of changing Azerite traits will be negligible but it will ramp up quite rapidly, so if you want to change your talents around several times a week, it will be super expensive. The cost will decay over time (or reset every week).

 

It is nice that we can respec our traits/talents but terrible idea increasing its cost, specially for those specs that need to swap talents two or three times on a raid. 

4 hours ago, Stan said:

Blizzard knows that the change to GCDs would be negatively received, but it is healthy for the game in the long term.

No, it isn't.

4 hours ago, Stan said:

They see WoW as a fast-paced game (a series of rapid-fire decisions) and GCD sets the pace for the game.

And WE like to play the game just like that, I still don't see a problem with a fast-paced gameplay, it is FUN.

 

4 hours ago, Stan said:

Personal Loot will be the only loot option in Battle for Azeroth. There's more control as an individual over your fate. The change hasn't been implemented to address split-raiding.

I can live with that, I hate ML, but I can see why other people are upset with this (specially Mythic Guilds).

4 hours ago, Stan said:

Trading restrictions are the same as in Legion.

And here lies the problem with restricting loot to Personal and only Personal. They should let us trade whatever item we want to trade. It will suck to see some people get a trinket or a ring that they won't use (bad stats or bad proc, idk) and they can't trade because it is 1 ilvl higher then the item they're using. fml

 

4 hours ago, Stan said:

With the removal of Class sets, there will be just one appearance per armor type per raid.

Less options for transmogs, I see. 

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1 hour ago, Foxie12 said:

Really unhappy that we can only have personal loot in bfa. It totally negates guild raiding, it takes away choice, and it takes away incentive to raid with your guild.

Worst change in a long time imo. 

Imho master loot was always a tool of item redistribution, not a goal. Sure, lots of raiding communities going to miss the system, because it's been around for ten-something years, but think of it as free time that the guild leadership won't have to spend with managing the good old DKP spreadsheet. There are two very good reasons why it has to go:

1) With the addition of artifacts, M+ and new open-world activities, raid items became only a part of your high-end gear. I'm not saying lesser part, since they are still important, but they are not the only source of your character's outfit. If you can obtain equally powerful gear through personal loot, the incentive to do to master loot content might not be the same. Some (who feel favoured by the system) would be more likely to do raiding, but some (who think they have no chance to get loot) might be not.

2) Drama queens caused an awful lot of extra work for the support team (and some raid leaders). There were those occasions when they felt that the loot master was unjust with them, or that the loot sharing worked in a tyrannical way. Many-many guilds have disbanded over the years due to problems originating from loot sharing - hence it ruined even friendships. There might be a social side to the game, but even in the most chill communities there are debates over this thing once a few years.

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Quote

Personal Loot

  • Personal Loot will be the only loot option in Battle for Azeroth. There's more control as an individual over your fate. The change hasn't been implemented to address split-raiding.
  • Trading restrictions are the same as in Legion.

I'm disappointed to see this change. Ultimately, it's going to be OK. But, it creates an environment where guilds can require people turn their earned personal loot over when they're eligible to trade it. In this particular situation, it's a LOT worse than what they seem to be trying to solve. Obviously it isn't going to affect a lot of progression loot drops, but in the situations where it does people are going to be pretty salty.

Maybe I'm wrong. I hope someone explains it away for me so I can stop being bothered. If they actually do as good a job at balancing gear as they say they will, it won't be an issue. But... You know.

I've done a fantastic job at both distributing loot fairly and assembling a team that isn't salty about loot distribution. Back to the drawing board for my attendance policy going forward.

Edited by Leucie
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8 hours ago, Stan said:

Trading restrictions are the same as in Legion.

Thats half the fucking reason people dont like personal in the first place. If the gear i got is only 5ilvl higher with shitty stats i should be able to trade it because i obviously wont use it.

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Blizzard is always right. No matter the feedback you bring, you might as well just shove it up where the sun doesn't shine.

Looks like Legion was the last expansion of WoW for me.

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2 hours ago, Weltenfeind said:

Looks like Legion was the last expansion of WoW for me.

I'm sad to say this, but I have to agree. BfA just screams WoD 2.0 for me.

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I was already frightened at first presentation on Blizzcon, but now.. forced PL, no GCD and so much idiot changes. This expansion gonna be huge backstep after Legion and I'll be skip it that sure. 

Edited by Hypersonic

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3 hours ago, Syktris said:

BfA just screams WoD 2.0 for me

WoD at least was a good stories and not this mess. 

Edited by Hypersonic
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43 minutes ago, Hypersonic said:

WoD at least was a good stories and not this mess. 

Hahahha yes, and at least classes were fun to play imo. 

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It seems there were a lot of complaints about BfA following this Q&A....

Just wanted to add my two cents/comments.

1. GCD: As a Fury Warrior, I have seen the stresses of things being on GCD which has resulted in a lot of sadness but this shouldn't really be that new to Warriors. Fury has had its moments throughout the game as a GCD class. For other classes, a lot of people that are raging over the changes, I saw a few begging for Classic now because they think that's the better alternative. As a long time player and Veteran to the Vanilla Warcraft...You will be in for a rude awakening...Vanilla was Talent Specific/GCD galore. The Classes and game style was a different pace than what is it now, which is exactly why Ion stated, the GCD sets the pace of the game. I took this as the devs want to make the pace of the game more critical thinking / slower versus lets burst everything down and kill to move on to the next thing. I strongly believe this change is a "don't knock it before you try it" change...or you can wait until Classic and realize they are trying to duplicate that play style. Ion isn't a bad Dev, he is just trying to find ways to keep the game running...The game has been going for 13.5 years now...things need to be tweaked...tuned or shaken up to make it interesting.

 

2. High Elves: I think the amount of High Elves in the game...is supposed to speak volume to the amounts that left the Blood Elves following Burning Crusade. As Ion has stated numerous times, the Blood Elves are High Elves and there would be no point in duplicating a race for the sake to make Alliance players happy to have a similar elf. Let us not forget in Lore, a large chunk of High Elves left the Alliance when the Alliance did not provide aid in Warcraft II or in Warcraft III when the Undead attacked. When the Elves decided to aide the Alliance, they were met with extreme racism and felt enslaved by the remaining Lordaeron forces, which caused Kael'thas to abandon them and seek the aid of Illidan (other than a new source of magic). Also, the fel side of Blood Elves didn't last long after the Sunwell was cleansed, so the golden eyes thing makes sense. I think people being stuck on the eye colors for High Elves and Blood Elves, aren't making a strong argument. In this regard, I also agree with Ion, if you want to play a High Elf...make a Blood Elf. I feel for the Alliance in the fact Void Elves seemed like a rushed idea...just to even the scales on Elves...

 

3. Personal Loot: Its not a bad concept but I will miss Master Loot. PL isn't a bad idea overall though...if you get something you don't like, then you have the freedom to give it or set up a roll to someone who does. This concept works well with team building in Mythic +, in raids it just takes away the power from a loot council. I can't really say this is a hard dumb idea or a solid good idea..I think this will be a change we all grow accustomed to and generally think its fine. With Tier being gone in the game...that necessity for a loot council goes away because alot of the Loot methods focused around evenly distributing Tier. From early DKP to Big Dumb Loot Council. I think as the raid aside from Mythic, hit around 12-15 people...the need to master loot 2-3 loot pieces is just redundant but for 20 players it has its benefits.

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On 30.4.2018 at 2:02 PM, Nazamber said:

1. GCD: As a Fury Warrior, I have seen the stresses of things being on GCD which has resulted in a lot of sadness but this shouldn't really be that new to Warriors.

As another Fury player, I think the changes to GCDs aren't bad as long as they keep adding damage to cooldowns when you press them, so you're not doing "nothing" when using a CD.

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On 27/04/2018 at 12:08 AM, Badadada said:

Imho master loot was always a tool of item redistribution, not a goal. Sure, lots of raiding communities going to miss the system, because it's been around for ten-something years, but think of it as free time that the guild leadership won't have to spend with managing the good old DKP spreadsheet. There are two very good reasons why it has to go:

1) With the addition of artifacts, M+ and new open-world activities, raid items became only a part of your high-end gear. I'm not saying lesser part, since they are still important, but they are not the only source of your character's outfit. If you can obtain equally powerful gear through personal loot, the incentive to do to master loot content might not be the same. Some (who feel favoured by the system) would be more likely to do raiding, but some (who think they have no chance to get loot) might be not.

2) Drama queens caused an awful lot of extra work for the support team (and some raid leaders). There were those occasions when they felt that the loot master was unjust with them, or that the loot sharing worked in a tyrannical way. Many-many guilds have disbanded over the years due to problems originating from loot sharing - hence it ruined even friendships. There might be a social side to the game, but even in the most chill communities there are debates over this thing once a few years.

Totally disagree.

I believe guild raid groups should have the choice of how they distribute loot. Taking away another choice is too much babysitting.

I firmly believe and the majority of guild posts I've seen a agree, that this is a kick in the crotch to guilds and gives another reason not to be in one. 

Edited by Foxie12

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17 hours ago, Foxie12 said:

Totally disagree.

I believe guild raid groups should have the choice of how they distribute loot. Taking away another choice is too much babysitting.

I firmly believe and the majority of guild posts I've seen a agree, that this is a kick in the crotch to guilds and gives another reason not to be in one. 

Someone mentioned it above and I agree completely with Preach's point on it.

Personal Loot? I get a piece of gear, have it in my bags, can equip it, but am told by Loot Council to give it away.

Master Loot? I never had it, they make the decision. I don't lose anything, I just don't gain anything.

I know which one I prefer.

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On 5/11/2018 at 3:31 PM, Blainie said:

Someone mentioned it above and I agree completely with Preach's point on it.

Personal Loot? I get a piece of gear, have it in my bags, can equip it, but am told by Loot Council to give it away.

Master Loot? I never had it, they make the decision. I don't lose anything, I just don't gain anything.

I know which one I prefer.

No one can make you give up loot...

 

Master loot is preferable for most guild groups, especially since if you get loot you won't use you can't trade it if it isn't lower ilevel than what you have.

For pugs, yes personal loot, but guild groups should have the choice. 

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On 4/27/2018 at 12:08 AM, Badadada said:

Imho master loot was always a tool of item redistribution, not a goal. Sure, lots of raiding communities going to miss the system, because it's been around for ten-something years, but think of it as free time that the guild leadership won't have to spend with managing the good old DKP spreadsheet. There are two very good reasons why it has to go:

1) With the addition of artifacts, M+ and new open-world activities, raid items became only a part of your high-end gear. I'm not saying lesser part, since they are still important, but they are not the only source of your character's outfit. If you can obtain equally powerful gear through personal loot, the incentive to do to master loot content might not be the same. Some (who feel favoured by the system) would be more likely to do raiding, but some (who think they have no chance to get loot) might be not.

2) Drama queens caused an awful lot of extra work for the support team (and some raid leaders). There were those occasions when they felt that the loot master was unjust with them, or that the loot sharing worked in a tyrannical way. Many-many guilds have disbanded over the years due to problems originating from loot sharing - hence it ruined even friendships. There might be a social side to the game, but even in the most chill communities there are debates over this thing once a few years.

Never been in or known a guild disband over loot or friendshils end because of it. Now, maybe it happens, but it's rare enough to be negligible.

 

The benefits of ml far out weight the negatives.

We never have drama over loot and we've always used ml. Dkp/epgp has been redundant for years. 

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      To recover the trident, you must go to Stormsong Valley and the uninstanced version of Freehold where the last boss is located. There's a creature that needs to be killed for Skeleton Key and a treasure chest, which contains Trident of Deep Ocean. Bring both items to Xal'atath to start the next quest.
      The Tempest Crown
      <Xal'atath breathes in deeply and smiles.>
      My strength grows. I can see it clearly now... the third relic we seek. The crown known as Tempest Caller. How fitting that after the fall of Atal'Gral, the gluttonous Toatana would be the one to find the artifact. He was always scuttling about the depths, seeking treasures for his collection. Toatana's greed has left him trapped within a cave he can never leave. The crown awaits us there.
      The final relic can be found in Toatana's Cave in Vol'dun. Xal'atath appears right when you enter the cave.
      Defeat Toatana and loot the final relic - Tempest Caller.
      Twist the Knife
      The relics are ours... as it was meant to be. There is but one more step needed for the great truths to be revealed. The naga sought to summon their storm from a place that echoes with an ancient power. Though this site has had countless names over the ages, you mortals know it as the Precipice of Oblivion. I will go on ahead and begin preparations. Join me there.
      Go find Xal'atath at the Precipice of Oblivion near the Crucible of Storms entrance.
      Enter the Crucible and place all three relics as offering. You will notice a big eye glaring at you. A cutscene will begin to play as you place the final one and you will be teleported out of the Crucible. The cutscene isn't implemented yet and we won't see it before 8.1.5 goes live.

      You are now supposed to return to the Great Seal and tell Talanji of what transpired in Stormsong. We entered the Crucible once again and saw additional Xal'alath & N'zoth roleplay, suggesting that Xal'atath betrayed you and the dagger is actually serving N'zoth.
      Talanji was despawned for some reason for Zandalari Trolls and we were not able to report back to her. It's good to finally see Azshara's influence and N'zoth. Let us know what you think about the questline in the comments!
      Crucible of Storms Raid Intro Playthrough
      Xal'atath, the Legion Priest Artifact, returns in Patch 8.1.5.