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PCGamesN Interview with Production Director John Hight

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PCGamesN recently sat down with Production Director John Hight to talk about Battle for Azeroth.

You can read the full interview here.

PCGamesN Interview Highlights

  • After defeating the common foe, it's time for the Alliance to explore what really happened in Legion (Varian's death).
  • The story arc in WoW is typically planned two or three expansions ahead.
  • It's too early to make assumptions and Blizzard has plenty of interesting and exciting twists and turns in store for us.
  • Battle for Azeroth has distinct storylines for the Horde and the Alliance.
  • The faction conflict in Battle for Azeroth harks back to the early days of Warcraft itself.
  • When choosing an Allied Race, they first look at the geography of the space and who the inhabitants were, but in other cases, they need to invent a new race to suit it. Then, they consider their natural tendency to choose the appropriate faction and do some balancing. They don't want everyone on the Horde to look ugly.
  • The order that they're putting Allied Races out depends on how the story unfolds.
  • At first, they wanted to roll out Zandalari Trolls even ahead of time, but that wouldn't make sense, because we haven't earned their trust or gone through the storylines yet.
  • The release of Allied Races in Battle for Azeroth is planned out, but subject to change throughout the expansion.
  • The decision to put in Dark Iron Dwarves was based on players saying for years that they've wanted to play that particular look of dwarf, and have been very disappointed that they never gave it to them.
  • The same goes for Mag'har Orcs. Players wanted more variety in Orcs. The team wanted to do more of an upright Orc, but some of the individual personality traits of the various Orc clans in Warlords are not that distinguishable when you're armored up, so they decided to make an amalgam of all these different clans.
  • No immediate plans to include the Wildhammer Clan as an Allied Race.
  • They have two members of the design team with a responsibility for the storyline for their particular faction. They sit with each other and communicate on a daily basis. The goal for the factions is to have a unique flavor.
  • They're okay with separating the content out between factions. It's what gives a faction part of its identity.
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After defeating the common foe, it's time for the Alliance to explore what really happened in Legion (Varian's death).

Wait...seriously?   Do they not have -any- spies among the horde?    Wtf is their intelligence network even being paid for, the entire horde force was overrun and got a Valkyrie airlift, how hard would it be to bribe a greedy goblin to find that out?    Not even to mention a magical investigation/scrying.      I figured the initial Greymane rage lasted about 3 days till details trickled in, but they were fighting on Argus together still thinking the Horde betrayed them to the demons?

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14 minutes ago, Migol said:

Wait...seriously?   Do they not have -any- spies among the horde?    Wtf is their intelligence network even being paid for, the entire horde force was overrun and got a Valkyrie airlift, how hard would it be to bribe a greedy goblin to find that out?    Not even to mention a magical investigation/scrying.      I figured the initial Greymane rage lasted about 3 days till details trickled in, but they were fighting on Argus together still thinking the Horde betrayed them to the demons?

It might not be to do with the Horde so much as why Varian had to die or so - they probably know the Horde wasn't to blame, but someone needs to be. The King doesn't just die randomly. Someone has to be to blame here, whether it's Genn for letting him go, the crew for not getting out of there fast enough, whatever it was.

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1 hour ago, Stan said:
  • When choosing an Allied Race, they first look at the geography of the space and who the inhabitants were, but in other cases, they need to invent a new race to suit it. Then, they consider their natural tendency to choose the appropriate faction and do some balancing. They don't want everyone on the Horde to look ugly.

So now you know it my hostile hordies, generally you look ugly...just some of you may look ok (no, not even good, just "ok"). :-D

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12 minutes ago, Blainie said:

Someone has to be to blame here, whether it's Genn for letting him go, the crew for not getting out of there fast enough, whatever it was.

Newsflash to kings: People die in war. If your alliance puts you at the front of the line and expect you to survive, the people don't deserve you.

Edited by Yridaa

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2 minutes ago, Yridaa said:

Newsflash to kings: People die in war. If your alliance puts you at the front of the line and expect you to survive, the people don't deserve you.

To be fair, Varian wasn't a normal king :p

When you look at the legend of Lo'Gosh, he was an absolute beast capable of more than most humans, as well as being the chosen of a Wild God. I hated his death because it felt so damn cheap. He's all of that and just kinda got stabbed by normal demons. 

If we're speculating, I reckon Varian would have refused to not be a part of it, especially when Vol'jin was on the front lines too (another amazingly strong fighter that died to something ridiculous). 

I just don't really understand how Genn can justify letting his king go and fight rather than doing it himself. Why let your king sacrifice himself rather than do it yourself? Especially someone that is supposedly so close to him?

Yeah, great, he cried on the boat flying away, but come on.

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2 minutes ago, Blainie said:

To be fair, Varian wasn't a normal king :p

 

And Tirion wasn't a normal Paladin. His bubble didn't save him from Krosus' fel breath, but all we did was watch it happen. Jaina could've teleported him or put up a frostwall between Tirion and Krosus (Like she made that frostbridge to close the gap to Krosus).

 

My point is: Blizzard doesn't really know how to properly kill off characters in a believable way. However, that doesn't mean that you should expect a king on the front line to live against the Legion, especially near Sargeras' tomb and Gul'dan fueling his army.

 

I mean, sure he'd want to be there himself, but I don't really see why the alliance would put up an investigation into his death. I mean, an army of alliance soldiers saw that Varian sacrificed himself to save that army (and ship), including Gelbin Mekkatorque.

 

p.s. I don't know how Genn would've taken down the Fel Reaver with his claws, so I understand why it was Varian that went to kill it. On one hand you expect a "loyal dog" to follow his master to his death, but when your master tells you to deliver a message to his son, you obey.

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8 minutes ago, Yridaa said:

And Tirion wasn't a normal Paladin. His bubble didn't save him from Krosus' fel breath, but all we did was watch it happen. Jaina could've teleported him or put up a frostwall between Tirion and Krosus (Like she made that frostbridge to close the gap to Krosus).

True, but Krosus vs. a Felguard - given that Varian was basically a demi-god at this point with all the blessings and crap he had on him, I just would have expected him to die to something with a bit more... "oomph". 

Like, it took 10+ of us to kill Krosus when he was alone and it took Krosus and Gul'dan to kill Tirion. That's a fair bit more impressive than what we saw with Varian/Vol'jin. At least Varian was killed by Gul'dan, Vol'jin just kinda died to poison.

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Spoilers: The bubble did save Tirion.

The Paladin order hall has you find him being tortured by demons, he doesn't survive the rescue.    His final legacy is dying in a cave somewhere.    Him and Vol'jin have to be pretty salty in the azeroth afterlife.

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1 hour ago, Blainie said:

Like, it took 10+ of us to kill Krosus when he was alone and it took Krosus and Gul'dan to kill Tirion. That's a fair bit more impressive than what we saw with Varian/Vol'jin. At least Varian was killed by Gul'dan, Vol'jin just kinda died to poison.

He also single handedly broke Frostmourne while the (10/25) of us took 10 minutes to not make a dent in it. I refer back to my "Blizzard doesn't know how to kill off chracters in a believable way". I still absolutely agree with your point though. To keep up my suspense of disbelief to what happened to Varian and Vol'jin to them fighting for hours upon hours before the cinematic kicks in (i.e. they slaughtered hundreds of demons including important "raid boss" level ones like JARAXXUS.)

 

To the point where they were so exhausted that a single "level 6 boar" could effortlessly slay them.

 

Of course, it all happened in the span of 2 minutes, but lets pretend they've been fighting for hours. :P

 

P.S. Where is your GLORIOUS warlock?! Why is it a phoenix. Q_Q

Edited by Yridaa

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6 minutes ago, Yridaa said:

To the point where they were so exhausted that a single "level 6 boar" could effortlessly slay them.

Going to have to keep telling myself this each day until BfA, until I find something else to pick at!

6 minutes ago, Yridaa said:

P.S. Where is your GLORIOUS warlock?! Why is it a phoenix. Q_Q

It was just a general piece of art that I had done a few years ago :p

I thought I should use something that actually reflects what I play everywhere - a mage!

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3 hours ago, Allseye said:

So now you know it my hostile hordies, generally you look ugly...just some of you may look ok (no, not even good, just "ok"). :-D

Orcs and Tauren are handsome!!!

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6 hours ago, Stan said:

They're okay with separating the content out between factions. It's what gives a faction part of its identity.

I say the same thing about classes, even before Legion. Paladin class mounts, ftw.

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5 hours ago, Migol said:

Wtf is their intelligence network even being paid for,

Clearly youre not familiar with things like military "intelligence" ;)

...of which there really isnt much.  I can imagine the same problems befall both factions in a made up universe.

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18 hours ago, PatrickHenry said:

I say the same thing about classes, even before Legion. Paladin class mounts, ftw.

Dwarf one is awesome.

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      Name Type Required Standing Contract: Talanji's Expedition Other Friendly Drape of the Blood Purge Back Honored Recipe: Contract: Talanji's Expedition Inscription Technique Honored Schematic: AZ3-R1-T3 Bionic Bifocals Engineering Schematic Honored Recipe: Hardened Tempest Knuckles Leatherworking Pattern Revered Schematic: Neurological Immobilization Bomb Engineering Schematic Revered Recipe: Coastal Mana Potion Alchemy Recipe Revered Schematic: AZ3-R1-T3 Bionic Bifocals Engineering Schematic Revered Formula: Enchant Ring - Pact of Mastery Enchanting Formula Revered Pattern: Embroidered Deep Sea Cloak of the Feather Tailoring Pattern Revered Grips of the Swamp Hunter Hands (Mail) Revered Tragg the Curious Companion Pets Revered Recipe: Mistscale Knuckles Leatherworking Pattern Revered Schematic: Fro-Grow Grenade Engineering Schematic Revered Formula: Enchant Weapon - Masterful Navigation Enchanting Formula Revered Recipe: Flask of the Vast Horizon Alchemy Recipe Revered Gloomplate Gauntlets Hands (Plate) Revered Swampstalker Footpads Feet (Leather) Revered Swamp Medic's Leggings Legs (Cloth) Revered Recipe: Battle Potion of Intellect Alchemy Recipe Revered Design: Tidal Amethyst Loop Jewelcrafting Design Revered Schematic: Charged Refrigeration Projectile Engineering Schematic Revered Formula: Enchant Weapon - Siphoning Enchanting Formula Revered Recipe: Potion of Bursting Blood Alchemy Recipe Revered Torga Scale Girdle Waist (Mail) Exalted Zo'bal Spirit Gloves Hands (Cloth) Exalted Reins of the Expedition Bloodswarmer Mount Exalted Zul'jan Camp Stalkers Feet (Plate) Exalted Hir'eek Hide Leggings Legs (Leather) Exalted Talanji's Expedition Tabard Tabard Exalted The Honorbound [Return to Top]
      A special delegation of the Horde army, focused on disrupting Alliance operations in Kul Tiras.
      Name Type Required Standing Drape of the Horde's Fury Back Honored Schematic: AZ3-R1-T3 Synthetic Specs Engineering Schematic Honored Schematic: Finely-Tuned Stormsteel Destroyer Engineering Schematic Revered Recipe: Stormsteel Dagger Blacksmithing Plan Revered Recipe: Flask of the Currents Alchemy Recipe Revered Design: Amberblaze Loop Jewelcrafting Design Revered Schematic: AZ3-R1-T3 Synthetic Specs Engineering Schematic Revered Recipe: Stormsteel Spear Blacksmithing Plan Revered Recipe: Endless Tincture of Fractional Power Alchemy Recipe Revered Sabatons of the Renewed Warpath Feet (Plate) Revered Recipe: Battle Potion of Strength Alchemy Recipe Revered Schematic: Precision Attitude Adjuster Engineering Schematic Revered Recipe: Enchanter's Sorcerous Scepter Enchanting Formula Revered Recipe: Stormsteel Shield Blacksmithing Plan Revered Recipe: Steelskin Potion Alchemy Recipe Revered Goblin Sapper's Legguards Legs (Mail) Revered Wristwraps of the Dutiful Apothecary Wrists (Cloth) Revered Recipe: Stormsteel Saber Blacksmithing Plan Revered Schematic: Monelite Scope of Alacrity Engineering Schematic Revered Formula: Enchant Ring - Pact of Critical Strike Enchanting Formula Revered Recipe: Surging Alchemist Stone Alchemy Recipe Revered Silent Stalker Belt Waist (Leather) Revered Tabard of the Honorbound Tabard Exalted Lustful Warbringer's Legplates Legs (Plate) Exalted Tranquil Health Weavers Hands (Leather) Exalted Bindings of the Elemental Allies Wrists (Mail) Exalted Witch Doctor's Slippers Feet (Cloth) Exalted Voldunai [Return to Top]
      Comprised of exiles and scavengers, the Voldunai use their knowledge of the sands to thrive where others would wither and die.
      Name Type Required Standing Contract: Voldunai Other Friendly Vulpera Battle Banner Other Honored Recipe: Contract: Voldunai Inscription Technique Honored Akunda's Firesticks Other Honored Schematic: AZ3-R1-T3 Orthogonal Optics Engineering Schematic Honored Dune Shield Back Honored Desert Flute Other Honored Alpaca Wool Gloves Hands (Cloth) Revered Silent Scavenger Leggnings Legs (Leather) Revered Bracers of Zem'lan Wrists (Mail) Revered Schematic: Frost-Laced Ammunition Engineering Schematic Revered Formula: Enchant Weapon - Versatile Navigation Enchanting Formula Revered Formula: Enchant Weapon - Gale-Force Striking Enchanting Formula Revered Formula: Enchant Ring - Pact of Versatility Enchanting Formula Revered Recipe: Coastal Rejuvenation Potion Alchemy Recipe Revered Recipe: Flask of the Undertow Alchemy Recipe Revered Recipe: Potion of Rising Death Alchemy Recipe Revered Pack of Many Pockets Bag Revered Pattern: Embroidered Deep Sea Cloak of Discretion Tailoring Pattern Revered Pattern: Deep Sea Bag Tailoring Pattern Revered Recipe: Recurve Bow of the Strands Leatherworking Pattern Revered Design: Royal Quartz Loop Jewelcrafting Design Revered Schematic: Catchroot Seed Spreader Engineering Schematic Revered Schematic: Thermo-Accelerated Plague Spreader Engineering Schematic Revered Schematic: AZ3-R1-T3 Orthogonal Optics Engineering Schematic Revered Vulpera Scrapper's Armor Other Revered Recipe: Battle Potion of Agility Alchemy Recipe Revered Ghostly Explorer's Skull Other Revered Girdle of Scavenged Plates Waist (Plate) Revered Gauntlets of the Scorched Sands Hands (Plate) Exalted Akunda's Grounding Boots Feet (Mail) Exalted Reins of the Alabaster Hyena Mount Exalted Kimbul's Cuffs of Redemption Wrists (Leather) Exalted Sash of the Scaled Devoted Waist (Cloth) Exalted Tabard of the Voldunai Tabard Exalted Zandalari Empire [Return to Top]
      The oldest empire of Azeroth, the Zandalari are powerful trolls who bargain with fearsome loa and whose navy is unmatched on the Great Sea.
      Name Type Required Standing Contract: Zandalari Empire Other Friendly Recipe: Contract: Zandalari Empire Inscription Technique Honored Dinomancer's Cloak Back Honored Schematic: AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles Engineering Schematic Honored Cord of the Loa Worshippers Waist (Cloth) Revered Design: Scarlet Diamond Staff of Intuition Jewelcrafting Design Revered Schematic: Deployable Attire Rearranger Engineering Schematic Revered Recipe: Coastal Healing Potion Alchemy Recipe Revered Tome of Hex: Zandalari Tendonripper Book Revered Recipe: Battle Potion of Stamina Alchemy Recipe Revered Design: Laribole Staff of Alacrity Jewelcrafting Design Revered Schematic: Interdimensional Companion Repository Engineering Schematic Revered Formula: Enchant Weapon - Deadly Navigation Enchanting Formula Revered Recipe: Flask of Endless Fathoms Alchemy Recipe Revered Grand Fleet Legplates Legs (Plate) Revered Bindings of the Disparate Tribes Wrists (Leather) Revered Party Totem Other Revered Design: Owlseye Loop Jewelcrafting Design Revered Schematic: Organic Discombobulation Grenade Engineering Schematic Revered Formula: Enchant Weapon - Stalwart Navigation Enchanting Formula Revered Recipe: Potion of Replenishment Alchemy Recipe Revered Schematic: AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles Engineering Schematic Revered Formula: Enchant Ring - Pact of Haste Enchanting Formula Revered Tome of Polymorph: Direhorn Book Revered Pattern: Embroidered Deep Sea Cloak of Resilience Tailoring Pattern Revered Gral Worshipper's Waders Feet (Mail) Revered Shadraspun Legwraps Legs (Cloth) Exalted Reins of the Armored Cobalt Pterrordax Mount Exalted Reins of the Armored Orange Pterrordax Mount Exalted Reins of the Armored Albino Pterrordax Mount Exalted Gonk Adherents Vambraces Wrists (Plate) Exalted Waistcord of Pa'ku's Flight Waist (Leather) Exalted Tabard of the Zandalari Empire Tabard Exalted Reins of the Armored Ebony Pterrordax Mount Exalted Torcali's Grips of the Bounty Hands (Mail) Exalted
    • By Stan
      Play with the Blues returns Thursday, May 24 at 3:00 p.m. PDT on Battle for Azeroth Beta with Alliance Warfronts available for playtesting for the first time!
      How to Participate
      Create an Alliance character on Anduin and find the War Table in Stormwind to queue up for the Warfront. If you don't have Beta access there's still enough time to enter our Beta key giveaway. Don't forget to check out our preview of the Battle of Stromgarde Horde Warfront.
      Blizzard (Source)
      Greetings friends,

      This Thursday (May 24 PDT), we'll have a Play with the Blues event focusing on Alliance Warfronts. Members of the Blizzard WoW Development and WoW QA teams will be fighting alongside you all on the Anduin beta realm. Be on the lookout for characters in the <Blizzard Alliance> guild.

      Start Time: 3:00 p.m. PDT
      End Time: 5:00 p.m. PDT
      Realm: Anduin

      How to queue for Warfronts:
      1. Head to the Trade District in Stormwind.
      2. Look for the War Table located outside of Trias' Cheese shop.
      3. Interact with the table to queue up!

      Reminder:
      There are no level restrictions or prerequisite quests for Warfronts in the beta. If you'd like to participate, but only have a Horde character on Anduin (or no characters at all ... yet), all you need to do is create a fresh Alliance character, and you'll be good to go.
    • By Stan
      Blizzard decided not to remove the Keystone Master Artifact appearance in Battle for Azeroth.
      In order to unlock the Artifact appearance from Keystone Master, you must complete a Level 15 or higher Mythic dungeon within the time limit. Initially, they wanted to remove the achievement come BfA, but decided to keep it. If you finish a Level 15+ or higher within the time limit at level 120 in Battle for Azeroth, you will automatically unlock your Legion's Artifact appearance. The only achievement that will be unobtainable with Battle for Azeroth is A Challenging Look (Mage Tower base appearance).
      Blizzard (Source)
      As testing continues in the Battle for Azeroth Beta, and we specifically consider the transition from Legion to BFA, we’ve decided to make the existing Keystone Master, achievement permanent. There will not be a new achievement for completing a Mythic 15 or higher dungeon in the new expansion.

      The artifact appearance associated with Keystone Master, will still be available in Battle For Azeroth. Players can earn the achievement in Legion through August 13, or players can complete a Mythic 15 BFA dungeon at level 120, once Mythic Keystone difficulty opens a few weeks after the launch of Battle For Azeroth.

      This means that the only artifact appearance that will become unobtainable with Battle For Azeroth is the Mage Tower base appearance.

      As always, thank you for your feedback!