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Tides of Vengeance Live Developer Q&A Roundup: October 11th

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Game Director Ion Hazzikostas answered your Tides of Vengeance questions today.

On September 18, Ion talked about Patch 8.1 in more detail. This is the first Q&A and we're going to post highlights in this article.

Allied Races

  • No plans to re-adjust the Death Knight starting area for the introduction of new Allied Races right now, but that's something they'd like to address in the future.
  • Any plans to relax unlock requirements for Legion Allied Races? You're going to receive twice as much rep from Legion world quests in Patch 8.1.

Azerite Armor

  • In Patch 8.1, Azerite Armor will have a fifth outer ring that has two spec-specific traits. It contains 4-8 traits per class, no generic ones.
  • They have no plans to seamlessly allow respeccing Azerite Armor/traits, there's value in friction when switching between specializations.
  • Azerite Armor is more flexible than set pieces in Legion.
  • If you respec Azerite traits on a regular basis, you're going to run into prohibitive costs. They are working to reset reforging costs in Tides of Vengeance and whenever they make substantial changes to Azerite powers.
  • Mythic+ Azerite Armor will have the fifth outer ring and some of the new traits on it.
  • Blizzard is not happy with Azerite Armor not dropping from end-of-run Mythic+ chests. All end-game sources of gear have some restrictions (raid lockouts, etc). Making Azerite Armor drop in Mythic+ would allow players to get as much Azerite Armor as they'd like and that's not a great solution to the problem. They want to give dungeon-oriented players access to more Azerite gear, but they have no clear solution right now.
  • If Mythic+ dungeons were the only end-game source of gear, they'd make Azerite gear drop from end-of-run chests.
  • Some Azerite powers will have their tooltips improved in 8.1.
  • Blizzard will be retiring some traits across specs that have been unpopular in Patch 8.1.

Class Balance

  • Brewmaster Monks and Death Knights have too much overall survivability. Guardian Druid/Prot Warrior are currently behind. They will make adjustments to tanks in future 8.1 PTR builds. No specifics have been announced yet.
  • They will adjust tank damage taken per second numbers, but the focus is also to diversify the tools different tanks bring.
  • Restoration Shamans are less effective in their overall throughput right now, but shine when players are stacked up. If you don't take High Tide, you shouldn't be using Chain Heal as much -- they want to get rid of these limitations.
  • Some healers are overshadowing others right now. Discipline Priests emerged last month, they have a high skill ceiling.
  • Unholy Death Knight / Affliction Warlocks should be tankier and have more survivability.
    • Honor talent changes are coming for both specializations.
  • Shadow Priests are on their radar as well.

Island Expeditions

  • They're looking to add more varied objectives to Islands.
    • Extraction points will be added in Tides of Vengeance. They will provide a steady source of Azerite, but the opposing faction's forces will be able to attack the point.

Itemization

  • The community values trinkets from dungeons, emissaries right now. They try to make raid trinkets more interesting and flavorful, but they need to be better at tuning and numbers.
  • Tier pieces in Mists, Warlords, and Legion were easily attainable. 

Raid

  • Siege of Zuldazar will be renamed to Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • The 8.1 raid will have an asymmetrical experience and it's up to the community to decide on the world first race based on different faction experience.

Sharding

  • Except for the new zones, sharding is disabled for RP servers. Sharding is necessary to keep server stability fine. 

System

  • Search by keystone level is still planned.

War Campaign

  • Old War Campaign chapters will reward more reputation in the next content update, similar to Suramar quests and The Nightfallen.

Warfronts

  • The current plan is to run Warfronts in parallel. Over time, you'll get double the availability when they add the Darkshore Warfront in Patch 8.1.
  • You can't queue up in raid groups for Warfronts. With a full raid group working together, players would steamroll the objective. In practice, they are less fun in groups and as a result, Blizzard would like to introduce a "Heroic" raid tuned difficulty for Warfronts.

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1 hour ago, Stan said:

Affliction Warlocks should be tankier and have more survivability.

  • Honor talent changes are coming for both specializations.

 

...what?  Already the highest parsing Warlock spec BY FAR, now survive longer also?  

1 hour ago, Stan said:

No plans to re-adjust the Death Knight starting area for the introduction of new Allied Races right now, but that's something they'd like to address in the future.

and im not sure what in the starting zone needs adjusted?  Unless they mean adjusting the CLASS for more races?

Edited by PatrickHenry

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2 hours ago, Stan said:

Blizzard would like to introduce a "Heroic" raid tuned difficulty for Warfronts. 
 

This is what should have been released with the expansion at start!

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2 hours ago, PatrickHenry said:

...what?  Already the highest parsing Warlock spec BY FAR, now survive longer also?  

and im not sure what in the starting zone needs adjusted?  Unless they mean adjusting the CLASS for more races?

its for pvp, you shouldnt be the most immobile class while also losing your rot comp and surviability. 

1 hour ago, Dorkethaghar said:

Shadow priest ???

They did say sp were getting love along with other classes during the class balance discussion, just wait until 8.1

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Dont mean to slam these notes because they are helpful, but theyre really misleading. The heroic warfronts were just a note on something that may be an answer to the group restrictions, just as an example.

Same thing with the trinkets, they said they could make them simple so balancing them would be easier but they prefer to make more interesting trinkets and then play with the numbers. It wasnt specifically for raids.

Sharding on rp servers is also for faction balance for warfronts and due to people grouping  cross server being pulled into RP servers, it wasnt server stability.

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13 hours ago, PatrickHenry said:

...what?  Already the highest parsing Warlock spec BY FAR, now survive longer also?  

and im not sure what in the starting zone needs adjusted?  Unless they mean adjusting the CLASS for more races?

Me neither. What they probably meant is that Allied Races are supposed to start at level 20 whereas Death Knights start at 55? Why not simply allow them to become Death Knights and start at 55.

10 hours ago, Whisla said:

Dont mean to slam these notes because they are helpful, but theyre really misleading. The heroic warfronts were just a note on something that may be an answer to the group restrictions, just as an example.

Same thing with the trinkets, they said they could make them simple so balancing them would be easier but they prefer to make more interesting trinkets and then play with the numbers. It wasnt specifically for raids.

Sharding on rp servers is also for faction balance for warfronts and due to people grouping  cross server being pulled into RP servers, it wasnt server stability.

Not really sure what's misleading here.

  • "A Heroic raid-tuned difficulty" = a difficulty tuned around raid groups.
  • As with trinkets, they said people favor trinkets from dungeons (and other sources) as opposed to raid trinkets.
  • Sharding on RP servers is there for server stability. They specifically mentioned that a single zone can't support 1K+ players and that would cause stability issues, which is why they're sharding new zones into smaller clusters.

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I know how to "fix" the Azerite debacle. and keep AP relevant. 

Simple.  Scrap the rings and traits, instead allow the player to choose their secondary stat that will be boosted by AP level.  Haste, Mastery, crit, armor ect...

They can even keep the reforging aspect

Include those "other" stats such as leech and + speed as a choice.

Edited by dsc

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18 hours ago, Whisla said:

its for pvp,

Thats odd, doesnt say that in the notes...  Must have missed it.

and its not a 'class' buff, its a Afflic SPEC one.  Afflic is the MOST mobile of all 3 specs already.

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12 hours ago, Stan said:

Me neither. What they probably meant is that Allied Races are supposed to start at level 20 whereas Death Knights start at 55? Why not simply allow them to become Death Knights and start at 55.

Well it seems like they want everyone to start at the same point for earning Heritage Armor. Otherwise you would be heavily incentivized to start DK with any race that can do it. I didn't see the original post but I would imagine they would be looking into having the DK starting zone scale down to lvl 20 rather than allowing you to start an Allied Race DK at 55.

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