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Forbes Interview with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas on War Mode

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Forbes' Heather Newman interviewed Game Director Ion Hazzikostas who spoke about War Mode and faction balance in PvP.

Check out the full interview at Forbes.com

Highlights

  • World of Warcraft maintains an even faction balance.
  • Overall win rates in battlegrounds are "shockingly even".
  • The Alliance wins more Isle of Conquest & Alterac Valley games, everything else skews mildly to the Horde, with a win rate of 46-54%.
  • Blizzard is looking to incentivize War Mode more in Patch 8.1, by adding increased rewards for the less-represented faction in War Mode (Alliance).
  • Ion suspects many Alliance players had a rough start with War Mode and opted out.
  • Players who join large raid groups to kill the weekly world boss all abruptly appear on the same shard, causing an imbalance that the game's systems try to balance by bringing in an equivalent number of players of the opposing faction. If a raid group disbands, players pop back into their own realms and the compensating characters notice a sudden influx of enemies with enabled War Mode.
  • Blizzard has been closely monitoring high-end participation in raids and other activities and found out that most high-end players gravitate toward the Horde, so they decided to nerf two racials: Arcane Torrent Arcane Torrent Berserking Berserking in Patch 8.1.
    • Arcane Torrent Arcane Torrent - Cooldown increased to 2 minutes (up from 1.5 minutes).
    • Berserking Berserking will increase Haste by 10% (down from 15%) for 12 seconds (up from 10 seconds).
  • The company's working on passive enticements for high-end players and guilds to change factions.
  • The Horde Hall of Fame was filled up on October 14, the Alliance side had 100 guilds who defeated G'huun on November 5.
  • Alliance is "potentially a little bit" more likely to include more casuals according to Ion.
  • The team is keeping an eye on class and specialization appearance rates in PvP combat.

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I stop playing in war mode just because of this bullshit battleground system  where you have 500 horde players vs 50 in a zone is just bullshit.

Yes i`m aware in some parts is reversed alliance out numbers horde 10 to 1, the problem is the same war mode servers are not balanced resulting in cancer gameplay  and 1 vs 10 fights where you can even do a dam world quest.

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My biggest complaint with the expansion thus far is locking out new content with old content. With the Horde allied races being locked to Highmountain Tauren and Nightborne (2 reputations that are naturally progressed with zone questings and more frequent emissaries) and the Alliance allied races being locked strictly to Argus (which, after the initial quests and a few weeklies you'll just reach revered)

On top of that, Blizzard is essentially thumbing their nose up to returning/new players who want to try out a class with a different race (Void Elf Priest, Lightforged Draenai Pally, Nightborne Mage and Highmountain Druid for example).

Why should anyone be forced to do the daily quest grind in old content in order to unlock new content?

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2 hours ago, Volstern said:

My biggest complaint with the expansion thus far is locking out new content with old content. With the Horde allied races being locked to Highmountain Tauren and Nightborne (2 reputations that are naturally progressed with zone questings and more frequent emissaries) and the Alliance allied races being locked strictly to Argus (which, after the initial quests and a few weeklies you'll just reach revered)

On top of that, Blizzard is essentially thumbing their nose up to returning/new players who want to try out a class with a different race (Void Elf Priest, Lightforged Draenai Pally, Nightborne Mage and Highmountain Druid for example).

Why should anyone be forced to do the daily quest grind in old content in order to unlock new content?

Most players unlocked both horde and alliance allied races when they were current , they made fixes to help new and returning players to achieve them quicker then when it was current content . So it’s like going back to an old raid / dungeon to get a piece of transmog your doing it for you ( the player) not because it’s just “old content” 

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22 minutes ago, Cntrl said:

Most players unlocked both horde and alliance allied races when they were current , they made fixes to help new and returning players to achieve them quicker then when it was current content . So it’s like going back to an old raid / dungeon to get a piece of transmog your doing it for you ( the player) not because it’s just “old content” 

I understand where you're coming from, but I wouldn't say that the Allied Races are similar to transmog due to significant advantages offered for certain race/class combos. An example would be a Void Elf Priest with no cast delay, or a Void Elf Mage with an extra blink utility. A lightforged Draenai Warrior/Paladin who focuses on crafting.

I think it would be much more appropriate to remove the Reputation requirement and simply require the questlines to be completed.  Highmountain loremaster, and Suramar  Loremaster. For LF Draenai and and Void Elf, require the chain-quest for Argus to be completed + "x" amount of WQ in each zone (20 would be ideal, would need at least 1 daily reset and wouldn't take more than 1 week.

But grinding out WQs from the last expansion for weeks on end just to get the content from the current expansion is just a shit deal.

Edit: Also, I understand most players got it when it was current, but returning/new players (such as myself) came back to try out new content. I left right before Nighthold dropped and didn't come back until 1 week prior to BFA launch.

Edited by Volstern

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18 hours ago, Volstern said:

My biggest complaint with the expansion thus far is locking out new content with old content. With the Horde allied races being locked to Highmountain Tauren and Nightborne (2 reputations that are naturally progressed with zone questings and more frequent emissaries) and the Alliance allied races being locked strictly to Argus (which, after the initial quests and a few weeklies you'll just reach revered)

On top of that, Blizzard is essentially thumbing their nose up to returning/new players who want to try out a class with a different race (Void Elf Priest, Lightforged Draenai Pally, Nightborne Mage and Highmountain Druid for example).

Why should anyone be forced to do the daily quest grind in old content in order to unlock new content?

Agree 100% and completely disagree with the other poster. Grinding rep to play a race is a real jerk move from Blizz. When Dranei and Goblins released we certainly werent grinding for them. Newer players are so used to this BS that they just play along. I feel like paying $50 for this exp just gave me the right to grind which is a crappy feeling. I really wanted to play a new race and still havent. Sux.

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I would much rather "grind rep" to play an "extra race" or "sub race" than have to pay for an extra race. 

Grinding rep for that, REALLY isn't that bad. Like... literally play the game and you'll get it.

 

If you're just starting out, that's your prerogative to grind out "old content" just to unlock a different race. We've had these races for a LONG time now and no one has complained. Now all of a sudden we have new sub races and everyone is losing their minds over a small grind that they should've already got last expansion.. Makes zero sense IMO.

 

As for the A vs H thing? Blizzard could do with reducing prices of guild and player realm / faction transfers down to something more reasonable. ($10NZD at most). Not to mention make it buyable using gold for those who sit on AH playing it all day.

That would incentivize people far more than nerfing racials and the like.

 

How about Blizzard makes an extra buff? Every week it resets, takes a look at the % of faction-based players, whichever faction had the least % played, that faction gets a buff called "Eager".

 

Eager: Every quest completed gives you 5% bonus exp gained for 15 minutes. Stacks up to 4 times. 

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