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Live Developer Q&A Roundup: January 24th

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Game Director Ion Hazzikostas answered your World of Warcraft questions today and here's a summary of the most important highlights.

Q&A Highlights

Allied Races

  • Kul Tirans and Zandalari Trolls will be available in Patch 8.1.5. Why not sooner? Reflection of the story and the Battle of Dazar'alor plot. Zandalari Trolls make full allegiance to the Horde only after the events of the new raid.
  • Zandalari Trolls and Dark Iron Dwarves were initially planned for launch.
  • Kul Tirans are using completely new models, rigs, and animations. That's why they got postponed. When they finished the new models, it make sense to pair them with Zandalari Trolls.
  • The original plan was to have Mag'har Orcs in Patch 8.1.5.
  • You don't need to complete Battle of Dazar'alor to unlock Kul Tirans and Zandalari Trolls.
  • The team agrees that ilvl 400 reward (that was made available to the Alliance) is a little to high when a new raid opens. It will be nerfed to ilvl 385 next week and another reward will be added on top of that.

Class Balance & Design

  • Why is there no consumable for Rogue's Shroud? A few days ago, they hotfixed Invisible Potions. All Classes should have unique abilities that feel as mandatory and versatile as Shroud.
  • No sweeping Class changes are planned for Patch 8.1.5.
  • Patch 7.1 came so soon that there was not time to make Class changes, so they were all implemented in Patch 7.1.5.
  • Some of the feedback received contains changes that they won't implement until next expansion. A Class shouldn't have a different resource system in a major expansion patch or feel different in the middle of the expansion.
  • Balance is ongoing through hotfixes.

Global Cooldown

  • They aren't satisfied with the abilities they've put on GCD, but they're solving this surgically.
  • Shaman's Ascendance will be combined with a new action to feel meaningful in Patch 8.1.5. What if you healed for a portion while transforming into the Ascendant as Restoration?

Heart of Azeroth Changes

  • In Rise of Azshara, they're moving away from unlocking the same of traits.
  • Azerite Armor will still have 5 rings, 3 pieces, but Heart requirements will not continue to increase.
  • Heart of Azeroth will pursue the fantasy of Legion Artifacts in Patch 8.2 and beyond, so it will have traits and a more meaningful progression system. The new Heart of Azeroth will complement Azerite Armor.

Itemization

  • Titanforging is the solution to continued power progression. The problem of manually Warforging/Titanforging your gear through Valor Points is that it makes transitioning between raid tiers awkward. The system could potentially return in the final raid tier of the expansion.
  • 30 item level jumps between difficulties were used in Legion and the team is against inflation, but 30 is the lowest number for upgrades in a new raid tier to feel relevant. It's a philosophy they follow since Wrath of the Lich King.
  • There shouldn't be a gap between stats and disparity in the rewards system.

Mythic+

  • No punishments are coming for players that leave in the middle of Mythic Keystone runs. The penalty for bailing is social and you're not going to be invited by the people again. There are runs that should be abandoned.
  • It makes sense to add new Cosmetic rewards to Mythic+. Nothing to announce right now, though.

PvP

  • PvP vendors are not returning, they'd rather focus on improving the current rewards system in PvP. The new outer ring on Azerite Armor improved trait targeting in PvP. The system is transparent, you get trophies that upgrade your item slots. The PvP system allows for the most targeted gearing system.

Tier Sets

  • Class-specific sets may be returning in the future. Class sets would have worked together with Azerite Armor. The new system offers a variety of transmog options. Let's give you a cloth voodoo set rather than the 20th take on a Warlock Set. Sets from Uldir are totally distinct from Battle of Dazar'alor gear.

War Mode

  • The Alliance War Mode bonus will be brought down to 25% (from 30%) in some regions soon. The system is very effective in increasing participation in War Mode.
  • You will be able to transfer War Resources to your alts in Patch 8.1.5.
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1 hour ago, Stan said:

 

Mythic+

  • No punishments are coming for players that leave in the middle of Mythic Keystone runs. The penalty for bailing is social and you're not going to be invited by the people again. There are runs that should be abandoned.
  • It makes sense to add new Cosmetic rewards to Mythic+. Nothing to announce right now, though.

 

Nah I still believe these individuals deserve a debuff for abandonment for wasting my gold and resources for feasts, scrolls, and flasks to tackle some of these keys.  We invite pugs when we are short on members to have a full Guild run to complete a high end key for a weekly cache.  Now if Blizz's block (ignore) feature is account base instead of character base then I can be at some ease....but I believe it is not.  

Abandon the key?  I think not.  Specially when my group and I put forth the time and effort to get that key where it is now for that week.

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Titanforging is the solution to continued power progression. The problem of manually Warforging/Titanforging your gear through Valor Points is that it makes transitioning between raid tiers awkward. The system could potentially return in the final raid tier of the expansion.

By withholding information on warforging odds, the amount of time a player must spend to reach a given gear level is obfuscated, moreso than by using a clear point-to-upgrade system. My guess is that market research has shown this to improve player retention.

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5 hours ago, Stan said:

The problem of manually Warforging/Titanforging your gear through Valor Points is that it makes transitioning between raid tiers awkward.

It's not any more awkward than me getting a 395 ring from heroic uldir. With Leech. And a 390 ring with a socket. And some 390 pants.

It's the difference between earning points thus earning the upgrade of an item you already had to get, and randomly getting that upgrade through cheer luck without any way to actually earn it. It doesn't feel good, and it feels even worse without a way to properly trade WF/TF pieces. If I have a 385 bracers, then I don't need the same bracers again at 390, but my pal might need them so let me be a social being and share with them!

It doesn't matter if Valor Points are awkward with how aweful WF/TF inherently is.

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Not sure how Ion keeps managing to avoid any questions about guilds and the disrepair the entire guild system is in. 
Also not sure how he manages to skirt the issue of personal loot/titanforge/azerite residuum by discussing the whole thing as if scrapping azerite pieces was the ONLY POSSIBLE way to provide a source for people to get pieces.  Instead of avoiding all these funneling runs, and confusion, and all that and just giving currency for doing content, and imposing a weekly cap.. Basically the exact same way that badges/valor/whatever worked in WotLK.  Somehow it's not even on the table.. 

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23 hours ago, Stan said:

The Alliance War Mode bonus will be brought down to 25% (from 30%) in some regions soon. The system is very effective in increasing participation in War Mode.

As a horde player, it does make me turn the WM off. 😄

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The problem with incentivising War Mode is that it makes people turn it on for the sake of PvE progress but who still opt out of PvP - they just run around and get their dailies done and call it a day without ever engaging in anything save for running away from ganks. It doesn’t make people wanna partake in WPvP it just serves to give the Alliance a huge boost to their leveling and stuff which is quite unfair - especially to RP servers who are isolated in War Mode and are Alliance dominated to begin with. It’s a stupid system.

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On 1/24/2019 at 9:34 PM, Ragingwolf said:

Nah I still believe these individuals deserve a debuff for abandonment for wasting my gold and resources for feasts, scrolls, and flasks to tackle some of these keys.  We invite pugs when we are short on members to have a full Guild run to complete a high end key for a weekly cache.  Now if Blizz's block (ignore) feature is account base instead of character base then I can be at some ease....but I believe it is not.  

Abandon the key?  I think not.  Specially when my group and I put forth the time and effort to get that key where it is now for that week.

The problem with your idea is that the game can't differentiate between ragequitters and people who politely announce their departure citing logical reasons. No such algorithm can be created that filters the person who abandons first - and whether the abandonment was (as you view it) a "betrayal" of the team or the group just diplomatically agreed to stop trying on a too difficult key. So what should the game measure to hand out punishments?

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2 hours ago, Badadada said:

The problem with your idea is that the game can't differentiate between ragequitters and people who politely announce their departure citing logical reasons. No such algorithm can be created that filters the person who abandons first - and whether the abandonment was (as you view it) a "betrayal" of the team or the group just diplomatically agreed to stop trying on a too difficult key. So what should the game measure to hand out punishments?

So you enjoy trying to push, let's say, a 8+ key and you would like to make it go to a 9 or even a 10.  You grab some Guildies and find you are one person short and you will need to pug that last spot.  You queue up in the premades and wait to see all that apply even looking up their Raider io score.  You pick out the class that you think will be best suited for the key and invite them to group.  You are polite and offer Discord or even ingame chat as an option for communication.  Half the time they refuse to join in and listen to the strategy that you and the other members are going over together.  You place down a feast while another member places down a cauldron for everyone to use while another starts using scrolls.  You start the key and have minimal problems reaching and defeating the mobs and a few of the bosses in the dungeon.  A group member pulls extra trash by mistake for poor footing or not paying attention at the last second on a mechanic from one of the mobs.  That extra turns into another pack with one or two members becoming dead in the process.  So you end up losing time while running back and see you have....let's say 8 minutes to kill the 3rd boss and make it to the final boss.  It's doable and you proceed to pick up the trash to get to that 3rd boss when all of a sudden the pug decides to do drop and state that they needed to protect their raider io score because they believe that the group is not going to make it during those last 8 minutes.  

This lil scenario has happened on more than one occasion during season 1.

TL;DR Version

All Blizz would have to do enable/allow the party of the Dungeon to kick said player to avoid a debuff  for those that had logical/personal reasons in leaving.  While those that wanted to be a pain/troll that decide to drop mid progression have a debuff to not be allow to queue up or enter another Mythic Dungeon for 30 minutes to an hour.

Stop doing difficult keys?  No, not going to happen.  I could say the very same thing at people that covet a score but can't take a series of wipes, mishaps, complications and etc wanting basically a free ride for a piece of weekly gear in their cache on reset.  Those people need to stop applying to groups.

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6 hours ago, Ragingwolf said:

(...)you will need to pug that last spot.  You queue up in the premades and wait to see all that apply even looking up their Raider io score.
(...)when all of a sudden the pug decides to do drop and state that they needed to protect their raider io score because they believe that the group is not going to make it during those last 8 minutes. 

Isn't it ironic that the same system you use to help find the perfect fit makes him leave? Sorry, but no player should be punished for failing the most-difficult end-game content -regardless of their attitude-, it's normal to fail there. If you agreed with them that you aim to complete within time (and both of you care about that particular raider.io rating) then it's obvious that they feel demoralized if that goal falls out of sight. You simply set abnormal expectations towards people joining through LFG, I recommend lowering the bar a bit.

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1 hour ago, Badadada said:

Isn't it ironic that the same system you use to help find the perfect fit makes him leave? Sorry, but no player should be punished for failing the most-difficult end-game content -regardless of their attitude-, it's normal to fail there. If you agreed with them that you aim to complete within time (and both of you care about that particular raider.io rating) then it's obvious that they feel demoralized if that goal falls out of sight. You simply set abnormal expectations towards people joining through LFG, I recommend lowering the bar a bit.

No, I should not have to lower my standards as a player to cater to lazy people that refuse to put forth effort to a challenging goal because it's going to be difficult.  That's like saying we all should of gone on rant and QQ more that the difficulty of the Mage Tower went unchanged to cater more to people that despise that type of  challenge before it went away.  It's not a demoralizing issue it's being a failure to recognize the challenge being set up.  If you are a pug and can't understand the difficulty between key levels and understand what the affixes are then you are the problem of setting up your failure of demoralizing your own self.   If you don't have the time and afraid that your feelings and ego are going to be hurt/demoralize don't apply to the group and lower your standards to go do a +2 key instead while players, like myself, continue to push forward with higher keys.  

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49 minutes ago, Ragingwolf said:

No, I should not have to lower my standards as a player to cater to lazy people that refuse to put forth effort to a challenging goal because it's going to be difficult.  That's like saying we all should of gone on rant and QQ more that the difficulty of the Mage Tower went unchanged to cater more to people that despise that type of  challenge before it went away.  It's not a demoralizing issue it's being a failure to recognize the challenge being set up.  If you are a pug and can't understand the difficulty between key levels and understand what the affixes are then you are the problem of setting up your failure of demoralizing your own self.   If you don't have the time and afraid that your feelings and ego are going to be hurt/demoralize don't apply to the group and lower your standards to go do a +2 key instead while players, like myself, continue to push forward with higher keys.   

You are still telling a very one-sided narrative here and refuse to realize that you would be rather hurt as well, if your character received a 1-2 hour debuff to prevent it from participating in M+. Besides that - what if someone of higher skill level joins your guild group and finds it to be a bunch of lazy people who seem very bad in doing particular mechanics at the level expected? Can that 5th person "report" the other 4 as well, or only your guildies can punish the one who you don't like? Such systems usually end in anarchy - people should be encouraged through rewards to participate more in M+ to become better players and not fear from retaliation if they accidentally make a mistake.

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24 minutes ago, Badadada said:

You are still telling a very one-sided narrative here and refuse to realize that you would be rather hurt as well, if your character received a 1-2 hour debuff to prevent it from participating in M+. Besides that - what if someone of higher skill level joins your guild group and finds it to be a bunch of lazy people who seem very bad in doing particular mechanics at the level expected? Can that 5th person "report" the other 4 as well, or only your guildies can punish the one who you don't like? Such systems usually end in anarchy - people should be encouraged through rewards to participate more in M+ to become better players and not fear from retaliation if they accidentally make a mistake.

You believe I need to cater to the one individual to hold their hand while getting participation ribbon in an mmo.  That's like saying I need to everyone in a Rated BG to carry me (even though I'm terrible at PvP) with a mindset that I deserve to win ever single one of them.  When in reality I'm going to have more losses than wins when I try my hand at Rated BG's.  It's the same with keystones I would love to push them higher but I will settle to complete them than abandon the current key because the 5th person got upset that we weren't up to their 'carry' expectations and not making them feel 'special' because of their Raider io score that they seem to fluffed up during the previous season.  I rather take a try hard who is willing to learn and push themselves with each difficulty than a person that says, "Nope this run is not happening I gotta bail."

It's a growing trend that is happening more and more where players want easy and guaranteed victories because they cant' stomach a losses and defeat.  I didn't cater behavior when I played Aion, GW2, SWOTR, Tera, FFXIV or even ArcheAge.  What makes you think I need to start in this game?  I'm being one side?  Being too mean?  Am I missing a thread somewhere where people get kicked out of Normal and Heroic Dungeon runs constantly and there is a list of people complaining about said kick?  Where people actually get a debuff from abandoning said dungeons on those difficulties?  I am asking the same and if it can't be done then allow me to block those individuals account base instead of character base.  If you are going to act like a douche on character I sure as hell don't want you even applying on any other characters you have to anything I am running.

 

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      HK-8 Aerial Oppression Unit: Predator of the skies, the HK-8 Aerial Oppression Unit soars over the yard executing its prime directive, disintegrating all trespassers. With impenetrable armor and a lethal host of weapons, it annihilates all who are caught in its shadow.
      Tussle Tonks: Mechagon’s premier mechgineers test their mettle (and metal) by building customized combat robots. While these tonks typically battle each other for glory, they combine their efforts to repel foolhardy organic intruders who dare venture into Mechagon.
      K.U.-J.O.: As the repository for the city’s refuse, the Under Junk is a prime target for gnomes from Bondo’s gang who intend to steal valuable mechanical components. While Trash Mistress Wendy Cogsworth ceaselessly sorts the city’s junk, her loyal guard dog, K.U.-J.0., keeps out unwelcome intruders—mechagnomes and adventurers alike.
      Machinist's Garden: Beautiful and dangerous, Head Machinist Sparkflux's metallic gardens are designed for both recreation and retribution. With a flick of a switch, the idyllic scenery transforms into a death trap from which no interloper can escape.
      King Mechagon: As maniacal as he is brilliant, King Mechagon despises all organic life. With his mechoriginator primed and ready, nothing stands in the way of his scheme to purge the curse of flesh from Azeroth and mechanize the entire world.
      Get ready to face the danger within beginning July 9.
      There’s plenty to discover as you make your way through Mechagon Island. Get ready to rally the resistance, turn one gnome’s junk into another gnome’s treasure, and put an end to the mad king’s mechanations once and for all when Rise of Azshara arrives on June 25!
    • By Stan
      Mechagon Peacekeeper is a new ground mount from the Operation: Mechagon dungeon that will open July 9th.
      With Patch 8.2 coming next week, we still have some mounts to go through! Today, we’re looking at Mechagon Peacekeeper, a ground mount which drops from HK-8 Aerial Opression Unit boss in the Operation: Mechagon dungeon.
      "Keeps the peace by turning you into pieces."

      Animations (MountSpecial/Run)

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