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Bay & Preach Interview with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas

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Bay and Preach talked to Game Director Ion Hazzikostas about Soulbinds and Covenants in Shadowlands and here's a recap of their interview.

Check out our BlizzCon 2019 Content Hub for more interviews and highlights from BlizzCon!

Interview Highlights

  • The power of sockets relevant to item levels and other things like secondary and tertiary slots is out of hand right now.
  • Covenants will provide you with two active abilities. One is a class-specific combat abilities. The other one is a racial (utility/convenience spell).
  • Soulbinds are designed with horizontal progression in mind. You can undergo it with a set of souls that you'll be able to build a relationship with through the Covenant Campaign and progression. 
  • Each Covenant comes with a talent tree, there will be four, but you can have only one active at a time in the open world. More information on Soulbinds will be revealed at the Deep Dive panel.
  • Switching between the talent trees will be simple and won't require any effort.
  • Covenants won't be permanent, it's a weighting choice (think Aldor/Scryers). It will not be cheap to reset if you regret your choice.
  • Essences were a band-aid for the flawed system in Battle for Azeroth. The system wasn't meant to be expanded.
  • There's no cross-communication and grouping between members of the same Covenants (no, faction won't be merging in Shadowlands).
  • Things are moving from open warfare to uneasy tensions between the factions.
  • War Mode is staying in Shadowlands.
  • Anima won't be about endless grind with diminishing returns, but about easily attainable caps and open-ended flexibility.
  • You will do various tasks and collect Anima to power your Soulbind. The cap will be minor, think of capping Valor in Mists of Pandaria. You won't be forced into activities you don't enjoy (BfA Islands).
  • The UI will likely receive improvements to allow for better implementation of the new customization options that were teased yesterday, but WoW's never going to be a game with sliders.
  • Multiplicative cumulative systems layered on top of each other (Essences, increasingly powerful Azerite systems, and Essences) create power creep, so instead of ending up a raid tier 30-40% stronger, you're 70-80% stronger and that makes a lot of things in the game break down.
  • The return of Tier Sets is to be determined...

Interview VoD

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