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Millenium Patch 8.3 Interview with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas

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Millenium recently talked to Game Director Ion Hazzikostas about Visions of N'Zoth and we learned that there will be no Patch 8.3.5. We found out the reason why they do not want to implement account-wide Essences, and what the team is trying to accomplish with the Corrupted Items system.

Interview Highlights

  • The way they manifest N'Zoth's power is different from Sargeras. He's not going to plunge a sword into the planet. Instead, N'Zoth will try to subvert the minds and the wills of all living creatures on the planet and his ultimate goal will be to transform Azeroth into Ny'alotha, the nightmarish, alternate future of Azeroth.
  • Essence requirements have been reduced on the PTR and some reputation tokens have been made account-bound in Visions of N'Zoth.
  • Account-wide access to World Quests, Islands or Siege of Boralus are in place because they do not want to force players to go through the same process of unlocking access to content.
  • Essences, however, build core player power and they are not that different from trinkets and items, so the dev team is frankly "unwilling to cross the line" and make them account-wide, but they are aware of certain inconsistencies in the system that will affect the development of similar systems going forward.
  • Corrupted Items are experimental and specific to Visions of N'Zoth. The devs wanted to get rid of Warforging and Titanforging for a while because both undermined the value of item level based on player feedback. The system, however, will not be directly transitioned over to Shadowlands in its current iteration.
  • Ion does not think that Corrupted Items will be more RNG-based than Warforging and Titanforging, because there is a limit on how many Corrupted pieces you can wear, because of the nature of the Corruption stat itself, unlike Warforging and Titanforging, where it affects all slots except for Azerite Armor slots.
  • Ion believes the Awakening affix has multiple obelisk locations to ensure variety.
  • The story of the Emerald Dream and Emerald Nightmare will continue in Ardenweald.
  • They currently have no plans for Patch 8.3.5, just system updates before Shadowlands. Visions of N'Zoth is the concluding chapter of Battle for Azeroth.
  • Things that require more skill generally require less time and they try to offset that by giving various rewards to a wide array of playstyles.

You can read the full interview here.

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Whelp, there goes all the fan-theories about 1 last pair of allied races coming in. AH WELL.

 

Fortunately, it's not going to be a year-long end patch unlike many other previous expansions.

Edited by Frogspoison

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No more allied races, no story resolution (the Giant Sword is still there along with all the Azerite spewing out...you know, the all important reason we started the war...)

And that Dec 31st on or before is haunting, last time they had a future date it was Sept/Oct iirc, but now they're sticking it at the end of the year.     We could be in for a very long drought

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7 hours ago, Migol said:

And that Dec 31st on or before is haunting, last time they had a future date it was Sept/Oct iirc, but now they're sticking it at the end of the year.     We could be in for a very long drought

I think you missunderstand that strategy. Blizzard is doing that as part of "Year of the Dinosaur" (YoD)™. The goal is that as many as possible players can farm their beloved 5 million gold dinosaur and that those who got it allready just support them doing so by buying all stuff from the auctionhouse.

Think about that. This is the real reason, not heavy work of programmers or artists. ?

Edited by Baharok
  • Haha 1

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8 hours ago, Migol said:

No more allied races, no story resolution (the Giant Sword is still there along with all the Azerite spewing out...you know, the all important reason we started the war...)

And that Dec 31st on or before is haunting, last time they had a future date it was Sept/Oct iirc, but now they're sticking it at the end of the year. We could be in for a very long drought

On or before Dec 31 does not necessarily mean the game will be out in December. I think they will be aiming for a late summer release and August 2020 seems more plausible. Look what happened with Warcraft III Reforged. The release date got postponed and it was supposed to be out on or before Dec 31, so maybe they did not want the same to happen to Shadowlands.

I think we can expect Shadowlands F&F Alpha within the next two months or so.

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11 hours ago, Migol said:

No more allied races, no story resolution (the Giant Sword is still there along with all the Azerite spewing out...you know, the all important reason we started the war...)

And that Dec 31st on or before is haunting, last time they had a future date it was Sept/Oct iirc, but now they're sticking it at the end of the year.     We could be in for a very long drought

Because you know every single story beat of every single quest from now until Shadowlands, up to and including the 9.0 prepatch.

He said 8.3 is the last major patch to BfA. Not that we will kill N'Zoth and sit on our hands until Shadowlands drops. You have no idea what the immediate future brings.

I will give tou that allied races are out of the cards, but its not like we don't have enough to play with.

Edited by Sisren
Double quoted

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59 minutes ago, Sisren said:

He said 8.3 is the last major patch to BfA. Not that we will kill N'Zoth and sit on our hands until Shadowlands drops. You have no idea what the immediate future brings.

No plans for 8.3.5 patch, which is when some aftermath could fit in, so we will probably do exactly that. Kill N'zoth and wait for 9.0.

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3 hours ago, Stan said:

On or before Dec 31 does not necessarily mean the game will be out in December. I think they will be aiming for a late summer release and August 2020 seems more plausible. 

That's still pretty early, considering we've been told it's far from ready. August would be 10 months since announcement, not that long in this case, I think autumn seems very probable, like october or november.

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Just a reminder, BFA had a preorder launch date of "On or before September 21st".    It Launched August 14th...not too far from that launch date, and most would agree that it could have used the full duration given the terrible bugs/balance state at launch.    It's possible the Dec 31st date is a change for the sake of saying "sometime this year" but at the same time there's a lot to be argued for a holiday 2020 release period too.

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9 hours ago, Arcling said:

No plans for 8.3.5 patch, which is when some aftermath could fit in, so we will probably do exactly that. Kill N'zoth and wait for 9.0.

You're assuming we know everything that goes on in 8.3, everything that happens in the 9.0 prepatch, and that the prepatch is a long ways off. The truth is, we know none of those things for certain. Negative for negative's sake does nothing for anyone.

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Not in the slightest bit interested in new expansion at all. 

Might change my mind if they sack the design team responsible for BFA and replace them with designers/devs who actually play the game. As it stands, the game is like a Korean grindfest, without the P2W and incredibly boring and pointless. 

 

 

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