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Preach's Patch 9.1 Interview with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas

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Preach had the chance to interview Game Director Ion Hazzikostas about Patch 9.1. Here is a summary of the most interesting highlights.

  • The pandemic caused Shadowlands and Patch 9.1 to be delayed. Chains of Domination is the first patch that has been completely made remotely by Blizzard devs at home.
  • Korthia will be evolving in the coming weeks. We will have a "Nazjatar Manapearls" mechanic to upgrade gear. This will be available on the PTR in the weeks to come.
  • The 9.1 Sylvanas bow (DNT - PH - 9.1 Raid Bow 2 (Sylvanas) DNT - PH - 9.1 Raid Bow 2 (Sylvanas)) will be a Hunter-only weapon.
  • Soul Cinders will drop from Torghast Layers 9+ and the currency will be used to upgrade Legendaries beyond Item Level 235.
  • You will need to recraft Covenant Legendaries when you switch Covenants.
  • Conduit Energy is imperfect at the moment. The goal is to situate your Soulbind layout, Conduit placement across all Soulbinds as a semi-rigid choice when it comes to friction. The thing they wanted to avoid was yet another system with a routine Conduit switching behavior, as the system would become a nuisance.
  • They are adding 4 new Soulbind rows in 9.1, which is a great opportunity for the community to submit their feedback about specific Soulbinds. If you feel like a certain Soulbind is mandatory, the team can balance Soulbinds better without nerfing the interesting choices.
  • Increasing the recharge rate of Conduit Energy is still on the table.
  • Torghast has a granular system now. Layer 9 has a new User Interface (5 stars that measure your overall performance). There is a meter that measures your killing streak. You will always get your Soul Ash at the end. The Tarragrue is now gone in the Sanctum of Domination. Unlocking more difficulty Layers will require a four-star overall performance. You will get some Tower Knowledge and unlock stuff like AoE looting in the Tower of the Damned.
  • They don't want to turn Torghast into Speedghast, but at the same time, want to reward players that prefer speed-running through the floors.
  • They want to make Torghast complement other gear sources, not compete with them.
  • The datamined Shards of Domination is not a final design. They are looking at some form of unique bonuses and progression within those bonuses when it comes to Sanctum of Domination gear.
  • Tier Sets will return in Patch 9.2.
  • They don't want to constantly replace working systems with new systems. They want to find a middle ground when it comes to borrowed powers in the year to come.
  • For alts, they are really happy with how Renown catch-up has panned out, but there is still room for improvement. Playing the campaign story over and over is tedious, and skips are on the table.
  • The power budget hasn't changed in terms of gearing since Wrath of the Lich King. 1 item level is 1% of damage. When an Item Level 220 Mythic raider deals a lot more damage when an Item Level 200 Heroic player, it's more of a skill issue.
    • Preach asked why there was such a big power gap between Heroic and Mythic players DPS-wise in Shadowlands. Ion said it's a skill issue and that inflation is down to just 13 item levels per difficulty.
  • They think Death Knight's Anti-Magic Zone is too good at the moment. Some time ago, it had an absorption cap.
  • The devs want to focus on class utility instead of spec utility. The encounter team is currently working on increasing the melee spots in raids from 7 to 8.
  • They still think Mythic AoE cap is fine, but they still have room for improvements.
  • Nothing like the Mage Tower is in the work in the near term, but they share the community's affection for it.
  • 9.1 is soon™.

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1 hour ago, Staff said:

They don't want to constantly replace working systems with new systems. They want to find a middle ground when it comes to borrowed powers in the year to come.

 

 

If they stopped doing some random systems no one asked for, maybe they didnt needed to focus on balanching those sh*t.

Please, stop this 'borrowed power' thing. Focus on balancing the class / game before trying to innovate.

Its clearly not working the way you hope.

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2 hours ago, Staff said:

Korthia will be evolving in the coming weeks. We will have a "Nazjatar Manapearls" mechanic to upgrade gear. This will be available on the PTR in the weeks to come.

Oh great, another currency. Just what this expansion needed.

  • Confused 1

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On 4/27/2021 at 8:25 PM, Elfomal said:

 

 

If they stopped doing some random systems no one asked for, maybe they didnt needed to focus on balanching those sh*t.

Please, stop this 'borrowed power' thing. Focus on balancing the class / game before trying to innovate.

Its clearly not working the way you hope.

So mad.

I enjoy it all.

Edited by Znifler

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I'm sorry but I'm disagreeing with Ion when he made this statement:

 

Preach asked why there was such a big power gap between Heroic and Mythic players DPS-wise in Shadowlands. Ion said it's a skill issue and that inflation is down to just 13 item levels per difficulty.

That's like saying all graphs and anylitic data that from this site and WoWhead with people constantly testing dps and class output is entirely wrong, the players are not playing the game right, and stating the game is perfectly fine and balance the way it is now.  In which case it is far from being balance and fair in a vast majority of the playerbase' eyes.

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