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Raider.io Dragonflight Pre-Launch Interview with Ion Hazzikostas

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Raider.io talked to Game Director Ion Hazzikostas about Dragonflight, and we have the highlights.

We encourage you to read the full interview on raider.io.

Interview Highlights

  • The team's goal with Mythic tuning is to make the raid difficult enough that it allows the best guild in the world to distinguish itself from the second-best guild in the world.
  • When Dragonflight Season 1 starts, Mythic raid difficulty will be immediately available, and rewards from Mythic+ will be uncapped from the beginning. The raid opening during the holiday season was the main impetus for the changes. They hope to use the release model going forward.
  • Cross-faction guilds are coming in the future.
  • There's no chance of a global raid release in Dragonflight.
  • Fated Raids weren't without flaws, but they were successful in terms of player participation. It beats having had another 3 months of Sepulcher, which was the alternative.
  • There are no immediate plans to make changes to the Hall of Fame.
  • In Dragonflight, players who are high-end key pushers doing 20s for the Great Vault rewards should be able to have every bit as much item-level (if not higher in some cases) 3-4 months into the season than someone weekly full-clearing their Mythic raid.
  • There are no immediate plans to expand the Mythic+ rewards system, but the goal is to keep evolving those structures.
  • Internally, the team has drawn the line at Mists of Pandaria regarding dungeons returning in future Mythic+ seasons. The visual fidelity of dungeons introduced prior does not fit with the aesthetic of the modern game.
  • Dragonflight is meant to be a breath of fresh air in its conception.
  • The entirety of the Dragonflight was created in a hybrid (primarily remote) environment. A couple hundred folks are back in the office any given day, with many coming in for 3 days and working at home on Mondays and Fridays. Other team members are fully remote or thousand miles away in different timezones. The team realized shifting to virtual meetings was superior.
  • Dragonflight truly is a labor of love, and the team is excited, full of passion and joy for what they made together, and can't wait to share it with the world.

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Bit sad that they don't see the caverns of time dungeons as viable.    That was development's heyday, in a part of the dungeon you didn't even go to for the run you could explore and find all kinds of story and lore bits ranging from the crafting of Ashbringer and a non undead Kel'Thuzud.

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45 minutes ago, Staff said:

Internally, the team has drawn the line at Mists of Pandaria regarding dungeons returning in future Mythic+ seasons. The visual fidelity of dungeons introduced prior does not fit with the aesthetic of the modern game.

Understandable, but also a bit misleading. As the current "Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr" dungeon proves, it's a return to a Dungeon almost 18 years old (long before Mists of Pandaria). While the dungeon is far more linear than the original, there are certain rooms that are virtually identical to the original, albeit with updated texturing and lighting. So maybe instead of having a cutoff point at Mists of Pandaria, consider updating the visual fidelity of those older dungeons...? Not all at once, but if it fits within a given theme of an expansion.

Fated Raids is one feature I hope to see the return of, potentially replacing the regular LFR mode entirely. And not as an "outro" to the expansion, but rather something that gets expanded upon with each new Raid release. And just like they do with Dungeons for a new Mythic+ season, increase the Damage and Healing of the mobs, as well as the rewards of the "older raid" to match that of the new raid. With the added mechanic that only exists in Fated, actually providing a bit of a challenge, compared to the snoozefest that is LFR.

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5 hours ago, Meurik said:

Fated Raids is one feature I hope to see the return of, potentially replacing the regular LFR mode entirely. And not as an "outro" to the expansion, but rather something that gets expanded upon with each new Raid release. 

Making previous LFR fated after next patch releases could incentivize people to return there. I guess the only downside is getting bored from running same raids throughout entirety of the expansion.

As for dungeons, Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr received different mechanics, so drawing line at MoP makes sense, unless they do some reworks for the rest of dungeons, but this is likely too much work to be done at once (so the issue is with mechanics, not how these dungeons look). Otherwise these dungeons would have been too easy now, they were designed with different balance and mechanics in mind.

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23 hours ago, Staff said:

The team's goal with Mythic tuning is to make the raid difficult enough that it allows the best guild in the world to distinguish itself from the second-best guild in the world.

This path led to so many problems, tryhards, sweatlords and elitism, I am sure even Ion will know this, but is unable to change it because reasons.

You dont tune anything for the 1%, you tune it for the 99% that actually play this game for fun and not as a profession.

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Uncommon Patron

The fact mythic raiding is designed for .01% of players is actually the dumbest shiz I've heard in a very long time.

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