MMO-Champion - Ion Hazzikostas Interview, Blue Posts, SWTOR Patch 1.6, Fan Art
On Fixing Reflects Damage, Option to Disable Screen Shaking, Blue Posts

Ion Hazzikostas Interview
Today's interview is with Ion Hazzikostas (Lead Encounter Designer) by Method. A summary of the main points is below, but reading the full interview is worth it if you want to see the full answers!


  • Item upgrades will have an effect similar to the Dragon Soul nerfs, making raids easier over time.
  • The raid Feat of Strength achievements will be removed in Patch 5.2. It isn't clear yet if there will be progressive nerfs or not this time, as players are not stuck yet.
  • Upgrading your items is meant to be a progression, but the new raid gear in Patch 5.2 will be better than your upgraded items, so upgrading everything isn't mandatory.
  • In Asia, all 25 player bosses have 8% more health and do 8% more damage. They also drop gear that is 8 item levels higher.
  • Balancing all of the progression systems for alts is something that is being looked at.
  • Daily quests are being used to tell the story and get players involved with the conflict between factions.
  • For now, daily quests will remain the only source of Lesser Charms.
  • Ion is working on a post about some of Blizzard's philosophies in regards to tuning and raid hotfixes.
  • Patch 5.2 information is coming Soon™.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP on PvP Servers
I could try to reword a previous post by Daxx, but I'll just link it here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/to...2467?page=5#85

The only thing I'd add to that is something I said over and over during BC when the big complaint was about Halaa: world PvP is not fair. We're not limiting who can do it, or in what amounts, and inherently some people will want to gank lower level players. Of course we later added areas like Wintergrasp and Tol Barad which attempted to balance the sides, but outside of those, world PvP is inherently unfair. Whether factions are imbalanced, or it's just a coward looking to trounce lowbies and run at the sight of an even-leveled player, world PvP is not fair. We've got battlegrounds and arenas if you want matched fights, and you can level almost exclusively in battlegrounds all the way to 90 if you want to, or dungeons for that matter.

The big issue here as I see it is that, and again Daxxarri's post above says it well, PvP realms weren't really proper PvP realms for many years, and now that they are again it's catching people off-guard. That doesn't change that they're working again as PvP realms. In most cases there's a solution to being ganked, whether it's calling on guildies or people from your faction, or escaping and hitting a different zone, BG, or dungeon for a while. We do have policies for very extreme cases when it crosses into ongoing harassment, but even being camped for hours is something everyone should be prepared for.

As it's been a fact of how PvP servers have worked since launch, it's not too surprising that others will respond with recommendations against being on that type of server if you don't want to accept everything that comes with it.

I like me some BGs, but leveling on PvP servers is just too frustrating. I've tried it, I hate it, and that's ok. It's not going to be for everyone. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Transmogrification Rules Feedback
They should never do this. many grey items are 'fun' items and are in no way suitable for transmog. We would see way too many people outfitted with fishes as weapons, pots and pans, wearing nothing but a thong, or whatever funky 'fun' item that is out there.There is plenty transmog gear out there, choose from that.
This. It's true that transmog already opened some doors to some very silly outfits by allowing green items to be used, so one could argue that we could simply extend this to white and grey items and let the silliness go wild in Azeroth and Outland. But I don’t think that’s what devs had in mind when they added transmogrification though.

It was supposed to encourage players to hold onto items with sentimental or aesthetic value. Now, I’m not saying that silly outfits are bad, sometimes I can’t stop laughing at some of them, it’s great fun, but allowing grey and white items to be suitable for transmogrification would probably be a bit over-the-top.
Personally I feel that transmogrification brought some coolness and freedom to the game but at a certain cost, everything seems a bit chaotic now. I actually somewhat miss the possibility of recognizing someone’s progress and gear by just looking at them, but oh well, I’m getting nostalgic here.

Also remember that we have the following note in our transmogrification rules “a select few of these items will be prevented from being used to transmogrify if they are inappropriate“, so if we were to open this up to grey + white items, I’m sure that this blacklist would have to become much larger and I suspect that would create too many exceptions and become confusing to players.
As always, we’ll let you know if anything changes regarding this though. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Season 11 Gear
Unfortunately the latest information I have is that the Season 11 Cataclysmic gear will probably only be added with patch 5.2, we wanted to add it sooner but we had some issues with it and had to postpone it.
Whenever they are added back to the game, you will be able to purchase them with Honor Points from the legacy armor and weapon vendors in Area 52.

Since Kris is saying that the gear is there, it's possible that the devs were actually able to add them already, I can't confirm this right now, but if they aren't there, you know when to possibly expect it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Blue Tweets
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
PvP
Is there a reason why we can't have PvP and PvE gear more similarly? In PvE you are hurt by RNG and in PvP you have to grind.
We think the PvE way is better, but there is no good way to recreate that with PvP vendors and drops in PvP would be weird. (Source)

you made it so rep is easier to get on ALTs, what about conquest gear cheaper on alts?
We think something like "Valor of the Ancients" for Conquest is totally reasonable. We're discussing the right solution. (Source)

Hello Greg, I have a 2 part Question. (1) are you happy with pvp now? (2) Have you visited the arena forums lately?
We're never satisfied with any part of the game. Visit Arena forums regularly. (Source)

I think you'd encourage it, but others are interpreting your reply as being against it...which is it? oQueue = broken
We have no problem with queuing mods. They should still work. We do not like using them to get around premade rules. (Source)

Why aren't Blood/Prot/Guard/Brew players allowed to do Arena? You try to accommodate others why leave those 4 out in the cold?
Really hard to make Arena tanks fun for others. Guy who can't die or be controlled = max frustration. They have a role in BGs. (Source)

World
Did Bliz take into account the extra players CRZ adds when planning the spawn timers for rare pets like the scourge whelp?
Spawn rates are designed around intended populations not empty zones. May need to adjust some but rare is supposed to be rare. (Source)

Phasing really is pants when you can't help guildies out. Really needs a solution. Group lead should determine phase, maybe?
Yeah, would love a solution like that. (Source)

The label MMO is meaningless and people by and large don't care what you call it. They just want to have fun.
Disagree. It's not about labels. It's about feeling like there are other players in the world. WoW isn't MP but MMP. (Source)

CRZ won't fill up your guild or your AH. We know that. But it is a step. (Source)

Any chance you guys will respond the issues regarding CRZ such as: http://t.co/TmgGt8D9 and http://t.co/EK36xrxS ? Thanks
Gathering and rare spawn numbers assume competition with other players. "I have a zone to myself" isn't our vision for WoW. (Source)

Why is this sudden aversion to instanced content Greg? Why is so bad that someon doesnt want to be in the world?
.We have a ton of instanced content. We just don't want it all to be, which is how Cataclysm felt. Instance != MMO IMO. (Source)
Waiting in line for your turn at the Brawler's Guild != MMO either, I'd say.
Disagree. It's the definition of other players existing being a thing. Instanced brawls would be != MMO in my book. (Source)
You are vanguard in the MMO genre. If most of your players in the MMO like instanced content over the alternatives
the feedback we heard from Cataclysm was NOT "I want to stand around in cities and queue more." (Source)
I don't imagine you recieved much feedback saying MAKE JUSTICE POINTS VIRTUALLY WORTHLESS and yet here we are
I think in your mind feedback = do what players say. We use feedback to make informed decisions, but we still make them. (Source)

Couple questions I'd answer first about Silvermoon flying. Will new tech make it easier? Is it just a slight inconvenience?
New tech won't help, just tons of art time to make the city hook up for real. It would take as much time as making a new city. (Source)

Reputation / Questing
What are the chances that reputation commendations will be implemented for past factions, such as those in old expansions?
Let's see how these work out, but possibly. (Source)

For 5.1 can we have a short term (20min?) LFR buff that simulates the rep tabards for the last rep we did dailies with today?
Talking about some ideas. So long as someone can't finish rep in one weekend by chain running, we're open to it. (Source)
What about "Rest XP" for gaining Reputation via Tabards? The less you use it, the more you can gather (to a point).
Yeah, that idea comes up a lot. We like it. (Source)

Wowhead has 57844 openings for the Blingtron package and no mounts yet. Is there an issue or droprate really that tiny?
But that would spoil the surprise... (Source)

Misc
I always wondered, can you be 'ordered' to go on twitter for work purposes, such as looking for bugs found by players?
Nobody tells me to go to the forums / twitter. I do it because I value the feedback and to help give something back to you. (Source)

Do you guys ever discuss class changes with popular theorycrafters?
Yes. (Source)

"consensus" is subjective and vague without numerical data. It's not just GC making/suggesting changes. "Dev TEAM".
Yes, and one of the reasons we have a dev team that works together closely is to guard against potential bias. (Source)

You only try to milk longer sub times for a minimal amount of work. Since most of the wow team works on titan
two incorrect / uninformed assumptions I'm afraid. (Source)

We are here again, where you claim to be right only falling back on authority. Why should we just accept without any evidence?
Having to convince players to let us make the changes we want to make isn't going to be an efficient way to design. (Source)

SWTOR Patch 1.6 Live
Patch 1.6 went live this week, with a new Warzone, heroic Space Combat missions, new Cartel Market items, and other new items. See the full notes or Darthhater's coverage guide for more info.





Fan Art
Some nice fan art has shown up recently.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Ion Hazzikostas Interview, Blue Posts, SWTOR Patch 1.6, Fan Art started by chaud View original post
Comments 57 Comments
  1. Syridian's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gurbz View Post
    But that is all subjective. The game cannot be the steaming pile of crap that people make it out to be or there would not be 10 million players worldwide, at least double it's closest competitor. I am willing to bet that for every person you show me that is certain that a particular aspect of the game is the worst thing to ever happen to WoW, I could find someone else that thinks it is the greatest change ever. And probably 2 more people that don't care either way.

    Any person's opinion on any aspect of the game is valid, at least insofar as opinions go. You have every right to voice yours, just as others have an equal right to disagree with you. What you cannot expect is for Blizzard, or any other game developer for that matter, to cater to your whims when it comes to design decisions. As the poster I quoted said, game development is not a service industry. They make a product, you pay to use it. If you don't like that product, you are free to not use it any longer. You are also free to request changes to that product if it is not meeting your expectations. The problem is that too many people confuse "request" with "demand". I've noticed that they also tend to have a hard time accepting it when the developer does not agree with them, jumping to the conclusion that because their idea was not meditatively implemented, the developers are obviously not listening to feedback or are *insert insulting description (profanities optional) here*
    Just quoting this post for truth really. If more of the posters on this forum can get past the hurdle of ''I PAY FOR IT. IT SHOULD DO WHAT I SAY.'' then we might have considerably more potential for interesting discussions around here.
  1. Leonard McCoy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Yig View Post
    As opposed to you telling them how everyone else should want to play? This level of whining and entitlement has reached a new low. You are paying for the privilege to play the games they want to make, you are not paying to be accommodated to. This is not a service industry no matter how much you've warped it in your mind to look that way. You are paying for the honor of getting to use the professional creations of artists and gamer designers. Don't like it? See if those who share your feelings can change that with your pocketbooks. Guess what, you won't be able to. The system will always self correct once someone makes something cool other people are willing to pay to have. Just because they get popular at doing this regularly doesn't mean they become your personal creator slave.
    You people have it backwards. Buying a service from Blizzard isn't a PRIVELEGE. It may certainly be a luxury but it's not a privelege in the sense that Blizzard is some magnanimous benefactor giving me shit out of their good graces. Yes people are entitled to some satisfaction for their money. "Fun" in other words. It's an HONOR to use their creations that's RICH. When did game developers become royalty? Should I bow humble before lord ghost crawler. You'd think they messiach had come down or something. I don't throw around the word fanboi often but cmooon. Blizzard is not Oprah Winfrey. How ABSURD are you people?

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-13 at 05:32 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Gurbz View Post
    But that is all subjective. The game cannot be the steaming pile of crap that people make it out to be or there would not be 10 million players worldwide, at least double it's closest competitor. I am willing to bet that for every person you show me that is certain that a particular aspect of the game is the worst thing to ever happen to WoW, I could find someone else that thinks it is the greatest change ever. And probably 2 more people that don't care either way.

    Any person's opinion on any aspect of the game is valid, at least insofar as opinions go. You have every right to voice yours, just as others have an equal right to disagree with you. What you cannot expect is for Blizzard, or any other game developer for that matter, to cater to your whims when it comes to design decisions. As the poster I quoted said, game development is not a service industry. They make a product, you pay to use it. If you don't like that product, you are free to not use it any longer. You are also free to request changes to that product if it is not meeting your expectations. The problem is that too many people confuse "request" with "demand". I've noticed that they also tend to have a hard time accepting it when the developer does not agree with them, jumping to the conclusion that because their idea was not immediately implemented, the developers are obviously not listening to feedback or are *insert insulting description (profanities optional) here*
    I agree people are free not to use their products. However by the same token people are free to state their opinions about aspects they dislike. The guy who was quoted originally was tired of being told what fun is. Why jump on him for that? Can you imagine if the developers didn't take feedback into account and we were stuck in the 2006 world of warcraft. In the end the developers make decisions but we have some influence on those decisions and we should express and voice our distaste. I don't understand why are people committed to turning on their fellow players instead of asking the devs to make changes to accommodate some of their complaints? Would you rather it be a totally arithmetical calculation? X amount of players leave so Blizzard does Y? How has that been working out? Wouldn't it be much more sane and rational to ask the guy who was tired of being told what fun was his specific complaints and then feed that information to the developers to see if anything is done. Your post is honestly not very constructive. I could make the case that the guy originally quoted was much more constructive. At least I learned what his general beef was. Yours didn't glean me anything new or insightful at all.
  1. Freia's Avatar
    Do not bring RNG to pvp gear. SWTOR had it at the beginning and it was horrible.
  1. Korru's Avatar
    I can't wait until the Q4 report...
  1. Moradim's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Xilurm View Post
    But they get higher ilvl because the bosses are harder. Which means that it's easier for them for some reason.
    oddly enough, I dont see asian guilds getting world firsts.
  1. But I Hate You All's Avatar
    I can't wait until the Q4 report it will be funny as hell.

    I smell a cata 2.0
  1. Granyala's Avatar
    As opposed to you telling them how everyone else should want to play? This level of whining and entitlement has reached a new low. You are paying for the privilege to play the games they want to make, you are not paying to be accommodated to. This is not a service industry no matter how much you've warped it in your mind to look that way. You are paying for the honor of getting to use the professional creations of artists and gamer designers
    At least someone is still capable of objective thoughts...
  1. Leonard McCoy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Granyala View Post
    At least someone is still capable of objective thoughts...
    I would hardly call his diatribe objective. Unless you were being sarcastic. It's backwards to think I as a paying customer ought to somehow feel honored that I get to use their creation. That it's somehow a blessing from on high.
  1. MasterHamster's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Alastaircrawly View Post
    I can't wait until the Q4 report it will be funny as hell.

    I smell a cata 2.0
    Quote Originally Posted by Korru View Post
    I can't wait until the Q4 report...
    Yes, we're all looking forward to it.

    "Subs increase: People are morons.
    Subs are stable: People will quit soon.
    Subs have declined slightly: AND IT'LL JUST INCREASE FROM HERE
    Subs have dropped by a large margin: HAHAHA ITS DEAD"

    And those who doesn't give a damn about numbers of subs will remain silent.
  1. Ferrouswheel's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Korru View Post
    I can't wait until the Q4 report...
    Yeah you can actually tell they're aware of bleeding numbers. Before their attitude was shut up, dailies are fine stop whining they are optional. Now they're saying dailies were a bit too much. We're witnessing the same backpedaling that happened with heroics are meant to be heroic, l2play.
  1. MasterHamster's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrouswheel View Post
    Yeah you can actually tell they're aware of bleeding numbers. Before their attitude was shut up, dailies are fine stop whining they are optional. Now they're saying dailies were a bit too much. We're witnessing the same backpedaling that happened with heroics are meant to be heroic, l2play.
    This reminds me how NASA actually taking their time to debunk a threat from some fictional planet named Nibiru, the proponents saw it as some sort of validation that they were hiding something.

    Yeah, Blizzard will only talk when subs are decreasing. Naturally.
    Their attitude NEVER came close to "shut up, dailies are fine" They recieved a lot of feedback regarding dailies, but they agree with the notion that it's a bit too hostile against alts. And look, we got a 100% bonus for alts. Otherwise dailies are apparently working well considering that they dared to use it again in 5.1. It's almost as if the silent majority know how to play moderately and not burn themselves out on dailies
  1. Leonard McCoy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterHamster View Post
    This reminds me how NASA actually taking their time to debunk a threat from some fictional planet named Nibiru, the proponents saw it as some sort of validation that they were hiding something.

    Yeah, Blizzard will only talk when subs are decreasing. Naturally.
    They recieved a lot of feedback regarding dailies, but they agree with the notion that it's a bit too hostile against alts. And look, we got a 100% bonus for alts. Otherwise dailies are apparently working well considering that they dared to use it again in 5.1. It's almost as if the silent majority know how to player moderately and not burn themselves out on dailies
    Sorry one does not follow from the other. IN fact quite the opposite is true. Dailies did not work well, thats why they reduced the number so dramatically. The only reason they didn't abandon the model completely is likely because they had this planned out going forward as the "content" they were going to give to people. nothing about the 5.1 dailies said dailies are working. They are likely unsure of what to do next. All it says is that Blizzard cut them back so much and made so little of them this expansion it's hardly a blip on the radar now. Were living in strange times where dailies are working even though they've taken a huge backseat in 5.1.
  1. Granyala's Avatar
    I would hardly call his diatribe objective. Unless you were being sarcastic. It's backwards to think I as a paying customer ought to somehow feel honored that I get to use their creation.
    WoW is not an open Source project and it hopefully never will be.

    Feedback & criticism is o.k. and desirable that exists in every branch of artwork.

    However these "Blizzard must design what I want!11 15$$$" is stupid.
    Don't like it? -> Vote with your wallet. That's how capitalism works and that's what I did during the T9 ToC patch cycle.
    But don't spam the forums with threats and whine.
  1. Alenarien's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrouswheel View Post
    If you want to raid twice a week you have the option to raid on an alt. Problem solved.
    You see now that almost makes sense, until you realise that the person whose point you refer to actually blew your argument away.

    1) What if he doesn't have alts?
    2) Even if he has alts, why should he have to raid on them? Why can't he raid twice a week on a character or main character that he wants to?
    3) However you like to think of it, you wouldn't be 'forced' to raid twice a week if they brought back separate lock-outs; you never have been. Everything is 'optional' after all, as the optional crowd loves to insist.
  1. Leonard McCoy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Granyala View Post
    WoW is not an open Source project and it hopefully never will be.

    Feedback & criticism is o.k. and desirable that exists in every branch of artwork.

    However these "Blizzard must design what I want!11 15$$$" is stupid.
    Don't like it? -> Vote with your wallet. That's how capitalism works and that's what I did during the T9 ToC patch cycle.
    But don't spam the forums with threats and whine.
    Well the original guy who got this whole mishegoes started simple said that he was tired of being told what's fun. Out of that sparked what IMHO is the most fanboi thing I've ever read on a forum. Now you may not like his particular criticism and it could probably stand to be a bit more constructive but it was VASTLY more constructive then telling people they should be honored to play world of warcraft. I learned nothing from that guys post other then some people have a backwards view of the world. Some people feel beholden to these developers so much so that they would turn on their fellow game players and worship at the teet of some guy in a cubicle somewhere shovelling shit for 15$ a month to the player base.

    Yes people should vote with their wallets but apparently according to some even that doesn't matter as the game won't change if people leave and the developers will roll merrily along. It is a ridiculous strawman to say that even a minority let alone majority of the feedback is "Blizzard must design what I want 15$"""". What's being said is that I'm unhappy with the service I pay for, this is why, I'm leaving unless changes are made. Do you expect them to stay?

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-13 at 08:47 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Alenarien View Post
    You see now that almost makes sense, until you realise that the person whose point you refer to actually blew your argument away.

    1) What if he doesn't have alts?
    2) Even if he has alts, why should he have to raid on them? Why can't he raid twice a week on a character or main character that he wants to?
    3) However you like to think of it, you wouldn't be 'forced' to raid twice a week if they brought back separate lock-outs; you never have been. Everything is 'optional' after all, as the optional crowd loves to insist.
    Apparently not raiding 10 and 25 a week. I mean that was just to forced and mandatory. That just had to be changed. The inherent contradictions are mind numbing. Their was a blue tweet the other day about Blingtron the robot. They nerfed Blingtron to one per day per account because.. wait for it.... BLINGTRON FELT LIKE A JOB... The robot who offered you nothing of value and whos "quest" took all of 2 seconds felt like a job. Well alirght GC I want to invest the time into blingtron? What now?
  1. MasterHamster's Avatar
    Someone got frustrated by being told "what's fun", and Blizzard got tired of being told that everything they do is shit.
  1. Leonard McCoy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterHamster View Post
    Someone got frustrated by being told "what's fun", and Blizzard got tired of being told that everything they do is shit.
    Aside from that being a ridiculous straw man the developers get PAID. It's a JOB. They should expect criticism. They don't need your kid gloves.
  1. Kissme's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyIommi View Post
    I would hardly call his diatribe objective. Unless you were being sarcastic. It's backwards to think I as a paying customer ought to somehow feel honored that I get to use their creation. That it's somehow a blessing from on high.
    You as a customer choose whether or not to pay to play their creation. If they stop creating something you enjoy, you should stop paying them to play it. Their own greed should encourage them to create something that a majority wants to play, but they should also be true to their own artistic vision and shouldn't sway from their vision just to give the customer's what they want.

    This is part of the problem with games now - they focus so much on trying to cater to the customer's demands, that they end up moving away from their own visions and then wondering why people complain that their product lacks originality and soul. Imagine if SWToR had been KOTOR 3 instead of trying to tack an MMO experience onto what they excelled at. Imagine if Diablo 3 had been true to the Diablo game experience.

    Designer's should design the games they think need to be made. Players should choose to play the games they think are fun. The idea of niche games being successful is one that needs to come back. Game development has, is, and always will be a business, but it needs to regain it's soul as well.
  1. Leonard McCoy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kissme View Post
    You as a customer choose whether or not to pay to play their creation. If they stop creating something you enjoy, you should stop paying them to play it. Their own greed should encourage them to create something that a majority wants to play, but they should also be true to their own artistic vision and shouldn't sway from their vision just to give the customer's what they want.

    This is part of the problem with games now - they focus so much on trying to cater to the customer's demands, that they end up moving away from their own visions and then wondering why people complain that their product lacks originality and soul. Imagine if SWToR had been KOTOR 3 instead of trying to tack an MMO experience onto what they excelled at. Imagine if Diablo 3 had been true to the Diablo game experience.

    Designer's should design the games they think need to be made. Players should choose to play the games they think are fun. The idea of niche games being successful is one that needs to come back. Game development has, is, and always will be a business, but it needs to regain it's soul as well.
    Please let's be adults. Their artistic vision is to make money. PERIOD. They aren't picasso and we shouldn't treat them as artists. Their goal is to produce an entertaining product that will keep people entertained enough to garner the 15$ a month. SWTOR and D3 were attempts to cash in as well.
  1. Granyala's Avatar
    Well the original guy who got this whole mishegoes started simple said that he was tired of being told what's fun
    Every game out there works like that. The DEVs ALWAYS set the rules and the peeps play by them.

    Input on minor aspect is taken into consideration, but just b/c a few forum posters want X doesn't mean X has to be implemented. o_O

    You either like a game, or you don't. I don't see why WoW is such an exception.

    They aren't picasso and we shouldn't treat them as artists.
    Yeah and picasso doesn't draw his shit for money? Come on be serious now. Maybe not initially, but once the cash rolls in every artist wants more.

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