Legion Developer Q&A - PvP
This week was the Legion PvP Q&A with Holinka. Our notes are a quick recap, watch the video for context!
Next week is Craig Amai with Order Halls and Artifacts.
- The team isn't happy with class balance currently on the beta.
- Tuning for characters with maxed out artifacts isn't a priority right now, the priority is tuning for launch.
- Artifacts aren't tuned for PvP as well as they will be eventually.
- There is a PvP multiplier for many spells in Legion, so the team can tune spells individually for PvP without affecting PvE.
- Artifact traits can also be tuned for PvP, independent of PvE.
- Cauterizing Blink has been reduced to be half as effective in PvP.
- Doom Winds is another trait that also has reduced power in PvP.
- Healers were not getting the full stats from their weapons applied to the PvP template, so they were undertuned by almost 30% until recently.
- Earlier in beta, damage in PvP was far too high. Everyone ran in, used their cooldowns, and everyone died.
- As damage is lowered and now that healers are fixed, utility spells should be useful again.
- In Legion, if you win a battleground, skirmish, or arena you get a piece of gear.
- The strongboxes in Legion contains items like potions or Mark of Honor.
- The gear you win uses the same random upgrade system that PvE gear does, with a random upgrade of +5, +10, +15, or more item levels.
- Grinding lots of currency and then visiting a vendor to purchase a piece of gear wasn't very exciting over the long term.
- When things are less predictable, it is a little more exciting when you get a piece of gear and a little disappointing when you don't get the gear you want.
- The team wants some unpredictability, but knows the community has been getting their gear from vendor purchases for a long time.
- The team is putting in bad luck protection. When you get a piece of gear, the chance to get that piece of gear again is significantly lowered.
- You will get gear at the same rate as you have in the past, but the order is a little less predictable.
- The PvE part of the game also has an unpredictable gear system.
- Gearing up for PvE with PvP gear will still be possible. The gear isn't quite as good for PvE as the PvP gear you get in Warlords.
PvP Stat Template
- At the launch of Legion, the PvP stat template base will give you stats like you are wearing item level 850 gear.
- Every item level above a baseline (800 at launch) increases your stats by 0.1%.
- If you had an item level of 900 you would have a stat boost of 10%, giving you stats like you are wearing item level 860 gear.
Old Honor Gear
- Honor and Conquest are going away in Legion and will be converted to gold.
- Strongboxes will reward Marks of Honor, which can be used to purchase all of the older PvP gear.
Rewards and Rated Content
- It is important to the team that a lot of players feel like doing rated PvP.
- The average player will be motivated to do rated PvP for gear and increasing their honor level.
- Every time you do a rated PvP activity you get double honor for your first win of the day.
- Rated content offers 50% more honor than the unrated content.
- Rated content offers a higher upgrade chance for the PvP gear you get from a win.
- The higher rated you are, the higher chance you have to get an upgrade.
- Seasons will be tied to raid tiers due to how new content is produced and released.
- PvP seasons would benefit from being a little shorter than raid tiers.
- Players enjoy the start of the season with new changes and the chance to gear up, as well as the end of the season fighting to get their title.
- Seasons have been about as twice as long as they should be.
- Legion doubles the number of seasons, so halfway through a raid tier a season will end and a new tier will start.
- Seasons will last roughly 10 to 15 weeks.
- Honor talents activate in all PvP situations. If you hit another player or are hit by another player, they activate.
- PvP stat templates do not activate out in the world.
- Honor talents can be tuned so that they don't give you a large advantage in PvE.
- The team doesn't want you to have an incentive to have someone constantly hit you for access to the the talents.
- The team will look at having PvP stat templates activate for duels.
- There is character customization through Honor Talents.
- Secondary stats for some specs are problematic, with things like Mastery creating too much burst sometimes.
- The team doesn't want to introduce complexity into the system by letting players tune their stats.
- They could create Honor Talents that influence your PvP stat template if that is a popular desire.
PvP Balance and Talents
- The team will hopefully be able to make balance changes more often so that a spec isn't underperforming or overperforming for a long time.
- Changing PvP spell multipliers is something that can be done with quicker hotfixes.
- The team wanted compelling rewards from the honor system. Compelling rewards usually involve player power.
- The player power granted by the honor system is the Honor Talents.
- For a reward to feel good when you get it, it will feel bad when you don't have it.
- You can quickly level to Honor Level 10 and have access to at least one PvP talent for each tier. The rest offer additional customization as you rank up.
- PvP talents will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to fix underpowered ones or change out talents that no one is using.
- Honor Level / PvP talents are not reset each season. Every season adds more Prestige levels.
- Initially you are Prestige level 0 and Honor Level 1. You level to Honor Level 50, press the prestige button to level your prestige.
- The first season has four Prestige levels and the next will add another four.
Arenas and Battlegrounds
- In Warlords, a lot of the PvP focus was on Ashran.
- Hardcore arena players may not have liked Ashran but there were people that enjoyed it.
- In Legion, lots of PvP dev time was spent on the new honor system.
- There are two new arenas in Legion and one old arena may be getting a facelift.
- The team hasn't been doing a great job with creating new battlegrounds.
- There are lots of battlegrounds already so if they add new battlegrounds, the team might cycle out some old ones.
- The team is talking about how to make more battlegrounds and release them more regularly.
- There are a lot of conversations going on regarding how the team communicates what they are doing about cheating.
- There is a group of people that has a full time job of reviewing player actions and punishing cheaters.
- The team is reviewing their policies about repeat offenders right now.
- When someone is demonstrating that they are committed to cheating, they shouldn't be allowed to play the game.
- Preventing kick bots is a challenge. Interrupts aren't on the GCD, so you can cast them at any time.
- The team cares about the cheating problem and they are working on solving it.
Engineering Toys in Random Battlegrounds
- Removing Engineering toys from unrated battlegrounds was an oversight.
- The team will look at it and see if it is possible to bring them back.
PvP Accessibility and Roles
- The PvP honor level is being used as a gauge of experience.
- A few weeks after launch, if you are below honor level 10 and prestige level 0, you will be placed in a different bucket from everyone else for random battlegrounds.
- The team wants players that are tanks to be able to go and have fun in PvP, but not at the expense of everyone else.
- In Legion you have to select your role before you queue.
- You can't bring 2 healers or 2 tanks into 3v3 arenas anymore.
- If you are a tank and want to go and do arenas with your friends, you can be very good and have fun.
- The team doesn't want tanks to be the preferred spec at the top end of PvP.
- It makes a lot of sense to bring a tank to rated battlegrounds. They can be a flag carrier or front line target caller.
World PvP Zones
- World PvP zones were designed to exist during their expansion, maybe stick around a little longer, but that is it.
- The team understands the nostalgia for the older World PvP and is talking about things they can do.
- One idea is an occasional Wintergrasp event to make use of the old zones.
- There are four free-for-all PvP zones out in the world in Legion.
- You can turn into a Murloc, tame and mount animals for mounted PvP, as well as the Black Rook Hold arena out in the world, fighting each other to earn points.
- There are also World PvP quests.
Changing Old Battlegrounds
- The team has to be very careful about changing any of the older battlegrounds.
- Rocks and trees not blocking line of sight in Warsong is weird and is something the team can look at.
- The older battlegrounds could get a visual update, but they don't want to change up the layouts.
- Taking the gameplay from older battlegrounds and making a new map with it would be a better solution.
- The systems in place in this expansion delivery on class fantasy, but there has been some mobility power creep.
- If a class is very mobile and has a lot of damage uptime, they may need a damage reduction to maintain balance.
- There are certain spells with a teleport that offer a lot more power in PvP than they do in PvE. The damage on these spells may be massively reduced, as the main benefit is a teleport.
Arena Master and 5v5
- The Arena Master is becoming a Legacy achievement in Legion.
- It would be wrong to just remove the 5v5 requirement, as players actually earned it in the past.
- A replacement achievement and title is possible.
- 5v5 was removed as it was very unpopular. Less people do 5v5 than mythic raiding.
- The team isn't trying to drive everyone to rated PvP.
- It is better when more people are participating in rated PvP, giving players somewhere to go when they care about winning a little bit more.
- It is fine if someone just wants to do random battlegrounds or skirmishes. Almost everything being done in Legion will benefit them too.
- Prestige level starts at 0.
- Honor level goes from 1 to 50. When you hit 50 you can reset to 1 and gain a prestige rank.
- The first prestige level rewards a battle pet that follows you around and tells everyone how awesome you are. Alliance Enthusiast and Horde Fanatic
- The second level starts a quest line that gives you another of the PvP artifact appearances.
- The third level rewards a Courser mount.
- The fourth level rewards a pennant like the ones from arenas, but a faction skin. It also rewards a title.
- Cross-Faction groups for random battlegrounds is not likely to happen. Faction lines are too important to ignore.
Burst and Crowd Control
- The team doesn't want the game to just matter every few minutes when burst cooldowns are up.
- Healer mana, applying sustained pressure, and crowd control should matter.