Legion Developer Q&A - Ion Hazzikostas
Ion Hazzikostas answered some more questions today!


Order Hall
  • More champions will probably be added as the expansion goes on, as they are used for storytelling.
  • There is some awkwardness in having eight champions and only being able to use five of them.
  • The champion limit allows the team to make you choose which missions you want to do. If the limit was increased, more missions would have to be offered and it would creep closer to the Garrison system where there are constant missions and it is a large feature.

Toy Nerfs
  • The team intentionally didn't recreate Aviana's Feather as they didn't want to offer this experience again.
  • The Rocfeather Skyhorn Kite and Brulfist Idol nerf were done to remove the Aviana's Feather experience.
  • The toys stepped on what makes Engineers and Demon Hunters special.
  • The toys encroached on class and profession space and were too useful.
  • Toys aren't supposed to be very powerful and necessary.
  • You can still use gliders and other transport methods.

Leveling and Dungeons
  • There is a ton of experience awarded from the quests that send you into dungeons at the end of each zone.
  • This is done on purpose, so that dungeons feel rewarding.
  • The team did take a step back from dungeons being an efficient way to level, because it is a bit of a trap.
  • You still need to do the quests in zones to unlock world quests and other things.
  • The team will keep an eye on the time it takes to level alts during the expansion.

Warlocks
  • Warlocks feel like there is significant ramp up time that limits their potential in the outdoor world or dungeons.
  • Demonology Warlocks have some ramp up time, need to get out Demons, so it takes a while
  • The team has been talking about hotfixing the default number of Soul Shards from one to three. You would be able to start fights with more Soul Shards.
  • With Demonology, it would be great if you could build up multiple packs of imps and keep them with you for longer, especially in the outdoor world.
  • It would be nice if you could build up your demon army over the first few fights and then plow throw a few fights.
  • Mobility is another concern that has been raised, but it probably won't be changed much. The team would rather double down on strengths rather than shore up weaknesses.
  • Giving Warlocks more mobility isn't a hard problem to solve, but it moves towards homogenization again.
  • Things aren't perfect by any means.
  • Warlocks are less mobile and more tank like than mages. This reflects what a Warlock is all about.
  • Destruction Warlocks don't like the way their Mastery feels, which is valuable feedback, but it is somewhat like Crit. You have a mastery that gives Chaos Bolt some RNG, but in most situations it will average out over time. This is the same way Crit will average out over time.
  • The team appreciates the Warlock feedback and understands that people are unhappy, but it isn't constructive to communicate this through spamming up threads or starting petitions.
  • Ion went to the Warlock forums on many occasions to read about what Warlocks are upset about, but 95% of the posts aren't constructive feedback and makes it harder to figure out what is the issue. There is also lots of conflicting feedback, where people are unhappy for different and conflicting reasons.

Classes Balance in Mythic Dungeon
  • Multidotting is something that allows for strength in some situations, especially when things are split up and melee can't cleave everything.
  • Melee are doing well in dungeons right now, which is a good thing. Historically people wanted to bring lots of ranged casters over melee.
  • The team is getting a broader data set as people hit max level and gear up to make balance tweaks where needed.

Class Balance
  • The team would rather let things sit for a little while and make class changes all at once rather than very frequent single changes.
  • As raids open up the team will have even more data to balance things.
  • The team is targeting a set of tweaks for right before raids open to bring up under performing specs without being too disruptive to the hierarchy of specs.
  • Balance isn't perfect right now, the team is working on it, but there are lots of different variables.
  • Raids and Mythic+ dungeons are the content people care about balance most for and they aren't available yet.
  • Outside of balance tweaks, there are mechanical tweaks the team wants to make to improve gameplay. You won't see these via hotfixes, but should see them in Patch 7.1.
  • The team is actively working on fixing the mobility abilities that aren't working right.

Order Hall
  • There aren't plans to move the Order Hall story along in Patch 7.1.
  • Patch 7.1 focuses on Karazhan, Stormheim, and Suramar.
  • There is more Order Hall story to tell, but that will come after Patch 7.1.
  • The Warrior Order Hall campaign taking longer than others was a mistake. The timing for the Warrior campaign was the timing intended for all classes, but some last minute fixes removed the cooldown between missions for other classes. It was supposed to be a two week process rather than a one week process. The Warrior one will be fixed.

Quest Log
  • There is a lot of content in Legion and players are hitting the quest log limit.
  • The concern with raising the limit is how it will become hard to keep track of all of the quests you have.
  • The team wants to look at the underlying cause of players having all of these quests rather than just increasing the limit.
  • They recognize that with the non-linear leveling in Legion plus the Profession and Order Hall quests result in players having a lot of quests at once.
  • One thing that could be investigated in the future is having special story quests not count towards the quest log limit.
  • At some point after max level this limit stops being a problem as you finish off the quests.

Cross-Realm Zones
  • There is lots of new technology that powers the outdoor zones in Legion.
  • The launch was so smooth because of this new technology.
  • Having multiple copies of a zone on a server helps the population stay at an optimal level.
  • In the past current content was only players from your realm, but in Legion merging and splitting happen in the entire world.
  • This helps to make the world feel alive, especially when you are out doing world quests. You want to run into other players
  • Some players have been on PvP servers for a long time and accustomed to not having to PvP because of faction balance, but now they have to PvP as there are players from other realms of the other factions. This is restoring how PvP servers were intended.
  • The team is looking at some of the bodyguard abilities in regards to PvP. Some of these are too powerful and not fun.

Suramar Gating
  • The reputation in Suramar isn't the same as older reputation grinds.
  • Suramar is an end game max level zone, something that hasn't been done before.
  • There is a ton to do at max level already, so the Suramar campaign is something the team wanted to pace out so that it can compete more cleanly with all of the other content there is to do.
  • For most people at this stage, the bulk of the reputation they are getting isn't from repeatable quests, but instead the one time quests throughout the zone.
  • The team wanted to tell an epic story that has a lot of heft to it.
  • The reputation bar is a convenient way of communicating progression through this story.
  • Suramar reputation won't be account wide. Character progression is done on the character.
  • Down the line the team can take a look at the reputation required to unlock the Suramar dungeons if it is blocking alts from being able to do it, but so far it doesn't feel like a problem.

Reputation
  • The team is pretty happy with how reputation gains have been working out so far.
  • Much of the reputation rewards are not power items that are needed ASAP.

Kosumoth
  • It is cool to have mysteries and secrets in the world of datamining.
  • Kosumoth was spawned on beta, but the puzzle to enable him was disabled during all of beta.
  • The team originally wasn't sure players would figure it out, but the community worked together to figure it out!
  • The orbs will be hotfixed to be more multi-interact friendly. They want to be sure they don't break them so that they aren't intractable at all.

Artifact Knowledge
  • Initially Knowledge was a 5 day work order. If you were a few days behind, Knowledge was a 4 day work order.
  • If someone comes along two months from now, they will see 3 day work orders for a while to help them catch up.
  • Don't overthink it! Spend Artifact Power, keep Knowledge work orders going, and you will be fine.

Companion App
  • The team might add more features to the Companion App in the future.
  • Tons of people have been making use of the app.
  • If there are features that make sense, they would love to add them.
  • Having multiple apps isn't optimal, so they may combine them in the future.
  • There still should be reasons for you to go to your Order Hall in game, the app is just supposed to help you keep up when you are not in game.
  • The app shouldn't replace in game interaction, you should feel like you should log off and pull out your phone when you are at your computer.

Artifact Weapons
  • Artifact Power and progression should span the entire expansion.
  • You should care about Artifact Power for the entire expansion.
  • The team wants to see how the system plays out before they decide how to expand Artifact progression in future patches.
  • There are no plans to allow you to transfer Artifact Power between weapons.
  • Artifact Knowledge means you can swap to another spec fairly quickly without an issue.
  • In a few months you will see world quests that reward thousands of Artifact Power thanks to Artifact Knowledge, so it will still be easy to switch.

Auction House
  • The Auction House UI is pretty unacceptable at this point and past due for a revamp.
  • Fixing this is a longer term project, but addons can help in the meantime.
  • In Patch 7.1 there may be some logic changes to how items are sorted on the auction house.
  • Right now stacks are sorted by total cost rather than cost per unit.
  • Hopefully in Patch 7.1 the auction house will be able to sort by unit price instead, allowing you to see the cheapest items first.

Guild Finder
  • The Guild Finder definitely needs some work, especially in a game where social elements are so important.
  • This will probably be fixed in a future expansion rather than a patch.

Dalaran Underbelly
  • The Underbelly was overpopulated until recently.
  • The team probably could have done a better job at messaging the fact that the guard captain will allow you to opt out of PvP.
  • There are a few things that send players there who don't want to be there, but they can buy a bodyguard to stay safe.
  • The team is looking into a rare issue with bodyguards disappearing early.

Artifact Power from PvP
  • The team is looking at Artifact Power gains and will make sure there aren't huge imbalances.
  • The team started out conservatively with Artifact Power in PvP because it is easy to spam skirmishes.
  • When rated PvP starts again you will be able to earn more Artifact Power.
  • PvP players should be able to level their Artifact through PvP.

Tier Sets
  • We are eventually going to go to the Tomb of Sargeras this expansion and you will probably get a tier set there.

World Quests
  • The world quests are selected randomly from different buckets of quests.

Scaling Content
  • Holiday content is a great fit for scaling technology. It hasn't happened yet but is likely in the future.

Content Pacing
  • Content pacing will be better than previous expansions.
  • The team wants to avoid feast or famine or front loading content.
  • A steady stream of content in Legion is the plan, telling lots of story throughout the expansion.
  • The team may experiment with different types of patches, not just new raid zones or tons of things for everyone, but maybe some smaller patches too.
  • The team is confident they will pace content better this time. For real. They mean it.
  • They say this every expansion and haven't been able to deliver, but learn something every time. This expansion they accounted for a lot more and should be able to do it.

World Quests
  • Once you are max level, the world isn't going to scale with your gear, including world quests.
  • Scaling the world based on your item level wouldn't feel good, as your relative power would never increase.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Legion Developer Q&A - Ion Hazzikostas started by chaud View original post
Comments 163 Comments
  1. TylerWildstar's Avatar
    The slowfall toy nerf was bullcrap.
  1. MacMathan's Avatar
    The Kite nerf was stupid.

    When will they address the many issues with Ret paladins? They have the same number of issues and complaints if not more than warlocks, but Blizz keeps ignoring them.
  1. Esper's Avatar
    In an expansion with SO MANY cliffs that falling down them means a 5+ minute trip around to find some hidden cliff miles away to get back up, the idol+glider combo was invaluable.
  1. Elfcap's Avatar
    Toys aren't supposed to be very powerful and necessary.
    Aye it wasn't. It was totally fun. I was looking forward exploring and doing world quests. Now I don't. feels a bit like a chore.
  1. Poganin's Avatar
    Maybe they should design their game in such a way that traversing the environment isn't an obnoxious inconvenience. Then the players wouldn't be forced to resort to such useful items for such simple things as getting off a mountain.
  1. Gloriandus's Avatar
    To me, the maddening thing about toy nerfs is, did they not test these out at all when they designed them and purposely included them in the game? What did they think people would do with them? "This toy launches you high into the air!" "Cool, go for it!" "People are using it!" "Fix it."

    It's just bizarre to me. It's not like someone figured out an unintended use for them and it needed to be fixed.
  1. Sim's Avatar
    What is the Devs fetish with constantly tweaking Warlocks. They had a thread asking for Hunter feedback and not mentioned. But they cant let their special kid go without another expac of revamps and redesigns.
  1. Professor Chaos's Avatar
    "Class Balance
    The team would rather let things sit for a little while and make class changes all at once rather than very frequent single changes."

    Isn't this like completely contradictory to what they said they wanted to do a few months ago? Multiple specs need buffs literally right now...
  1. Magemaer's Avatar
    Feral needs to be nerfed...TO THE GROUND
  1. IIamaKing's Avatar
    Wouldnt care about a kite if their world was not designed the way it is.
  1. Runefeather's Avatar
    Lol I don't get it all the players liked the kite and were happy right? I mean, why remove something people like.... I am a demon hunter AND and Engineer and I still liked it because it helped friends keep up with me.

    I can't help but wonder if the design team is being shuffled now that legion is over and all the shit ones are coming back. Sitting on things and making a ton of changes at once is a terrible idea, that's how things end up over-nerfed.
  1. Wolfman31's Avatar
    I did a mythic dungeon the other night with a demo lock and they had an 840 item level and they were tearing up the charts. They were a bit weaker on trash but on boss fights they were about even with the other dps in the group. Maybe the warlocks who are crying are undergeared and underskilled. They seem fine to me.
  1. IIamaKing's Avatar
    Rocfeather Kite was not the issue. It was already a worse version of a goblin glider(shorter duration), which remains unchanged. And I really cant figure how the 2 items got out of beta if they didn't like the feather mechanic. Did they really not think people would piece this together?
  1. Poganin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by WishLimit View Post
    Lol I don't get it all the players liked the kite and were happy right? I mean, why remove something people like.... I am a demon hunter AND and Engineer and I still liked it because it helped friends keep up with me.

    I can't help but wonder if the design team is being shuffled now that legion is over and all the shit ones are coming back. Sitting on things and making a ton of changes at once is a terrible idea, that's how things end up over-nerfed.
    We have a sort of a running joke in our guild. Whenever someone asks why something works this way and not another we reply "Because Blizzard don't want you to have fun and enjoy yourself in the game!" This very clearly applies to this toy nerf.
  1. elvor0's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfman31 View Post
    I did a mythic dungeon the other night with a demo lock and they had an 840 item level and they were tearing up the charts. They were a bit weaker on trash but on boss fights they were about even with the other dps in the group. Maybe the warlocks who are crying are undergeared and underskilled. They seem fine to me.
    Tearing up the charts doesn't necessarily mean it's fun game play. Or fluid game play. It's not about the numbers. Yeah you can do big numbers, but if it isn't fun doing so, what's the point?
  1. Wolfman31's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by elvor0 View Post
    Tearing up the charts doesn't necessarily mean it's fun game play. Or fluid game play. It's not about the numbers. Yeah you can do big numbers, but if it isn't fun doing so, what's the point?
    I asked the guy how he was liking it so far and he said it was fun. I mentioned all the forum tears and he lol'd. I would've liked to pick his brain more but alas, I didn't get the chance.
  1. Lixo's Avatar
    Can't believe so many people cry about some toy nerf. Roll the professions/classes if you want the benefits. Not everyone gets to do all the same things. Are you people really so poor you can't afford the Goblin Gliders? I'm glad it got removed.

    Other than that, great Q&A.
  1. Acidz's Avatar
    Ion seems like a cool guy.
  1. ElDoorO's Avatar
    Ion went to the Warlock forums on many occasions to read about what Warlocks are upset about, but 95% of the posts aren't constructive feedback and makes it harder to figure out what is the issue. There is also lots of conflicting feedback, where people are unhappy for different and conflicting reasons.
    Even if it's not constructive -- they failed. When you have an unusually high amount of complaints you acknowledge it to them. They took the "let's wait and see" and it blew up in their face.

    The team appreciates the Warlock feedback and understands that people are unhappy, but it isn't constructive to communicate this through spamming up threads or starting petitions.
    Cry me a river and I'll swim in your tears. If that many people are unhappy -- you fucked up. Not even the Ret community is this bad. You had plenty of time in the pre-patch to address these things and failed. You have earned their ire.

    People are giving you a chance to fix the fuck up that was WoD and, for some, you're letting them down - and they are being vocal about it. If you require people be constructive then you need a new team to figure out what's going on because the current one isn't worth their salary.

    I've been in those shoes and one of the quickest things you do is to publicly acknowledge the issue and inform people that you're looking into it. Not just "we're looking into warlock problems" -- more like "we're looking into affliction due to... and destro due to.. and demo due to ramp up slowness" or whatever. You also announce progress so people don't feel forgotten.

    The current forum is complete shit and designed by fools. The bug system, for instance, is piss poor at communicating something has been acknowledged leading to many "me too" or additional spammy post. The class forum is a single-thread post echo chamber for circle jerking. This doesn't mean forums aren't bad -- it just means that everything in there shouldn't be a simple 1990's forum. Let's use a well known bug: Monk roll and fsk.

    It's not in the "known bugs" list. Why? I'm sure there's tons other but all this does is breed more spammy threads and shit communication.

    I hope this doesn't turn into another WoD-like failure and they give up next patch in favor of the next expansion 2 years later.

    tl;dr: It sounds like Ion and his team wants a one-way street with communication.
  1. Jibjub's Avatar
    They need an open world, glider experience like ArcheAge. Just accept it, Blizzard. Embrace the freedom!

Site Navigation