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Developer Q&A - Ion Hazzikostas
Game Director Ion Hazzikostas answered questions today!


Upcoming Q&A
  • There will be another Q&A in a couple of weeks, focused on PvP with Holinka. There will be an eSports in 2017 announcement after that.

Artifact Appearances
  • The Balance of Power skins will not be made account wide. They are weapon and character specific cosmetic rewards that reflect your accomplishments on that character. The team is looking at the steps and how much effort is required.
  • Hidden appearances from raid and dungeon bosses now have bad luck protection as of Patch 7.1.5.
  • Artifact appearances are just a cosmetic unlock, so being as alt friendly isn't as important as things that make it harder to play the current content.

Patch 7.1.5
  • Overall that changes to secondary stats were successful.
  • Arcanocrystal is a special case. Trinkets in previous expansions with no primary stats were seen as awful, so the team made it over the item budget. There isn't really any way to fix this without making an item worse for players that already have it. It should fall out of favor as item levels go up with Tomb of Sargeras.

Patch 7.2 Relics
  • After completing the next step of your Order Hall campaign, two more tiers of research are unlocked. Research adds a second trait to all relics.
  • Relics having two traits creates more possibilities for desirable relics. It also brings the worst and best relics closer together.
  • If you are a Ret Paladin and want Avenging Wrath traits, there is only one relic that will give you that. You have to run one dungeon to get that relic. In Patch 7.2, any relic will have the chance to have that trait, so you will have the possibility of getting an exciting relic from any boss.
  • This adds more possibilities and customization to the relic system.
  • The extra trait that rolls on these relics will always be a throughput trait (primary role enhancing traits).
  • The extra trait will always be different, so you can't get two of the same trait.

Legendary Items
  • Tier sets and some trinkets that change effects based on your spec are somewhat of a concession.
  • Some legendary items have a name and fantasy that make them very distinct, so it wouldn't make sense to have them change based on your spec.
  • In raids you might not have someone that can use an item that only works for a specific spec, so items that change based on spec make sense, but legendary items are personal loot, so you will always be able to use what you get.
  • Patch 7.2 makes legendary drop bad luck protection more spec specific.
  • The system looks at how many legendary items you have that would drop for your spec, so if you switch specs the system will know how many legendary items that work for that spec. If you don't have any for that spec, you will have a higher chance to get one.
  • The legendary Enhancement bracer could probably use a buff. The team continues to look at legendary items that are somewhat underpowered or overpowered to bring them back in line.
  • Frost Death Knight helm is on the high end of the power range and is on the team's radar.
  • Resto Druid shoulders are also on the radar.
  • Getting a legendary item that you think is awful is one of the concerns right now, not as much how they are acquired.
  • The legendary items that are most problematic are the ones that feel like they are universally the best.
  • Sephuz is actually pretty good on some fights, so it is in a better place now.
  • The definition of competitive is subject to debate. You might be a few percent behind, but for most specs that is within the margin of error of your play on most fights.
  • Guilds that are benching players because their theoretical sim output is a few percent lower than someone else are probably not making the right choice.
  • The four crafted legendary items are all that is currently planned. The goal was not targeted legendary items, but instead making something exciting for the crafting professions to produce.
  • At the start of the expansion, crafted gear was exciting and useful. Over time that became less of the case, as other options became available.
  • Other professions remain relevant and strong today, so the crafted legendary items should add something that can be crafted and sold.
  • The crafted legendary items should be solid middle of the road legendary items. They shouldn't be the best.
  • As people get more legendary items, they can swap them out situationally.
  • The crafted legendary items don't count against your legendary bad luck protection.

Artifact Power
  • With Artifact Power, the team wanted to offer a universally desired currency, a way of progressing your character, and providing some choices along the way.
  • Even if you don't get loot from a dungeon, you got something that makes you a little more powerful. This way you never feel like something was a complete waste of time.
  • If this system is working initially, why should it ever stop working. The system initially had an attainable end point originally, so people felt like there was a finish line that they needed to race towards. Once players got there, they no longer get that extra reward of Artifact Power that is useful.
  • The team understands the desire of wanting to feel no obligation to grind and wanting an endpoint.
  • The team doesn't want Artifact Power to be something that you seek out as the only reward. If you are looking to go and farm Artifact Power with no other rewards, tuning wasn't correct.
  • Repeated Mythic+ farming to grind Artifact Power isn't very fun.
  • Patch 7.2 changes how lucrative how different types of content are. A lot of the AP is taken away from end of dungeon chests to reduce the incentive to chain run them.
  • The team is continuing to increase the Artifact Power rewards, including from the weekly chest. If you clear a +20, you might get 2 million AP from your weekly chest at the current AK level.
  • Overall, the team wants to move players away from feeling like they should grind content to get more Artifact Power. They also want to add diminishing returns, so that you eventually get to a point where you feel like it isn't worth the time to get another 0.5% power increase.
  • For the vast majority of players, the current system is working okay, they just take the Artifact Power as it comes.
  • Artifact Power isn't class wide because the system focuses on your individual Artifact. You empower a specific weapon to unlock new choices.
  • It would feel odd to play one spec, switch to another, and have your weapon fully powered.
  • The team is focused on significantly narrowing the gap between the power of weapons for different specs.
  • In Patch 7.2, if you put all of your AP into one weapon, you will only be a few points ahead of someone who was splitting it between two weapons. The reward for focusing on one weapon is a small reward.
  • The final Artifact trait in Patch 7.2 is still being tuned, but you will probably eventually reach that point of diminishing returns where doing something else over farming AP for that trait will make sense.
  • The final trait shouldn't be a mandatory trait, just something to give players to put AP into as they continue to earn it.
  • Artifact Power items acquired with AK 25 or less will not be usable once Patch 7.2 releases and you empower your Artifact and reach AK 26. This was done to prevent you from feeling like you need to farm AP now in preparation for Patch 7.2.
  • Patch 7.2 will add new Artifact Knowledge catch up tomes. If you are at AK 40 you can buy a AK 35 tome.

Tier 20 Set Bonuses
  • These set bonuses are not final and are still being tuned.
  • Tier 19 set bonuses were changed significantly over time before they released.
  • The Tier 20 set bonuses were just added to start collecting feedback.
  • Initially someone may just add some kind of set bonus to Tier 20 gear so that there is a set bonus, eventually someone will come back and take a look at it to tune it or change it.
  • The team doesn't want to hold back the Tier 20 set bonus ideas, they would rather get it out to players to start collecting feedback.
  • Tier sets went to six pieces in Legion to allow you to put legendary items on while keeping your set bonus. It is also cool to have a cloak that matches your set.
  • There aren't plans to make the 2pc from different tier sets exclusive right now, but you will have to make a choice between legendary items, the 4pc bonus, and other 2pc set bonus. This allows for an interesting gearing choice, but if it ends up feeling like there is only one correct choice the team may revisit this.

PTR
  • With the way the PTR works, there isn't a lot of filtering on what data is exposed when a new build is pushed out. A designer may just add a placeholder to something, causing it to go out with the next PTR build.
  • Often you will see things that are not right and not finished. Experiments and abandoned designs are in the data.
  • It isn't worth the effort and time it would take to go back and clean up or hide things, that time is better spent making new things.

Trinkets
  • There are existing tank trinkets that are very successful and widely used by tanks. Passive stats and mitigation are most reliable compared to an active ability.
  • The team is still iterating on trinkets that will drop in ToS in Patch 7.2.
  • The team was going to make a pass on tank trinkets, did it, and came to the conclusion that the trinkets aren't undertuned, but most players prefer the stat trinkets and aren't as excited by the active ability trinkets.
  • In the past, active DPS trinkets were used in line with other cooldowns, making them more powerful and requiring a power penalty. Other active trinkets don't work in the same way, especially for tanks, so there doesn't need to be a penalty, it will be a little stronger than the passive option if used correctly.

Traits
  • Group buffing traits are just a flavor thing and an experiment.
  • The team doesn't expect altered group compositions or stacking to take advantage of these.

Mythic Raiding
  • The team wants to shift away from players feeling like there is a finish line for Artifact Power.
  • Being in and running a mythic raiding guild is very hard. It is a drain on your time and emotionally.
  • Guilds have risen and fallen throughout the history of World of Warcraft.
  • Guilds leaving tends to reflect the officers and leaders reaching a point where they can't continue, either due to their situation in life or the changes made to the game. They may just walk away, causing the guild to die without the leadership. The remaining players may spread out and join other guilds that are still doing Mythic raiding.
  • The team isn't saying that everything is fine as it is, there is currently a feeling of a grind that the team is trying to address in Patch 7.2.
  • On some level, the game is not meant to be played 80 hours a week. When M'uru was released and guilds raided for 23 hours over a few days to get their world first, players on the forum asked if there should be attempt limits.
  • There is an ongoing arms race to play more and more for a very small advantage in the race.
  • Players used alt raids to learn fights when attempts were limited.
  • Some guild leaders expected raiders to chain run Maw of Souls all week. This was a problem.
  • The team wants to make a game with lots of goals you can progress to if you want to play a lot once in a while.
  • Lots of hard gating on things isn't great, so the team avoids it on most things. You should be able to join your friend for a dungeon Sunday night and still get some kind of a reward. This also means that you can chain run the dungeon for rewards.
  • Playing endless hours for a small advantage is not sustainable.

World Quests
  • The team is aware that some world quests have a static reward that doesn't feel worth it, extra gold or AP sometimes being rewarded might help.
  • Some world quests may be more lucrative up front occasionally, rather than randomly giving you an extra reward.
  • The tech isn't there yet, but the team has talked about it and wants to improve it.


Hatching of the Hippogryphs Micro-holiday Live
Hatching of the Hippogryphs is a micro-holiday that allows players to witness the hatching of hippogryphs in Feralas.

  • This event takes place in the Frayfeather Highlands in Feralas.
  • You can stand near an egg for a short while to keep it warm so that it hatches.
  • Once an egg hatches, you have a baby hippogryph on your shoulder for one day.
  • You can kill Lorthalium to obtain a Spectral Feather, which will keep your hippogryph around for five days.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Q&A - Ion Hazzikostas, Hatching of the Hippogryphs started by chaud View original post
Comments 144 Comments
  1. KefoAtleta's Avatar
    • ''Hidden appearances from raid and dungeon bosses now have bad luck protection as of Patch 7.1.5.''
    And what's with the summoned demons in DH and Warlock Class halls? is there any kind of badluck protection? i have been farming the DH mount for 6 months.... didnt even see it drop for others....
    I beg you BLizzard fix the drop chance or add some bad luck protection to it as well
  1. Tinykong's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Byrthor View Post
    No it wouldn't
    Translation:

    "It would impact our daily login numbers if people didn't have to endlessly farm AP."
  1. Manabomb's Avatar
    So Ion is only confirming the fears (or really annoyances at this point) of everyone that was critical with the legendary system. Instead of pushing toward a system that actually functions, they think adding in pointless oranges that will take 10+ weeks to craft and making better "bad luck protection" (Seriously we just don't need to have a system where "luck" is involved).

    This on top of the just idiotic AP changes are making 7.2 one of the first patches I'm more disappointed in than excited for.
  1. Shampro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Keeper Zanjin View Post
    I care about lore.

    Why do you care what i think?
    Oh there cowboy, don't think you're that important. I do find it amusing how obssesed you are with everything they do, even though you say you ''only care about lore''. Kek.
  1. morph4037's Avatar
    The Balance of Power skins will not be made account wide. They are weapon and character specific cosmetic rewards that reflect your accomplishments on that character. The team is looking at the steps and how much effort is required.
    Heaven forbid they make something not a bloody grindfest in the clusterfuck of an expansion. I never cared for the mythic+ system but apparently I now have to do a mythic 15 on 12 different characters if I want to get the skins... Imo they just need to tie that tiers of skins to account wide achievements i.e "Random achievement name - complete the following in this tier. Rewards - Account wide skins for this tier" They can even just leave the "balance of bullshit" quest as a pre-req to unlock it on alts if they are that hard up to make them do something.

    Artifact appearances are just a cosmetic unlock, so being as alt friendly isn't as important as things that make it harder to play the current content.
    Yeah, let's make the content "harder" when its already a drag to play.

    I digress, I'll wait to see the changes but if they don't change their minds on at least the skins, I'll probably take my leave from WoW.
  1. mingarrubia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Diggsworth View Post
    I'm confused as to why they're deincentivising mythic+.
    They want to make the game less grindy, so they're making everything time-gated grindy instead?
    No longer can you spend the weekend hammering out mythic + with friends to get ap, now you're better off running one high m+ and then what, logging out until raid?
    Two reasons:

    a) They are catering once again to raid-loggers.

    b) They just can't find a middle ground on anything. It's been so since forever.
  1. Vestig3's Avatar
    The reason tanks stuck to stat sticks was cos the trinkets and their active abilities were shit you cant get excited about something thats shit, we got a 865 trinket that beats out any other trinket above it....
  1. RoKPaNda's Avatar
    Hopefully the next game director will be better, this one is absolute garbage tier.
  1. Diggsworth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mingarrubia View Post
    Two reasons:

    a) They are catering once again to raid-loggers.

    b) They just can't find a middle ground on anything. It's been so since forever.
    Yeah, and it just feels bad man.
    Don't want the game to devolve back into a facebook simulator: thought legion was supposed to be about "going out and doing stuff".
  1. Taukra Goundin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by KefoAtleta View Post
    • ''Hidden appearances from raid and dungeon bosses now have bad luck protection as of Patch 7.1.5.''
    And what's with the summoned demons in DH and Warlock Class halls? is there any kind of badluck protection? i have been farming the DH mount for 6 months.... didnt even see it drop for others....
    I beg you BLizzard fix the drop chance or add some bad luck protection to it as well
    What demon hunter mount are you referring to? If it's the Felbat mount it's coming in 7.2.

    The Felsaber is the only other Demon Hunter mount I am aware of.
  1. DakonBlackblade's Avatar
    So has anyone actualy understood if the bad luck protection itself is separate per spec or if its just that you get the extra drop chance of the 2 first legendaries untill you have 2 per spec. And what does 2 per spec even mean ? Are legendaries that work for every spec considered to be a spec legendary ? Cause if my sin protection won't reset and I can get 4 legendaries on the other 2 specs in days cause of the massive extra drop legendaries have when you have none, Ill completly game this system and hope for an easy shot at the OP shoulders.

    On a different point, devs have no clue with the AP thing, making the grind bigger won't solve the grind, it'll make it even worse specially on the hardore scene.
  1. Manabomb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DakonBlackblade View Post
    So has anyone actualy understood if the abd luck protection itself is separate per spec or if its just that you get the extra drop chance of the 2 first legendaries untill you have 2 per spec. And what does 2 per spec even mean ? Are legendaries that work for every spec considered to be a spec legendary ? Cause if my sin protection won't reset and I can get 4 legendaries on the other 2 specs in days cause of the massive extra drop legendaries have when you have none, Ill completly game this system and hope for an easy shot at the OP shoulders.

    On a different point, devs have no clue with the AP thing, making the grind bigger won't solve the grind, it'll make it even worse specially on the hardore scene.
    See that's the thing. Until Blizzard goes indepth into the behind the scenes of the specifics involving legendaries, I don't see very much improvement on the opinion side of the community. Frankly doing anything short of remastering the whole system is a waste of time for the majority of people I talk to about these things.

    And yeah, their idea behind making the AP grind exponential, then have the balls to say "If you don't want the extra stats you could always use GOOOLLLLDDDDD".

    Yeah, that's what I want to spend my time doing, choosing between +2str+2stam or 25 gold. Vaniller is so gud guys amirite?
  1. Gadzooks's Avatar
    Every time I read a rundown of Ion's comments, I feel like I'm reading a stereo manual.

    My translation: "Um...everyone, you need to be raiding, not M+, we just threw that in for fun. Please raid. Nobody is raiding. If you don't raid, we'll take Mythic away from you. Get in the damned raid already."
  1. Shinrak's Avatar
    Here is just my opinion, i repeat! MY OPINION.

    I always liked playing alts. playing alts was always fun, because i was able to help friends with different alts such as a tank or a healer.
    with legion i started again as enhancement shaman, i felt pretty good. rotation was good and smooth. it was just a bit awkward to see people dealing 5k more dps than i did with 10 less ilvl or more even.
    now... we have dps rng on top of its peak. an enhancement shaman from another guide, same gear as i have, pulled 200k dps more than i did on trillax. he had over a 30 sec less fight time 28 additional proccs compared to me... i had 26... and that is just a joke tbh!

    the ap grind stops me from playing an alt, rerolling to another dps character.
    in my opinion i am atm not sure if im either playing a gambling game or a mmorpg.

    i didnt mention the legendarys... but that is obvious.
  1. Kallisto's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Matchu View Post
    Blizzard consistently failing to understand their player base.
    Not just blizzard but everyone because the player base is just impossible to understand what the fuck it wants.

    It has around say 4-5 million players each seemingly wanting 20 million different designs that are simply put fucking incompatible with each other and the so called happy medium will just piss off everyone.

    If someone made a thread asking to make the perfect wow it would end up being like.

    A game you can log into and raid but at the same time have means to get mythic level gear super duper easy outside of raids.
    A place where you can stop grinding at max level but at the same time have means to always becoming better than before by just playing.
    A place where there is just one difficulty of super hard raid. But in reality has about 20 difficulties between LFR and Mythic triple plus
    Dungeons which last all expansion while at the same time offer nothing to anyone who has been in raids.
    A place where you can get everything done on reset day, but also offering new increases in power so that those who can't log on on reset day don't get fucked over.
  1. Blayze's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gadzooks View Post
    Every time I read a rundown of Ion's comments, I feel like I'm reading a stereo manual.

    My translation: "Um...everyone, you need to be raiding, not M+, we just threw that in for fun. Please raid. Nobody is raiding. If you don't raid, we'll take Mythic away from you. Get in the damned raid already."
    That's what I've been saying about raiding for years now.
    Everything else in this game has been turned into a funnel designed to shunt players towards raiding, out of a desperate desire to try and keep the new blood flowing in to prop the entire system up.
  1. Kallisto's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mingarrubia View Post
    Two reasons:

    a) They are catering once again to raid-loggers.

    b) They just can't find a middle ground on anything. It's been so since forever.
    Problem with the middle ground is that the community in wow has just become so hostile to each other it's not going to make everyone happy but make everyone equally pissed at each other.
  1. Raone's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Diggsworth View Post
    I'm confused as to why they're deincentivising mythic+.
    They want to make the game less grindy, so they're making everything time-gated grindy instead?
    No longer can you spend the weekend hammering out mythic + with friends to get ap, now you're better off running one high m+ and then what, logging out until raid?
    They aren't though? They are de-ncentivising spamming easy low level mythic+'s (like only running Maw/Dark Heart) and giving longer mythics+ more ap and harder mythics+ even more ap. They've done this TBC (nerfing heroic mech while buffing the other heroics). Longer Mythic will give more AP, and the harder Mythic+ you do the more AP you will get. It will still be FAR more lucrative to spam Mythic+s over raiding for AP, just it won't be as rewarding to do the easy/fast/short ones anymore, and far more rewarding to do harder/longer ones.
  1. Dvaldin's Avatar
    So, according to the data, "For the vast majority of players, the current system is working okay, they just take the Artifact Power as it comes."

    If it's working okay for most players, changing it has a chance to piss the "vast majority of players" off. Maybe it won't, but I think if it's working pretty much as intended, it's not going to go over well.

    But, you know, it took a freaking decade to learn regular content updates was a better strategy to keep players engaged than attempting to put out expansions faster. Whatever, Bliz. I don't understand the logic a lot of the time.
  1. MakeMeLaugh's Avatar
    So much bullshit in one Q&A.

    They don't get the problems with AP and legs at all. Or maybe they do, and they just don't care enough.

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