Developer Q&A - Lead Encounter Designer
Slootbag talked to Morgan Day (lead encounter designer) about Raids, Dungeons, and Tomb of Sargeras.


Raiding
  • Raiding has worked well so far this expansion. The team hasn't had to make any huge changes to raiding like they have in previous expansions.
  • Mythic raiding requiring 20 people is working well.

Gear
  • The item level rewarded from Nethershard gear won't be changing in Patch 7.2.5.

Raid Design
  • The first raid of an expansion is an exception to normal raid design, as it could be a player's first raid ever.
  • Raids after the first generally have a similar difficulty curve and are more difficult than the first raid.
  • The team started with 8 bosses for ToS, and added a 9th with Maiden.
  • The number of bosses in a raid partially has to do the with environment.

Raid Testing
  • Kil'jaeden being tested late is just how things worked out. Players may still have been working on Gul'dan when the Tomb testing started.
  • The team had always planned to test Kil'jaeden.

Raid Design
  • The team tries to always have a single target encounter and a multi target encounter.
  • Beyond that the team looks at the DPS profile of the remaining bosses.
  • Being able to use class specific abilities and mechanics would be cool where it makes sense.
  • Having a Mythic only mechanic that requires a specific class might be okay, as the team knows you will have 20 players and the likelihood of having a Mage or Warlock is fairly high.
  • Small raids make sense when there is a really compelling story line.
  • Having Mythic only phases or bosses are okay when they make sense and fit the story.
  • If story is locked behind a Mythic requirement, you can usually see videos of it or go back and do it yourself in a later tier.
  • Sometimes the team is testing an encounter and they realize they have accidentally created a Mythic fight.
  • New tech and environments help to keep encounters feeling fresh.
  • Keeping mechanics easy to understand is important. If raid damage is going out, does it need to be a huge visual effect? If there is a swirl on the ground, does that mean the player needs to run to it or away from it?
  • When you go into an encounter and can understand what is going on just by looking at your screen that is helpful.
  • The team tries to avoid ever making an encounter more difficult after someone has killed it.
  • The team may increase the damage a boss does and decrease the healing needed to tweak the raid composition people bring.

Mythic+ Dungeons
  • The team is fairly happy with Affixes as they are now.
  • They will continue to iterate and take into account player feedback.
  • With Patch 7.2 dungeons were re-balanced to keep the difficulty reasonable. There aren't any plans to add another Affix to make things harder at higher difficulties.
  • Adding more rewards in the future is something to consider

Tomb of Sargeras
  • The team is using the environment a lot more in these encounters, such as the Fallen Avatar fight.
  • Breaking up the floor into lots of pieces is challenging from a technical perspective.
  • Keeping visual indicators consistent between encounters is something the team worked on.

Raid Design
  • Fight pacing is duration is often tied to the story being told.
  • With Gul'dan there was a lot of story to tell in the fight, as well as giving mechanics time to breathe, so it resulted in a longer fight.
  • Blackhand was a big orc that hit hard. That was the story, which is why the fight was shorter.
  • The team tries to keep the number of tanks and healers in a certain range for all of the fights. Usually the fights are balanced around two tanks, but once in a while it might be a fight where a third tank role would be fitting.
  • Mounts are a really compelling reward.
  • Sometimes transmog sets are a nice reward too.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Q&A - Lead Encounter Designer started by chaud View original post
Comments 117 Comments
  1. FelPlague's Avatar
    i have 1 question for the blizzard devs

    why cant we have flame leviathan, gun ship, and malygos fights back!?
    the first bosses of raids are allways made to be very easy, and so are vehicle fights, why cant we have a vehicle fight in the first 1/4 of a raid, every other raid or so? i miss them so much...
  1. Kylista6's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by FelPlague View Post
    i have 1 question for the blizzard devs

    why cant we have flame leviathan, gun ship, and malygos fights back!?
    the first bosses of raids are allways made to be very easy, and so are vehicle fights, why cant we have a vehicle fight in the first 1/4 of a raid, every other raid or so? i miss them so much...
    what...I...I dont even... NO! good god no!
  1. UcanDoSht's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by FelPlague View Post
    i have 1 question for the blizzard devs

    why cant we have flame leviathan, gun ship, and malygos fights back!?
    the first bosses of raids are allways made to be very easy, and so are vehicle fights, why cant we have a vehicle fight in the first 1/4 of a raid, every other raid or so? i miss them so much...
    Because such vehicles fights were considered major shit when they were in raids. Hence we dont have such fights anymore.
  1. Rakoth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by UcanDoSht View Post
    Because such vehicles fights were considered major shit when they were in raids. Hence we dont have such fights anymore.
    Considered by whom? The vocal minority? We have already proven that at least a single person enjoyed them, two if you include myself.
  1. Lanrefni's Avatar
    Flame Leviathan was awesome when it was current,I loved riding around on the bikes and pulling things back to the tanks.
  1. UcanDoSht's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rakoth View Post
    Considered by whom? The vocal minority? We have already proven that at least a single person enjoyed them, two if you include myself.
    Obviously enought people to make Blizzard stop designing terrible vehicle fights.
  1. sifting's Avatar
    is this interview scripted? it's like i'm listening to someone lie under oath to congress
  1. Bighammerbear's Avatar
    We can view the content on video?!
    Does this guy understand how video games work?
  1. Bjoramier of Lordaeron's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bighammerbear View Post
    We can view the content on video?!
    Does this guy understand how video games work?
    How about you get fucking good if you want to see the story for yourself? don't feel like raiding mythic? Then just google it too see what happens.
  1. Aliven's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bjoramier of Lordaeron View Post
    How about you get fucking good if you want to see the story for yourself? don't feel like raiding mythic? Then just google it too see what happens.
    Best part of video game, git gud or watch on google. Priceless. And people asks why there is hard to find fresh blood
  1. Shampro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bighammerbear View Post
    We can view the content on video?!
    Does this guy understand how video games work?
    Or get good at the game and see it first hand? I'm not good enough to beat N+ Dark Souls, doesn't mean I can't watch someone do it. Ugh, mmo players like you are frustrating my god.
  1. Bjoramier of Lordaeron's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aliven View Post
    Best part of video game, git gud or watch on google. Priceless. And people asks why there is hard to find fresh blood
    We don't want fresh blood if they act like entitled millennials.

    I honestly couldn't give a shit less if all noobs could fuck off tbh.
  1. micwini's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by FelPlague View Post
    i have 1 question for the blizzard devs

    why cant we have flame leviathan, gun ship, and malygos fights back!?
    the first bosses of raids are allways made to be very easy, and so are vehicle fights, why cant we have a vehicle fight in the first 1/4 of a raid, every other raid or so? i miss them so much...
    They were hated by a lot of people (not me). Their problem with those fights was that you had to quickly read all the abilities when you got in the vehicle. When this was on a harder difficulty, it proved to be an annoying and mostly unnecessary challenge.
    This wasn't a problem on flame leviathan because you had the vehicle from the start of the raid and cleared thrash with it. Though on Amber Shaper for example, you were randomly transformed mid fight. The malygos fight basically had the same problem.

    They could do it if they did it like in Ulduar, where you have a vehicle while clearing thrash and up to the boss.
  1. Aliven's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shampro View Post
    Or get good at the game and see it first hand? I'm not good enough to beat N+ Dark Souls, doesn't mean I can't watch someone do it. Ugh, mmo players like you are frustrating my god.
    Does NG+ have special story content only available on NG+?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjoramier of Lordaeron View Post
    We don't want fresh blood if they act like entitled millennials.

    I honestly couldn't give a shit less if all noobs could fuck off tbh.
    Yes, lets wow player base alienate new players. This way they can make wow shutdown eventually. Another priceless gem of wisdom. Keep it up!
  1. Shampro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aliven View Post
    Does NG+ have special story content only available on NG+?
    Sometimes there's added story yes, your point?
  1. Gilderoy's Avatar
    I wonder what it will actually take for them to finally remove the 20 man requirement from Mythic. There's no reason they can't tune it for 15 people or scale between 15 and 25 or something -- and don't give me the "but but but 20 man means they can tune the mechanics exactly to those people!!!!!!!" yeah let me tell you about tichondrius always putting out 2 brands no matter how many people you bring.
  1. Aliven's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shampro View Post
    Sometimes there's added story yes, your point?
    The story and events in New Game+ are identical to New Game http://darksouls.wikia.com/wiki/New_Game_Plus

    Uhuh...

    Point - it is a dick move to gate story behind hardest difficulty possible in game.
  1. Bjoramier of Lordaeron's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shampro View Post
    Sometimes there's added story yes, your point?
    Just ignore him dude, he wants easy free shit on tourist mode.
  1. Aliven's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bjoramier of Lordaeron View Post
    Just ignore him dude, he wants easy free shit on tourist mode.
    That some nice projection you have here.
  1. Sarevokcz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aliven View Post
    The story and events in New Game+ are identical to New Game http://darksouls.wikia.com/wiki/New_Game_Plus

    Uhuh...

    Point - it is a dick move to gate story behind hardest difficulty possible in game.
    well, If I was a dick, i would say either get better or use youtube. You will beat the mythic bosses eventually, it just might not be in the current patch. We have killed guldan literally yesterday, but we never saw a reason to complain about stuff, that guilds managed to do months ago, lets be happy those mythic only phases arent available only during cutting edge windows and dont disappear when the tier is over, so you can see it on your own pace

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