Developer Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas
Ion Hazzikostas answered some questions today!




Patch 7.3 Content Release Timeline
  • The team learned a lot from how Patch 7.2 unfolded. It wasn't clear what you were supposed to do after the intro.
  • Argus has five chapters and three sub-zones and a ton of stuff available right away.
  • You will be able to play through the first two chapters on Day 1 and unlock world quests and other world content.
  • Week 2 unlocks Chapters 3 and 4, which includes Mac'aree, invasion points, and new world quests.
  • Week 3 you get the final chapter, the dungeon, and Netherlight Crucible.
  • There is a lot to do on Argus and the team wants it to be clear what you should be focused on rather than having many things competing for your attention right away.
  • Many players mostly care about power and would race through the content to unlock the Netherlight Crucible if they could do it on Day 1.
  • The first few weeks allow you to experience all of Argus and then on Day 14 it is a short bit at the end to unlock the Netherlight Crucible.
  • Many of the content unlocks on Argus are account wide, such as the dungeon, travel to the sub-zones, and the Netherlight Crucible.
  • There are some specific world quests that won't or can't be unlocked account wide

Artifact Unlocks
  • In Patch 7.3, as soon as you hit Level 110 on a character, all of your relic slots are unlocked right away.
  • You no longer have to do the Broken Shore quest line to allow your artifact to go beyond 34 points.
  • As soon as you hit 110 in Patch 7.3 you will have Level 41 Artifact Knowledge. After that it will increase weekly automatically, no more research required.

Legion Invasions
  • Invasions will remain active in Patch 7.3.

Order Hall Champions
  • There will be catch up tokens from missions and chests that help you quickly increase the item level of your followers.

Netherlight Crucible
  • The Artifact Trait tree is a steady form of progression.
  • The team wanted to offer two trait relics in Patch 7.2, but ended up removing it.
  • Relics point to a trait by index (1-9). Each class and spec in the game has a relic that maps to trait 5, but that is a different trait for each class or spec. This means relics can't be customized as much as the team wanted to.
  • Relics in the Netherlight Crucible solve some of the problem of Relic availability. Any relic can now have another trait that you wanted.
  • In Patch 7.2 players didn't have enough choice or control over the RNG.
  • In Patch 7.3 you can use the Netherlight Crucible to make a choice, giving you some level of control instead of total randomness. You won't have to have your worst trait, because you can choose not to pick a bad trait.
  • You won't be able to get the same trait twice on one Relic.

Reforging
  • Reforging had lots of downsides, such as trying to perfectly get the hit or expertise cap and reforging all of your items every time you got a new item.
  • Every item that doesn't have your best two stats you would reforge to have your best stat. This didn't really make for interesting choices.
  • This also narrowed the distinction between items, making them feel more similar.
  • It also made it harder to evaluate upgrades, as you had to look at the item in its current state as well as how you could reforge it.
  • There were some good parts, such as giving players choices to make.

Artifact Power and PvP
  • The Netherlight Crucible traits don't work in Rated PvP.
  • The item level upgrades (+5) from the Netherlight Crucible do work in Rated PvP, but it is a very small power bump.

Artifact Appearances and Transmog
  • The team doesn't want you to feel like you have to rush to collect all of the Artifact appearances on your alts before Legion is over.
  • The team is looking at a different system that allows you to unlock the appearances by completing Legion content in later expansions, as well as keeping the appearances you already have unlocked.
  • The exception to this is the appearances from the skill challenge and the +15 Mythic ones.

Artifact Appearances
  • The team is done creating new Artifact Appearances.

Prestige and Artifact Appearances
  • Prestige isn't account wide because PvP on different characters means something different.
  • The experience you have when playing a Rogue vs a healer is very different.
  • Unlocking things per character reflects the experience you had on that specific character.
  • If prestige was account wide, you would probably focus on getting a high rating on one character, but what would you have to work towards on other characters if everything was already unlocked?

Mythic+ Changes
  • The team is very satisfied with the changes they made to the Mythic+ system in Patch 7.2.5.
  • Now the most challenging content gives the best rewards.
  • If you wanted the gear from doing a +8 or +10, you previously needed better gear than was rewarded by the +8 or +10.
  • Mythic+ participation is up across the board in all regions.
  • People are actually doing higher keystones now.
  • The system was structured differently than challenge modes because they didn't want it to be about speed runs again. All that mattered previously was cleave and AoE, making the single target specialists not valuable.
  • There has been a lot of positive feedback from people doing higher keystone runs.

Mythic+ Rewards
  • Tier sets have always been one of the things you can get from raiding. Even if you can get similar item level loot from other sources, you had to organize a larger group to earn the sets.
  • There are mini-sets from Mythic+ dungeons that you can earn, such as the items from Court of Stars.
  • Raids and Mythic+ dungeons are parallel but not identical loot systems.
  • The team doesn't want to remove too much of the incentive from raiding by providing the same rewards to players doing Mythic+

Mythic+ and Older Content
  • The team isn't currently planning on expanding the Mythic+ system to dungeons from older expansions.
  • The Mythic+ system allows dungeons to remain relevant during the entire expansion.
  • This is something that could be expanded on in the future, maybe tying it in with Timewalking.
  • It would be strange to do Mythic+ Underbog as part of your weekly Legion activities.

Augment Runes
  • There is a permanent Augment Rune in Patch 7.3 from Exalted Army of the Light.
  • Augment Runes are there for the top end raiders, something that people running Raid Finder to sell.

Timewalking Raids
  • Raids should let you pick up where the leader left off, just like normal raids.

World First Race
  • A week and a half to two weeks is a reasonable time for the world first race.
  • Heroic Ragnaros took around that long to kill and people thought it was a well tuned boss, but Paragon was the only one to kill it in that time. Otherwise he would have lived much longer.
  • The main goal of the encounter design team is to create fights for the broad audience.
  • When the team tunes the last few Mythic bosses of a new tier, they are keeping the world first race in mind.
  • Those bosses should be hard enough to allow the top guilds in the world to distinguish themselves from each other. This is a very hard target to hit and evolves over time, especially as guilds do more split runs or stack classes.
  • The internal testing team has lots of people that pushed for world firsts in the past.
  • Mythic Kil'jaeden was overtuned. They made it a little too hard, allowing them to nerf it. Hundreds of hours of testing took place internally.
  • This tier increased healing requirements across the board by increasing raid damage, but they went a little bit too far.
  • The internal testing team was better than anticipated on the Mythic Kil'jaeden fight and has been getting better over the years, so when they increased everything by a percentage to make it challenging for the top guilds that was a little bit too much.
  • Should the team tune the end bosses to be very challenging for the world first race and then nerf them a bit so that regular guilds can kill them?

Raid Damage
  • Fights are designed and then mechanics are added or removed to address problems.
  • There wasn't enough coordination between encounter designers, resulting in similar solutions (lots of soak mechanics) to problems.
  • The team realized this too late, but it shouldn't be a problem in Argus.
  • The team was happy with the individual fights in Tomb, but want to create a more diverse set of fights in the raid.

Nethershards
  • Nethershards will continue to be used on catch-up gear and cosmetics.
  • The Relinquished vendor is moving to Argus to find Argunite that he will trade for item level 910 items. He also allows you to target a specific relic, like a Holy relic.
  • Existing Relinquished items won't be expanded or upgraded.
  • Don't hold on to Nethershards or worry about them, Patch 7.3 has a new system.

Class Design
  • If your role is damage dealer, you can compete as a damage dealer.
  • There is a disparity between the utility different specs bring. The team would like to address this by shoring up the utility of some specs.
  • Rogues have individual survival utility, which can be useful for the group if they use them to soak mechanics.

Spec Damage Auras
  • Rather than manually adjusting all of the abilities for a spec, they now use a single aura to increase the damage on all of those abilities.
  • In previous expansions the team would focus buffs on specific abilities, but that would change how things played.
  • The team still targets individual abilities when the ability needs to be changed, but there isn't a need to change all of the spells individually to bump up damage by a few percent anymore.
  • Changing all of the individual spells resulted in errors in the past, so this also helps to reduce errors.

Class Balance Changes
  • The team is mostly happy with how often class balance is tweaked.
  • Cathedral of Eternal night probably took too long to nerf. It probably could have been done faster and more aggressively. The team wasn't sure if it was new and unfamiliar or just too hard initially.
  • The team doesn't want to make players feel like their spec or class is constantly changing due to hotfixes.
  • Changes are bundled up to make all of the hotfixes happen at once rather than adjusting things more frequently.
  • If a certain spec is seen as being slightly better, all of the best players will switch to that spec. This makes the other specs look significantly weaker, as the people logging other specs aren't as strong of players.
  • Balance is always a moving target.

Raid Finder Difficulty
  • Keeping all of the mechanics for Raid Finder difficulty but making them weak didn't feel great. There were a lot of mechanics that you could just ignore.
  • The team's biggest balance concern is for the people that are only doing Raid Finder difficulty.
  • Instead, the team moved to having fewer mechanics but making them meaningful and challenging.
  • There is no longer a desire to make Raid Finder a tourist mode.
  • The team is hoping to make difficulty closer to Mists of Pandaria difficulty than Warlords. There are some fights that are too easy still.

Challenge Artifact Appearances
  • Any unlocks that require doing a thing while using another appearance are being changed to doing the thing after earning the base appearance.
  • Now you can get your 10 Rated Battlegrounds wins as any spec or appearance.

Split Raids
  • Both the developers and players don't enjoy split raids.
  • The team wants to make sure that the cure isn't worse than the disease.
  • This is a behavior that takes place in a tiny percent of the playerbase, maybe a couple thousand players in the world and only takes place for a few weeks.
  • Sharing loot lockouts across difficulties would have a big negative impact.
  • The team doesn't want to punish the entire playerbase because of the actions of a few.

Worgen and Goblin Models
  • The team hasn't forgotten about the new models.
  • The priority right now is the new casting animations, but Goblin and Worgen models are still on the high priority list!
This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas started by chaud View original post
Comments 192 Comments
  1. Collected's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboozler View Post
    He did say something about Warlocks transmogging their Demo' skin onto a dagger in the next expansion. To me, that hints that no, they are not carrying it forward.
    True I agree but he may also have said that because he can't really talk about 8.0 yet. My point really is I would have thought by now they'd have a solid "You'll be able to do <this>" answer to the question rather than "Err we're still thinking about it" type answer. Personally I don't see what's so bad about the current weapon system that would make them want to abandon it all and revert in 8.0 to normal weapons.
  1. Bamboozler's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Collected View Post
    True I agree but he may also have said that because he can't really talk about 8.0 yet. My point really is I would have thought by now they'd have a solid "You'll be able to do <this>" answer to the question rather than "Err we're still thinking about it" type answer. Personally I don't see what's so bad about the current weapon system that would make them want to abandon it all and revert in 8.0 to normal weapons.
    I agree. I like the artifact system. I'd rather keep this than have to wait for two perfect weapons to drop again, have to enchant them, etc. I played Rogue in HFC and I felt like I could never get my 2nd BIS dagger to drop.

    Plus it feels bad to go back to greens, blues, epics... meh. Oh well, we'll see how it unfolds.
  1. flanYfran's Avatar
    Ion said to watch out for Gamescom, that he will be there.
  1. TriHard's Avatar
    So, with the removal of the restrictions, does this mean that I can unlock all the tints in the balance of power tier without doing that insane long chain? (except for the BoP tint itself that is, talking about the three others in that row)
    So if I want one of those skins I can just do the 8 world bosses, right?

    Or was this something else?

    Previously you had to unlock the first one of that particular row to unlock the other three.
  1. Dracullus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Akande Ogundimu View Post
    So, with the removal of the restrictions, does this mean that I can unlock all the tints in the balance of power tier without doing that insane long chain? (except for the BoP tint itself that is, talking about the three others in that row)
    So if I want one of those skins I can just do the 8 world bosses, right?

    Or was this something else?
    Insane long? 9 dungeons and 1-3 clears of two entry raids is insane?
  1. Xaikar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by FlanFran View Post
    Ion said to watch out for Gamescom, that he will be there.
    Wonder if they are going to announce the next thing like they did for Legion. Unlike when Legion was announced we are not live with the last tier or patch. Wonder if they are going to hint at the expansion and drop all the info at Blizzcon.
  1. Caerule's Avatar
    I'm a little sad that it was practically all about game mechanics "ongoing development of World of Warcraft" was way broader than that. I was hoping for more questions like the one they squeezed in at the very end. I asked a lot like that.

    Happy about account-wide unlocking of Argus content.
    About still being able to unlock further artifact appearances for Transmog after Legion.
    And about Goblin model updates still on the way.
  1. ryan1mcq's Avatar
    I want Ion's t shirt man, thats quality
  1. dblanch369's Avatar
    As usual however, they ignored any questions regarding the stability of the game, and the numerous bugs that plague us on a daily basis.... Wowhead and MMOChampion have already exposed all the new features coming, what I want to know is what is being done to fix things.
  1. zlygork's Avatar
    Their picking the last question kind of makes me wonder if they are working on the models for next xpac

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by dblanch369 View Post
    As usual however, they ignored any questions regarding the stability of the game, and the numerous bugs that plague us on a daily basis.... Wowhead and MMOChampion have already exposed all the new features coming, what I want to know is what is being done to fix things.
    Do you want them to share their mathematical calculations with us, to apologize 20 times, or what? I am just not sure what they could have to say on the matter.
  1. Spotnick's Avatar
    The split run issue is something that exists only because heroic gear is better than mythic gear from previous tier.

    It doesn't solve the first tier of an xpac, but it's kind of stupid to replace mythic gul'dan gear by heroic gear.

    Of course, that doesn't solve the problem, guilds will do mythic split runs before the new raid opens, which they already do anyways, but that is not during progression so it's more acceptable.
  1. Dug's Avatar
    Yay for the artifact appearance unlock change. I want to wear the standard ashbringer while I unlock the variants for the secret skin but I have to settle with either mogging a meh appearance from previous content or stick with the green abomination
  1. Wretchedmist's Avatar
    Nothing should be tuned around the concerns of the world-first mythic race.
  1. Ceylina's Avatar
    Wow he not in touch with the way this game is right now. This was the worst I have heard from him and really anyone speaking for wow. throwing content at us isn't going to make things better if the content is messed up and the game is nothing but Diablo 4
  1. Metamorpheus's Avatar
    One of the reasons that I finished mythic raiding cos the fucking garbage utility balance. Blizz still making bosses, where rouges needed, else the whole fight fucked up (rouges example for this post, since they have the most utility spells to surive almost any dmg). You cant bring xyz other spec not because their dmg sucks, but because they dont have tons of broken utility like rouges. They could simple address it, by removing/balancing utility spells, or make boss "soaking" spells which deal tons of dmg, to ignore such utility spells, (example iceblock, blessing of protection, divine shield, and rouge feint/cloak of shadows). Until this one not fixed, peps forced to play "broken" utility classes (talking about progress guilds), or they wait until the bosses nerfed to dust.

    This was the same like TBC. All raids (25 players), used atleast 5 shamans , cos broken utility spells (bl, totems). If you played shaman in TBC you had fix spot in raids.
  1. TriHard's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dracullus View Post
    Insane long? 9 dungeons and 1-3 clears of two entry raids is insane?
    Try doing something that should've been account wide on 12 characters and see how you feel when you're done, idiot.

    Use your brain before you comment. It's a long ass chain that takes months to complete and you're bound to do it on every character as they were incapable of making it account wide which the entire community has been pretty vocal about. Nobody likes it the way it currently is.

    So yes, it's insanely long.
  1. Aegon Targaryen's Avatar
    Wait, so if i'm reading this correctly, since I already did 10 RBG wins as one spec, come 7.3, it'll be unlocked for my other specs, right?
  1. Igneous42's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Akande Ogundimu View Post
    Try doing something that should've been account wide on 12 characters and see how you feel when you're done, idiot.

    Use your brain before you comment. It's a long ass chain that takes months to complete and you're bound to do it on every character as they were incapable of making it account wide which the entire community has been pretty vocal about. Nobody likes it the way it currently is.

    So yes, it's insanely long.
    They also just said they probably are not going to be removing those appearances availability for transmog post-Legion. So come next expansion you will be able to solo most, if not all of that chain. I thingk that's fine. If they were removing the skins from transmog after legion Iee it would agree if better be account based, but since they will achievable in the future there is no rush to get them. You can just focus on the ones you'll actually use now.
  1. UcanDoSht's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by WatcherDev, LegionQA View Post
    If a certain spec is seen as being slightly better, all of the best players will switch to that spec. This makes the other specs look significantly weaker, as the people logging other specs aren't as strong of players.
    Just blame your player base if you're too incompetent and impotent to balance more than 4 classes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  1. Triggered Fridgekin's Avatar
    At what point are they just going to throw in the towel and realize that the topic of Reforging won't go away? It's a sea of calm in this whirlwind of RNG which can turn shit items in to less shit items at worst.

Site Navigation