Gamescom Developer Interview
Sloot was back today with another WatcherDev interview!


Raid Addon Utility and Changes
  • Addons that do things like tracking boss timers and better visibility on who is being targeted by what are fine, it is all informational.
  • Some of the things that addons do that interact with the 3D world such as radars or sending people to specific spots on Mythic Kormrok and Kromog are not great.
  • You could have much more scripted movement with the current state of addons, micromanaging your raid's movement and telling players exactly where to move in the 3D world.
  • In Patch 7.1, addons will not be able to access unit position in raids, dungeons, and competitive instances.
  • The team wanted to get this in Patch 7.0.3, but they didn't want to break some mods that are harmless in the outdoor world, such as the ones that help with gathering or collecting treasures.
  • Anything that projects an arrow on your screen that interacts with the 3D world or giving you your position relative to others will be broken.
  • The team didn't want to announce this until they were sure it was doable, but that work has now been done internally.

Dungeons and Raids
  • There will be spots throughout dungeons where Demon Hunters can take some shortcuts, but your healer can't be a Demon Hunter.
  • Part of why the team never fixed some of the terrain in Everbloom is the challenge mode leaderboard. Fixing it would make the top times unbeatable.
  • With Mythic keystones, every week is its own leaderboard, so there is more flexibility to fix any issues with the dungeon.
  • There is some tuning left to do on the enemy forces meters so that you can't skip too much of the dungeon.
  • You should have to fight most of the things in your path, dodging patrols and maybe some other groups.
  • Stealth or invisibility potions should allow you to change which groups you have to fight, maybe skipping some tougher ones to do easier ones.
  • Having new and different mechanics in higher raid difficulties gives the team more tuning knobs and players something to look forward to other than bigger numbers.
  • Rare mobs in dungeons that are part of the world quest system should be rewarding even if you are a player that is still leveling and doesn't have access to the world quest yet. This way going to kill the mob is still rewarding for the entire group.

Camera Zoom
  • The team wants something to feel epic, even at a larger zoom distance, so they scale things up. Things have been huge throughout WoW's history.
  • Threats that are off screen that you need to pay attention to are trivialized if you can just zoom out to see them.
  • The team has to tune those kind of threats around a certain camera zoom distance.
  • If zooming out even more by setting the cvar gives you an advantage, does that make it required?
  • In a world where you can zoom the camera out and the mechanic is tuned around people doing that, not doing so penalizes you significantly.
  • Motion sickness and other issues that caused discomfort while playing led to the team trying to find a compromise that let everyone play comfortably.
  • The team strongly feels that the game looks and feels better at the maximum zoom allowed by the UI.
  • The new max zoom distance wasn't added to the slider because it will increase the number of people that are experiencing the game in a sub-optimal way.

Loot Rules
  • With new personal loot rules, you can trade an item to another person in the raid if you have an equivalent or higher item level. You can't do this for bonus rolled loot.
  • The cooperative nature of group and guild gameplay leads to you wanting to pass an item you don't need to a friend. Personal loot denied you this opportunity until this change.

Mythic+ Dungeons
  • The best loot from Mythic+ dungeons comes from the weekly chest.
  • The loot that you are getting out of Mythic+ dungeons per clear will need a fair bit of luck to compete with the very best loot in the game.
  • Most players are not going to farm alts and source multiple fresh keystones on a regular basis to play a ton of Mythic+ dungeons.
  • The Mythic+ dungeon shouldn't be worse for the average player in order to safeguard against exploits or abuse of the system at the high end by a minority of players.
  • The team didn't want to be overly stingy with a new system, instead allowing players to have freedom, finding the abuse cases, and solving them with targeted fixes.
  • A weekly lockout is an easy solution, but everyone would complete their mythic dungeons at the start of the week and then everyone else would have trouble finding a group.
  • There is a possibility that chests at the end of each Mythic+ dungeon run are a little bit too rewarding right now in terms of a guaranteed item for everyone in the group. It should be a complement to raiding, not the best way to gear up early on.
  • The number of items that come out of the chest might change before it goes live. Maybe there are always a couple of items in the chest for the group rather than one for everyone.
  • Mythic+ dungeons are cross-realm. The realm first achievement will be awarded to each player in a five player group that is made up of players from different realms, but this could change to something like 3/5 people being from the same realm to get it.
  • If a player hasn't unlocked Arcway and Court of Starts they won't get a keystone sending them there.

Dungeon Design
  • Most dungeons should have 3-5 bosses and take around 15-20 minutes to run on the low end to 35-40 minutes on a larger and epic dungeon. Anything past that isn't great for random matchmaking content, as the likelihood that someone is going to drop out along the way increases.
  • In raids, the bosses are the main content, with the trash there for pacing and to make it feel more like a real place.
  • With dungeons, the team values the non-boss content as well as the bosses.
  • In dungeons you are only spending 7-8 minutes of a 30 minute dungeon fighting the actual bosses, while spending the rest fighting the trash. There is a lot more thought that goes into the composition of the trash packs, their abilities, and mechanics.
  • You used to quest through a zone and get sent into a dungeon to wrap up the zone.
  • The team got away from doing that for a little while, as it increasingly felt bad when you were doing a solo quest line and then had to stop what you were doing to finish the line with a dungeon quest.
  • With random matchmaking and LFG, it is almost still a solo experience if you want it to be. You can jump right into the dungeon and finish the storyline at the end of the zone.

Tier Tokens
  • There is no change to how tier set tokens work from Warlords.
  • Personal loot gives you the set piece directly while group loot and master loot drop tokens.
  • It feels better to loot a piece of gear rather than a token, but in a group loot situation the tokens function better.

Dungeon Design
  • The team has an internal checklist when they think about encounters, similar to the role tips in the dungeon journal.
  • Sometimes they get to the dungeon journal phase, look at creating a tip for DPS, and find that there isn't anything they can think of to write there.
  • If that is the case, they probably need an additional mechanic.
  • The dungeon is an entire encounter, so as a whole it should have things that are interesting and engaging for all of the different roles.

Content Rewards
  • Rather than items being a fixed power point, they are a spectrum. There is a floor on the stats and then a tapering pyramid of item level with a lower and lower chance to get that item the higher item level it is. This allows content to stay relevant for longer.
  • Before, dungeons had a fixed place in gearing up. As soon as you moved on to any form of raiding, there was very little reason to go back and do dungeons. The team would come up with excuses to send you back so that people could enjoy dungeons, such as Badges or Valor Points, but the gear was still irrelevant.
  • Even if you have progressed into raids in Legion, there is a chance that something cool could drop from it that will be useful for your character.
  • It always will be best to do the hardest content available to you in terms of reward for time spent.
  • You could still get something great from a world quest or Mythic dungeon, which is nice because that possibility didn't exist before.
  • The person who does raid finder over the course a patch might end up with a piece of high item level gear, but it is just one piece of gear. No one is going to mistake them for a Mythic raider. For the person that got that amazing drop, that probably made their day.
  • The team wanted to get back to a place where anything could happen rather than knowing nothing exciting would happen.

Augment Runes
  • Augment runes and the higher stat food are there for min-maxers that want to squeeze every bit of potential out of the system.
  • There is also an economic side to this, with raiders selling BoE items from raids and using the profit to finance consumables and repairs.
  • Augment runes allows the team to have a baseline solid reward from Raid Finder when you don't win an item.
  • Past expansions gave you 28 gold, which didn't make anyone feel good.
  • The augment runes can actually sell for a decent amount early on in the expansion, which is a better solution than dropping hundreds of gold and causing inflation.
  • The intent is for augment runes to be a nice bonus to players in Raid Finder, not for Mythic raiders to feel that it is necessary to run Raid Finder.
  • Guilds that are using augment runes generally use the guild bank to fund them or rich players in that guild.

Scaling Dungeons
  • As soon as the team starting working on the tech to scale the outdoor zones to the player level, they knew that they wanted to do it in dungeons as well.
  • If you can do any zone while leveling it would be strange to not be able to do certain dungeons, especially when they are integrated into the zone story.
  • This will also help with queue times, as the entire leveling pool of players can match with each other.

Raid Tiers
  • When the team released Warlords, they thought of Highmaul and Foundry as the same tier.
  • They intended for Foundry to pick up where Highmaul left off, with early Foundry bosses tuned to expect a good amount of Highmaul gear.
  • Even with the time between the two raids, guilds coming in were not feeling rewarded by the 10 item level increase from Highmaul to Foundry.
  • It was common for a guild to clear normal Highmaul, do the first few bosses of Heroic Highmaul, and then go into normal Foundry, which was as hard as early Heroic Highmaul.
  • The team hotfixed the item level of loot from Foundry to make it a full tier apart.
  • In Legion, there is the sliding scale on item level so the team wanted to make sure that if you have been running Normal Nightmare for a while that when you go into Normal Nighthold the gear will feel like an upgrade.
  • Going into a brand new raid, killing the first few bosses, and disenchanting everything that drops does not feel great.

Legendary Items
  • There has been some thought about a legendary item token that you could turn it, but it is premature at this stage in the system.
  • There aren't that many legendary items yet, so you don't feel completely unable to get the one you want.
  • If there were 20 legendary items for every spec, you might play the entire expansion and never see the one you wanted. That would feel pretty rough.
  • If you gave players a token, there would be a specific legendary they would spend that token on and feel like a very narrow and deterministic system.
  • The team is looking for ways to make items more interesting and exciting in a world where it feels like items are very formulaic. Legendary items can change your preferred talent build, stat ratings, or how you play your class.
  • There is something that would be lost by giving you a token, having you pick the legendary that is best for your existing talent build, and min-max that way.
  • Initially the team looked at having the legendary items disabled during the World First race, but you can only have one legendary item equipped, making them powerful but not overly so.
  • There is still some tuning to be done on tank and healer legendary items, as they can have more of an impact than one DPS having one.
  • There has always been some element of randomness in gearing up for progression. If you got Warforged Mythic Soul Capactiors on your first clear, that was a really big deal, bigger than a legendary item.
  • There hasn't been a situation where the outcome of the World First race was decided by someone's luck while gearing up.
  • Legendary items are tough to balance, which is why you can buy them from the NPC on beta.

Wrathion
  • Wrathion is still around.
  • In alpha he made an appearance in Neltharion, as it is the home of his father, but the way he did it was a little confusing.
  • One of the members of the Highmountain Tauren that had been assisting you was revealed to be Wrathion in disguise.
  • This didn't make sense for the lore.
  • We definitely haven't seen the last of him.

Order Hall Story
  • There are plans to continue the story of the Order Hall campaigns. The Alliance and Horde went to the Broken Shore, tried to stop the Legion, and failed miserably.
  • A lot of the story here is you working with your Order, building up your artifact, recruiting champions, and the Orders are our hope for success against the Legion in the long run.
  • As the story advances, Orders will be important.

Class Changes and Bugfixes
  • The Exsanguinate nerf hotfix wasn't handled well.
  • Since then, the team has tried to post about upcoming class changes a couple of days before they go live, even holding back the hotfix if messaging hasn't gone out.
  • Players shouldn't have to worry about abilities silently changing in the middle of the raid.
  • The team fixed a couple hundred bugs a week after the patch went live and a couple thousand a week during late beta.

Class Balance and Artifacts
  • The team draws the line at changing the relative order of specs in the short term, via hotfix.
  • If Fire is way too good, rather than bringing them down to a point where they are tied with or worse than Frost and Arcane, they will take them to slightly too good still.
  • You shouldn't regret what you spent your Artifact Power on.
  • As the team looks ahead to Patch 7.1 and later in the expansion, there is more flexibility to how Artifact Power can work.
  • They won't keep the game imbalanced for a long period of time, but in the short term there is a lot of disruption that comes from players feeling like the time they spent powering up their artifact was a mistake.

Treasure Goblins
  • Treasure Goblins have been removed, they might come back later.

Karazhan
  • The new Karazhan is definitely not just updating the old boss numbers. There will be some cool stuff that will blow people's minds, genuinely getting hyped!
This article was originally published in forum thread: Gamescom Developer Interview - Addon Changes in Patch 7.1 started by chaud View original post
Comments 178 Comments
  1. mmoc8aff34db26's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaedis View Post
    Ya, try doing Mythic Archi without a HUD for the Wroughts and Shackles. They've designed too many of these boss fights, particularly mythics, under the assumption that people have access to these position trackers. It's going to be chaos without them.
    You really don't understand that, if they make the addons not work, they LITERALLY HAVE TO NO LONGER BUILD ENCOUNTERS WITH THE ADDON IN MIND?
  1. Aquinan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaedis View Post
    Ya, try doing Mythic Archi without a HUD for the Wroughts and Shackles. They've designed too many of these boss fights, particularly mythics, under the assumption that people have access to these position trackers. It's going to be chaos without them.
    And they will design bosses around not having add-ons to hold your hand.. this is 7.1 who's going to care about Archie then?
  1. HumbleDuck's Avatar
    This guy opens his mouth and I get triggered.
  1. Keile's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaedis View Post
    Ya, try doing Mythic Archi without a HUD for the Wroughts and Shackles. They've designed too many of these boss fights, particularly mythics, under the assumption that people have access to these position trackers. It's going to be chaos without them.
    Not really.

    Now they will design the fights knowing that people will not have them.
  1. Lolsteak's Avatar
    RIP Treasure Goblins
  1. Mizzet's Avatar
    Good riddance to those 3d/radar addons, they're nothing but paint-by-numbers aids that prevent people from developing actual useful skills like situational awareness.
  1. MatadorMedia's Avatar
    "The new Karazhan is definitely not just updating the old boss numbers. There will be some cool stuff that will blow people's minds, genuinely getting hyped!"

    ALL ABOARD THE HYPE TRAIN!!!!! chooo chooo!
  1. dblanch369's Avatar
    If those raid changes break DBM, I'm going to be furious, and call &ull$hit.
  1. Apero's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by chaud View Post
    [*]The new max zoom distance wasn't added to the slider because it will increase the number of people that are experiencing the game in a sub-optimal way.[/list]
    And they plan to use the same "argument" to get rid of a the console macro that they have used last time. Sneaky move giving us back a console command but with 12 yards less distance. This way the outcry wont be as big as it was before. Sneeky Blizz.
  1. Mehrunes's Avatar
    Their remarks about spec balance make no sense whatsoever. How are players going to regret focusing on one spec if it performs on par with another one? If someone is the type of player to play whatever the numbers tell them to even if they aren't the biggest fan of the spec, they aren't exactly the type of player to be too concerned about what they play anyway. Previous expansions taught them versatility by now. And there shouldn't even be any damn disruptions in the first place. After eons of alpha and beta, not to mention way over a decade at developing this game by now, they should finally git gud at balancing numbers and stop delivering the same messy shit show time and time again because they are too lazy to not suck at their jobs. "They won't keep the game imbalanced for a long period of time". Yeah, right. Except it's the first expansion where they actually acknowledge they may keep it imbalanced, deliberately even, and aren't just bullshitting players with dozens of excuses of how they are going to fix the problems "soon"/the problems fix themselves at X ilvl (that may be irrelevant for progression)/the problems don't exist. In an expansion that can't afford it thanks to Artifacts. Yeah, that should fill people with hope in regards to their competence /s
  1. Hirakinuki's Avatar
    In Patch 7.1, addons will not be able to access unit position in raids, dungeons, and competitive instances.
    I understand that Blizzard want to remove the 3D assist on addon. But if addon can't access unit position, all healer UI will be broken. We can't anymore see if people are too away for healing or not.... We must try to heal someone to see if that people are in range or not.... It's seem weird and a boring gaemplay.
  1. Vreivai's Avatar
    "The intent is for augment runes to be a nice bonus to players in Raid Finder, not for Mythic raiders to feel that it is necessary to run Raid Finder."

    Holy fuck they still don't understand raiding at all after all these years.

    Thought I suppose the augment runes won't be what forces us to do LFR, given that loot from it will now have a random chance to be superior to mythic gear.
  1. mmocea7d8b0d33's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Hirakinuki View Post
    I understand that Blizzard want to remove the 3D assist on addon. But if addon can't access unit position, all healer UI will be broken. We can't anymore see if people are too away for healing or not.... We must try to heal someone to see if that people are in range or not.... It's seem weird and a boring gaemplay.
    There are multiple ways to get a distance. The out of range indicator should be safe.
  1. Nyres's Avatar
    So the from what I understand the addon change is going to break the annoying Circles that move around that DBM added in recently and the /range 10yd 20yd 30yd thing and TomTom(the arrow icon pointing you to a location)? Other than that DBM would still be able to tell timers and general "switch target", "Get away from boss", and "stack" messages right? If so then honestly its not too game breaking at least for tanks and DPS.
  1. nekobaka's Avatar
    Augment runes and the higher stat food are there for min-maxers that want to squeeze every bit of potential out of the system.
    There is also an economic side to this, with raiders selling BoE items from raids and using the profit to finance consumables and repairs.
    Augment runes allows the team to have a baseline solid reward from Raid Finder when you don't win an item.
    Past expansions gave you 28 gold, which didn't make anyone feel good.
    The augment runes can actually sell for a decent amount early on in the expansion, which is a better solution than dropping hundreds of gold and causing inflation.
    The intent is for augment runes to be a nice bonus to players in Raid Finder, not for Mythic raiders to feel that it is necessary to run Raid Finder.
    So the intent is a system that gives consumable rewards for less serious players to then trade for gold to more serious players to make someone feel better for not getting loot. Of which is to benefit the economy from guilds who already spend a lot of gold on consumables supplied by less serious players who then buy gear and carries from said guilds. Of course raiding guilds who have the gold will not feel like they need to run LFR for a consumable when they can buy it.

    Seems like a needless additional consumable all to make players feel better about not getting loot.
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    They need to just up and decide what the fuck they're doing. Is zooming out an advantage? Is having every fucking boss ability on a goddamn timer an advantage? Is having a stupid arrow pointing you to a spot an advantage? Either wipe all the shit or leave it alone make up your fucking mind.
  1. Murderdoll's Avatar
    Sounds like everytime they mention the camera distance, they find a new way at trying to justify the changes that go against what they said previously.

    Just give us the old distance on the fucking slider.
  1. mmoc9de0d4c32c's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Keniwa View Post
    We need an answer from blizzard on why Affliction warlock still have 2 Golden Traits with on-death mechanics in the artifact, they are so niche that they will rarely be useful, a golden traits should be cool, not something you can only use in a very specific scenario like scorpiron....
    It was my understanding the weapon used to spit out spirits you would kill to proc them effects. I assume with the change to Reap the Gold Dragons will proc when you reap the souls.
  1. Kataroku's Avatar
    Blizzard thinks it's more fun to have you read every spell a boss is casting and somehow recall that "Enchantment Spring of Torment" causes a deadly wave to pass through the raid. How can I avoid it when the boss's foot takes up my entire screen? Doesn't the simple fact that people have been playing the game with maxed camera distance for years mean that the game is "fun" being played that way?

    I like to be personally responsible for my own actions in raids. I want to be able to see when I'm in danger, and move on my own accord, rather than have a raid leader screaming at me to move away from something I can't even see.

    This is reminiscent of the days when game designers used to think that mazes were awesome, except in this case, it's "fear" and frustration of the unknown; "We want players to be able to die to shit they can't see, it's more immersive!"

    TL;DR: What's so wrong about being proactive during a raid encounter and reacting to the boss's actions in real-time vs memorizing the raid journal and repeating dance steps? Which is more fun? Maybe they're equally fun for different people? Limiting camera distance alienates those who find it more fun being proactive.
  1. manypillars's Avatar
    So long, Ion, and thanks for all the vomit.

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