BlizzCon 2016 - Engineering Panel, WoW Account Actions, Quick Join Toasts, Q&A Time

Post-BlizzCon Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas
Today WatcherDev answered questions about Patch 7.1.5 and Patch 7.2. The next Q&A will be coming in the first few weeks of December.

You can watch Part 1 and Part 2 of the Q&A on Twitch.

Upcoming Content
  • Patch 7.1.5 is coming to the PTR soon, hopefully early next week.
  • On Tuesday the item level of Trial of Valor gear will be increased by 5 item levels.
  • This Tuesday all legendary items will have their item level increased by 15, so they will all be item level 910.

Patch 7.3
  • Argus is part of Patch 7.3.
  • Argus will not be a leveling experience, it isn't an expansion.
  • Patch 7.3 will take us to Argus. Outdoor zone, quests, raid.
  • It will be the capstone of Legion story. We take the fight to them to get more than just a temporary peace.

Patch 7.2 and Nighthold
  • Nighthold is targeted to open in mid to late January.
  • Patch 7.2 and the Tomb of Sargeras will come later.
  • When Patch 7.2 comes out players will still be progressing through Nighthold, but probably ready for all of the other new outdoor content.
  • Tomb of Sargeras will not open when Patch 7.2 goes live. Part of the story leads you to the Tomb of Sargeras.
  • Hellfire Citadel was released too soon.

Karazhan
  • The team is happy with how Karazhan has worked out so far. A blend of nostalgia and some very cool new stuff.
  • There were around 300,000 premade group finder groups for Karazhan globally last week.
  • The team looks at how long it takes from releasing to running back to your corpse, with 90 seconds at the high end being okay.

Trial of Valor
  • The team is happy with Trial of Valor overall. They see it as bosses 8, 9, and 10 of this tier, mostly for people who are done with Emerald Nightmare.
  • There have been some things that needed to be hotfixed in Trial of Valor, but the team is mostly happy with the difficulty.
  • The gear rewarded from Trial of Valor is probably not as strong as it should have been.

Secondary Stats
  • The team is looking at classes and specs with extreme secondary stat discrepancies. Secondary stats beating primary stats, such as for Fire Mage, is a problem.
  • The team would rather try to solve the ring and neck stat problem rather than just going back to primary stats on them. Secondary stats on them can make them more meaningful than they used to be.
  • Some specs aren't fun to play with low crit or haste, so secondary stats started higher than they have in the past without reaching very high levels at the end of the expansion. This worked on most gear, but on jewelry it did not. In Patch 7.1.5 the rate at which secondary stats grow on jewelry will be increased.
  • The power of secondary stats may be brought down a bit.
  • A 15 item level upgrade should always be worth equipping. Less than that item level should usually win, but not always.
  • Hit and Expertise made reforging pretty awful. They are gone now, which helps, but reforging is still not the best.
  • You can look at an item, see that you would want it if you could reforge it, and think that would solve it. It isn't an intuitive decision, you needed to do a lot of math to ensure it was really an upgrade. It would allow some items to become upgrades, but that doesn't solve the underlying problem.

Patch 7.1.5 Class Changes
  • "Reworking" a class is more expansion level changes. The team is focusing on talent choices, restoring utility, secondary stat weights, and small mechanic changes.
  • There is still ongoing work for Patch 7.1.5, so all of the changes won't be in the initial PTR build. This is an ongoing project that the team will work on over the entire expansion.
  • Class changes fit well in the 7.X.5 patches planned, so expect to see more of them in the future.

Artifact Appearances
  • Artifact appearances won't be removed at the end of the expansion. You will be able to see them and unlock them still.
  • You will be able to earn the appearances so you can transmog other weapons to look like the Artifacts after Legion is over in some time limited way.
  • The team will figure out a solution to making the Artifact cat and bear forms available after Legion.

Model Updates
  • A ghoul model update is coming in a future patch, maybe Patch 7.2.
  • Water elemental is on the list for an update in the future as well.

Battlegrounds
  • There aren't any new battlegrounds planned for the upcoming patches that have been announced, effort went into PvP brawls there.
  • The team definitely wants to make more battlegrounds, they just need to find something that fits thematically. It isn't a big Alliance vs Horde moment right now.
  • There are a lot of existing battlegrounds. As the pool of battlegrounds gets larger, the team also has to consider if they move to a map rotation or some kind of focused pool.

Legendary Items
  • Legendary items will never all be equal. You won't be as excited to get your last choice as you would for your first choice. The team is looking at the last choices that don't feel like using at all. Fixes for these are coming in Patch 7.1.5.
  • There are few nerfs coming to the high end of legendary items, such as Fire Mage wrists and Unholy Death Knight wrists.
  • Some new legendary items will also be added to the pool.
  • You never feel good about equipping an item that is a throughput downgrade, even if it gives you more utility.
  • When Nighthold comes out you will be able to upgrade your existing legendary item. New legendary items that drop will already be upgraded.
  • There are no plans to allow you to equip more legendary items in Patch 7.2.

Quick Join
  • A hotfix is coming to disable the sound of the toasts from Quick Join.
  • Quick Join is just trying to make it easier for friends to play with each other. Players in the same guild were solo queuing for things in parallel.

Hidden Things
  • The team has learned that the hidden puzzles and mysteries are fun.
  • Kosumoth was the most successful in how it was discovered. It was a very cool experience.
  • The hidden artifact appearances were more of a mixed bag. The Ashbringer or Sheep staff were fun, some were a little more frustrating.
  • The team would like to minimize frustration, lessen the extent that people would need to use macros and datamining to find things. The team would like to do more in the future, maybe not more difficult, but more fun and intuitive. It isn't something they want to overdo, this isn't a scavenger hunt game. Not being sure if a surprise is lurking keeps the game exciting.
  • There are still a few small hidden things that haven't been discovered.
  • There is some bad luck protection for the hidden artifact appearances coming in a future patch. Hidden appearances from world bosses were changed to be a guaranteed drop rather than random.

Dungeon Changes
  • The item level rewarded by normal dungeons will probably be bumped up to 825 with the Heroic and Mythic dungeon retuning in a future patch.
  • The Mythic dungeon achievements won't be changed to a seasonal system. The difficulty going up resets the difficulty of the achievements. There may be some new achievements or affixes added.

Pet Battles
  • Pet Battles are something that the team continues to update, with World Quests and achievements to go with them.
  • Pet Battle dungeon will be talked about more in the future.

Class Mounts
  • Differing class mount appearances only applies to certain classes. This was done where it wouldn't make sense to not do it, such as the priest mount, where Shadow and Holy would need to use different mounts.
  • The Mage mounts change trailing effects based on your spec.
  • All Hunters will ride the same mount, as that feels appropriate, as the specs don't diverge a lot.

Kirin Tor Quests
  • Kirin Tor quests were adjusted to be slightly less common. They just haven't popped recently.
  • They were popping up twice in a given week, which felt too frequent.
  • These are quirky non-traditional content.
  • If they continue to not appear the team will bump back up the rate. The goal is twice every three weeks or so.

Auction House
  • There are more Auction House improvements coming, the only question is when. It shouldn't be necessary to use an addon to use the auction house, but right now it significantly improves the experience.
  • The team would like to move towards a commodity like treatment of many stackable items, such as allowing people to buy part of a stack.

Bonus Rolls
  • Gold from the world boss is just there to indicate that you successfully killed the boss. The world quest that goes with the boss is the baseline reward.
  • The current system is designed to reward currency on a failed bonus roll, but the team is working towards allowing you to get Artifact Power instead.

Class Trials
  • The Class Trial tutorial was focused on damage dealing specs, allowing returning players to catch up on the basics of the spec so they can go and level.
  • There is just one spec to remove any extra choice and confusion.
  • If you finish the tutorial you can try the other specs.
  • The one exception is classes with different DPS specs, as Balance and Feral are very different playstyles.

Challenge Mode Teleports
  • The Challenge Mode teleports were very helpful. The reward system in previous expansions gave cosmetics, prestige and achievements. In Warlords you got a teleport for each dungeon. In Legion the Mythic+ dungeons give you power rewards.

Underpowered Specs
  • Elemental Shaman concerns are on the radar. Single target can use a bump, increased Lava Burst damage. One of the challenges is the overall feel of the spec. There are three big payoff moments, Earth Shock, Lava Burst (cooldown, single target), and Stormkeeper. They all compete to be part of the big moment, so other spells feel watered down. The team is discussing things and doesn't have a final plan at the moment. There is a lot of burst that can be done in some dungeon and raid scenarios. There isn't enough diversity in raid encounters in Emerald Nightmare, no real AoE encounter for Elemental Shaman to shine. You shouldn't be good at dungeons and bad at raids, but good at a certain type of fight and not as great at another. There should be variety in both dungeons and raids.
  • Brewmaster Monks have a community perspective problem. People aren't as familiar with your spec, so they go with someone else rather than "taking a risk". Brewmaster is very strong right now, they just feel different than other tanks. Brewmasters smooth out incoming damage so much, so even if they take a little more damage, it is taken in a way that is predictable. They have incredibly high survival. Healers feel like they can't top off Brewmasters, but they aren't actually dying. Not dying is what tanking is all about. They have great mobility, solid control, good cooldowns, can survive things that no other tank can survive. There may be a high skill cap to playing Brewmaster correctly and no one wants to take a risk. It is the same situation when players decline players with adequate gear for a dungeon in favor of someone with even better gear. People want a smooth run and it is only natural to form a group that has the highest likelihood of success. You should take that risk on Brewmasters.
  • Should the team buff something to brokenly good levels just to get the community to take a look at it?
  • Assuming there is a spec that is great and is just not played much, no one wants it in their group, what is the solution?
This article was originally published in forum thread: Post-BlizzCon Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas started by chaud View original post
Comments 107 Comments
  1. Gaucho-'s Avatar
    Hopefully they'll actually answer critical questions, so that they dont need to host a post-post BlizzCon Q&A.
  1. bubbadubba's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaucho- View Post
    Hopefully they'll actually answer critical questions, so that they dont need to host a post-post BlizzCon Q&A.
    Want dem class specific changes
  1. FelPlague's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bubbadubba View Post
    Want dem class specific changes
    we will see that on the ptr dont think they will give them all out now
  1. bubbadubba's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by FelPlague View Post
    we will see that on the ptr dont think they will give them all out now
    Not exacts but an idea is more what I meant.
  1. Grimalkin of Old's Avatar
    The team isn't dumbing down the game by removing decisions.
    Oh yes, there were plenty more ways by which this was achieved.
  1. BetoClinn's Avatar
    Hopefully healing gets addressed. Mythic 880+ healers still using an 850 darkmoon trinket because how awful mana is. Design failure. And how the gutted Mistweaver Monks uniqueness and fun for no apparent reason. Bring back cast while casting. Being able to heal the way you want to without going oom 1 minute into the fight. Falling asleep on my keyboard healing mythic because of how boring they made it.
  1. Droodid's Avatar
    Blizzcon: "Patch 7.1.5 will hit the PTR immediately after Blizzcon!"

    One week later: "Patch 7.1.5 will hit the PTR soon."
  1. Benggaul's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Droodid View Post
    Blizzcon: "Patch 7.1.5 will hit the PTR after Blizzcon!"

    One week later: "Patch 7.1.5 will hit the PTR soon."
    The second statement does not contradict the first. I'm not sure what your point is.
  1. Droodid's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Benggaul View Post
    The second statement does not contradict the first. I'm not sure what your point is.
    They acted at Blizzcon as if it was going to be on PTR right after Blizzcon ended. Not a few weeks down the road.
  1. RoKPaNda's Avatar
    300k Karazhan groups created, how many finished? How many actually got off the ground?

    Getting harder and harder to trust Blizzard, especially when they lied to us about the Arms warrior hidden appearance and Frost one as well.
  1. mmoc8b9477f07c's Avatar
    I see the negative nancy's are out in full force again.

    Anyway, very good QA. Clear. Like it
  1. Sentynel's Avatar
    When Patch 7.2 comes out players will still be progressing through Nighthold, but probably ready for all of the other new outdoor content.
    Tomb of Sargeras will not open when Patch 7.2 goes live. Part of the story leads you to the Tomb of Sargeras.
    Damn, I called it!
  1. Thelxi's Avatar
    I wish they would update all the battle pets that fly, to actually fly. It's annoying that for example some wisps can fly, others can't even though they are a simple recolor of the other wisp's model.
  1. TriHard's Avatar
    God damn it, why are people asking these god damn useless questions. Stats / legendary questions should be talked about on the forums.

    Again they ignored all questions about things like the ability to change skin tone, cosmetic armor, lore and such. And yet again, they were the top rated questions again. :|
  1. mmoc8b9477f07c's Avatar
    Skin tone, cosmetic armor .. top rated. lol
  1. Wries's Avatar
    This Tuesday all legendary items will have their item level increased by 15, so they will all be item level 910.
    When Nighthold comes out you will be able to upgrade your existing legendary item. New legendary items that drop will already be upgraded.


    Missed the stream. A bit confused by this. Am I reading this right that already dropped legendaries will remain ilvl 895 come tuesday?

    Because yay when I just recently got one.. a pretty bad one that at least could've been fun if it was 910 -.-
  1. Felrane's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Wries View Post
    This Tuesday all legendary items will have their item level increased by 15, so they will all be item level 910.
    When Nighthold comes out you will be able to upgrade your existing legendary item. New legendary items that drop will already be upgraded.


    Missed the stream. A bit confused by this. Am I reading this right that already dropped legendaries will remain ilvl 895 come tuesday?

    Because yay when I just recently got one.. a pretty bad one that at least could've been fun if it was 910 -.-
    They are getting bumped to 910. When they add more legendarys they will already be at max level so you wont have to upgrade them through nighthold drops.
  1. Syenite's Avatar
    So more buffs for all the ***** who've been lucky...
  1. Freestyle80's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Droodid View Post
    Blizzcon: "Patch 7.1.5 will hit the PTR immediately after Blizzcon!"

    One week later: "Patch 7.1.5 will hit the PTR soon."
    They said "We are gonna work on bringing it up on the PTR right after Blizzcon"

    Learn English
  1. TalonXephon's Avatar
    Still nothing on why the Broken Isles are Cross Realm Zones. This is the first expansion the have current content be CRZ, are the server populations and subscriber numbers so depleted that this is a necessity so we the players don't notice? Or have Blizzard just screwed up it's "Sharding" technology and doesn't want to admit it? I for one am extremely annoyed at how horrible World Questing has become because of it, going to a WQ and having there be 60-80 people of opposing factions all trying to tag the same mobs adds such an unneeded time gate to the experience.

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