Muse Live at BlizzCon 2017

Developer Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas
WatcherDev was back again to answer some more player questions! If you don't have time for the full thing, check out this clip.



Artifact Appearances
  • No new updates on artifact appearances after Legion. You will still be able to unlock all of the appearances later, except for the Mage Tower and Mythic +15 appearances.
  • The same rules apply to the Druid forms.

Legendary Items
  • The upgrade system will be the same as previous upgrades.
  • The team doesn't want to just automatically upgrade items, it feels odd to just change items.
  • The team is keeping an eye on legendary drop rates. There may be room to increase the drop rate on the first few some more.
  • The legendary tokens added in Patch 7.3.2 will be what you earn if you have every legendary item for your class. These may have another purpose later on.

Class Balance
  • There aren't plans to do much balancing before Antorus opens.
  • Balancing around Tomb won't do much to help balance in Antrous, as there will be new set bonuses and trinkets.
  • The team will do balance passes after Antorus unlocks.
  • The balance in Tomb is pretty good right now.

Tier Set Bonuses
  • The team isn't super happy with how the set system is working out.
  • Adding a 6th piece to sets gave players room for legendary items, but players can instead use a 4pc bonus, 2pc bonus from another set, and 2 legendary items.
  • The team tries to have sets that vary your gameplay a little bit, so that you have something more than all passive modifiers.
  • It is probably going too far if you need a specific build and legendary items if you have a certain set.

Mythic Dungeons
  • The team is going to do more with Mythic Dungeons in the future after seeing the success of the Mythic Dungeon Invitational.
  • Battle Resurrections in Mythic Dungeons are something the team is talking about.
  • It would be great if classes could bring unique things rather than the team copying someone a class has and giving it to another class.

Mission Rewards
  • When the Antrous raid missions become available, you will need those high level followers to access them.
  • The team doesn't want the max level missions to feel not rewarding enough, so the hotfix yesterday bumped up the rewards.

Argus Whistle
  • The team is working on hotfixing the Argus Whistle to be unlocked account wide.

PvP Season
  • The PvP season usually is linked to the opening of new raids.
  • If a patch with significant class changes happens to go live near the end of a PvP season, the team doesn't want the last few weeks of the season to be played with different balance changes.
  • Patches are becoming more about getting the data onto your computer and less about activating new events.

World Quests
  • The team has been trying to make everything account wide, but the Krokrun and Mac'Aree world quests are the exception.
  • There are a lot of conflicts because of the story going on in those zones that would make account wide quests in those areas weird, so most aren't.

Artifact Knowledge
  • Artifact Knowledge is still increasing weekly. This will continue until 55, which should be enough to fully unlock the Crucible traits.
  • There are no plans to raise the cap beyond 55, as there is no real reason to.

World Bosses
  • Nazak will probably be back at some point.

World Bosses
  • The bosses are content that the game has passed by. They haven't been updated with new loot for the same reason old Legion raids aren't updated with new loot.

Story
  • The story in the last few patches has focused on the united effort against the Legion.
  • We will see more of the Sylvanas and Greymane story in the future for sure.

Broken Shore Buildings
  • The team has adjusted the amount of resources needed to rebuild the buildings, so the rate buildings are rebuilt is about the same as it always has been.
  • The buildings should always remain reasonably functional, they won't make it take months to rebuild the buildings in a future expansion.

Mythic Mounts
  • In Mists of Pandaria, it was the goal to offer equal loot, challenge, and rewards in 10 and 25 player. This is why the 25 player version of raids had to drop two mounts off of the final boss.
  • With a single difficulty, the team reverted to the older style of one mount from the final boss.

RNG
  • Randomness has always been at the core of World of Warcraft. It has been part of most games, going back to pen and paper games.
  • It needs to be very carefully managed.
  • If you feel like you win/lose or are strong/week because of how the RNG falls is very unsatisfying.
  • Randomness in Legion is in more places but each place has less impact on average.
  • For example, years ago the team was much stingier with loot. There weren't as many sources of loot, so it was "raid or die". Even inside raids, less items dropped. These items could be very powerful. Your raid might clear a zone for several months and only see one of that trinket. That is part of why DKP was a system.
  • Today it is much easier to get a full set of items. There are more sources of loot, bonus rolls, and other ways to earn loot.
  • The team does want to preserve some sense of reward. If you aren't having fun doing content, you should take a break. You shouldn't feel the need to go back and do something that you don't enjoy.
  • The team doesn't want you to go back and do old raids only for the hope of a legendary item.
  • Progression is one of the main parts of the game. It is less exciting when you are killing a boss on farm over and over and there is zero chance that you could get something that is an upgrade.
  • Random distribution of legendary items isn't a problem. There is something cool about not having the ability to choose a specific legendary from a list. Each person may have a different legendary, but those should be good in some different situations.
  • The gap between the feeling of getting a utility legendary and getting a throughput increase legendary was too large early in the expansion, so tuning was done to bring the two types of legendary items closer together.

Netherlight Crucible
  • There is no planned catch up system for the Netherlight Crucible. That is what Artifact Knowledge is for!

Connected Realms
  • Most of the work needed to allow new realm connections is now done! The team tested with some BR servers, found some issues, and fixed them. They are now talking about which realms to connect.

Other Spec Artifacts
  • Artifact Knowledge is enough to help players keep their other spec's weapons at a reasonably high level at a very small cost to their main weapon.
  • The team is fairly satisfied at how Knowledge is working out.

Class Tuning Data
  • The team looks at logs over sims. They use both external data and internal data when doing balancing.
  • If data externally makes things look imbalanced, but internally the data shows everything is balanced, players will only have access to the external data and think things aren't balance.
  • Why does balance matter? The subjective perception and how it impacts players. If you are playing a single player game, all you care about is finishing the content and feeling sufficiently strong.
  • You don't run simulations in single player games to figure out what armor to equip.
  • In WoW, if you try to apply to groups and are declined because the community thinks your spec is weak, it impacts your gameplay experience, even if the spec is capable of doing well.
  • The community perception of balance ends up mattering more than the internal data.
  • How can the team shift the design of the game so that balance isn't just a matter of which bar is the longest?
  • Does damage have to be the only thing that matters as far as balance goes?
  • There will always be a spec at the top of the list and a spec at the bottom of the list, so everyone will never be happy if that is the only metric.

Flying
  • There won't be flying on Argus, because of how the environment is built. It is incompatible with flying.
  • Generally there is a zone in an expansion that never allows flying.
  • This isn't setting a precedent for future zones post-release, it just has to do with how Argus was built.

Active Mitigation
  • The challenge of tanking should have to do with the parts of tanking that aren't timing your active mitigation perfectly.
  • The difference between survivability when your active mitigation is up and when it isn't shouldn't be huge.

Class Utility
  • There are a few things removed in initial Legion pruning that could come back.
  • There may have been too much fixation on ability count vs decision making in the moment.
  • Rogues aren't asking themselves if they should Eviserate or use Shroud of Concealment.

PvP Prestige
  • In PvP the team has leaned towards making things character specific.
  • Having something be character specific makes it clear when you see that impressive character that the player is really good at playing that class.
  • Players have to choose between a little more progression on their main or different and more rapid progression on his alt.
  • If you feel like there are too many Prestige levels and you can never reach what you want on your main, pushing you to only play your main, that is a problem.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas started by chaud View original post
Comments 182 Comments
  1. huehuehue's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Twilight Cultist View Post
    That is actually a fault of the person transcribing the Q&A. Ion was saying the exact opposite and that internal data matters less than player perception because if people think a class/spec is bad, that is what will actually negatively impacts you.
    ^ thats what was really said
  1. girltoy26's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by unbound View Post
    rofl

    Random distribution of legendary items statement directly contradicts the Progression statement made just before. People are forced to farm to get their legendaries.

    And to try to claim that a utility legendary is just as good as a non-utility legendary is simply disingenuous.
    Doubling down on the randomness of legendary loot is sickening. Nobody like random legendaries. It is not fun or cool. It's a cheap way of dangling that moldy carrot so that blizz can wring as much MAU statistics from players as possible. This approach may result in some short term profitability but it's going to hurt long term. Players will eventually get fed up and when they leave it will be for good.

    I usually take breaks from WoW and come back with new content, my next break is going to be permanent. The current RNG and legendary system are a disgusting parlor trick to give the illusion of content when in reality it's just blizz trying to tap into gambling addiction to make a cheap buck.
  1. BeerWolf's Avatar
    The legendary tokens added in Patch 7.3.2 will be what you earn if you have every legendary item for your class. These may have another purpose later on.
    So... you get a legendary token for a RANDOM class... ?
  1. Jaylock's Avatar
    Great Q&A. Ion is spot on with everything he answered. The legendary system is fine, and I agree with him that legendary items kinda serve as those rare moments in the game where you actually get excited, because the game now offers so many ways to get loot as opposed to back in TBC and Vanilla when loot was very hard to come by.

    The game looks to be in its best state yet, and im excited for the future expansions! Great job Ion!
  1. Crunchberry's Avatar
    Did Ion possibly give away the next class when he mentioned Witcher? Granted he was kinda referencing other RPGs at that point, but it just struck me as odd. It was around 52-53min into the chat i think.
  1. papajohn4's Avatar


    It is very very easy! make the classes unique again and drop down the stupid "bring the player not the class" that homogenized all classes... thats why only the biggest bar matter now.. you made it so. It wasnt the case in Vanilla and TBC
  1. girltoy26's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaylock View Post
    Great Q&A. Ion is spot on with everything he answered. The legendary system is fine, and I agree with him that legendary items kinda serve as those rare moments in the game where you actually get excited, because the game now offers so many ways to get loot as opposed to back in TBC and Vanilla when loot was very hard to come by.

    The game looks to be in its best state yet, and im excited for the future expansions! Great job Ion!
    Most would disagree with you. Randomness is not fun or rewarding. Grinding the same WQ every day is not fun. Timegated content is not fun. Many enjoy alts but this is the most alt unfriendly xpac ever. Good luck trying to switch mains this expansion because if you don't have bis legendaries on your alt then you're dead weight.
  1. morph4037's Avatar
    The legendary tokens added in Patch 7.3.2 will be what you earn if you have every legendary item for your class. These may have another purpose later on.
    So the one thing that could've slightly un-fucked the legendary system is being squandered until you have all your legendary's...what the literal fuck...

    Randomness has always been at the core of World of Warcraft. It has been part of most games, going back to pen and paper games.
    I played the old pen and paper games, the rng factor was a whole lot less. Legion RNG is on a whole 'nother bloody level.

    The team does want to preserve some sense of reward. If you aren't having fun doing content, you should take a break. You shouldn't feel the need to go back and do something that you don't enjoy.
    Translation from lawyer-esse "quit, we don't care". I do agree with it though. Might not have to wait till Blizzcon announcements to go on hiatus after all.

    If you feel like there are too many Prestige levels and you can never reach what you want on your main, pushing you to only play your main, that is a problem.
    It's been an issue and brought up for months now. Maybe in the following expansion after the next one, they might actually do something about it...

    Sorry for sounding bitter, it just amazes me at this point how much he just continues to suck what little fun is out of the game and is perfectly alright with it. Instead of actually saying "our bad" and try to improve things.
  1. Zendhal's Avatar
    "The difference between survivability when your active mitigation is up and when it isn't shouldn't be huge."

    Yea... when my shield block is up, I'm literaly a god, when it's down I'm a punching bag

    Exact same things with Prot Paladins and Vengeance Demon Hunters...

    It ALMOST seems like he doesn't even play the game
  1. SilenceRedo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn4 View Post


    It is very very easy! make the classes unique again and drop down the stupid "bring the player not the class" that homogenized all classes... thats why only the biggest bar matter now.. you made it so. It wasnt the case in Vanilla and TBC

    Vanilla and TBC with all their wonders were shit in that regard... But you surely main a rogue or a mage so you don't give a fuck about other people. There were a lot of specs that weren't even viable, you weren't invited to a fucking dungeon if you weren't a Holy Paladin, a Resto Shaman/Druid, etc...

    Fuck that mentality. I love my Ret, my Spriest, my WW monk, there's nothing more boring than a class than can only do dps. The typical salty of a main Lock/Rogue/Mage on hybrids doing great damage as well should never be listened.

    By having 3 DPS specs you have the advantage on at least ONE (most of the time two) specs really high on the metters so you are always viable. Fuck us the only DPS spec we have and we're doomed to bench or playing a role we only enjoy outside raiding. That's all the upperhand you need, to always be viable with one of your specs, not doing more damage than hybrids who only have one, some two dps specs.
  1. morph4037's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zendhal View Post
    It ALMOST seems like he doesn't even play the game
    Considering he supposedly mains a shaman and think's reincarnation is a great defensive and with all the talented defensive's shaman have (which is none), I'd have to agree with you.
  1. papajohn4's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SilenceRedo View Post
    Vanilla and TBC with all their wonders were shit in that regard... But you surely main a rogue or a mage so you don't give a fuck about other people. There were a lot of specs that weren't even viable, you weren't invited to a fucking dungeon if you weren't a Holy Paladin, a Resto Shaman/Druid, etc...

    Fuck that mentality. I love my Ret, my Spriest, my WW monk, there's nothing more boring than a class than can only do dps. The typical salty of a main Lock/Rogue/Mage on hybrids doing great damage as well should never be listened.
    I was playing a prot paladin and worked very hard to earn a spot! Also you said "there's nothing more boring than a class than can only do dps". Grats I agree, thats why I am asking for TBC classes, because there were support classes back then, every class had something else to do despite DPS... SPriest the mana battery of healers, Mages the CC, Paladin the aoe tank, Shaman the buffer, Warlock could tank demons and provided group DPS with CoE.. this was the era where you were not felt boring because you just did DPS...

    Now it doesnt matter if you are a Retri paladin or a shadow priest or elemental shaman... you can just remove your class name and just show us your DPS meter..

    Quote Originally Posted by SilenceRedo View Post
    By having 3 DPS specs you have the advantage on at least ONE (most of the time two) specs really high on the metters so you are always viable. Fuck us the only DPS spec we have and we're doomed to bench or playing a role we only enjoy outside raiding. That's all the upperhand you need, to always be viable with one of your specs, not doing more damage than hybrids who only have one, some two dps specs.
    Are you sure you played on TBC? Because you keep talking about DPS like it was the only thing that did matter... Priest had 1 DPS spec and we didnt bring him for his DPS capability... or you were in the worst guild ever?
  1. Tiwack's Avatar
    Can't tell if it's a game director, politician or casino owner talking...
  1. Jaylock's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by girltoy26 View Post
    Most would disagree with you. Randomness is not fun or rewarding. Grinding the same WQ every day is not fun. Timegated content is not fun. Many enjoy alts but this is the most alt unfriendly xpac ever. Good luck trying to switch mains this expansion because if you don't have bis legendaries on your alt then you're dead weight.
    On an alt paladin, im ilvl 917, with not bis legendaries and im pulling 1m+ dps sustained. So yeah, you are dead wrong. 1m+ is enough to start clearing stuff in mythic tomb.

    Any other false assumptions?
  1. Bellows's Avatar
    I'm personally not that fussed about the RNG nature of loot these days, albeit I am not raiding mythic at all. I get the frustration of getting bad legendaries, but for most people given the content they are doing it doesn't really matter.

    I'd say this. I'd rather have access to a lot of potential sources for upgrades over things like 40 man raids dropping 2 piece of loot as was the case in some of the Vanilla raids, iirc.
  1. Gadzooks's Avatar
    This isn't setting a precedent for future zones post-release, it just has to do with how Argus was built.

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say this is a lie. A decision was made before they started building it, that there would be no flying. Why lie, Ion? Just say it - post release zones won't include flying. Just fucking say it. Now there will be expectations of flying in new zones in the future, when you damned well know you're not going to design for it. You haven't for 3 expansions now. You couldn't in MOP and the Timeless Isle, you couldn't in WOD, and now Legion. It's your intent - fucking stand by it. This was a lame ass statement, and it's GOING to bite you in the ass next expansion.
  1. siskha's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred View Post
    Yay! Sylvanas and Greymae!! YAY! YAY! I LOOOOOVVVVVvvveeee Sylvanas and her story, how she become evil and stuff! :P
    time to raid orgrimmar once again
  1. SilenceRedo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn4 View Post
    I was playing a prot paladin and worked very hard to earn a spot! Also you said "there's nothing more boring than a class than can only do dps". Grats I agree, thats why I am asking for TBC classes, because there were support classes back then, every class had something else to do despite DPS... SPriest the mana battery of priests, Mages the CC, Paladin the aoe tank, Shaman the buffer, Warlock could tank demons and provided group DPS with CoE.. this was the era where you were not felt boring because you just did DPS...

    Now it doesnt matter if you are a Retri paladin or a shadow priest or elemental shaman... you can just remove your class name and just show us your DPS meter..



    Are you sure you played on TBC? Because you keep talking about DPS like it was the only thing that did matter... Priest had 1 DPS spec and we didnt bring him for his DPS capability... or you were in the worst guild ever?
    I played TBC and forced to play Holy because Ret dps were shit (it was towards Sunwell that started to scale really nice with Seal of Blood). TBC wasn't too extreme like vanilla but still there were severe disregard towards many specs. Spriest survive the cut because of its passive healing which added to spiritual attunement gave the holy paladins eternal mana. Which was something that was really broken thus fixed in Wotlk giving SA only to prot Paladins and nerfing Illumination. I'm too old to remember the Vampiric Embrace changes over time.

    Wotlk was a fine place I would say, even when a lot of class uniqueness were loss with the shared buffs.


    Damage it's what kills the bosses and will always be what matters the most. I don't want to live in that world again when I wasn't able to play my favourite spec to do the content I want to do which is the highest difficult raiding.
  1. Coffeh's Avatar
    These guys just don't get it when it comes to rng. Amazing they can be so clueless.
  1. morph4037's Avatar
    The team has adjusted the amount of resources needed to rebuild the buildings, so the rate buildings are rebuilt is about the same as it always has been.
    I don't remember it ever taking close to a week to build one building or to have a few days with no active building up.

    The buildings should always remain reasonably functional, they won't make it take months to rebuild the buildings in a future expansion.
    Why should anyone care about these buildings in a future expansion? You are removing the Mage Tower appearances...

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