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. siskha's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by morph4037 View Post
    Why should anyone care about these buildings in a future expansion? You are removing the Mage Tower appearances...
    broken shore world bosses drop pieces of gear for lookalike sets, nothing else comes to mind
  1. Twilight Cultist's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zendhal View Post
    "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
    You misunderstood the quote. He isn't saying that is not the case. He is saying that, philosophically, should not be the case, expressing that as something that should be changed.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadzooks View Post
    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.
    Except this isn't true. You could fly in Tanaan Jungle and the Broken Shore.
  1. Doffen'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.
    Me does not mean the same as we. Get a grip.
  1. morph4037's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by siskha View Post
    broken shore world bosses drop pieces of gear for lookalike sets, nothing else comes to mind
    Ahh good point, I kinda forgot about those since they are few and far between now.
  1. chaud's Avatar
    Clarified the quote about internal data. Still giving the recap a polish pass.
  1. Szeth's Avatar
    The team doesn't want you to go back and do old raids only for the hope of a legendary item.
    Thank you for acknowledging that! I would be fine with getting a legendary every 2 weeks if I didn't have to do this.
  1. Ansible's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaylock View Post
    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?
    Strange, https://www.warcraftlogs.com/character/us/korgath/flaks states otherwise.
  1. papajohn4's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SilenceRedo View Post
    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.
    Honestly, Retri Paladin might have been the only spec that did "suffer" in TBC. Still I remember bringing 1 retri paladin for the extra buff that did matter a lot. Yes damage is what kills the boss, but in a raid group, tota ldamage matters more than personal damage. If that was the case, all TBC guilds would just stack rogues for the most damage but they didnt.

    I agree that you didnt had a total freedom.. if you just cared for DPS and you did want to play shadow priest for example, you were feeling that you dont do much. I got it that not all people care about support classes.. I personally love support classes. I want to know I help the group to increase the potential, by either CC, buff or debuff the enemy.

    The 3% spell crit and spell Hit from Elemental shaman was a very good boost for the raid, as it was the windfury totem from Enh. It didnt need to be top damage. There were also very interesting raid compositions, you couldnt go and raid with anything...

    Anyway, thats personal taste I guess... I will always favor unique classes vs "jack of all trades".
  1. SilenceRedo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn4 View Post
    Honestly, Retri Paladin might have been the only spec that did "suffer" in TBC. Still I remember bringing 1 retri paladin for the extra buff that did matter a lot. Yes damage is what kills the boss, but in a raid group, tota ldamage matters more than personal damage. If that was the case, all TBC guilds would just stack rogues for the most damage but they didnt.

    I agree that you didnt had a total freedom.. if you just cared for DPS and you did want to play shadow priest for example, you were feeling that you dont do much. I got it that not all people care about support classes.. I personally love support classes. I want to know I help the group to increase the potential, by either CC, buff or debuff the enemy.

    The 3% spell crit and spell Hit from Elemental shaman was a very good boost for the raid, as it was the windfury totem from Enh. It didnt need to be top damage. There were also very interesting raid compositions, you couldnt go and raid with anything...

    Anyway, thats personal taste I guess... I will always favor unique classes vs "jack of all trades".
    No, I stand the opposite, I can bring utility without doing low damage. I love to top the metters (without tunneling) as Ret because we always run from behind other classes, it's a great feeling for me. But no, I would probably quit the game if that old system is back because I would have no place in a cutting edge aiming guild.

    You can have distinct classes and diverse utility without guttering damage. Since raid buffs are a thing of the past they have to come up with something new.

    My main role was and always be a melee dps, it's what brings me the greatest enjoy in the game. And while I have and really enjoy my rogue, there's no way I'm rerolling to it, it's not as niche and spectacular as the Ret paladin was always to me.
  1. boz0's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bellows View Post
    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.
    Sure, you can have solid dps w/o your bis legs, but on my frost DK, the chest alone is worth about 10% total dps, and it's one of the two I'm still missing, so I can't help but feel gimped ...

    If the legendary balance was really good, and all were within 20% of each other, he'd have a point. As it is, some legs are head and shoulders above the rest.
  1. Justpassing's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ansible View Post
    Busted cold.
  1. Fleckens's Avatar
    Pretty good Q&A, I really like how honest Ion is with his answers and how he's generally not afraid of admitting when they made mistakes and it's interesting to see things from his point of view. Even if you may not agree with all the decisions it's clear that they have put a lot of thought into their decisions.

    Also personally I kind of agree with him on the rng situation, outside of legendaries I don't really think titanforging is a massive issue, perhaps it should be slightly limited to not have extreme cases and to prevent old raid items from continuing to be bis but it is nice that as someone who's mostly full mythic geared I can run a heroic and get lucky and get an upgrade.
  1. Musta's Avatar
    Main problem is legendaries, Ion admitted that. "If we could go back a year and half, we wouldnt have done this"
  1. Jaylock's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ansible View Post
    I said ALT paladin. That is my main. Plus I main holy. Good try though.
  1. Eleccybubb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ansible View Post
    Strange. Jay said ALT.

    Flaks is his main.

    Really grasping at straws there to try and claim the Paladin he linked is his alt when he has stated many times it's his main.
  1. pyrostorm9001's Avatar
    Straight up. If next xpac has the legendary system I'm out. Most frustrating thing in this game ever.
  1. familiar's Avatar
    Whoa, all that RNG nonsense talk ...
  1. papajohn4's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SilenceRedo View Post
    No, I stand the opposite, I can bring utility without doing low damage. I love to top the metters (without tunneling) as Ret because we always run from behind other classes, it's a great feeling for me. But no, I would probably quit the game if that old system is back because I would have no place in a cutting edge aiming guild.

    You can have distinct classes and diverse utility without guttering damage. Since raid buffs are a thing of the past they have to come up with something new.

    My main role was and always be a melee dps, it's what brings me the greatest enjoy in the game. And while I have and really enjoy my rogue, there's no way I'm rerolling to it, it's not as niche and spectacular as the Ret paladin was always to me.
    Thing is that if DPS is the only thing that matters there will always be specs on top and always be specs on bottom... what if in the next patch your Retri Paladin goes to bottom of the logs? Imagine if your best class was warlock, how would you feel this expansion... On the other hand, if you chose a class based on the utility / support it brings to the group, you will never feel neglected.

    You want Tank/DPS/Healer.. I want Single target tank/ AoE tank/ DPS / Debuffer / CC / Buffer / Tank healer / Raid Healer :P

    I am not saying I am right and you are wrong, just my preference.. honestly I dont see wow go back to old design / mechanics, so you have not to worry about it :P The only thing you ll have to worry is that Paladin wont be the Legion Warlock on next expansion...
  1. Keesasha's Avatar
    "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."

    Well yeah i guess for every lucker who gets the best 2 legendaries as his first 2 there's a looser who gets them as his last 2, so the average looks ok. And again for titanforging, some get TF on useful items, some on items that they won't even use. Oh well. This is the future of WoW, here to stay.
  1. Leyre's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Trollhammer View Post
    Remember when Brewmasters where shit.. The Blizzard told people they were playing wrong?
    In what fucking world is NOT toping your tank the correct way to play it? BM problem was they needed to be at <=80% hp yet no one knew that and somehow bilzz expected people to figure that out

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