Battle for Azeroth Developer Q&A
There was Dev Q&A today covering Battle for Azeorth. Our first draft of notes is below, but watch the full thing for context.




Allied Races
  • The team is is working to get 4 extra character slots out to everyone in the next few days, regardless of if pre-purchase or not.
  • Allied Race unlocks and requirements are account wide.
  • You need a Level 110 on the faction you want to unlock an Allied Race on, but requirements for that unlock are account wide.
  • The team has tried to pull back on the raw power of racial abilities in the past few expansions.
  • Other than Arcane Torrent, most racials aren't overly powerful now.
  • The Void Elf racial is not a copy of Mage blink. It isn't an instant teleport, it requires pre-planning to use. You need to know you are going to teleport a few seconds ahead of time.
  • The team wanted players to experience why these new races joined the Horde or Alliance, which is done through reputation or achievement requirements.
  • The team will look at the requirements as time goes on, we move to other expansions and have more Allied Races, but for now they make sense.
  • You will be able to work on unlocking other Allied Races (such as Draenor Orcs) as the expansion unfolds. You gain the Zandalari as allies in Battle for Azeroth.

PvP
  • Solo Queue is unlikely to be in Battle for Azeroth.
  • If you could solo queue, it would blur the distinction between ranked PvP and regular PvP.
  • In other games that have solo queue, there is a lot more flexibility to change your composition. WoW isn't nearly as flexible.
  • Solo queue would produce a frustrating experience.
  • Playing with partners adds a lot of depth and social interaction.
  • The team would like to make it easier and more accessible to get into these rated PvP formats.
  • With Rated Battlegrounds, the team might move the size to 6v6, as it has worked out well in Brawls.
  • The team also wants to add more tools to make it easier to find partners to play with. Hopefully the Communities tool helps here.
  • The arena spectator mode is in. It's a thing. You can use it. The team can build upon this in the future.
  • Adding additional Prestige tiers forever isn't the right solution. Existing players have spent a lot of time earning the rewards they have now though.
  • The team wants to keep the existing Prestige ranks, continue to add new ranks, but those new ranks would just give you a box or some kind of repeatable reward again. This makes Prestige a measure of how much you have PvPed rather than a grind for rewards.
  • There are Honor Talents that aren't competitive in their rows. Honor Talents also feel like a barrier to entry rather than a reward.
  • You may get to pick three Honor Talents out of a pool of many talents, with a fourth slot reserved for a trinket customization. This should give you more flexibility. Honor Talents will be unlocked by player level, so as soon as you hit the level cap they will all be unlocked.
  • Seething Shore is coming before Battle of Azeroth.
  • The team wants gear to matter in PvP, but not to the point where you have no chance because someone has played more than you.
  • When you enable PvP mode on an RP realm, you still will follow RP rules and won't automatically put you on a shard with other realm players.
  • Going forward, there will just be Normal and RP realms. You can opt-in to PvP if you want.
  • Except in cases of extreme load, RP realms don't split or pull in players from other realms. During something like an expansion launch, some sharding does take place to avoid server crashes. You can still voluntarily group with players from other realms.

Islands
  • Islands will be a lucrative source of Azerite.
  • A PvP mode may reward honor.

Warfronts
  • These are very heavily inspired by RTS elements from Warcraft II and III.
  • You don't get to train grunts and footmen, controlling them literally with RTS style.
  • Imagine a Warcraft III map where you got to play as a hero on that map.

Class Changes
  • Sometimes you should bring the class, not the player.
  • The goal here is to encourage a wide diversity of class and spec representation.
  • When multiple people are bringing an AoE stun, one of them will be the best, so you will just want to bring that one.
  • If you are forming a smaller group, you can't have all the classes and specs, so your gameplay changes there a little bit based on the abilities that you have.
  • Encounter Design will create situations that make all of those tools valuable.
  • "Bring the Player, not the Class" is one of the misinterpreted things of all time. It was a response to a completely degenerate situation, back when there were no raid wide buffs, they were all party based.
  • When classes have unique tools, it should be easier to find a spot in a group because your ability will be valued, rather than leaders picking whoever is at the top of sims today.
  • The team overprioritized spec identity over class identity in Legion development. There should be more class wide strengths. There are some limits, such as perks for specs on hybrid classes.
  • In Legion, classes were redesigned and Artifacts were layered on top of that.
  • There is a core set of abilities and tools that a class has, then there are some you get from other sources, such as Racials, Artifacts, Set Bonuses, and more. Azerite Armor is where this is going to live in Battle for Azeroth, as it will add depth, complexity, and customization.
  • If a spec's rotation only works well due to an Artifact ability, that is a gap that will need to be filled.
  • With Azerite Armor, you will have more frequent changes and customization than you do with Artifacts.
  • Survival Hunter is one of the specs that is getting significant reworks in Battle for Azeroth. It is an example of where spec fantasy was put before class fantasy. Suddenly you hit Level 110 and forgot how to use a bow.
  • The Titanforge system averages out in the long run. A player that only runs LFR may end up with one powerful item, but the rest of their slots are LFR gear. Weapon slots matter more though, so the current thinking is to not let weapons Titanforge, only Warforge.
  • The Azerite Armor slots won't be able to Titanforge or Warforge at all.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Battle for Azeroth Developer Q&A started by chaud View original post
Comments 64 Comments
  1. dranlord's Avatar
    hahahahah ppl still QQ about level is soo funny if you play the game leveling still isnt that slow.
  1. Meat Rubbing Specialist's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper Kazai View Post
    Having to have a max level of the faction just to be able to make an allied race is such a dumb requirement. BfA is one of the first expansions where I'd like to see both sides, since they are split up pretty radically, but not being able to do so as one of the new races I want to be is lame. I already met the actual requirements, why include this unnecessary one to boot?
    use the 110 boost from the box to make a 110 horde?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by dranlord View Post
    hahahahah ppl still QQ about level is soo funny if you play the game leveling still isnt that slow.
    It is if you level through dungeons, which they admitted.
  1. huggarn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sarkarin View Post
    It worries me how little 'content' or changes they have planned for PvP considering participation has utterly tanked. Blizzard has catered the whole PvP gameplay / rewards / systems and overall experience to the toxic high-end PvP 'community' (If you can even call it that). BFAs PvP experience is already headed for disaster.

    We don't need this 6v6 bullshit. It'll just end up on a ladder and be a toxic pile of shit just like every other rated bracket where a bunch of people with macros and meta comps stomp and every group needs 2k+ xp. You will go to LFR you see: "XXX Comp 2.4k XP link achiev" then give up for one reason or another and move on to something else.

    It leaves me speechless to be honest. I am filled with hope when I see new posts only to see them continue their strategy of 'high rated exclusiveness' to the detriment of 90% of the community. It's just not sustainable and the participation is lower and lower with each passing day. If PvP rewards can't exist without being rooted to this complete failure ladder system then the PvP side of this game will stay at this point of stagnation indefinitely.
    Isn't it the same for pve? Everytime I look into LFD to maybe do a raid I see "xxx link Curve +30ilvl above req"

    You do have a point, but I think its same in every competitive game.
  1. somebodyz's Avatar
    Aside from the brown orcs, can we have non-body builder human male model pls?

    I mean, the physique of current human male does not make sense (even for plate classes), with out-of-proportion sized trunk, shoulders, arms and hands, as well as short and thinner legs.

    Can we finally have "Scholarly" looking casters ?

    The BE male physique do look much more like a "human".
  1. Enan1981's Avatar
    Why are they still working on the 4 slots <_<? LoL. BLAH. Ill pre-order once the slots are out.
  1. Hoshpakk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Magnagarde View Post
    Zero talk and discussion as to how they're going to correct the attrocious leveling system and the numbers affiliated to it.
    The Leveling System works really good in my opinion. Maybe you get a a little bit to much EXP, but they can fix this too. You can leveling from 58(60) to 80 only by doing 2-3 Zones in Nordend or Outland. I think it would be better when you can complet one Expansion from 58(60) to 80. Or the way from 1 to 60, you only need some Zones, but look at Classic, there are a lot of great Zones, and you only need ~30% of that. ( I think a good way would be 50-60% of all Classic Zones, NOT all like back in Vanilla, this would be to crasy)
  1. Fjordkeeper's Avatar
    I think removing titanforging from weapons would be absolutely horrible.
    This would mean that the only chance for a mythic+ player to acquire a BiS weapon, is from a weekly RNG chest with a ridiculously big loot table.

    I really want m+ to be a valid form of high end content and not just another "fun minigame".

    Don't get me wrong, Titanforging can be extremely frustrating if you aren't lucky. But they should not fix it by f***ing over the casual player base, they should fix it by giving the hardest content the best loot.

    It's easy to fix: Let's say the item level cap is 200
    With the Legion System, LFR would drop ilvl 120, Normal would drop 140, Hero 160 and mythic 180.
    With the fixed version, itemlvl 180 would be the item level cap, OR IMO even better, Mythic raids would drop 200. This would make the hardest content reward the BEST loot period. So if you are a mythic raider and drop your BiS boots, you will have your BiS boots, while a LFR guy still has the chance of getting the same BiS boots if he happens to have ridiculous amounts of luck, which is almost as likely as winning the lottery.
  1. Sarlix516's Avatar
    "You should bring the class, not the player"

    Aslong as Item level is still in the game, people are going to judge off that, higher the item level they will take them..

    Take the ilvl out the game, and let us actually think if it's an upgrade for us or not, instead of going "oh this is iLvl 1000 instead of 950, it MUST be better" when in reality the 950 could be insanely better due to stats and the person who comes in the group with high ilvl doesn't know wtf their doing -.-
  1. bornlol's Avatar
    everytime they talk about pvp it is the most cringe thing ever

    1. no solo q cuz u cant play flexibile classes? not that this is a flawless example but SWTOR has had solo q ranked arenas for the longest time, that is not a valid excuse if people want it. Flexibile or not people already understand that some games you will have a team comp disadvantage. Games like League or overwatch are actually no different, people will pick all mid laners or 6 dps and no tanks or healers, just because those games CAN be flexibile don't mean they don't have those issues, but people deal with it.

    2. it will blur the distinction between ranked and casual pvp? maybe for casual pvpers sure, they wont bother gathering 2 other ppl to play with but for the people that only pvp in this game or pvp heavily in this game they will still want to play with their friends. All you have to do is make it so solo queue is a GENUINE solo queue meaning you can only queue by yourself. People will still play teams because people want to play with their friends, stupid logic. Most top end arena players time online is spent waiting for ppl to come online to play ranked. we would love to be able to work towards something when we log on asap.

    they non stop do this "you think you do but you don't" shit and its so sad, guess we'll see solo q ranked in a few expansions when the demand is overwhelming.
  1. Fjordkeeper's Avatar
    I think removing titanforging from weapons would be absolutely horrible.
    This would mean that the only chance for a mythic+ player to acquire a BiS weapon, is from a weekly RNG chest with a ridiculously big loot table.

    I really want m+ to be a valid form of high end content and not just another "fun minigame".

    Don't get me wrong, Titanforging can be extremely frustrating if you aren't lucky. But they should not fix it by f***ing over the casual player base, they should fix it by giving the hardest content the best loot.

    It's easy to fix: Let's say the item level cap is 200
    With the Legion System, LFR would drop ilvl 120, Normal would drop 140, Hero 160 and mythic 180.
    With the fixed version, itemlvl 180 would be the item level cap, OR IMO even better, Mythic raids would drop 200. This would make the hardest content reward the BEST loot period. So if you are a mythic raider and drop your BiS boots, you will have your BiS boots, while a LFR guy still has the chance of getting the same BiS boots if he happens to have ridiculous amounts of luck, which is almost as likely as winning the lottery.

    Quote Originally Posted by huggarn View Post
    Isn't it the same for pve? Everytime I look into LFD to maybe do a raid I see "xxx link Curve +30ilvl above req"

    You do have a point, but I think its same in every competitive game.
    The big difference is that the LFG tool at 4 AM has more pve entries than pvp has at peak times.
    He is 100% correct when he says that participation is absolutely horrible in pvp. Numbers speak for themselves: People are simply not enjoying arenas. I can even see it with my friends: Everytime we try to get 100 wins for these cool pvp mounts, we get horribly frustrated halfway through, with us getting angry at each other.
  1. Bozzna's Avatar
    Other than Arcane Torrent, most racials aren't overly powerful now.
    yeah then maybe, change it? only took them 5 years to realize lmao
  1. DrakeWurrum's Avatar
    "Sometimes you should bring the class, not the player."
    ""Bring the Player, not the Class" is one of the misinterpreted things of all time. It was a response to a completely degenerate situation, back when there were no raid wide buffs, they were all party based.
    When classes have unique tools, it should be easier to find a spot in a group because your ability will be valued, rather than leaders picking whoever is at the top of sims today."

    As a Shaman who had to just accept it when Mages (and certain Hunter pets) got Bloodlust and when melee interrupts were all normalized, I am very fucking insulted by this flip-flop. Especially since I *NEVER* saw any fucking returns coming TO me from that ideology!

    Enhance Shaman used to be *THE* interrupt class that everybody relied on in boss encounters, and we used to be brought in JUST so we could make the melee group more powerful (RIP Windfury Totem and totem twisting).
    I had to beg and scrape and bow just to get my Feral Leap, and it's a freaking talent, even though we Enhance Shaman have been needing it for a long fucking time. I had to put up with bullshit DoT-Spreading as a melee class just to have an effective AOE back in Cata and then again in Pandaria. It wasn't until Legion that we finally got a proper melee-centric AoE.

    I still don't have a proper melee CC, either. Oh yeah, a totem that stuns on a 2-second delay, how epi-KIDNEY SHOT! Every melee class has an effective way to CC enemies, but all I can do is spec into a totem, or hard-cast Hex?

    When Warlords and then Legion came out, I saw off-spec healing support nerfed into the GROUND, despite that being my ONLY good thing to bring to a raid as a DPS Shaman anymore. Used to be I could toss out so much off-healing that I made an effort to watch my raid frames to see if healers were struggling, or I'd pop off Ancestral Swiftness at the same time as a DPS cooldown, and help keep the raid alive. But no, I can't even do THAT anymore. Back in the Firelands raid, my raid leader specifically *ASKED* me to keep Healing Rains up and spec into Ancestral Swiftness during the aoe-damage cat-cleave phase, because at the time our healers were struggling - AND IT WAS MY JOB TO HANDLE IT! I even spammed out Chain Heal with my Maelstromx5 proc instead of using Lightning Bolt, as my DPS rotation demanded!
    Oh, a shitty little Healing Rains knock-off on the ground as a talent - yeah, so strong, and I only have to lose my best mobility closer to use it!

    As a melee shaman, half of my rotation USED to have a 40-yard range - Shocks, Lightning Bolt, even Unleash Elements. I was a unique hybrid of melee and ranged, which had limited impact in raids, and never earned me a spot, but felt fucking awesome! AND THEN THEY TOOK SHOCKS AWAY FROM ENHANCEMENT! WTF WAS THAT FOR?!
    Instead I now have a 10-yard range on Rockbiter, Flametongue, Frostbrand, and that Windsong talent as a pseudo-replacement for what Shocks used to be in our rotation?!
    You fucking FORCED me to be a full-fledged melee DPS in the name of normalization for crying out loud!

    And ALL OF THAT is on top of the fact that Shaman DPS *NEVER* fucking tops the sims, because that would be unfair to the all-powerful DPS pures of Mage, Rogue, Hunter, and Warlock. For some reason, despite the claims that classes with support specs were treated as equal to DPS pure classes, the 4 pures ALWAYS got the golden-boy status.

    They've been pushing this class normalization bullshit forever, never once including Shaman in it, and NOW they want to make classes unique again?!
  1. Arvandor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Grievuuz View Post
    Almost 3 months with not even a sliver of Classic info. Sadtimes.
    its too dangerous for the new expansion!

    at blizzcon the hype for classic servers outshined the anouncement of the new xpac for miles..
  1. Kryptoon's Avatar
    None of the proposed changes would convince me to buy this xpac.
    Irrespective how shiny they would make the garments or environment look, the way you immerse is through your character mechanic. And so far it seems blizz is still caught in the "major breakthrough" talent overhaul they did in legion, so they cannot look further beyond Legion's shadow.
    I enjoy choosing my gameplay from a rich spells base, not from what blizz believe i should like, from a 36 standard specs with barely no customization and often blanket nerfs.

    PVP wise still i dont understand why we have to play a different mechanic when facing a player, when blizz only need to tone down the dmg somehow when directed to players and let the player chose the relevant mitigation spells which could be useful and fun in pve as well. Why not being able to put Curse of Tongues on a caster mob when fighting it? I had this in keybind since I got the spell while leveling the lock back in vanilla. Conflagrate was stunning mobs since long ago, why all of a sudden this should be useful only against players?

    I had good hopes for BfA as a pvp centric xpac, but from what Ion shared so far it's a clear no go for me.

    Not to mention that i've been a lock pvp player since Vanilla only due to lore, which in legion is totally lost. Demo spec looks like a broken demon vending machine and neither destro nor affli shine in terms of how they use to function (from fun/rotation perspective).
  1. Roudene's Avatar
    Draenor Orcs
    Aren't they hunched too? Unless they de-hunch them with the allied race update.

    Sometimes you should bring the class, not the player.
    "Bring the Player, not the Class" is one of the misinterpreted things of all time. It was a response to a completely degenerate situation, back when there were no raid wide buffs, they were all party based.
    What?
  1. Puntar's Avatar
    Allied Races

    The team is is working to get 4 extra character slots out to everyone in the next few days, regardless of if pre-purchase or not.
    Allied Race unlocks and requirements are account wide.
    You need a 110 Horde character to unlock the Nightborne, but requirements for that unlock are account wide.
    The team has tried to pull back on the raw power of racial abilities in the past few expansions.
    Other than Arcane Torrent, most racials aren't overly powerful now.
    SERIOUSLY?!?

    WHY?

    Other allied races are not limited in that fashion and even from (my grasp of) lore perspective this is BS!
  1. Natala's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Puntar View Post
    SERIOUSLY?!?

    WHY?

    Other allied races are not limited in that fashion and even from (my grasp of) lore perspective this is BS!
    Because they're an allied Horde race. You need the 110 to unlock them because unlocking them requires you to do new unlocking quests from the Embassy in Ogrimmar.
  1. ChairmanKaga's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Puntar View Post
    SERIOUSLY?!?

    WHY?

    Other allied races are not limited in that fashion and even from (my grasp of) lore perspective this is BS!
    You need a 110 Ally or Horde toon to unlock either the Nightborne/HM Tauren or the LF Draeni/Velfs because there is a quest chain to unlock each. The 110 is necessary to do the chain.
  1. Aliven's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Piplupzero View Post
    Encounter design making specific tools valuable? Isn't that the exact same thing they said about making mythic 20 man and we saw that in literally one fight that required a priest before they gave up?
    I hope people liked Mythic Aggramar. Recruiting DK en masse only to bench them after this fight or kick form guild outright. Such a good experience.
  1. Puntar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ChairmanKaga View Post
    You need a 110 Ally or Horde toon to unlock either the Nightborne/HM Tauren or the LF Draeni/Velfs because there is a quest chain to unlock each. The 110 is necessary to do the chain.
    .... .... but then again the same applies also for Void Elf, Lightforged Dreanai and Highmountain Tauren and in a way stating that for Nightborn only is rather confusing!

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