Developer Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas - Battle for Azeroth
Ion Hazzikostas is back to talk about Battle for Azeroth!


Zandalari Trolls
  • The story of BfA details Zandalari Paladins and this arc could lead to Zandalari Paladins. We have to wait and see.
  • Zandalari Trolls won't be unlocked at the release of Battle for Azeroth, it is part of the first story arc.
  • Zandalari trolls were made slightly taller in the Alpha recently.

Allied Races
  • Allied Races will always come out in pairs for now, but in the long run they may not come out for both factions at the same time.
  • Mag'har Orcs - Mag'har means uncorrupted, not necessarily the survivors from Outland.
  • Class balance on factions is more linked to lore than equality.
  • Kul Tiran Humans were mentioned as an Allied Race.
  • As new Allied Races are added, more character slots will be added.
  • Allied Races will continue to get more customization options if they are lacking compared to other races.

Non Allied Races
  • More customization options for non-Allied races are not planned on the near horizon.
  • There is no immediate plan to give existing races Heritage Armor like Allied Races, but it is a good idea that could happen in the future.
  • Ion mentioned Racial Questlines for unlocking existing race Heritage Armor, but it's just a thought.

Dev Communication
  • Data and screenshots help get a point across when communicating with devs.
  • Rational feedback is more effective when communicating with devs over emotional feedback.
  • Personal feedback is more effective than trying to speak for everyone.
  • The platform to use for feedback depends on what the feedback is. (Forums for lists, twitter for pics)

Class Balance
  • They don't want to undo class pruning as much as wanting to add unique class abilities.
  • The team wants to double down on strengths rather than emphasize weaknesses.
  • Class envy is okay as long as it works both ways.
  • Adding more abilities every expansion isn't sustainable.
  • Giving classes new abilities usually involves giving them something that they need, and after awhile it leads to everyone feeling the same.
  • The team wants to do more with gameplay modification through external sources. This is what legendary items were trying to accomplish in Legion.
  • In Battle for Azeroth, Azerite Armor modifications are going to fill the new abilities gap.
  • Raids and Mythic + Dungeons should both test the strengths and weaknesses of classes.

Itemization
  • The team needs to do better at making primary stats stronger than secondary stats in BfA.
  • Item level should generally tell you if an item is an upgrade.
  • Items that are 20 or 25 item levels higher in Legion were sometimes not an upgrade, which is a bad thing.
  • You shouldn't have to run sims to find out of items are an upgrade.

Talents and Abilities
  • Some classes don't necessarily need the abilities from their artifact weapons.
  • If a talent choice is taken by everyone and mandatory, then it could shift to baseline or change it.
  • Legendary abilities that are getting added baseline to classes or as talents will stack with the legendary effect.
  • Switching talents between AoE and single target wasn't compelling and just felt like burning a tome.

Artifact Weapons
  • When 8.0 launches, the traits on artifact weapons will be disabled. The weapon and relics will stay, but not talents.
  • Battle for Azeroth will have traditional weapon drops including war glaives.

PvP
  • If CC is too limited, PvP turns into DPS races. It it's too much, it's frustrating.
  • The team believes teamwork comes into play when someone is locked down.
  • Useful feedback involves certain crowd control chains that can last too long.
  • Prestige rewards will still be available and earned from participation in PvP. The team doesn't want to keep adding a ton of rewards, as new players will feel like they can never earn them all. Cosmetic rewards from PvP is something the team wants to continue to build upon.
  • Something similar to the World Defense Channel could come back in some way as the faction war concept continues in BfA.

Personal Loot
  • Personal Loot is the desired loot rule moving forward.
  • Some people have kept using Master Loot to funnel set pieces to specific people, but set pieces are gone in Battle for Azeroth, so Personal Loot only is a good thing. It will help to balance things at the top end of the raid scene and split runs.

Mission Tables in BfA
  • A mission table system will be in BfA similar to Legion but less involved.
  • The mission table will not be used as a time gate.
  • War Resources will be a currency in BfA for the mission table.

Mythic +
  • The team is looking at bringing Tyrannical and Fortified down to the base level, with new Affixes at Mythic 10.
  • The Mythic+ UI will be improved.
  • The UI was based on the previous expansion challenge modes and doesn't make much sense for Mythic+.
  • New affixes are being experimented on. The team is not happy with the datamined ones.

Professions
  • The team is changing the way the universal profession skill system works. It was always a bit awkward, as the team wanted people to be able to catch up for the latest expansion. Going back to craft useless gear wasn't great.
  • There are expansion themed categories for each profession, so you can go back and level those up if you want to craft that old gear.
  • The team wants crafted gear to be relevant, but there is nothing to announce on it at the moment.

Alts
  • BfA will be similar to Legion in terms of alt-friendliness.
  • If you are looking to get varied content from alts, the team has taken a number of steps to deliver that.
  • If you are looking for more alts to farm things, that is less of what the team is trying to prioritize.
  • There were issues with alts early in Legion, but things are closer to okay now.
  • The Heart of Azeroth catch up process for Azerite will work passively in the background, similar to Artifact Knowledge.

Guilds
  • Guilds will have all the same features as the new WoW Communities.
  • Communities are smaller commitments than guilds. They are meant to organize pugs or for players that aren't in the same guild.

Leveling Experience
  • Having two separate continents for Horde and Alliance is not much different than previous expansions.
  • There are still neutral areas with quests for both factions.
  • A unique trait of BfA is once level cap is reached, these faction specific zones become zones that are utilized by both factions.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas - Battle for Azeroth started by chaud View original post
Comments 199 Comments
  1. Varitok's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by slowbro202 View Post
    I'm a little confused by this section:

    Personal Loot
    Personal Loot is the desired loot rule moving forward.
    Most raids used master loot for tier which is not in BfA.

    Is that saying master loot is going away?

    Yes. Thats what he said. Personal loot will be the only loot system. Its a "reasonable expectation" that it will be the only loot system. I don't know who put this clown in charge. I don't even use any other loot myself but I know so many people who do. Don't take away choice from those people.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Onikaroshi View Post
    No but I wouldn't be surprised if they did something stupid like that in the future
    He said "reasonable expectation" that it will be the only loot system.
  1. Spellbraker's Avatar
    Alts
    BfA will be similar to Legion in terms of alt-friendliness.
    The catch up processes used for artifact power will work similarly for azerite.
    So I wont be playing multiple alts...
  1. Gsara's Avatar
    Im not sure how I feel about personal loot being the only option for raids.
  1. Onikaroshi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Varitok View Post
    Yes. Thats what he said. Personal loot will be the only loot system. Its a "reasonable expectation" that it will be the only loot system. I don't know who put this clown in charge. I don't even use any other loot myself but I know so many people who do. Don't take away choice from those people.

    - - - Updated - - -



    He said "reasonable expectation" that it will be the only loot system.
    If that is the case, guess I save 15 bucks a month, oh well

    I'm not at home so I haven't been able to watch yet
  1. DesoPL's Avatar
    Seriously again nothing about gnome paladins...
  1. Varitok's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DesoPL View Post
    Seriously again nothing about gnome paladins...
    Not enough space in their little bodies to fully accept the light inside them. I'm sorry to inform you.
  1. Bormec's Avatar
    I think we have to redefine the meaning of a “race” in WoW if “Kul Tiran Human” is added. They’re humans who wear a lot of green and own ships. The fact that some are skinny or fat doesn’t change their genetic makeup.

    But obviously the art team isn’t going to go back and redesign half the population of Stormwind and it’s territories with fat or skinny human NPC’s, even though they should. So I guess all the obese or anorexic humans live in Kul Tiras now, and when you mouse over them, the descriptor will be “Kul Tiran Human”.
  1. Nnyco's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophenia View Post
    ... Oh. Really.
    without legendaries, legion is one the most alt friendly xpacs
  1. mklovin's Avatar
    Very underwhelming news...personal loot could be a killer for me. Not so much the rule itself, but the ideology that led Blizzard to make that decision.
  1. Xavin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DesoPL View Post
    Seriously again nothing about gnome paladins...
    LOL, who cares? You midget lovers already got the Hunter class thrown at you just because of mech bunnies, and god knows Gnome Hunters are ridiculous enough. Don't get too greedy now.
  1. RangerDaz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Varitok View Post
    Yes. Thats what he said. Personal loot will be the only loot system. Its a "reasonable expectation" that it will be the only loot system. I don't know who put this clown in charge. I don't even use any other loot myself but I know so many people who do. Don't take away choice from those people.

    - - - Updated - - -



    He said "reasonable expectation" that it will be the only loot system.

    I loved Free for All loot option... It was great for boosting and for multiboxing. I hated that I couldn't use it in Legion.
  1. Justpassing's Avatar
    Choice detected, choice removed.
  1. DesoPL's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Xavin View Post
    LOL, who cares? You midget lovers already got the Hunter class thrown at you just because of mech bunnies, and god knows Gnome Hunters are ridiculous enough. Don't get too greedy now.
    Said the guy who is not greedy with gold from tokens.
  1. Niroshi's Avatar
    They don't want to so much unprune as they want to add unique class abilities.
    So when do I get my fucking seals and auras back?
  1. Gadzooks's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Stromgarde View Post
    Not to mention Lore coming in every single time to restate what Ion says. Professional time wasting right there.
    That's Lore's job, to tell us what the devs really meant to say. I've been saying that forever.
  1. Justpassing's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Niroshi View Post
    So when do I get my fucking seals and auras back?
    Azerite gear ofc! (Which'll go away next expansion and you'll get the shit that was in Legion)
  1. Sammonoske's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nnyco View Post
    without legendaries, legion is one the most alt friendly xpacs
    It took the entire expansion for it to be alt friendly. BFA will not be at the start and probably wont be for a good while.
  1. Xavin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Niroshi View Post
    So when do I get my fucking seals and auras back?
    Uh? The fuck you on about?
  1. Cathbadh's Avatar
    Switching talents between AoE and single target wasn't compelling and just felt like burning a tome.
    So they want to eliminate about the only customization left to players.

    Personal Loot is the desired loot rule moving forward.
    Making changes for the sake of making changes. Better progression through targeted gearing is one of the few benefits of raiding with a guild.

    BfA will be similar to Legion in terms of alt-friendliness.
    So... Incredibly unfriendly? Its like they don't listen to feedback at all
  1. Ophenia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bormec View Post
    I think we have to redefine the meaning of a “race” in WoW if “Kul Tiran Human” is added. They’re humans who wear a lot of green and own ships. The fact that some are skinny or fat doesn’t change their genetic makeup.
    Well Void Elves are still Blood Elves anyway so

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkura View Post
    Tbh it aint that bad now if you dont take into account the legendaries wich wont even be a thing next expansion so yeah it became instantly more alt friendly by not having legendaries to grind.
    Ion said BfA will be the same level at Alt-friendliness as Legion.
    So, there will be something completely alt-unfriendly that will replace the Legiondaries.

    The fact there is a catchup mechanic for the Azerite is enough for this expac to be alt-unfriendly. It was shit in Legion (until the moment they finally decided to give everyone the same Knowledge, which will still be an end-of-expansion mechanic, likely), and they didn't learn anything by not setting this Heart of Azeroth as unique for all specs.

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