Developer Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas - Battle for Azeroth
Ion answered World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth beta questions today!


Patch 8.0 PTR
  • The pre-expansion patch is going live on the PTR right now!
  • Everything but Battle for Azeroth content or content specific systems will be in the pre-expansion patch, just like always.
  • An exact release date will be announced closer to release.

Allied Races
  • Blood Trolls aren't an Allied Race, someone misspoke in an interview.
  • We could see more Allied Races in the future, but they aren't necessarily required for each expansion.

Patch Cycle
  • The patch cycle in Battle for Azeroth will be similar to Legion. Alternating large and small patches.

Flying
  • You will be able to unlock flying later in Battle for Azeroth.
  • The achievement had a display bug on beta, you will only need to complete requirements on one faction.
  • The team is wary of devaluing the effort that goes into earning Pathfinder if they were to remove it right away.
  • Leveling through Draenor was designed to be done on the ground, so you don't need flying to level there today.

Class Changes
  • The window for any major spec changes is rapidly closing. An example of major changes is Fury Warrior or Balance Druid changes recently, major overhauls of a rotation or spells.
  • A few more abilities are coming off the GCD in the next beta build.
  • The team doesn't want to make major changes that won't have time for feedback this close to release.
  • The focus needs to shift to basic balance and tuning changes for launch.
  • Feel, pacing, complexity and other rotation feedback is ongoing, but soon the target will shift to changes being put in Patch 8.1.
  • Enhancement Shaman, Elemental Shaman, Shadow Priest have been talked about recently.
  • It's frustrating, but any more major changes will probably have to wait for a patch.
  • Balance and Tuning changes can still completely change your rotation, so major changes can happen as a result of balance and tuning.
  • Changes will be mostly numerical from here to release.
  • The BlizzCon build with class buffs was an experiment that the team has pulled back from a bit.
  • The team wants to make sure there is a reason for all of the classes to feel special. Everyone getting some passive throughput buff isn't a great solution, no one really feels special.
  • The team looked at the overall utility package of classes and where it made sense to bolster that package by bringing back some of the old buffs.
  • Druids have pretty great utility, between Battle Res, Innervate, control talents, and more, they already have enough utility. Adding Mark of the Wild on top of all of this seemed excessive.
  • Balance and tuning is mostly focused on BfA content. The team doesn't want old content to be significantly harder or things to be significantly broken.

War Mode
  • War Mode and the new Honor Talent system will be available as part of the pre-expansion patch.
  • There will be some War Mode specific events as part of the pre-expansion patch.
  • If you are on an RP server and turn on War Mode, you will see players from your server in the world. You can still see people from different realms if someone from your realm invites them to a group.
  • Patch 8.0 changes realms to Normal and RP only, there is no more PvP and PvE server.

Mythic Raids
  • There is a lot of value in preserving what remains of server and guild identity.
  • The team wants to look at potentially unlocking Mythic cross-realm earlier in the raid release cycle.
  • There are some new achievements in Battle for Azeroth, Hall of Fame
  • The top 100 guilds of each faction in the world will get the Hall of Fame achievement.
  • There will be a web leaderboard for the top 100 guilds.
  • Once the top 100 Horde and Alliance guilds have earned a Hall of Fame achievement, Mythic will unlock cross-realm.

Artifacts
  • Artifact Traits will go away with Patch 8.0, as the weapons are retired.
  • You will keep the Artifact weapon and relics, which will still increase the item level.
  • Artifact transmog will remain spec specific in Battle for Azeroth.

Mythic+
  • It is intended that you aren't able to swap gear while inside Mythic+ dungeons.
  • People would love to change gear and talents during the middle of raid encounters, but you can't do that. The same idea applies to Mythic+ dungeons. You will have to pick one set of gear and talents for the entire dungeon, as it is one encounter.
  • The vast majority of most Mythic+ players aren't swapping gear right now.
  • The game will be balanced around not being able to swap gear. Mythic+ dungeons shouldn't be any harder as a result of this, and if the dungeons are harder the team will do tuning to fix it.
  • There isn't a huge set of changes coming to Affixes compared to the ones in Legion.
  • Tyrannical and Fortified are available from the start of Mythic+. You'll either have tougher bosses or tougher trash. This gets rid of the big jump in difficulty from 9 to 10.
  • There will be a seasonal Affix and for Season 1 it is Infested. Makes units more dangerous, resistant to CC. When the target is damaged, the parasite jumps out of the target and makes its way to another NPC, giving you a chance to kill it.
  • The seasonal affix will be retired at the end of a season and a new one will be added.
  • Mythic 10 will yield the best possible loot once everything is unlocked, Heroic Uldir items from runs, Mythic Uldir from the weekly chest. This model worked well in Legion, so no reason to change it.
  • The power of Azerite effects is proportional to the item level of the item with the effect.
  • The team wants a large item level jump to make it clear that the item is better for you and you should equip it without having to sim things.
  • Once you get past blue quality loot from dungeons, all of the Azerite Armor sources are gated by something. Raids, chests, and PvP all have some kind of weekly gating. You won't need to spam run Mythic+ forever to try and get specific Azerite armor.
  • Mythic (non plus) dungeons will work like they did in Legion. The first 3 weeks only have Mythic dungeons, with a lower ceiling on the Warforged / Titanforged cap. Once Normal and Heroic raids open, the cap will be raised a bit, but not to Mythic Raid quality. After Mythic raids open, the cap will be raised to Mythic.

Heart of Azeroth
  • The catch-up mechanism for Heart of Azeroth is similar to Legion, but reduces the cost instead of increasing the amount of Artifact Power you earn. You'll see a 25-30% reduction in the cost that unlocking the next Heart of Azeroth level if you don't play for a week. Legion Artifact Power numbers got far too large.

PvP
  • The team wants to complement the random end of match rewards with more deterministic rewards.
  • With gear mattering once again in PvP, the team wants to give people a reliable path to the gear they want.
  • At the end of a match, you'll have a chance to get an item. The quality of the reward is based on your PvP Tier.
  • You'll earn Conquest points, filling a bar on the UI, reward is a raid quality piece of armor or weapon. Week 1 is a Raid Finder quality weapon.
  • The gear cycle repeats again with higher quality loot.
  • If you are behind, there is a catch-up system in place.
  • If you invest time in PvP, you will get a full set of PvP gear over the season, regardless of your rating.
  • When you fill up the Conquest bar for the week, you get a reward from a chest. One reward per week, proportional to your rating and ranking, based on your highest one.
  • PvP seasons will be a little bit longer than Legion. Rewards systems should parallel each other, so it's cleaner if PvP and PvE reward systems are moving in parallel.
  • In Legion, the team tried to fit 2 seasons into the time of a raid tier, so the first season in each pair had gear that felt weak.
  • The team wants to announce and end PvP seasons with more warning, without them being tied to a patch or content release. There will be a post-season where you can still earn the rewards like the end of match random loot, including during the pre-expansion Patch 8.0.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas - Battle for Azeroth started by chaud View original post
Comments 201 Comments
  1. Vertigo X's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SirCowdog View Post
    "The team is wary of devaluing the effort that goes into earning Pathfinder if they were to remove it right away."

    Which pretty much means that we're going to have another Argus bullshit zone where you lose flying again, just not "right away". God dammit Ion! Pull the stick out of your ass about flying. How about not taking it away AT ALL once we get it? You ever consider that?

    God I can't stand that guy.
    The context of that was removing the requirements for past pathfinder achievements when a new expansion comes out.
  1. plaits's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SirCowdog View Post
    "The team is wary of devaluing the effort that goes into earning Pathfinder if they were to remove it right away."

    Which pretty much means that we're going to have another Argus bullshit zone where you lose flying again, just not "right away". God dammit Ion! Pull the stick out of your ass about flying. How about not taking it away AT ALL once we get it? You ever consider that?

    God I can't stand that guy.
    You think he’s the only WoW dev that wishes flying never existed? They all do. They all wish they could go back in time and never introduce it at all. Pathfinder is as good as it’s ever going to get no matter who’s in charge.
  1. Vonazak's Avatar
    I only want to know two things:

    1. When and how we will have to unlock the Zandalari
    2. What racials the Zandalari will get.

    I do not care about anything more.
  1. Kaver's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo X View Post
    "We understand that you don't like this, we don't like it either, but it's going to be this way. You'll get used to it don't worry"
    Haha ^^ this exactly

    “99% of the players are going to hate this change but lets do it anyway just because we can”

    “Lets make fury warriors use daggers because why not”

    “LFR should of course give better gear than Mythic as more Players do it”
  1. SirCowdog's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo X View Post
    The context of that was removing the requirements for past pathfinder achievements when a new expansion comes out.
    That's stupid. The "value" of pathfinder is questionable in the first place. People aren't doing Pathfinder because they value the achievements, they're doing it because they want flight to skip all the bullshit they're forced to slog through to get it.

    Like I said, Ion needs to pull the stick out of his ass about this. Either he's completely oblivious to believe the bullshit he's spewing, or he's spinning an excuse to keep people dealing with the garbage ground design even while leveling in areas that don't matter.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by plaits View Post
    You think he’s the only WoW dev that wishes flying never existed? They all do. They all wish they could go back in time and never introduce it at all. Pathfinder is as good as it’s ever going to get no matter who’s in charge.
    Which is fine. As much as I dislike Pathfinder's halfassed implementation, I realize that it's not going away. But when we jump through all the hoops to get flight, there's NO EXCUSE to release later zones that take flight away again. It's bad enough already that we have to re-earn it every expansion, much less having to deal with losing it mid-expansion too.
  1. Venziir's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vonazak View Post
    I only want to know two things:

    1. When and how we will have to unlock the Zandalari
    2. What racials the Zandalari will get.

    I do not care about anything more.
    They've answered that a few times already but, sure. 8.1 or a later patch is the answer you're looking for.
  1. Feida's Avatar
    Mythic 10 will yield the best possible loot once everything is unlocked, Heroic Uldir items from runs, Mythic Uldir from the weekly chest. This model worked well in Legion, so no reason to change it.

    This is ridiculous. Why must M+ and Raiding share the same reward pool? Mythic quality gear from the weekly chest is absurd. This basically confirms that I have to faceroll content other than Raiding in order to Raid better. I don't consider this to be OK, especially if you don't like M+.
  1. Proper Ninja's Avatar
    I like pathfinder achievement. it's a good goal to work up to.
  1. Archmage Khadgar's Avatar
    Artifact transmog will remain spec specific in Battle for Azeroth.
    Noooope. Not a fan of this.
  1. Sefer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Archmage Khadgar View Post
    Noooope. Not a fan of this.
    that's why I don't care about the mage tower for any class but my main xD
  1. morph4037's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SirCowdog View Post
    "The team is wary of devaluing the effort that goes into earning Pathfinder if they were to remove it right away."

    Which pretty much means that we're going to have another Argus bullshit zone where you lose flying again, just not "right away". God dammit Ion! Pull the stick out of your ass about flying. How about not taking it away AT ALL once we get it? You ever consider that?

    God I can't stand that guy.
    I like the cut of your jib.
  1. Alroxas's Avatar
    If you are on an RP server and turn on War Mode, you will see players from your server in the world
    So I guess faction imbalanced RP servers are going to be great for the faction majority. You can enable War Mode (and gain the benefits) without worrying about PvP because the sharding tech won't pull in additional War Mode flagged players from other realms automatically.
  1. Melius's Avatar
    hah hardcore alliance raiding is almost dead. 100 guilds?! ) and so probably more allies will go horde now. hip hip hurrah blizzard
  1. rewen's Avatar
    Why don't they just design the zones with flying in mind instead of getting bitched at every expansion?
  1. Sammonoske's Avatar
    They want us to have multiple sets of Azerite Gear.. but they don't want us to be able to swap to them in M+... Sense not make.
  1. Dartz1979's Avatar
    ptr is not launching after the patch what do i do now?
  1. morph4037's Avatar
    Artifact transmog will remain spec specific in Battle for Azeroth.
    F***ing ridiculous if they don't make weapons to cover the transmogs then or loosen up transmog restricitons, however we know they won't so...
  1. mmoc4b988bc479's Avatar
    artifact transmog remaining spec specific rly sucks, mage only has 3 good skins and all are arcane, frost ones are so meh (mage tower would be so nice but someone thought it would be cool if it constantly keeps rotating hrough my shoulder -.-)

    I mean i get it how they could keep it that way but since the quality of skins spec to spec is SO BIG I was rly hoping they would allow us to do it cross spec
  1. Gloriandus's Avatar
    The fact that I for sure now won't be able to use The Silver Hand for Retribution is really a bummer. I prefer maces over swords, and The Silver Hand (and its skins) is one of the best maces to come along in a looooooong time.
  1. bozoben's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gloriandus View Post
    The fact that I for sure now won't be able to use The Silver Hand for Retribution is really a bummer. I prefer maces over swords, and The Silver Hand (and its skins) is one of the best maces to come along in a looooooong time.
    Can't have nice things. Nope.

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