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


  • Class Tuning
    • The team is not done with class tuning. They don't think things are perfect, but want more data to make broader changes over multiple specs instead of just band aid fixes.
    • Arms mastery and feral druid AoE were so out of whack that it was almost useless for them and so they changed it immediately.
    • The end of the first week of September is the target for the first significant balance tuning.
  • Mob Scaling
    • Outdoor world scaling has not changed since 7.2. Blizzard has not changed anything. Argus had the same system.
    • Outdoor world mob scaling is done because the world remains relevant and rewards increase as your item level progresses, so the world should keep pace with you but more slowly.
    • Before world scaling, players would become so strong that it would disrupt the outdoor world experience when killing mobs too fast for others to tag them.
    • Creatures only end up with about 3-4% more health at higher gear levels after dungeon gearing.
    • There are some outlier mobs that scale too much, but these are addressed as they are discovered.
  • Mob Scaling while Leveling
    • Lack of progression while leveling is something the team understands and wants to address/do better in the future.
    • Before the world scaled to level, the increased challenge of mobs was not felt as much because it was understandable that mobs in higher level zones would increase in difficulty.
    • Mobs being more challenging at max level that were easy at lower levels is not a good feeling.
  • World PvP Level Scaling
    • A hotfix was deployed to lessen the scaling issues of lower levels against higher levels in world PvP.
    • The team wants higher level characters to have the clear advantage over lower level players, but they don't want the lower level to simply fall over.
  • Item Level Increase at Max Level
    • The reason item level increases rapidly right after reaching max level is to make sure upgrades feel relevant and noticeable.
    • There has to be a big enough increase to upgrades to help with the tougher content that is coming soon.
    • They have tested many different progression levels and are pretty happy with where they have landed.
  • Removal of Auto Accept and Group Finder Add Ons
    • The team felt that the auto accept and group finder add ons were turning into a button to auto complete world quests.
    • They want us to actually socialize and group with players to work together instead of just pushing a button and using each other.
    • Automating the process makes world quests essentially just traveling around the map and pressing a button. This is not a fun experience.
    • The trade off of having auto accept would be making world quests objectives take longer to offset the ease of the automated process and that isn't fun either.
    • World quests are balanced around many different play styles including solo players who don't group often.
  • Auction House Lag
    • Auction house and guild bank lag on popular servers is a hot button issue being discussed internally.
    • They are looking at optimization upgrades on the engineering side.
    • There are some tweaks coming in the next few days to the PTR to make deposits for certain trade skill items larger for single stack listings.
  • Guild Permissions/Communities
    • Players can once again edit their notes and add/change ranks.
    • The team is still collecting feedback about what needs to be addressed and added/readded to guilds. Let them know what problems guilds are having with permissions and they will be addressed.
    • There will soon be a way to block people from rejoining a community that they have been kicked from.
    • The team wants to see how people use communities and not dictate how they use them. They would love to hear more feedback on communities to guide where to go from here.
  • Island Expeditions
    • There was a bug that was fixed which caused less artifact power rewards from winning an Island Expedition.
    • The weekly reward is there as an exit option for the player so that they don't feel compelled to keep doing islands all week.
    • Island Expeditions remain the best source of Artifact Power and are repetitive, however, there needs to be a drop off at some point.
  • Artifact Power Requirements
    • The team wants you to be able to use your outer ring pretty much right away, but the other rings are goals to work towards.
    • Artifact Power Knowledge will start next week. This means that each rank will need less artifact power to level up. It will continue to decrease every week.
  • Azerite Gear
    • Azerite Gear will be tradable after a coming hotfix. It should be an option by reset next week.
    • Azerite Gear will be tradable if you have a piece with the same item level or better in that slot.
    • It was a mistake to not allow trading Azerite Armor. The reason behind why they originally chose this option was to avoid social pressure that comes with personal loot. However, these downsides aren't enough to justify the annoyance of not being able to trade the item.
  • War Mode
    • The War Mode bonus is something that they are being very careful with as they don't want people to feel they need to have War Mode on.
    • There are changes coming to address faction imbalance in War Mode Shards.
    • The reason War Mode sometimes feels imbalanced is raid world quests groups that scatter and remain in the shard after being brought into it.
    • War Mode on role playing realms is essentially your own sever except during popular play times. They are considering sharding RP realms with other RP realms if they see huge issues.
  • PvP Rewards
    • Conquest rewards are there to guarantee that you can work towards rewards on top of getting random ones.
    • The first conquest reward will be an ilvl 340 weapon.
  • Dungeon Trash Mobs
    • There are no plans to lessen the amount of trash mobs in certain dungeons.
    • Dungeon completion times are about the same as they were at this point in Legion.
  • World Quests and Emissaries
    • The team is ok with mythic players graduating out of feeling the need to do world quests for rewards as they outgear it.
    • Because the Horde and Alliance have completely separate factions this creates different rewards between them for certain emissaries.
  • Worgen and Goblin Model Updates
    • No new info except that they are coming.
  • Quests
    • Certain wanted quests do not give reputation for both factions. Horde is not the only one who has world quests without reputation rewards.
    • The team is looking into making sure each factions' wanted quests give similar amounts of reputation and will address it if they find it to be an issue.
    • There are a lot of side quests in the new zones in order to make the zone feel more alive and organic instead of just a single story.
    • The team wants to improve on making it obvious which quests are the main story.
  • Faction War Impacts
    • The team plans to explore how the war affects the different factions of Azeroth as the story unfolds.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Q&A - Ion Hazzikostas started by chaud View original post
Comments 282 Comments
  1. Wolfman31's Avatar
    Is Josh Allen trying to look like Judah Friedlander in that Q&A?
  1. Wnderful Weeknd's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by morph4037 View Post
    Except it isn't asking him to be fired and losing his livelihood. If he's keeping his current wage and status within the company just in a different department/franchise how exactly is that him being "fired"? In most (if not all) other jobs if you constantly make unpopular decisions with customers or can't live up to expectations within the company in regards to quality you do tend to either get demoted or actually fired. Now maybe Blizzard is happy with this haphazard mess, just means if there's any fallout, they'll have to deal with it.

    It's actually quite easy to say the game quality is going downhill. They make all the time gating more and more obvious, listen less to feedback in regards to class performance on alpha/beta forums (ele/spriest say hi), think mob filled dungeons are "fun", etc... Granted they do tend to do some things right, just seems to be fewer and farther apart these days. Also fwiw with your analogy, if the Chef has been making unpopular menu choices and making mistakes for the last 4+ years, it might be time to get a new Chef.
    Right, except the echo chamber of WoW community forums can't seem to get it through their head that they are NOT the majority and are in fact a vocal minority. The simple fact of the matter is a large majority of the people that play this game, or any game, don't visit forums to voice their opinions and people that usually do only do so to voice discontent. You said it yourself, they do some things right yea? But there's basically never people who make forum threads to gush about how much they love the things they do right but there's always an angry customer making a thread about how unhappy they are.

    MMOChampion and Reddit live in this bubble where they believe the entire playerbase hates 90% of the game because that's all they read about but that's not the case and if it was people would show that with their wallet. They did so with WoD's massive player drop and did it again with Legion/BFA selling great. You wanna know if people are into the game right now? Ignore all the bellyaching on the forums and check out sub numbers and the like. That's the only proof that matters.
  1. Galateacyc's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyrja View Post
    Wtf happend to Lore? He totally lost his passion for the game and community it seems.
    Well, it isn't hard to figure out. He reads the forums, so he knows the discontent of the players.
    From there, there are several possibilities, but they all largely end the same way:

    - He hides the discontent from the developers (as it's "non-constructive" or some other BS excuse for "I don't agree"), the players see no improvements, grow more bitter, and are even more vocal about their discontent. An natural "us vs them" attitude happens, and he grows to hate the player base at large. A CM who hates the community he manages cannot possibly be happy. Thus taking questions from said community during a Q&A is not fun.

    - He does not hide the discontent from the developers, but is largely ignored and unable to get answers or solutions from the developers. With nothing to report on the problems of the day, and no solutions forthcoming, it's natural he would feel powerless to represent the players while banging his head against a wall of silence that feels impenetrable. This is soul crushing, and cannot result in happiness. Thus sitting next to the person who ignores you 99% most of the time, and having to select meaningless questions which the devs will actually answer (one that won't create too many new firestorms in the forums) is not fun.

    - He does not hide the discontent from the developers, and the developers tell him they like it and "screw the players". His job prevents him from passing along along their answers verbatim, and forces him to either craft bull crap excuses or ignore what he knows are legitimate problems exasperating the complaints. In either case, this is a very crappy position to be in, and also cannot result in happiness. Thus, a Q&A which is meaningless and does noting to address player concerns is stressful and also not fun.

    Probably it's some combination of three. When you add to that the daily annoyances from spammers, and all kinds of vile posts imaginable, I really don't envy the CM's jobs.

    Ultimately the blame falls on Ion in any case. Either he's ignorant of the players thoughts and thinks everything is fine (which he doesn't appear to be, but if it's true, he failed to do even rudimentary verification of the feedback he was given), or he knows and is putting the CMs into impossible situations with his continual destruction of the game (aka "savage vision" or whatever other buzzwords they're using for flushing the game down the toilet).
  1. morph4037's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Wnderful Weeknd View Post
    Right, except the echo chamber of WoW community forums can't seem to get it through their head that they are NOT the majority and are in fact a vocal minority. The simple fact of the matter is a large majority of the people that play this game, or any game, don't visit forums to voice their opinions and people that usually do only do so to voice discontent. You said it yourself, they do some things right yea? But there's basically never people who make forum threads to gush about how much they love the things they do right but there's always an angry customer making a thread about how unhappy they are.

    MMOChampion and Reddit live in this bubble where they believe the entire playerbase hates 90% of the game because that's all they read about but that's not the case and if it was people would show that with their wallet. They did so with WoD's massive player drop and did it again with Legion/BFA selling great. You wanna know if people are into the game right now? Ignore all the bellyaching on the forums and check out sub numbers and the like. That's the only proof that matters.
    Can agree to the first bit. Second bit I always thought MMOC and Reddit were polar opposites. MMOC hates wow, Reddit loves it considering how heavily moderated it is and how criticism posts usually disappeared rather quickly. Then again I haven't been to the Reddit since before the 7.3.5 patch hit live.

    Tbh I would love to see the sub numbers however I doubt we ever will since the flying debacle and the switch to reporting "success" in their reports via "MAU(DAU?)" metrics.
  1. Nupomaniac's Avatar
    The amount of salt in this thread. Might be worst I’ve seen on here ever. You guys definitely need to move on. Some of you sound like you are on the verge of mentally collapsing from this. Have som self respect?
  1. kamuimac's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Galateacyc View Post
    Well, it isn't hard to figure out. He reads the forums, so he knows the discontent of the players.
    From there, there are several possibilities, but they all largely end the same way:

    - He hides the discontent from the developers (as it's "non-constructive" or some other BS excuse for "I don't agree"), the players see no improvements, grow more bitter, and are even more vocal about their discontent. An natural "us vs them" attitude happens, and he grows to hate the player base at large. A CM who hates the community he manages cannot possibly be happy. Thus taking questions from said community during a Q&A is not fun.

    - He does not hide the discontent from the developers, but is largely ignored and unable to get answers or solutions from the developers. With nothing to report on the problems of the day, and no solutions forthcoming, it's natural he would feel powerless to represent the players while banging his head against a wall of silence that feels impenetrable. This is soul crushing, and cannot result in happiness. Thus sitting next to the person who ignores you 99% most of the time, and having to select meaningless questions which the devs will actually answer (one that won't create too many new firestorms in the forums) is not fun.

    - He does not hide the discontent from the developers, and the developers tell him they like it and "screw the players". His job prevents him from passing along along their answers verbatim, and forces him to either craft bull crap excuses or ignore what he knows are legitimate problems exasperating the complaints. In either case, this is a very crappy position to be in, and also cannot result in happiness. Thus, a Q&A which is meaningless and does noting to address player concerns is stressful and also not fun.

    Probably it's some combination of three. When you add to that the daily annoyances from spammers, and all kinds of vile posts imaginable, I really don't envy the CM's jobs.

    Ultimately the blame falls on Ion in any case. Either he's ignorant of the players thoughts and thinks everything is fine (which he doesn't appear to be, but if it's true, he failed to do even rudimentary verification of the feedback he was given), or he knows and is putting the CMs into impossible situations with his continual destruction of the game (aka "savage vision" or whatever other buzzwords they're using for flushing the game down the toilet).
    ofc he desnt give a single fuck

    we are talking about the "you think you do but you dont guy"

    all he wants is good MAU resoults since this is what pays his salary and bonuses.

    and this is why game went to garbage this expansion
  1. Lagmonster's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Galateacyc View Post
    Well, it isn't hard to figure out. He reads the forums, so he knows the discontent of the players.
    From there, there are several possibilities, but they all largely end the same way:

    - He hides the discontent from the developers (as it's "non-constructive" or some other BS excuse for "I don't agree"), the players see no improvements, grow more bitter, and are even more vocal about their discontent. An natural "us vs them" attitude happens, and he grows to hate the player base at large. A CM who hates the community he manages cannot possibly be happy. Thus taking questions from said community during a Q&A is not fun.

    - He does not hide the discontent from the developers, but is largely ignored and unable to get answers or solutions from the developers. With nothing to report on the problems of the day, and no solutions forthcoming, it's natural he would feel powerless to represent the players while banging his head against a wall of silence that feels impenetrable. This is soul crushing, and cannot result in happiness. Thus sitting next to the person who ignores you 99% most of the time, and having to select meaningless questions which the devs will actually answer (one that won't create too many new firestorms in the forums) is not fun.

    - He does not hide the discontent from the developers, and the developers tell him they like it and "screw the players". His job prevents him from passing along along their answers verbatim, and forces him to either craft bull crap excuses or ignore what he knows are legitimate problems exasperating the complaints. In either case, this is a very crappy position to be in, and also cannot result in happiness. Thus, a Q&A which is meaningless and does noting to address player concerns is stressful and also not fun.

    Probably it's some combination of three. When you add to that the daily annoyances from spammers, and all kinds of vile posts imaginable, I really don't envy the CM's jobs.

    Ultimately the blame falls on Ion in any case. Either he's ignorant of the players thoughts and thinks everything is fine (which he doesn't appear to be, but if it's true, he failed to do even rudimentary verification of the feedback he was given), or he knows and is putting the CMs into impossible situations with his continual destruction of the game (aka "savage vision" or whatever other buzzwords they're using for flushing the game down the toilet).
    Well when he's streaming on twitch he seems happy nowadays. And just a month or two ago he basically said on stream that if he could get the sub numbers he would go back to streaming full time. And knowing his history and passion from following him years before blizzard, that was a really telling thing when he said that. Because I know he truly believed he could help make a difference when he left to go work for Blizzard.
  1. Infinitiz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by korijenkins View Post
    His "3-4% increase on mob health" statistic is shit. Mobs that had 40k health when I hit 120 now have 50k health after getting myself gear.

    Must've come from the same guy that said only 5% of players were affected by server issues during the launch.
    This is annoying me.

    It clearly says after dungeon gear. Meaning we won't see the '3-4%' yet. Hes saying when we're item level 400 or 500 or 600 we will definitely feel more powerful.

    Why people are nit picking 2 weeks after launch is bloody stupid.
  1. Galateacyc's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by kamuimac View Post
    ofc he desnt give a single fuck

    we are talking about the "you think you do but you dont guy"

    all he wants is good MAU resoults since this is what pays his salary and bonuses.

    and this is why game went to garbage this expansion
    While I agree that I think he knows, and whether he gives a fuck or not does it anyways not withstanding (I have my own theories on why he acts as he does which does not involve MAUs), I do have the nitpick a little: the "you think you do but you don't guy" was actually Brack I think, not Ion. (in no way does this invalidate your point though)
  1. Dhru's Avatar
    Ion maybe reads the battle.net forums but remember their mods are constantly removing negative opinions about their game so he can only see the insane positive fan base's opinion. I bet that is why the whole dev team lives in this delirium that everything they do is perfect for the players.

    I got an instant perma-ban because I talked about making Vanilla servers to lure back real MMO players way back.

    Can we track somehow the ratio of horde/alliance players in war mode? I bet it is around 90%:10% for the horde. I told this in alpha WPVP will be dead with this change.

    At this point I think Vanilla servers will only go up when the WoW sub number will hit its absolute lowest so they can counter the bad numbers in the quarter report. It makes me sad.
  1. DesoPL's Avatar
    Ion pls GTFO from WoW.
  1. Scroolooseuk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Funkenstein View Post
    Yeah guys! He has a Ph.D. in MMO Game Design and spent at least 20 years in college earning it! He's a PROFESSIONAL people!
    Didnt he have a degree in law before he went on to do games development? ..
    Im sure he was just a subscriber like the rest of us
  1. Hulari's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mafic View Post
    So they introduce scaling to counteract item level jumps but you can't feel the progression of item level jumps because of scaling?

    The easier solution is to stop huge ilevel jumps and remove scaling.
    SO MUCH THIS.

    What on earth are they doing? Oh we need big ilvl jumps to make you feel that upgrades are worthwhile and you feel like you're getting stronger! But we're scaling everything up with you so that you don't feel too strong.. wait a minute.
  1. FelPlague's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zantos View Post
    Uh, no. The WQ gold quests were not fast nor the best. If you had a lot of alts, the table was. I went up 500k in 2 month with just 2 alts fully maxed out getting 4k+ each a day on average from those gold quests. If you had all 12 fully maxed characters bringing in 4k a day you could easily clear
    45k a day. I had multiple guild members who went up from a few thousand to Millions, just from those tables. They were insane when each quest could give you 2k-3k a pop.
    and when world quests gave 100-300 and i could do 10 in an hour.
    while those missions you sent them out then you just did nothing as they took a day or two to finish.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by NutellaCrepe View Post
    1) Instead of taking the means away to instant group up, implement some kind of contribution requirement instead.
    2) So?
    3) People play MMOs for a number of reasons. May it be to progress through PvP, PVE (instances, raids) or to experience leveling and unique quests. Dailies are literally repeating the same exact mundane quests daily or you fall behind on grind necessary to access other portions of the game. I don't understand how you can compare raids and daily quests. People who want to raid, raid. People who don't, don't. But by your logic, players have to raid to access things like and AP. They don't.
    1. if they add a contribution requirement then just no one will join the groups because then you still have to do the same amount of work, meaning that why even join a group.
    2. a game should not complete for you by just afking.
    3. we are not even 2 weeks through and I am literally only a day or 2 from being able to drop world quests.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Softbottom View Post
    Everquest doesn't reset every xpac. I still play it actively. They don't invalidate their content every patch like wow does.

    - - - Updated - - -



    I never said it didnt? It was just more noticable in the past few xpacs. I remember wearing naxx gear in kara so your point is moot.
    and then you replaced all that gear in kara.
  1. sathus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhru View Post
    Ion maybe reads the battle.net forums but remember their mods are constantly removing negative opinions about their game so he can only see the insane positive fan base's opinion. I bet that is why the whole dev team lives in this delirium that everything they do is perfect for the players.

    I got an instant perma-ban because I talked about making Vanilla servers to lure back real MMO players way back.

    Can we track somehow the ratio of horde/alliance players in war mode? I bet it is around 90%:10% for the horde. I told this in alpha WPVP will be dead with this change.

    At this point I think Vanilla servers will only go up when the WoW sub number will hit its absolute lowest so they can counter the bad numbers in the quarter report. It makes me sad.
    But... What about guys like me? Mob scaling makes perfect sense, as rewards go up too.
    Flying unlocking via achievements is more fun than pay x gold, if they added a short story quests directly involving flying it would be even better.
    Progression via time passed and work input makes it good RPG?
    I think what we have now is way better than what was out there for years..
    It has it's flaws like not giving anything for going up 10 levels or that I have to level alliance to see another half of the story (which makes sense logically, I just don't have alliance character)
    I am being called out for being Blizz D*ck sucker lol Guys here are worse than blizzard, if what you say is truth and they delete criticism, unable to accept other sides arguments. Also *I got banned/punished for JUST x reason* guys.. well there is usually other side of the coin for a story like that
  1. Alkizon's Avatar
    Not sure if they clueless/ignorant or just over-stubborn, but also don't feel that this worries anyone else
  1. Kathranis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Scroolooseuk View Post
    Didnt he have a degree in law before he went on to do games development? ..
    Im sure he was just a subscriber like the rest of us
    He got hired to work on WoW because he was the GM of Elitist Jerks, which was one of the earliest guilds / websites to focus on theorycrafting and min/maxing.



    This is a video he narrated back in BC explaining how to speedrun ZA.

    This is his main: https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/ch...anis/gurgthock
  1. nyso's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tangers58 View Post
    If you have gone up 40 ilvl and the mobs health increases so they take the same amount of time, if not longer, that is the bullshit. The entire point of gearing up is to make things easier and faster.
    That would be bullshit if its true, the numbers say something like, if you improve by 70%, the mobs improve by 10% (There are exact numbers on Reddit).
    So there is improvement and i can confirm that on many toons i have. The problem is you WISH there would be more and faster improvement, but live is not what you wish for and there is still enough improvement overall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmittay View Post
    It's not that they can't, it's the fact they know they're gonna be doing it over and over and over and over. Now add in alts. It gets tedious and without something to make it go as quick as possible people get burned out redoing content hundreds of times over years.
    Again nobody is forcing you to level 10 alts and have every thing to be done every day. Doing things over and over again is the pure nature of MMORPGs and if you get burned out, relax and play something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rylalai View Post
    To all those people bitching about people who wanna do their WQs as fast as possible (using addons):
    Ofc. you can do them all solo without using any brainpower. But it takes time. Time is a precious commodity nowadays and I don't want to waste 4-5 hours a night on running around zones, doing the same 20-30 WQs over and over and over and over until I'm finally at a point where I don't need to do them anymore..
    So don't do it? Or do like 5-10 a night!? You cant tell me you NEEED the last receipt to stay alive or that last 2% in DMG to kill the raidboss or whatever. Killing bosses depends 99% of the time on how to play the mechanics and how good you can play your class. If you match the GS recommendation you should be able to kill that boss/raid. If not you just have to get better in pressing buttons.
  1. nyso's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tangers58 View Post
    If you have gone up 40 ilvl and the mobs health increases so they take the same amount of time, if not longer, that is the bullshit. The entire point of gearing up is to make things easier and faster.
    That would be bullshit if its true, the numbers say something like, if you improve by 70%, the mobs improve by 10% (There are exact numbers on Reddit).
    So there is improvement and i can confirm that on many toons i have. The problem is you WISH there would be more and faster improvement, but live is not what you wish for and there is still enough improvement overall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmittay View Post
    It's not that they can't, it's the fact they know they're gonna be doing it over and over and over and over. Now add in alts. It gets tedious and without something to make it go as quick as possible people get burned out redoing content hundreds of times over years.
    Again nobody is forcing you to level 10 alts and have every thing to be done every day. Doing things over and over again is the pure nature of MMORPGs and if you get burned out, relax and play something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rylalai View Post
    To all those people bitching about people who wanna do their WQs as fast as possible (using addons):
    Ofc. you can do them all solo without using any brainpower. But it takes time. Time is a precious commodity nowadays and I don't want to waste 4-5 hours a night on running around zones, doing the same 20-30 WQs over and over and over and over until I'm finally at a point where I don't need to do them anymore..
    So don't do it? Or do like 5-10 a night!? You cant tell me you NEEED the last receipt to stay alive or that last 2% in DMG to kill the raidboss or whatever. Killing bosses depends 99% of the time on how to play the mechanics and how good you can play your class. If you match the GS recommendation you should be able to kill that boss/raid. If not you just have to get better in pressing buttons.
  1. beverhunter's Avatar
    Feels like people are just bad at this game when they complain about scaling. I feel way strong now at 330 ilvl then I did when I got to level 120.

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