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. tyrlaan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mhyroth View Post
    You know what the MM in MMORPG stands for ?
    I do. Find some people to play with. How is this difficult?
  1. leviathonlx's Avatar
    I don't get the comments here that act like the world quest addons haven't been changed to work again by doing a work around.
  1. Easo's Avatar
    "Creatures only end up with about 3-4% more health at higher gear levels after dungeons."

    Yeah? 3-4 percent? Who are they kidding? I am pretty sure I am seeing 40k HP increase for the rares.

    "They are aware and agree that these more challenging mobs at max level that you had an easier time with at lower levels is not a good feeling."

    This kinda contradicts previous stuff, but... In the end, they do admit it, but again, why, WHY do you keep letting this happen in the first place? Where is the real problem? Too big egos in team leads, unable to see bad ideas/their own faults? Too big corporate greed? What/where is the problem?

    They are letting Azerite gear be tradeable, they removed the war chest requirement from pvp weekly, they are trying to fix the screwed up scaling.
    Why all of this even happened in the first place? Most of this was reported in beta. Conclusions... are not nice.
  1. Katsutomai's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Freshie Fresh View Post
    Jesus Christ, what a bunch of complaining cry babies. I swear, I have a fucking amazing time playing this game until I read forum posts. Some of you have to be the most cry baby unappreciative spoiled little nostalgic brats I've ever seen in my life. I'll be better off not reading this garbage from now on. Can't wait for you fucks to have your vanilla servers and realize the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I've been playing this game since vanilla, and while I don't agree with everything I've seen come out of the expansions, I have had an amazing time playing BfA thus far. People posting negative post after negative post do nothing for this community besides bring it down.
    ... Maybe, just maybe, reading the Forums isn't for someone like you. Funny that you felt the need to whine about other people "whining". Maybe reconsider what you're doing with your life, eh?
  1. Softbottom's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyWayneRuddick View Post
    Yeah I was hoping to be proved wrong but beta said it all really.

    No one should be surprised with BFA if they've been playing WoW a long time and know the drill
    After playing beta for a month I knew pretty quickly this was the end of the road for me. I enjoy following the forums and seeing what's going on. Maybe if the game changes for the next xpac i'd consider playing again. The AP/Azerite grind they started last expansion was/is dogshit. I'm all for grinding (I played everquest for many years) but grinding that just gets stripped at the end of an xpac makes the game feel really unrewarding and cheap.
  1. Doctor Funkenstein's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by schwarzkopf View Post
    The whingers not accepting Ion's answers need to read the definition of:
    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! That means he's the defacto expert on all matters relating to the game, and anything he comes up with is beyond reproach! You guys are just dumb stupidheads who don't know anything about game design or the game itself! So just shut the fuck up like Schwarzkopf wants you to! You don't deserve to talk, because you're not PROFESSIONAL game designers! I mean, sure, all it takes is applying and getting accepted to work there, not any kind of degree or specialized training or anything, but that doesn't matter to Schwarzkopf and the other people who are truly whining like he is! PROFESSIONAL = EXPERT IN ALL WAYS and anyone who isn't a PROFESSIONAL is dumb and needs to GFTO! Yeah!

    What do you mean you've spent ~14 years playing the game and know it in and out? PFFT, you didn't design it, so you don't know jack! STFU!

    I mean, it's so true, too. When you get sick, only your parents know how to fix you because they created you; fuck those doctors and other medical professionals. If you want to know how to drive a car really well through messed up terain, ask the engineer who designed the body frame, not a rally race driver. etc. If you didn't build it, you don't know shit people, so again, STFU!

    <massive eye roll at that idiotic line of thinking>
  1. Thefatness's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Softbottom View Post
    After playing beta for a month I knew pretty quickly this was the end of the road for me. I enjoy following the forums and seeing what's going on. Maybe if the game changes for the next xpac i'd consider playing again. The AP/Azerite grind they started last expansion was/is dogshit. I'm all for grinding (I played everquest for many years) but grinding that just gets stripped at the end of an xpac makes the game feel really unrewarding and cheap.
    You realize how MMO's work right? Outside of cosmetic items, almost all progression is stripped away at the end of every MMO expansion. It's literally why the game is called a gear treadmill. You replaced legendaries with greens, remember how long it took to get that legendary? MMO's are grinds that rinse and repeat forever.
  1. Sonneillon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mhyroth View Post
    You know what the MM in MMORPG stands for ?
    MonotonousMoneyObliteratorRolePlayingGame?
  1. RobertoCarlos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Softbottom View Post
    After playing beta for a month I knew pretty quickly this was the end of the road for me. I enjoy following the forums and seeing what's going on. Maybe if the game changes for the next xpac i'd consider playing again. The AP/Azerite grind they started last expansion was/is dogshit. I'm all for grinding (I played everquest for many years) but grinding that just gets stripped at the end of an xpac makes the game feel really unrewarding and cheap.
    Yeah their design philosophy is all over the place.

    They gut class design so they can "add things on"

    but with leveling/system design they make those add ons meaningless after the expansion is done.

    All those mythic dungeon runs and old raids for AP and countless world quests and it just gets poured into a NPC for a cinematic to destroy a sword i mean....
  1. Sorotia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zito View Post
    I honestly just want to slap him

    they want more data from raids for balance changes

    like.... did beta raiding not even matter?
    Expect anything less from Head of Trolling at Blizzard?
  1. GreenJesus's Avatar
    All his answers were pretty reasonable besides the WQ addon.
  1. ninthbelief's Avatar
    What a miserable Q&A. One or two real questions over an entire hour. Complete joke.
  1. Noctus78's Avatar
    Well Ion Hazzikosta was wrong about the Wanted quest for Horde.
    NONE of them gave rep
  1. Izzyfurious's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Katsutomai View Post
    ... Maybe, just maybe, reading the Forums isn't for someone like you. Funny that you felt the need to whine about other people "whining". Maybe reconsider what you're doing with your life, eh?
    Well he's right, no one on forums today ever can control their hate / emotions when it comes to their writing. And only 1% out of 1000 situations i find someone, while also complaining. Actually post constructive and stay constructive.

    You should follow you're own advise as well. Wonder about how to be more constructive when someone stands up for human shit when it deserves to gets called out on Internet forum goers. And maybe, maybe then the forums wouldn't be such a cesspool everywhere you go!
  1. Zantos's Avatar
    Arms mastery and feral druid AoE were so out of whack that it was almost useless for them and so they changed it immediately so that they could be useful.
    But, feral aoe still isn't useful. We cannot take brutal slash without ending up worse then our already bad state. Arms mastery was an actual fix. Feral druids was not. I really wish I knew the metric they used for testing these two things.

    Outdoor world scaling has not changed since 7.2. Blizzard has not changed anything. Argus had the same system.
    This is also a lie. Scaling has never been this bad in the outdoor world. On Argus, I truly felt stronger with gear. Didn't see people wanting to remove gear in legion just to not be gimped.
  1. Nirosu's Avatar
    "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. "

    That has to be among the laziest attempted fixes they could try...it has been 3+years since blizzard has said they want to revamp the whole AH...how the hell is it not even in ptr testing shape.
  1. Unholyground's Avatar
    "The team wants to improve on making it obvious which quests are the main story."

    How about a purple exclamation mark and problem solved?
  1. Cobbler's Avatar
    I feel like they completely missed the point on island expeditions. There are 28 pet, 5 mounts, 9 toys, 85 weapon cosmetics, 3 captains hats, 4 shoulder pieces, and 23 armor sets with 8 pieces each. This is 318 individual cosmetic rewards that can drop from each completion. I have personally filled my azerite bar and then some for 2 weeks now and not seen my or either of my two friends get a single piece of any of this loot. At 318 pieces, we should be getting a guarantee of 1 item at least per win, maybe even loss. Rare drop rates for the mounts would be acceptable. Other than the bug where people were getting zero azerite, no one cares about the amount of azerite given.
  1. A Chozo's Avatar
    Yeah those players wanting their "I Win" buttons back for World Quests simply need to git guud and play the game! Hah hah hah!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Noctus78 View Post
    Well Ion Hazzikosta was wrong about the Wanted quest for Horde.
    NONE of them gave rep
    One gave me 250 reputation points.
  1. fishoa's Avatar
    hurr durr press button wq completer muh freedoaders
    balance patch iz coming stay subscribed pls pls XD
    auction house is fine tsm is great xd

    what a fucking joke

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