Developer Q&A - Ion Hazzikostas

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Forbes Interview with Ion Hazzikostas on Battle for Azeroth's Launch
Forbes sat down with Ion Hazzikostas to discuss the launch of BfA and hot topics from the community.



  • The team has enjoyed seeing the millions of people dive into the world of Battle for Azeroth.
  • Ion admits that there was some major issues at launch such as the auction house lag and the Legion Mythic + data carrying over to the first week of BfA Mythic +.
  • When they introduce major new systems, there's a lot to learn in terms of player feedback, from the beta to seeing millions of people interacting with them in a much more real way.
  • The team is actively trying to bring Azerite Traits in line with each other via Hotfix.
  • The "we told you our issues during beta" criticism is always tricky because there are many different people with many different opinions and play styles doing a variety of different content. It is impossible to please everyone, but they are always listening.
  • Things like long ramp up times for Shadow Priests and Feral Druids are major concerns because it essentially does make them irrelevant for the environment of Mythic +, and the team recognizes that as a problem.
  • The team makes sure that the core systems of the expansion are polished and ready to go, but realize that they can't delay an entire expansion for millions of players if a specific class or spec is not perfect.
  • Ion never said that the classes were not complete in the Q & A in which he said certain specs needed to wait for a patch to get adjustments, just that some of them needed to be adjusted and looked at still.
  • The truth of the matter is that classes are never complete in WoW and are always being adjusted and iterated. Often times changes in beta require other unforeseen additional changes in live.
  • The team recognizes that pressing several abilities on the global cooldown that do nothing but buff your character is not good gameplay and plan to address it (such as with frost death knight). They want to further develop classes so that these abilities do more than just buff.
  • Gameplay hasn't necessarily slowed down so much as whenever a new expansion launches stats have to be brought down as a character levels in order to stop characters from getting ridiculous stat percentages.
  • The team's top priority as of now is getting out content consistently and working on the Azerite System and the feel of Island Expeditions.
  • Azerite Armor was easily accessible in early game, but the team realizes that it became hard to acquire as you progressed in item level.
  • They are looking at how they can improve delivery of Azerite armor to get it into player's hands without also just having a loot hose where suddenly everyone is drowning in the stuff and it doesn't feel like it's even a reward anymore. They want to find a happy medium.
  • The team wants the Azerite powers to be more than just an externally solved math problem and give decisions such as what is most enjoyable for gameplay.
  • The team likes some sort of mystery that requires players to solve such as with Reorigination Array. They like to see players figuring out that this special buff takes 3 bosses per week to upgrade and that it basically happens organically as you raid.
  • The team recognizes that they could have done a better job explaining the different phases that happen during Warfront progression.
  • The team also recognizes that they should have explained the changes to the amount of loot rewarded from your weekly cache before BfA went live.
  • The team still wants Island Expeditions to be the best way to obtain Azerite and will continue to iterate on Island Expedition rewards as a whole.
  • They want Island Expeditions to feel more like questing and exploring in the world while leveling, meaning more clear roads and camps that lead to quests and objectives that are more dynamic.
  • The main source of pride for this expansion is the art team and the world that they created.
  • The team is happy with how War Mode turned out as well as the dungeons and raid.
  • It was awesome to see the race for Mythic World First.


Blizzcon Early Access Sale
Blizzcon attendees and virtual ticket holders can now view the early access sale for some Blizzcon merchandise!




Play with the Blues - Darkshore Warfront
You can help test the Darkshore Warfront with the Blizzard Devs tomorrow at 1 PM Pacific!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Tomorrow - Friday, October 12, starting at 1 PM Pacific (4 PM Eastern) - many members of the World of Warcraft design and QA teams will be hitting up the PTR to test the new Darkshore Warfront being added in Tides of Vengeance!

This initial test will feature the Alliance version of the Warfront. For testing purposes, it'll be accessible to characters level 110 to 120, and be forced active for the duration of the test regardless of the state of the Darkshore zone. We've also added an extra Warfront table to Stormwind to help newly-created PTR characters get in on the test easier, and sped up the overall cycle (again, to aid with testing).

Your participation is invaluable at this stage of development for the new Warfront, so we'd love to see you join us tomorrow as we put it through its paces. Thank you!

Join The Great Gnomeregan Run–October 13!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Are you a gnome? Do you know a gnome? Would you like to BE a gnome? (And who wouldn’t?) Then rise UP to the challenge of The Great Gnomeregan Run on Saturday, October 13 from Gnomeregan to Booty Bay.

Where: Beginning outside the gnome starting area and ending in Booty Bay
Who: Alliance-Only (Don’t worry, Horde can create a level 1 gnome and join in the fun too.)

Whether you’re a level 1 gnome (highly encouraged), a level 71 human, or a level 110 draenei, you’ll be able to join in this fun run beginning in the gnome starting area, winding through Dun Morogh, Ironforge, the Deeprun Tram, Stormwind, Elwynn Forest, Duskwood, and Stranglethorn Vale where the run culminates in Booty Bay.


It's a big big BIG world out there, but don’t worry about getting lost, there will be course markers and spectators along the way to help keep you on track. You’ll even see a few familiar faces among the onlookers!



Stranglethorn Vale is a dangerous place for low-level characters so you may want to find some muscle to join you along the way for a little extra protection. If you’re a higher-level character, think about playing chaperone for a gnome.

Whether short or tall, it will be a good time for all.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Forbes BfA Interview, Blizzcon Early Access Sale, Darkshore Warfront with Devs started by Stoy View original post
Comments 118 Comments
  1. david0925's Avatar
    The team sure has recognize a lot of problem pointed right in alpha beta. The whole "oh there are a lot of feedback" isn't properly addressing this issue too, because just because there might be different voices doesn't mean you don't change anything.

    I don't think Blizzard is too stupid to do stuff; i think they don't care because the playerbase is so tolerant at this point that it actually makes very little sense to make changes. Honestly the only way to address this issue of complacency is to vote with your wallet, but I doubt that will happen since most players are as complacent as the devs themselves right now and the biggest dissent is maybe complaining on the forums or unsub for a cycle or two, which honestly aren't very effective ways to get the point across.
  1. Nerovar's Avatar
    The more interviews, AMAs, Q&As etc. I read/listen to the less I feel inclined to actually play the game. But it's not a big suprise. After all Ion is the guy who told us during WoD: "Random Death Touch is fun! What's the problem there in PvP?"
    These people are so out of touch. It's really fucking annoying.
  1. MasterHamster's Avatar
    Things like long ramp up times for Shadow Priests and Feral Druids are major concerns because it essentially does make them irrelevant for the environment of Mythic +, and the team recognizes that as a problem.


    Or try to move away from the goddamn ARPG combat where things die in a few seconds while on the move. Shadow Priest was one of my favorite specs long ago but then the game actually supported specs with long ramp-up times. This endless garbage GOGOGOGOGOGO-style design is at fault.
  1. h4rr0d's Avatar
    I soooo want to punch that smug face full of bullshit it's not even real.
  1. asectic's Avatar
    The team is happy with how War Mode turned out.
    I had to read that twice lol
  1. meowfurion's Avatar
    BRB, heading to bank to get a loan to buy a fucking baseball cap.
  1. cparle87's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Exkrementor View Post
    They changed secondary stats twice in legion. But they changed secondary stats again in bfa beta so mainstats would outscale secondary stats. In bfa you will not get a lot more secondary stats than you already have right now. Maybe you will start with 20% haste and at the end of the expansion you will have 30%. Where in most other expansions you would have like 15% haste at the beginning and 40% at the end.
    Hm. I did not know they changed it like that in BFA. Still, I am of the opinion that your primary stat should be point for point your strongest stat.
  1. Exkrementor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by cparle87 View Post
    Hm. I did not know they changed it like that in BFA. Still, I am of the opinion that your primary stat should be point for point your strongest stat.
    Primary stats do nothing and are boring. Secondary stats make the game fun to play.
  1. cparle87's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Exkrementor View Post
    Primary stats do nothing and are boring. Secondary stats make the game fun to play.
    So they should remove attack/spell power and crit then? Cause that's what your primary stat is. Those two stats in 1.
  1. Exkrementor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by cparle87 View Post
    So they should remove attack/spell power and crit then? Cause that's what your primary stat is. Those two stats in 1.
    Are you playing classic or something? ^^

    Primary stats dont give crit anymore. They are just AP/Spellpower and some parry/dodge/armor for tanks but very little of it. They just make your spells hit harder without changing anything about the gameplay.
  1. oathy's Avatar
    The "we told you our issues during beta" criticism is always tricky because there are many different people with many different opinions and play styles doing a variety of different content. It is impossible to please everyone, but they are always listening.

    Yet not long ago he was saying about the poor communication.. Listening is part of that process.
    And again NO on the key issues like Azerite traits. total lack of anything to do at 120, opinions were the same
    BFA just wasn't good enough.

    Ion just comes across as long as he's happy so should we.
  1. chris885's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tic Tacs View Post
    Him talking about bugs and people reporting them and fixing is tricky is such a deceitful statement. I've reported multiple herbalism nodes spawning under the objects and rocks (impossible to gather) in beta and on live multiple times especially Winter's Kisses in Tiragarde Sounds. Guess what? Blizzard still didn't move the locations of these nodes close to 2 months in into the expansion. I guess moving nodes from x location to y is so hard and takes so much coding.

    Yes, I'm calling Ian, the "fake" game director, a liar.
    They have priorities on fixing bugs. If you report that the herb nodes also drop a ivl 370+ gear they might hotfix it in 20 mins. So basically they only fix fast bugs that benefit the plays.
  1. Batar's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lurker1 View Post
    Someones in denial a.k.a you.
    Denial about what? Just stated that it felt so desperate when they mentioned it so many times in the text.
    Liike "We can't tell you how many subs we have, but dude millions of people enjoy it."
    I don't really care about the population as long as it doesn't affect my gameplay, which it doesn't.
  1. BlueRemedy's Avatar
    Not interested in any new content as long as we have these dog shit classes and character progression; shove it up your ass, Ion.

    Fire this fuck and get someone who knows how to design an RPG.
  1. scarecrowz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tikcol View Post
    I'm happy to know the devs are actually doing their job by not listening to the vocal minority of haters screeching "bad" everywhere. I'm rather pleased with BFA.
    Vocal minority. HAHAHA.

    Keep telling yourself that.

    YouTube, Twitch, MMO-Champ, Official Forums, Reviews, ScrollsofLore, Reddit.

    They're all up in flames.
  1. datguywhocomments's Avatar
    I'm going to make a spreadsheet to count how many times this guy has said "organically" in an interview.
  1. tikcol's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TerraMonk View Post
    Easily pleased with sub par quality. Just the type of audience Blizzard cater too.
    BFA is much better than legiondaries. It has everthing legion had plus a bunch of systems which everyone loves
  1. OPLIX's Avatar
    I'm sick of Ion's stupid smug face and condescending tone.

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