HGC and Heroes of the Dorm 2019 Cancelled, Some Developers Switching Teams

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World Of Warcraft: Greek Community Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas
Game Director of World of Warcraft, Ion Hazzikostas, answered some questions submitted before the expansion was released from the Greek World of Warcraft Community.


Mythic+ Dungeons
  • Ideally each path of endgame progression will have unique benefits and rewards.
  • Gear swapping in Mythic+ is something the team thought about changing during Legion, but didn't want to do in the middle of an expansion.
  • The team views a Mythic+ dungeon like a single boss encounter, which is why you can't change talents or respec in the middle of the dungeon. Choices are more interesting when you are weighing the entire range of situations that the dungeon is going to offer.
  • If you are just gearing for a specific boss or pull, those choices are fairly easy. You just collect the right gear and set up macros to swap as you go.
  • Your gameplay should be more important than having the right gear swapping macros set up.

PvP
  • The team would like to have space in the game for sustained pressure, with DoT classes wearing down the healers, giving a burst class a chance to jump in and get the kill. Weakness in one area should be made up with strengths in another. If you are less mobile, you should be harder to kill. If you have high mobility, you should probably go down more easily if people are able to focus on you.
  • The team would rather focus on increasing strengths rather than mitigating weaknesses. Always bolstering weaknesses makes everyone more average at everything.

Stat Squish
  • The team doesn't think they will need to do another stat squish for another expansion, and certainly not during this one.
  • With the work that the team has done for the Battle for Azeroth stat squish, it should be easier to do it in the future, with far fewer bugs and issues. The team did a one time rework of every creature and ability in the game for Battle for Azeroth, converting them to a system that allows an easy 30% nerf under the hood. Now it is just changing one number and everything should just work.
  • Stat squishes help to keep numbers from getting out of control while still providing for power gain over an expansion.
  • The team doesn't have a great solution to avoid having to do stat squishes in the future.

The Return of Classic Buffs
  • There is something nice about getting buffed up before a pull, it's almost ceremonial. It feels like you are powering up to go into a fight.
  • The buffs also have a social element and make people stronger in a raid than they would be on their own.
  • The buffs also gave some classes that could use some extra utility an extra reason to be brought.
  • Paladins and Druids traditionally had raid buffs, but in the Battle for Azeroth environment, they already had plenty of utility.
  • The team would rather focus on the unique and strong utility that Druids and Paladins already bring rather than adding more buffs if they feel that there isn't incentive to bring these classes.

Loot Systems
  • Loot used to be much harder to come by, with guilds clearing old bosses over and over because loot was rarer.
  • Drop rates are now higher, there is personal loot, trading loot, bonus rolls, and other opportunities to get loot. The team expects players will get the loot that they want from a raid within a couple of months of doing that tier.
  • It's very rare to actually go a meaningful amount of time into a raid tier without getting the items that you want.
  • Warforging and Titanforging add some level of interest to repeated clears of a raid.
  • You might have been doing Uldir for a couple of months at this point. There is still a chance to earn something interesting and gain more power to keep progressing in the raid.
  • The team doesn't want players to feel obligated to go back and clear lower difficulties every week for the rare chance that something might be an upgrade.
  • Most players aren't feeling forced to go back and clear lower difficulties anymore. In Legion, set pieces were a reason to go back to try and get upgrades, but the game has moved away from tier sets.
  • It's up to players to choose where to spend their time, and what is most rewarding. You are better off doing Mythic+ than going back to lower raid difficulties for a slim chance at an upgrade.

Personal Loot
  • Overall, the team is happy with how Personal Loot is working out so far.
  • The best geared raid groups are still the ones doing the hardest content.
  • The benefits to removing personal loot are three things:
    • On the lower end, there are lots of guilds that churn through a steady stream of trials. Historically, guilds wouldn't give trials any loot, causing them to not have any progression.
    • On the highest end, there are guilds running multiple groups in parallel that would funnel loot to specific characters using Master Loot. This made it 4-5x faster to gear up compared to regular groups that were just doing one run. This led to more and more guilds to start running split raids.
    • Split raids made it difficult to balance raids for everyone, as the top end guilds were overgeared compared to average guilds.
    • If you want to be competitive and try for the Top 100, you can just focus on gearing up your main roster and maybe some backups rather than running split raids.
    • The team is able to itemize differently with Personal Loot. With Master Loot, the team had to design loot tables that didn't have niche items that would only be useful to a spec or two. Now the team can better cater to a wider range of itemization, with more fist weapons, range weapons, shields, and more.
    • For tight knit social groups that weren't abusing any of this, there is something that was lost with these changes.
    • The change for the game as a whole is a step in the right direction. Once you are past the first few weeks of a new raid tier, tradability helps offset these changes.
  • The team is trying to make item level a better guide for what is an upgrade.
  • Personal Loot is here to stay, so let's talk about how we can improve it rather than rolling it back to Master Loot.

Ranked PvP
  • Battle for Azeroth Ranked PvP has worked out well so far, as there is a clear progression system.
  • Unranked PvP isn't a hardcore and competitive environment, it is more relaxed.
  • Solo queue isn't a great fit for WoW because the game is very composition dependent.
  • When you make a Heroes or Overwatch team, players can switch what they are playing to build the right composition.
  • Having good matchmaking with reasonable queue times, a good skill level match, and building reasonable compositions doesn't seem possible to achieve. It would either be very long queue times or wild mismatches in skill / compositions.
  • The team is focused on improving the social tools in the game to make it easier for players to join groups of like minded folks. This also is a more social experience, which is something the team tries to emphasize whenever possible as an MMO.

Raid Difficulties
  • The difficulty structure that the team has settled on is the right one for World of Warcraft.
  • For someone that does Mythic, both Normal and Raid Finder seem like they are the same, but they are serving very different audiences.
  • Normal is for a mix of friends and family groups, and pick-up-groups. There are plenty of groups that spend an entire tier progressing through Normal difficulty. This is a satisfying and rewarding experience for those groups.
  • Raid Finder doesn't provide a satisfying social or progressive experience.
  • In Mists, Normal was similar to Heroic difficulty today. Groups would find Raid Finder to be unsatisfying and asocial, but Normal was too difficult.
  • Raid Finder is for people that don't want to commit to a schedule or raid group. If you have some free time, you can jump in, check out the story, get some gear for your alt, finish a quest, and enjoy a bite sized chunk. It's not meant to be a lasting social experience, just a chance to experience raid content and an alternative progression path.
  • It isn't possible to merge both of those experiences without heavily disappointing one group.
  • Heroic is for more organized groups that value performance and class composition.
  • Mythic is for players that want to do that at the very highest level.
  • Hopefully groups feel like they can focus on two difficulties. Mythic raiders aren't going back to Normal.
  • 30 item levels per tier is the right number assuming players are doing two tiers. The gap allows for progression and getting meaningfully more powerful. Heroic of next tier has to beat Mythic of the previous tier.

Professions
  • With every expansion, the team has changed their approach to professions.
  • Delivery mechanisms for recipes and ways for crafters to differentiate themselves from each other change.
  • What makes one Blacksmith different from another? One can make something that the other can't.
  • A lot of the differentiation was accomplished through rarity. A lucky drop gave players a reward.
  • A world where everyone can make steady progress towards making everything harms the ability for a crafter to have an economic advantage. All crafters are basically the same thing.
  • If you never get the thing you want, that would be frustrating, maybe some bad luck protection would help.
  • You may not get Rank 3 of what you really want, but you might get Rank 3 for another recipe that will give you a different economic advantage.
  • If you spend time being better at a progression, that should come with some economic and power advantages. The team isn't quite there yet.


Hotfixes: December 13, 2018
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Classes
Items

Player versus Player

Quests
  • (With server restarts in each region) Fixed a bug that caused repeatable quests, such as Pet Battle dailies or Blingtron, to reset incorrectly.
  • Fixed an issue where Alliance players could not turn in "An End to the Killing" to King Anduin Wrynn in Stormwind if they were also on the quest "On Whispered Winds".
  • All NPCs related to “The Right Mech for the Job” should now be visible, even when a Faction Assault is active.
  • Fixed an issue where certain players could see multiple copies of Anduin, Velen, and Genn in the Stormwind War Room.

World Quests

  • Fixed an issue where Horde players could not complete the quest "Cease all Summoning" while the Nazmir Assault is active.
  • Fixed a bug where players were sometimes not granted quest credit during “Desert Crawl”.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Blight Barrels from behaving properly on “Barreling Through”.
  • Baron Cloudsnipe will no longer chase players in Pozzik's Experimental Bomber to the ends of the earth on “Romp in the Swamp”. He's still a crack shot, though.

HGC and Heroes of the Dorm 2019 Cancelled, Some Developers Switching Teams
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
We’re constantly changing and evolving not only our games, but how we support and grow them. This evolution is vital to our ability to continue doing what we love to do—making great games—and it’s what makes Blizzard, Blizzard.

Over the past several years, the work of evaluating our development processes and making hard decisions has led to new games and other products that we’re proud of. We now have more live games and unannounced projects than at any point in the company’s history. We’re also at a point where we need to take some of our talented developers and bring their skills to other projects. As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision to shift some developers from Heroes of the Storm to other teams, and we’re excited to see the passion, knowledge, and experience that they’ll bring to those projects. This isn’t the first time we’ve had to make tough choices like this. Games like Diablo II, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Overwatch, and more would not exist had we not made similar decisions in the past.

Despite the change, Heroes of the Storm remains our love letter to Blizzard’s worlds and characters. We’ll continue actively supporting the game with new heroes, themed events, and other content that our community loves, though the cadence will change. Ultimately, we’re setting up the game for long-term sustainability. We’re so grateful for the support the community has shown from the beginning, and the development team will continue to support Heroes with the same passion, dedication, and creativity that has made the game such a unique experience.

We’ve also evaluated our plans around Heroes esports—after looking at all of our priorities and options in light of the change with the game, the Heroes Global Championship and Heroes of the Dorm will not return in 2019. This was another very difficult decision for us to make. The love that the community has for these programs is deeply felt by everyone who works on them, but we ultimately feel this is the right decision versus moving forward in a way that would not meet the standards that players and fans have come to expect.

While we don’t make these decisions lightly, we do look to the future excited about what the decisions will mean for our other live games and all the projects we have in the works. We appreciate all of our hard-working developers and everyone in the Blizzard community, and look forward to sharing many more epic gaming experiences with you in the future.

J. Allen Brack and Ray Gresko
This article was originally published in forum thread: Greek Community Dev Q&A, December 13 Hotfixes, Heroes Developers Switching Teams started by chaud View original post
Comments 121 Comments
  1. Zelliaind's Avatar
    Don't mind me, just finding my seat for all the incoming rage filled comments.
  1. MrLoque's Avatar
    What makes one Blacksmith different from another?
    One can make something that the other can't.
  1. phantomax's Avatar
    Nothing on classes. Lmao.
  1. Sencha's Avatar
    Professions have never been so boring and uninspired. The ranks are just decreasing the amount of components and that's it.

    What about profession specializations if you really want to make a blacksmith different from another.
  1. mmoc60150aeaef's Avatar
    1) "What makes one Blacksmith different from another? One can make something that the other can't."
    2) What makes one leather working different from another? One can make something that the other can't.
    3) What makes one enchanting different from another? One can make something that the other can't.
    4) What makes one Jewel crafting different from another? One can make something that the other can't.
    5) What makes one Inscription different from another? One can make something that the other can't.

    so the crafting make something that the other can't ....uhmmm interesting ....
  1. Kaira's Avatar
    LOL, just putting this here https://www.reddit.com/r/wow/comment...rbase/ebphqhn/
  1. Uko's Avatar
    I see a fruedian slip there instead of saying the benefits of removing master loot you guys put it as benefits of removing personal loot lol.
  1. Tiral's Avatar
    sucking game with sucking team
  1. McNeil's Avatar
    Sad news about HotS. It never really took off as much as Blizzard would've liked, it was always the black sheep of its genre while LoL and DotA2 remained on top. Whats even sadder is that their most talented developers will probably work on Diablo: Immortal or some other phone game now
  1. Qnubi's Avatar
    You may not get Rank 3 of what you really want, but you might get Rank 3 for another recipe that will give you a different economic advantage.
    Wtf is that design philosophy?
  1. tru's Avatar
    Ha! Better go buy the new shop mount sheeple.
  1. Faesroll's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaira View Post
    "I just want you to know that those questions were submitted before the launch of the expansion and that's why they don't undress some of the most recent issues that the community have with the state of the game."

    Good god
  1. mmocd842740b60's Avatar
    What a load of crock on professions.

    The only profession I could make any meaningful income with this expansion is Alchemy. So now all my characters have dropped one profession to pick up herbalism so I get free herbs just doing my daily stuff on all of them.

    I tried making gold on bags, but I can make nearly the same by just selling my cloth drops.

    Some have enchanting as a second profession, enchants are cheap as hell because there is so much loot in the game to disenchant. Scrapping has become useless, because professions have become useless.

    Basically they killed professions this expansion. And with no good gold making opportunities I just focussed on being self sufficient in raids.

    Also ... there are undressing issues?
  1. Mendzia's Avatar
    ✓ Diablo on phones
    ✓ BFA is terrible
    ✓ Starcraft franchise dead
    ✓ HotS abandoned
    ✓ HearthStone = cashgrab every few months
    ✓ who cares about OMEGALUL verwatch

    Welp that was a good year for Blizzard.

    Jokes aside probably only Overwatch and HS are doing 'okayish' right now?
  1. mmoc639b4181bd's Avatar
    Everything is great guys... keep playing our game! BTW we are right, you are wrong MEAW MEAW
  1. Hatorri's Avatar
    Personal Loot
    Overall, the team is happy with how Personal Loot is working out so far.
    The best geared raid groups are still the ones doing the hardest content.
    The benefits to removing personal loot are three things:
    On the lower end, there are lots of guilds that churn through a steady stream of trials. Historically, guilds wouldn't give trials any loot, causing them to not have any progression.
    On the highest end, there are guilds running multiple groups in parallel that would funnel loot to specific characters using Master Loot. This made it 4-5x faster to gear up compared to regular groups that were just doing one run. This led to more and more guilds to start running split raids.
    Split raids made it difficult to balance raids for everyone, as the top end guilds were overgeared compared to average guilds.
    If you want to be competitive and try for the Top 100, you can just focus on gearing up your main roster and maybe some backups rather than running split raids.
    The team is able to itemize differently with Personal Loot. With Master Loot, the team had to design loot tables that didn't have niche items that would only be useful to a spec or two. Now the team can better cater to a wider range of itemization, with more fist weapons, range weapons, shields, and more.
    For tight knit social groups that weren't abusing any of this, there is something that was lost with these changes.
    The change for the game as a whole is a step in the right direction. Once you are past the first few weeks of a new raid tier, tradability helps offset these changes.
    The team is trying to make item level a better guide for what is an upgrade.
    Personal Loot is here to stay, so let's talk about how we can improve it rather than rolling it back to Master Loot.
    Μας δουλευεις??????

    In which world you live????? How can possible be happy a raider with the freakin PL??? I have run ULDIR Hc and each time I do roll (because never drops an item from the bosses) is getting Azurite power, (the brilliant idea you had for the neck) I got better luck on trash to get an item than boss.. and that is not only for me, in the past with ML and please don't give that lame excuse " leader ninja" or unfair distribute.. I was getting items faster either from DKP points or extra roll.

    Its so dictator style that you said: Personal Loot is here to stay, so let's talk about how we can improve it rather than rolling it back to Master Loot.. meaning.. who gives a shit what you ppl said. I decide to do this way. take it or leave..

    With Master Loot, the team had to design loot tables that didn't have niche items that would only be useful to a spec or two. Now the team can better cater to a wider range of itemization, with more fist weapons, range weapons, shields, and more.
    For tight knit social groups that weren't abusing any of this, there is something that was lost with these changes.
    Srlsy????? I have my Guild since 2007 I play ( and I start to say sadly) since 2005, we have never been hardcore or casual and my team has never complained about an issue on loots etc and now I hear mostly in the raids @#!ing Blizz, wtf is that? no loot? or what f...ck is that???????

    Satisfy from Blizzard treatment? Not at all

    Why I still play WOW? because of friends and our ppl in the Guild.

    If that saying anything to you for the 1st time I didn't buy Blizzcon ticket.
  1. Loveliest's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aybar View Post
    What a load of crock on professions.
    Well, I don't expect much from the profession team. This is the one who said "but don't people who got the rank 3 from a rated battleground feel special?"
    Apparently that's what they think it's all that matters - that you feel special and different and luckier than others. Nevermind if you're not one of the lucky ones.
  1. Nyel's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by phantomax View Post
    Nothing on classes. Lmao.
    Nothing on Azerite, nothing on RNG, nothing on all the pain points of BfA so... just another PR stunt.

    What's next, Tuvalu Community Dev Q&A with Ion?
  1. Sigxy the Lemming's Avatar
    "Paladins and Druids traditionally had raid buffs, but in the Battle for Azeroth environment, they already had plenty of utility.
    The team would rather focus on the unique and strong utility that Druids and Paladins already bring rather than adding more buffs if they feel that there isn't incentive to bring these classes."

    Uhu, thanks for confirming you're not going to fix my class next expansion, most likely.

    "What makes one Blacksmith different from another? One can make something that the other can't."

    So DO TELL what the Blacksmiths can do that others cannot! Oh wait you're not going to, are ya - aside from that they can make useless weapons and useless plate armour. Even WoD did better with this.

    Welp, just not gonna get more expansions until these things are fixed as I only need retail for RP anyway. If I want end-game content? Classic will handle that and at least there, there's proper class fantasy!
  1. JohnnyMccrum's Avatar
    Can we all just take a few seconds of our lives to laugh at the Heroes of the Storm community?

    HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Mendzia View Post
    ✓ Diablo on phones
    ✓ BFA is terrible
    ✓ Starcraft franchise dead
    ✓ HotS abandoned
    ✓ HearthStone = cashgrab every few months
    ✓ who cares about OMEGALUL verwatch

    Welp that was a good year for Blizzard.

    Jokes aside probably only Overwatch and HS are doing 'okayish' right now?
    Card pack sales have plummeted. Overwatch gets no viewers on Twitch and it's playerbase consists of twitch girls pretending to play it. Large streamers have quit the game and are doing other things.

    Every single Blizzard franchise is fucking dead. It's actually not surprising they're trying to abandon this market and move to a brand new, dumber mobile one that doesn't expect the same quality standards or game design.

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