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Developer Interview - Ion Hazzikostas
Ion Hazzikostas recently sat down with Vanion to talk about the state of the game and more!


State of the Game
  • The team cares deeply about the state of the game. They are visiting all of the different venues where players provide feedback and talk about the game and read all of the comments.
  • People love the game and have a deep connection, but it's going in a direction they don't like, and that's frustrating. Feedback comes from a place of emotion.
  • One of the challenges with WoW is that there are very diverse audiences and play styles. When players accuse the team of being out of touch, it isn't that they don't understand players concerns, or what they'd like the game to be. The team has to keep in mind the other half dozen groups of players that want the game to be different things, often opposing things.
  • Players have every right to focus on their own experience.
  • The team wants everyone to be as happy as possible.
  • The internet is a place that has become a bit more polarized, and it's become more about getting anger out there and less about finding common ground.
  • There is a bright future ahead, with the majority of Battle for Azeroth's patch content still to come. If you think back to this time in Legion, there was much more to follow.
  • The team is focused on learning from mistakes that were made with systems and rewards at the start of Battle for Azeroth, correcting many of those in Patch 8.1.

Progression and Catch-Up Mechanics
  • It's important that progression and gear matter, but the team wants the game to remain accessible to people who are joining later or coming back. It's not just in the interest of those players, but everyone in a guild.
  • Throughout Burning Crusade, guilds complained bitterly about having to go back and get people attuned and do content that was irrelevant to them. These hurdles made it harder to recruit and get into raiding.
  • Patch 8.1 introduced catch-up mechanisms that were intended to get players ready for Battle of Dazar'alor. This initially felt like the game was giving you too much compared the current raid (Uldir).
  • The team can probably do more towards having more guaranteed progression through currencies for Raid and Dungeon content. Conquest provides this gear track on the PvP side.

Azerite Armor
  • A lot of Patch 8.1 reflects lessons learned from the launch of Battle for Azeroth.
  • There are still some fundamental flaws with the Azerite Armor system that the team is looking to pivot away from with Rise of Azshara.
  • The team is happy with the system in terms of the customization it allows, but the progression of unlocking those traits was a mismatch with that customization system.
  • Going forward, the team wants to keep armor fully unlocked and have a different avenue of progression in the Heart of Azeroth itself.

Classes
  • Legion focused on class identity as it was an important part of the story.
  • The team tried to move away from mixing utility and throughput, as putting utility as an option against something that lets you do more damage isn't an interesting choice.
  • The team has pulled away from talents that gave classes utility in an area that was traditionally weak for them. Someone has to be very mobile, someone has to be less mobile.
  • Classes don't have too many abilities anymore, that isn't a problem they are trying to solve. The team is open to moving some talents back to baseline abilities where it makes sense.

Patch 8.2
  • In the next tier, the raid will probably open within a couple weeks of the patch. This time the raid opened later due to the holidays.
  • The Crucible of Storms serves as a bridge between Battle of of Dazar'alor and Rise of Azshara. It may not open with the release of Patch 8.1.5, but probably not too long after that.
  • The team is going to look at where the playerbase as a whole is at to set the item level for Crucible of Storms. It's only a 2 boss raid, so it may be slightly higher item level gear than Battle of of Dazar'alor.
  • Mechagon is a second, smaller zone than Nazjatar, which is the main zone in Rise of Azshara. There is a megadungeon that is similar to Karazhan. Patch 8.2 will go on the PTR shortly after Patch 8.1.5 is live.
  • The goal of Nazjatar is to learn from all of the past outdoor zones and improve upon them.

Rares and Treasures
  • The team would like to move back to a treasure system like Warlords that had a better story and rewards.
  • There haven't been true Rare mobs since Mists. In a world where you can join cross-server groups, the right way to hunt for true rare spawns was server hopping. People would realm hop in Tanaan Jungle to find rares rather than moving around to find what's up. The team will be experimenting with rares in Rise of Azshara and beyond. There was something cool about finding a rare and being excited about it.

Mage Tower
  • The team was happy with how the Mage Tower worked out and would love to do it again in the future. They don't want to make it part of the expansion formula, it needs to fit the story and world.

Warfronts
  • Warfronts on live currently are Raid Finder difficulty. Heroic Warfronts will be closer to a Normal experience, tuned for a group that is coordinating together. It won't be a challenge for a Mythic raid group.
  • No new Warfront is planned for Rise of Azshara.
  • The Barrens Warfront was an early prototype and isn't currently planned.

Professions
  • The team is looking to improve crafting professions.
  • The most successful crafting professions in WoW have been ones that create consumable things to sell, such as Alchemy or Enchanting.
  • Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, and Tailoring have been the more challenging ones, as the gear they create competes with every other source of gear in the game.
  • If you can get crafted gear that is better than raid gear, you don't really need to raid. If crafted gear is weaker than raid gear, then it is useless.
  • Historically BoP items from dungeons and raids have been used.
  • There is lots of room for improvement, including allowing you to specialize in certain Blacksmithing areas so that you are different or better than other Blacksmiths.

Zone Updates
  • Redoing older zones is a huge undertaking, but the team is always looking for a reason to do so, such as creating new content in those zones. It's unlikely that the team will update older zones over creating new ones, as it wouldn't be in the best interest of players.


Lunar Festival 2019
The Lunar Festival is live! This year adds a Lunar Elder's Hearthstone, as well as Green and Blue Dragon costumes that can be purchased from Valadar Starsong in Moonglade.


Toys
New to 2019 is the Hearthstone toy.



Heirlooms


Pets
You can purchase the pets at Valadar Starsong in Moonglade.



Flower Crowns
You can purchase the Flower Crowns at Valadar Starsong in Moonglade.



Dress and Suit Transmog
You can purchase these items from Valadar Starsong in Moonglade.



Dragon Costumes
You can purchase the Dragon Costume toys at Fariel Starsong in Moonglade.



This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Interview - Ion Hazzikostas, Lunar Festival 2019 started by chaud View original post
Comments 166 Comments
  1. Evilmoo's Avatar
    The internet is a place that has become a bit more polarized, and it's become more about getting anger out there and less about finding common ground.
    The fuck are you talking about ION?
  1. eduwneso's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Evilmoo View Post
    The fuck are you talking about ION?
    Exactly this.
  1. schwarzkopf's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Evilmoo View Post
    The fuck are you talking about ION?
    He is talking about reality. You know the way that bubbles of 'me' the internet creates. The self sustaining bubbles of one view over another with little deference for the middle where the reality is.
  1. Dystemper's Avatar
    JEsus fucking Christ Ion needs to be fired ASAP. The devs are way out of touch. And this dip shit still thinks Azerite is doing well.
  1. Fiacla's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dystemper View Post
    JEsus fucking Christ Ion needs to be fired ASAP. The devs are way out of touch. And this dip shit still thinks Azerite is doing well.
    "The internet is a place that has become a bit more polarized, and it's become more about getting anger out there and less about finding common ground."

    Wonder who this comment could apply to...
  1. eduwneso's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dystemper View Post
    JEsus fucking Christ Ion needs to be fired ASAP. The devs are way out of touch. And this dip shit still thinks Azerite is doing well.
  1. lockybalboa's Avatar
    This guy's ability to spout BS is at max level now.
  1. Eleccybubb's Avatar
    So they flat out admit Warfronts is LFR difficulty but they are ok with it giving out a free Heroic BFD item every 2 weeks?

    The reward curve in this game is so utterly destroyed and has been for a while now.
  1. Papapriest's Avatar
    I just tried to level an alt through Legion, as I missed it and blew through it on may main. Very enjoyable to a point, BUT... You can't run the dungeons once you reach level 111. So I was unable to finish the quest-lines for my class or experience that aspect of the game. Limiting so many dungeons to a single level seems excessive.

    Oh, and I guess I can't earn Legion flying, either.
  1. Evilmoo's Avatar
    He is talking about reality. You know the way that bubbles of 'me' the internet creates. The self sustaining bubbles of one view over another with little deference for the middle where the reality is.
    the notion that players only response are emotional is absurd, community have generated tones and tones of on-point feedback with very specific solutions, various solutions that all but very few have been ignored or rejected. Ion is literally saying "we are the victims here", players are those who don't want to find "common ground" this is disingenuous and outright malicious lie.
  1. Kangumosa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lockybalboa View Post
    This guy's ability to spout BS is at max level now.
    Hands together to ION being in the flack when he’s probably taking shit in all directions, no wonder he’s lost most of his hair and is on suicide watch.
  1. Eleccybubb's Avatar
    The team can probably do more towards having more guaranteed progression through currencies for Raid and Dungeon content. Conquest provides this gear track on the PvP side.

    Oh I know I have an idea.

    Let's make this currency called "Justice Points". Basically you can buy let's say gear that will help with Mythic Dungeons/maybe a bit of Normal raiding. It caps at 2000.

    And let's make another one called "Valor Points". Basically with this you can buy raid equivalent gear. However it should have a cap of 450 per week with a total cap of 2000.

  1. Ifeanychukwu's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Evilmoo View Post
    The fuck are you talking about ION?
    That's so stupid of him to say. The internet is the same as ever, if he wasn't shitting all over the game with his horrible decisions there wouldn't be mobs of people angry over his decisions. That statement just tells me that this idiot believes that the players are the problem and that he thinks he's in the right with everything he's doing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Eleccybubb View Post
    The team can probably do more towards having more guaranteed progression through currencies for Raid and Dungeon content. Conquest provides this gear track on the PvP side.

    Oh I know I have an idea.

    Let's make this currency called "Justice Points". Basically you can buy let's say gear that will help with Mythic Dungeons/maybe a bit of Normal raiding. It caps at 2000.

    And let's make another one called "Valor Points". Basically with this you can buy raid equivalent gear. However it should have a cap of 450 per week with a total cap of 2000.

    Definitely not, that worked too well for too many years.
  1. Eleccybubb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ifeanychukwu View Post
    That's so stupid of him to say. The internet is the same as ever, if he wasn't shitting all over the game with his horrible decisions there wouldn't be mobs of people angry over his decisions. That statement just tells me that this idiot believes that the players are the problem and that he thinks he's in the right with everything he's doing.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Definitely not, that worked too well for too many years.
    What?! Did this already exist in game?!

    Why would they remove it?!!!
  1. Dystemper's Avatar
    I dont know whats worse, Ion and his delusional rantings that he is doing a great job, or the people that defend him
  1. Sencha's Avatar
    The team wants everyone to be as happy as possible.
    They clearly chose to please the casuals with easy gameplay and epic rewards for daily brainless content. Subs have never been so low.
  1. eduwneso's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Evilmoo View Post
    the notion that players only response are emotional is absurd, community have generated tones and tones of on-point feedback with very specific solutions, various solutions that all but very few have been ignored or rejected. Ion is literally saying "we are the victims here", players are those who don't want to find "common ground" this is disingenuous and outright malicious lie.
    I don't know rick, He actually admits many faults from their part, and what he said about the internet being polarized, by no means is that "we are perfect and they are attacking us!!" but I guess if some people won't admit that there exist certain hate train with no stops to look at nothing straight to blow this shit! then yeah, they are right, the only thing Ion does in this interview is act as a victim and not assume any faults nor any disposition to change, a thing that if you read carefully and not only spout 50IQ "He is a lawyer duh" (the must dumbest thing I'm reading in the forums these past months) you will see that is a lie.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Dystemper View Post
    I dont know whats worse, Ion and his delusional rantings that he is doing a great job, or the people that defend him
    Actually, you are the one ranting mah boy, it's actually hilarious reading that you think he is ranting when you are ranting
  1. 6ev4enko's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by lockybalboa View Post
    This guy's ability to spout BS is at max level now.
    Actually, he is the guy that has explained the thought behind the decisions they have made in the game's development. I do have to admit, that his explanations about directions they have taken in the game have made a lot of sense, even though that I do not like the direction, it still makes sense when they explain their thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dystemper View Post
    JEsus fucking Christ Ion needs to be fired ASAP. The devs are way out of touch. And this dip shit still thinks Azerite is doing well.
    What do you suggest them do? Scrap the system mid-expansion? Dont be so delusional, most of the expansion is based on it - they wanted to make thematic sets for each armor type, so they moved away from tier sets for each class and towards the azerite system, additionally it was a way to continue the "artifact" system from legion, because in games you always have to try to UPGRADE system but it does not always work out.

    What I'm trying to say is, stop complaining just to have your 2 seconds of fame. That is not useful, useful is to give feedback and constructive criticism with facts.
  1. eduwneso's Avatar
    "It's important that progression and gear matter, but the team wants the game to remain accessible to people who are joining later or coming back. It's not just in the interest of those players, but everyone in a guild."

    This has actually saved the raiding of my guild and we still can raid because of that, thanks Ion, really.

    I still think that any outdoor reward that does not need certain work or has some difficulty has to give normal gear and no more, then the guild can help them to gear them up.
  1. DesoPL's Avatar
    Nothing new, we can move along folks.

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