PCGamer Interview with Ion Hazzikostas on Patch 8.2
PCGamer interviewed Ion Hazzikostas on the upcoming Patch 8.2 - Rise of Azshara and the lessons the team has learned from Battle for Azeroth's launch.



General Philosophy
  • There is still no exact date when 8.2 will be on the PTR, but Ion says "not too long after this, we're going to have a large info dump for the community and (public test realm) for Rise of Azshara will start."
  • 8.2 is a "very large content patch."

Nazjatar
  • 8.2 will take the best features of past endgame content, but is also trying a lot of new things.
  • The team doesn't just want Nazjatar to feel like a familiar formula applied to a new set of terrain, but an actual meaningful different game experience from the past few months.

Azerite System
  • Having to re-earn your traits as you get better gear is not fun and something they want to completely move away from.
  • 8.2 will continue to have new Azerite traits unique to Azshara's raid or to Mechagon that compliment the existing pool of traits.
  • Traits will be fully unlocked and players can choose their talents that best fits their play style.
  • The Heart of Azeroth will continue to use Azerite Power for a progression path on the Heart itself that consists of both passive and active traits.
  • Active abilities will be actual new spells that are placed on the hotbar and have a meaningful change to your combat rotation immediately.
  • Addressing the core system of Azerite Armor was something Tides of Vengeance couldn't do, and so the team added the 5th ring and more customization while they worked on the new system for the past couple months.

Future Expansion Feature Design
  • The team learned a lot about the importance of player agency.
  • The Azerite System was designed to respond to the failings of Legion Artifacts in which the customization was very frontloaded.
  • They feel that having all traits unlocked on Legion weapons, not having any big choices, and being the same as every other person of your class was a missed opportunity to give players more choice.
  • One of their biggest mistakes in the BfA beta was waiting too long to get the Azerite Armor and traits fully stood up in the beta.
  • Going forward, the team is going to have a much higher priority on getting end game gear progression into the player's hand in the early stages of the alpha and beta tests.

Portal Removal
  • The team has to find a middle ground between many different play styles.
  • Flying is a good example. There are those who think flying makes the world feel smaller and some who want the convenience. The system evolved from getting it for gold, to not having it at all, and ultimately settled on a method that they feel is a nice middle ground.
  • The team wanted to consolidate portals into something that was more intuitive and made more sense within the world. They didn't want players having to place their Hearthstone in old expansion content because it was the most accessible area.
  • Feedback is what caused Caverns of Time to be added to the portal rooms in 8.2

Change and Player Reactions
  • The team sometimes makes changes that seem less fun because they've been burned in the past and are worried about some consequence three years down the line.
  • A lot of the current gear progression systems were designed as expansion only features, and the team wants to be more open to implementing permanent RPG additions to the game and accepting that there will be some untidiness down the road as long as it's exciting for players.
This article was originally published in forum thread: PCGamer Interview with Ion Hazzikostas on Patch 8.2 started by Stoy View original post
Comments 306 Comments
  1. tangers58's Avatar
    Wait you mean the beta ended at some point?
  1. Roshar's Avatar
    https://www.destructoid.com/blizzard...n-397543.phtml

    Seems like they're still learning lessons. Wonder when they'll finish school.
  1. justjm's Avatar
    Flying is a good example. They had one extreme of getting it early for gold, the other of not having it at all, and ultimately settled on a method that they feel is a nice middle ground. <--- Bad e.g. The method you settled in effectively achieved what you wanted. Making it such a long grind, that a sizable no of players would not bother getting it, and rather quit the game. This is not a middle ground at all.
  1. GrinnersGrin's Avatar
    Basically a big "We fucked up" in lawyer speak.

    8.2 could be promising then.
  1. Sentynel's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by justjm View Post
    Flying is a good example. They had one extreme of getting it early for gold, the other of not having it at all, and ultimately settled on a method that they feel is a nice middle ground. <--- Bad e.g. The method you settled in effectively achieved what you wanted. Making it such a long grind, that a sizable no of players would not bother getting it, and rather quit the game. This is not a middle ground at all.
    What part of Pathfinder is grinding? All I see is Loremaster, Explorer, and reputation shit. All of this can be completed in a few weeks of playing normally.
  1. dcc626's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sentynel View Post
    What part of Pathfinder is grinding? All I see is Loremaster, Explorer, and reputation shit. All of this can be completed in a few weeks of playing normally.
    quitting the game because of flying. so fucking riduculous.
  1. hyphnos's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by GrinnersGrin View Post
    Basically a big "We fucked up" in lawyer speak.

    8.2 could be promising then.
    LOL. The endless cycle of "we learned" blah blah. They only things they EVER LEARN is just how much they can get away with with the customers they have left.

    They have learned it is "a lot" and therefore act like passive aggressive jackasses to their customers when they have the audacity to not love everything the devs shit out.
  1. korijenkins's Avatar
    "The team has learned"

    No, we've been hearing this for 3 expansions. Clearly the team is full of fucking idiots and never learns anything, or doesn't care.
  1. MaximusPM's Avatar
    "The Heart of Azeroth will continue to use Azerite Power for a progression path on the Heart itself that consists of both passive and active traits.
    Active abilities will be actual new spells that are placed on the hotbar and have a meaningful change to your combat rotation immediately."

    NO NO NOOOOOO. We DON'T need active traits.
  1. darkthunder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Roshar View Post
    https://www.destructoid.com/blizzard...n-397543.phtml

    Seems like they're still learning lessons. Wonder when they'll finish school.
    Isn't it a good thing, that people are always learning new stuff? It usually leads to innovation. Sticking to the same tried and true will inevitably lead to downfall.
  1. vilememory's Avatar
    Every word he utters makes me violently angry!
  1. FelPlague's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by korijenkins View Post
    "The team has learned"

    No, we've been hearing this for 3 expansions. Clearly the team is full of fucking idiots and never learns anything, or doesn't care.
    so are you saying... they should fire more people?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusPM View Post
    "The Heart of Azeroth will continue to use Azerite Power for a progression path on the Heart itself that consists of both passive and active traits.
    Active abilities will be actual new spells that are placed on the hotbar and have a meaningful change to your combat rotation immediately."

    NO NO NOOOOOO. We DON'T need active traits.
    you dont want artifacts back, and you dont want new spell? what?
  1. Paperfox's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by korijenkins View Post
    "The team has learned"

    No, we've been hearing this for 3 expansions. Clearly the team is full of fucking idiots and never learns anything, or doesn't care.
    Just through the normal process of time teams change as people leave and others replace them. And the playerbase is changing too. What was once welcomed may no longer be even accepted.

    I think it's great they're actually saying these things.
  1. Rawrajishxc's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by korijenkins View Post
    "The team has learned"

    No, we've been hearing this for 3 expansions. Clearly the team is full of fucking idiots and never learns anything, or doesn't care.
    lol so damn true.
  1. Evilmoo's Avatar
    The team sometimes makes changes that seem less fun because they've been burned in the past and are worried about some consequence three years down the line.
    There will not be wow in three years down the line if you continue to make unfun changes.
  1. Gasparde's Avatar
    Worthless platitudes. They've been spouting excuses and admissions like that for years and usually don't follow up on anything.
    Start showing and stop talking about stuff you're gonna twist, turn and not fulfill anyways.
  1. Cyram's Avatar
    HOLD ON.
    Nazjatar is end-game?
  1. Eleccybubb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by korijenkins View Post
    "The team has learned"

    No, we've been hearing this for 3 expansions. Clearly the team is full of fucking idiots and never learns anything, or doesn't care.
    This.

    They always say they do. And they never actually do learn lol. Or they only just find out that players are sick of the state of the game at the end of an expansion. Which is when it's too late as most players have already left BFA now.
  1. Iseeyou's Avatar
    lol we learned
  1. Priestiality's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyram View Post
    HOLD ON.
    Nazjatar is end-game?
    Everything at max-level is "end-game".

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