Blizzcon 2019 - World of Warcraft: Deep Dive
Members of World of Warcraft development team discuss the latest content coming to Azeroth.

Covenants
  • Quest through 4 zones, learn about the covenants, make a choice at Level 60.
    • Kyrians: The denizens of Bastion, these are angelic beings embrace humility and service to their order.
    • Necrolords: Comprised of liches, warlords, and spies, the Necrolord Covenant calls Maldraxxus home. They make up the army that defends the Shadowlands.
    • Night Fae: Guardians of nature, the Night Fae inhabit Ardenweald and shepherd beings through the cycle of life and death. It was through their aid that the demigod Cenarius was able to make his return to Azeroth during the events of the Cataclsym.
    • Venthyr: Making their home in Revendreth, the vampiric Venthyr are the punishers of the unworthy, seeking to rehabilitate the sinful souls sent to them by the Arbiter.
  • Covenant Sanctum - Similar to your Order Hall, you'll spend a lot of time here.
  • Covenant Ability - Everyone learns one ability, not a direct combat ability.
    • Soul Shape (Night Fae) - Turns you into a Spirit Fox, giving 30% movement speed and causing enemies to ignore you. Lasts 10 seconds, or until cancelled while in a rest area, 1.5 min CD. Customization with different creatures.
    • Unburden (Kyrian) - 1 min CD, 1 sec cast. Dissolve into pure anima, increasing your movement speed to 300%, slowing your falling speed, and propelling you forward for 4 seconds. Greatly reduces the radius at which enemies will detect you.
    • Transcend the Flesh (Necrolord) - Instant, 3 min CD. Separate your soul from your body for 20 seconds. Your soul is invisible and untargetable, though your body remains vulnerable. This effect will end early if you move further than 60 yards from your body. When Transcend the Flesh ends or is cancelled, your body rejoins your soul.
    • Door of Shadows (Venthyr) - 40 yd range, 2 sec cast, 2 min CD. Wend through the shadows, appearing at the targeted location.
  • Covenant Class Ability - Solve problem by fighting it.
    • Radiant Spark (Kyrian) - 2,000 mana, 40 yd range, 1.3 sec cast, 30 sec CD. Conjure a radiant spark that causes 4,854 Arcane damage instantly, and an additional 1,892 damage over 8 seconds. Your next 4 direct damage abilities that hit targets affected by Radiant Spark deal 25% increased damage, up to 100% damage.
    • Shifting Power (Night Fae) - 15 yd range, 45 sec CD, channeled. Draw from the ground beneath you for 3 seconds, dealing 5,500 Nature damage to nearby enemies over the duration. Every second spent channeling increases your Haste by 5% for 15 seconds.
    • Contagion Bolt (Necrolord) - 40 yd range, 2 sec cast, 1.5 min CD. Deal 5,000 Shadow damage to the target enemy. For the next 8 seconds, your single target spells cast on the affected enemy cause the disease to splash to nearby enemies dealing 3,000 Shadow damage.
    • Mirrors of Torment (Venthyr) - 40 yd range, 2 sec cast, 2 min CD. Conjure 3 mirrors that rotate around the targeted enemy for 6 seconds. Whenever they cast an ability or spell they take 7,000 Shadow damage and are rooted for 1.5 seconds.
  • Soulbinds - When you reach max level and join a Covenant, you’ll be able to bind your soul one of several such powerful beings. Gain powers.
    • Theotar, the Mad Duke grants Arrogance - You have 5% increased critical strike chance against targets whose current health percentage is lower than yours.
    • Nadjia, The Mistblade grants Deflecting Flourish - Your Parry is increased by 6%. If you are normally unable, Nadjia will teach you how to parry.
  • Unlock new powers, filling out Soulbind ability tree with Conduits gained during your adventures through the Shadowlands.
  • See slides for some examples.
  • Choose Soulbind that best suits you, switch Soulbinds when strategy demands, uncover your soulbind's backstory.
  • Easy to switch soulbinds, similar to talents, pop a tome.
  • These are not bodyguards, they won't follow you all the time.
  • Covenants will grant backpack style cloaks, weapons and armor, upgradeable mount, world benefits, covenant campaign.
  • Build an abomination that will follow you around as a bodyguard in that zone.
  • You can change your Covenant, but it'll take some time to build up trust with your new allies.

Leveling
  • Leveling currently takes too long
  • Not every level is rewarding
  • Confusing timelines and stories when you level
  • Leveling the first time is special, but when you are leveling an alt it isn't as exciting, you want to go and play with your friends.
  • There are 120 levels right now, so you gain levels very quickly and they don't feel special.
  • Who is the Warchief? The Warchief shuffle is a thing.
  • Most players that choose Pandaria to level in get through Jade Forest and half of the next zone, not doing justice to the story there.
  • Goals: Streamline leveling, choose the story you want, make every level rewarding, and modernize the intro to Azeroth.
  • Adding a new starting zone and keeping all of the existing ones.
  • New level range is 1-60 and every level should unlock something.
  • 60-70% faster to level 1-50 in Shadowlands.
  • Pick any expansion to level 10-50
  • New starting zone, Exile's Reach
  • Level 120 becomes 50, some simple formula to match levels between 1 and 50.
  • Character power won't change, you'll still be able to solo old content as you do now.
  • Death Knight and Demon Hunter zones will be scaled 1-10
  • New players can only start in Exile's Reach. Faction learned of uncharted island, sent expedition there, hasn't returned. You are going to find out what is going on there.
  • Zone has big mountains, vistas, waterfalls, dark forest, harpies, quilboar, ogres.
  • Ogre has captured your forces, going to sacrifice them to bring a dragon back from the dead.
  • Island ends in a mini dungeon, scales to match the party you have. Will introduce people to the concept of dungeons.
  • Killing the ogre captures the attention of your faction leader, move on to capital city.
  • Brand new players have to level up 10-50 in Battle for Azeroth. Most recent expansion
  • Existing players can choose Exile's Reach or the old starting zones.
  • Chrome reaches out to existing players to help them choose one of the existing expansions.
  • You can still wander around all of the expansions if you want, you don't have to stick to one.
  • Allied Races start at 10, can pick the expansion they want.

Classes
  • Holinka went to work on another project, but he's back now!
  • Around Mists people started complaining that their action bars were getting full.
  • In Warlords the team removed some abilities that they thought would be okay to remove.
  • In Legion, the Artifact system was great, every spec had a theme. Lots what a class meant and what a spec meant.
  • In Shadowlands, we have Covenants that will give you cool class abilities.
  • Team is listening to feedback from the past few expansions and is going to try and fix it.
  • "Fix it" tells the team you aren't happy, still useful, not as useful as specific feedback.
  • The team has to gauge how disruptive they want to be. When you head into Shadowlands they don't want you to have to re-learn how to ride a bike. Disruption should be worth it to the players.
  • Is this more fun for the player, or we just doing this to fix something that bothers us as designers?
  • Not as big class changes as Legion, mostly going to add things.
  • Returning to Class from Spec.
  • If you change specs right now, it's almost like you change classes with how much some specs change.
  • Classes are made up of elements from each spec, then the spec doubles down on it.
  • All Paladins can use the light, execute their enemies with divine judgement.
  • Class defining mechanics - Spells that have a unique hook and help to deliver class fantasy.
  • Paladin Auras told you that a Paladin is with you.
  • Shamans still have totems, but persistent totems are coming back. Healing Stream!
  • Poisons are coming back, class wide, to Rogues.
  • Curses are coming back to Warlocks. Curses used to be an important choice, one Curse only.
  • Mages will get Frostbolt, Fire Blast, Arcane Explosion! Mages are master of elements.
  • All Priests can tap into the light to heal their friends and harness the Shadow to destroy their enemies. Holy Priest can cast Shadow Word: Death. Shadow Priest can use Flash Heal.
  • Shaman starts with Mace and Shield. Primal Strike.
  • Warrior can Shield Block.
  • Iconic Class Abilities - Raise Dead, Frost Shock, Consecration, Ursol's Vortex, Shiv, Death Coil.
  • Talents and Honor Talents - Demonic Circle, Summon Gargoyle, Hunter's Mark, Hammer of Wrath, Cyclone, Anti-magic Zone
  • Long Lost Friends - Shattering Throw, Kill Shot, Ritual of Doom, Challenging Shout, Eyes of the Beast


Torghast and the Maw
  • The Maw is a zone, access point to Torghast, home of the Jailer, prison for the vilest souls.
  • The Maw is also an unjust prison for millions of others. Fourth War and Teldrassil casualties go here.
  • You are a Maw Walker, can enter and leave at will. No one has ever been able to do that before, which is why Covenants are so interested in you.
  • Rules by torment and terror. Not a friendly place. Much more deadly creatures, environments, and mechanics.
  • Releasing spirit - The Jailer has noticed you. Ire of the Jailer.
  • Any action you take in the Maw increases the Ire of the Jailer.
  • More adds will start coming to get you, then kill squads, and more and more deadly.
  • Be surgical, careful, get in, get out, don't die too often.
  • Torghast - Center of the Maw. Home of the Jailer and his dangerous forces and prisoners.
  • Does not obey the normal constraints of reality.
  • Dungeon scales, 1-5 players. Roles don't matter.
  • Both you and enemies get stronger as you climb the tower. Earn powers are you progress.
  • First few floors are a standard dungeon crawl. Higher up there are traps, puzzles, locked doors, dangerous minions.
  • Layout and enemies change. Floors are built to encourage exploration.
  • Torghast is not a timed mode. Always be exploring before you go up to the next floor.
  • Anima in the Maw allows you to choose between powers, choose between Obleron Endurance, which increases your maximum health by 10%, or Obleron Talisman which increases your mastery by 5%.
  • You could find Corruption Antenna, which gives your attacks a chance to curse your target, dealing 35,440 Shadow damage to your target over 8 seconds. Later, you might find Shadowed Iris, which makes it so when you deal Shadow damage, it has a chance to blind the target, reducing their chance to hit by 75% for 12 seconds. These abilities could work well together, creating a synergy that makes your attacks more effective.
  • Golden Idol - Epic Power. Grants the ability to see which enemies are carrying Anima Cells.
  • Ardent Endurance - Increase duration of Soulshape by 50%.
  • Bloating Fodder - You cause Mawrats to explode on death, dealing 10k Plague damage to nearby enemies.
  • Heavyhoof Sandals - While in Soulshape, you instantly kill Mawrats that you pass through.
  • After a few weeks of expansion, The Beasts of Prodigum event where Jailer floods Maw with different creature type. Changes powers that you can pick from as well:
    • Chain of Command - Summon Shade Hound that stuns individual enemies and draws attention.
    • Shade Essence-Lure- Summons Valloc, a powerful Soul Eater that can inflict area damage and silence enemies.
  • Collect runes, take to runeforge, Runesage helps you forge legendary items, learn about Frostmourne and Helm of Domination.
  • Choose legendary slot, secondary stat, powers. Lots of determination by players.


This article was originally published in forum thread: Blizzcon 2019 - World of Warcraft: Deep Dive started by chaud View original post
Comments 115 Comments
  1. Daedius's Avatar
    Curious what they meant when they said that every level has something to look forward to with the level squish. They bringing back Talent points? One can only hope...

    The current model of a talent every 15+ levels sucks.
  1. un_known's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Daedius View Post
    Curious what they meant when they said that every level has something to look forward to with the level squish. They bringing back Talent points? One can only hope...

    The current model of a talent every 15+ levels sucks.
    that is my current hope, that the original talent tree's make a comeback, that would be incredible!
  1. HailArthas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Daedius View Post
    Curious what they meant when they said that every level has something to look forward to with the level squish. They bringing back Talent points? One can only hope...

    The current model of a talent every 15+ levels sucks.
    Getting something every level doesn't mean a talent point. It just means unlocking 1 spell, or unlocking 1 new dungeon etc.
  1. shade3891's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Daedius View Post
    Curious what they meant when they said that every level has something to look forward to with the level squish. They bringing back Talent points? One can only hope...

    The current model of a talent every 15+ levels sucks.
    Look forward to the next level

    Maybe the talentsystem isnt implemented yet. They might have just adapted the current system to show the new world. Seen a stream yesterday that used the old system.
  1. Daedius's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by un_known View Post
    that is my current hope, that the original talent tree's make a comeback, that would be incredible!
    Seeing how they're doing a fallback in D4 to D2's system with the runes and talent/skill system there's a possibility of that happening hopefully... maybe with the influence of Classic as well that might increase the likelihood of that happening?

    Here's hoping. I miss making the silly hybrid builds!
  1. ercarp's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Daedius View Post
    Curious what they meant when they said that every level has something to look forward to with the level squish. They bringing back Talent points? One can only hope...

    The current model of a talent every 15+ levels sucks.
    It did sound like they've done more to leveling than just squishing the numbers down.
  1. Drewbacca's Avatar
    I think it means you’ll get abilities as you level up. With DK and DH starting at 10, I wonder if the abilities will given out slower over the 40 levels. Learning a DK always seemed less intuitive given how quickly you get all of your abilities.
  1. HailArthas's Avatar
    I just hope this is more like the What's Next panels of old where they show off abit of gear and stuff like that too, more concept art, more stuff we can expect. And not just 45 minutes of them explaining the tower.
  1. Ryegen's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by un_known View Post
    that is my current hope, that the original talent tree's make a comeback, that would be incredible!
    On the showfloor demo. The talent system is the same but adjust to the lower level cap.
  1. Zka's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by un_known View Post
    that is my current hope, that the original talent tree's make a comeback, that would be incredible!
    SL demo still has the current simplified trees, so maybe they will stay.
  1. HailArthas's Avatar
    I wanna be a butterfly.
  1. Lorca's Avatar
    The "Deep dive" isn't free to watch, right guys?
  1. HailArthas's Avatar
    Those fairy things are gonna get so much Rule 34 holy shit.
  1. Haidaes's Avatar
    Filling 50 levels isn't that hard. Even with the current system you have like 20+ abilities already, if you allow some of them to be used in other specs you can easily reach 30. Then you have like 6 tiers of the talent system, brings you up to 36. Now sprinkle in some stuff like riding unlocks, and before you know you have already 40+ levels filled with something as a reward.
  1. Justpassing's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by HailArthas View Post
    Those fairy things are gonna get so much Rule 34 holy shit.
    What doesn't?
  1. Daedius's Avatar
    Covenant abilities are usable anywhere, but Soulbind passives are just out in the world aye?

    Level flow talk now
  1. Haidaes's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lorca View Post
    The "Deep dive" isn't free to watch, right guys?
    Nope this is where the virtal ri.. ticket comes in. Give it an hour and the fansites will have pretty muich transcribed most of it anyway, or try to hunt streams on twitch before they get sniped.
  1. Axaron's Avatar
    Has Ion apologized for BFA yet?
  1. Dantos's Avatar
    "Unburden is the Kyrian one, 2 min CD, 1 sec cast, 300% movement speed for 4 sec, reduced enemy detection."

    How to ruin Capture the Flag battlegrounds right there ...
  1. collide7's Avatar
    Seriously drop the endless tangent of wanting the incredibly awful ILLUSION (this means FAKE, NOT REAL, DOES NOT ACTUALLY PROVIDE) of choice talent trees of the games origins. Our current system is massively better. I mean seriously just stop. How many times do you need to be told that they were bad? That what you think those trees provided, they did not actually provide -in any sense at all-. Truly mindboggling what a picture of a tree with connecting points, even if those points are meaningless, has had an effect on players of this game.

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