Warcraft Radio Interview with Ion Hazzikostas
Warcraft Radio sat down for an exclusive interview with Ion Hazzikostas about the recent Ny'alotha race to world first. Here is a recap of the interview. Be sure to watch the full video for all of the context and additional information!


  • Race to World First
    • It was really exciting to see a North American guild come out on top for the first time in awhile.
    • The team monitored the race in real time and fixed issues as fast as possible.
    • The Ra-den pre-immunity issue was hotfixed immediately so that immunity class stacking wasn't encouraged on the fight to bypass mechanics. The difference between this and the respawn issue was that Limit hadn't killed Ra-den yet.
    • The mythic race has shed light on bugs in mythic raids a lot faster than in the past.
    • There is a bit of a trade off in that the team wants to keep final boss mythic encounters somewhat exciting and secret which results in them not being tested by a large variety of guilds or situations.
    • Most mythic encounter strategies end up a little different than the team intended.
    • The issue that caused the team to despawn N'Zoth wasn't necessarily a bug, but a workaround that needed tuning so that the damage wasn't healable, forcing players into the portal.
    • The team wants to avoid excessive randomness in encounters that continually cause wipes.
    • The intended mechanic for 25% was a safety mechanism to spawn the gateway at 25% if phase 2 was initially skipped by dpsing the boss down to 25% without going in the portal for phase 2 yet, but the bug was that it was doing it EVEN IF phase 2 was completed.
    • Carapace was a little easier than intended, and in retrospect the damage requirements of phase 1 was too low.
    • In the past, these bugs only affected a small group of people, but now that they are public the team is learning how to improve communication and fix issues.
    • There are no plans to have mythic raids open simultaneously between NA and EU. They don't want the raid opening at bad times or having to delay opening, and most of the race comes down to learning and conquering the fight first.
  • Corruption System
    • Overall the team is happy with how corruption turned out, but there are still tuning issues. They like the choices and trade-offs that it brings to fights.
    • There are multiple tiers of each corruption so that you can wear more pieces of gear with good corruption without having excessive corruption negatives attached.
    • Corruption is an 8.3 system and is NOT the future of WoW.
  • Ny'alotha Encounters
    • The ball mechanic in the Xanesh encounter is the team trying to develop new ideas in raids that haven't been seen before.
    • Ion likes the Wrathion encounter, especially as a first fight, because it creates spectacle while also having some interesting mechanics.
    • Ion also likes the Carapace fight, particularly because he likes the idea of fighting your way into N'Zoth.
    • Sometimes datamined abilities in the encounter don't make the final cut but remain in the files as they iterate on fights even prior to PTR testing.
    • Queen Azshara originally had an extra phase with unique adds that didn't make the final cut.
    • Ion believes N'Zoth lives up to the standards of previous final boss encounters.
  • Future Mythic Encounters
    • The team is working on making sure bugs are solved before the race starts while also improving communication so that they fix these bugs faster when they pop up.
    • Final bosses of raids will likely still not be tested on the PTR for mythic to keep the surprise.
    • The team is happy with the 6 months between raid tiers as it's a good balance to allow people to make it to the end of the raid that have slower progression.
  • Battle for Azeroth Ending
    • There are definitely already hints building up to the future of the story.
    • Ion talks about the disappointment some felt for N'Zoth's end, but at the end of the day we are the heroes of the story and we will always defeat villains and make way for new villains to enter.
    • The team wanted the final cinematic of the expansion to focus on you as the hero and your efforts to build up your Heart of Azeroth being important to victory.
  • Shadowlands
    • There is a lot more to talk about with Shadowlands in the NEAR FUTURE.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Warcraft Radio Interview with Ion Hazzikostas started by Stoy View original post
Comments 125 Comments
  1. Kyphael's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by agentsi View Post
    I really don't see why people hate Ion so much. He seems like a pretty reasonable and fair guy. Is it because he isn't doing what they want to WoW? Like, are people so blind to think that their version of wow in their head is better than what an entire team can come up with?
    Mine is! Highmountain and Lightforged would have been customizations.
    High Elves and Mok'nathal would have been Allied Races.
    Mists of Pandaria class design.
    Wrath Valor Point and tier gear system with daily heroics to cap weekly Valor would be the standard every expansion.
    Wintergrasp and Tol'barad styled PVP zones every expansion instead of what we got.
    More features like Timeless Isle, less like Warfronts and Island Expeditions.
    New class every other expansion. It's not that fucking hard to balance if you do your job. I don't get to tell my boss it's too much work or I can't do it, the business world doesn't work that way.
    Garrosh would still be Warchief.
    Varian would still be High King.
    Anduin would have died at Broken Shore.
    Sylvanas would have never been Warchief, but could have still instigated The Fourth War through manipulating Garrosh's warmongering ways until he realized it.

    YOU'RE WELCOME!
  1. Yarathir's Avatar
    Sorry, Ion. I believe the things you're saying are just out of touch.
  1. Ghostile's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Laqweeta View Post
    Well I'm not pissing all 50 players of wow off though
    No, he's pissing off probably 50 people in general, who think they are magically the majority.
  1. bullseyed's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by agentsi View Post
    I really don't see why people hate Ion so much. He seems like a pretty reasonable and fair guy. Is it because he isn't doing what they want to WoW? Like, are people so blind to think that their version of wow in their head is better than what an entire team can come up with?
    They're struggling to clear normal and desperate to find anyone to blame but themselves.
  1. Onikaroshi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Pandragon View Post
    The corruption negated by the resistance doesn't count towards the negative effects.
    Nowhere did I say it did?
  1. Stormwolf64's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyphael View Post
    Mine is! Highmountain and Lightforged would have been customizations.
    High Elves and Mok'nathal would have been Allied Races.
    Mists of Pandaria class design.
    Wrath Valor Point and tier gear system with daily heroics to cap weekly Valor would be the standard every expansion.
    Wintergrasp and Tol'barad styled PVP zones every expansion instead of what we got.
    More features like Timeless Isle, less like Warfronts and Island Expeditions.
    New class every other expansion. It's not that fucking hard to balance if you do your job. I don't get to tell my boss it's too much work or I can't do it, the business world doesn't work that way.
    Garrosh would still be Warchief.
    Varian would still be High King.
    Anduin would have died at Broken Shore.
    Sylvanas would have never been Warchief, but could have still instigated The Fourth War through manipulating Garrosh's warmongering ways until he realized it.

    YOU'RE WELCOME!
    Well, their agenda was clearly to have female leaders so the sylvannas situation you describe would never happen.
  1. Kyphael's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Stormwolf64 View Post
    Well, their agenda was clearly to have female leaders so the sylvannas situation you describe would never happen.
    Mayla Highmountain, Gey'arah and High Arcanist Thalyssra would still exist.

    Oh, Talanji too.
  1. Dracullus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Accendor View Post
    How detached from your player base can you be? Seriously, I never really got the hate for Ion and I still do not hate him, but wtf man, this is just so disconnected from reality.
    Why are you so sure that he is disconnected from reality, not you? You play in your own bubble, he gets feedback from all community.
  1. Stormwolf64's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dracullus View Post
    Why are you so sure that he is disconnected from reality, not you? You play in your own bubble, he gets feedback from all community.
    Wonder what guttery the game would be if brown nosers like him were the only ones playing.
  1. Yarathir's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dracullus View Post
    Why are you so sure that he is disconnected from reality, not you? You play in your own bubble, he gets feedback from all community.
    Yes, like the overwhelmingly downvotes Ny'alotha cinematic.
    Or the constant complaints about how ridiculous the corruption lottery is.
  1. Bennett's Avatar
    I feel like people don't get that Ion works for Blizzard, no matter how bad some stuff is - he has to stick to a script and defend his employers - he's not gonna trash on the people who pay him is he
  1. agentsi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bullseyed View Post
    They're struggling to clear normal and desperate to find anyone to blame but themselves.
    I feel like it is those types of folks, who can't clear normal who complain the most. But I just don't see why the hate. Legion was great imo, he's batting .500 at this point, if Shadowlands sucks, and the expac after, maybe its time to remove him. But even BFA wasn't that bad compared to WoD, or Cata imo.
  1. Orby's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lurker1 View Post
    I agree i can finally leave this mmorpg for a new one soon feels good man!
    Just wish there were some better MMO's out there to go too... The genre is still full of very sub par MMO's.

    I guess ESO and FFXIV but I still think WoW is overall better because I care about the universe more... My girlfriend plays FFXIV but its just not my cup of tea.

    I'll wait for that new LotR MMO that probably wont be out for another 10 years lol.
  1. McNeil's Avatar
    Ion talks about the disappointment some felt for N'Zoth's end, but at the end of the day we are the heroes of the story and we will always defeat villains and make way for new villains to enter.

    So this is just going to be the routine then and we will never see any interesting villains. This is like watching a Power Ranger episode where they introduce a new monster and just gets destroyed at the end, except that the monsters in Power Rangers actually manage to have some more depth than what we get. Arthas was the last good villain and we'll never see anyone at his level anymore.
  1. beelgers's Avatar
    While I didn't love every answer in the interview, it did feel actually pretty honest. I have a bit of a suspicion that a lot of responses here (most not all) are quick reactions to the very short and incomplete bullet points in the post and the replies aren't based off actually watching the video entirely. The write-up here is fine, but bullets aren't going to convey the discussion well at all.
  1. Sigxy's Avatar
    "Ion talks about the disappointment some felt for N'Zoth's end, but at the end of the day we are the heroes of the story and we will always defeat villains and make way for new villains to enter."

    I don't think that is the issue people got. This is just how it naturally goes. It's just that, unlike the other old gods we fought, there was a -lot- of build up for this and we didn't get much in the end.
  1. Kyphael's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by McNeil View Post
    Ion talks about the disappointment some felt for N'Zoth's end, but at the end of the day we are the heroes of the story and we will always defeat villains and make way for new villains to enter.

    So this is just going to be the routine then and we will never see any interesting villains. This is like watching a Power Ranger episode where they introduce a new monster and just gets destroyed at the end, except that the monsters in Power Rangers actually manage to have some more depth than what we get. Arthas was the last good villain and we'll never see anyone at his level anymore.
    Kil'jaeden to me was the last great WoW villain, and before him, Gul'dan, alternate universe shit needed to bring him back not included, but I get your meaning. They're not interested in telling compelling stories with enemies that challenge the heroes in any significant ways. Here's a piñata, whack it until you get purples, rinse and repeat.

    Yet they insist on trying to turn this simplistic, formulaic villain of the week style of story-telling into some compelling arc with soap opera-level dialogue and cinematics when at the end, we just go BAM, BAM BAM, dead! No epilogue or further exposition and reflection needed, story done!
  1. JayceTheJuggernaut's Avatar
    From all the people who left blizzard this guy is still here. Under his guidance this game went from an MMO to a an action rpg that happens to have some other players there as well.

    It's mostly his direction of trying to instill a feeling of being hero into the player character while most of us started to play this game cuz there was a sense of inclusion from simply being a part of something. That creative direction for me has taken away a lot of the appeal that the lore has. It went from an honest meal to a big Mac menu.

    The other thing that this guy should be held accountable for is the stupid and over engineered game systems he implemented in the last three xpacs.
    Did the game and it's players really need Garrison's? No
    Did the game and it's players need to have the artifact trait tree be "upgraded" with crucible crap? No
    Are we enjoying the azerite armor plus that heart of azeroth? (Another example of that stupid you are the hero crap: transparent dwarf that keeps on commending you for harnessing the power of azeroth and calling you champion while ur fkin lagging from having all the other "champions" talking to him)
    Essences.... Void splitter horrific vision tree thing.

    I'll always love this game for it's lore and it's environment and friends. But I find myself playing it one evening a week as opposed to the days of school and later work missed from being immersed in this game.

    Maybe I'm just getting old
  1. Dracullus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Stormwolf64 View Post
    Wonder what guttery the game would be if brown nosers like him were the only ones playing.
    Call me when you're done with your tantrum and have something constructive to say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarathir View Post
    Yes, like the overwhelmingly downvotes Ny'alotha cinematic.
    Or the constant complaints about how ridiculous the corruption lottery is.
    Where he said that cinematic was good? All I hear is that they tried to do something new and it's false that resources for cinematics were cut. Do you really believe, after 30 minute CGI movie and multiple cinematics during BfA - even in this patch - that last cinematic was cutting corners, not just bad idea?

    About corruption - this is exactly what I'm talking about. I heard many complains from min-maxers that many corruption items are screwed, but also many comments that it's better or least more interesting that titanforging. But my sample is so small I would never dare to say what most people think about this system. We will more or less know reaction from whole community when we'll see gearing system from 9.0 Beta.

    And, by the way, do you think anyone on this planet gives a f**k about "constant complaints" at this point? We hear TON of them every patch. Not "every patch since expac X where game was good". Every. Single. Patch. If you dig enough you'll probably see comments from WoW Alpha where people whined that WoW is casual shit compared to Everquest.
  1. Yarathir's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dracullus View Post
    Call me when you're done with your tantrum and have something constructive to say.



    Where he said that cinematic was good? All I hear is that they tried to do something new and it's false that resources for cinematics were cut. Do you really believe, after 30 minute CGI movie and multiple cinematics during BfA - even in this patch - that last cinematic was cutting corners, not just bad idea?

    About corruption - this is exactly what I'm talking about. I heard many complains from min-maxers that many corruption items are screwed, but also many comments that it's better or least more interesting that titanforging. But my sample is so small I would never dare to say what most people think about this system. We will more or less know reaction from whole community when we'll see gearing system from 9.0 Beta.

    And, by the way, do you think anyone on this planet gives a f**k about "constant complaints" at this point? We hear TON of them every patch. Not "every patch since expac X where game was good". Every. Single. Patch. If you dig enough you'll probably see comments from WoW Alpha where people whined that WoW is casual shit compared to Everquest.
    Luckily, we don't need to know what many or few people think, just the facts that a lottery system that can give you a WQ item with an insane corruption effect that contributes to 10-30% of your dps output is a ridiculously dumb idea.

    And he's sticking to his guns about the cinematic. And after cranking out several film-tier Sadfang cinematics, a single 20sec cutscene where N'Zoth explodes and Ny'alotha disappears is objectively phoning it in, whether it came from a place of laziness/time constraints, or they actually unironically believed it was a good finale. Worse yet, if the latter is true, it's not only phoned in, but delusional as well.

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