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 123 Comments
  1. thilicen's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sigxy the Lemming 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."

    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.
    If I'm not mistaken the hinting started already back in cata with the puzzle box.
  1. Dracullus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Yarathir View Post
    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.
    They tried to do something new. It was bad (or even horrible) idea, because their tech is not there (yet, hopefully; I want to see my character in "real" cinematic some day), but for sure it wasn't lazy/cuting costs. Especially if fight earlier we got regular cinematic with Wrathion that could be cut and no one would notice.

    And it's clear that Ion know it was bad idea, you can clearly tell if you watch interview, not only read summary from here.
  1. Felrane's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by thilicen View Post
    If I'm not mistaken the hinting started already back in cata with the puzzle box.
    Warcraft 3 really they didn't really explain the Naga but books came out later that did. Classic had some hints to N'zoth in Darkshore and Black Fathom Depths. Wrath Puzzle box was the largest hint but went all out war in Cata and the revamp they were saying his name left and right.
  1. Benitora's Avatar
    According to Ion, we where disappointed that we killed N'zoth. It's not because we killed him. It's the way it happens, and the entire buildup towards the black empire feeling extremely shallow.

    You don't build up a old god like N'zoth, Yogg-saron or C'thun as these massive creatures that would bring you to madness by just looking at them, and then give us a cloak made of Black dragons, the weakest dragonflight in terms fo corruption resistance, and expect us to buy it whole sale and just nod our head in understanding how fucking wonderful this solution is.

    I like that Wrathion is working towards a way to resist the corruption. Perfect. It fits within his storyline.
    It fits that Anduin will lay aside his differences with Wrathion in order to take on the larger bad guy, in this case, N'zoth.
    What does not fit, at all, is that N'zoth, after planning how to take over Azeroth with the Black empire, would not foresee the events that lead up to his demise. He has eyes bloody everywhere, at least according to how Ny'alotha seems to function...that despite him being practically everywhere and all knowing of the events that occur around Azeroth, that he would allow bloody Azshara to keep Xala'tath, despite knowing full well it's function towards old gods? Why even keep Azshara alive? Her purpose was finished.

    And even the whole "Fully released old god" shtick, that we are supposed to believe that N'zoth, despite being fully released, barely puts up more of a fight than a imprisoned Yogg-Saron or C'thun?
    His effect on the world is even less than the Lich King. Less than his own bloody minion, Deathwing.
  1. Thetruth1400's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by thilicen View Post
    And on the other hand people are getting benched because it's not dropping for them. This system is miraculously shitty, even for Blizzard's standards these later years.
    Blizzard still has standards? Could have fooled me.


    Blizzard really needs to hire some fresh blood that's not going to try and reinvent the wheel every expansion just for the sake of "Oh look, something new!"

    All that aside, the biggest disappointment of the interview for me was when he said they're happy with 6 month raid tiers. With how many sources outside of raid you can get the same ilvl as within raid, gearing happens way too fast for raids to last 6 months. Hell, they barely last 2 months before people are equally geared to them from M+ or world quest rewards.
  1. Yarathir's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dracullus View Post
    They tried to do something new. It was bad (or even horrible) idea, because their tech is not there (yet, hopefully; I want to see my character in "real" cinematic some day), but for sure it wasn't lazy/cuting costs. Especially if fight earlier we got regular cinematic with Wrathion that could be cut and no one would notice.

    And it's clear that Ion know it was bad idea, you can clearly tell if you watch interview, not only read summary from here.
    The fact remains that it's a 20 second cutscene that mimics Lord of the Rings where N'Zoth explodes and Ny'alotha fades away. I'm gonna need Sylvanas here to emphasize how nothing that is.

    Framing this as them being too delusional and high on their own farts isn't helping their case much, either.
  1. Kuntantee's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Softbottom View Post
    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.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    Never seen them unhappy with decisions they make. Rather unhealthy state of mind, but hey, people still play this garbage.
  1. Dracullus's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Yarathir View Post
    The fact remains that it's a 20 second cutscene that mimics Lord of the Rings where N'Zoth explodes and Ny'alotha fades away. I'm gonna need Sylvanas here to emphasize how nothing that is.

    Framing this as them being too delusional and high on their own farts isn't helping their case much, either.
    Alright, making bad call is "being too delusional and high on their own farts". I must admit, you know to dramatize and blow everything out of proportion.
  1. Yarathir's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dracullus View Post
    Alright, making bad call is "being too delusional and high on their own farts". I must admit, you know to dramatize and blow everything out of proportion.
    Making a bad call and then standing by it is indeed delusional and being high on your own hype, yes.

    And to make a call that bad, you'd have to be on something to begin with. Sorry, but anyone could've figured that such an anticlimactic Lord of the Rings ending to a boss in the making since Cataclysm and arguably before and the only unleashed Old God to be fought by us would be received negatively. Sorry that you take exception to me calling it out of touch to ever believe it would satisfy a large chunk of the player base.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuntantee View Post
    Never seen them unhappy with decisions they make. Rather unhealthy state of mind, but hey, people still play this garbage.
    They were in the same state in WoD, riding high off the success of what came before and being generally dismissive of what the players were saying.
    It went super well the last time. I can't wait for it to pay off for them again.
  1. Thetruth1400's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dracullus View Post
    And it's clear that Ion know it was bad idea, you can clearly tell if you watch interview, not only read summary from here.
    Knowing something is a bad idea and going forward with it is a sign of poor leadership and corporate greed, plain and simple.

    It's basically saying, "I know this is going to piss off a lot of people, but will we still make money off this?"
  1. Stormwolf64'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.
    Call me when you do the same, ok?
  1. Yarathir's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Thetruth1400 View Post
    Knowing something is a bad idea and going forward with it is a sign of poor leadership and corporate greed, plain and simple.

    It's basically saying, "I know this is going to piss off a lot of people, but will we still make money off this?"
    Or, in WoD:

    "I know this is going to piss a lot of people off and leave them utterly deflated, but we know better than them."
  1. Lurker1's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Orby View Post
    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.
    I agree i have a hard time finding them But this is enough to me to leave for good.
  1. froschhure's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Yarathir View Post
    The fact remains that it's a 20 second cutscene that mimics Lord of the Rings where N'Zoth explodes and Ny'alotha fades away. I'm gonna need Sylvanas here to emphasize how nothing that is.

    Framing this as them being too delusional and high on their own farts isn't helping their case much, either.
    Yes, yes yes... i love this. so true
  1. Lenarific'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?
    At this point a drooling 7yr old with a crayon and scratch paper could direct and create a better version of WoW then the current team.
  1. Darkeon's Avatar
    We were in dire need of some top quality damage control via laywer talk. Thank you, Ion!
  1. agentsi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lenarific View Post
    At this point a drooling 7yr old with a crayon and scratch paper could direct and create a better version of WoW then the current team.
    I mean, you're just wrong. I get it you're trying to insult them and the young boy, but if that was the case, someone like you would have his job. But you don't. Do I agree with everything they're doing? No way. I hate corruption gearing system. TF/WF was better in the sense that at least the item was an upgrade no matter what if you already had the same piece. But to set the bar so low is just dumb. Yes we can and should rag on them from time to time. But BFA is nothing like the disaster of Cata or WoD.
  1. Aggressive'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!


    Ok. You need to go take Ion's spot. I definitely like your idea or WoW better. More so then this shit expansion we have now.
  1. Kyphael's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggressive View Post
    Ok. You need to go take Ion's spot. I definitely like your idea or WoW better. More so then this shit expansion we have now.
    Thanks! I'm inclined to agree. lol
  1. glowpipe's Avatar
    Hopefully the last line there means alpha/beta is near

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