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. Aggressive'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?"

    This whole statement is 700% true. No other way to put it or edit it. But this is how Blizzard works. Let's make this system and then call it "balance" or let's make unnecessary nerfs to a class spec, one that is already playing shitty, and call it "balance." Ion knows nothing of balance. This corruption proves that.
  1. Lei's Avatar
    Nzoth could have been one of the villains that win first before we put an end to him (like in action hero movies). It could have created a nice tension, good stress, looking forward into the game's future (world revamp). But nah.

    Ah this interview is so useless. The team is basically happy with everything (players don't like). Great. See you in SL.

    I said this and I'll say again:
    The devs are like evil genies nowadays:
    You wish to meet a nice girl
    and bam

    it's your mom.
  1. Redroniksre'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 mean FFXIV is basically what people on here fantasize about. The gearing system you can basically count to the hour when you will get a new piece of gear. Fights are fun as well as challenging if you decide to go that route, story is also very good (at least recent expansion is).
  1. Culex's Avatar
    I'm so glad I refunded my wow sub.
  1. AlmightyGerkin's Avatar
    All what ion likes. Not surprising he could give 2 shits about what the players think. But that blizzard who used to care is long gone.
  1. Culex's Avatar
    That video has way to many likes, employees must be the only ones to be able to vote on it.
  1. Tamurello's Avatar
    Ion should be the end boss of the next expansion
  1. ramborg's Avatar
    so many noobs here crying out about their ideas , stfu and play or quit the game and move one freaking bunch of lunatic's always band together on crying over everything and yes BFA was bad just move on. If you are really good join blizzard and change it if not no body gives a flying fuck on your inputs.
  1. Ealyssa's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Redroniksre View Post
    I mean FFXIV is basically what people on here fantasize about. The gearing system you can basically count to the hour when you will get a new piece of gear. Fights are fun as well as challenging if you decide to go that route, story is also very good (at least recent expansion is).
    Sad that its gameplay is a boring slow mess...
  1. Kayze's Avatar
    8.3 was alright in concept. I don't have much motive to play it, especially not as much as 8.2, but it's okay. I wish there was a new zone, better build up of N'Zoth, and an actual heavy ending that wasn't a direct LOTR rip and made the old god feel a bit more dangerous that this patch did. This lack luster faction war muddied what could have been an actual old god expansion. Having N'Zoth only hint at him becoming a big deal and then rushing it in 8.3 just felt bad. BFA, similar to WoD, is an expansion with a lot of potential that was thrown away despite it actually having patch content and stronger investments, which ironically makes it worse than WoD.

    Lack luster PvP, less engaging/rewarding gameplay (GCD and further class reworks), two high potential features (islands and warfronts) plagued with shabby implementation, great 8.2 content without longevity, etc. Release (leveling) and 8.2 were the only fun parts of this whole expansion, with 8.2.5 being a delight for the long awaited Worgen updates that they unfortunately ignored all feedback on.

    I am looking forward to the leveling content of Shadowlands, its art, and the new character customization. I hope they revert majority of the class design back to WoD or MoP, because most of the classes have lost their feel. E.g. Discipline priest, most shaman, most rogue, warrior, frost DK, etc all feel less fun since Legion. Havign every class at lvl 120, they all feel very similar with just a different visual effect or slightly different play style. Not at all like pre Legion nor like Overwatch heroes. More like the same types of abilities but either a casting/range or melee type depending on class/spec.
  1. Redroniksre's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ealyssa View Post
    Sad that its gameplay is a boring slow mess...
    Its not actually that slow when you get to max level. With WoW GCD changes they are more in line than ever. FFXIV is all about weaving oGCD in between your GCD attacks so in reality you are never waiting, you are always hitting buttons (Especially as a Ninja, i have way too many buttons most of the time)
  1. Kayze's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by agentsi View Post
    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.
    Cata maybe, but WoD at least had a better balance of content and new systems than BFA. Tanaan Jungle and Ashran, while the former was sparse in variety and the latter is only good for premades, at least was solid content with classes/systems that felt fun to play. BFA was Legion 2.0 with bad extremes in prior systems, less engaging gameplay, lots of wasted content because of bad implementation, and a worse story. It's ironically worse than WoD because of that.

    Funny enough, BFA's ending is similar to Cata's. The main bad guy only really makes an appearance in the last raid and like Thrall with the dragon soul, the player uses Azeroth's soul to finish him. Slightly better since it's not an NPC being the hero, but basically the same ending.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redroniksre View Post
    Its not actually that slow when you get to max level. With WoW GCD changes they are more in line than ever. FFXIV is all about weaving oGCD in between your GCD attacks so in reality you are never waiting, you are always hitting buttons (Especially as a Ninja, i have way too many buttons most of the time)
    Melee feels slow and popping cooldowns feels slow. Casting is fine.
  1. Mightytasty's Avatar
    Good interview. I like Ion a lot, I think he is extremely knowledgeable about the game and competent in his role (especially encounter design).

    He made a great point about the N’zoth ending, how the team made an effort to show our actual characters landing the final blow to N’Zoth in-game, as opposed to a rendered cutscene where someone else does it (like Thrall with deathwing). This is something that 99% of the players hadn’t experienced yet - they only saw the 27 second cinematic online of Ny’alotha crumbling. I really agree with their decision to do it this way, there a finality and satisfaction to it, and I think many people’s opinions will change once they actually down N’Zoth themselves.
  1. Pennem'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.
    Actually it is. There's lots of players who think "oh I can be evil in WoW or work for the villain kindaaaa, it's a grey game" But no. We're always going to be the good guys / hero no matter what.

    I'm glad he said that bit because there are still people who think the game let's you not be that. Ofc a player doesn't have to do any of these quests and say "MY character isn't a hero".

    But canonically, all our characters are heroes/good guys.
  1. Derpules's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Varitok 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."

    Probably the worst takeaway from this interview. It completely ruins any potential storylines and various potential endings in favour of Scooby Doo level monster of the week expansions where us meddling kids always win 100% of the time. So disappointed with that.
    Agree. The idea of us losing at the end of an expansion would be a breath of fresh air. I don't expect the writers to nail it, but sort of like the end of 'The Empire Strikes Back'. Get their asses kicked off of Hoth. Han is captured, Luke lost a hand, shit has hit the fan.
  1. ImpalerEU's Avatar
    Thank God for classic. I can finally enjoy my favorite game ever in its true high quality form, not this budget quality version they gutted the game down to. Hell even on classic we're not safe from these low budget developers. As soon as they decided to touch how battlegrounds worked, Warsong Gulch died in 10 minutes flat.
  1. Demoncrash's Avatar
    Must be nice working for Blizzard. If i messed up and it was visible to thousands of people, I highly doubt I'd keep my job, let alone be happy about the said mess.
  1. Grythletubs's Avatar
    I say this every time but I just can't stand Ion. He sounds so careless and full of shit. Like he just couldn't give two shits about the state of the game anymore.

    It frightens me that he's the face behind WoW.
  1. Bwonsamdi the Dead'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.
    Yeah, I really wish Rastakhan didn't die just to make way for his daughter

    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!
    What about not having Vol'jin die to demon poison?
  1. DemonDays's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Demoncrash View Post
    Must be nice working for Blizzard. If i messed up and it was visible to thousands of people, I highly doubt I'd keep my job, let alone be happy about the said mess.
    Can't remember who it was but a developer who left said they had a "we're all rockstars" attitude in the office.

    They believe they can do no wrong.

    "Backlash? The players clearly don't understand our genius."


    The Nzoth ending cinematic had a dislike ratio that was so bad they de-listed the video like cowards. Yet they're "happy with how it all turned out".

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