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. Kyphael's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bwonsamdi the Dead View Post
    What about not having Vol'jin die to demon poison?
    Uh... sure! He wouldn't have been Warchief in an ideal world, though, Garrosh would have permanently inherited the mantle so it could be taken seriously and Grommash Hold isn't a revolving door like a manager's office at CVS.
  1. JacobusRex's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDays View Post
    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".
    This. Ego and delusion go hand in hand at Bliz*static Activision static*zard. They'll pull a China every time now. *diseased, rotting corpses and burning buildings surrounding them* "Happy with how it all turned out."
  1. Lei's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kayze View Post
    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.
    Well, one could argue that Deathwing fucked up Azeroth pretty good. You could see his doing all around Azeroth. You could see Sinestra after an "affair" with him. And also he used to fly into zones and roast everything to crisp. Not to mention the revamped leveling experience related to him in the "dustbowl" zone (Badlands?) What did Nzoth do in game? Pffffffhhhh.
  1. FatGandalf's Avatar
    Ion must be smoking crack
  1. Yarathir's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lei View Post
    Well, one could argue that Deathwing fucked up Azeroth pretty good. You could see his doing all around Azeroth. You could see Sinestra after an "affair" with him. And also he used to fly into zones and roast everything to crisp. Not to mention the revamped leveling experience related to him in the "dustbowl" zone (Badlands?) What did Nzoth do in game? Pffffffhhhh.
    Hey now, he spooged purple over like two zones nobody went to anymore.
  1. Orby'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).
    Yea I have watched my girlfriend play. It looks beautiful, but as for investment I just like Warcraft more due to having played those games since 1994 and have developed an attachment to that world over that time. The reason I played WoW to begin with was because of the RTS games, I had that familiarity.

    I have no connection to the Final Fantasy game and so its world feels unimportant to me. If I had a love for Final fantasy's world I'd be playing for sure. That's the important hing about MMO's for me. You need that investment. I see a lot of MMO's release games and make these beautiful worlds but they mean nothing to me so the game tends to lose interest.
  1. Penegal'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.
    If any of the people screaming how bad the game is and how their version was perfect were given control, they would have ran the game into the ground far earlier than Blizzard did.
  1. Jasper Kazai's Avatar
    The one potential saving grace of the whole N'Zoth crap could be if the events of 8.3 all turn out to be an illusion we're experiencing in our minds. That we don't actually kill N'Zoth yet. I highly, highly doubt they'd ever do something potentially cool like that, but it would be nice. Then we could have to sacrifice the Heart of Azeroth just to get out of the illusion, like how we got rid of the artifacts.
  1. Domixux's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper Kazai View Post
    The one potential saving grace of the whole N'Zoth crap could be if the events of 8.3 all turn out to be an illusion we're experiencing in our minds. That we don't actually kill N'Zoth yet. I highly, highly doubt they'd ever do something potentially cool like that, but it would be nice. Then we could have to sacrifice the Heart of Azeroth just to get out of the illusion, like how we got rid of the artifacts.
    This idea sounds actually really cool, but probably won't happen. Its far more likely, that we will channel the heart of azeroth into sargeras sword as well. I mean at this point the sword just becomes a major trash landfill for past expansions contents. Maybe blizzard will leave the blade in shadowlands as well, so we can channel our 'Cloak of Shadow' (which gets fueled by shadow points of course) into it as well once the expansion is over?
  1. Dystemper's Avatar
    Why does this piece of shit still work at Blizzard d. Fucking fire his worthless ass already
  1. Verdugo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dystemper View Post
    Why does this piece of shit still work at Blizzard d. Fucking fire his worthless ass already
    Why would they fire a puppet.
  1. dizzzave's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by thilicen View Post
    If they are happy with the lottery system that is corruption they can honestly go fuck themselves.

    - - - Updated - - -



    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.
    Just buy some BOEs brah.
  1. Lei's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper Kazai View Post
    The one potential saving grace of the whole N'Zoth crap could be if the events of 8.3 all turn out to be an illusion we're experiencing in our minds. That we don't actually kill N'Zoth yet. I highly, highly doubt they'd ever do something potentially cool like that, but it would be nice. Then we could have to sacrifice the Heart of Azeroth just to get out of the illusion, like how we got rid of the artifacts.
    I feel like for that to work they'd have to wink all along with 8.3-s announcement and ptr cycle etc. BfA was no way in the state for this type of "surprise" just to work on it's own. And then let's not forget the cinematic. In order for that to work, the end cinematic should have been satisfying, feel like an absolute win.
  1. sam86's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Easo View Post
    Is that why the ending cinematic is still unlisted? Or why it is disliked into oblivion? Tell me, Ion, do you think you cannot do no wrong?
    did u really expect anything else from him? i follow his Q&A since Legion, and I love legion expansion overall but i think i stopped watching his Q&A videos even during Legion, with how detached he was from community
    Basically he blames us for any wrong and how we didn't believe in his amazing visionary, doubt he is the democratic type who collect ideas, it is obvious he is a tyrant in office who force everyone to do his amazing 'views', which strangely oppose half of what he said way back before he joined blizz when he was still raider in wow

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Orby View Post
    I have no connection to the Final Fantasy game and so its world feels unimportant to me. If I had a love for Final fantasy's world I'd be playing for sure.
    no u probably still won't
    I played FF8 for months, did every single thing possible in it, i played also ff 7 and 10, hence the problem
    FF has zero attachment or connection for anything, they only share title, heck some games don't even focus on magic in first place
    FF online for all i care can be called generic mmo and will still have same thing, that's the problem of FF, even if u played every single FF game out there, it build zero attachment to the brand, just gameplay
    I also like u been loyal to wc franchise, i still remember during my childhood play wc1, my teenage play wc2 and how i loved to hear mission briefing and how many hours spent in costume map, and wc3 was a whole new lvl of awesome (i still have wc3 videos on my phone)
    I have FF8 intro and Edea theme on my phone, but they have zero attachment to the mmo that exist, it give me zero motivation to play it, on reverse having wc3 files makes me want to check wow and hope for best
    Legion did surprise me after WoD so who knows...
  1. Scratches's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Penegal View Post
    If any of the people screaming how bad the game is and how their version was perfect were given control, they would have ran the game into the ground far earlier than Blizzard did.
    Yeah, about that...

    That was exactly Ion's path to Game Director (and result)....
  1. Penegal's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratches View Post
    Yeah, about that...

    That was exactly Ion's path to Game Director (and result)....
    Well, yeah. I just meant they'd do much worse than him.
  1. Starfals's Avatar
    Worst ending ever, focus on the hero cuz we are important? Then make it better, this was very poor ending, for both the bad guy and for the "hero"
  1. Ophenia's Avatar
    They won't test the mythic endboss on PTR to maintain the mystery, hence delivering said boss in a piss-poor state... But what's the mystery ? Most of the mythic phases are not surprising at all or disappointing. I could understand if there were some lore-breaking discoveries during/after the fight but that's not the case (in order to not piss off casuals apparently), so why not ?

    Even the before-last Expac Endboss Mythic phase, aka Argus the Unmaker, was disappointing af:
    - "Mythic Phase" being in fact a watered-down Heroic Phase 4 mechanically (fewer orbs, no rain drops or whatever those were, the feeling nothing happens while it was a lot more tense in LFR lol)
    - "Mythic encounter" outright removing one phase (P3), which in fact also reduced Aman'thul impact on this encounter to nothing (no Temporal Blast), he could as well just disappear from existence. Which is sad if the Mythic encounter is the cannon one.
  1. Flower Milk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    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
    There are other lead game directors at Blizzard, like Jeff Kaplan for example, who just straight up tell the players when they feel like they made a mistake, want to fix it, and talk about some of their ideas they have for fixing it and ask people to provide feedback on what they think is the best option.

    Ion could do the same, why doesn't he?
  1. Bennett's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Flower Milk View Post
    There are other lead game directors at Blizzard, like Jeff Kaplan for example, who just straight up tell the players when they feel like they made a mistake, want to fix it, and talk about some of their ideas they have for fixing it and ask people to provide feedback on what they think is the best option.

    Ion could do the same, why doesn't he?
    Ion does do that though

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