Developer Interview - Ion Hazzikostas
WowChakra is sitting down with Ion Hazzikostas to discuss World of Warcraft.



Torghast
  • The long term goal for Torghast is not for it to become extremely easy the higher you rise in floors. It is still very much in development and the team doesn't want runs to take forever.
  • There will be a range of achievements to complete in Torghast.
  • The team is building Torghast with including events in mind to change up the experience, such as different creatures invading the tower.
  • They are hoping to have legendary crafting testable in a few weeks. Collecting parts for legendary creation will unlock a door just outside of Torghast where a mysterious smith (the one who crafted Frostmourne) will help you use the materials to craft your items.
  • You should be able to unlock the door to the rune smith during the first week of the expansion, but material gathering will take longer.

Shadowlands
  • Time is different in Shadowlands. It is a construct or order and structure, which isn't a focus in the Shadowlands.
  • We will have to see how this difference in time will effect our characters when we come out the other end.

Covenants
  • Choices with consequences tied into the mechanics of the game are core aspects of an RPG. They fully understand modern community mentality, however, and do not want people to feel like there is a wrong choice. They want to iterate on the covenants during the alpha to expand past just the abilities, such as with the soulbinds. They want these to showcase strengths and weaknesses for different content.

Class Trainers
  • Class trainers will teach new players about their different specializations in Shadowlands.
  • When you make a new character in Shadowlands, you will simply be a class with no specialization until you reach level 10.
  • There are no plans to have players learn spells from class trainers again.

Burning of Teldrassil
  • Tyrande's story will continue a piece of the burning of Teldrassil in Shadowlands. The war started in BfA is not over in her eyes.
  • We may encounter many who fell during Battle for Azeroth in the Shadowlands.
  • The team knows there is an unresolved story with Teldrassil and plan to continue it in future stories, not necisarrily in Shadowlands.

Heritage Armor
  • Races will continue to receive their heritage armor throughout Shadowlands. There is nothing to announce regarding who gets it next, however.

Adventure System - Mission Table
  • The team is hoping to have the adventure system up on the Alpha in a month.
  • The team is looking to shift the mission table to something that matches the fantasy of encounters in WoW. They don't want it to be simply a coin flip or automated by add-ons.

Professions
  • Armor crafters will be able to craft items to help with legendary crafting. They want item crafting professions to feel important throughout Shadowlands.
  • The optional crafting materials might be added to previous expansion professions in the future.
  • You can still craft items without optional items and get random stats, but the team wanted to introduce a way for the player to have some control of what they create.

Legendaries and Catch-Up Mechanics
  • There will likely be some sort of catch-up mechanic for legendaries throughout Shadowlands.
  • The system is designed so a fresh alt can start aiming towards a legendary right away, unlike Legion.
  • The team is experimenting with making legendary recipes account-wide for alts.

Technical
  • The team always wants to take advantage of the latest technology, such as with the options for ray tracing support.
  • They also want to maintain a totally accessible minimum specs.

Tier Sets
  • Tier sets will make a return later in Shadowlands, but the team is still deciding what to do with set bonuses.
  • Set bonuses are one of the reasons they pulled back on tier sets originally. They limited item diversity because certain slots were locked to tier sets.

PvP Gear
  • PvP stats are not returning. Itemization will remain like it is in Battle for Azeroth, with the inclusion of a PvP vendor to give players more choice of gear acquisition.

Transmog
  • Current thinking is that transmog from each covenant is locked to players that belong to that covenant.
  • If you have multiple characters in a covenant, however, the transmogs will be account-wide for characters of the same covenant.

Pre-Expansion Event
  • The pre-patch can only release when all of Shadowlands is done.
  • The team is monitoring BfA and thinking of additions that will give players rewards and goals to pursue while they wait for the pre-patch.

War Mode
  • The team is continuing to build upon War mode in Shadowlands. There might be more free-for-all events instead of faction events, including the possibility of challenges between covenants.

Current Reputation Buff
  • The reputation buff is still ending, but the team is planning to add new permanent bonuses that will help alts catch up for the rest of the expansion, such as the with the legendary cloak progression or getting corruption that you want.

Legendary Progression
  • Legendary acquisition won't necessarily get faster as you progress in the tower, but you will likely get more options for different scenarios as you accumulate more.

CGI Cinematics
  • The team will continue to use all of the expected media seen in Battle for Azeroth throughout Shadowlands.

Characters in Shadowlands
  • Many important characters from Azeroth will be in Shadowlands in some form, and the team is excited for everyone to see where different characters end up.
  • Arthas is obviously SOMEWHERE in the Shadowlands, but they want to be respectful with the character. We will learn more about him and his true nature, but we most likely won't be adventuring or interacting much with him.

Oribos
  • Oribos will be available in the alpha in the next week.
  • Oribos will function much like Dalaran did in Legion while the Covenant sanctums will function much like order halls.

Loading Screens in Torghast
  • The loading screens between floors is a technical limitation. The team might experiment with using a visual effect to transition instead of a blue-bar loading screen.

Shadowlands Lore
  • The ability to travel between Azeroth and the Shadowlands is possible for your characters in lore. It also allows us to take characters from Azeroth into the Shadowlands.
  • Bolvar will be involved in the pre-expansion events and the story of Shadowlands. Sylvanas left him alive at the end of their encounter.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Interview - Ion Hazzikostas started by Stoy View original post
Comments 100 Comments
  1. Dystemper's Avatar
    Nothing about Shadowlands makes me want to play it. As long as my class feels like shit to play, I dont care how good the content is. Some of the themes seem cool in SL, but until they get rid of Fucking Ion Halitosis , this game can not begin to get on the right path
  1. Mrbleedinggums's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TheRevenantHero View Post
    The issue is that people will be essentially required to take a certain covenant either for raid or pvp reasons. So while people on roleplay realms can pick what they want based on aesthetics, people who are minmaxing are screwed. Are you a Hunter on a mythic raid team? Well you better go with Night Fae because it has the best ability for Hunters. We don't care if you like Kyrian's look more.
    I can see that being required if the DPS is so different that it makes sense to, but if the dps is minimal then most mythic guilds won't care. Just get your buffs, your consumables, and your flasks. If people really want to minmax, they'd be race changing to get the best racials for that 1% dps increase.
  1. DotEleven's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Saltysquidoon View Post
    Tier sets returning, that's potentially raising my hype-o-meter from -50 to -45.

    Nothing about actual base spec work again that's a worry though.

    EDIT

    Not like legionaries, artefact weapons and azerite gear (legit though, azerite + neck is the same number of slots as tier).
    What an absolute pumpkin...
    Playing Devil's Advocate, I think there's a difference between Tier Gear and Azerite gear being that Azerite Gear could be obtained from multiple different places even in the same raid/dungeon because all shoulders/helms/chests are Azerite. So, you still had a choice between them. Not to mention that they were all separate from each other. Tier Gear "You need this specific piece of equipment which only works with these other specific pieces of equipment and you can't use another piece of equipment that might be an upgrade by itself but breaks the set bonus."

    Saying that, I still love tiers because they give you something to work for at each tier that makes you go "I want that set" not to mention they always look pretty nice (even if Hunter was like 90% of the time "I TAKE THE THING WE KILL AND PUT IT'S HEAD ON MY HEAD!")
  1. unbound's Avatar
    Covenants
    Choices with consequences tied into the mechanics of the game are core aspects of an RPG. They fully understand modern community mentality, however, and do not want people to feel like there is a wrong choice.
    Which is why one of the covenants (Venthyr) is clearly going to be the choice for PvP? Seriously, for the vast majority of classes, the Venthyr abilities are only really useful in PvP...they have little to no applicability to PvE.

    FFS, please put a bit more effort into the lies.
  1. Sonicstorm's Avatar
    Bolvar will be involved in the pre-expansion events and the story of Shadowlands. Sylvanas left him alive at the end of their encounter.


    So.. Maby Bolvar being alive is a part of her Masterplan... Why did she left him alive if not? Cause the maw needs more dead people.
  1. Tupolew519's Avatar
    Hey blizzard. is there a chance we might see elune in the shadowlands?
  1. Lynainverse's Avatar
    So, I have played every single expansion since 2004. I CAN NOT wait for SL, BFA almost ruined wow for me because of the corruption system; it is the biggest craps shoot in wow's history. I am a 478 fire mage, and I pump, but I can not pump any higher because I only have 1 piece of Masterful. I do my 15s every week, conquest cap, 1.6 cr, 5 masks visions, you name it, and I have yet to see any masterful drop for me in a long, long time. So yeah, I hate the corruption system, and that is one of the reasons I am thrilled about SL.

    p.s. I know Fire mages are getting screwed in SL, dont care fire was crap at the beginning of BFA too.
    p.s.2 I hope they do introduce a corruption system vendor so I can get my godly fix before SL.
  1. Gatto's Avatar
    PvP Gear
    PvP stats are not returning. Itemization will remain like it is in Battle for Azeroth, with the inclusion of a PvP vendor to give players more choice of gear acquisition.
    So, no news for what concerns the stat combinations available through both PvP, Weekly chest and PvP vendors?

    Not having the possibility to drop ( or buy ) any possibile combination for any possible slot would change nothing.
  1. Niwes's Avatar
    i dont even comment that SL crap.

    but the thing with the rep buff and bringing targeted corruption and easier catchup into BfA.... Are you kidding me ?

    THE ONLY THING relevant before pre patch is getting new mains or alts up2date i.e. rep wise and therefore ready for SL. fukin NO ONE cares about getting better gear or make alt catchup possible to play a competitive alt in lets say HC raiding for the last 2 months or so. for what ??? heck, BfA is over. if even i wanna do ANY thing, it is achievements, rep, collections, completing stuff. i do NOT need super high cloak or targeted corruption in the ending phase of an xpac. the same i didnt needed a fukin buyable legendary in Legion, 4 weeks before BfA.

    what are this devs smoking...
  1. Lurker1's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Niwes View Post
    i dont even comment that SL crap.

    but the thing with the rep buff and bringing targeted corruption and easier catchup into BfA.... Are you kidding me ?

    THE ONLY THING relevant before pre patch is getting new mains or alts up2date i.e. rep wise and therefore ready for SL. fukin NO ONE cares about getting better gear or make alt catchup possible to play a competitive alt in lets say HC raiding for the last 2 months or so. for what ??? heck, BfA is over. if even i wanna do ANY thing, it is achievements, rep, collections, completing stuff. i do NOT need super high cloak or targeted corruption in the ending phase of an xpac. the same i didnt needed a fukin buyable legendary in Legion, 4 weeks before BfA.

    what are this devs smoking...
    There smokeing the catering to the people still playing BFA like me is what there smokeing sir and it is good!
  1. kokenhalliwell's Avatar
    PvP Gear
    PvP stats are not returning. Itemization will remain like it is in Battle for Azeroth, with the inclusion of a PvP vendor to give players more choice of gear acquisition.
    Well f@ck u Bli$$ard, stopped playing this expansion because of the silly PVE farming and this is the perfect excuse for not even buying the next one. Cheers!
  1. MiiiMiii's Avatar
    Great, more warmode. I really enjoyed seeing horde have 10% permanent bonus and alliance only turning on war mode once a week to gank a world quest to get their weekly kills in for conquest points.

    But hey, I guess Ion can lawyer talk to conivce you all it's acutally a great system.

    I'm sure having Night Fae go against Venthyr will be totally similar in troops. A new era, now it's not 10% bonus for Horde, it's 10% bonus for Venthyr...
  1. Bellamas's Avatar
    Seems like almost 100% of their efforts are going towards this Toghast thing. Honestly, I think it is going to be a disaster. People do not want to do the same thing for two years.
  1. Ontis's Avatar
    >Proton Scumzzicostas
    Prior to the 2016 year I was fairly certain that no man alive or dead could possibly outperform Greg 'Scumcrawler' Street in terms of unrivaled lack of decency and countless subsequent failures.
    Then came Scumzzicostas.
    I think part of me knew even then that World of Warcraft had only traded one insufferable overseer for another.

    I refused to play the Big Failure Addon. Never raided anything. Never paid for a single month after the starting one.
    And if this thing won't be leaving Actiblizzard anytime soon, I won't return for Shadowlands either.
  1. Nite92's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Mrbleedinggums View Post
    I can see that being required if the DPS is so different that it makes sense to, but if the dps is minimal then most mythic guilds won't care. Just get your buffs, your consumables, and your flasks. If people really want to minmax, they'd be race changing to get the best racials for that 1% dps increase.
    Just the utility skill of one covenant would have made n'zoth mythic waaaaay easier (teleport on tanks.). It is not just about 1% dps.
  1. Beefhammer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Harbour View Post
    This doesnt fix the problem, duh.
    Leveling four characters to be competitive in M+, Raiding, RBG and Arena alone would be pain in the ass, and people have way more classes they want to play in all areas.
    And what do you mean by competitive?
  1. Starscream101's Avatar
    PvP stats are not returning. Itemization will remain like it is in Battle for Azeroth, with the inclusion of a PvP vendor to give players more choice of gear acquisition.

    That is a total fail right there. What is Blizz thinking. Its like do they even know what the players want.
  1. Smol Potat's Avatar
    Sounds good so far!
  1. dcc626's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Starscream101 View Post
    PvP stats are not returning. Itemization will remain like it is in Battle for Azeroth, with the inclusion of a PvP vendor to give players more choice of gear acquisition.

    That is a total fail right there. What is Blizz thinking. Its like do they even know what the players want.
    bringing pvp stats back just brings back the vocal people who complain that if they want to do pve that they have to have a second set of gear. if you actually cared about pvp gearing they never should have removed templates. but people got angry that they couldnt overgear and roll noobs. imagine that.

    enjoy having to pve regardless. because raid trinkets and legendaries from torghast will exist.
  1. ClassicPeon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Smol Potat View Post
    Sounds good so far!
    That interview is a month old. Why did you look this thread up and revive it? oO

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