Developer Interview - Ion Hazzikostas
Sloot talked to Ion tonight about a wide range of topics.



Launch
  • It's been a pretty smooth launch for the most part. There were a few server issues early on, but engineers worked through them.
  • The Great Vault, Adventure system, and other systems have some small problems. There isn't a huge fire to put out this time.

Covenants
  • Covenants are an overall success. They aren't perfect. No one expected a perfectly even split.
  • There has been a lot of feedback across the community from people who found picking a Covenant hard.
  • Changing Covenants isn't that big of an undertaking.
  • No regrets with Covenant design so far.
  • The team is keeping an eye on Conduits, especially as the third Soulbind unlocks.
  • You may have a percent or two edge with ideal Conduits, but it isn't the end of the world.
  • If someone feels like there is only one Soulbind that is viable for PvP, and that same one is the only one viable for Raid DPS, the team wants to hear about it.

PvP
  • Subtlety PvP changes and Rogue buffs are coming via hotfix soon.
  • The team doesn't want people to get killed before they have a chance to react, but they don't want to swing the pendulum back too far the other way. They'll look at outliers of trinket + legendary combos and other things and tune them.

Tanks
  • Threat should exist as a mechanic, but not something tanks should have to manage from minute to minute.
  • As long as you are putting forth minimal effort to hit mobs, tanks should be able to hold them.
  • You don't want threat to be so easy that a little bit of AoE damage is all you need to kite mobs from 90% to 0%.
  • Being able to trade off damage for survivability is an interesting choice.
  • Having tanks being #1 in damage in dungeons feels wrong.
  • Tanks should be able to kill things in the world in a respectable amount of time.
  • Trying to pull away from BfA situation where a tank's primary job was pumping out damage rather than surviving.

Misc
  • Legendaries can be socketed.
  • Loud sound on entering the Maw is fixed.
  • The team hasn't come up with a design that would solve all of the problems that Master Loot had.
  • In organized guilds the amount of control exerted over loot caused a negative experience for a large number of players, especially for trials.
  • Getting people to use Personal Loot instead of Master Loot just wasn't going to happen through incentives.
  • If you don't get an item from a boss, now you can blame Blizzard instead of the guild / Master Looter.
  • If you have a conduit installed in your forge, you should never see a dupe. If you just have one in your bags, you can see a dupe. There isn't a way to make those sellable without making them all sellable right now.
  • World Bosses are a set rotation.
  • No plans to add more checkpoints to dungeons.
  • Faction balance is something the team talks about a lot, but there isn't a solution to talk about right now. The damage was done years ago, Troll racials in Throne of Thunder should have been nerfed.
  • Faction balance isn't driven by power balance anymore, just by social structures.
  • How does Blizzard get players that went from Alliance to Horde to go back to Alliance? Buffing Alliance racials isn't the right answer.
  • Old raid tuning had a bug in the first week of Shadowlands for Legion content that made it harder as you leveled.
  • Old raids might be a little harder at max level now, but part of that is from your stats going down as you level. Things should get better as you get more gear and Soulbinds. Eventually your player power will exceed what it was at the end of the last expansion.

Gearing
  • The team is happy with how gear has played out over the last few weeks. It'll be interesting to see how people feel after the Great Vault.
  • The team should do more with using Mythic+ to provide rewards that aren't direct player power. PvP participants have a system with lots of accomplishments, so Mythic+ should offer something like that (or more)
  • Tier sets will be coming in a later Shadowlands patch. The art is awesome! Return of class sets.
  • The old tier set system is a starting point, but the team wants to come up with something better. Items monopolized slots that they were in.
  • Tier sets mean a class based aesthetic and a completion mechanic that will change your gameplay. There are ways to do this beyond just adding a 2 and 4 piece set bonus.
  • The team wants to be conservative with changing legendaries. It'll be with a patch, on the PTR, plenty of time for feedback.

World Quests
  • The team is okay where things are right now. A lot of players can fill in gaps and get more conduits.
  • Graduating out of clearing your world quests every day is fine.
  • There should be something (reputation, boxes, something else) that make world quests still feel relevant.

Torghast
  • No plans to make floor unlocks account wide right now. Maybe in the future.
  • No plans to allow leveling in Torghast, but it's a cool idea.
  • Twisting Corridors (Challenge mode) is coming soon, unlock is account wide.
  • Twisting Corridors will be more challenging than what you saw on beta. You should be in epics before you get there.
  • 18 floors is a long run. There is no true infinite mode right now (Layer 8), but they may revisit this later in the expansion.
  • The team wants to see how Torghast plays out before they make assumptions and build things.
  • Right now the reward system is more like the mage tower, work towards a single reward to show off. In the future, the team may revisit this.
  • Most players still have a ton of content left in the Maw.
  • There is more planned for the Maw in the future.

Raids
  • The team is really happy with where tuning has landed. There were some bugs and hotfixes needed.
  • Raids have always been tuned for certain item levels and endgame system progression states.
  • Heroic has always been tuned for players with Normal difficulty raid gear. In past expansions, Warforging and more widespread loot had people geared up for Heroic/Mythic faster.

Mission Table
  • Some of the Adventure testing and tuning was using a wider range of unlocks.
  • The team didn't pay enough attention to the first few week experience, especially the order that you unlock things. It'll be okay in the long run.
  • The team is looking at the UI.
  • Some of the more challenging missions that scale with your levels, such as the Soul Ash ones, feel bad. The team may change them to more static missions. Easier version with less rewards that you can always beat and a higher level one that is harder but more rewarding.

Thanks
  • Thanks for the feedback, thanks for the chance (even after disappointing people in the past), thanks for making the community what it is.
  • The team wants to make your time in Azeroth as great as it can be.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Developer Interview - Ion Hazzikostas started by chaud View original post
Comments 78 Comments
  1. Kyphael's Avatar
    Now that I have a High Elf option on Alliance, suddenly it's not as fun to critique him as Game Director.

    Wonder if he'll cover lore.
  1. Aerisot's Avatar
    The team hasn't come up with a design that would solve all of the problems that Master Loot had.
    I don't understand, just incorporate a version of RC Loot Council into the game.
  1. zantheus1993's Avatar
    that "masterloot caused problems especially for trials" is BS and you know it Ion
    Trials got plenty of loot from farm content just because Timmy lost the BiS trinket from a progression boss where he was in 5% of the pulls and died 30 seconds into the fight to Chad the officer who has been there every night and always performs well doesnt mean theres a problem.
  1. Stickiler's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zantheus1993 View Post
    that "masterloot caused problems especially for trials" is BS and you know it Ion
    Trials got plenty of loot from farm content just because Timmy lost the BiS trinket from a progression boss where he was in 5% of the pulls and died 30 seconds into the fight to Chad the officer who has been there every night and always performs well doesnt mean theres a problem.
    If there wasn't a problem, they wouldn't have spent time and money on changing it.
  1. exsanguinate's Avatar
    Sub Rogue pvp nerfs are fine and needed, but they underperform in raiding
  1. leorana's Avatar
    "eventually your player power will exceed what it used to be in the end of the last expansion...." .

    Sorry, fail to see the logic where I leveled 10 levels only to be weaker than I used to be on old content. Just fix this please.
  1. Warning's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zantheus1993 View Post
    that "masterloot caused problems especially for trials" is BS and you know it Ion
    Trials got plenty of loot from farm content just because Timmy lost the BiS trinket from a progression boss where he was in 5% of the pulls and died 30 seconds into the fight to Chad the officer who has been there every night and always performs well doesnt mean theres a problem.
    This masterloot thing is so dumb, just let it die. It makes no sense that someone who gets lucky should somehow be forced to cancel out another persons bad luck. That feels shit to them and this stuff is always abused by officers or informed by guild politics to some degree. Raids can be balanced around personal loot instead of masterloot so any perceived raid performance increase by "perfect distribution" is purely illusory anyway.
  1. Doffen's Avatar
    I agree, Shadowlands is great so far. Covenants, raid/dungeon tuning and gearing being the stand outs.

    Keep this going.
  1. Kathranis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zantheus1993 View Post
    that "masterloot caused problems especially for trials" is BS and you know it Ion
    Trials got plenty of loot from farm content just because Timmy lost the BiS trinket from a progression boss where he was in 5% of the pulls and died 30 seconds into the fight to Chad the officer who has been there every night and always performs well doesnt mean theres a problem.
    Well, you kind of have to assume that it was a big enough issue that they would rather remove it than deal with CS tickets asking for loot drama intervention.
  1. Toybox's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Doffen View Post
    I agree, Shadowlands is great so far. Covenants, raid/dungeon tuning and gearing being the stand outs.

    Keep this going.
    You say gearing, but getting no loot from 9/10 heroic kills apart from one unusable trinket doesn't feel too good for me >.< Maybe I'm saving all my luck for that Sire weapon drop.
  1. october breeze's Avatar
    hmmm, tiers sets are coming back? ... hmmm... shall I resub?
  1. Doffen's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Toybox View Post
    You say gearing, but getting no loot from 9/10 heroic kills apart from one unusable trinket doesn't feel too good for me >.< Maybe I'm saving all my luck for that Sire weapon drop.
    Got no loot from the raid either. Thats no change for me though. Have to play my mage or pally as main to get loot, they are my lucky ones lol.

    I feel you, but this is how it used to be. I wholly welcome this.
  1. Bwonsamdi the Dead's Avatar
    If you don't get an item from a boss, now you can blame Blizzard instead of the guild / Master Looter.
    Um, well that's good to know?
  1. leorana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Toybox View Post
    You say gearing, but getting no loot from 9/10 heroic kills apart from one unusable trinket doesn't feel too good for me >.< Maybe I'm saving all my luck for that Sire weapon drop.
    They should just implement a 'coin' system that GUARANTEE loot if you use it on personal loot, or some BLP that makes sure you'll get loot on every 3rd boss IF you haven't got any from the previous two.

    As for master loot, idk much about it, but I see no problem with it as long as loot rules are declared and accepted. Blizz got rid of it just because they had to deal with tickets about it...that's the easy, yet not quite productive route.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwonsamdi the Dead View Post
    Um, well that's good to know?
    It's not about blaming, it's about making your product more enjoyable. tbh, I get the feeling that Blizz don't care anymore about players feedback. They claim they 'want to hear from us' but at the same time they're not rushing to fix anything even if the system is broken ( eg. Class imbalance)
  1. Stickiler's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by leorana View Post
    They should just implement a 'coin' system that GUARANTEE loot if you use it on personal loot, or some BLP that makes sure you'll get loot on every 3rd boss IF you haven't got any from the previous two.
    Congratulations, you've successfully created The Great Vault.

    Your version provides more loot, for sure, but they specifically said they want players to have less loot, because players bitched about loot not feeling "special" when they got a lot of loot.
  1. oldgeezer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by leorana View Post
    "eventually your player power will exceed what it used to be in the end of the last expansion...." .

    Sorry, fail to see the logic where I leveled 10 levels only to be weaker than I used to be on old content. Just fix this please.
    yeah, I agree with that. weird statement.
  1. Nehem's Avatar
    How does Blizzard get players that went from Alliance to Horde to go back to Alliance? Buffing Alliance racials isn't the right answer.
    just nerf alliance more or do nothing :)... they will move from ally to horde so you can get more money from transfer - IMO problem solved
  1. Thokri's Avatar
    Buffing alliance racials isn't right answer?

    Like nerfing dwarf racial instantly ONE top guild faction changed?

    Ion is full of BS. I could bet he has orc or troll skin-coloured adult toys..


    Covenants and current loot system are success? We know he does not play game but come on!
  1. topitopi's Avatar
    Uhhh, no Ion. Covenants aren't balanced. There is a clear optimal choice, and in the case of my monk it's above a 1% difference.

    Disappointed he doesn't even acknowledge players have wanted flight whistle back for a while now
  1. leorana's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Stickiler View Post
    Congratulations, you've successfully created The Great Vault.

    Your version provides more loot, for sure, but they specifically said they want players to have less loot, because players bitched about loot not feeling "special" when they got a lot of loot.
    The great vault is a step in the right direction to help players target an actual upgrade. Let's agree (just for argument sake) that those complaining about too much loot aren't completely idiots, but not getting loot for entire lockout (s) isn't fun either. There's a slight difference between I didn't get any loot for weeks and That damm BIS trinket didn't drop the entire patch (but overall I did get something)

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