Preach Developer Interview with Ion Hazzikostas - Patch 9.1
Preach is sitting down to discuss the details of Patch 9.1 with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas!


  • Patch 9.1 Time Frame
    • Patch 9.1 is the first content developed completely from work at home.
    • There is more content already well in the way for the future and it is coming along well.
  • Korthia
    • There is a lot more for the zone that will be dropped into the PTR in the coming weeks.
    • Korthia will have more daily quests, rares, and events that are tied to the narrative and the progenitors.
    • There will be a reward system similar to mana pearls from Nazjatar without the RNG and bis issues from that patch.
  • Gear
    • Sylvanas's bow and unique drops are because she is a special boss fight.
    • The initial unique bow ability was too hard to balance, and so it was changed to what it is right now.
  • Legendaries
    • There are some pain points the team is working on for the future.
    • Wearing 2 legendaries may come later in the expansion.
    • There are no plans to add legendary refunds in 9.1 but the team is discussing it.
    • Covenant legendaries do not swap to their alternative Covenant options when switching Covenants.
  • Conduit Energy
    • Conduits are not perfect.
    • The team still stands by not having too many systems that you switch between fights.
    • They are trying to address conduits that feel mandatory.
    • It is almost impossible to accommodate the playstyle of being perfectly optimal in every situation. There is a distinction between optimal and viable.
  • Torghast
    • There will be updates to the Torghast system in the next stage of the PTR update.
    • The short team fixes of nerfing Torghast was to address the frustrations of the Torghast rewards system, but in doing so the content became less engaging.
    • The death counter in Torghast is gone in Patchj 9.1.
    • Torghast will return to being more challenging in 9.1, but you will always get your soul ash upon completion regardless of performance. You will never leave without feeling rewarded.
    • There are new UI elements for Torghast in 9.1. You will have a "hot streak" rating bar that improves your score by playing well.
    • There will be a Torghast "talent tree" similar to Visions from BFA. You will gain tower knowledge to spend on perks and upgrades to improve your runs.
    • The rating system will be on a 1-5 gem system. You need 4 gems to make it to the next floor. This can be done by being quick, or by being slower and efficient. This is not a speed run system.
    • No plans to add gear drops to Torghast. There are plenty of gear reward options in the game already.
    • They are adding more modifiers to the runs and powers. These will be both affixes and "blessings" which give positive benefits.
  • Raid - Shards of Domination
    • The Shards of Domination system is very early and not necessarily going live as is.
    • The team wants to make sure raid gear is special for raiding.
    • The general goal is to make raid gear improve performance while in the raid.
    • The team wants you to primarily be interested in the gear for the content you are doing, but complimenting that with other sources.
    • The team still plans to add tier sets back.
  • Covenants
    • There is still ongoing balance to address Covenants.
    • Overall the team is happy with Covenants as they relate to Shadowlands.
    • The team wants to carry the idea of branching paths and unique choices and experiences between players.
    • They don't necessarily want it to be in the same way as the Covenant system played out.
  • Borrowed Power
    • Awhile ago the team realized that evergreen adding systems permanently would eventually be unsustainable.
    • They saw in Draenor that there was a gap there with no new systems. This is where the idea to add temporary systems came from.
    • Legion was the most successful of this system largely because it was new to players.
    • However, Legion felt awful at the end when everything was taken away.
    • The team wants to find a middle ground. Ion uses the example of "a mage going to the Shadowlands, learning new things, and coming back better for it."
    • The team agrees that they want to move away from borrowed power.
    • There has always been some sort of borrowed power in the game (tier sets) that you eventually leave behind, but there has to be a balance.
  • Performance Gaps and Gearing Up
    • Power level from item rating has not changed even since Wrath. 1 item level is basically the equivalent of 1%.
    • If there is such a big gap between players 20 item levels apart, it is more likely a skill issue.
    • The team is happy with the catch-up systems for Renown, but they have mixed feelings on other check boxes to catch up. There are areas that could be improved.
    • There are some players who are playing alts because they are done progressing on their main character. Making catch-up mechanics too easy would do them a significant disservice. There are many players who enjoy the journey.
  • Class Design and Issues
    • Damage is a way for healers to contribute effectively when there is downtime in HPS. Disc priests were designed around this philosophy, but they should not be without weaknesses. Reigning in Spirit Shell is a way to address this. Holy Paladins have the same issue, some of which is caused by Ashen Verdict, but the team also wants to give these classes choices between damage and healing like other healers instead of just passive damage while healing.
    • The team wants every class to have a reason not to be sat. They want to make changes to spells like Anti-Magic Zone which feel too effective. An idea is to add its mitigation cap back.
    • The team is hesitant to go back to "spec-specific utility" and instead like "class utility" so that players don't feel compelled to play a specific spec.
    • The team wants to design encounters that allow for a few more melee.
    • The team ultimately would like one class or spec in each available spot, but right not it seems like there are certain classes that are way more favorable for a spot than others. They want to create encounters that allow different utility abilities to shine.
    • The team still wants niches where certain classes excel at 4 target cleave, and some favor other forms of AOE. Having uncapped AoE still exist but only on certain classes is not ideal and they want to address it.
  • World Quests
    • World quests seem less important because there is a lack of "artifact power" Anima is total optional to partake in.
    • Making world quests take longer was a design choice to switch time spent doing world quests vs travel time. Previous expansions players spent way more time traveling between quests over doing them.
  • Solo Content
    • There is nothing exactly like the mage tower in the near term, but the team loves it and wants to include something like it in the future.
    • The team has discussed having a goal for solo players to work for in manner similar to other content. They want to design more things like the Warlock green fire.
  • 9.1 is still SOON TM
This article was originally published in forum thread: Preach Developer Interview with Ion Hazzikostas - Patch 9.1 started by Stoy View original post
Comments 414 Comments
  1. Nitrax's Avatar
    What the douche I just read?!?

    Really, travelling takes longer? How about travelling is 64 times more boring now because there is no scenery just a blur and an ugly city that you always have to pass.
  1. Utrrabbit's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanguinerd View Post
    Err.. how exactly does SL do shit for casual players then?

    The Anima grind is waaaayy too high and character progression stops at around ilvl 200 or so.

    Keep in mind m+ is not casual friendly, nor is trying to get into raid pugs.
    Anima is 100% cosmetic. You literally have 0 reason to care about it outside of that.

    You can jump in to mythic0 with a group at 150ilvl easily.

    Mythic+ is not that hard ether by 200ilvl you should be 2 chesting 10s.

    You can time 5-8 by 180ilvl.

    If you can not. It is an issue of you being bad.
  1. Alroxas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by cateran100 View Post
    WTF does it means? You can play in Torghast as you want but if you won`t do it as WE want from you....you gonna fail?
    Not fail, just unable to unlock the next (higher) level of Torghast. A stupid idea IMO as it will force players to approach "Torghast" in a certain way to unlock the next higher tier.

    Then again, it also depends on how difficult it is to achieve the gems/stars rating to go up a difficulty.
  1. Zyrinx's Avatar
    Literally zero of that sounds fun (I realize this is subjective). Yikes. I think 9.1 is gonna go over like a lead balloon.

    Ion to non raid/m+ players: eh idk, maybe later. Go do Torghast over and over for no reason.
  1. NotTrolling's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Utrrabbit View Post
    Low point.

    This xpac literally has more players than the last 4xpacs.

    My guid has gotten 200 new members in the last month. Returning players.

  1. Alroxas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by exsanguinate View Post
    cataclysm professions where very strong throughout the expansion.
    Well the combat perks for professions which also "forced" players to pick up engineering because the on-use stat buff was incredibly strong when macro'd with your DPS cooldowns.

    But the actual crafted items produced? Meh...
  1. rrayy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by unknownforce View Post
    I wished they would make Torghast accumulative rather than doing it weekly especially on alts so you get soul ash from the last time you did it with the weekly cap in mind. So I'm not forced to have to do choreghast.
    So you want the rewards from Torghast, but don't want to run it. I guesds they should mail you BiS gear then too huh?
  1. Frozenbeef's Avatar
    Sounds boring as hell...
  1. Jahaga's Avatar
    Patch 9.1 is the first content developed completely from work at home.
    *eye roll* The excuse for not releasing any content after launch for six months and counting.

    It is almost impossible to accommodate the playstyle of being perfectly optimal in every situation. There is a distinction between optimal and viable.
    Not impossible, remove the energy required to switch conduits and it literally makes this possible. You're punished if you enjoy doing Mythic+ dungeons, raid, and PvP because you can't swap to the appropriate conduits. Bad design.

    Legion was the most successful of this system largely because it was new to players.
    Wrong. It was successful because players wanted talent trees similar to the original iteration and they finally got something close enough.

    There has always been some sort of borrowed power in the game (tier sets) that you eventually leave behind, but there has to be a balance.
    This is absurdly incorrect. The same talent offered in a Legion artifact weapon carried over to Azeroth gear in BFA is an example of borrowed power. The concept of tier sets was carried over from expansion to expansion, however, they do not retain the same set bonuses. Hence why nobody wants to see borrowed powers, but a majority of people want tier sets back.

    If there is such a big gap between players 20 item levels apart, it is more likely a skill issue.
    Wow. Just wow. He just has no idea what he's talking about.

    There is nothing exactly like the mage tower in the near term, but the team loves it and wants to include something like it in the future.
    I hoped Torghast would replace the Mage Tower, but Torghast just plain sucks. I haven't done Torghast in well over 2 months because it isn't fun and there's no reason to keep doing it.
  1. GnomeEU's Avatar
    Have to see if the new raid motivates me to play again. Doubt it tho.

    I want more solo content: Flex mythic raid. Solo queue for rated pvp modes etc.

    After 3 disbanded mythic raids and dozens of rbg groups I came to the conclusion that
    Endgame is begging groups to invite you, which is not fun.
  1. Sanguinerd's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Utrrabbit View Post
    Anima is 100% cosmetic. You literally have 0 reason to care about it outside of that.

    You can jump in to mythic0 with a group at 150ilvl easily.

    Mythic+ is not that hard ether by 200ilvl you should be 2 chesting 10s.

    You can time 5-8 by 180ilvl.

    If you can not. It is an issue of you being bad.
    A casual player has every reason to care about cosmetics... and the costs are way too high.

    Also being bad or not is irrelevant, fact is mythic+ is not really what casual players do.

    So again, what does SL offer for casual players? So far it's only taken things away.
  1. Utrrabbit's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by NotTrolling View Post
    Doubt all you want. Funny how people have said wow has been dying since TBC, mainly fools. But it's subs are the single highest out of every game on the market. The people who say wow is dying are well stupid.
  1. MechanoDruid's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Utrrabbit View Post
    Anima is 100% cosmetic. You literally have 0 reason to care about it outside of that.

    You can jump in to mythic0 with a group at 150ilvl easily.

    Mythic+ is not that hard ether by 200ilvl you should be 2 chesting 10s.

    You can time 5-8 by 180ilvl.

    If you can not. It is an issue of you being bad.
    Maybe, just maybe, some players don't like repeating same short dungeon, which can be done on average in 30 minutes, 20 times with added artificial difficulty and would like something else to do?

    You are not alone. Today's developers don't understand that either and are focused only on raiding/m+ community. Ion even said in interview that 20 item level difference is a skill issue.

    Then they wonder why people leave WoW en masse.
  1. Utrrabbit's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanguinerd View Post
    A casual player has every reason to care about cosmetics... and the costs are way too high.

    Also being bad or not is irrelevant, fact is mythic+ is not really what casual players do.

    So again, what does SL offer for casual players?
    Mythic+ is literally the single most casual way to gear. Period.

    Also anima is fine. If you are casual you should not care how long getting cosmetic looming gear is. If you care about that. You are lying about being casual.
  1. Gaidax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ulfric Trumpcloak View Post
    This dude has no idea what he's talking about.
    I mean, there is certainly a decent gap between 200 and 226, but 213 and 226? Nyah...

    I too was a bit surprised about preach talking about gear gap, it's really not THAT huge as he tried to say.

    Average non-weapon item going from 213 to 226 is what 0.3-0.5% more simmed DPS? And weapon would be 2-3%. Gap between Heroic geared and Mythic player DPS-wise is what, 10%? That's hardly mythic players doing "times the DPS" of Heroic, unless that "times" is *1.1.

    Hard sell to claim gear gap is so insane here, so I'm with Ion on this - git gud.
  1. Spike`'s Avatar
    "Making world quests take longer was a design choice to switch time spent doing world quests vs travel time. Previous expansions players spent way more time traveling between quests over doing them."

    I loled, what we have now is more time in world quests and more time in travel time (with removal of flight whistle)

    So much bullshit all around, never change Ion
  1. Sanguinerd's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Utrrabbit View Post
    Mythic+ is literally the single most casual way to gear. Period.

    Also anima is fine. If you are casual you should not care how long getting cosmetic looming gear is. If you care about that. You are lying about being casual.
    Ok then..
  1. NotTrolling's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Utrrabbit View Post
    Doubt all you want. Funny how people have said wow has been dying since TBC, mainly fools. But it's subs are the single highest out of every game on the market. The people who say wow is dying are well stupid.
  1. Utrrabbit's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MechanoDruid View Post
    Maybe, just maybe, some players don't like repeating same short dungeon, which can be done on average in 30 minutes, 20 times with added artificial difficulty and would like something else to do?

    You are not alone. Today's developers don't understand that either and are focused only on raiding/m+ community. Ion even said in interview that 20 item level difference is a skill issue.

    Then they wonder why people leave WoW en masse.


    Leaving wow en masse. Another fool who thinks wow is dying LOL. More new players have started playing SL than the last 4xpacs.

    Ive seen servers packed with thousands of players. People who say wow is dying are morons.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanguinerd View Post
    Ok then..
    It is the truth.
  1. Pebrocks The Warlock's Avatar
    While I already love running Torghast I gotta say all these changes sound great. More challenging, always rewarding, scoring system, talent tree with perks and upgrades for future runs, and the option to be quick or slow and efficient all sound great. I just wish they'd open Torghast up for Threads of Fate leveling. I would level so many alts.

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