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Liveblog of the January 24th Season 2 Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas
24/01/2019 à 12:40
Game Director Ion Hazzikostas is back with another developer Q&A and answering questions about Season 2 of Battle for Azeroth! We liveblogged all the answers from the Q&A and highlighted any important questions and answers from the stream.
You can watch the VoD below.
Watch Live Developer Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas from Warcraft on www.twitch.tv
As usual, we created a BINGO card for this Q&A. We even managed to hit a bingo this time!
Blizzard is looking at offensive cooldowns on the GCD, not by taking them off, but making sure they feel good to press immediately
Ascendance will send out a healing wave when pressed in 8.1.5
Starting next week, they'll probably be changing the Overwhelming Odds World PvP Quest (for Alliance) to a 385 piece, but add another bonus like Conquest rewards.
Blizzard is looking into letting you create all 50 characters on one realm in 8.1.5.
Blizzard is also looking into letting you transfer War Resources from mains to alts.
The Heart of Azeroth in 8.2 will be more similar to Legion's Artifact Weapons, with active abilities and powers which can be upgraded and customized based on the content you do.
Any specifics for the release timeframe of Kul Tiran and Zandalari?
They are currently on the 8.1.5 PTR and their acquisition steps are now available on the PTR. You'll need to complete the Tides of Vengeance campaign, exalted with Tiragarde or Zuldazar and finishing the storyline. All this is available now, and if you complete it now, you can log in and start the quest unlock immediately.
Making a new race takes a long time to do, and they weren't sure they could do Kul Tiran at launch. The original intent was to have Dark Iron Dwarf and Zandalari as Allied Races at Battle of Azeroth's launch. Since they now are able to do Kul Tiran, it made sense for the story and with Zandalari Troll, they'll unlock when each faction gains their trust in 8.1.5.
Can you explain the rationale behind Alliance getting the opportunity for ilvl 400 gear this week?
Blizzard doesn't think this quest is going to be here every week. Alliance participation is increasing and Horde participation is decreasing. The quest will only be offered when there's a large population disparity.
At the start of BFA, the population between Alliance and Horde was about equal. However, there were some phasing issues that lead to more Horde in a phase. Then they saw the trend of more Horde turning it ON, but Alliance turning it off.
However, they think that the Item Level 400 piece might be too high. When this was added, it was months into Uldir, but now most people haven't even stepped into the new raid and are getting Heroic pieces. They're thinking starting next week, it'll be a 385 with another bonus like Conquest points instead.
Seeing as the War Mode bonus has been at 30% for the Alliance, does this team feel like this has been a failure at balancing?
They wouldn't be surprised to see it tick down to 25% for the Alliance. They've seen it very effective for the underrepresented faction and they feel this is a success as the faction imbalance is half of what is was.
What is being done about server stability and lag?
It's a top priority. But it's not a single problem and it's death by a thousand cuts. They've fixed some problems but they're still investigating and its an ongoing process. Specific reports help, especially with time stamps so that the engineers can look at the logs.
Would you consider having all character slots on a single realm?
The max you can have on a single realm is 12 currently, but thinking about it there should be no reason that they can't raise the cap. Ion will talk and see if they can just raise the cap.
Can we get a way to transfer War Resources from mains to alts?
That seems like it makes sense. That's something they can do.
Can we get a Valor Point system which we can use to upgrade gear?
Previously, when you killed a boss and got the pieces you needed, it can be demoralizing to kill the boss again because there's nothing for you anymore.
The problem with valor points still remains even if you used it to upgrade your gear as it makes it difficult to transition from tier to tier. People already complain about the about of scaling between tiers. If you were able to upgrade all your normal gear to heroic, then you're a full difficulty about what you're supposed to be and that's different than RNG titanforging, which is less common than it was in Legion, where you generally only have a handful of pieces that are difficulties above your current difficulty.
This isn't something that's off the top and would make sense in the last tier of the expansion.
What's the reasoning behind the huge jump in power level between tiers?
They've used 30 Item Level jumps because that is the smallest number that guarantees that ensures that the new Seasons has upgrades. Larger numbers lead to scaling numbers and feeling that everything you're currently doing is invalidated when a new Season comes out.
Can PvP please get some sort of vendor?
The way vendors worked out in the past, there was an order in which you bought pieces off the vendor. But they understand there is a value in the vendor of Control. The system that they're creating that is more transparent and offers those choice.
One of the things they're improving is a choice of 4 Azerite Pieces in Season 2, so that every trait occurs at least once. When you cap your Conquest, you also get a Quartermaster's Coin which allows you to upgrade those pieces in the long term. Certain weeks you'll be able to choose between say 2 Bracers and 2 Pants with different stats. You can pick the best one for you and then upgrade it in the long term with a Trophy bought form a Quartermaster's Coin.
In the past, when they had vendors, they had PvP stats like PvP Power and Resilience and because that doesn't exist anymore they need to take into account the rest of the game. There's no such thing as a Raid Vendor and PvP already offers a lot of control. PvP currently offers the most selection as to what piece of gear you want.
When are Mythic+ seasons going to give rewards other than a hidden achievement?
Mythic+ currently gives gear, but they're going to talk with the team about it and that's a direction they should explore.
Are there any plans on how to address the problem that some class mechanics are pretty much mandatory for high-level keystones?
There was recently a hotfix with Invisibility Potions, which come with the downside of locking out your pots. Instead of nerfing Shroud, they feel there should be 7 or 8 other hooks but they are generally not as universal as Shroud. e.g. Death Knights in King's Rest with Control Undead.
They feel like there's a difference between clearing extra trash because you're forced to without a skip, and deciding to skip a set of mobs and pulling optional stuff afterwards.
Will there be a way to punish players that abandon keystone runs midway?
It's hard to punish people in a social situation. It's easier to punish people via matchmaking and that's the point of the Deserter Debuff. In Mythic+, there's a social contract there. However, with an anonymous group, that social contract is probably weaker.
Trying to objectively come up with a solution would be difficult; there are reasons for a keystone to be ended midway such as a group that is in over their heads. There has been an attempt of a commendation system on some websites, and it's something to explore.
When are you bringing back class-specific sets?
They're taking a break, not necessarily permanent, from class-specific sets. In the past, all of the gear from raid and pvp had the same look with minor changes. Also, having the artists have their 22nd or 23rd crack at what is this class' fantasy.
Instead, they have a variety of sets, rather than class sets based on where they came from. Look at Uldir vs Battle of Dazar'alor. Look at the Darkshore Warfront. Emerald Nightmare and Nighthold shared a set. So they're trying to offer more variety, by offering different sets from different content, rather than by class.
Can we get more information about the Heart of Azeroth in 8.2?
A lot of the design is still in iteration and discussion. They want to move away from unlocking the same traits on the Azerite Armor. The Heart requirements for those traits will not increase and when you get a new Helm in 8.2, you'll already be able to unlock all the traits.
Similar to Legion, the neck itself will have different choices and powers as you level up your Heart of Azeroth. The amulet itself has powers that can be unlocked, chosen and customized. From Legion, they liked the apperances which you could unlock by doing different kinds of content. They're looking at tying some of the powers to different types of content - one that you get from raiding and defeating Azshara, PvP, Emissaries, reputations, Mythic+. As you earn these powers, you can activate them and upgrade them. These would include active abilities in many cases -- holding your heart of Azeroth in front of you and blasting things with massive Azerite Energy or shielding your group with an Azerite bubble. These will be more in line with the fantasy of Legion artifact weapons that add to gameplay rather than being passive gameplay modifications.
Are there any plans to further curb Titan Residuum funneling?
There was a change last week that means you can't get Titan Residuum from wrong Armor typed gear. They don't want to hurt the innocent majority, for something a very small minority does. What they can do is try to curb how effective that is and lessen the difference between someone doing that and an average guy who plays the game.
If the top guilds weren't doing Titan Residuum splits now, they'd be doing something else instead, like leveling and gearing more alts.
What do you consider the biggest design challenges WoW is facing in the long term?
WoW is a game that has so many different audiences and that results in many contradicting opinions - short term vs long term, accessibility vs complexity, casual vs hardcore. You could take 12 people who love WoW and ask them why they love WoW and they would probably each feel like they were describing a different game.
A lot of the time, when people say "Why aren't you changing this thing, it's so easy?", it's just that there are 10 other groups with concerns that may be affected in a different way.
What conversations have been held about the GCD change?
They're not done, but having the GCD actually be global is good for the game. Putting a lot of these abilities on the GCD means a lot of buttons don't feel good to press. They are trying to make buttons on the GCD more exciting.
In 8.1.5, they're thinking of adding an active component to Ascendance when you push it -- It lets you emit a wave of healing water as you transform. Ion doesn't think the answer is "take this thing off the GCD", it's "why does this feel bad to press" and address that.
Are you trying to get away from the holy trinity design? Can healers get higher DPS in PvE?
They're not trying to get away from it broadly. They want to have advantages to certain roles. If you have a healer in Islands, you can be more reckless and pull more.
Healer damage rotations are generally very easy, and if it did more damage (say 80%), then they would probably be better than a mediocre DPS.
Are there any class reworks in 8.1.5?
No major overhauls. They'll be looking at talent balance and specific abilities that could use some love. The reworks that happened in 7.1.5 in Legion, happened in 8.1 instead.
Blizzard realized that when they said "major changes" to Shaman in 8.1 it was misinterpreted as expecting much more than Blizzard was doing.
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