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Liveblog of the Shadowlands Sloot Interview (Dec 14) with Ion Hazzikostas
14/12/2020 à 19:25
Sloot is interviewing Game Director Ion Hazzikostas on his Twitch Stream and answering questions about Shadowlands! We'll be liveblogging the interview and summarizing important answers in this post.
We'll be highlighting some of Ion's answers from the Interview. However, for the full context, please make sure to watch the VoD on
Sloot's Twitch stream
How have you felt the launch of Shadowlands has gone?
Overall, they feel pretty good and it's been a successful launch. In the first few days, there were some stability issues from people coming back to the expansion but they're in a good place now.
They're looking a couple of small problems like clarity of the Great Vault, but there isn't any big fires that need to be put out. For example, around this time in Legion, Legendaries were the issue due to the soft-cap, and in BFA players had Azerite problems.
How do you feel Covenants have gone?
Overall, it's been a success. Ion doesn't think the goal was ever to have a perfect 25% across every specs. You expect more Kyrians from Paladins and more Night Faes from Druids, even if player power wasn't part of the Covenant choice. The thing that they're trying to avoid is creating traps. They're heard of situations where players felt like they were definitely going to go Necrolord, but fell in love with the Ardenweald zone and had a tough choice at max level. They've also seen people swap Covenants.
How do you feel about Conduits and spec restrictions?
No current plans, but it's something they're keeping an eye on. As people unlock the third Soulbind and unlock Traits with more paths, then it probably gets players to where they want it to be.
If someone feels like there is only one Soulbind that is all viable for PvE and the other Soulbinds are very behind and lacking crucial utility, then they should fix things about those Soulbinds, as they also have two dead Soulbinds. If there are specific things like those, then that's something that they can fix and tehy want to hear their feedback.
How do you feel about the speed in PvP?
There are some PvP tuning changes coming, specific ones to Sub. They're looking at specific outliers from trinkets, Legendaries, PvP talents are what they're looking at. Faster paced, higher lethality PvP is probably better for WoW PvP overall but getting killed before you get a chance to react isn't great.
Why are you so hesitant to just buff Tank Threat completely?
There's a middle ground. Threat should matter and exist but shouldn't be something that tanks are actively having to worry about. But we saw in Legion and a little bit of BFA, that the mobs sit in Death and Decay for a couple seconds, then Tanks just kite. They want to creep up Tank Threat until it feels reliable.
Where do you see Tank damage?
Ion doesn't have a specific answer, but the combat team might. Damage is an interesting choice when survivability doesn't matter. There have been times when Tanks have been top of damage in a dungeon, that's felt wrong. Tanks should feel like they do enough damage to kill things in a respectable amount of time. They're trying to pull away from a pure damage Meta for Tanks, compared to what you're doing to stay alive and positioning.
Can Legendaries be Socketed?
Is that Loud Sound when entering the Maw going to be fixed?
It's already fixed.
Master Looter. Any thoughts?
Personal Loot all the way through this expansion. They've heard the feedback -- at one point Guild Groups could opt into Master Loot, but there were a couple of challenges. Part of the issue is how they can build loot tables knowing that personal loot is a thing. Even in organized guilds, and for a large number of guilds, the amount of control that gets exerted over loot ended up being a negative experience for a large number of players. Getting people to move away from Master Loot is difficult when the players in charge of determining the system for their guilds are the Master Looters themselves.
You can't get duplicate conduits if it's learned at your Forge. If you're holding it, you can get a duplicate.
World Boss Rotation?
Yes, it's on a rotation.
Any plans to add more checkpoints in the dungeons?
No plans currently. Would recommend not wiping.
Any plans to incentive faction balance?
They have some systems like War Mode. Faction balance is something that they talk about a lot, and the damage was done a while ago. It's how do we get all the guilds that went Horde a while ago, back to Alliance. There's no clean solution.
Any plans to fix old raid tuning?
They're curious to hear specific examples. There was a bug in the first week of Shadowlands where the scaling benefit against Legion content went down as you leveled. That should be working as intended. Players who compared themselves at the end of the last expansion and the beginning of this expansion and find that it's talking longer is an unfortunate thing about leveling up in WoW and the way combat ratings work.
How do you feel regarding Gearing, especially in Mythic+?
They're happy with how gearing has played out and how the Great Vault has played out for real. They know how it's going to work from modelling, but they also want the raw emotional feeling feedback.
Why are you so hesitant to add Vanity rewards in mythic+ that aren't added to Mythic+?
They should do more there and want to do more. Just as someone who participates in the PvP seasons with titles and accomplishments, Mythic+ should offer something like that or more. It's a shortcoming of the system, and they're not there yet.
Any updates on Tier Sets?
They're still on the menu in a later patch and Ion has seen the art and they look awesome. The old system is the default starting point. They want to re-examine some of the shortcomings like them locking out a slot. There's two things that they want to do:
Collection and Completion.
Class Based Transmog.
Any plans to get better Calling Rewards?
They're ok with where World Quests and Calling rewards are. Long term they need something else but don't want to players to feel like you have to do all your World Quests every day. You can eventually graduate from them.
Any plans to make Layer Unlocks Account-Wide
No plans right now. Your lower item level alt may not be able to clear the same things as your main. In the future, when there's better catch-up gear there will probably be a skip or catch-up mechanism.
Leveling in Torghast?
It's a common request and there's some technical things but no plans right now.
Soon. Twisting Corridors will be account-wide and will be unlocked through the weekly Bolvar quest chain.
What happened to unlimited Torghast?
The version of Twisted Corridors that players are going to see on live is much harder than Beta. Layer 1 of Twisting Corridors is starting off much harder than Layer 1 of the other wings. 18 floors per Layer is a lot, and they may revisit this in the future but wanted to get live data. There are other cosmetics in the Twisted Corridors, and it's little bit of a one-and-done like the Mage Tower. It's supposed to be hard and in the future they can expand it.
What is the next step for the Maw?
People who have been hitting the Maw hard are much farther ahead of the others. Many people are just getting into Perdition Hold now. There is more planned for the Maw. The story is going to take us there in the long run and even more content development.
What can be expect from Mythic tuning?
They're really happy with where the tuning has landed. There's some things that were straight up bugged, Sludgefist on Normal was a little harder than any Normal raid boss should be. A big part is just the availability of gear and what item level people have versus what the raid is tuned for. They've always tuned for a certain item level for example Heroic was tuned for Normal mode gear. No one had that item level at the beginning of the Heroic week and the gear acquisition is slower. There's also systems that also are capped and there aren't big advantages to be gained -- all players are Renown 9 this week and Blizzard knows that.
Any plans to improve the UI for the Mission Table or balance some of the Covenant followers?
Yes on all counts. A lot of the adventurers testing that was done was using a wider range of unlocks. A miss was not paying enough attention to the week 2 and week 3 experience and the order in which you unlock things. In the long run things should balance out, but people don't care about the long run.
Some of the missions scale with your level like Soul Ash missions, that doesn't feel great. They are talking about changing it to be static mission levels: a system like a level 20 mission and once you beat that you unlock say a level 30 mission that awards more Soul Ash.
Any final Legendary Tuning?
There was just the Balance Druid legendary and that was a conservative change. They want to be hands off right now and tune Legendaries say on the PTR wit the first patch where they can give lots of notice. But if there's a Legendary that is so far ahead they'll probably do tuning, but if they need to nerf it by 40% to get it "balanced", they may only nerf it 20%.
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