GCD, Covenant Utility, Castle Nathria - Shadowlands Interview with Morgan Day and Preach
Preach interviewed Morgan Day on his Twitch stream and answered questions about Shadowlands including topics like the GCD, Covenant Utility, Castle Nathria and more! We have a liveblog of the interview.
Watch Interview with Morgan Day of Blizzard from Preachlfw on www.twitch.tv
Shadowlands System Guides
Read up on some of the major systems of Shadowlands in our guides to learn more!
Castle Nathria RaidCovenant Abilities
Torghast OverviewAnima Powers
Based on community feedback, they're now consider a mode to infinitely play Torghast for Prestige Rewards.
The next build will (hopefully) have all Covenant abilities testable in Torghast. The Covenant will rotate on a daily basis.
Portions of the Covenant system are still not online -- Soulbinds, Conduits, Legendaries. Conduits can be made to fill in gaps between Covenants
They agree that multiple buttons in a row is a problem, but don't necessarily agree that removing them from the GCD is the solution. They're looking for feedback on the worst offenders of the GCD issues.
Nothing currently to announce about Shadow Priest, but they know it's an issue.
Morgan Day is the lead encounter designer in World of Warcraft.
They set out to design an underwater boss and as long as people didn't completely hate it, it's considered a success!
Leveling Alts to play Torghast
The main goal of Torghast is to create a piece of content or game mode that hasn't been seen in WoW before.
The possibilities are endless and lots of developers are playing rogue-like games themselves.
They knew early on that the Jailer and the Tower was part of Shadowlands and some people wanted to climb it.
What Will Live Torghast Look Like?
Torghast is still evolving and something they're still talking about.
This is a piece of content that can scale from playing solo to a party of 5. They learned a lot from Horrific Visions and the tuning.
Based on community feedback, they are considering revisiting the idea of playing Torghast infinitely that could have cosmetic rewards.
This infinite mode was compared to the Mage Tower and the prestige rewards but there will also be the "regular" mode that will require keys that will drop Legendary components.
Class Fantasy in Torghast
The focus in Torghast is
fantasy, not necessarily spec fantasy
While all druid specs can use Growl, a Guardian Druid may value this slightly differently than the other specs.
Class Testing in Torghast
They didn't think of testing class changes in Torghast.
There are a lot of Anima Powers and its possible that some Anima Powers may actually make it as Legendary Powers!
Dungeon length being shorter isn't necessarily a goal.
Halls of Atonement and Necrotic Wake are level up dungeons, so they probably aren't as long as some of the max-level dungeons seen in the past like Arcway or Siege of Boralus.
This is Alpha, and the dungeons could also be undertuned.
The next dungeon on Alpha,
, is also the only 3 boss dungeon and it has a unique Trash section with a Trickster.
Affixes and Dungeon Design
They want to avoid feelings of "this dungeon is dead" like Waycrest and Sanguine.
If a dungeon is slightly harder or easier in a week because of affixes, that's fine. The issue is when the delta between weeks is massive.
They're considering turning on Mythic+ early on the testing cycle, compared to BFA beta, to smooth out some of the rough edges early even if the Seasonal affix isn't ready yet.
Castle Nathria and Environmental Mechanics
There are quite a few environment-based bosses in Castle Nathria
They want it to feel unique, so they only want to use it when it makes sense.
On the Denathrius encounter, you'll be falling to a new floor and it'll be a multiple-floor fight.
It was also hinted that Sire Denathrius could also have an interesting past.
Mythic Only Phases
They are really really cool, and Mythic phases like Cho'gall made sense when there's an interesting story hook.
When they do a Mythic phase, they want to make sure it's exciting and not a routing standard.
Covenant Swapping Update
They're not done making stuff yet -- Soulbinds, Conduits and Legendaries are still coming online.
They want to get these out as soon as possible, so that they get more time for feedback.
They've identified Conduits would be a great tuning knob for unique benefits. If they identify that Kyrian Warlock is very single target, they can create an AoE conduit.
If there's something that appears to be way out of line, they're working on changing those -- for example changing the Paladin Covenant ability Ashen Hollow.
Character Progress on Raid Release
At max level, you'll get to choose a Covenant which gives you a Covenant Signature and Class Ability.
You'll also get to Soulbind to a member of your Covenant, and as you continue to play you'll unlock more tiers of your Soulbind.
Paul Kubit mentioned that Torghast will be available right on launch.
New Covenant Abilities in Next Build
The next Alpha build will include all the Class Covenant and Signature abilities available in Torghast.
Each day will rotate between the Covenants and you'll be able to test each Covenant ability!
Many of the Covenant abilities (except for Paladin and Rogue) are ready for testing, even if the zone isn't!
Covenant Utility and Raid Encounters
They talk this often because it can cause a lot of balance concerns.
As a combat designer, it is their job to make players have unique tools.
As a encounter designer, it is their job to make puzzles that players can solve, taking into account the player's tools, including Covenant abilities.
The problem comes up when there isn't enough variety in the puzzles during an encounter and that leads to severe class stacking.
e.g. Ragnaros Phase 2 required Burst AoE, but Phase 3 required something else.
Covenant Ability Hybrids
Covenant abilities and Shadowlands are focused around the class and that's why classes with multiple specs have hybrid damage and healing abilities.
Because of this, there are some additional design constraints on hybrid classes like Druids because they need to work across multiple roles.
Removal of Expansion Systems and Classes
"Legion Syndrome" is real, which is the removal of expansion systems and the class feeling like you're missing something. e.g. At the end of Legion, the loss of the Artifact and those systems wasn't filled in by the Azerite Armor system.
Legion and Battle for Azeroth had systems on top of systems but the idea of Shadowlands is to have legendaires, soulbinds, conduits and more systems to fill in the void immediately.
No updates today but on the radar.
Unpruning and the GCD
Ion in Sloot's interview said to give feedback on specific problems.
They agree that a problem is pressing multiple buttons in a row that are just cooldowns.
However, they disagree on removing them from the GCD is the solution. It was mentioned that maybe Mirror Images should be made a talent instead.
They have more work to do here and could use the communities' help in identifying the worst offenders. They added initial healing to Ascendance as an example from this expansion.
Some abilities could be redesigned as utility versus DPS.
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