Liveblog of the Dec 14th Battle for Azeroth Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas
Game Director Ion Hazzikostas is back with another developer Q&A and answering questions about Patch 8.1 Tides of Vengeance! We'll be liveblogging all the answers from the Q&A and highlighting any important questions and answers from the stream.
You can watch the stream below.
Watch WoW Live Developer Q&A w/ Ion Hazzikostas from Warcraft on www.twitch.tv
As usual, we created a BINGO card for this Q&A. Play alongside us!
The next Q&A will be in early January and will be focused on Story and Lore. Highlights of this Q&A include:
Azerite Armor after Battle of Dazar'alor will drop with all Traits unlocked. Artifact Power will unlock things in the Heart of Azeroth instead.
More Mythic+ hotfixes coming soon - targeted at Monday.
In PvP Season 2, once you obtain your Seasonal Mount, every time you fill the bar after that you'll earn a Vicious Saddle.
They are planning on hotfixing in a "Potion of Tongues" which allows you to communicate cross faction.
is actually in the Classic Database!
Why were so many changes undocumented in 8.1?
It's an continuing process of improvement. They are constantly on Reddit or other sites and reading the undocumented changes thread and hopefully the number of undocumented changes will decrease every time. Things that didn't make the patch notes can be grouped:
1. Crafted gear was not exactly intended. It wasn't intended that people logged in without pants, but compared to previous expansions it was missing the profession flag so they just added it without realizing.
2. There's a wide range of issues and they fix many bugs at a time. They don't want to clog up the patch notes with minor things.
3. Things that they just missed -- Stealth at the beginning of Underrot.
Can you add rationale for changes to patch notes and/or hotfixes?
They do occasionally, but could definitely do more often. They tend to do it a lot more with class changes but when a change is "Mythic Keystones cannot be deleted" it would be nice to know what's going on.
8.1 broke the popular addon CrossRP. Was this intentional?
No. Addons cannot directly parse and do things with the chat in communities. This was done to patch up security loopholes.
They have no issues when you opt in to cross-faction communication. The current plan to fix it is a hotfix, with a potion called the "Potion of Tongues" which allows players to communicate cross faction.
Why did you remove the ability to delete Mythic+ keys?
This was a change that wasn't fully thought through. This was a hotfix that was applied the first day of Season 1 of Battle for Azeroth when players got very high keystones.
There was some bugs, but it also lead to some social issues. They would seemingly cherry pick the easier dungeons. Just like in Burning Crusade, you would always run the easiest dungeons and they want some randomization there. Week to week, some affixes will make some dungeons more difficult than others.
Why were dungeon changes not in patch notes? Why were ones made to increase challenge without addressing harder dungeons?
There were a lot of hotfixes in October and November. Next week, they should have another set of hotfixes to address trash. There's a lot more going on with trash in Battle for Azeroth and they think that's a good thing but there's nothing that feels frustrating. With Tides of Vengeance, they have a lot of good information from dungeons from analytics. Before they had a lot of information on bosses, but not so much from trash as it was a blindspot. Now, they can answer questions like "Which are the most lethal mobs?", "Which stretch of dungeon takes the longest time?" and so on. Some changes include: Less infested on lieutenant mobs, looking at problem points from Teeming, changes to what mobs can be CC'able.
Are there any steps being taken to improve the Mythic+ pug experience?
The broad changes to dungeons as a whole will make dungeons more pug friendly. Higher keystones are meant to parallel high end raiding with communication.
Ion wants to know what problems there are with the in-game voice chat? Voice quality is high, Push-to-talk functionality, etc. and it seems like it'll help with pugs.
Why do we have to wait until the new raid for Season 2 of Mythic+
Cutting Uldir short would be a little too soon. End game rewards work in parallel. Mythic+ and PvP gear progress in similar power levels to the raid.
Can we get another source of Titan Residuum that isn't finite?
There probably isn't a non-finite source of Titan Residuum that the community doesn't farm like crazy. If you do nothing else but Mythic+, every 2.5 weeks, you'll be able to get a piece of Azerite Armor equal to the difficulty level you're farming. It's mostly a dungeon-forced experience.
How do you plan on handling the transition from Season 1 to Season 2 regarding Titan Residuum?
Normally, with a new tier of content they would hard cap or introduce a new currency. With Season 2, they will inflate the amounts -- every 15 item levels costs about 3 times more currency. They will also proportionally increase the amount you get from scrapping 400 or 415 gear and they will also inflate the amount you get from your Weekly Mythic+ chest.
With AK on hold for 6 weeks, there will be a massive gap going into next tier that won't be easily closed for several weeks. What are your plans to prevent this?
This is same way it worked in Legion -- it capped at 25, then it capped at 40. Artifact Knowledge is paced to match the current content. If AK continued, you'd likely see a larger gap between players as some people are taking a break right now.
In Season 2, AK will also pause at a certain point.
Any plans to make the Heart of Azeroth more relevant/engaging?
Yes they have plans to make the Heart of Azeroth more engaging. The Magni plot was initially a sideplot and isn't an essential plot point similar to the Legion Artifacts. Continuing into Rise of Azshara, the Heart of Azeroth will become a major plot point.
They want to make the Azerite system as a whole deeper and more satisfying. On one hand they want something to work towards in farming AP but one flaw is when you get a new piece of Azerite Armor and the traits are locked, so they gave them first. However, since the important traits are first, you have less of a motivation or excitement to achieve those goals.
Battle of Dazar'alor will be the last raid where you'll have to work to unlock your traits. Starting in Rise of Azshara, all traits will likely be unlocked, but you'll use AP to unlock powers in the Heart of Azeroth itself. More information will come down the line.
Do you plan on increasing gear reward item levels of warfronts and world quests as time goes on?
Arathi Warfront will not scale. Darkshore Warfront will scale once Season 2 starts, it's just suppressed for now. World Quests cap will scale with Season 2, but still based on your personal item level. Heroic Warfronts will also reward relevant rewards.
Can we get warfronts rotations to speed up a bit?
With Tides of Vengeance, there are now two Warfronts which means that you'll have one about every half the time. They don't want to make it any shorter, as some people only play on weekends, for example.
As a Horde player on a Horde dominant server, I will never see the 30% War Mode bonus.
Every weekly reset, the system looks at the relevant balance of the two factions in War Mode in the previous week and adjusts the percentages.
Faction Assaults have brought more people to World PvP and turning on War Mode.
Will previous Island Expedition rewards be available on the vendor at some point?
They will likely use this vendor for the last few things you need, when the expansion is almost over. No details to announce right now.
What are the new ways to obtain Vicious Saddles for 8.1?
In Season 2, you have your overall progression bar towards your Seasonal Mount. Once the progression bar is complete, you get your mount and then the bar will reset and you'll get Vicious Saddles every time you fill the bar after.
Are you satisfied with the state of class design as a whole?
No, they're never truly satisfied with class design. Getting new stuff is cool and exciting from an individual player's perspective. They lost something but they did it to improve overall class balance. Recently, they didn't add baseline abilities, but adding new toys for the expansion. They try to keep up with community perception, the meta and raid design. There's a lot of things they have to consider, especially with 36 specs; there's someone that's always going to be on the top.
Can we expect any form of Legendaries throughout BFA?
Nothing specific planned right now.
What's the status on uncoupling Artifact pairs for transmog?
Right now, there's no clear path due to technically limitations.
There should be another Q&A in January that is more focused on Story and Lore.
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