Liveblog of the July 19 Battle for Azeroth Beta Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas
Game Director Ion Hazzikostas is back with another developer Q&A and answering questions about the beta for expansion launching in 4 weeks, Battle for Azeroth. 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
Just like last time, we decided to create an awesome BINGO card for this Q&A.
Azerite Armor is complex and will not be tradeable. They want to make sure that people aren't pressured to trade away and upgrade.
There's more to be revealed regarding the Horde Story. There's bound to be tensions because of the wide variety of motivations that make up the Horde.
The Camera anchor was standardized across all races, but mostly notably changed on Goblins and Gnomes.
Hati is tied to the artifact. But perhaps in the future, we may see more of Hati.
They are looking at relaxing the transmog restrictions of fist weapons.
Legacy Loot Mode give you more loot for content that is irrelevant. When BFA comes out, Legion will not use Legacy Loot Mode, but you'll still get two pieces per boss if you solo it.
On North American realms on Tuesday, whenever the first person in a guild logged in it had to convert the guild into the new communities feature which ended up grinding things to a halt. Today's maintenance restarts are working towards reenabling the Communities feature.
With this stat squish going into Battle for Azeroth, they wanted to make sure to make it easier for future stat squishes. This changed a lot under the hood and caused a lot of unintended bugs in the process. The first stat squish was mostly done by hand.
Why can't I use mage tower appearances when I've completed them on my first?
At the artifact forge, that is a character specific transmog. However, once you use other weapons, the transmog will be available for a second character.
When will Warlocks get their new caster animations?
They're continuing to update more spell animations in general and some of the current updated animations may not apply to Warlocks. They always want to improve to the look and feel of combat spells.
The bonus for random dungeons has been changed to a weekly bonus. Why the nerf?
This is a bug. It may be a display issue.
On a related note, they rolled the bonus objective experience onto the final boss.
Legacy Loot was recently changed to be listed as "more than 10 levels" intstead of "10 or more". What's the reasoning?
It's always intended to be more than one expansion but once an expansion is no longer current, you will always get a minimum amount of loot from them. For example, even if you're soloing Legion raids in BFA, you'll still be getting a minimum of 2 items per boss even on personal loot.
Once an expansion is completely soloable, that's when Legacy Loot Mode kicks in.
What is the reasoning behind Azerite Armor and Mythic raid mounts being untradeable?
Mythic raid mounts should be tradeable and it is now.
A piece of leather shoulders that is looking at by Druid, Rogue and Monk looks at each of them differently due to the Azerite Traits. The sheer complexity when evaluating the value of each items makes it difficult and they want to make sure that someone doesn't feel pressured to trade a piece that they want to use.
What changes are you making to encourage more variety at the highest level?
Due to the format of the MDI where your Artifact was the same item level as your gear, it make classes that relied on your weapon such as Hunters less useful and classes like Monks (who were Weapon Agnostic) to shine. As for classes, the Hpally and RDruid that were chosen have increased health pools.
The way players actually chose affixes and ignored others in the MDI also caused only a pool of classes and specs to be viable. They want to increase class diversity through affixes.
Will M+ seasons last until the next major patch or will 8.x.5 patches see a new affix?
They're looking to set up a structure where the reward structure has parallels among the other end-game reward systems. The Mythic+ season, the new Raid Tier and the new PvP Season will all begin at the same time.
You said that Class development will be put to a later date after the expansion launches. When will that be?
Class development is ongoing but regarding what Ion said in the last Q&A, the window for major class changes was closing. They're still focusing on tuning, they'll do minor tuning at 110 but most of their focus is looking to 120. There will be times when new talents are replaced, but that's 8.1 and beyond.
As a Horde player I find myself with little reason to hate the Alliance or take pride in the Horde right now. Is this a Phase 1?
Not much he can say because spoilers. There's more to the picture that hasn't been revealed. The heart of the Horde still beats.
Wide range of motivations in the Horde, so there's bound to be tension. We're going to see this within both factions, both are going to look inwards and reflect.
Is there a solution to not have a stat squish every other expansion?
They haven't come up with a solution. Possibly something with the combat system, but power progression is important in the game. They settled at 15 items between difficulties. How do you balance encounters for gear checks without power progression?
Will we see fixes to the recent stat squish with Legacy content?
It's ongoing and will be fixed. If something feels slower, it will be fixed.
Regarding power on current content. Pre-patch is tuned for ~3 weeks ago with around 75 traits in your artifact before the Artifact overcharge.
What are your thoughts on a level squish?
It's something they've discussed and considered. If you log in one day and you're level 70, do you feel like you lost something?
Is the new camera anchor overlooking the character an intended change?
There's been a slight camera anchor change for the shorter races - such as Gnomes and Goblins. Say if you're in a dungeon or raid and there's a small lip there that doesn't affect the other races, it would affect those races. When you zoom in, the camera anchor will be slightly above your head, but it will snap into first-person mode when you zoom all the way in.
Will we be able to say goodbye to Hati as Hunters?
Understand the bond between Hati and Hunters. Hati is tied to the artifact. Nothing to announce, but perhaps we haven't seen the end of Hati.
Will we continue to use the artifact fishing pole in BFA?
It was not used in draining the power of Sargeras Sword. It will still be tied to Legion Fishing.
Using Artifact for Transmog forces that Artifact Apperance for both hands. Intended?
Intended for now. There's some technical problems specifically regarding classes like feral druid who can't even dual wield daggers normally. Down the line, they want to improve the customization.
Why are Feral and Guardian artifact skins tied to transmog instead of a separate tab?
It's how the artifacts were built. The cosmetics were tied to the artifacts along with other things. That being said, this has the potential to change in the future. There may even be more ways to earn Cat/Bear appearances in the future.
Can we expect any changes to transmog possibilites?
The main area they want to improve in the future is Fist Weapons. 1H vs 2H is harder as there's a spec identity thing there, as well as melee animations that are based around that assumption.
Will we see more gameplay altering Azerite Traits soon with the loss of Legendaries, set bonuses and artifacts?
There are already some; off the top of Ion's head there's a trait that rewards you for multiple Rupture out as a rogue. If you seek out multiple of them, they approach the power of a legendary and are more powerful than set bonuses.
On live in the pre-patch, it feels like you're missing stuff now, but in a couple weeks you'll be exposed to the Azerite system.
What are the thoughts on developing classes in BFA and the future? No talent row past 100 and people want new toys.
Ion thinks there's a lot of customization of Azerite Traits in the endgame. If they add more talent rows every expansion, there's a feeling of bloat and they're giving you something new just for the sake of it. We look at a low-mobility class and want to add something, "oh let's give them a sprint" which causes classes to become more homogenized. New toys are always exciting.
The Mage Tower challenges in Legion were awesome and would you consider introducing this sort of solo challenge again in BFA?
It's definitely not something they want to leave behind. It's about the right time and place. It's definitely something they'll do again in the future.
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