Liveblog of the Legion Itemization Q&A with Matt Goss
Lead Game Designer Matt Goss is answering questions from the Warcraft community today on itemization! Wowhead liveblogged the highlights below, and the next Q&A will cover Patch 7.2 Content on March 23rd.
With Patch 7.2 available for
, some players speculated that the Q&A would reveal a date for Patch 7.2, but this is still unknown.
To learn more about recent itemization updates, please read
7.2 PTR Legendary Item Changes
Artifact Weapons: What's New in Patch 7.2
Watch live video from Warcraft on www.twitch.tv
Did adjustments to secondary stats in 7.1.5 achieve your goals?
Blizzard is generally happy but still looking at several cases they are not happy with. They are hesitant to make sweeping drastic changes and risk making a different item clearly best.
Read up about what was changed in 7.1.5 in our
Secondary Stat Overview
Despite changes to secondary stats, some lower item level pieces perform better than badly-itemized pieces with higher item level. Is Reforging coming back?
Feedback in Legion is that players didn't get enough decision-making as far as itemization. Reforging is a way to give players more decision-making, but has drawbacks - it muddies the idea of an upgrade, and reforging one item led to sweeping changes for all items you had equipped. it solves the player agency problem but creates more problems.
When designing secondary stats on class items, does Blizzard optimize that piece for a class?
Blizzard does look at it, but doesn't completely optimize class pieces (eg set tokens) for your spec - they want you to pick and choose which pieces have the stats you like.
Good reminder that there are various stat caps and users should calculate their own stat weights - for example, haste might be amazing for one player with a certain gear set up, and bad for another player. So it's useful when Blizzard includes gear options for different secondary stats to account for different player situations.
Tertiary stats are weak/ignored. Any plans to adjust in the future?
Tertiary stats were buffed in Warlords and there are misconceptions that they are still weak at the original level. Avoidance can be pretty powerful, Speed is also useful, Leech scales with damage so it gets better throughout the expansion. They feel "sneaky good" - like a neat bonus.
How would you have implemented Legion legendaries in hindsight?
Going back in time, they would have been more plentiful dropping at launch. However, it was good to be cautious at the start - if the droprates were accidentally too high, that would feel really bad when the system was nerfed.
The gap between power and utility legendaries was too high at launch. Blizzard feels a lot of the utility legendaries are cool, and have heard stories that people found the utility procs fun but then felt bad it had no power. There are changes coming in 7.2 so players have more of a choice between legendaries they can equip, instead of going for the power one.
Read about the upcoming legendary changes in the
March 14th Legendary Changes
post. These changes include new throughput effects and bonus secondary stats.
How do you see universal legendaries that have an obstacle like the Fire Pyro bracers (
Blizzard does not view these bracers as a universal legendary - they shine on fights you can stand still on. When it comes to using a situational vs a universally-used legendary, the situational legendary should win in that niche situation.
Why do some legendaries have effects which should really be baked into a given spec? Eg
for BM Hunters.
Sometimes legendaries are viewed as an experiment or test to try new things. Blizzard looks at the legendaries people react positively too, eg the BM legendary smoothing out the rotation, and determines if anything can be done to wrap these universally-useful effects in. (This is not a promise that the BM effect will be wrapped in.)
Eligibility rules for personal loot trading are confusing - why?
Blizzard agrees that things are very confusing, especially with gear from bonus rolls. A special message is coming in 7.2 stating that bonus roll items can't be traded, because this is *your* personal item. It would be risky to open up the opportunity to trade Bonus Rolls. Raids could organize "Bonus Roll Day" so everyone in the raid would coordinate rolling in the hopes a player could get an item.
Blizzard agrees they have not done a good job explaining the trading rules. For example, some dungeon loot in Arcway and Court of Stars couldn't be traded because they were treated as set bonuses - but the rest of the loot in the dungeon could be.
More items with cool effects like
We like cool effects! Blizzard is always looking to make items more exciting. One of Matt's favorite items is the
, which had an effect that dealt damage when players hit you - it makes sense.
These small effects do not count against the item's budget - for example, if a caster got a ring with bonus auto-attack damage, that doesn't mean that intellect was taken away and put towards the auto-attack equip. The stats on an item are not worse if there is a cool equip on it which doesn't add much to your character.
There are a lot of cool dungeon trinkets with neat effects, but they're weak compared to raid trinkets. Plans to make them more viable?
Definitely - especially with the Mythic+ system having high item level rewards from dungeons. Blizzard spends a lot of time reviewing trinkets, and explained how this was a complex problem.
Some of the dungeons have small sets (eg 2 piece sets). Any plans to have more like these?
Yep! Blizzard likes having items stand out - eg you open up the Dungeon Journal, something catches your eye, and you want to get it because it has cool flavor.
These small cool sets (like
) also provide an incentive for you to track down the missing set items from other bosses or dungeons.
Blizzard doesn't want to go overboard and make things confusing, but having sets here and there make things fun. There aren't any sets coming in 7.2
Cathedral of Eternal Night
Thoughts on adding dungeon sets for players struggling to get tier sets?
Blizzard discusses doing this every expansion, and the Class Hall Order Set was inspired by this. This set has some dungeon requirements.
Blizzard also has to evaluate how dungeon sets interplay with raid sets - especially with Mythic+ rewards. For example, a dungeon set in theory might be stronger than a raid set - how would this work?
Raid zones (Emerald Nightmare) without tier sets feel unrewarding. How do you like this design?
At the start of an expansion, there are many things going on - eg unlocking Artifact Traits, getting Legendaries. Blizzard does not want to overload players with gear modifications that require attention.
were kept simple on purpose since Blizzard was worried there were still many other complex gear projects going on.
Still thinking about letting players wear Tier 19 2pc and Tier 20 4pc in Patch 7.2?
Tier sets have six pieces now in Legion so players could equip two legendaries and maintain their 4 piece bonus. But this would also allow players to mix and match sets.
Blizzard feels cautious about this but wants to give players space to make their decisions. Changes may be made if the 2pc Tier 19 is universally better and worn all the time. However, there are no definite plans - this is just an option in case problems develop.
There's something cool about letting players mix and match tiers though - it's an interesting experiment and Blizzard is looking for feedback.
Is the Assassination Tier 20 set placeholder? Only worth using in certain gear situations.
Important to understand that Tomb will not be open when 7.2 goes live. While the Patch is called Tomb of Sargeras, you have to do lots of things on the Broken Shore before the raid opens.
Blizzard also clarified that they do not know when 7.2 is going live, even though it's in the background downloader. There is no official date:
We've seen a lot of people speculating about the patch release date, like "It's up on the background downloader! What does that mean when the patch comes out?" ...If you find out, let me know.
set bonuses are not yet complete
and Blizzard is gathering feedback on them. There will be a small patch before the raid opens, for tuning, similar to Nighthold and Patch 7.1.5. There is room to tune things if they are not working.
Plans for more exciting tanking trinkets in Tomb of Sargeras?
Blizzard wants the +use effects on a trinket to feel impactful, and right now there hasn't been a good reason to use these effects on existing trinkets because other trinkets with passive effects feel more powerful. This is part of an ongoing situation and challenge. Blizzard realizes they haven't quite hit the mark in making tanks excited about trinkets, and there should be more interesting ones in Tomb.
Some of the Tomb of Sargeras tank trinkets are:
Do you like the power gems and enchants offer after the secondary stat revamp? It can feel meaningless now as values didn't change.
In Legion, we felt these items were over-budgeted, and after the stat rebalancing, these items are now more in line with expectations.
An example is food; Blizzard looked at feasts which offered primary stats, compared to individual food which offered secondary stats. The individual food dominates feast usage.
Over the cost of the expansion, enchants and gems feel less strong as players get better gear, so epic gems will likely come later in Legion.
Do secondary stats add depth to gameplay? Spec builds tend to favor one stat, in the past there used to be alternate builds with different stats.
Blizzard feels that the community has gotten better at evaluating stats, with more precise information. So when the community says that a build with one stat is best, it's backed up with precise research, and people gravitate towards that one build instead of speculating that builds with other stats are better.
Even when there are multiple ways to build a character, you still want certain builds for situations like Mythic, or Raids, or PvP.
Healers have more flexibility in stats for their playstyle - DPS specs don't have that flexibility but Blizzard would love a way to do this.
Any news about 7.2 solo challenges? No news so far.
They are coming in 7.2 and are very difficult! When the
Mage Tower is built
on the Broken Shore, you can attempt these challenges. Beating this challenge awards an artifact appearance.
View all of the artifact appearances in
New Artifact Appearances Coming in 7.2.
Any plans to revisit the double-traited relic idea originally planned for 7.2? Maybe with utility traits, instead of throughput traits?
For context - this was
originally planned for 7.2 Order Advancement
, to add a random throughput trait to all relics. This was scrapped a few weeks ago.
There was a lot of internal feedback as to the randomness of the planned 7.2 system, or the impact of suddenly having every relic in the game get two traits.
This idea is still fresh in Blizzard's mind and they are thinking of ways to improve it and implement it in a better way in the future.
Blizzard feels that relics have a lot of cool potential in the future, and the 7.2 system wasn't perfect and would curtail future interesting things Blizzard could do with the system.
Any plans to bring back unobtainable or old appearances on gear instead of tier reskins?
In Patch 7.2, the
transmog set UI
is coming and Blizzard realized there were tons of missing pieces as they put the system together. With the transmog set UI complete, Blizzard now has a comprehensive list of appearances that aren't collectible in the game. They need to find the right time and place to bring back each appearance.
Can we get heirlooms scaling up to 110 in 7.2?
Not in 7.2, but hopefully shortly after. Stay tuned!
With Artifact Knowledge boosts coming in 7.2 and more cool story lines, this feels like the right time for players to spend more time on their alts. So heirloom improvements soon!
only available every 2-3 months? It's so good.
Blizzard tries to be cautious about taking an item players like, and then nerfing it to the ground, because it feels bad if you've acquired it. Blizzard is still looking at it.
With the Warforged system, do you feel the gear process has moved from effort to being lucky?
Warforged/Titanforged was intended for players to feel like they got a bonus. The game is not tuned around players wearing Warforged or Titanforged gear. These items are meant to feel like a perk, so you can help your friends out in content you wouldn't normally do, and feel like you have a chance to still get something rewarding (eg a Mythic raider helping a friend in LFR).
If it feels like you have to have luck in order to be properly geared or succeed, then Blizzard may revisit the system. However, in the current state it's not meant to feel like having Warforged or Titanforged gear is mandatory to succeed.
Any plans to make awesome NPC armor available to players? Like Kaldorei/Naisha's armor.
We'd love to! Blizzard always looks at bosses and wants to see if the item can drop from that boss. It's cool when players can defeat a boss and then loot an iconic piece from the instance.
New Q&A next week on Patch 7.2 content!
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