Liveblog of the March 21st Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas
Game Director Ion Hazzikostas is back with another developer Q&A and answering questions about Battle for Azeroth! We're liveblogging all the answers from the Q&A and highlighting any important questions and answers from the stream.
As usual, we created a BINGO card for this Q&A.
A Caverns of Time portal is coming soon!
Hide Chest Transmog option will be added
They're not quite ready to talk about the big changes of Rise of Azshara just yet, but very soon.
Are there any areas you'd like to lessen RNG and increase player agency?
Randomness has been a part of loot acquisition from the beginning. They've tried some ways to mitigate that over the years. Recently, they have the Titan Residuum vendor. At this point in WoW, they have some many different avenues of loot acquisition through M+, Raiding and PvP, whereas in the past, the best gear was only from raiding.
They're working on some tech to mitigate some bad luck -- for example, the game has some history to your previous Mythic+ caches, to mitigate the chances you open up Bracers 3 weeks in a row.
Are gear resets too frequent?
It's a double edged sword. There's definitely a sense of, it wipes away your accomplishments from last tier. As they've talked about in the past, the other side is that there has to be a good progression path between tiers.
You've said Fun is the ultimate metric that drives the game forward. How do you measure fun?
If you listen to the Activision Earning Call and you hear MAUs, that's Investor speak and not what the developers use. All they want to do is as engaging as possible. If there's something that is over rewarding or has a risk/reward ratio that is out of wack, then they see participation rewards (e.g. The Mechanar Problem: In BC, it was the fastest, easiest dungeon).
Some other metrics are:
How frequently do you log in?
How long do you log in for?
What activities do people do?
What's the philosophy surrounding PvP Item Levels compared to M+ and Raiding?
The intent is supposed to be its close to parallel. They believe it to be the case.
If you're talking about the Weekly Conquest Reward, that's different because that's a participation reward which isn't comparable to a M+ 10 dungeon or Mythic Raiding.
Are you going to address the issue where secondaries are more important than main stat?
There's some changes built from Legion. There's not a consistent primary to secondary ratio. At lower gear levels, the secondaries are higher. At higher gear levels, the primaries are higher. When you look at your stat weighs, you're not having a 1:1 comparison anymore and you might be comparing 100 main stat to 50 secondary stat. This may be more skewed to certain specs, more than others.
What will be done to address the removed portals?
They don't want to rehash the
reasons which they already posted on the forums
. There are valid reasons. With every expansion they've removed some portals.
They'll be adding a Caverns of Time portal that takes you directly into the central Nexus. There's also another UI update coming soon which will help you travel to another continent when an quest is tracked on another continent.
When will we see more transmog customization?
In the next update, they're going to add the ability to "Hide Chest" transmog to show off your tattoos. They're looking at transmog rules more broadly and loosen some of the old restrictions. There's some weird interactions that currently still exist.
Are we ever going to see increased character customization? e.g. Height, eye color, etc.
They want to do more with character customization, but not on the level of lots of sliders. Height adjustments are probably more difficult.
When can be expect information about the next set of Allied Races?
When they do come, they'll probably come from the same sources as previous Allied Races -- BlizzCon, Patches, etc.
Have you considered making Allied Race unlock questlines repeatable on alts?
It's a cool suggestion. They'll discuss with the team.
Are there any intentions to address not just the speed of leveling but the quality as well?
They're considering the idea of a level squish, because they can't give you something everytime you level because you would then get 120 of something and then it would be something like 0.3% improvement. It would be cool if every level you earned would give you a reward, instead of levels that currently give you nothing.
Are there any older design philosophies you're rediscovering as you develop Classic?
The leveling discussion above. They want to apply more community to the live game -- community bonding and meeting new players.
Will there be dedicated servers for Roleplaying on Classic?
They're having RP for an available server type for larger regions, but probably not RPPvP as it's a little to niche. They'll see how it unfolds.
Is the communities feature worth putting dev resources into moving forwards?
They've seen lots of cross-server communities: PvP groups, to cross server raid groups. They want to add some of those missing guild permissions that were lost in the transition.
Is the Two Sides to Every Tale achievement indicative of possible future incentives to play both factions?
There are two distinct narrative sides. For players who play both sides, they thought it would be a cool bonus. They don't think this is starting a trend.
What are your thoughts on gold as a currency in WoW -- for repairs and player services?
It's important to have a healthy economy. If you get a raid BoE, they want you to be happy to sell it if you need gold.
WoD and Legion created a huge inflation due to best way to make gold being missions on multiple alts. Now, raiders with potions and flasks, there's a guild economy where they can pool resources to make Cauldrons or sell BoEs.
Regarding player services, this has been around since all the way back in 2005 and 2006. They think it's better for it to be in Gold rather than sketchy third party mediums. However, its more of a problem when advertisements feel like they dominate communication channels.
Will the Demon Hunter realm restrictions be removed at any point?
No plans to remove it in Battle for Azeroth. Probably in the future. Part of the reason is because they start at level 98 and you'd make a bunch of Demon Hunters for farming.
Going forward will be see fights that aren't so punishing on melee?
They feel it's pretty good. For example, Rastakhan you want 9 ranged because the strategy that is the "best" strategy required 9 ranged. When they made the changes to Mythrax Orbs to not target melee, it inverted the fight from Melee unfriendly to Ranged unfriendly.
Why don't see BFA dungeons give reputation for their respective zones?
It's unlikely at this point. Reputations are mostly tied to outdoor World Quests and they're designed that way. However, it may make sense for some reputations going forward.
Any chance Demo locks will get to see Thal'kiel again?
It's possible. It's part of the fun with Legion with sentient weapons. Hati was different because it was a beloved companion for many hunters. Xal'atath will play an interesting role in many plot points to come.
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