Tomb of Sargeras Developer Interview Liveblog
is interviewing Lore and Lead Encounter Designer Morgan Day on his Twitch stream at 11:30 Pacific! We're liveblogging the important points below in this article, and the topics covered will include Tomb of Sargeras and raid encounter design.
Watch live video from Slootbag on www.twitch.tv
Q: Plans on returning to different size of Mythic raid?
A: So far we've been happy with raiding this tier, and we haven't made any big changes and it's pretty solid (20). Not concerned with class bloat.
Q: Any hopes for a teaser video for
is so soon.
A: Raid preview is online - not sure about a video coming.
- will that vendor be upgraded at all or right away?
A: Not sure, don't think ilvl will change. I will follow up and check.
Q: As far as raid design goes, do you think of making raids harder and harder as time goes on - i.e.
A: We do aim for parity after the first raid. First raid is an exception, we make it a bit easier since people are still figuring out their classes.
tuning targets around the same as
Q: How do you plan the size of the raid? What the expected clear time? Is a 9 boss raid harder per boss than a 13 boss raid?
A: We started with 8 bosses, but added the
. The theme/setting dictates the number of bosses. This one has distinct wings.
Q: Are you trying to have people not test the lass boss or what?
A: No plans to really change the testing of heroic bosses. We didn't cave, always had plans to show him. Having steady content updates means less time for testing - still trying to figure this out in an environment when there's always something on the PTR. We got feedback on raid testing being too soon when
came out. Generally no plans to not show all the bosses, but keep Mythic version of last boss off PTR.
Q: Not too much single target in
- lots of AOE and Cleave. Is that something you balance/did you go too far? How's
with this? How do you deal with that situation with this where people stack classes?
A: We don't really have a checklist like "AoE burst fight, single target fight." We do refer to
style fights and try to do one at least i.e.
. We also try to get in a council fight i.e.
. Other than that we don't really have a checklist. Personally, yes, we'd like to move away from "how do i solve this dps encounter." I feel like there's a lot of things we could do like kiting or CC - i.e. mage kiting squads. There's so many cool class abilities, and we'd like to provide more problems to solve in a non-standard way.
Q: What's your stance now on things like non-tank classes tanking, etc? Mage tanking?
A: I think it's really cool, i.e.
phase). Making this mythic only made it okay do to this because you could expect there to be a mage or a warlock. Good in that situation.
Q: Can we expect anything like more
A: Yes, for sure. We're happy with how
turned out. We liked the extension of that story line. Good to wrap that up in a raid.
Q: Secret bosses? Mythic only bosses?
A: I can't speak to unannounced stuff but that goes to where it makes sense. If it fits in, then it may work out. We liked the Mythic only part of
but that was inspired by the encounter, not the other way around.
Q: What kind of limit do you have on implementing extra lore in Mythic only last bosses i.e.
A: Mechanically where it makes sense, we do mythic only phases. Not a requirement. As far as story goes, people can always see it out of game OR later in the expansion we'd love for people to go back to previous tiers with new gear to check out the story.
Q: Differences between raid difficulties - which gets built first/which gets scaled around/how are raid encounters built?
A: Depends on the different designer - we usually start with Heroic difficulty. That's the middle ground. Sometimes you playtest something and realize you've designed a harder than intended encounter. Our internal raid team is very useful for testing difficulty levels.
Q: How do you keep raid mechanics fresh?
A: Always have new environments. Sometimes it's new tech ( like Movement Forces i.e. Winds on
), different mob/magic types, etc. The audience has evolved for different raid difficulties over time. We are evolving with that. We can do better on keeping mechanics easy to understand. i.e. Is the green swirly on the ground good? Bad? do i need to stand close? far? Improving visual clarity would be good, and improving consistency on that would be good. We liked the Nightmare Dragons beam mechanic.
Q: When something goes wrong when content is live, what is the limit with bans/emergency fixes/etc? Or can you give an example of a boss that didn't work out as you wanted but stayed?
A: We try to avoid buffing an encounter once it's been killed.
, though, we saw 2 healers was a problem from a comp perspective - we felt it was okay to change it to improve the compositions killing it. We do look for things early like 3 tank fights.
Mythic + Dungeons
Q: Happy with current affixes? Any new ones?
A: Overall we're really happy with M+. We are making some changes with how Keystones work with new patch - we want people to push keystones, they won't deplete anymore etc. The affixes themselves we're happy with - we're always iterating them though i.e. necrotic drops out of combat now. Can never say things are final.
Q: Any plans on increasing the # of affixes at higher difficulties? Like 4 for 15?
A: That's an interesting idea! We did try to rebaseline the dungeons, so the intent there was to get people out of crazy high-end levels. No plans currently for that though.
Q: Dungeon tuning -
has been nerfed, and
is still avoided during certain affixes. Is that okay?
A: We're hoping that hard dungeons on easy affixes would be a good choice - that would be a good place to be. Maybe not on harder affix weeks. M+ should be about a variety of experiences; ideally we can reach a place where players look forward to different dungeons based on each Mythic+ rotation.
Q: Can we expect to see any further ways to incentivize M+? Mounts/pets? We were expecting a good reason to really push. Now we just do 10/15 and that's it.
A: I'm not sure. M+ is still a new system that we're experimenting with. Not expecting it to go anywhere any time soon.
Tomb of Sargeras
Q: Hardest boss in
from a design perspective?
A: Not really - I'm super excited for how much we're using the environment in
is exciting - i.e. a don't break the ice type encounter. Floor is made of lots of small pieces that can crumble which was difficult from a technical perspective to implement.
Another design challenge was aiming for visual consistency and clarity across mechanics in
- eg all meteors have a similar visual feel now.
Q: Any new bad ass mechanics or systems in
you're excited about?
has a piece of new tech - one of his intermissions is a darkness phase, navigating in low visibility. This will be the first time we use this tech.
Q: Do you worry about new tech not working?
A: Yes haha. All the time!
technically the hardest boss of the expansion?
A: We have targets and ideas about difficulty. We have similar targets as
. i.e. first few bosses are easier. We'll find out with raid testing!
Q: How do you control pacing/length of encounter? i.e.
was short (9 mins) -
was 15 mins.
A: Often it just so happens to go along with the story. I.e.
had a lot of story to cover with Illidan. We also have to give mechanics time to breathe - i.e. something with 2 mechanics like Patchwerk will be a shorter encounter. i.e.
just had the BIG ORC story so that's why it ended up on the shorter hand.
Q: What I liked about
was it was GO GO GO from the beginning - how do you decide that pacing?
A: Depends on individuality of the designer. Also we're not sure you want that level of intensity for 15 minutes.
Q: Are there any fights that are intended to be 1-2 healed or 1 tanked? Or is that strictly a no no. Where do you put your foot down?
A: This is a thing evolving. I.e. 4 horseman was an 8 tank fight. We understand that guilds have their groups and it sucks to be sat or have to change roles. We want to keep it within a certain band/number. Sometimes if something is REALLY cool and would make sense for 3 tanks then that might be more acceptable i.e. Iron Juggernaut, but generally aim for 2 tanks when planning encounters.
Q: What's the hardest fight in
A: The Fallen Avatar will probably be equivalent to
i.e. the penultimate boss is the next hardest fight.
Q: There's no mount listed on the PTR for
? What are the armaments from the Tomb meta-achievement?
A: Armaments are like a transmog set, similar to the
Sets. Mounts are still really cool rewards - this is just us trying out different things.
Q: Will there be a
A: I'd have to check, I'm really not sure.
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