Developer Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas
WatcherDev was back again to answer some more player questions! If you don't have time for the full thing, check out this clip.
- No new updates on artifact appearances after Legion. You will still be able to unlock all of the appearances later, except for the Mage Tower and Mythic +15 appearances.
- The same rules apply to the Druid forms.
- The upgrade system will be the same as previous upgrades.
- The team doesn't want to just automatically upgrade items, it feels odd to just change items.
- The team is keeping an eye on legendary drop rates. There may be room to increase the drop rate on the first few some more.
- The legendary tokens added in Patch 7.3.2 will be what you earn if you have every legendary item for your class. These may have another purpose later on.
- There aren't plans to do much balancing before Antorus opens.
- Balancing around Tomb won't do much to help balance in Antrous, as there will be new set bonuses and trinkets.
- The team will do balance passes after Antorus unlocks.
- The balance in Tomb is pretty good right now.
Tier Set Bonuses
- The team isn't super happy with how the set system is working out.
- Adding a 6th piece to sets gave players room for legendary items, but players can instead use a 4pc bonus, 2pc bonus from another set, and 2 legendary items.
- The team tries to have sets that vary your gameplay a little bit, so that you have something more than all passive modifiers.
- It is probably going too far if you need a specific build and legendary items if you have a certain set.
- The team is going to do more with Mythic Dungeons in the future after seeing the success of the Mythic Dungeon Invitational.
- Battle Resurrections in Mythic Dungeons are something the team is talking about.
- It would be great if classes could bring unique things rather than the team copying someone a class has and giving it to another class.
- When the Antrous raid missions become available, you will need those high level followers to access them.
- The team doesn't want the max level missions to feel not rewarding enough, so the hotfix yesterday bumped up the rewards.
- The team is working on hotfixing the Argus Whistle to be unlocked account wide.
- The PvP season usually is linked to the opening of new raids.
- If a patch with significant class changes happens to go live near the end of a PvP season, the team doesn't want the last few weeks of the season to be played with different balance changes.
- Patches are becoming more about getting the data onto your computer and less about activating new events.
- The team has been trying to make everything account wide, but the Krokrun and Mac'Aree world quests are the exception.
- There are a lot of conflicts because of the story going on in those zones that would make account wide quests in those areas weird, so most aren't.
- Artifact Knowledge is still increasing weekly. This will continue until 55, which should be enough to fully unlock the Crucible traits.
- There are no plans to raise the cap beyond 55, as there is no real reason to.
- Nazak will probably be back at some point.
- The bosses are content that the game has passed by. They haven't been updated with new loot for the same reason old Legion raids aren't updated with new loot.
- The story in the last few patches has focused on the united effort against the Legion.
- We will see more of the Sylvanas and Greymane story in the future for sure.
Broken Shore Buildings
- The team has adjusted the amount of resources needed to rebuild the buildings, so the rate buildings are rebuilt is about the same as it always has been.
- The buildings should always remain reasonably functional, they won't make it take months to rebuild the buildings in a future expansion.
- In Mists of Pandaria, it was the goal to offer equal loot, challenge, and rewards in 10 and 25 player. This is why the 25 player version of raids had to drop two mounts off of the final boss.
- With a single difficulty, the team reverted to the older style of one mount from the final boss.
- Randomness has always been at the core of World of Warcraft. It has been part of most games, going back to pen and paper games.
- It needs to be very carefully managed.
- If you feel like you win/lose or are strong/week because of how the RNG falls is very unsatisfying.
- Randomness in Legion is in more places but each place has less impact on average.
- For example, years ago the team was much stingier with loot. There weren't as many sources of loot, so it was "raid or die". Even inside raids, less items dropped. These items could be very powerful. Your raid might clear a zone for several months and only see one of that trinket. That is part of why DKP was a system.
- Today it is much easier to get a full set of items. There are more sources of loot, bonus rolls, and other ways to earn loot.
- The team does want to preserve some sense of reward. If you aren't having fun doing content, you should take a break. You shouldn't feel the need to go back and do something that you don't enjoy.
- The team doesn't want you to go back and do old raids only for the hope of a legendary item.
- Progression is one of the main parts of the game. It is less exciting when you are killing a boss on farm over and over and there is zero chance that you could get something that is an upgrade.
- Random distribution of legendary items isn't a problem. There is something cool about not having the ability to choose a specific legendary from a list. Each person may have a different legendary, but those should be good in some different situations.
- The gap between the feeling of getting a utility legendary and getting a throughput increase legendary was too large early in the expansion, so tuning was done to bring the two types of legendary items closer together.
- There is no planned catch up system for the Netherlight Crucible. That is what Artifact Knowledge is for!
- Most of the work needed to allow new realm connections is now done! The team tested with some BR servers, found some issues, and fixed them. They are now talking about which realms to connect.
Other Spec Artifacts
- Artifact Knowledge is enough to help players keep their other spec's weapons at a reasonably high level at a very small cost to their main weapon.
- The team is fairly satisfied at how Knowledge is working out.
Class Tuning Data
- The team looks at logs over sims. They use both external data and internal data when doing balancing.
- If data externally makes things look imbalanced, but internally the data shows everything is balanced, players will only have access to the external data and think things aren't balance.
- Why does balance matter? The subjective perception and how it impacts players. If you are playing a single player game, all you care about is finishing the content and feeling sufficiently strong.
- You don't run simulations in single player games to figure out what armor to equip.
- In WoW, if you try to apply to groups and are declined because the community thinks your spec is weak, it impacts your gameplay experience, even if the spec is capable of doing well.
- The community perception of balance ends up mattering more than the internal data.
- How can the team shift the design of the game so that balance isn't just a matter of which bar is the longest?
- Does damage have to be the only thing that matters as far as balance goes?
- There will always be a spec at the top of the list and a spec at the bottom of the list, so everyone will never be happy if that is the only metric.
- There won't be flying on Argus, because of how the environment is built. It is incompatible with flying.
- Generally there is a zone in an expansion that never allows flying.
- This isn't setting a precedent for future zones post-release, it just has to do with how Argus was built.
- The challenge of tanking should have to do with the parts of tanking that aren't timing your active mitigation perfectly.
- The difference between survivability when your active mitigation is up and when it isn't shouldn't be huge.
- There are a few things removed in initial Legion pruning that could come back.
- There may have been too much fixation on ability count vs decision making in the moment.
- Rogues aren't asking themselves if they should Eviserate or use Shroud of Concealment.
- In PvP the team has leaned towards making things character specific.
- Having something be character specific makes it clear when you see that impressive character that the player is really good at playing that class.
- Players have to choose between a little more progression on their main or different and more rapid progression on his alt.
- If you feel like there are too many Prestige levels and you can never reach what you want on your main, pushing you to only play your main, that is a problem.