There was Dev Q&A today covering Battle for Azeorth. Our first draft of notes is below, but watch the full thing for context.
- The team is is working to get 4 extra character slots out to everyone in the next few days, regardless of if pre-purchase or not.
- Allied Race unlocks and requirements are account wide.
- You need a Level 110 on the faction you want to unlock an Allied Race on, but requirements for that unlock are account wide.
- The team has tried to pull back on the raw power of racial abilities in the past few expansions.
- Other than Arcane Torrent, most racials aren't overly powerful now.
- The Void Elf racial is not a copy of Mage blink. It isn't an instant teleport, it requires pre-planning to use. You need to know you are going to teleport a few seconds ahead of time.
- The team wanted players to experience why these new races joined the Horde or Alliance, which is done through reputation or achievement requirements.
- The team will look at the requirements as time goes on, we move to other expansions and have more Allied Races, but for now they make sense.
- You will be able to work on unlocking other Allied Races (such as Draenor Orcs) as the expansion unfolds. You gain the Zandalari as allies in Battle for Azeroth.
- Solo Queue is unlikely to be in Battle for Azeroth.
- If you could solo queue, it would blur the distinction between ranked PvP and regular PvP.
- In other games that have solo queue, there is a lot more flexibility to change your composition. WoW isn't nearly as flexible.
- Solo queue would produce a frustrating experience.
- Playing with partners adds a lot of depth and social interaction.
- The team would like to make it easier and more accessible to get into these rated PvP formats.
- With Rated Battlegrounds, the team might move the size to 6v6, as it has worked out well in Brawls.
- The team also wants to add more tools to make it easier to find partners to play with. Hopefully the Communities tool helps here.
- The arena spectator mode is in. It's a thing. You can use it. The team can build upon this in the future.
- Adding additional Prestige tiers forever isn't the right solution. Existing players have spent a lot of time earning the rewards they have now though.
- The team wants to keep the existing Prestige ranks, continue to add new ranks, but those new ranks would just give you a box or some kind of repeatable reward again. This makes Prestige a measure of how much you have PvPed rather than a grind for rewards.
- There are Honor Talents that aren't competitive in their rows. Honor Talents also feel like a barrier to entry rather than a reward.
- You may get to pick three Honor Talents out of a pool of many talents, with a fourth slot reserved for a trinket customization. This should give you more flexibility. Honor Talents will be unlocked by player level, so as soon as you hit the level cap they will all be unlocked.
- Seething Shore is coming before Battle of Azeroth.
- The team wants gear to matter in PvP, but not to the point where you have no chance because someone has played more than you.
- When you enable PvP mode on an RP realm, you still will follow RP rules and won't automatically put you on a shard with other realm players.
- Going forward, there will just be Normal and RP realms. You can opt-in to PvP if you want.
- Except in cases of extreme load, RP realms don't split or pull in players from other realms. During something like an expansion launch, some sharding does take place to avoid server crashes. You can still voluntarily group with players from other realms.
- Islands will be a lucrative source of Azerite.
- A PvP mode may reward honor.
- These are very heavily inspired by RTS elements from Warcraft II and III.
- You don't get to train grunts and footmen, controlling them literally with RTS style.
- Imagine a Warcraft III map where you got to play as a hero on that map.
- Sometimes you should bring the class, not the player.
- The goal here is to encourage a wide diversity of class and spec representation.
- When multiple people are bringing an AoE stun, one of them will be the best, so you will just want to bring that one.
- If you are forming a smaller group, you can't have all the classes and specs, so your gameplay changes there a little bit based on the abilities that you have.
- Encounter Design will create situations that make all of those tools valuable.
- "Bring the Player, not the Class" is one of the misinterpreted things of all time. It was a response to a completely degenerate situation, back when there were no raid wide buffs, they were all party based.
- When classes have unique tools, it should be easier to find a spot in a group because your ability will be valued, rather than leaders picking whoever is at the top of sims today.
- The team overprioritized spec identity over class identity in Legion development. There should be more class wide strengths. There are some limits, such as perks for specs on hybrid classes.
- In Legion, classes were redesigned and Artifacts were layered on top of that.
- There is a core set of abilities and tools that a class has, then there are some you get from other sources, such as Racials, Artifacts, Set Bonuses, and more. Azerite Armor is where this is going to live in Battle for Azeroth, as it will add depth, complexity, and customization.
- If a spec's rotation only works well due to an Artifact ability, that is a gap that will need to be filled.
- With Azerite Armor, you will have more frequent changes and customization than you do with Artifacts.
- Survival Hunter is one of the specs that is getting significant reworks in Battle for Azeroth. It is an example of where spec fantasy was put before class fantasy. Suddenly you hit Level 110 and forgot how to use a bow.
- The Titanforge system averages out in the long run. A player that only runs LFR may end up with one powerful item, but the rest of their slots are LFR gear. Weapon slots matter more though, so the current thinking is to not let weapons Titanforge, only Warforge.
- The Azerite Armor slots won't be able to Titanforge or Warforge at all.