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Legion Post-BlizzCon Developer Q&A

by - 1 year ago

Hi guys! Ktjn here, this is a first pass summarization of the Dev Q&A on 11/11/16 with Ion Hazzikostas. I’ll clean it up as the day goes on, but wanted to get summary out to you ASAP!!


Was Karazhan as a 5man raid considered successful?

We found it successful— it is reminiscent of the original instance in addition to posessing mind-blowing new encounters. We would love to continue doing these types of this, but also focus building on where they fit story-wise. We would love to do this type of instance again.

How do you feel about the lengthy runbacks in Karahan?

We’re looking to make some tweaks. there are shorter routes once you beat the opera but people tend to naturally retrace their steps. We tend to time runbacks, around 90 seconds is ok, but that’s the high end for ok. If they’re longer, we look for checkpoints and shortcuts.

What do you think of the current reward vs difficulty in Trial of Valor?

It’s a bit off, ToV is seen as bosses 8, 9,  and 10 after the end of Emerald Nightmare for those who were done with EN and looking to continue. Some hotfixes have gone out to tweak outlier damage levels. We’re happy with the difficulty, but not the reward, they’re currently 5 item levels above EN, based on the amount of time people have run EN, their baseline ilvl is higher. Next Tuesday we’re bumping the baseline ilvl of loot by another 5.

What about secondary stats, an 845 ring better than an 870?

This is the single biggest systems problem right now.  supposed to feel rewarding and aren’t. looking at classes and specs with extreme discrepancies in 7.1.5 eg, fire mages and crit. jewelry in particular, would rather try to solve the design problem than revert the decision and put primary stats on them again. wanted secondary stats to start higher but grow more slowly. at low gear levels certain specs weren’t fun to play but at high levels they hit caps. going to increase rate secondary stats grow at higher ilvl, to make ilvl more meaningful. across the board adjustment of secondary stats in 7.1.5 success would be a 15ilvl upgrade will always be an upgrade, but a 5lvl may not. not all these changes will be in the first build on PTR.

With the large disparity with secondary stats, would it worth introducing reforging?

Hit and expertise made reforging awful, with those gone, it’s a different process. Reforging solved the problem of removing unwanted hit, etc so that same logic is reforging should be able to solve that issue now. the idea very rarely boiled down to an intuitive decision. helps make some non-upgrades upgrades, but not always. would rather solve the underlying problem than bring it back. if doing differential calculus is fun for you, then yes we’re dumbing down the game, for everyone else it’s a matter of knowing which addon to use to maximize your character.

More info on “reworking” some classes at BlizzCon?

reworking to strong, some they do on an expansion level. focusing on talent choices, that are too good, make interesting choices, looking at stat weights. coming 7.1.5 will have these changes, not all at once. hope to solve the most egregious problems over the course of the expansion.

Removal of artifact weapon appearances after Legion?

We are not removing any appearances, you’ll always be about to go to your forge and unlock them. Right now, you cannot transmog something else to look like your artifact. We will introduce a way to earn, for a limited time, those appearances going forward after Legion.

weapon transmog, but what about bear/cat forms?

We will have to find a solution. if a DK can use their weapon appearance, we want druids to have access to the shapeshift forms they earned.

Any model updates for water elemental and the DK ghoul?

7.2 for ghoul, water elemental is on the list as well. char models were updated, we want to do the same for their pets. Warlocks got love from Legion because of updated demon models. It will be an ongoing thing, weighing resources against other options: update pets or make an all-new creature? We carve out time each expac to update things, we’re able to pull art for the expansion and port them over to the players.

Will there be any new battlegrounds for Legion?

Possibly, no plans for the upcoming patch. the current focus is on pvp brawls—twists on familiar experiences for now. We need to find something that fits thematically and are actively discussing ideas for cool new ones as well as discussing where to fit them in over the course of the expansion. we have a lot of battle grounds currently and as the pool increases do we move to a rotating pool or other options.

What are your thoughts on legendaries? Some can change the feel of the class, while others are undertuned and don’t feel rewarding.

not all are meant to be equal, there would always be a first and last choice. looking at the last couple choices that feel not worth using at all, and possibly buffing them. also nerfs coming as well. eg, mage pyro bracers and dk bracers. make it feel getting a legendary is rewarding. will add a few new exciting ones to the pool. stat weighting also plays a factor to feel rewarding. part of the secondary stat . increasing ilvl of legendaries by 15, to 910, to make sure they’re the best thing in that slot even if it’s not the best effect. the utility is often undervalued because it is hard to quantify. ones that increase throughput is more noticeable, but other create situations to save your life or transformative, open up strategies for your raid that weren’t available before, eg warlock instant demonic gateway. fundamental problem of putting it in your bag and not discovering that utility. We acknowledge Sephuz’s Secret has become a bit of a meme, but can be really powerful in Mythic + dungeons.

 What about upgrading legendaries?

As the ceiling goes up, we will enable upgrading to keep ones earned early useful but also ones earned in Nighthold will already be the new ilvl cap. Upgrades will keep the old ones relevant. separate from the 15 ilvl bump coming.

Will we be able to equip more legendaries in 7.2?

Not in 7.2 but possibly later on. The cap is to limit the disparity for those that are more lucky than others. Having more than two opens up the toolkit of swapping legendaries out for different encounters. However, when you have 6 or 7, it may be be a good time to up the limit to 3.

Will you be adding options for quick join sounds?

This is coming in a hotfix later. We were trying to expose more info to make it easier for guildies and friends to group together. If given the chance wouldn’t you rather play with a friend?

Is Argus a raid or a continent with a leveling experience?

It is not the next expansion. Patch 7.3 is taking us to Argus, outdoor zone, quests, raid. it is the capstone of the legion story. earning more than a temporary peace.

What has design team learned from hidden features?

we’ve learned these types of puzzles are fun, and would like to do more. Kozumoth as an example, was a cool experience. hidden artifact experience was a mixed bag, some worked well others were more frustrating in their sheer randomness. would like to minimize frustration, lessen extent some turned into sombra style ARG. obscure script commands to uncover datamined information. more about more fun, organic, intuitive experiences. never being totally sure if there’s a surprise lurking is more interesting. there are still a few scattered surprised out there.

Is there going to be any work done to remove RNG/gating process in the future?

future patch, more bad luck protection. run Withered scenario a year with no result. world boss drop adding more random chances outside of the boss spawn.

heroic and mythic dungeons will be upgraded, will a new 110 have to run more normals before moving on to 110. normals will be bumped to 825 so they serve their place to help gear up in conjunction with world quests and be able to run heroics and mythics to get into 7.2 gear territory.

With M+ going up from 10, will there be feats of strength for those who could complete them before?

no, having higher levels raises the bar, essentially resets those records.

Will there be a new pet battle tournament?

Pet battles are something that need to be updated, focus of 7.0 on trainers and quests. mentioned pet battle dungeon at BlizzCon Q&A, something they will keep doing.

where does nighthold fit in with 7.1.5 and 7.2?

current target for nighthold is mid to late January, 4 month time frame of lifespan of EN, most people will move on from that raid when the new one comes out. felt highmaul was a bit rushed. 7.2 will come after nighthold. tomb of sargeras will not release when 7.2 drops. the content will lead up to entering the tomb. people will be still going through nighthold. more staggered pacing of outdoor content and raid zones. get away from all content being tied to the patch release. lesson learned from patch 6.2 tanaan and HFC, raid was released too soon. could have waited longer, tanaan couldn’t wait. should have waited a couple months, needed to breach to complete the story line.

class mounts change based on spec apply to all classes or only some?

applies only to some classes and specs. why would a shadow priest be riding a holy creature, they will have a shadowy version. mages have different versions based on spec, ice/fire, based on disc from eye of eternity. hunter has one version, different specs are no less hunter-y than other specs.

Kirin Tor emissary frequency?

It was adjusted to be slightly less common. The quests are meant to be fun and quirky, non-traditional content. They just haven’t appeared yet so feels like a drastic decrease; our intent is 2x every 3 weeks. Magic of flight becomes less magical if you’re doing ti all the time.

Any planned improvements to the Auction House?

Yes, but when? There’s no question we’re dissatisfied with base AH experience. It should not be necessary to have a mod. I recommend Auctionator, a lightweight addon, but that should not have to be the case. AH needs some love, it has not changed since the beginning of game. There needs to be a broader commodity treatment of consumables. should be able to buy 37 of a stack of 200. the seller gets the gold and the remaining unsold portion of the stack when the auction expires.

Rewards from world boss bonus rolls are discouraging, plans to fix?

High value is tied to WQ. the 32 gold is proof looted, bugs aside, we’re trying tofix that bug as quickly as possible. Going forward, we will try to adjust reward from bonus roll.

Ahen will arcane, resto, prot be introduced to class trials?

Class trials are just that, a trial. We mainly focused on damage dealing in the tutorial for new and returning players to ensure being able to complete quests going forward. You’re free to respec after the trial. We wanted to provide simplicity and clarity by eliminating too many choices before even getting into the game itself. The only case is perhaps melee vs ranged DPS classes, which are fundamentally different whereas being frost vs arcane are similar enough.

Challenger’s path were really helpful, can we get teleports for M +10?

They were helpful, but also part of a different reward structure. Challenge modes were based on cosmetic rewards. Current rewards for mythic are focused on gaining power.

Being an Elemental Shaman is hard to get into pugs, any plans to buff?

One of the challenges, in terms of the feel of the spec, there are three moments of payoff, competing for the big moment feel is watered down. It’s a tricky problem to solve and requires design changes. Their ability to AoE burst is beneficial on pack in dungeons. However, there is not enough diversity in encounters and damage profiles in EN, there are no real AoE encounters, where we would see elemental shamans shine. It’s on the designers to create a range of encounter types for different strengths to shine. both in dungeons and in raids.

Thoughts on Brewmasters in current state?

Community perception is tough. People are less familiar with the spec and take another class rather than taking a risk. Brewmasters are really good but they have a different feel. Brewmasters smooth out incoming damage so much that they counter spike damage, they take more damage overall, healers maybe cannot top them off, but they’re also not dying. They have great mobility and cooldowns, the ability to survive mechanics other tanks cannot. The desire to have a smooth run discourages taking risks, same problem of taking higher ilvl players than lower ones. Everyone wants a run to be successful. Take the gamble on Brewmasters! This situation begs the question, should we buff something to the point of being brokenly good just to get people to play it? A spec that is objectively better but is viewed as bad, is not fun if no one wants to take you.

We would like to do these Q&As approximately once a month. Thank you for all the really good questions this time around.


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Samantha Cruse

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