We joined Alex Afrasiabi, John Hight, Ion Hazzokistas, and Chris Robinson for the World of Warcraft Q&A. We’ll be covering some interesting questions.
Q: How important is it to the team that moments of player agency happen throughout the expansion for both factions and what would happen in the future as far as repercussions?
Alex: It’s more of an experiment and needs to have repercussions in order for agency to be effective.
Chris Metzen: Question about the Horde. When is the Horde getting its true Warchief back?
Alex: I will take a guess that there will be a job posting up soon on the warboard, and if there is, we’ll call you.
Q: THe 20% auction house fee hurts a lot of players. Were there any other options being discussed?
Ion: The 20% fee only gets charged if the item doesn’t sell. There will be a re-write of the auction house system to better support the realm load. It will be removed once the system is stable again and the auction house doesn’t crumble.
Q: Will the items in WoW: Classic items be added to Battle for Azeroth transmog collection?
Q: Wouldn’t it be better to implement a level squish to gain one level in 3 hours and gain one ability?
Ion: Not satisfied, but a level squish wouldn’t be taken well. What would it mean if you’re Level 120 and the next day you’re Level 60? It’s not satisfying and is being discussed.
Q: What steps are being taken to counteract the toxicity in the public chat channels?
John: It’s much more worth it to Blizzard to lose the toxic member of the community than to lose a group of players. They listen to the reports and investigate behind the scenes to ensure it is toxic and not just trolling. Implementing technology to use the power of AI to review reports faster.
Ion: See the Play Nice, Play Fair Panel for more information.
Q: Why is there so much RNG in the game? Are there any plans to move away from RNG?
Ion: We’ve always tried to balance the rewards and drops. In the past, you’d need to get an item and then gain emblems to get a set piece. When nothing feels certain, that’s a problem. While there was a fixed item, you might never see it. There’s more variability going forward. In Tides of Vengeance there will be a vendor selling Azerite Items. There are plans to implement a system to prevent getting the same items over and over again.
Q: How does the dev team see Azerite gear evolve through the next patches?
Ion: There isn’t enough choice in the gear you get currently. In ToV, there will be two more rings giving a total of 3 traits and up to 6 possible combinations. Continuing to add new traits, and iterating other traits to see if they are viable going forward. Having some choices like with the Artifacts from Legion.
Q: Are things going to be removed from Global Cooldown?
Ion: It was an experiment in Beta. in ToV, more things are coming off the GCD. We’re satisfied with the offensive portion of GCD. The answer isn’t to take them off the GCD, but questioning the need for the abilities to exist. Possibly chaining them with other abilities to make it seem cooler. Some movement and utility abilities. In practice, the question isn’t about executing an ability after charging in.
Q: Will we ever be able to dye our armor to customize it?
Chris: Tinting is against the logic of how the art team develops textures. Not necessarily going back to tint every asset available, but rather a system part of one armor set and having small changes that don’t lose color depth.
Q: Would you be willing to diversify specs like we saw in MoP?
Ion: We’re not against adding new abilities where it makes sense. A lot of abilities double down on strengths and have moments where they excel and in Raids, “I’m glad we have X, now let’s get something to fill this gap”
Q: How will you address server population concerns in Classic WoW?
Ion: The demo is a special case using a template in Barrens or Westfall. It does use sharding for the demo. In the beginning, there will be hardcore players racing to defeat Ragnaros and Onyxia. How will things work when populations diminish over time? That’s where sharding comes in. Competing against others for world bosses and resources. Solving the launch day populations and in the long term, creating a stable environment.
Q: Will we be seeing development in the story of Gallywix?
Alex: We’ll look into it.
Q: Can we ever expect more freedom when it comes to Transmogging into different armor classes?
Ion: It’s a bit of a one-way street as cloth wearers can’t use plate, but plate wearers can wear all armor types. Things have been relaxed with Heritage Armor and new armor sets will be introduced in the future. The ability to transmog fist weapons with other one-handed weapons.
Q: How will you differenciate what Sylvanas is doing and what Garrosh did?
Alex: There’s much left to explore, and we should wait to see what’s ahead. I’d say Garrosh was an amateur.
Q: If were in an Island Expedition or Warfront, why aren’t PvP abilities activated?
Ion: PvP abilities are in place for when you’re fighting other players. Expeditions and Warfronts aren’t necessarily PvP. You’re fighting against AI opponents that are a representation of their counterparts.
Ion: We’re also adding an item to unlock flight paths for alts.
Q: Will there be a revamped Mythic Keystone Leaderboard?
Ion: Yes, sort of. The core functionality is there, but it’s the only window into character progression. In Tides of Vengeance, the Mythic data will be available in the Armory Profile.
Q: Can you help certain low performing classes find the groups?
Ion: In most cases, community perception means a lot. If you’re trying to find a group and you keep getting rejected, we’re partly to blame. Try to look out for your specs and classes, but we’re looking into ways to improve that.
Q: Are there any plans to bring back tier sets to give definition of class identity?
Ion: Within BfA, we’re trying something different. Give you a set of gear from a troll raid, or Azshara’s Palace, getting a feel of what the classes are like for other races. This isn’t the path we’ll take forever, but for now, it’s good to see a wide range of visual styles.
Q: Are we staying at 1.12 forever or will we get expansions?
Ion: We’re looking to get the Classic experience out first and we will be updating it as time goes on and will do right by the community as time goes on.
That’s it for the World of Warcraft Panels. We’ve had an awesome time and we’re looking forward to see what the future holds.
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