Blizzard gamescom 2017 Interviews - FatbossTV and Ion Hazzikostas
The latest Blizzard gamescom 2017 interview took place with
and Ion Hazzikostas! Topics covered include RNG and Titanforged, a possible improvement to early legendary droprates, the need for a stat squish, and the Tomb of Sargeras difficulty curve. We may also be getting two small patches of Legion story after Antorus!
Other gamescom 2017 interviews with Ion Hazzikostas include
Blizzplanet and PCGamesN
FatbossTV's preview from earlier today of the first Antorus boss, Garothi Worldbreaker.
The interview starts around 1:43:30 in the embedded video below:
Watch live video from FatbossTV on www.twitch.tv
We've been hearing about the Netherlight Crucible a lot; Ion explained the basics again for the stream audience. The emphasis was on how this system makes more relics viable--all relics have a chance to provide a trait that is useful, instead of several classes farming the same Mythic+ boss or bonus roll repeatedly, as the only source of a relic with a powerful trait.
Adding spectate mode for PvE dungeons could be fun - Ion could see something like that in the future but it's not a trivial feature.
Deleveling Mythic+ keys is currently unintuitive, and this is something that needs to be looked at in the UI for improvements.
There is more story after Antorus - a "small patch or two."
When it comes to class tuning, raids are the focus. Dungeons have more room for utility to shine which can offset raw damage imbalances.
Immunities are something to look at, especially when they are used consistently to negate an encounter mechanic. It's also not a great feeling when one class has a unique powerful tool, it's then given to others, and the original holder loses it.
Ion has mixed thoughts on the difficulty curve of Tomb of Sargeras progression. The first two thirds were pretty solid, then things were very steep after Mistress. The difficulty curve between the later bosses was fine when examined boss-to-boss, but everything started off too high.
Using a Weak Aura for
was very OP and felt a little dirty that a challenging mechanic could be negated with essentially a computer turning it into an algorithm. There is no good way to break that Weak Aura without breaking a ton of raiding addons. As a result, Blizzard has learned there are some types of mechanics that can't be coded certain ways - eg don't show debuffs on the raid - to prevent them from being treated in this manner.
There are no plans to add caps to Titanforged gear, preventing it from proccing above a raid difficulty level. It was discussed that if you kill a boss at a lower difficulty level and win a Titanforged piece, it can take the excitement out of killing the boss at a higher difficulty level and having no loot upgrades. Ion acknowledged this is an issue, not only with Titanforged gear, but also legendaries.
We may be getting some legendary improvements after all! Currently on alts, not having two legendaries feels like a handicap for challenging content, and Ion feels something more can be done there with droprates to help new players feel caught up.
No plans for more legendaries in the 7.3 cycle besides the raid ring. If the pool is too large, it can feel hopeless for newer players trying to catch up and collect everything for a spec.
People love Timewalking and the fun of creating an OP set that does massive damage, but no specific items are planned that are focused around buffing damage for timewalking.
Legacy set bonuses aren't re-enabled for a few reasons. They're not meant to be used and interact with current talents in unexpected broken ways. Blizzard debated messing with them to make them work, but that is a constant process. If you're the type of person holding onto very old gear for nostalgia reasons, messing with the set bonuses changes history in a weird way, and it's cool to simply archive the bonuses, see them in their original state, and reminisce about using them back in the day.
The ilvl cap for Titanforged in 7.3 is 955, going up to 985 with Antorus and legendaries dropping at 1000.
Item levels and health pools are very high, so it's very likely we are getting a stat squish. Blizzard has learned a lot from the last stat squish and wants to do it in a better way. Ion also wants to look at the concept of item levels - right now it's a bit meaningless. For example, going from Burning Crusade to Wrath, you go from ilvl 115 to 200 and gain +2 intellect. Then when you hit max level, every item level boost is a huge deal. The concept of item level has to be normalized.
The Artifact system is unique to Legion, but it's quite possible that tech could be used in future expansions. It's valuable to have a progression system in place, separate from item level, for max level players that involves choice and customization.
Out of all the bosses in Antorus, Ion is most looking forward to players seeing the final boss. The dungeon journal entry will be added by the time players can fight the boss, but it's deliberately missing now. The abilities aren't a big deal but the lore is a big deal.
Ion closed with some thoughts on Warforged, Titanforged, and RNG. In WoW, you've never gotten the drop you've always wanted 100% of the time, and having everything available via a currency would have no surprise or excitement. The impact of randomness in WoW however was far greater in the early days of Warcraft. For example, during the Burning Crusade, Ion's guild farmed Gruul's Lair for years, going months without seeing a
- a trinket which provided a 15% dps increase for melee. The performance gulf between lucky and unlucky players was huge. Since the game and tools were less sophisticated, less players realized there were huge performance gaps simply thanks to luck.
In Legion, Blizzard has moved towards giving out more loot, more items drop per person, there are other loot sources like dungeons and bonus rolls. However, that sense of chasing loot goals and excitement needs to be preserved. So Blizzard has moved from the randomness of having/not having an item to the randomness of having an item/having a slightly better version of an item. It may still be frustrating to not have the exact item you want, but the actual difference in performance results is much better than the situation of Burning Crusade.
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