Blizzcon 2017: World of Warcraft Q&A
Q: Warfronts: What is their availability, is it like invasions? Or something we can access whenever we want? What are the rewards for Warfronts?
A: War is hard, so there will definitely be some downtime between Warfronts. Looking towards more of an event based system – build up, have it, then wane. For rewards, we’re looking at comparable systems such as time walking or invasions – this is kind of what we’re going to do. We want you to do Warfronts at least once, and if you like them, make them repeatable.
Q: Warfronts; PvP or PvE rewards?
A: They are PvE at launch but we’ll see if armor may cross boundaries there.
Q: Account-wide reputations maybe possible?
A: Character vs Account is always a balance – we want you to have goals on more than one character. With content-based unlocks, we have focused on those being unlocked account wide. But things like reputations are meant to be a power progression that are tied to characters.
Q: Stat squish coming? Also, is Anduin a paladin? A: Anduin is a Priest for sure, NOT a paladin. Yes we’re doing a squish for all the same reasons as the Warlords squish but this time we’re also squishing Item Levels.
Q: With the new communities features, what does that mean for cross-faction chat?
A: They are character based so they are not cross faction. No plans to do that. We’re at war! If you want cross-faction chat, you can do that in Battle.net chat conversations.
Q: Anything in the works to help with guild recruitment?
A: We talk about a lot, but we don’t have anything right now for it. We hope that communities features will maybe be an approach to this but I’m sure we’ll look at it in the future too.
Q: Level scaling – will mob health and damage be re-scaled and how will heirlooms affect this?
A: 7.3.5 does a lot of this work – shifting around items was most of the work. For 8.0, it will be a more holistic approach. Heirlooms are still being discussed. They are really good in terms of itemization as opposed to a lot of old gear. The gap should shrink in the future.
Q: Heart of Azeroth – how did AP/AK influence design decisions in the future?
A: We liked the early choices a lot. We didn’t like the clunkiness of the AP item collection. It had to be that way because you had to be able to choose where to put it. Now with the single item, you don’t need to be able to move your AP around. Knowledge will now do something like reduce the required Azerite for an unlock instead of requiring trillions of AP.
Q: What was your thought process with your bringing back of raid buffs?
A: We like them! We think they are cool. We like that moment of readiness, which has been lost. Also we’re always looking at class uniqueness – buffs are a part of wanting to bring a wide variety of classes.
Q: How do you feel about PvP temples, and what about PvP players who miss getting to tailor their characters?
A: We like the gap closing stuff that templates provide but it’s hard to manage in open world PvP. Reducing the power gap and taking away all customization was a bit much, we’re looking now at possibly using level scaling tech to apply to PvP stuff. We are going to re-look at the reward structure of PvP.
Q: What do you think of Titanforging in Battle for Azeroth?
A: We’re going to make tweaks to the system but no fundamental changes to the system. We like the variability in reward and the moment of excitement. We don’t like the feeling of extreme spikes and randomness so we’ll probably look at the numbers. However, this stuff doesn’t apply to Azerite-infused armor stuff. They cannot be Titanforged.
Q: Can character players get some sort of rooting effect to counteract push back or knock back effects?
A: There is some weirdness with how those things work, but we definitely have talked about this being a niche thing for Death Knights. Like old school Pillar of Frost.
Q: Any updates to the character creation system coming?
A: We agree with your assessment – we haven’t been responding to that comment. We knew we would be doing Allied Races at some point so before we changed the stuff with character creation we wanted to know what we would need to add. We’re going to take a look at that now.
Posture-related Options? Yes, changing how ‘hunched’ or ‘uprightu your orc is (for example). This would work at the barbershop as well.
Q: Is Jaina good or evil? A: Jaina is complicated. She is rapt with regret. Responsible for the death of her father, potentially responsible for the way the Horde is today, what about Stratholme or Undercity? She’s a character with some damage. We’re going to explore that damage. We want to understand how she got to be the way she is and how to help her out of that.
Q: So many raid bosses have holes in their ceilings! Why?
A: Functionally, it opens up the opportunity for no camera collision. Aesthetically it ties the raid to its real world locat1on. Not because they don’t like ceiling fans.
Q: With the Horde attacking Teldrassil and the Alliance attacking Undercity, what are your plans for starting zones?
A: Starting zones won’t change, other than improvements. In order to appreciate the burning of Teldrassil, you need to start there – grow up there and when you hit 110, we’ll burn it all down. Same thing with Lordaeron. Once you level up and catch up to events, the world changes around you.
Q: Void Elves – Can players shift in and out of Void Form?
A: Yes — it won’t be like shapeshifting but yes, right now when they go into combat, they go void, but we may make it a toggle, we’re not sure yet.
Q: What’s the plan to combat farming old gear due to Titanforging?
A: We will look of course at the rate at which it happens. We still want item level to win, generally. We know there was an outlier with the Arcanocrystal. We hope this burden will be lifted with Azerite armor, which cannot Titanforge. We definitely had issues with secondary stat balance and it’s hard to fix mid-expansion but we’re going to do more to make item level more consistently determinative of what is wearable.
Q: Mythic Keystone difficulties for old dungeons?
A: Timewalking has been a good taste of that but we know heroic Timewalking is not that challenging. This could be fun to explore with Timewalking Keystones available during that time.
Q: Once the expansion is out, how soon will we be flying?
A: About the same as Legion. Exploring the world and its details just work out better on the ground initially but we understand that flying is more convenient after you’ve seen all those nooks and crannies a number of times. We also like it as a great reward to work towards.
Q: What’s the future for the WoW Legion Companion App?
A: We like the app, we want to keep building upon or enhancing it. We want also to work to combine the various WoW apps.
Q: As more Timewalking events have been added, it takes a long time for the one you like the best to come around?
A: We could consolidate some of them but probably not all to them. We like having you look forward to things in the future. Warlords Timewalking probably during Battle for Azeroth. We are also exploring how to bring the outside world into it.
Q: How do you keep factions balanced?
A: We are happy that things like Zandalari trolls speak to you and want you to choose factions based on what you like!
Q: What are your plans for Legendaries come Battle for Azeroth?
A: We have Azerite armor, so we’re not really taking that system forward into 8.0 but we’re not 100% sure what the future holds.
Q: What’s going on with the quest log size limit?
A: This is another thing we talk about all the time. There’s a lot to look at here. We’d rather attack why you have so many quests in the first place! They are hard to track, and we don’t want you to have to choose that way.
Q: When will you expand the default backpack?
A: We are very close to allowing you to slightly increase your backpack size. We want you to use the authenticator so in some future patch, if you have an authenticator, you will be able to increase your backpack size slightly!
Q: With the new faction hate, will be there separate stories or other PvE elements?
A: Different reasons to do the same things for sure, and different stories. Why can’t that split story go into the raid? Cool place to explore – shouldn’t we be raiding a member of the opposite faction? (he said this slyly!)
Q: Classic servers – will they be warts and all or will you fix bugs?
A: Complicated answer – these servers will take a lot longer than you imagine. Part of that is we want to sort those questions out with the community. We don’t want crash or downtime bugs or exploits still in the game but we do want to re-create the 1-60 experience. UBRS in that time was both a 10 and 5 player instance. What is the ‘right’ version of classic? We’ll talk about it.
Q: Can I transmog Heritage armor from a Nightborne onto a Blood Elf (for example)?
A: No, sorry. It’s a pure example of that Allied Race.
Q: Any increase to friends list?
A: We agree this is a problem and especially since we have so many new social systems and new games! Every game requires work on game sides and B.net sides so this is complicated but it’s on our radar.
Q: How are loot drop rates from world mobs going to work with new level scaling bands?
A: Scaling zones is going back through 12 years of history and trying to figure that all out. Basically the philosophy is if it drops from something now, it should still drop that item in the future.
Q: How long are Warfronts?
A: Some of this is really TBD at this point. We think maybe a little longer than dungeons but we don’t know how long past that.
Q: What classes will be available to each Allied Race?
A: They aren’t directly related to existing races so class restrictions are not related either. We approached them like new races i.e. No Void Elf paladins.
Q: Why are Void Elves Alliance and Nightborne Horde?
A: Play through the stories! There is a lot of context for this and it will be explained.
Q: Will the Legion threat end before Battle for Azeroth and what that means for Demon Hunters?
A: Ultimately they are Blood Elves and Night Elves and they still want to protect the world. The world is now damaged and potentially dying! Also arguably we’ll probably see demons again.
Q: Are the two continents completely split between factions?
A: Exodar and Silvermoon are still their own but we’ll have fiction in place to explain how things work. Those two cities are sort of “Last bastions”
Q: Updated Worgen and Goblin character models? A: Not for 8.0 but we are actually currently working on them. We need to tweak goblins but they are pretty good. We know people are unhappy with the female worgens and we’ll be offering more facial features eventually.
Q: How do you incentivize world PvP?
A: Offset the inefficiency of PvP with rewards. Finding that exact balance will obviously be a lot of work. Also, swapping can only happen in major cities – you have to commit. Also you phase away from the people toggled opposite to you (i.e. PvE’ers won’t see PvP’ers.)
Q: Character slots per realm?
A: Yes, we’ll increase it. Allied Races means 6 more slots per server!
Q: Heritage Armor is not account wide, correct?
A: Yeah we don’t want you to feel like you have to level something just to get transmog for another character.
Q: Can we trade flasks, etc, cross servers?
A: Still an issue – we do love cross realm raiding but we worry about the economy of trading things across servers. We are looking into this.
Q: How or when do we sign up for the Beta?
A: On the Battle for Azeroth page with all the details, on the very top there is a place to sign up for the beta.