Legion Developer Q&A Liveblog
The Legion Developer Q&A with Assistant Game Director Ion Hazzikostas took place earlier today; we've summarized the key points for each question. Check out the
Legion Survival Guide
for an overview of the expansion.
Watch live video from on www.twitch.tv
Legion launch was great! Ton of content, the experience of hitting max-level and being overwhelmed (in a good way) is one that Blizzard is proud of. At max level, the journey is just beginning with a new world of things to do.
With limited number of followers, why is there a cap? Will we get more as the expansion goes on?
Yes; more champions likely as the expansion goes on in some form or another. Class Order is one vehicle for storytelling.
There is some awkwardness in having 8 champions but unlocking 5, especially when you unlock 2 at the end and then have to disable 2.
Tension between wanting a certain number of champions to flesh things out, and not wanting the mission system to grow beyond a certain scope/scale.
If you had 8 followers, you could trivialize all missions available...or increase the number of missions. Which creeps closer to Warlords Garrison territory, which the devs consciously stayed away from. Mechanics are similar to garrisons but the experience was meant to be a smaller part of the process in Legion. Not something to micro-manage,
? Maybe just nerf the Idol?
Deliberate decision not to recreate
. However, this combination of toys now recreated that experience.
No objection to the mechanic of the Kite; the kite was nerfed to maintain value of similar existing items like Goblin Gliders.
being superior in every way steps on class and profession space, what makes Engineers or Demon Hunters with
Dungeon xp feels low. Any plans to change this to level alts faster?
There is a ton of experience related to quests that send you into the dungeon (eg a fifth of a level). However, Legion is designed not to chain-run/grind dungeons while leveling (eg if you just ran dungeons, you would need to go back and quest for World Quests).
Blizzard is happy about the time it takes to reach max level and the content completed along the way.
Warlocks! The state of the class...
Several things to discuss:
One valid point is the amount of ramp-up. In the outdoor world or PvP, it takes a while to reach your full potential, by the time you reach it, the encounter is over. If you are a Demo Warlock, you need resources and to get your Demons out...that takes a while. Very reminiscent of 8 years ago when Rogues needed Deadly Poison to stack up, build up combo points, get up Slice and Dice, Rupture first.
Short term: looking at a hotfix (within next week) to change default number of Soul Shards from 1 to 3.
Bigger question with Demonology; would be cool to have a Diablo II necromancer feel of carrying demons between packs of mobs and building up your army.
Other concerns about mobility; some of that is not likely to change. Reflection of philosophy about class design in Legion. Would rather double-down on strengths instead of clean up weaknesses. Giving Warlocks more mobility or instant casts on the move leads to homogenization. Instead; perhaps Warlocks are less mobile, but they are tankier than a Mage, they should be much more resilient and reflect what the essence of a Warlock is. The idea is to get Warlocks to a place where they are powerful by relying on those strengths.
Feedback is that Destruction Warlocks have an RNG feel to their mastery; however this should feel like crit variance which averages out in the long run. Discussion about how the mastery can feel in a small window of time, eg PvP - sometimes you feel weak, other times you get a massive damage spike.
User feedback is valued; however spamming threads and making petitions is difficult for the devs to parse constructively. It clouds the ability to get to the heart of the issue. The feedback surrounding the ramp-up time was held up as a good example of user feedback that allowed Blizzard to evaluate the feedback and come up with an upcoming targeted hotfix.
Mythic seem to favor cleave specs like Demon Hunters and Windwalker Monks. Any plans to boost underperforming caster cleavers?
Multi-dotting has room for lots of strengths in many situations (not cleave); however there will be further dungeon and raid encounters where the mobs are not clumped up and ranged will excel instead.
Historically there has been a melee stigma that for PvE, you should just bring groups of all ranged casters since they are more versatile and less threatened by mechanics. Ranged still have all those strengths, such as quick-target switching and being out of harm's way.
With more players at max-level with Artifacts, Blizzard has more data to work on future tuning.
What is the plan regarding class balance? Will there be more frequent updates and fixes?
For class changes, Blizzard wants to do changes in a bundle, instead of tweaking abilities one by one.
Now that people are hitting max level, Blizzard has more of this invaluable data for balancing.
Blizzard is targeting a set of class tweaks right before raids open, eg end of next week. Would like to communicate them via hotfix notes in advance.
The goal of the hotfixes will be to bring up underperforming specs, without making people feel like they chose the "wrong" trait for their artifact.
Balance isn't perfect and Blizzard is working on it; there are so many variables like spec rotations, legendaries, artifact traits to pin things down. Players are finding interactions, rotations, priorities that were not originally taken into account.
The content many players care about for balance (Mythic Keystones, PvP, Raiding) isn't available yet; hard to make sweeping balance changes when this content is not yet out.
Additional mechanical tweaks and iteration for classes are coming with the 7.1 PTR.
When will Monk Roll be fixed?
Hopefully very soon, we're actively working on it. A hotfix is currently in progress, we know it's a miserable experience when your abilities fail.
Plans to continue the Class Hall Story in 7.1?
Not in 7.1 but later; that patch is around Karazhan, wrapping up Stormheim, and continuing the Suramar chapters to learn more about the Nightfallen.
Why does the
Warrior Class Campaign
"We screwed up. We're going to speed up the time on some of those missions."
The Warrior campaign timing was meant to be the intended timing for ALL classes. Some of the shorter missions for other classes were meant to have a cooldown before the next one would pop up. This was meant to be a 2 week process, not a 5-7 day process.
Quest log is overflowing, what can be done? Remove the limit?
There is a lot of content in Legion, very easy to hit quest log limit.
Biggest concern with raising limit (eg 35) is that at some point it becomes unwieldy to parse and keep track of all of these things. Would rather examine why people need to have so many quests at once (eg remove the Warlords Inn quests from your Garrison). There are concerns that all the Suramar side chains can pile up; people pick them up so they don't forget about them, then they pile up.
Cross-Realm Zones in Legion
New technology for Legion zones, this was integral for a smooth launch experience in contrast to Warlords.
Blizzard can break the zones up, have multiple copies. This work both ways.
The optimal population for a zone shouldn't be too low; in Legion, splitting up and merging is a universal attribute of all zones
The outdoor world is meant to feel alive with other players running around; this helps when you're doing a World Quest and can easily get help tagging a mob.
This has led to some surprises, such as one-sided PvP servers suddenly running into other players from other zones.
Looking into Champion Bodyguard abilities (
) to make sure they are not OP for World PvP; hotfix in the works to have them obey more standard PvP rules.
What was the reason behind gating
Suramar rep and story
behind rep grind? Other zones are designed differently.
Not necessarily a reputation grind, although there is a rep bar. Different feel than grinding out rep in the outdoors or doing dailies for power items.
Suramar is an end-game max level zone. The other zones were designed to be seen at the same time while leveling.
At max level, you have a ton of things to do at once. So the campaign of Suramar is paced out to compete evenly with all the other stuff you have to do at 110.
For most people, the bulk of the reputation isn't from repeatable sources, it's from playing through one-time quests hidden all around the zone, supplemented with Emissaries, World Quests, and Withered Army.
Blizzard wanted to tell an epic story with a lot of heft that spans a significant amount of time. Reputation is a good way of pacing and lets players learn about the nature of the society.
Very different from Mists where reputation grinds were tied to Valor Points.
Will Suramar reputation be account-wide to help with attunements?
No plans yet. Part of playing an alt would be to earn the same things on your main.
Down the line we can look at reputation requirements to see if it is a high barrier for entry; this could be lowered in the future. However, many players are already attuned a week and a half into the expansion.
Are you going to increase reputation earned with various factions?
Pretty happy with how things are currently between World Quests and Emissaries.
World Quests will give you steady progress towards your goals.
The high-end reputation rewards are cosmetic and prestige, less about power items that players must get asap.
The puzzle to spawn Kosumoth was disabled for all of beta and tested internally.
Working on a hotfix to make the orbs more interactive-friendly; this is a bit complex (want to avoid a situation where the spyglass from Warlords broke everything).
Fun to see the community come together and find complex hidden things!
Am I penalized for queueing two Artifact Knowledge Work Orders at once?
was on a 5 day duration. Then if you're farther behind a few weeks later, it will be on a 4 day duration (and then go down to 3...)
People saw a mix of five and four day work orders at the same time because they were probably a touch behind and got one of the 4 day duration Work Orders.
More features added to Companion App?
Potentially, a lot of users are happy with it.
If there are features that make sense, this is something Blizzard would love to expand on.
Perhaps the Armory and Companion app could be integrated in the future.
The app is not meant to replace the Order Hall, additions will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
What is future of Artifact Weapons after Nighthold?
Something added in the future. Artifacts should span entire expansion.
Artifacts should be universal end-game reward; no matter what you're doing in the world, you should be earning some Artifact Power.
Have to look at how it's playing out how to determine the best direction; but working on your Artifact should be something you still want to do.
Artifact Power transferred between weapons?
No; but Artifact Knowledge helps gear up other weapons for a character.
For example, you could do a World Quest with a big Artifact Power reward and then spend that with Artifact Knowledge on an alt-spec weapon to hit Rank 13 easily.
Making the switch between weapons should be easy and take a week or two to catch up.
Instead of looking at the raw costs (which are daunting), they will be easier to reach with higher Artifact Knowledge.
Very easy to get to the first golden trait; it should take a day or so to get offspec artifacts to the same place.
Artifact Knowledge ramps up very quickly; in a few months you'll see World Quests reward Artifact Power items with 5k-6k rewards.
Auction House is a mess; can you limit stacks?
Blizzard agrees the default Auction House UI is pretty messy and is overdue for a revamp.
For Legion, the UI work went towards nameplates, the transmog UI instead. However the AH is "eyeopening in a bad way."
Looking at some changes for 7.1 to have different logic for sorting items. Idea is to change sorting to unit price.
Many players think one-stacks sell more because they are the first thing you see. However with the sorting change, this will remove the incentive to list items by one stack.
What about the Guild Finder?
Pretty big overhaul is required. A much better job can be done to connect players to like-minded players with similar schedules and goals.
Any change or fix to Dalaran Underbelly PvP problem in PvE realms?
The Underbelly was overpopulated until recently which compounded issues; there could be better messaging that there is a Guard Captain who rents out bodyguards to protect you from PvP.
The intent was not that players are forced to go there and feel like they can't opt out of getting killed.
Some reports that the PvP bodyguards are leaving early; it seems uncommon but Blizard is trying to track it down.
Will the small amount of Artifact Power awarded in PvP be fixed so it's equal to the rate in PvE?
PvE is a broad word-covers everything from questing to raiding. Blizzard is looking at data as new content comes out to evaluate.
PvP rate of acquisition is conservative because PvP like skirmishes can be spammed. Rated PvP will be more lucrative source of Artifact Power.
With extended delay before Nighthold, which has tier sets with bonuses, can we expect to see more raids going forward without tier sets?
For smaller raids, there doesn't necessarily need to be a tier set. However for Nighthold or Tomb of Sargeras (spoiler - Legion will send you there), which are epic story places, you'll be getting tier sets.
How does World Quest selection work?
There are a lot of random buckets to ensure a good distribution of reward types, locations, etc. There is a random process picking them from predesignated buckets.
Any plans to apply Legion scaling tech to holiday bosses?
Holiday content is a great fit for scaling, like Demon Invasions. We haven't done it yet, but great suggestion.
How to pace content rollout in Legion compared to previous expansions?
Better! Blizzard wants to avoid "feast or famine" content. Goal is to deliver steady stream of content; Legion is only just beginning, there is a lot more story to tell.
Blizzard wants to experiment with other types of patches, they don't necessarily need a raid zone, but they could improve new systems or have a new way to interact with the world.
The goal is to plan content out better than in the past--for real this time. Every time Blizzard was not able to deliver on that promise, they learn valuable lessons that helps for the next expansion.
Do World Quests scale with item level, or do they become easier as you gear up?
At max level, the world isn't scaling with your gear. You're meant to feel good that as you get better gear, you can crush some rares and elites that you originally struggled with.
The baseline creature toughness in future new zones will be tougher than the zones at launch; eg think of Tanaan Jungle in Warlords vs the launch zones.
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