Liveblog: Raids and Dungeons Q&A With Lead Game Designer Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas
We've liveblogged the Warlords Q&A with Lead Game Designer Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas! Click the cut for our summary of the questions and answers.
Important points covered include:
Everbloom and Skyreach Challenge Mode fixes.
Foundry loot from missions.
Timewalker mode - scaling down your character to lower dungeons.
Blackrock Foundry difficulty tuning.
Number of raid tiers this expansion.
You can also rewatch the VOD
. There's also been numerous
and a new
2015/02/27 at 1:01 PM
Wowhead Interview with Lead Game Designers Cory Stockton and Ion Hazzikostas, Oct 17th Hotfixes
We're giving away two BlizzCon ticket-holder exclusive Faerie Dragon Plushies and four BlizzCon Virtual Tickets! All you have to do to win is tell us what
new thing you're enjoying most in patch 6.0.2
in the comments below!
More details after the Video
Olivia Grace and Perculia interviewed Lead Game Designers Cory Stockton and Ion Hazzikostas at 1 pm PDT, the livestream is over but we have the YouTube video below.
The hour-long interview covered the pre-expansion patch, itemization in Warlords of Draenor, Garrisons, Legendary Questline, World Events, and Professions.
We also have some hotfixes for October 17th at the end of the blog, covering hunter buffs, fixes to some old-world encounters, and a fix for raid items that were losing item levels.
2014/10/17 at 2:33 PM
Guide to How Wowhead Can Help You in the Prepatch, Wowhead Interview with Lead Game Designers 10/17
This guide covers some of the ways Wowhead’s database and tools can help you navigate the prepatch!
We’ve been working
very hard updating the site for Warlords of Draenor
and we wanted to highlight some of the useful features besides the general searches for quest objectives and post-squish items.
You can use Wowhead to compare your old and new character models, learn more about your class with our updated class guides, preview the items in the Toy Box, track your mounts and pets as you work towards
So. Many. Pets.
, easily filter for gear and enchants, and much more!
We've even included the option for you to easily browse your combat logs on
via the Profiler.
We also have an exciting announcement--Perc and Olivia will be interviewing lead game designers Cory Stockton and Ion Hazzikostas on Friday, October 17 from 1-2 p.m. PDT. We'll be livestreaming the interview at
for this episode of Wowhead Weekly!
Read more details here
and feel free to suggest questions in the comments.
2014/10/16 at 12:16 PM
News Roundup: Blizzard at PAX East, Top Tweets, Heroes Q&A, War Crimes excerpt
Blizzard has confirmed their attendance at PAX East, and let the world know what they'll be bringing to the Boston-based convention for their fans to try out. We've also got news on an upcoming Heroes of the Storm dev Q&A, an excerpt from the latest Warcraft novel, War Crimes, and some significant tweets from the Wowhead Blue Tweet Tracker.
We've also got a
contest open right now
to win a Diablo III computer!
Grab your gear and saddle up, because we’re headed to PAX East! PAX attendees should ready themselves for three days of demon slaying, sword swinging, hero playing, and card slinging awesomeness, as this year we’ll be featuring all-new builds for our most recent and upcoming games, hands-on time at demo stations, an epic developer panel, and awesome giveaways and prizes. Come by and check everything out at
We’ll be there from
Friday, April 11
Sunday, April 13.
Here’s what you can expect at this year’s Blizzard booth: [url=
2014/03/17 at 4:52 PM
EU Fansite Q&A with Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas
Our friends at
attended an EU fansite/influencer event at Blizzard HQ in Versailles and had the opportunity to chat with Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas. They were kind enough to provide us with a transcript of the Q&A, which we've posted below--check out their show and
give them a listen
! Topics covered include:
More challenging dungeons in Warlords of Draenor.
How to keep boss encounters fresh in Warlords.
Evolving questing and outdoor gameplay.
Why your friends who don't play WoW should check out Warlords.
Upcoming WoD features like Garrisons and the Toybox.
2014/01/31 at 12:46 PM
Live WoW Developer Q&A Transcript
Blizzard's Live WoW Developer Q&A took place on Thursday, April 25th, 5:30 pm PDT. Designers Dave Kosak, Ion Hazzikostas, Brian Holinka, Cory Stockton, and Greg Street answered player questions--since they covered a ton of questions over the course of an hour, we've organized all of their answers below by topic!
You can also visit
to view a full chronological transcript of the Q&A.
Some epic battle pets are coming in 5.4.
The new Barrens content in 5.3 will not be CRZ, and will not affect low-level questing.
Think the Alliance was shortchanged on lore? Dave Kosak has some thoughts on that.
Plans are in the works for some server population issues.
Based on player feedback, the PvP Pet Battle system may continue to expand after 5.3.
While the 5.4 raid will include Orgrimmar, it won't just be recycled zones--plans will see some new stuff.
PvP questions included players asking about PvPers making gold and additional PvP rewards. They also asked about 5.3 changes, such as ilvl 496 item scaling for PvP and removing resilience from PvP gear.
Watcher evaluates the success of
2013/04/25 at 7:22 PM
World of Warcraft Customer Support Q&A
Blizzard held a Customer Support Q & A at 5pm PST, with representatives from the SC2, Diablo, and Warcraft teams answering your questions! They discussed the popular Item Restoration feature added recently and shared crazy stories like upset Diablo fans showing up at the office to protest Hardcore character deaths. And of course, they answered questions about what it's like to deal with difficult players screaming over Twitter.
Specific to Warcraft, they address the RP personas and names favored by GMs, botting and /afks in Battlegrounds, the Report feature, policy creation, and potentially updating the in-game interface for for CS requests.
Click the cut to read the transcript!
2012/12/13 at 7:43 PM
Blizzard Dev Notes, Patch 5.0.5 Hotfixes
Earlier this week, the Blizzard Community Team shared notes from weekly developer meetings to fansites! While this is a partial transcript as not all questions and answers can be shared with the public, there's a ton of useful information covering a wide breadth of topics and it's a neat to see what's discussed at dev meetings.
We've summarized the highlights below, and be sure to check out (removed) the complete Q&A over at Wowjuju, as well as their extremely-useful (removed).
Several class issues and abilities were brought up:
pet storage, PvP Balance for
The instance creation cap can be dodged by resetting while inside the instance.
Challenge Mode mounts are intended to be account-wide.
Leaderboards are planned to not be reset this expansion.
Blizzard is happy with PvP vendors on the wall: map icons and in-game mail clarify their locations.
The rewards from random Battlegrounds and dungeon bonuses were changed to fit the new reward structure in MoP.
2012/11/08 at 11:35 AM
Mists of Pandaria: Developer Chat Hosted by Best Buy
Best Buy is holding a developer chat with Lead Systems Designer Greg Street, Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas, Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton, and Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak starting at
6 pm CST
! Community Managers Zarhym and Crithto will be moderating.
If you'd like to join in the conversation and have a question that didn't get answered at the Reddit AMA, you can join the Best Buy chat
Classes in MoP
What was the idea with Monk healing? What mix of elements inspired it and defined it?
Greg Street: Mostly we wanted it to feel different from existing healers, so there is an emphasis on a channeled spell as the main heal. We also wanted to emphasize movement and damage-dealing to heal, because those were core to the monk class.
Were Orges ever thought of as a playalbe race, at one time?
GhostCrawler: Yep. We considered them for Cataclysm instead of goblins. Figuring out the females and the two-headed mages would be (fun!) challenges. Maybe someda
2012/09/18 at 6:08 PM
Ask Blizzard Anything: Blizzard's Reddit Q&A
Blizzard is following the trend of many gaming companies tonight by taking to Reddit to do their interaction with the community! Tonight Blizzard developers and community team members are going to be hosting a Q&A session through the popular website.
The Q&A is now done and we feel like this was a tremendous one. Blizzard really outdid themselves with transparency, talking extensively about issues they'd previously avoided. The PvE section is especially illuminating. Thanks Blizzard!
Given what Sylvanas and the Forsaken have been up to regarding the Plague, isn't it inevitable that her desire to "procreate" the undead will bring the Forsaken into direct conflict with all the living factions?
Well, first she'd have to run out of corpses, so from that perspective, the war is REALLY helping the Forsaken out... ;)
This is a good question, because the nature of the Forsaken makes them a really unstable ally. That leads to some great stories. At the moment, Sylvanas is fort
2012/09/11 at 7:28 PM
Q&A with Blizzard's Creative Development Team
We're used to hearing answers about class balance in beta from Blizzard developers, but today we have some details about WoW's lore moving forward from the Creative Development team!
The heroes of Azeroth have faced down many foes; blazing Elemental Lords freed from titanic prisons, mighty demons from beyond the stars, armies of shambling corpses and even eldritch gods who defy explanation. And yet, there exist only a chosen few equipped to deal with the powerful beast that is . . . Ask CDev. Through the heroic efforts of our brave loremasters here at CDev Publishing, we proudly present to you the answers to Ask CDev #3! We even managed to get them out before our stated deadline of “when the Andromeda galaxy collides with our own.”<br/><br/><strong><span class="underline">Here, there be dragons and magical beasts</span></strong><br/><br/><strong>Q:</strong> Wrathion constantly claims that he is the last black dragon, but what of Sabellian and the other black dragons in Outland (and even the Netherwing)? Did Wrathion somehow have them killed, or is he ignorant of their existe
2012/09/05 at 1:30 PM
Wowhead's Exclusive Interview with John Lagrave and Ion Hazzikostas
Today we have a special interview from Gamescom to share with everyone! Gazimoff from
was kind enough to conduct an interview in our stead. He spoke with both John Lagrave (lead game producer) and Ion Hazzikostas (lead encounter designer) about Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's future, and more.
Read on to find out what feature has been the most challenging for these developers, where they're drawing their inspiration from, and other exciting tidbits to tide you over until Mists of Pandaria's launch!
In your opinion, what was the hardest part of developing Mists of Pandaria as an expansion?
: I think overall, just meeting the challenge that we set for ourselves when we set out to create this, we set out to offer more content than ever before, in terms of breadth and depth. We have eighteen raid bosses this patch. We have well over a thousand new qu
2012/08/22 at 4:43 PM
Dev Watercooler: Scenarios
We recently began revealing the Scenarios you’ll experience at level 90 in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria on our preview site. As the final tweaks are being made, we thought it would be a good time to sit down with Senior Game Designer Dave Maldonado and Game Designer Jonathan LeCraft for a little behind-the-scenes perspective on this unique new system.
What do Scenarios bring to World of Warcraft that we haven't seen before?
: From a technological standpoint, almost everything in the system is new. Players are obviously going to see the World of Warcraft they know and love when they're running Scenarios, but all of the technology driving what we can do with Scenarios is new, and we took that as an opportunity to really indulge in new ways of interacting with the players, the NPCs, and the environment. It was a lot of work to design the technology, with a whole new UI, and new tracking systems and so forth, and while that programming was going on, we got to dream up and implement a lot of randomization and many new things for monsters to do and for the environment to do.
2012/08/14 at 8:33 PM
Interviews with Greg Street, Cory Stockton, Tom Chilton, and J Allen Brack
We had a chance to sit down with Cory Stockton and Tom Chilton for exclusive interviews about Mists of Pandaria. Lore from
got to sit down with Greg Street (Ghostcrawler) and J Allen Brack. Their answers are great and we've transcribed all of them down below.
However, in case you just aren't
into reading, we've also uploaded videos of all four interviews as well!
Make sure you also read our huge guide
the Mists of Pandaria official FAQ
for even more information!
J. Allen Brack
2012/03/19 at 2:00 AM
Mists of Pandaria Talent Calculator Updates (2/15)
Blizzard updated the
Mists of Pandaria talent calculator
today! These are
updates. Perculia and I went through and transcribed every talent change we found for all of the classes from the old version to this version the minute these hit while Aryu updated our talent calculator on Wowhead. We also provided summaries of the major changes and highlighted the important class abilities.
Things to keep in mind:
A lot of these "removed" talents are becoming glyphs or spells unlocked by specialization
These are by no means the final product or even close to them, so don't roast Ghostcrawler and his team too much
Let us know if you spot any mistakes, we transcribed these the past four hours rapidly and expect there will be a couple typos.
Death Knights get a new execute-like ability,
, as well as some tweaks to specialization abilities--
now resurrects players with 60% health. In addition, several former talents were changed to class/specialization abilities: Blood DKs get
2012/02/15 at 3:36 PM
Class Design & Balance Live Q&A and Transcript
Fresh from the success of the recent live Q&A about Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard hosted another
live Q&A today
at 10:45 am PST.
Today's chat was with the class design team, covering the past, present, and future of World of Warcraft classes. As with the last Q&A, we updated the transcript live and provided highlights of the chat. There were so many questions this round, with the whole class design team present, so we broke down the highlights by class to make it easier to browse!
The current 5.0 model is that there are 8 raid buffs: health, attack power, spell power, melee haste, spell haste, crit, mastery and stats.
Skeptical that there will ever be a talent build that is the perfect build for every PvE fight in the game, but players can still find an ideal set of talents for an encounter. However, there is still more room for customization than in the past.
Would like to bring level of primary stats closer to level of secondary stats.
The goal of providing resilience as a base stat is to make players who primarily do PvE content able to enter the PvP space with their PvE gear and remain compet
2011/11/09 at 12:40 PM
Dev Watercooler - The Great Item Squish (or Not) of Pandaria
The item level and stat inflation on gear gets more and more pronounced between expansions--or even new patches. The devs wanted to touch upon this problem at BlizzCon, but ran out of time. In this Dev Watercooler, they address the problems related to stat budgets and propose several solutions. Nothing is set in stone, but the solutions are really interesting to analyze.
We've also got some minor changes to 4.3 PTR patch notes at the end of the post. Of particular note is that Tol Barad Veteran now requires 25 wins, down from 100, and Death Knight pets now properly inherit their master’s crit and spell penetration stats.
class="detail"><p>The lead designers were originally going to talk about this topic at BlizzCon, but it didn’t really match the content of the rest of our “Intro to Pandaria” presentation, and seeing as how we finished our 90-minute slot with 93 seconds remaining, there wouldn’t have been room for it anyway. But several of us did bring up the issue with players and media we talked to, and it even ended up in at least one FAQ, so we figured we’d go
2011/11/04 at 11:33 AM
Blizzard Insider #42 -- Meet the Pandaren Monk
With the launch of the next World of Warcraft® expansion, the Mists of Pandaria™ will lift to reveal the pandaren, a long-secluded race that has spent generations mastering the way of the monk -- World of Warcraft’s newest playable class.
To get an inside look at the upcoming World of Warcraft race and class options, the Blizzard Insider recently sat down with Lead Systems Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to discuss the design decisions that went into creating the pandaren monk. So read on, and be among the first to meet the brawling heroes who are, even now, secretly training within the mists.
How will the pandaren race differ from the other races of Azeroth? What ideas are being explored for their racial abilities?
Ultimately, the challenge with races is to make them feel unique without actually providing them with so much power that players feel like they don’t have a choice in which race they want to be. If tauren are the best warriors, then Horde players might feel like they are sacrificing too much in order to try out a different race or stick with a race they really like. With t
2011/10/28 at 10:06 AM
Mists of Pandaria Live Developer Q&A and Transcript
While there's been developer chats in the past, tonight's chat is quite special--it covers Mists of Pandaria mere days after all the BlizzCon 2011 announcements. I'll be transcribing the Q&A below, after some highlights.
Separate player hubs for both Horde and Alliance on Pandaria--will encourage world PvP.
New cap for professions is 600, no plans to add a new professions. Pet battles will be fun alternative to powerleveling professions.
Unhappy with the implementation of Prime glyphs since they are no-brainers to choose--may be removed.
Pet battles will grant XP in the same way to gathering professions--a decent perk.
Cooking will remain a secondary skill, but there will be specializations.
Valor, conquest, profession, and faction vendors will be scattered around world to encourage travel.
Possibility of increasing conquest point caps by 10-15%, for extra rewards for world pvp.
New guild levels and perks in MoP.
Expect quest hubs that change faction/control like Baradin Hold in MoP.
Players can only queue for scenarios in specific areas--goal is not to have players waiting for queues in major cities only.
2011/10/27 at 6:24 PM
BlizzCon 2011: Exclusive Interview with Dave Kosak, WoW Lead Quest Designer
Saturday afternoon, I was fortunate enough to get a one-on-one interview with Dave Kosak, WoW Lead Quest Designer, before his Lore and Story Q&A. Ashelia and I brainstormed some questions together before I sat down with Dave. During the interview, I made sure to ask him about some of our favorite--and least favorite--questing experiences, as well as how they were handling phasing and truly epic questlines in Mists of Pandaria. I hope you enjoy reading the summarizes of his responses--he shared details unreleased at BlizzCon such as a potential new MoP faction, the Lorewalkers!
We were also able to attend a group Q+A with J. Allen Brack and Jay Wilson about World of Warcraft and Diablo III. We've got the all the answers under the break--some of the information was already covered in other panels, so be sure to check our full coverage for details.
Exclusive Interview with Dave Kosak
Q: It's always been a struggle to make players feel like they truly impact the world. How are you showcasing this in MoP? Do the zones progress and change depending on questlines? What about phasing?
A:One thing we always struggle with--is we have this tool, phasing, but a large problem is that it separates players easily. Phasing, as I
2011/10/23 at 3:38 PM