Highlights of the Ion Hazzikostas Shadowlands Group Interview
09/07/2020 alle 09:59
As part of the Shadowlands Event summit, Wowhead was lucky enough to participate in a group interview with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas. Many topics were discussed, including the
Final Boss in Shadowlands
Endgame Loot Philosophy
, and our
Art Interview with Ely Cannon
, but we also have a summary of other talking points from the various questions asked of the Game Director.
Shadowlands Press Event Coverage
News & Updates
Potential Class Wide Artifact Transmog
Account Wide Legendary Power Recipes
Changing Covenants Should be Easy, Changing Back Should Be Hard
Rune Carving - Legendary Armor Crafting
Change Gender at the Barber Shop, No Longer a Paid Service
New Class Animations on Character Selection Screen
The Final Boss of Shadowlands
Pathfinder Based on Renown Instead of Reputation
No Bonus Experience from Heirlooms in Shadowlands
Save Famous Characters from the Maw
The Maw Max Level Questline
The Maw Max Level Zone Preview
Venthyr Covenant Campaign Preview
Sinfall Covenant Sanctum Environment Preview
Covenant Sanctum Systems - Upgrades, Many Resources, Transportation Network
Rune Carving - Legendary Armor Crafting
Soulbinds Progression Breakdown
Covenant Adventures: Missions Evolved
Dangers of the Maw - Eye of the Jailer Levels
The Maw Zone Preview
Abominable Stitching Recipes
Venthyr Covenant Preview and Ember Court
Night Fae Covenant Preview and Queen's Conservatory
Necrolord Covenant Preview and Abomination Stitching
Kyrian Covenant Preview and Path of Ascension
Covenants System Preview
Soulbinds and Conduits Preview
PandaTV and Ion Hazzikostas Liveblog
Lordmons with Morgan Day - Pantheon of Death & Unlocking Legendary Powers
Warcraft Radio and Patrick Dawson Liveblog
Judgehype Insights with Patrick Dawson
Morgan Day and MrGM Liveblog
Zones, Covenant Armor, and Customization with Ely Cannon
Ion Hazzikostas - End-game Loot, Utility Legendaries, Droprates
Highlights from Ion Hazzikostas Group Interview
Shadowlands Lore with Steve Danuser - Elune, Sylvanas, Calia
Sloot Interview with Paul Kubit
HazelNuttyGames Interview with John Hight
Tonton Interview with Ion Hazzikostas - Open World Lag, Swapping Covenants, PvP Power
Lapi Interview with Ion Hazzikostas - Weekly Loot, Covenant Tuning
Updating the Game World
There are a lot of complications preventing US and EU servers from being merged from a technical perspective and international exchange rates.
The original starting experiences weren’t really designed for new players in mind and reflected game mentalities from a decade ago. Blizzard wanted to create a modern introductory experience with Exile’s Reach, highlighting treasures, rare enemies, and a mini-dungeon.
The Horde is in for a period of rebuilding, moving into a leadership council. There are more stories to tell about factions rebuilding, but it's not the focus of the start of Shadowlands.
Due to a massive engineering process reinventing how character customizations work, there are less limitations now as far as character options. Many customization options are on the table now and Blizzard is excited by the passion the community has.
There are no plans to have mini-questlines to explain the presence of sub-races in Shadowlands, like High Elves or Sandfury Trolls. However Blizzard is using the new customization options as an opportunity to update the appearance of guards and civilians, correcting an oversight on their part over the years and improving representation.
Uther's Tomb received visual updates in Legion but nothing came of it. This was quite possibly a side-project or passion project. However, Blizzard plans several expansions ahead and knew that Uther would play a prominent role in Shadowlands, which probably prompted the team to touch up his tomb.
Shadowlands didn't focus on visual effect upgrades (ie glyph customization) because the team was focused on making new spell visuals for every class and covenant. They do want diversity in glyphs to continue in the future.
Character customization improvements are an ongoing system, they are never done.
The Shadowlands legendary system feels like an improvement over the Legion legendary system because players control their legendary acquisition--the legendaries are crafted vs pure RNG. Blizzard is also trying to make the utility perks feel powerful.
There's anxiety that players will choose a covenant because it's cool, and then they'll be rejected from a PUG for the wrong choice, and that is something Blizzard has to work on. The ability to swap covenants freely is something Blizzard will consider, but only as a last-resort. They want covenants to feel like a nuanced package of many abilities, similar to Artifact weapons offering unique sets of perks in Legion.
Changing your Soulbind freely is intended. Currently you need to be in your Covenant Sanctum to change it, though it might change based on feedback. Respeccing the Soulbind path will be done for a minimal Anima cost.
Conduits are relatively straightforward modifications to class abilities. They aren't awarded exactly like relics, which competed with drops on loot tables--but they're like gems, where you put a physical item into your soul bind device. If you want to replace it, that will destroy the existing one.
Upgrading the Covenant Sanctum is tied to many systems, and the goal is to have them feel accessible in the first week, but paced out to not feel overwhelming. Being introduced to each system should feel like a tutorial process, which is coming later in beta.
Shadowlands Design & Inspiration
Blizzard always wants fresh ideas for their dungeons. For the Theater of Pain, they were inspired by Hunger Games--a real arena, with competing enemy forces, and choosing to work with one against the other, and then swap forces.
The Jailer is confirmed to be the final boss in Shadowlands, with a power level which exceeds that of the Titans.
Shadowlands feels more linear than Battle for Azeroth, but Blizzard is unsure if that story direction will continue in future expansion. One advantage is that they can tell a broader progressive narrative when zones are encountered in a specific order. In a non-linear world where everything scales, you lose a sense of power progression and accomplishment felt when you're strong enough to enter a dangerous new zone.
Torghast went through a lot of iterations and seeing the design twists it took would be a fun retrospective to feature at a BlizzCon.
Battle for Azeroth had a lot of experimental end-game content like Warfronts, Islands, and player choice in Warfronts. Blizzard has learned a lot, such as dynamic spawns from Islands informed the replayable design of Torghast.
Melee will be kept as the unique identity of Survival Hunters in Shadowlands, but Blizzard doesn't want them to feel like their melee strength comes at the expense of the core Hunter fantasy.
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