Medievaldragon: I think it was said in a past interview that demon hunters are missing 5 tiers of talents at level 100 because they need something to look forward to while leveling to 110. I’m wondering what the reasoning behind this is?
Lang: By the time you get through the whole Demon Hunter starting location you have all of that at the end. We didn’t just want to just sorta spell dump before for you and then you kinda like had to work out the rotation system. That’s more difficult to try and figure out. We wanted to little by little along the questline expose you to these new spells, and let you kinda get used to them, and kinda recognize individually what they bring to the table. Metamorphosis is a great example of that. Some of that is just trying to maintain the different spells– kinda watering down “too many things for you to deal with;” but also streamlining that class to really fit the lore.
Medievaldragon: I have done the Demon Hunter starting location like five times. Awesome!
Lang: Nice! It’s fun. Yeah.
Bybee: It really is. It’s supercool.
Medievaldragon: I have been playing since Alpha. So it has been a lot of gaming.
Lang: Oh wow! I want to say thank you!
Bybee: Probably you ran into a lot of bugs. So thank you!
Medievaldragon: Talking about the Demon Hunter, some people are concerned, in PvP, compared to other classes when it comes to demolishers and mounts… any way to see a reliable “Slow” ability for those who don’t choose “Master of the Glaive?” Because… that is a problem!
Lang: We have reworked the PvP system a little bit. Sorta mobilized everything so even though gear has an effect in PvP, it doesn’t have so much a steep curve to it; and one of the main reasons was that it allows us to control the balance of all the classes. If higher levels were to dictate how powerful you are, it becomes difficult to then figure out where the weak points are. So I’d say that one of our later goals will be to decide to change PvP a little bit is that we wanted to be able to recognize: “Oh, vengeance needs some sort of better mitigation in PvP because it is not being able to sustain compared to a paladin or a death knight.” So being able to kinda normalize everything allows us to be able to control that.
Medievaldragon: Warlords of Draenor was criticized because it only had two content patches: 6.1 and 6.2. How many content patches are you aiming with Legion?
Bybee: That is a number that we “Are Not Prepared!” to answer, but what we can say is that the next content will be patch 7.1: Return to Karazhan, and we are absolutely committed to doing more content for Legion. We have read the players are concerned about it, and we want to get this out to people.
Lang: Yea, we recognize that there was a bit of a problem in terms of the end-game content. We really tried to remediate that with some of the World Quests that we are doing, you are going to spend a lonnnng time just trying to get all the artifacts really all topped. So we recognize that there is something we could have done better end-game.
Medievaldragon: In closing, do you have anything new to say about “Return to Karazhan?”
Lang: Uhh… it’s goint to be a real good time. (laughs) Don’t you have anything to–
Bybee: Nope. We are super-excited about it, but right now we are here to talk about Legion. It is an awesome game that just came out that you should be playing right now.
Medievaldragon: Well, but I’m all the way here. (laughs)
Bybee: I know I’m going to when I get an opportunity.
Medievaldragon: As soon as I get home, I’ll play it. I think I can play it here with LiquidSky in my tablet.
Lang: So which do you like to play: DPS or Tank?
Medievaldragon: Since 2004, I have been a healer, but I like to be a Retribution Paladin. I love it, and I am liking the new Rogue with the new mechanics.
Bybee: Wait, what is it, the Outlaw Rogue with the Pistol?
Medievaldragon: Yea, that one. I love it.
Bybee: It’s a lot of fun.
Lang: That was a good choice. It’s a lot satisfying.
Bybee: They have done a lot of good things, but you didn’t talk about it as much, but one of the things that you have done (I think was fabulous) is the (we call it) combat revamp. Essentially what it was is making it so fighting felt more tactile, and more real, and more engaging. I don’t know if you would actually say it in a better way than I have.
Lang: (Laughs), that’s pretty much it. Basically, we did a lot of revisions and adjustments to the way the melee class feels (rogue, warrior, paladin). We really wanted it to feel a lot more visceral. We wanted you to feel like when you hit your spell or your attack (or something like that) you are controlling that. Before, the auto-attack would have to finish even before your spell was actually running; or before the spell actually initiated. We wanted to change that. We wanted to start making the game not only act like you were in control, but feel like you were in control. A lot of that is changing the way that we treated the animations. Just making it sharper and cleaner, a little more impactful so that the pierces of the rogue and the sidesteps as you were attacking– we really wanted to kinda complete some of the fantasy to that.
Bybee: The thing that is crazy about it is that when you play now any of those melee classes you feel it, and it feels awesome, but you may not actually even be aware why. It just feels really cool.
Lang: Because it is not just animations, it is also… we got a lot of upgraded FX sounds, the UI aspect, how this will react, all that stuff. A severe makeover, and it feels great.
Medievaldragon: Players usually reach level 110 like in 2-4 days. So what should they look forward to when Suramar opens up to them?
Lang: Suramar has tons and tons of stuff, and world quests.
Bybee: — and Mythic+ dungeons.
Lang: Those are fantastic.
Bybee: I worked on Mythic+ dungeons and it is probably one of my favorite features for this expansion. Basically, for everybody who have done dungeons before: there is Normal, and there is Heroic, and there is Mythic (and it was more difficult, but that was it); and if you had finished Mythic then there was no reason to keep running dungeons; but Mythic+ (plus) actually adds a Tier on top of that, and keeps scaling up. So if your group is good, you can beat the timer in a Mythic+ dungeon and get a harder dungeon; and then get a harder dungeon, and these dungeons have affixes like corpses that explode, or creatures that respawn extra creatures, and it changes every week.
Medievaldragon: A lot of chaotic stuff.
Bybee: It’s really really a lot of chaos, but it is a lot of fun too; and the thing that it also does is that it gives people who are really good at the game, but maybe aren’t raiding all of the time, or they are raiding but they want something else to do, it keeps the dungeons relevant. The gear that you can get from Mythic+ dungeons competes with raid gear at the highest levels; and it is a fun interesting way to play World of Warcraft. I am super-excited.
Medievaldragon: I haven’t really done Mythic in Warlords of Draenor, and I tried it with Court of the Stars (Suramar Mythic dungeon). OMG that was INSANE! And it was fun.
Bybee: Was it a Mythic+ run?
Medievaldragon: It was only Mythic. I needed to complete a quest with it, but I am going to try higher levels to see what happens.
Bybee: That’s fun as it is, but you get to end-game, and half of your Order Hall class quests don’t even start until you get into Mythic. You can’t unlock most of your Artifact until you get to the end-game. There is a whole bunch of unique quests that start them. You talked about Suramar already, but going through all Suramar quests open up access to two extra dungeons: Court of the Stars (which you mentioned) and the Arcway. There is tons of stuff in-game, and then in a few weeks on September 2oth we will have new raids that unlock (that’s actually around the time that Mythic+ dungeons goes live), and that’s all there and more.
This interview took place at the Legion Launch Party in Paris (August 30, 2016). Blizzard Entertainment (Versailles) invited me to attend the event. Photos and video of the Legion Launch Party can be found here.