Jenny: Yeah, I think it would offer a good sense of uniqueness. People would feel like they are making their own choices on what they want which is really cool. So we had a question that was from the audience, but they couldn’t make it here, and I thought it would be a good time to ask; but what do you guys think about Titanforging in Battle for Azeroth?

Ion: I have been asked this question around twenty times over the course of BlizzCon already. We are going to make tweaks, but not a fundamental change to the system. Sorry to those of you who are not fans, but the goal of this is to have variability in rewards, its moments of excitement. If you think back to raids back in the old days, if you are working say Tomb of Sargeras, you are working on Fallen Avatar now, your guild at this point has probably killed the first few bosses quite a number of times.

Back in the day, if you are doing that farm content with that raid clear to get to the boss you are on, except for maybe one item that you have been unlucky with, there really wasn’t any hope for an upgrade for you in many of those nights — which also meant that collectively as a guild, your progress would stall to say nothing of your own personal excitement.

I think there is value in having upgrades out there, having moments of potential surprise. That said, a lot of the feeling of extreme spikes and randomness… obviously not great. So you may be taking a look at adjusting the odds and the ways in which the numbers of the system play out. But the core concept of the ability of an item to scale up in power I think is what we want to continue with.

However, this will not apply to the Azerite infused or Azerite attuned armor slots. So helmet, shoulders, chests currently. Those already have plenty of complexity and depth to them without also adding this extra layer. So a mythic helm is a Mythic Helm is a Mythic Helm, and has those traits. Go after it. Don’t worry about trying to get a Titanforged version of the one from the last tier, because it theoretically might be better. It won’t be.


Participant 12: Can character players get some sort of rooting effect for their characters to counteract pushback or knockback effects?

Ion: Honestly, we should all just race-change to a Goblin so you can push the Goblin Rocket jump. No. There is some weirdness with the way knockbacks work, and moving effects in terms of how they interact with other movement abilities.

That specific example that you give though, it is something that we have actually talked about being a cool niche for Death Knights. A Death Knight in particular, the old school Pillar of Frost approach where maybe they are not the most fast moving one, but if everyone around them gets knocked out, everyone around them gets pushed back they should be able to hold their ground, and that could be something that we expand upon in the Death Knight space.


Participant 13: I’ve been playing this game since I was a little kid in Russia. So my question for you guys is: World of Warcraft is a MMORPG. So what do you guys plan doing about a character creation system that feels so archaic and lackluster in comparison to other RPGs?

Chris: So first of all, I agree with your assessment; and at this point it is just a matter of– it feels like we haven’t been responding to that comment, and there is a reason for that being that we knew we were going to be doing Allied Races at some point, and we took a look at the options that currently existed; and this is just speaking like hair and some of the existing options.

We wanted to take a look at what we were going to do with Allied Races before we decided to add a bunch of things to the existing races. Having said that, we are at a point now where we have a good grip on that. I think we are going to take a really strong look at what we need to do to improve that system, and make some change in that area.


Ion: Any posture related options?

Chris: That is a big one. Right, like we have been asked for quite a while about upright Orcs, and why hero orcs are different than hunched orcs. At this point, we are going to add that. So in 8.0, in character create, you will be able to choose between an upright orc and the hunched over orc.

If you have an existing orc, you’d be able to go to the barber shop, and there is a toggle switch that you can toggle on or off. So you can turn into– I guess you go to the chiropractor–

Ion: as the barber/plastic surgeon/chiropractor. Multi-talented fellow.

Chris: …and just as a side note to that, it kinda opens up some exciting doors for us, because we’ll be able to now have shared animation on one rig. So looking forward in the future, there will be a lot more that we were able to do with the new characters coming up.


Participant 14: In the Battle of Azeroth, is Jaina actually a good guy? I mean, are we just supposed to forget the whole genocide of Dalaran?

Alex: Jaina is complicated, just like any of the other characters. She’s as evil as I am. Bad example.


Jenny: How evil are you?

Alex: As these guys. So look… if I am Jaina… as a character, Jaina is racked with regrets… looking over her past decisions and the things that she’s done, responsible for the death of her father, potentially responsible for what the Horde is today as a result of that.

What could she have done differently at Stratholme? Could she have saved Arthas? What about the Battle for Undercity? So if you could have unpacked all that, break all of those things apart, it has left a character that has some damage (and then not even speaking about Theramore). So one of the things we are going to do is explore that damage, explore those decisions with Jaina, and try to understand how she got to be the way she is, and hopefully pull her out of it.

So… no, she’s not evil. She’s conflicted, and it is something we absolutely want to explore.


Participant 15: Hello. I am druki, guild master of Timeless in Executus, and I am the guy that won stocks in the game because there is a lot of quack. Have you ever looked up in a raid and noticed how many boses have a hole in the ceiling? Why do so many bosses have holes in their ceilings?

Chris: So that is an interesting question. I think there is multiple reasons for that. I mean functionally, it opens up the opportunity for no camera collision. If you are in an area that has a low ceiling, you are not going to have the camera bumping around on the ceiling.

That is the functional reason. I think aesthetically, we look at it. It is always nice to tie those locations into real world locations, so you don’t go into a raid, or a dungeon, and kind of feel like you are off; and then not rooted in that zone that you started in.

So from an aesthetic perspective it allows us the opportunity to kind of show the outside world while You are in that environment without having windows or things to look out into the horizon. So it really is just kind of a combination of like when it makes sense, we do it. It offers the ability to have different color schemes to introduce in the colors of these environments.

But there is no one reason I can tell you, and go: it is because they don’t like ceiling fans.


Participant 17: Hi there my name is Grant. With the Horde attacking Teldrassil, and the Alliance attacking Lordaeron, what are your plans for the starting zones in those areas, and also just some of the other leveling zones in the Eastern Kingdoms?

Alex: Starting zones are not going to change. In order to appreciate the burning of Teldrassil, you kind of have to understand what Teldrassil is first; and the wait time works in our game is that it flows by level. So you’ll still be able to start in Shadowglen, go to Dolanaar, Darnassus, Darkshore, go through all of that and then when you hit 110 — we will burn it all down.

The same thing for Lordaeron, and what happens there. You’ll still make a character in Deathknell, and go through all those cool experiences, and get to the place of a questgiver, and all the other fun stuff; and then we’ll see what happens; but once you do get to that point in Battle for Azeroth — where these events have occurred, the land around you will (of course) change; and potentially more. You know we have got a Warfront in Arathi that who knows what’ll happen there.


Participant 18: Hello my name is Carrie and I’m one of the officers in the Cult of El Pollo Grande which is the number one chicken cult. It is a thing. I have a question about void elfs. So in-game Alleria seems to be able to shift back and forth from void elf to High Elf form. Will playable void elves be stuck in void elf form, and why?

Alex: No, they will not. I do not want to say it is going to be a transformation like metamorphosis. It is not quite at that level. We are tweaking that right now. They absolutely have a void form. It is just a matter of how it is invoked, and we definitely don’t want you to be fully voided the entire time, because the details are important. So we’ll see.


Jenny: Something possibly passive sort of shadow priest just kinda on its own accord?

Alex: Yeah, right now when they go into combat, they void out; but we may pull that back. We may make it activateable. We will play with it in beta.


Jenny: I like it thank you our next question.

Participant 19: For the last year, I have been great leading a guild called the Archives (shout out to anyone who was a part of that). Lately, I’ve been having to keep pushing people to like grind out, old tier gear, old trinkets, all sorts of things to have to titanforge them, because they are always the best. What do you guys plan on doing for this, to combat that when you are moving forward with the next expansion?

Matt: Alright. I think we touched on that a little bit earlier. I think the first thing we look at is the rates the titanforge is happening, that is the rate that warforged is happening.

But I think really we have got a lot better through the patches, and actually balancing items against each other; and I think that is something we continue to look at as being a very important thing– like Item level should win and a lot of times that people are fishing for old things, things that might be a little out of budget, maybe we will stabilize it in 8.0. We are not sure yet. It could be stabilized then.

But what we really want to get those into a space where we can predict where they are, and then make sure that using other systems like we have with Azerite armor, where Azerite armor doesn’t titanforge so you are not going to have to go back to get it.

Hopefully, that is a big burden off your shoulders when that goes live as well.

Ion: I think, yeah. A couple other aspects to that: part of the trinkets thing is also just relinquished systems. You are not sort of really going back and actually killing the old bosses. It is more just part of your reward for doing the more recent content from that large pool of items.

But separately, we definitely have some issues with secondary stats balance. That’s obviously the Arkhana crystal problem, as well as a number of others; and it is hard to fix mid expansion given the curve that we have committed to.

But in general, would like to do a whole lot more to make item level more consistently determinative of what’s going to be worth using; and to avoid huge outliers that aren’t intended like that.


Jenny: Thank you. Alright, so we have another question from an audience member who couldn’t make it, but I decided it might be a good time to ask it. So with the new old world zone and dungeon scaling, what are your thoughts about adding Mythic Keystone difficulties to old dungeons?

Ion: It is an interesting idea. I think Timewalking is something that we continue to expand. We expand it in breadth and depth. We have added new expansions, and then more recently started to add Raids. It is another layer. Certainly for people who like the dungeon side of the gameplay, going back into Heroic dungeons via the random queue– not necessarily the most challenging experience especially for those of you who are experienced pushing high level meta keystones. That could be a fun place to explore with some sort of Timewalking Keystone that is available during those respective weeks. It is a cool idea.


BlizzCon 2017 World of Warcraft Q&A panel transcript
1. Part 12. Part 23. Part 3

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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts