Participant 20: You guys have been asked a lot of thoughtful challenging questions, and you are about to get a break from that. My question is once the expansion is out, how soon will we be flying?
Ion: Oh… Softballs. As the honorary flying responder, honestly about the same as Legion. We are pretty happy with how that system is played out overall; and the way that it worked out in Argus was much a product of the environment than anything else, rather than any overriding design philosophy we had.
If Argus had just been another zone right next to the Broken Isles, flight wouldn’t be the same issue there. But exploring the world, getting to know the nooks and crannies, the mountains, the shortcuts, the details of each experience you have in a zone, it just works out better when you are exploring it on the ground initially.
But we understand that in the long run, there is a lot of convenience, especially if you get to leveling alts, especially as you have pretty much seen all the nooks and crannies a number of times. You want to be able to skip over them, skip past them, unlocking the ability to fly is a great reward to work towards; and looking at the number of people who have earned flying in Legion, it wasn’t something that was incredibly very hard to acquire. It is just a matter of having to experience the content one time through from the ground, and then you can soar in the skies above it.
Jenny: I have to say, I actually really love exploring the ground. So having that time to be able to do that, thank you for doing that. We will think about it for a little bit.
Ion: You are welcome.
Participant 21: Hi I am Zensunim, and I am the author of the GTFO addon. I am actually a huge fan of the wild Legion companion app, and I’m wondering what’s the future look like for mobile apps moving forward?
Ion: So yeah I think we are also huge fans of it, and being able to stay in touch with aspects of your character while you are on the go, while you are away, a lot of value, love, coolness there is something we want to keep building upon and enhancing in the future.
We also recognize it is not necessarily the most convenient thing for people who have to bounce back and forth between that and the mobile armory app. Now we’d like to work towards rolling those two into one cohesive experience as we look to the future.
Participant 22: Hello I am a warlock on Zul’jin (shout out to my brother and nephews watching at home); and my question is about Timewalking, and I think it is been a great addition to the game, but as more and more of Timewalking events have been added and as I assume in the future more will continue to come, it has been getting longer and longer for the specific Timewalking event you want to come around. So I’m wondering if there is any chance of any kind of consolidation to maybe just get one Timewalking event with which all be active, or something along those lines?
Ion: I think some consolidation. I don’t know that we would go to all at once. I think there is some value to looking forward to when Wrath of the Lich King is going to come around, to when Cataclysm is going to come around. Those dungeons it is the nice experience of change of pace from what’s there in the modern game, but not necessarily ones that you want to be running all the time.
As we continue to expand Timewalking, most of it really added depth to the existing holidays. We will probably add Warlords of Draenor Timewalking at some point during Battle for Azeroth. It seems like a safe bet.
But beyond that, it is more of some of the stuff that was touched upon in earlier questions. What other types of activities can happen during a given Timewalking week? Other ways that we could bring the outer world into this as well. So it is not just about it is just experience. That could be another cool space to explore.
Participant 23: Hi my name is Joey Giggles. I am a healing monk. We are very rare on Alliance Mannoroth. So with Allied Races being added I got to say the Zandalari trolls look amazing, and I am really close to think about switching to Horde. With that being said, the faction pride is an ongoing struggle, and so is faction balance. So how do you keep Alliance playing Alliance, and Horde playing Horde — so that doesn’t become more of an issue?
Ion: I mean it sounds like you might want to look within yourself, and if you are looking at that Zandalari troll, and there is something there that speaks to you, maybe that is your answer. At the end of the day, that is a choice that everybody has to make, and play the game the way you want to play it.
I think in terms of faction balance on servers across the game as a whole, we have made a lot of improvements over the years whether it is cross-realm auction houses, as more of a default; or improved matchmaking across servers so you can find people to play with regardless to help address things on those levels.
But play what you want to play.
Jenny: I like that. I think the other thing you might want to add to that is in one of your previous panels you were talking about the PvP toggling, and I feel like that is going to give a lot of faction pride, because you can be with your group doing that.
Jenny: Very cool. Alright, our next question.
Participant 24: What are your plans for Legendaries in Battle for Azeroth?
Matt: So we know we have Azerite armor; and Azerite armor in a lot of ways already kind of does what legendries did in Legion. So we are not actually taking that system forward into 8.0. I don’t know about the future and past that, but I think you see a lot of that. We look at the legendaries that people like and the choices that they were able to make, and to kind of wrap that into what was called Azerite armor; and took kind of lessons from artifacts, we took lessons from legendaries. So they don’t really seem necessary in the current form in 8.0.
Participant 25: So what’s going on with the quest log’s size limit? Can we like increase it a lot?
Matt: In the realm of things we talk about all the time, I think this comes up quite a bit too. The hard part is: I think there are a lot of things to look at with the quest log size. I think we have a lot of quantities that are ending up in your log right now that probably don’t need to be there. Maybe they can be somewhere else.
Maybe they don’t need to live there for so long. I think you kind of end up accumulating like… I was looking at my log recently, I had about 20 quests, and most of them I don’t remember picking up because they were skinning mission rewards, or I was flying through areas and getting mission quests pushed to me.
So I think we are going to attack that first. When you have 25 quests in your log, it is really hard to keep track of all of them. If we had it up to 35 or 50, or whatever you guys are asking for… I think it would still be overwhelming, and you will end up being like: ok why stop now at 50, and I have to go through, and figure out what things I want to do.
We’d rather you didn’t have to choose between quests that you want to do, and quest that you don’t want to do; and try to attack that first.
Participant 26: My question is about the default backpack. When will hoarders have more space?
Allen: Members of the Alliance and the Horde: we hear you. We are very close to allowing you to slightly increase your backpack size. One of the things that we want to do is we want to incentivize you to use the authenticator, and so at some future patch, if you have an authenticator attached to your account, your backpack size will increase.
Participant 27: My name is Luke and I raid with my guild is Easy Play in Ysera. As we were raiding with the faction taking centre stage. I was wondering if we can even see the different raid bosses for the factions, or are we going to see different stories?
Ion: Definitely different stories, different reasons for a lot of these places, your purpose going into Atal’Dazar, or a place in Nazmir as a Horde player will be quite different from what you are hoping to accomplish in terms of the wrapping and the context for it as an Alliance player.
The boss is the boss, the place is the place, but different reasons to do the same things. Now looking further ahead, we talked a bit about some of the raids that we have planned, and those are not tied to the storylines of these new sub continents, but there is no reason at all why factional conflict (true faction conflict) can’t play out in a raid setting or a dungeon setting. if I’m Alliance, and Horde is the enemy… then shouldn’t I be raiding the Horde? And should a raid boss be a member of the Horde? It is a cool place to explore.
Alex: We should burn down Stormwind. I agree. (just kidding)
Jenny: Even going back to Wrath at the Trial of the Crusader where we had a very similar kind of PvP esque boss instance and so to see something like that maybe would be pretty cool again.
Matt: Yeah, bring back faction champions?
Participant 28: My question is regarding the World of Warcraft Classic. I’m wondering do you plan to fix the bugs, exploits and other issues that we may or may not remember from Vanilla WoW? Or do you have a philosophy at this point of worlds and all to get that authentic experience?
Allen: That is a really good question and it is a complicated one. I think part of the reasons, one of the things we did talk about in the announcement was that this is going to take a little bit longer than maybe you might imagine; and part of that is to engage with you guys (the community) to talk about some of these concerns, and talk about some of these issues. I think our philosophy is to have a compass heading that is to recreate the level 1 through 60 experience as you remember it.
I think there were bugs and exploits that lead to crashes, and lead to service downtime. Obviously, we don’t want that to be part of the experience; but there are going to be some questions that are going to be really interesting that we are going to have to answer in terms of how things work at certain points during the two years that only the 1-60 experience existed.
There is all kinds of things that come to mind, but the one I’ll bring up is UBRS. It was for a lot of the time was both a 10-player instance, and a 5-player instance; and then as we get close to releasing Burning ,we got rid of the 10-player instances. What’s the right version of Classic? That is something that we have to talk about for sure.
Participant 29: Alright, I am piro from Crescendo in Area 52. My question is the Allied Races look amazing, and their Heritage armor looks amazing. If I unlock the Heritage armor on a nightborn, can I then transmog it on my Blood Elf?
Ion: Nope. Sorry. I mean… next question. Heritage is the unique expression… is the essence of that Allied Race’s identity. It is for them. and them alone.
Jenny: They can’t just share closets or something?
Ion: Nope. Sorry. It doesn’t work that way.
Jenny: Looks like we are going to be leveling a few. Alright our next question.
Participant 30: First, I just want to say thank you for what you guys do. The question is regarding all the new social things that you guys are implementing. When are we going to see an increase to our friends limit because I’ve had 200 friends for like the last ten years?
Allen: That is not true, because the limit used to be 100.
Participant 31: I have a list that I keep that I have to keep adding and taking people off.
Allen: So I agree and especially as we have continued to increase the amount of social systems, any amount of different games that are available for you. The amount of friends that we need to support also needs to increase greatly, and so I can’t talk about– so one of the challenges with this is every game has to do some work in order to kind of do this simultaneously.
There is work on the Battle.net side of this, there is work on each individual game in order to kind of do this. So it is a more complicated thing than you might imagine, but it absolutely is something that we need to do and make significantly larger.
Participant 32: I have a question about gold making. So I’m really nervous about item scaling and I will try to do an example so I am clear. If I am trying to farm like a level 63 shoulder, I need to go out and kill a level 63 enemy. I can get it from a 64, but the drop rate cuts in half. Now you all are saying that these zones are going to go all the way to 80. How is the loot drop rate system changing? What are you all doing, and how is it going to affect us going forward?
Matt: We talk about classic and how hard it is to go back to that like scaling zones is kind of going back to 12 years of history and trying to figure out how all of this works in that system. Specifically with this, our philosophy is basically if the thing dropped before, it is going to keep dropping it.
So things like gold will scale. It makes sense for gold to scale if I’m doing at 68, I should get the same amount of gold out of it, but if it is dropped silk, it should still drop silk when we do our changes.
That may not be a 100% true, based off of just some weird things that we might run into; but that is our philosophy that we are going with.
Participant 33: I am Zacu from Stormrage (shout out to Zeros to Heroes). My question was on the warfronts, and specifically on their length. I was wondering if they’re going to be a longer experience kinda like a raid? Are they something you can just jump into and do? Our raid leader is going to yell at us if we are in one 30 minutes before a raid? I was just wondering if you could elaborate on how long they are going to be, and how you came to their length?
Matt: So some of that is really TBD at this point. Like we think they are going to be a little bit longer than dungeons, but how far past that is still up in the air, because I mean there is a lot of pacing that goes along with it.
You are building buildings and you are training troops. You want those troops to matter for at least a little bit of time. So it is still something that we are trying to dial in; and through our playtest, I think we’ll find something; and I’m sure it is something that when you guys get in beta, we will get a lot of feedback and be able to just after that too.
Jenny: So it looks like we have gone through a lot of audience questions so far, and we haven’t even touched our online questions. I think we need to take a couple if we can from online, and our first question was what classes will be available to each allied race, and will they differ from the current races? Why or why not?
Ion: So essentially, there is an interesting aspect to that question. So these are allied races. These are not subraces. There is no direct associated race or parent race, or anything like that. So when we are approaching what a new Allied race should be able to play we were looking at the identity and the culture of that race and what makes sense. The same way we would with any new race that we are be adding into the game.
When you go through that process where possible we err on the side of letting you play as much as possible, because we want those options. If you love a class, and you love a race, we want to try to make it happen. If it makes sense… you know, something like a void elf Paladin… not quite.
I don’t think that is going to happen, but that is sort of the logic and how we are approaching it. I believe the race class matrixes for Void Elves, Lightforged, Highmountain, and Nightborn are up on the website right now for Battle for Azeroth; and we’ll have more information to share on others in the future.
Jenny: Alright, and back to that, we actually have another viewer who want a little bit of an explanation between how the void elves are alliance, and the nightborn are Horde; and how is it not the other way around, or what is going on with that?
Alex: You are going to have to play the Battle for Azeroth to find out, because all the allied races have their own introductory quests, and we really want to make sure that you have context as players as to that exact question: “Hey, why did the nightborn go to the horde and not the alliance? Why did the void elves go to the lines of Alliance?
We will explain all of that and that will be made very clear; and that will give you that sense of allegiance.
Jenny: Alright, another viewer would like to know: will the Legion threat end before the Battle for Azeroth, and what does that mean for the purpose of the demon hunter class?
Ion: They just turn into hunters? Hunter is nothing without the hunt. I don’t know.
Jenny: That is regular hunters? Take a bow and arrow and call it good?
Alex: it is a serious question, alright. Look. Their main purpose has been thwarted. The reason that they exist. But not really. I mean ultimately demon hunters are blood elves and night elves; and they are doing what they do for the same reason Illidan was — which is to protect the world.
The world that he loves, and that threat to that world hasn’t stopped. If anything, it is getting crazier in the post-Legion world where we have got a world that is damaged and potentially dying. So their charge is not over. They will continue to be demon hunters, and I would argue that one day we’ll probably see demons again. So we’ll need them.
Jenny: Alright, another viewer would like to know: are the continents of Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms completely split between the factions; and what does that mean for places like Silvermoon city and the Exodar?
Alex: Well, Silvermoon and Exodar are still Alliance and Horde respectively. Those zone boundaries are very tricky for NPCs to cross. We will have a fiction in place, obviously.
Those two are kinda the last bastions of their factions, and maybe a way in for those factions as well, and we will be sure to use them in this battle.
Jenny: And our next viewer would like to know: when are we going to see updated worgen and goblin character models?
Chris: So clearly that is something that people want I guess.
Jenny: Just a little bit. Yeah.
Chris: So actually you know Ion and I have been trolling each other all weekend saying opposite things for some odd reason. So to clear things up. Not for 8.0, but we are actually currently working on them; and no disrespect meant to either of those races for the delay in sticking this to get to that.
I play a goblin. I love those guys. I feel like the goblin and I think that collectively we feel like the Goblin as a race are looking really good and really cool (both the male and female). They just need that visual update, and more animation so they feel like they’re in line with the current fidelity of the rest of the races.
So worgen on the other hand, very happy with the male worgen. I understand there is also a lot of unhappiness with the female worgen, so as part of that process we’d like to offer more facial features for them so they feel a little bit softer and more wolf-like and less chihuahua-like.
Jenny: They are just sassy. Alright, our next viewer would like to know: in the future when we opt in for world PvP, what will be the draw for that, and how do you figure out the reward level to incentivize that.
Ion: That is going to be a challenging process, but it is an important one. So as I mentioned at the panel, the idea is to offer some increased efficiency to offset the natural inefficiency of the cons from questing in a PvP environment. Even if you are the one doing the ganking, and you are winning on your fights, that is still slowing you down compared to somebody who is just questing with no distractions; and we don’t want people who love PvP to feel like they are hamstringing themselves playing the way they enjoy.
And so the point to these bonuses will be to offset that inefficiency. Obviously, if we go too far, the risk would be pressuring players who don’t like PvP, and don’t feel comfortable doing it into a playstyle they don’t enjoy, because it seems so lucrative.
So those are the philosophies that are guiding us finding those exact values it is going to be a process of reflection and tuning, and feedback and hearing from all of you.
Jenny: And when you are switching yourself to PvP you do it in a major city, it doesn’t happen in like a zone town?
Ion: Yes. That is essential. You have to be in a major capital like Stormwind, or Orgrimmar, or Dalaran, and you are making a choice that is not an easy to switch one when you go out into the world, you are committing to that. It is not a thing that is bounced back and forth as the mood strikes you.
Jenny: Right, and then your face you don’t see any of the PvE people out there you don’t see anything like that?
Ion: Exactly. Effectively, you are on a PvP server when you set out against the world, and if you make the other choice, you are on a PvE server when you set out into the world with most of the familiar rule sets. But again, that is a foundation that we can build upon to create all new content and really improve world PvP significantly.
Jenny: Great, I like it. Alright our next viewer online would like to know: can we please have more character slots per realm?
Ion: Ok. Yes.
Jenny: Yes! I think we did it.
Ion: I think along with allied races, Battle for Azeroth is giving you six additional ones because there is six new races to unlock, and if you have your characters maxed out in a given server, we don’t want you to have to feel like you need to delete a character in order to create the race that you just unlocked.
So similar to when we added the demon Hunter, we gave you a character slot. Similar story here.
Jenny: Very cool. Alright, I’m excited for that actually, but our next question is: is the unlockable Heritage armor only going– Oh, I think we kind of answered this but so it is only going to be usable on the respective allied race correct? You can’t use it on any other class, or anything like that. It is not account wide.
Ion: That is correct, and part of the reason for that a sign from how important it is for that race is heritage just gameplay-wise, we wouldn’t want you to feel that if you want to collect cool transmogs, that you need to make a race that you have no interest in playing, Level it up all the way to max level, and then throw it away just to get this one look. You should play it, because you want to play it; because you think the race is cool.
Jenny: Very good. Then our next viewer would like to know: with your renewed focus on a cross-server communities, will we be able to trade flasks with our friends on other realms, or consumable things like that?
Matt: This is something else that we are really looking into. We need to figure out a way to do it so that it doesn’t also cause weird economy issues between servers, and I think that is the challenge we have been going with; but I think with cross-realm raiding (it’s being such a success) I think you end up with one or two people or maybe your entire raid is from different servers, it gets weird that you can’t trade those things.
We also do things like we have feasts which work cross-server, and we have cauldrons that work cross-server. That might be another way to do it, but honestly we’d love to find a way that you could trade those commodities without ruining economies that are different across each server.
Jenny: I think we have time for one more question. This one is pretty important: how or when do we sign up for the beta?
Allen: There is actually a web page that we put up that has all of the features for Battle for Azeroth. It has got details and Ion mentioned the different classes that are available for all of the different allied races that is actually up right down at the very top. It has a place for you to watch the cinematic, and watch the into features, and also sign up for the beta and get updates on when public testing begins.
Jenny: Awesome. Alright you guys, well, that is going to wrap up this year’s Battle for Azeroth Q&A panel. I want to thank you guys so much for being here and giving us a lot of this valuable insight. Thank you, guys for having me as moderator; but more importantly thank you guys. Thank you all for being here, and thank you all for watching on the virtual ticket. We will see you guys later.
|BlizzCon 2017 World of Warcraft Q&A panel transcript|
|1. Part 1||2. Part 2||3. Part 3|