This is a transcript of the Gamescom Live Stream’s World of Warcraft: Legion Dev Talk held on Sunday, Aug 9 by Soe and Frodan with the game developers. This was transcribed by one of our visitors, DrOfLore (Thanks).
Soe “@Soembie” Gschwind-Penski
Dan “@Frodan” Chou
Tom Chilton – @thekalgan (Vice President & Game Director)
Alex Afrasiabi – @Abrosiabi (Creative Director)
Ion Hazzikostas – @WatcherDev (Lead Game Designer).
AU or MU?
SOE: A lot of people have obviously been talking now ever since the announcement has been made. The community is going nuts with questions, speculations and all sorts of things. But we of course try to take a look at them and hope, that some of the stuff actually get’s answered here. And we wanna start things of with the Lore. One of the big questions which has been made was: Where are we in terms of the world? Are we in the current Azeroth or are we once more beeing in like a… alternative-like reality of some sort?
ALEX: That’s a great question and we’re absolutely in our Azeroth. Our current Azeroth. It’s important, extremely important to fight of the legion in a world that we acually care about, right? So definitly that!
The Legion & Azeroth
SOE: All right. So did Archimonde sent Gul’dan over there? Yes?…
CHILTON: Yeah! (mimics Archimonde throwing Gul’dan through the portal)
SOE: … and if so, why?
AFRASIABI: You know… that’s actually another really good question.
SOE: Thank you.
AFRASIABI: It is the integral kind of the core story of us as Azerothians: You know: Why is it, the Legion continues to try to take over this world and to destroy this world. And that’s something that I don’t wanna get too spoilery, but it is a story that will unfold as we go and quest and play through the legion expansion.
FRODAN: When you first saw that cinematic and you saw Gul’dan. [You know], he was pretty happy to see Illidan. Why was that?
AFRASIABI: You know, I tell you: I think, Gul’dan is under orders and he’s got something to do. He’s got plans that he has to fulfill and I think Illidan is a really, really important part of those plans.
Illidan – Villain or Hero?
FRODAN: Yeah, speaking of which, by the way, [big] people really want to know is, is Illidan the bad guy here in “World of Warcraft: Legion” or is he on our side. And if he is in our side, won’t he have kind of or some resentment for what happened in the past?
SOE: : Awwwe, you know, just a little bit.
AFRASIABI: You know, I think Illidan is probably pretty pissed of. You know, we put him down and then now we’re tryin to find him to have him help us – potentially – and who knows how he’s gonna react, you know? Where we’re gettin’ in touch with him – when we’re gettin’ in touch with him – I imagine he’s gonna have some words for us. And we’ll see how that unfolds again troughout the expansion.
SOE: Let’s hope we’ll be prepared for those words of his.
The Broken Isles & Ancient History
SOE: Now, you mentioned during the release, that we will be battling the Legion in the Broken Isles. How did the Legion get there?
AFRASIABI: So. 12,000 years ago. I’m gonna view it from 10.000 – that’s our normal. (laughs)
There was a festering wound in the land and the ancient, highborne night elfs at that point in time had access to all five of the Pillars of Creation. And that is what they actually used to seal up that wound. And on top of that wound they built what would be their Temple of Elune … this grand temple.
That wound is now been opened and that festering fel energy is now shooting out, sparking out, and just pouring infinite numbers of demons out into our world. So, that’s a big deal and we have to stop that.
SOE: Yeah, sounds like it. I mean, you did mention during the reveal, that this is the biggest demonic invasion yet.
CHILTON: That’s right.
SOE: So I can’t wait to see, how that’s gonna look like in-game.
FRODAN: Well, we touched some of the stuff here. I think, the lore really does matter, because people really wanna care, to see how the story continues to unfold; and I think part of what makes it really exciting too is when we see those characters come to live! We saw the announcement of LEGION, and we saw in the costume contest Illidan show up, Soe.
FRODAN: The second topic that we want to talk about the expansion and all the new zones that will be in the expansion.
SOE: Definitely. Now one of the things you mentioned when you introduced the expansion and all the new zones was Dalaran; and I know a lot of people got excited about that. Now, of course, we are wondering is it Dalaran that is currently in Northrend — is that one just casually flying over to the Broken Isles or what?
CHILTON: Conceptually, it is. Conceptually, it is moving from Northrend over the Broken Isles; but of course, the Dalaran that players have there in Northrend right now will still have the leveling up from 70 to 80. Each expansion is kinda a period in time, and of course, if you are leveling you need Dalaran to be there; but the one we have in the Broken Isles is conceptually the same Dalaran. It has been updated a little bit.
So there are some changes to some of the locations within Dalaran itself, there are changes in the Underbelly, there are some texture updates. We combined all that and still have a lot of that — the same nostalgia that it did before in a lot of the same functionality.
SOE: Lovely. I can’t wait to see that.
Flying in Broken Isles
FRODAN: With a new area and a new continent I think people would really want to know: Can I fly throughout the Broken Isles by myself without taking more conventional routes similar to how it was in Warlords of Draenor, for example?
CHILTON: Well, I think the person best equipped to answer that question that would be our flying-representative Ion Hazzikostas. Alright, take it away.
HAZZIKOSTAS: Alright. My favorite topic. I think … eventually. Yea. But not right away. I think that is consistent with the philosophy that we laid out in our DevWatercooler Blog post a few weeks back.
We said our solution for Warlords was a template that we could see applying going forward and we are going to be enabling flying in a very near future in Warlords; and we think that strikes a good compromise between allowing the ground-based gameplay to shine as people initially explores the world, but then allowing people who have achieved and completed the content to take to the skies and then experience it from another perspective unlock flying, to be available .
One thing that we are going to do in LEGION is starting in 7.0 the first steps of the achievement to eventually unlock flying and be available so players can start working towards it and get a sense of what is it going to require.
SOE: That’s nice. I like that. I like to work for it, because also … like you may or may not skip some really lovely areas and there is always some much to see in new areas. It would be a shame to just fly over it.
FRODAN: How do the artifacts play a big role here in the expansion and moving forward what is the progression through as we go through the content?
HAZZIKOSTAS: Artifacts, as we said in the presentation, are kind of your companion. Your must trusted ally as you work your way through LEGION and fight the Burning Legion itself.
It is one of the first things that you do when you start out the expansion. You will claim your artifact and build it up from there.
There are two progression paths: there is the artifact power that you earn and spend on traits (as we mentioned in the presentation). A part that didn’t get mentioned is a sort of the DPS throughput item level of your weapon itself; and that is going to be derived from powerful relics that you will obtain through truly traditional sources; and you can then socket those into your weapon; and those will increase its damage, its spellpower; and they also interplay and modify some of the traits that you have socketed as well; and so that’s really going to take the place of traditional weapon drops that you normally get from quest rewards, dungeons–
SOE: Are there still any of those, or is that just kinda irrelevant by–?
HAZZIKOSTAS: There are definitely some early on for catchup purposes, but beyond the very early level up zones it is not something that we expect to see because you should have your artifact; and that is going to be the thing that you progress; but through these relics that you get you will still going to have the core experience of leveling up and getting a stronger weapon that just hits harder, and that way when you kill a mythic raid boss it is going to drop a way more powerful relic than what you get from a raidfinder boss, or quest in the outer-world.
SOE: What about dual-specs here? Like, how are artifacts working with the–?
HAZZIKOSTAS: That’s something that we have heard a lot. We know there are many players who may level a retribution and get their Ashbringer right away, but there are also going to spec Holy and heal dungeons for a friend on the way out. Or maybe spec Holy and max level to raid; and we want to make sure that it is not a multiplicative additional amount of effort to maintain multiple artifacts.
We will start out with one single artifact, but pretty surely after that you will have the opportunity to go out and earn the others if that’s something that you care about and that you want to do for your character; and then from there we have some catchup mechanisms in mind that in general make it much easier and faster to get your second or third artifact up to speed and to the same power level as your main one.
Now the one part that won’t directly carry over are the relics that I was just talking about. There you would have to earn additional relics for your additional weapon, but that’s not really different from the Arms Warrior today who needs to go out and get a sword and shield from a boss or from a questline, or from crafting if they want to tank.
CHILTON: Of course we have that little loot spec dropdown now for people that are doing content, so you can always kinda set your loot back to Holy if you are doing raid, and you will be able to get relics that are for your Holy artifact.