Hi all! I've made the drive to Anaheim for my 11th BlizzCon representing the wiki.
As is tradition, I've got some Q&A time with the WoW team (and also the Warcraft III Reforged team), and I'm looking for questions.
Please post them in the sections below.
In general, I'll be talking with gameplay devs, not necessarily lore devs, but if there's a high-level question I'll try to ask it anyway.
Thanks! --17:03, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
- What is going on with the landmass of Gilneas? See Ruins of Gilneas#Status to see what I mean.--Berenal (talk) 22:16, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
- Will the old starting zone quests still be available to play through? -- Dark T Zeratul (talk) 06:30, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
- Is there any relation between the Anima of the Shadowlands and the Anima that the mogu extracted from Ra-den? -- Dark T Zeratul (talk) 06:30, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
First dump of my notes. --22:29, 2 November 2019 (UTC)
Frank Koawlaski - Tech Director on WoW - manages engineering team, coordinates with sound, artists, rendering, live service Steve Agular - assistant art director on WoW - help with the vision for the game to help tell the narrative
Is hogger going to be a threat after the level scaling? - Hogger won't one shot you if you've been through most of the BfA
Lots of new character customizations, but what about spell customizations? Glyphs? - Spell visuals tied to the covenant you're affiliated with
Transition to/from Shadowlands? Just a portal? - Yes, just for mechanics reasons, same ports/etc as always
Class identity, level squish, etc based on classic? - No, decision was made long before
Customization mainly focused on original races, not allied races. Stuff like the eyes and such, just for the original races. They're not touching the allied for now
DK-specific customization? No
Legendary armor? Level through Torghast as far as you can, take stuff out. Runes, taken to a runecrafter, will let you target a slot/stats/effects
How does Torghast work? Taking tech from garrisons, islands, etc. levels themselves are handcrafted, but maybe custom spawned chest with a boon. you may see that same hallway a few weeks later but with completely different spawns
what gets players to keep coming back to torghast? What if I get the legendary I want early in the expansion? Still trying to figure that out. Yeah, maybe some upgrades, but there are other player agency reasons.
torghast on a lockout? still up in the air, once a week?
covenants - sanctuary like like legion? yes, horde/alliance will be sharing a space. H/A in an uneasy alliance on azeroth, covenants have their own problems, not really concerned about A/H politics.
benefits to being in a raid with members of the same covenant? in torgast, yes, absolutely covenant stuff will come into play.
right now torghast is the primary source of powering your legendary
helm of domination - how did the shadowlands/mortal realm balance work? that's getting explored in the expansion
gem slots still random? itemization very important to the team. still early to talk about where that's going to land. however, we want professions to be important, including JC
flying still tbd
allied races etc DKs are getting called by bolvar. in-game cinematic explaining the story
when you die you go to the shadowlands. what happens when you die in the shadowlands? special unique effect to bring your soul back to your body, but otherwise mechanically the same death mechanic as always
focus on class identity - how does that work for priests? light/void kinda opposite - very good question, will figure it out. dev plays a blood DK, so for him death and decay, death coil etc are class-wide. something similar for priests will happen
for high-level dungeons/raids and players have gotten so optimized, what's the plan to make sure to classes aren't ostricized? that's kinda the goal of this class identity thing, to help balance
lots of borrowed-power expansion-level features. is that going to keep being a thing? it depends on the story we're trying to tell. the bfa neck can come with us to shadowlands, but it's powers will be cut off. shadowlands is focusing on anima
soulbinds can change. is that class/spec based? spaces in the talent tree customized with relic-like objects, conduits
while leveling from bastion to revendreath you'll come across each bastion and learn their story/backgrond. while in their zone you also have their abilities. however, if you decide in the end you want to change covenants, you can. it won't be an easy choice, and there'll be work to do (scryer/aldor in BC), but it's done
currently in bfa, since azerite power will eventually be going away, what's the motivation for doing dailies/wqs? there are other rewards, and WQ 2.0 will be coming closer to shadowlands launch
level squish - was 60 set in stone or did you play with others? goal is to make levels make sense. but if 80, makes it hard to go through an expansion and not ding every 10 minutes
after an expansion with forced personal loot and item-level trading restrictions. any feedback? sure, we get some. we're certainly talking about it
soulbind - design goals - want people to swap between different soulbinds as they move around. and beyond the unique ability, are the trees unique? the conduits? it will not be punishing to switch. just like changing talents back in town
warfronts, islands are bfa only and will not come forward
is the expansion 10-50 thing going to repeat going forward with the next expansion? dunno yet, we'll see in 18 months
conduits - are they a library or a consumable? the latter, like relics
leveling time 10-50 shortened in general. ballpark length of time? - expansion should last 10-50, but you can split up if you want
pacing? want expansions to all have roughly the same speed. still lots of work to be done
flying at 10? whatever level we set flying at and once you unlock flying, if you're in a flyable area you'll be able to fly
profession reagents? still trying to figure that out. vanilla is way more concerned with that than other expansions
horde-alliance grouping? still an uneasy armistace. if you remove everything else, it's still always going to be horde on one side, alliance on the other
covenant system - high-level goals? grow with us for the entirety of the expansion? patches? covenants is a main feature, so they'll keep adding stuff to the covenants. each covenant will have it's campaign (like the war campaign), so we'll keep growing them as time goes on
allied races - unlocks require reputation. what if you don't level through that expansion? we're still looking at that and trying to decide how that'll fit in
covenant supposed to be home. will it have AH, other conveniences? think order hall like in legion. somewhere you want to visit frequently, but Orobos is the central city (Dalaran), so you'll keep there for AH and stuff
Bastion - pretty, but colors very muted. thought process? going back and forth, still working on the lighting. when you enter the zone it's very glorious and serene. it's supposed to be heavenly.
any class/spec you think isn't working well and think needs a big change? not something we know about. something the class team is def focusing on
process to unlock the customization? or are they unlocked at the start? they're just there at character select or the barber shop
different human face shapes. what about other races? some HD models are still very same-facey? for some races it's the skin tone. humans have the most face geometry to pull off the ethnic representation. the image we saw is just the beginning. we're trying to see what each race can do for more fun options, for instance undead may not have their bones exposed, or dwarves can have crazy tattoos/hairstyles. trying to give players what they're asking for
customization options - prestige unlocks? think night warrior like in bfa? at max level, only the covenant stuff awards items/etc
mission table for the covenant like in previous expansions? we're exploring options in that space. it's been 3 expansions now that we've done something along those lines. still looking at what that'll look like
plans to update the guild ui management tools? short answer is yes for helping players find guilds/communities etc, always open to feedback
if you change covenants, do your rewards go away? eg transmog? dunno yet, still trying to decide
level squish just going to boost to 50? still trying to figure that out
after boosting there's no real good way about getting players to know their class after their boost? something like the legion class trials, maybe
mythic plus gets an option of ~6 now. how about bonus rolls? rolling the exact same as what you dropped sucks. we're still figuring out how to give players rewards and how it'll tie into the greater economy of itemization
bonus roll loot tradable? dunno yet
covenant mounts upgradeable? just aesthetic or functional (flight, vendors)? just aesthetic.
whenever you're working on a new expansion, you're working on new tools/etc. any cool toys for shadowlands? raytracing/self-shadowing is a new toy we're having fun with. also, dungeon/world artists have more tools to play with lighting/spot lights. in revendreath, there's stained glass and they have lights shining down through them and it works almost like reality where you run through the colored light? lots of cool set design with a castle that looks like one of the demo art pieces
variations of torghast? very unlikely you'll see the very sequence of hallways, creatures, boons, etc. almost nonexistent
each covenant has their special ability and they will progress and change. still trying to figure out how that works performance-wise but they want it to look as crazy as they can
in addition to the back slot are there other slots that add props to players? right now they're focusing mainly on the back attachment for now
mobile auction house? still continuing to develop the mobile companion. ah is not in the immediate future. just focusing on improving the experience and tying into bfa/shadowlands features
mount equipment designed to solve the water strider problem. new pieces? still tbd.
pet battle dungeon all through bfa. going forward? earlier? dunno, but muffinus definitely has some tricks up his sleeve
gold squish? no plan
platinum (next order of magnitude above gold)? also no plan
- So far, do you have any solid plans for potential post-launch content (e.g. new campaigns), or is it still a bit up in the air? -- DeludedTroll (talk • contribs) 18:28, 31 October 2019 (UTC)
Warcraft III interview
Here's a quick dump of my WC3R interview. --20:33, 1 November 2019 (UTC)
Matt Morris, 13 years of BlizzCons
- Coming out for sure in 2019, still taking beta feedback into account
- Redone the visuals, used to be 3DSMax, now Maya based
- Cinematics as close as it was to the originals, but it’ll be refreshing, updated, look of it, way it’s put together, going to be a really fantastic game
- PvP - new matchmaker, separate race MMRs, different MMRs for different teams, clan support, chat support, typical stuff from the old bnet
- Spoils of War comes with unique skins - for instance DK has the female variant, human mage is Jaina, etc
- Great for diehards who played before, RTS
- Nowadays, fewer RTS games available,
- Changes made to make RTS more accessible for new players
- Blizzard looks at MOBAS (like Heroes) as a RTS, just slightly different mechanics
- Talking for WoW lore fans to see the history of the game
Still cross compatible with old WC3? Yes, absolutely. Hard line in the sand to make sure cross-play works
Custom key mapping in the old version? Used to have to edit a text file. Trying to bring in a SC2 grid-style update to make changes more accessible
Potential post-launch? Just focusing on the original content for now. There’s certainly an active conversation, plenty of work to do on actually launching the game
Retconning stuff from WoW into WC3? We thought about it but the community said ‘don’t touch it’. So what we did is just tweak things, like how Dalaran doesn’t look like it does in WoW. Or when Arthas turns Sylvanas. It was just a side note in the original game but now it’s more prominent
Interesting as an original designer coming back to the game. WC3 was his first game, raised up through the Diablo QA, Starcarft QA, and WC3 was his first content to create content. Very different to come back to open up his work from way back then and looking at it his with the skills and knowledge he’s learned.
Lots of massaging to make sure the gameplay matches with what the art looks like
Lots of art to update, looking forward to see how fans look at night elf/undead after seeing humans and orcs.
Balancing? They’re easing into it. SCR was all ‘Don’t touch gameplay’, but WC3R community generally gave the blessing. A few stumbles, but players generally happy that love is being added.
Warcraft 4? He wants to get to Warcraft 30. It’d be a great story for his kids to tell at school. He’s a big fan of RTSes. WC3/SC2/SC2R. There’s a market there.