BlizzCon 2015: WoW Q&A Live Blog
This is the live blog for the WoW Q&A at BlizzCon 2015. The live blog will take place at the following times:
- 5:30 p.m. EST
- 4:30 p.m. CST
- 3:30 p.m. MST
- 2:30 p.m. PST
- 10:30 p.m. London
- 11:30 p.m. Paris
- 9:30 a.m. Sydney
The live blog begins after the break!
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4:31 p.m. CST: We’re just getting started. Jesse Cox is on stage to moderate.
4:32 p.m. CST: You’ve seen the panels, you’ve seen what the devs had to say, and that was clearly not enough. We’ve tried to make it more fair to those who couldn’t get to the front of the line, taking questions online and letting you drop them off in the Darkmoon Faire.
4:33 p.m. CST: Devs on stage! The first question is from the red shirt guy.
- Q: My question is about Alleria and Turalyon. They’re returning in Legion; will they be part of Horde and alliance being at each others’ throats?
- A: No, but when we finally discover the two of them the way you view WoW will change.
4:34 p.m. CST: Our first online question!
- Q: Is there any hope for subraces, like Dark Iron Dwarves?
- A: Chris Robinson: I feel it’s important to sell the fantasy of the races in the game. If we’ve successfully done that it’s about supporting that and adding more customization and variety. We really love the idea. We’re going to continue to work on it and make it happen.
4:35 p.m. CST:
- Q: Warcraft has always been about community. Can we have affiliated guilds with combined calendars and scheduling?
- A: There are more and more groups that transcend server boundaries, and we want to work towards delivering on this and helping groups of friends with shared interests regardless of server or battlegroup.
4:36 p.m. CST:
- Will the achievement to unlock flying in Legion be completeable at launch?
- A: It will be in at launch but not completeable at launch. But you will be able to make progress on it.
4:37 p.m. CST:
- Q: What do you plan to do with Bolivar? Is he going to be in Legion?
- A: That’s a great question. This expansion there’s going to be a little cameo. We’ll see Bolivar somewhere, probably the frozen throne. More in the future. We’ve been talking about it.
- Q: Will there be more cosmetic class quests like green fire?
- A: Yes/no/maybe! We have a wider variety of class quests with class halls and artifacts. We’re definitely interested in class content and it’s something we’re focusing on this expansion, but whether it will be like green fire we’ll have to see.
4:38 p.m. CST:
- Q: I’m the addon author for GTFO. [cheers] I was wondering if the shared tap system introduced on Timeless Isle would be added elsewhere.
- A: Considering redoing how “tapping” a mob works in the game. Don’t want people to feel like seeing another person in a quest area means you grumble and maybe skip the quest. For major targets like quest mobs, etc, open tapping. We have exciting plans here. [Which they don’t seem to be willing to talk about exactly.]
4:40 p.m. CST:
- Q: Are you planning on releasing an expansion a year?
- A: We have built the team and we’re trying to get more done so we can get more content and entertain you more effectively than we have before, but the focus is on quality.
- Q: Is Sageras’ tomb where his remains are or is it a monument?
- A: It’s a monument.
4:41 p.m. CST:
- Q: Is there a plan to improve guilds, like guild housing or guild quests?
- A: We call raid bosses guild quests. Guilds are very important to our hearts. Something we’d like to be able to do is give people the ability to be in multiple guilds at one point — so guilds of friends, guilds of raiders, guilds of PVPers. All the functionality may not be the same.
4:42 p.m. CST:
- Q: Will there be a new PVP battleground in Legion?
- No. We’re really putting our focus on the new honor system. Imagine all the current battlegrounds with a bunch of demon hunters… they’re like totally new battlegrounds!
4:43 p.m. CST:
- Q: Will existing zones change with the invasion of the Burning Legion?
- A: No plans, though we do have invasions that will impact zones around the world.
- Q: What is protecting Dalaran from being invaded or destroyed on the Broken Isles?
- A: The Dalaran on the Broken Isles has been upgraded. As you see the secrets of Dalaran you’ll see what’s protecting it, and it’s big.
4:44 p.m. CST:
- Q: Do you have plans to resolve Cataclysm stories? We’ve had FIVE YEARS to address the damage.
- A: I can’t give you an exact time or date but we want to. We’ll get around to it.
- Q: Won’t people running Legion challenge modes only take players with optimal affixes?
- A: Every keystone each week will have the same challenge, think of it like a Hearthstone Tavern Brawl.
4:46 p.m. CST:
- Q: When will inventory be updated?
- A: The new transmog system should help. We want to get items out of your bank that you aren’t using, and that should clear it out.
- Q: Is Titan’s Grip for Fury Warriors dead?
- A: No, the artifact is just too small.
4:47 p.m. CST:
- Q: Can we get a clear answer about the Legion transcending all reality?
- A: I’ll tell you what… we have this expansion coming out called Legion that’s going to answer those questions. Is Archimonde the same one we killed in Warcraft? Yes/maybe. We’ll get a clear answer. We could have made it simpler by renaming him… like Archimad.
4:48 p.m. CST:
- Q: Can we have more character slots per server?
- A: We’re going to give you one more slot in Legion for your Demon Hunter.
- Q: Will Legion have new scenarios?
- A: Scenarios as they existed in Mists, something you queue for through the UI, no. But we’ve taken what we’ve learned from scenarios and integrated that into design. They’re more seamlessly part of the world rather than something you push a UI button to access.
4:49 p.m. CST:
- Q: What do I do if I want early access and a physical box pre-order?
- A: Order the physical box and contact customer service to get the digital extras.
- Q: What about artifacts for multiple specs?
- A: We don’t want the stumbling block for playing multiple specs to be the need to grind out new artifacts. We have a lot of catch-up mechanisms planned to get second and third spec artifacts up to your main artifact’s level.
4:51 p.m. CST:
- Q: Can we please have three specs?
- A: No. Just kidding. Sure. We’ll do that. As a matter of fact if you’re a Druid we’ll let you have for. As a matter of fact we’re letting you tri-spec and quad-spec in Legion. We’re actually going to smooth out the UI, too.
4:52 p.m. CST:
- Q: Why are you removing multistrike but not versatility? [Big cheers from the audience]
- A: Multistrike is kind of just a different form of crit. A lot of classes don’t have a fantasy for what multistrike is. Didn’t see the advantage of having crit and multistrike. Versatility didn’t have that problem and it had a defensive component which made it more attractive to more people. Each stat should have a special identity or purpose.
4:54 p.m. CST:
- Q: Will you introduce more catch-up mechanisms for alts, like speeding up rep grinds?
- A: Sure. Philosophically we avoid strict account-wide things because you play an alt to experience that character. But more people want to actively maintain and play alts.
4:56 p.m. CST:
- Q: Will we see anything like the AQ gates in legion?
- A: God I hope not. No. There are things kind of like it. There will be invasions and it will take participation on a server-wide level. But moving forward… we talk about it all the time. We think fondly of it, but we have to find the right time for it.
4:57 p.m. CST:
- Q: Will Karazhan be relevant in Legion?
- A: Yes. As we look to the secrets we’re going to need to persevere against the Legion, a lot of them will be in Karazhan. [Heavily hinted that Karazhan will be a 5-player dungeon in patch 7.1 or shortly thereafter.]
- Q: What’s under Tirisfal glades?
- A: We’ll find out.
- Q: Where is Wrathion in Legion?
- A: He’s definitely there. He may have something in the zone of Highmountain, where there’s Neltharion’s Lair. Just don’t expect him to look the way he looked before.
4:58 p.m. CST:
- Q: Will there be any new interesting raid mechanisms like the Kara chess event?
- A: No, we have no more interesting raid mechanisms.
- Q: Will we have something like the Battle for Undercity again?
- A: I hope not. It’s something that I consider just a really long, involved scenario… it just existed when we didn’t have scenario tech. We will see things like it, yes, absolutely, as long as people want to continue making stuff like that and punishing themselves.
5:00 p.m. CST:
- Q: Is there any way to make old world materials relevant for professions?
- A: Maybe. It’s hard to do. Don’t want you to be able to min/max right away… and we have a lot of cool new materials in Legion.
5:01 p.m. CST:
- Q: Will we get more lore on Forsaken, Worgen, Tauren, or Gnomes in the game?
- A: Always, yeah. There’s stuff coming out. We’ve got a lot of Tauren-esque things in Highmountain. There’s going to be some Forsaken lore coming up. Gnomes, I love Gnomes, I do, so we’ll probably not do anything for Gnomes… I’m kidding! We’ll do something for Gnomes. There’s exciting new things on the Gnome technology front that I’m making up on the spot that we’re going to see in Legion.
5:02 p.m. CST:
- Q: Will old gods feature in Legion?
- A: Yes. They totally will. That’s probably what’s under Tirisfal.
- Q: Will there be more than one raid per tier?
- A: I think there’s an argument to be made that the huge raid dungeons are too huge, might be better served by a 6 or 7 boss raid with varied environments that still fit together as part of a tier.
5:03 p.m. CST:
- Q: Do you plan to make smaller raids for people who don’t have time for a 13 or 14 boss raid?
- A: The choice built into these dungeons as well as the shortcuts you can unlock are made for guilds who don’t have the time and only raid a couple of nights a week, we’re very mindful of this.
- Q: Will you be bringing back reforging?
- A: No. We think we have quite a bit of customization with secondary stats. Maybe only reforging to versatility.
5:05 p.m. CST:
- Q: What will happen to our artifacts after Legion?
- A: Exact details TBD. When we constrain something to a single expansion it gives us a lot more flexibility, like garrisons which you’ll be leaving behind on Draenor. But with artifacts we’re not committing to you never getting a new weapon ever again. Artifacts are intrinsically tied to Legion but it’s not something you’ll wield forever.
5:06 p.m. CST:
- Q: Are you going to add a bad luck protection mechanic for things that never drop?
- A: We have some things in our current content. We take a look at older content occasionally, but part of the coolness of those things is how rare they are and how hard they are to get. We leave a lot of those alone. It’s different between things that increase your power and cosmetic things like mounts.
5:07 p.m. CST:
- Q: Where’s the dance studio?
- A: It’s still a feature we’d love to do some day, but we’ll have to find the animation time.
- Q: Do you plan to release any classic realms?
- A: No. There’s a lot of emotional desire but it hasn’t done well in other MMOs. It’s problematic because of going back to old code, fixing old bugs, etc.
5:09 p.m. CST:
- Q: Will artifacts lock players into particular weapon types even if they don’t like that weapon type?
- A: Yes. We wanted really defined weapons with backstories and identities, which meant committing to specific weapons. We focused on making the weapons as cool as we could make them. But if you don’t like them you can transmog your artifact to make it look like something else.
5:10 p.m. CST:
- Q: How will racial variations of classes be represented in the class hall?
- A: It varies case by case. The fantasy we’re going for is that the Alliance and Horde have been brought together by your class leader to confront the common enemy.
- Q: Are we ever getting Alliance character development that doesn’t result in a character dying or getting lost?
- A: No. If you think about it, everything eventually results in dying. Sorry, Alliance. But don’t worry, any time something dies we find a way to bring it back.
5:11 p.m. CST:
- Q: Can you chat with the opposing faction in your class hall?
- A: No, the language barrier still exists. There is one exception, which is that Demon Hunters can speak demonic to each other.
5:12 p.m. CST:
- Q: Premade groups, are you looking to make these easier to plan with strangers like Open Raid?
- A: Yes, we’re happy with how the premade group finder has made this easier. We want to continue to expand on this and make it easier. It’s an area we want to explore and do more in.
- Q: In Legion will we see any alternate universe heroes?
- A: No. Not on the outset. We’ll see. TBD.
- Q: Will we see more Gilneas?
- A: Absolutely. Genn Greymane plays a big part in this expansion and we’ll run into Gilnaeans that fled separately from those fleeing the curse.
5:13 p.m. CST:
- Q: New PVP system without PVP gear.. what will we be getting?
- A: Strongboxes based on arena rating or battleground rating. Pretty much everything we’ve talked about for items you can expect to see.
- Q: Will we see the final boss in the early experience?
- A: Yes, definitely. Preview. It’s a huge part of the story. We are doing that.
5:14 p.m. CST:
- Q: Do you plan to make Mythic or raid finder flex size?
- A: Technically it is flex size. If a few players drop it scales down so you don’t have to wait to backfill. If anything we’d scale up. We did reduce the number of healers required to start raid finder groups. Mythic, that’s a whole separate section. Problems with guilds having trouble to fill to 15. While we’ve gotten better at tuning there’s a lot of inconsistencies and we had to make a lot of hotfixes in HFC to tune. We don’t want to create an experience where Mythics will adjust to the “best” size for each encounter and leave people out. The fixed size lets us make assumptions like you’ll have one of each class for the most part. Ultimately keeping guilds together is hard at any size. Leading a guild that was a 40 player guild, when we went to 25-player raids was a sigh of relief… but fast forward and your roster shrinks but you’ll find yourself with 22 or 23 players. The problem’s still the same — lowering the number doesn’t help.
Mitch edit: They want it to be easier to find new people, rather than just lowering the number required.
5:18 p.m. CST:
- Q: Will we see classes getting new roles, like Warlock tank?
- A: No. Right now we’re focused on Legion and the fantasy of each character class and maximizing that instead of diverting a class from the fantasy of that class.
- Q: How will we find groups for the new keystone challenge dungeons?
- A: Won’t be part of the LFG matchmaking system because they are part of a shared challenge and one player will be putting their keystone on the line. A keystone will be a great commodity. People will want to group with you and get a shot at the rewards that will bring. We don’t think it will be difficult to find people.
5:20 p.m. CST:
- Q: Can you address split raiding in Legion?
- A: Yes, but I don’t have a satisfying answer. I really hate split raiding. No one likes the pressure of split raiding at the high end. I don’t know that there’s a good way to stop it. I’d love to hear further suggestions about.
5:21 p.m. CST:
- Q: Will the Nefarian encounter in Blackwing Lair get a new class call for Demon Hunters?
- A: Yes. We added one for Monks.
- Q: What’s the one thing you think people may not notice but you really like in Legion? [Directed at each person on stage.]
- Hunting down new legendary items. It will be fun for players to identify the ones they’re most interested in and run the content they want to run to get them.
- We have a lot of awesome new UI improvements, selection circles, name plates, cast bars. A lot of things that will make it a better experience all around.
- We made some cool improvements with effects and animations, particularly for melee characters. Sword trails.
- Scaling levels will be awesome. You can group with more people, the alt gameplay is really different each time.
- One thing that’s missing is class accessories, which we promised earlier to help sell the class fantasy. When we started working on Legion we felt artifacts overrode this. We still want to work on that, though. We worked on artifacts, learned lessons.
- We have some new tech for storytelling, talking head stuff. We really want you to pay attention to that when it pops up. Legion has the most voiceover of any expansion we’ve done. Practically every world group out there has lines. You’re getting a lot more of that kind of interaction.
- The goal of the team to get back into dungeons and 5-player dungeons.
5:27 p.m. CST:
- Q: What’s your favorite class/spec artifact? [Again, directed at each on stage.]
- In terms of pure aesthetic, the axes for the blood death knight. In terms of functionality, Ashbringer which is one of the ones we fully fleshed out.
- The fire mage runeblade. It’s a challenge to make an impressive caster sword that looks like an intensely magical conduit of power.
- Holy priest because that’s what I play and that’s primarily the artifact I paid attention to.
- I can’t wait to play a Demon Hunter live, it’s so fun to play. In spite of that, though, my favorite artifact has to be Ashbringer.
- I want to plead the 5th on this one and there’s all these artists who worked on all of these weapons… but if I have to go there I’d say the Blades of the Fallen Prince.
- Blades of the Fallen Prince — it’s an artifact you’re making out of the remnants of Frostmorne. It’s pretty cool.
- You guys are all wrong. The right answer is Eagle Spear because melee Hunter is awesome.
5:29 p.m. CST:
- Q: Is Jaina a dreadlord?
- A: Is that a real question?
- Q: It’s right on this card right here.
- A: No, she’s not a dreadlord.
Afrasiabi: I want to apologize to the Gnome lovers out there because I know right now on Twitter they’re asking for my heart and I need my heart
That’s all for the WoW Q&A panel! Thanks for tuning in!
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