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WoWApr 27, 2017 12:52 pm CT

Patch 7.2 Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas liveblog

In just a few short minutes, another Legion Q&A will be kicking off on Twitch. Game Director Ion Hazzikostas will be answering previously-submitted questions on all things Patch 7.2. We aren’t expecting any major information about future content, but anything is possible. If you want to watch the stream with a more relaxed chat experience, we’re also hosting the stream on our Twitch channel.

In this liveblog, you will need to refresh the page to see the latest updates. Please be aware, depending on the pace of the Q&A, the liveblog will not include verbatim quotes unless otherwise noted. While we will strive for accuracy in the information presented, nothing should be cited as a direct quote from the developers.

And we’ve begun!

Q: What was the reason behind making item level a huge part of the Artifact Challenges instead of using scaling like in Timewalking?

A: Generally speaking, your power level in WoW should matter. There are a few exceptions like Proving Grounds and things like Timewalking where they need to normalize things to make them possible, but your progression should matter. Your gear should matter. Eventually, you’ll outgear these things and blow them away, and that’s fine. That’s how MMO progression works.

Q: How satisfied were you with the rollout of Broken Isles Pathfinder in 7.2? Do you plan to make any modifications in future expansions?

A: Pretty satisfied. After Warlords, this was their announced plan and they followed through. If anything, they would’ve added additional requirements to part 2, but minor ones: kill X number of rares, interact with Y things. Simple tasks, but something to give more weight to completing the achievement. It was a bit hollow after they removed the Legion Assault requirement.

Q: Will invasions continue through the rest of the expansion or are they only intended for 7.2 and 7.2.5?

A: They haven’t explicitly considered it. They have no current plan to turn off assaults. Even if the Legion is defeated canonically, there’s no good reason to turn off their outdoor content. It’s content for players to complete, turning it off wouldn’t accomplish anything.

Q: Any plan to increase the frequency of Legion Assaults?

A: No. They don’t want/intend for Assaults to be active too long because while an Assault is active, it disables all of the other content in core Legion zones. The Assault requirement for Pathfinder was a problem and they recognized that, but they think it’s okay if there isn’t an Assault up during your play period every single day. Because of how the timers work, there should be one active roughly 1/3 of your playtime.

Q: Will the building uptime be changed at all? I see the uptime going way down as people do less Broken Shore world quests now that they’ve obtained flying.

A: The devs haven’t actually seen a significant decline (or any decline) to building uptime/resource turn-ins. When that does happen, they’ll address it.

Q: What was the original plan when deciding to time gate 7.2 and how has it worked out?

A: Mixed feelings. “Why do we time gate anything?” is how he frames the question. Part of it is storytelling. When trying to create a global narrative of the world’s forces building toward something, they should have the opportunity to build toward it in the narrative. That said, Tomb of Sargeras hasn’t opened yet because it would be too soon. It’s gameplay. Players are still progressing in the previous raid. And since it’s still closed for gameplay reasons, they can use the narrative to build toward it, releasing bits and pieces at a time.

They know when “kill 10 elites” is filler. It’s pacing, it’s just something to do until the next narrative point. Early on, they staggered Broken Shore progression with filler quests in between quests which unlocked new activities. However, testing showed the Broken Shore was empty and boring if they didn’t give you access to everything to do relatively quickly. That meant, after restructuring the Broken Shore intro, the good stuff was front-loaded and the back half ended up being the filler.

Q: There’s a claim patch 7.2 is the biggest patch WoW has seen yet. What’s the basis of that?

A: It’s an objective measurement. In terms of the number of quests, amount of text, number of activities, new mobs, voice lines, and all of that, it is larger than any prior patch. But not every player will see all of that content. Not everyone will do the Brawler’s Guild. Not everyone has every class to see all of the Order Hall content. This is something they’re taking feedback on: finding out what players really want to see, what they expect on an individual level from a content patch, etc. Some players feel overwhelmed with too much content on the first day of the patch and hate that feeling. Some players feel, if they aren’t overwhelmed on patch day, there isn’t enough new content. Ion concedes they probably just shouldn’t have called it the biggest patch ever. It wasn’t necessary.

Q: Any plans to do more raid testing on Tomb of Sargeras before release? Particularly Kil’jaden/bosses where the PTR was unstable.

A: Yes. They’ll be testing LFR first, and over the next few weeks, will have a testing schedule for things like Mythics. They’ll also be testing things like set bonuses while this is happening.

Q: Will the exalted requirement for class mounts be account-wide or will each individual alt need exalted?

A: No, exalted status will not be shared account-wide. However, the exalted requirement will be removed. You only need to finish the Legionfall/class campaign.

Q: When does the Tomb of Sargeras raid release?

A: Mid to late June. They don’t have an exact date. They’ll likely post the full unlock schedule sometime in May.

Q: Do you think you missed the mark by setting up mixed expectations with 7.2 and 7.2.5? 7.2 should’ve been a systems patch and 7.2.5 should be Tomb of Sargeras with a cinematic.

A: Ion doesn’t think they missed the mark, no. 7.2 isn’t a systems patch. There’s a lot of content in it even if the raid isn’t open yet.

Q: How will Mythic+ work once Tomb of Sargeras releases? Will loot simply improve 15 ilevels?

A: During the first week, nothing changes. When Mythic Tomb opens, the item level cap would go up, the keystone will increase, etc, just like it worked with previous raids.

Q: Are you aware of the lag/latency problems with CRZ and are they on your radar to fix?

A: Very much on the radar. “Acutely aware.” They introduced what they call “sharding tech” in Legion to load-balance servers. It’s what allowed Legion to launch smoothly vs. servers crashing left and right like in previous expansion launches. However, there are some addons that cause behaviors that don’t play well with the tech. They want to avoid situations where you’re bounced back and forth between servers, so they limit how often they system automatically changes which server you’re on. However, there are addons that automate joining/leaving groups, bouncing characters between servers so often it’s impacting players’ performance.

Q: It was recently discussed that we would hear about heirloom upgrades to 110 not long after 7.2. Are they still played for 7.2.5?

A: Yes, planned for 7.2.5. The work hasn’t been seen on the PTR yet, but it will be there soon.

Q: With a good number of the more active players obtaining all legendaries for their main spec, are there plans to address how to obtain legendaries for off-specs without changing loot specs?

A: It’s a serious minority who have all of their legendaries. That said, they’re implementing a system where, if you have all of your main spec legendaries, you’ll randomly get off-spec legendaries instead. If you want to target a specific off-spec, however, you’ll need to change your loot spec.

Q: Can we please, in the future during Legion, get a 12-part class Q&A?

A: They avoid answering class questions in this particular format because any question about a specific class or spec is irrelevant to everyone else. They could potentially do things like reddit AMAs which they feel is a better format for that kind of content. They want to answer those questions, but a live Q&A isn’t the format for it.

Q: Currently specs feel like new classes. Where is the class identity when baseline abilities change on spec?

A: Good question, valid criticism. While streamlining classes, they often placed spec identity over class identity which wasn’t necessarily the best. “A fire mage should never cast a frost spell” doesn’t make much sense, there should be some shared identity across specs. There are some cases where those substantial differences make sense, though, such as Holy and Shadow Priests.

Q: Is Tomb of Sargeras the last raid of Legion?

A: No. They’re actively working on another raid. 7.3 takes us to Argus and there will be a raid there.

Q: Will we be allowed to redo the Mage Tower challenges once we have finished them? Some of them are quite entertaining.

A: They’d like to make that happen. It wasn’t originally designed to be repeatable, but they think it would be fun if they make it possible.

Q: Mythic+ Dungeons added with 7.2 are considerably harder than old dungeons. Any balance changes planned?

A: They’ve made a lot already, but they’re keeping an eye on stats. So far, those dungeons seem to be in a good space. In many cases, players have had months of practice in the old dungeons, but the new dungeons are… new. Lower success rates can also be caused by players simply not having as much experience in the dungeon.

Q: Are you happy with the performance of new sets of affixes, especially Grievous which seems to be really hard for some healers?

A: Really happy. The stats show the difficulty of the new affixes is on par with the others. All the affixes ask players to play a little differently. The new ones are no different and players are getting more experience with those.

Q: Is the team happy with the difficulty level in mythic Nighthold after 3 months of release as 1st tier raid release?

A: It’s the first raid tier with a tier set, but it wasn’t the first raid of the expansion. They’re seeing smooth progression in mythic Nighthold. Gul’dan and Elisande might receive some targeted nerfs, but they’re overall happy.

Q: Legion Assaults don’t reward Army of Legionfall rep. Don’t run them for that reason. Any plan to change that?

A: No plan to change it. If you don’t do something because you don’t like its specific reward, that’s okay. Legion Assaults are a great way to get things Nethershards and Artifact Power. If you want those, do a Legion Assault. If you don’t want those, do the activity that provides rewards you want.

Q: Are there any plans to have a use for excess Order Resources?

A: Nothing currently planned, but that could change. They always viewed weekly Bonus Rolls as the resource expense. If you go through all three bonus rolls per week, that’s 7,000 resources. They might add a sink later, but they don’t want to inspire regret in players who’ve been using their resources for their intended purpose thus far.

Q: Will Legendary ilevels be increased to match Tomb of Sargeras item level?

A: Yes. iLevels will increase with Tomb and a new Distilled Titan Essence will be able to upgrade your current legendaries.

Q: Is the Black Temple Timewalking raid tied to the Burning Crusade Timewalking week event, or something that is constantly available?

A: It’s tied to Burning Crusade Timewalking. Ion also poses the question: Which raid from each expansion would you like in its respective timewalking? Which Wrath raid? Etc.

Q: The paragon emissary chests have underwhelming rewards compared to normal emissary chests. Any plan to update them?

A: Fair feedback. The chests do have unique rewards like mounts, but you don’t see those most of the time. They’ll discuss it.

Q: As an Affliction warlock for the new Artifact challenge, was it intended to be a DPS race with a reduced during on Doomguard Cripple?

A: There’s a ruleset they can apply to some creatures that use the PVP rules for CC. You normally wouldn’t be able to use things like Fear on a boss at all. The PVP ruleset allows you to use your CC abilities on a boss, but with reduced effectiveness so you can’t do things like fear a boss forever. They were going to look at a solution for things like Cripple, but videos started coming out showing successful strategies for the boss, showing it was possible.

Certainly, all of the DPS challenges have a DPS component to them, because you’re DPS doing a DPS challenge.

Q: Will there be an update to the Horde-side story? What’s going on with the faction leaders? What’s going on with Vol’jin?

A: “Vol’jin is still dead.” They definitely want to revisit the Horde side of these things. The Broken Shore addressing Varian and Anduin felt right, given that was where Varian died. They want to be able to address each faction when things feel correct rather than trying to aim for perfect symmetry in every patch.

Q: Will we ever be able to use Weapon Illusions on our Artifacts?

A: No. This was an artistic decision made when creating Artifacts. The artists wanted the freedom to use particle effects and do unconventional things with design that made them incompatible with enchant effects. That’s not likely to change.

And that’s it for this Q&A! Thank you for following along, everyone.

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