This week Manny and Joce talk about changes to 8.3, more interviews with the dev team, and then take your emails. All this and more on this week’s For Azeroth!

8.3 Changes

Ion Hazzikostas Interview

WowChakra interviewed Ion Hazzikostas for one of the meatiest interviews yet. 

  • Torghast
    • Not much development has been done for the meta progression of Torghast yet. Having a build come together in the middle with a power spike is good; but that should not spiral out of control.
    • They want to condense runs where your build comes together, you feel powerful but the runs don’t last hours.
    • There will be a full suite of achievements for Torghast.
    • Achievements are generally one of the last things to develop as they want to understand the system
    • Torghast is being built with events in mind but not introduced at launch.
  • Legendaries
    • Planned to be unlocked quickly in Torghast.
    • You will find the Runesmith who originally crafted Frostmourne and the Helm of Domination in an extra room that you can enter in the lobby of Torghast.
    • Scraps found in Torghast can turn into the Runesmith for a Legendary effect.
    • The system around legendaries will last the entire expansion.
  • Covenants
    • Covenants Ability choice is a design challenge, essential for the RPG aspect of the game. Ion says choices with consequences and choices that shape the strengths and weaknesses of your characters will be tied to this system and balanced by Soulbinds, Conduits and the whole package.
    • They understand the community in the current World of Warcraft climate and don’t want players to feel like they’re letting their guildmates or group down.
  • Leveling
    • Class Trainers are the end of the new player experience as where it teaches you about choosing a spec.
    • Players start without a spec in Shadowlands reinforcing the focus on class identity rather than spec identity.
    • No plans to make yet, but they would love to find a way to make Class Trainers relevant again.
  • Lore
    • Time passing in the Shadowlands is like a dream where the flow of time is not at a set rate and chaotic.
    • There are big unresolved story elements from BfA. Part of it continues with Tyrande in Ardenweald and we may come across many who fell in BfA throughout Shadowlands.
    • The larger plight of the Night Elves and Forsaken isn’t a great fit for the Shadowlands but they know that it’s unresolved and it will be addressed in the future and they are already thinking of ideas.
    • They want to be careful with the legacy of Arthas and you’ll be learning about the power that shaped the Lich King but they want to be respectful.
    • Bolvar will serve as a bridge between Azeroth and Shadowlands, providing valuable insights as we quest.
  • Odds and Ends
    • Heritage Armor will continue in X.5 patches.
    • Adventure System is the New Mission Table
      • Should be on alpha next month.
      • They want to have a system that represents the fantasy of WoW’s combat.
      • They want to evolve the mission table system to add more depth.
      • No plans to drastically raise minimum requirements for Ray Tracing. 
    • The pre-expansion event is being developed but that can only go live when Shadowlands is complete.
  • Legendaries and Professions
    • Current plan allows only special items to be turned into Legendaries.
    • Professions craft certain items with latent power that can be turned into Legendaries.
    • This should give the item-crafting professions sustained importance throughout the entire expansion.
    • It’s likely that there will be some catch up eventually with Legendaries and Alts.
    • The initial focus is making the Legendary that you want.
    • They want to push the Shadowlands systems to previous profession levels but it’s not a top priority.
    • You can craft without the optional components but get improvements with components from other professions.
  • Gearing
    • Set bonuses are the piece that they’re still trying to figure out.
    • Bonuses were the reason pulled back from class sets. Raiding is no longer the sole end game system. There’s more loot in the game and they don’t want players to feel locked into a set of 4 armor pieces.
    • They’re currently focused on covenant armor when Shadowlands launches.
    • There are no plans for PvP stats
    • Filling your conquest bar will give you a token which can be redeemed for several options.
    • The team currently plans to have Covenant transmog restricted to members of that Covenant.
  • War Mode
    • Battle for Nazjatar had a lot of factional imbalance but factional assaults created a lot of natural World PvP.
    • There will probably be some FFA areas similar to Legion.
    • They’re also thinking about potentially some Covenant vs Covenant action. Covenants are not naturally enemies but there’s probably some spaces where there can be some challenges between the factions.
  • Reputation Buff on Live
    • The experience buff was open ended and you can never have too many alts.
    • The reputation buff has allowed players to unlock allied races or new rewards and will not be extended (but then was extended)
    • There’s another buff coming out after the reputation buff that will help players with alts catch up.
    • “How do I get the corruption I want” and Legendary Cloak getting caught up was mentioned.
  • CGI Cinematics
    • They will use a variety of cinematic devices when it makes sense for the story to tell.
    • They will continue to see all of those types of videos to support the Shadowlands story.
    • Oribos and Covenant Sanctum Features
    • Oribos should be on the alpha within the next week.
    • Oribos and the Covenant Sanctums have a lot of parallels to the way Dalaran and the Class Halls worked.
    • Traveling Between Shadowlands

Small World of Warcraft

Days of Wonder Board Games has teamed up with Blizzard Entertainment to create Small World of Warcraft.

  • Promotional Blurb:
    A new day dawns on Azeroth. A day like every one before it, and every one after. A day of merciless struggle for the control of the World of Warcraft. Not only is this Small World territory far too tight for everyone, it also hosts the never-ending conflict between the factions of the Alliance and the Horde. Dawn has broken and the time has come to take your place on the front lines.
  • Game description:
    Small World of Warcraft is a stand-alone board game set in Blizzard’s glorious video game universe, Azeroth. 2-5 players vie for control of several islands in this hostile world and their only hope will be to pick the right combination of races and special powers. After staking your claim to a piece of land, defeat your neighbors and expand your territory. If you can occupy legendary places and control powerful magical artifacts, you’ll reach new levels of domination. However, empires must eventually fall, so be ready to put your over-extended race into decline and lead a new one to glory so you can eventually rule Azeroth.

Interview with Morgan Day

Team 2 continues its series of remote interviews with content creators. This time Preach Gaming interviewed Lead Encounter Designer Morgan Day.

  • The main goal with Torghast was to create a game mode that we haven’t seen in WoW before.
  • Potentially could add an infinite play mode similar to the Mage Tower, rewarding cosmetics. This would be separate from the main Torghast.
  • The team learned lessons from Horrific Visions that will be applied to Torghast.
  • How much you can play Torghast depends on how much you are playing the game.
  • Torghast is focused on class fantasy, rather than spec fantasy. Some specs won’t value a power as much as others.
  • Anima powers in Torghast is a way to test potential legendary effects.
  • Torghast is planned to be an end game activity at launch.
  • You should have your first legendary going into the first raid
  • Max level dungeons will usually be longer than the dungeons you play through while leveling.
  • Having all of the Seasonal Affixes ready isn’t needed to turn on Mythic+ if all of the other end game content has been enabled.
  • Battle for Azeroth waited to turn on Mythic+ but the team probably won’t wait as long this time.
  • Denathrius in Castle Nathria will be a fight that takes place on multiple floors, probably falling between them and taking advantage of the environment.
  • Soulbinds, Conduits, Legendary Powers, and more are still all being worked on. The team wants to get these into players’ hands as soon as they can.
  • Conduits are a great tuning knob to provide unique bonuses. Can create conduits to offset weaknesses.
  • Some abilities such as Ashen Hallow still need tuning.
  • The team is trying to get content out regularly so that players have plenty of reasons to keep coming back to the Alpha and testing things.
  • As an encounter designer, it’s their job to create interesting puzzles that the player can use their toolkit to solve.
  • Covenant abilities should work for the whole class and not just a specific spec. Some of the abilities will do damage and healing so that any spec can use it.
  • The GCD is a problem, but the solution is not to remove all of the abilities from the GCD.
  • Full Interview

Community Resources/Add-ons


  • Places all your bags into a single window
  • Can also view the inventory of all your alts without switching characters
  • View bank inventory remotely
  • Mouse-over to show total gold and break down of amounts on each character.
  • Access add-ons from cycle through menu