This week on For Azeroth, Manny and Joce talk about the Q&A from June 14, the new Battle for Azeroth comic, and the new WoW novel, Before the Storm. They then tackle all the whispers and hints we’ve had in the game to try to figure out what’s going on in the Warcraft story.
Yesterday, Ion Hazzikostas and Josh Allen (aka Lore) answered questions on the upcoming expansion. Holy fuck, someone needs to coach Ion on how to talk into a mic. Volume all over the place.
Patch 8.0 PTR
- The pre-expansion patch is going live on the PTR right now!
- Everything but Battle for Azeroth content or content specific systems will be in the pre-expansion patch, just like always.
- An exact release date will be announced closer to release.
- Blood Trolls aren’t an Allied Race, someone misspoke in an interview.
- We could see more Allied Races in the future, but they aren’t necessarily required for each expansion.
- The patch cycle in Battle for Azeroth will be similar to Legion. Alternating large and small patches.
- You will be able to unlock flying later in Battle for Azeroth.
- The achievement had a display bug on beta, you will only need to complete requirements on one faction.
- The team is wary of devaluing the effort that goes into earning Pathfinder if they were to remove it right away.
- Leveling through Draenor was designed to be done on the ground, so you don’t need flying to level there today.
- The window for any major spec changes is rapidly closing. An example of major changes is Fury Warrior or Balance Druid changes recently, major overhauls of a rotation or spells.
- A few more abilities are coming off the GCD in the next beta build.
- The team doesn’t want to make major changes that won’t have time for feedback this close to release.
- The focus needs to shift to basic balance and tuning changes for launch.
- Feel, pacing, complexity and other rotation feedback are ongoing, but soon the target will shift to changes being put in Patch 8.1.
- Enhancement Shaman, Elemental Shaman, Shadow Priest have been talked about recently.
- It’s frustrating, but any more major changes will probably have to wait for a patch.
- Balance and Tuning changes can still completely change your rotation, so major changes can happen as a result of balance and tuning.
- Changes will be mostly numerical from here to release.
- The BlizzCon build with class buffs was an experiment that the team has pulled back from a bit.
- The team wants to make sure there is a reason for all of the classes to feel special. Everyone getting some passive throughput buff isn’t a great solution, no one really feels special.
- The team looked at the overall utility package of classes and where it made sense to bolster that package by bringing back some of the old buffs.
- Druids have pretty great utility, between Battle Res, Innervate, control talents, and more, they already have enough utility. Adding Mark of the Wild on top of all of this seemed excessive.
- Balance and tuning are mostly focused on BfA content. The team doesn’t want old content to be significantly harder or things to be significantly broken.
- War Mode and the new Honor Talent system will be available as part of the pre-expansion patch.
- There will be some War Mode specific events as part of the pre-expansion patch.
- If you are on an RP server and turn on War Mode, you will see players from your server in the world. You can still see people from different realms if someone from your realm invites them to a group.
- Patch 8.0 changes realms to Normal and RP only, there is no more PvP and PvE server.
- There is a lot of value in preserving what remains of server and guild identity.
- The team wants to look at potentially unlocking Mythic cross-realm earlier in the raid release cycle.
- There are some new achievements in Battle for Azeroth, Hall of Fame
- The top 100 guilds of each faction in the world will get the Hall of Fame achievement.
- There will be a web leaderboard for the top 100 guilds.
- Once the top 100 Horde and Alliance guilds have earned a Hall of Fame achievement, Mythic will unlock cross-realm.
- Artifact Traits will go away with Patch 8.0, as the weapons are retired.
- You will keep the Artifact weapon and relics, which will still increase the item level.
- Artifact transmog will remain spec specific in Battle for Azeroth.
- It is intended that you aren’t able to swap gear while inside Mythic+ dungeons.
- People would love to change gear and talents during the middle of raid encounters, but you can’t do that. The same idea applies to Mythic+ dungeons. You will have to pick one set of gear and talents for the entire dungeon, as it is one encounter.
- The vast majority of most Mythic+ players aren’t swapping gear right now.
- The game will be balanced around not being able to swap gear. Mythic+ dungeons shouldn’t be any harder as a result of this, and if the dungeons are harder the team will do tuning to fix it.
- There isn’t a huge set of changes coming to Affixes compared to the ones in Legion.
- Tyrannical and Fortified are available from the start of Mythic+. You’ll either have tougher bosses or tougher trash. This gets rid of the big jump in difficulty from 9 to 10.
- There will be a seasonal Affix and for Season 1 it is Infested. Makes units more dangerous, resistant to CC. When the target is damaged, the parasite jumps out of the target and makes its way to another NPC, giving you a chance to kill it.
- The seasonal affix will be retired at the end of a season and a new one will be added.
- Mythic 10 will yield the best possible loot once everything is unlocked, Heroic Uldir items from runs, Mythic Uldir from the weekly chest. This model worked well in Legion, so no reason to change it.
- The power of Azerite effects is proportional to the item level of the item with the effect.
- The team wants a large item level jump to make it clear that the item is better for you and you should equip it without having to sim things.
- Once you get past blue quality loot from dungeons, all of the Azerite Armor sources are gated by something. Raids, chests, and PvP all have some kind of weekly gating. You won’t need to spam run Mythic+ forever to try and get specific Azerite armor.
- Mythic (non plus) dungeons will work like they did in Legion. The first 3 weeks only have Mythic dungeons, with a lower ceiling on the Warforged / Titanforged cap. Once Normal and Heroic raids open, the cap will be raised a bit, but not to Mythic Raid quality. After Mythic raids open, the cap will be raised to Mythic.
Heart of Azeroth
- The catch-up mechanism for Heart of Azeroth is similar to Legion, but reduces the cost instead of increasing the amount of Artifact Power you earn. You’ll see a 25 – 30% reduction in the cost that unlocking the next Heart of Azeroth level if you don’t play for a week. Legion Artifact Power numbers got far too large.
- The team wants to complement the random end of match rewards with more deterministic rewards.
- With gear mattering once again in PvP, the team wants to give people a reliable path to the gear they want.
- At the end of a match, you’ll have a chance to get an item. The quality of the reward is based on your PvP Tier.
- You’ll earn Conquest points, filling a bar on the UI, the reward is a raid quality piece of armor or weapon. Week 1 is a Raid Finder quality weapon.
- The gear cycle repeats again with higher quality loot.
- If you are behind, there is a catch-up system in place.
- If you invest time in PvP, you will get a full set of PvP gear over the season, regardless of your rating.
- When you fill up the Conquest bar for the week, you get a reward from a chest. One reward per week, proportional to your rating and ranking, based on your highest one.
- PvP seasons will be a little bit longer than Legion. Rewards systems should parallel each other, so it’s cleaner if PvP and PvE reward systems are moving in parallel.
- In Legion, the team tried to fit 2 seasons into the time of a raid tier, so the first season in each pair had gear that felt weak.
- The team wants to announce and end PvP seasons with more warning, without them being tied to a patch or content release. There will be a post-season where you can still earn the rewards like the end of match random loot, including during the pre-expansion Patch 8.0.
- VoD and summary of Q&A
BfA Comic #3: Three Sisters
The third and final comic was released in the series of leading up to BfA. This entry was much longer than the two previous entries.
Before the Storm hits the shelves
The latest novel by Christie Golden is out. Ahead of its release, two new passages were shared on the official World of Warcraft Site. Part 2 and Part 3 cover Magni Bronzebeard as he brings dire warnings to the Alliance and Horde. Polygon also published an excerpt of their own covering the barkeep of the Lion’s Pride Inn and the question King Anduin asks of him.
A Developer Watercooler Article was posted today talking about the current development of World of Warcraft Classic.
- Classic will be based on 1.12
- The game will be backwards engineered using the current systems and converting over the archived data to modern standards