PAX East 2018: Blizzard offers more details on World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth encounters and raids

So if we’ll no longer have tier sets in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, what motivation will you have for continuing to raid on the high end? For that matter, what motive will you have to continue running island adventures? Two more interviews from the show floor at PAX East 2018 with lead encounter designer Morgan Day cover exactly that. To answer both questions, Mythic raiding still has the best item level rewards in the game, and that’s not changing; meanwhile, long-term island rewards are still being discussed, but are very important to the team.

Players invested in the story can take heart that there’s going to be plenty to digest in Uldir, which is all about Titan research into removing Old Gods without killing the host (Azeroth, in our case). The War Campaign will also be akin to the Class Order Campaign, bringing players into enemy territory. There’s also plans to allow respeccing of Azerite armor, although frequency has yet to be determined. All good stuff to learn about as the release swiftly approaches in August.

Source: Wowhead (1, 2)
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28 Comments on "PAX East 2018: Blizzard offers more details on World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth encounters and raids"

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Dug From The Earth

Better gear is better gear, even if it lacks the set bonus of tiered sets. Motivation to get something better than what you currently have want change.

Bannex
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Bannex

Wish they’d walk away from raiding being the primary form of endgame content. But I’m I’m the minority.

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Sorenthaz

Raiding isn’t the primary form anymore, it’s just a form of endgame content. You can feasibly get to iLvl 910+ through just doing World Quests particularly on Argus, and you get currency towards getting a guaranteed legendary now (I’ve only been playing a little over a week and I can almost afford my first legendary bought with the tokens you can get; that’s even with me not diligently running Heroics). Not to mention you can -craft- a legendary if you’re a Blacksmith, Tailor, or Leatherworker.

Most of the older content has actually become pretty easy and low stress. Doing daily Heroics typically only takes 20 minutes. LFR takes maybe 30 per wing, and you can get a mount from one of the bosses even in LFR + you can get class tier gear that gives the same bonuses but with somewhat lower iLvL.

At the end of the day the only reason to get higher than like ~915? Is to do Normal/Heroic/Mythic raiding. Normal and even Heroic have PUGs and are nothing like raiding from the olden days of WoW where it takes 8 hours. The raiding guild I casually hang out in did/does progression raids like Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday for maybe 2-3 hours each. Most of them are working full-time jobs and so on.

I’d argue that raiding in Legion is even more accessible than ever, and it’s only the primary form of endgame content if you want the absolute biggest numbers. Otherwise you can get by just fine with World Quests and getting geared up through being out in the world doing various stuff.

Also they gave us THREE endgame zones to run around in at level 110, with Argus practically being a mini-expansion world broken up into three zones. The amount of content is pretty overwhelming IMO, and you’ve got plenty of stuff to pursue even if you’re vehemently adamant about not touching raiding/group content in any form. Legion is probably WoW’s best expansion yet in terms of just how much stuff they put into it, and you regularly have a reason to visit the zones and be out in the open world thanks to the World Quests.

After having FFXIV be my main MMO for the past year and a half, WoW actually feels refreshing because there’s so much more to do than just the daily/weekly instanced currency grinds at endgame, and you really do get to pick and choose what you want to do and how you want to progress.

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Dug From The Earth

Legion was actually a huge step forward in what you suggest. Especially with the Suramar content. It was essentially a huge zone packed to the brim with story content meant to be done at end game, with frequent updates adding on more story and events.

Many people didnt view it at this however, probably due to blizzard linking it directly to unlocking the ability to fly in Legion. This caused most people to just try to blow past it super fast to get the unlock, rather than to enjoy the story, voice acting, and lore.

Then, there was the whole broken shores and finally Argus…. both of which were not “raid content” although both had new raids themed after them.

I hate raiding.. Legion raiding was especially bad (and messy). I felt like I had a ton more to do at end game in this expansion than in past ones, that wasnt raids. Its far from perfect, but it is a huge move in the directly I like.

So im not entirely sure what you want exactly, or if its even realistic.

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Utakata

Other than the Allied races business, this expansion doesn’t sound a whole lot inspiring.

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Sorenthaz

Depends on what you’re looking for. Story-wise it’s probably going to be similar to Mists of Pandaria in that things are escalating again after Azeroth has once again been saved from a world-ending threat (but not without getting heavily scarred by it of course, to the point where Azeroth is now ‘bleeding’ Azerite). Lore-wise there’s a lot of intrigue and curiosity about how things will play out, IMO, because Sylvanas is finally at the forefront of the Horde and she is very much not someone who will likely give up on her goals and aspirations. She very much represents darkness vs the light that is (now King) Anduin leading the Alliance. I don’t think Blizzard can pull something out of their butts this time to save Sylvanas from the consequences of her actions. Also the Shadow Priest artifact is likely referencing Sylvanas when it comes to its Old God whispering about: “At the hour of her third death she will usher in our coming.”

Content-wise they will almost certainly be expanding on the World Quest system and making solo play even more of a viable choice for progression purposes. They’re also adding in more 3-player scenario content with their Island Expedition stuff on top of adding in new larger group content with the 20-man warfronts (not to be confused with battlegrounds) meant to emulate Warcraft RTS experiences, I suppose.

It certainly lacks the pizzazz of Legion, and the story point is much more… filler-ish, but that makes sense. There’s a ton of ???’s when it comes to what the next big bad is going to be, and it’ll be interesting to see where WoW heads now that Sargeras and the Burning Legion have finally been dealt with.

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Sally Bowls

IMO, the big new systems, and the big unknowns, are Island Expeditions and WarFronts. Mythics were certainly a hit with a lot of people. So my complete guess based upon history is that one of them will be quite well received this expansion and one will need to be interated upon.

“She very much represents darkness” I even hear some speculation about Sylvanis; now in addition to just opposing the light, we now have the Void. And one can speculate about her deal with Helga; could the shadowlands/death be involved?Doesn’t matter; the voiceover lead in an expansion is doomed to die that expansion.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah, I get the feeling that Island Expeditions will be well received because they’re expanding off of Scenarios and the Legion Invasion finales (where you do a 3man scenario to tackle the remaining Legion ground troops of a zone invasion, then take on the ship and blow it up). I haven’t done the Invasion Points (or unlocked them) on Argus yet but sounds like those are also sort of what Island Expeditions will be based off of.

Warfronts sound promising to me, personally. I like the idea of going back to the RTS stuff in some way, and I’m guessing the Battle for Azeroth pre-expansion event will be a taste of what Warfronts will be like since it’ll likely be focusing on the Battle for Lordaeron, much like the Legion pre-expansion event let us do the Broken Shore scenario.

I’m still quietly hoping as well that we could get boats sometime down the expansion’s life cycle. It seems like utterly wasted potential for an expansion revolving around exploring the Seas to NOT have player-run naval ships, especially when the Order Hall/Garrison systems would fit so well with a naval crew setting.

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Utakata

It has been suggested there is more going behind the scenes then Blizz is letting on. Such as a third party (is. Ye Ole Gods) pulling the strings and/or yanking the chains…you know, divide and conquer and stuff. However, Blizz hasn’t announced that card yet. So everything outside what we’re getting is pure speculation at this point.

It could be interesting. Or this could end up being another WoD.

Bannex
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Bannex

Seems like a WoD level xpac.

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Sorenthaz

Eh, more like a Mists of Pandaria expansion. It’s right after a massive world-threatening conflict, Old Gods are still being Old Gods. New threats are looming over the horizon, but in the meantime the Horde and Alliance continue to escalate their violence between each other (doesn’t help that Sylvanas is the Warchief now).

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Utakata

Yep.

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Randy Savage

At least the story won’t be nearly as bad as the WoD story. But then again, who plays WoW for the story anyway?

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Bruno Brito

I do?

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Sally Bowls

I was binge listening to some of the Blizzardwatch podcasts and I think it was Lore Watch where the people from the Alpha were describing bfa as chock full of lore.

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Randy Savage

You have my condolences

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Randy Savage

Yeah I can’t get excited for it at all, not even for allied races, which is really just another skin so you can repeat the same uninspired experience. It feels like they sacrificed making an expansion with some teeth so they could say they finally released an expansion faster.

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Utakata

“Allied races are meant to feel like a prestigious reward for earning the faction’s trust.”

Source: https://www.mmo-champion.com/content/7498-Battle-for-Azeroth-Developer-Interviews-WoW-History

….under: Gamereactor Interview with Battle for Azeroth Devs.

Meanwhile, back in Blade & Soul…they just released 6 new ear and tail combinations for the Lyn for their last patch. And they look absolutely epic, IMO! Yet no player had to grind rep or jump through ridiculous hoops to obtain them. They where simply added quietly to the CC without fuss or fanfare. So I get your point to a degree. /sigh

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Cosmic Cleric

It feels like they sacrificed making an expansion with some teeth so they could say they finally released an expansion faster.

And on top of that, the price for the/an expansion, yikes!

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Randy Savage

Yeah how messed up is that? The price goes up while the amount of content goes down.

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Sorenthaz

It was $50 starting with Draenor, I believe. We also don’t know how much content will be around at launch and so on.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

Blizzard, please offer us more details on Classic WoW. Pretty please ^^

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Cosmic Cleric

You’ll have to wait for the first sales period of BoA to finish. They won’t step on their own (marketing) toes.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

I want to hear about Classic, i think the earliest chance for Blizzard to talk about it will be in Blizzcon 2018, in November? few months of waiting … i hope :-)

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Sally Bowls

https://blizzardwatch.com/2018/04/09/blizzcon-2018-announced-november-2-3/

I agree. Besides, the Blizzard PR machine will be focused on other things through at least August.