Here’s the problem with World of Warcraft Q&A sessions every time we have BlizzCon, which is now just one bad idea away from happening twice per year regardless of how little there is to announce: The questions are not pre-screened, which means that many of them will be responded to without actually getting answered. Not that some of them are going to be answerable anyhow, since “are you going to fix Azerite Armor” is a legitimate question but also one that requires a lot of additional information to be answered.
But sometimes there’s still some cool information, and we always can get some fun material in the liveblog. Which, don’t you know it, is happening just below. You can also follow along with relevant pieces of information just below, so if you just want a summary and don’t want to catch up in the comments. You’ll get all of the meat and none of the banter.
Q: We’ve seen more choices and player agency in the expansion; how important is it that moments of player agency happen throughout the expansion and have repurcussions?
A: More of an experiment; want to see how it plays out.
AHHHH CHRIS METZEN SHOWED UP IN THE AUDIENCE TO ASK QUESTIONS. Standing O from the stage.
Q: When is the Horde getting its true warchief back? (This one’s from Metzen.)
A: “I’m gonna guess… there may very well be a job posting looking for a new warchief.”
— World of Warcraft (@Warcraft) November 3, 2018
Q: The auction house fee has hurt a lot of casual players; will it be removed?
A: A fundamental rewrite of the auction house is needed and incoming to help deal with some of the kludges.
Q: Will the items in WoW Classic unlock transmogs on the live game?
A: Blizzard is adamant that there’s not going to be crossover either way. They want people to play WoW Classic for its own sake, not to just unlock stuff. So it’s not happening.
Q: Class relics, are those coming back?
A: We’ve tried to infuse that into a few systems, but it’s just too darn hard to put a book on a character’s hip, this is hard. (Basically, no, this feature is never coming.)
Q: Character progression, especially with leveling, is not satisfying. Wouldn’t a level squish be a good thing?
A: It’s a great question; we are not satisfied with what leveling has turned into. A level squish would be a big ordeal, but we agree something needs to change. It’s not tenable to add more levels at the top.
(Eliot is freaking out in the comments. “THEN WHY DID YOU DO IT. TWICE. YOU DID THIS TWICE, ION HAZZIKOSTAS. YOU HAD AMPLE CHANCES TO NOT DO THIS.”)
Q: Addressing toxicity in public chat channels?
A: Blizz says it’s actively working on this, AI auto-flagging, “players can do more” type stiff. Sort of a non-answer that direct folks to the next panel.
Q: Why is there so much RNG in the game? (Huge cheering.) Do you have plans to move away from that, where the time we spend is productive? (More huge cheering.)
A: We’ve always tried to navigate these waters; our concern with having things on a vendor is that you could mark the date on the calendar. (This is being claimed as a downside.)
Q: Can you put a smart looting system on mythic caches?
A: Basically doubling down again on that really terrible non-answer. Riding hard on the Mythic+ vendors but not actually addressing the fact that said vendors are Mythic+ only and only offer another random drop.
Q: Future of Azerite gear; how does the team see it evolving and improving?
A: There isn’t enough choice right now; there will be more traits. Three times as many traits. Continuing to add new traits and replacing some lackluster ones.
Q: Removing more things from GCD?
A: A: We noticed that a lot of specs had almost everything off the GCD; it was getting overmuch. They pulled a lot off of it and they’re satisfied with the offensive CDs now. Movement abilities coming back off. Lots of cheers on this one.
Q: Color wheel/dyes? (We get this question every year.)
A: “THE CLOWN ERA OF WORLD OF WARCRAFT” is our new favorite phrase. But we’re getting the same non-answer we get every year, too; the one thing that could work is not by adding tinting on everything, but possibly a limited set of options. (Purely hypothetical.)
Q: Taking a lot of niche abilities away; would you be willing to diversify specs back to MoP levels?
A: Look at niche abilities separately from rotational ones, but Hazzikostas claims that’s just “shoring up weaknesses.” (YOU DID EXACTLY THAT IN THIS EXPANSION. WHY ARE YOU SAYING THESE THINGS.)
Q: With CRZ/phasing off the table in Classic, how will you handle server population?
A: The demo for classic involves sharding, which is leveraged for the demo. They might use that in limited ways, but that’s something they’re looking to in the future. The first few weeks can handle launch-day load problems, but in the long run it won’t be a thing.
Q: Any development on Gallywix moving forward?
A: “When they let me make the pleasure palace truly a pleasure palace, we will truly see Gallywix.” They’ll “look into it.”
Q: Can we ever expect more freedom for transmogging into different armor classes?
A: No. (That said, cosmetic armors are a bit more diverse.) Also allowing transmogs over fist weapons with other one-handers in 8.1, which is actually good.
Q: How are you going to differentiate between Sylvanas and Garrosh at this point?
A: The story’s not done. (Mark off your bingo card.) Then basically says “Sylvanas would think Garrosh was an amateur.” So… yeah.
Q: Why are PvP talents not active in island expeditions?
A: Because you’re not fighting other players. ABilities should not vary wildly depending on where you are.
Q: Will you still get PvP talents when fighting AI bots as revealed yesterday?
Q: Will there be a revamped Mythic keystone leaderboard?
A: Yes. The core functionality works, but it’s meant to be add more directly on the armory and such.
Q: Low-performance specs get a long-standing reputation; can you do anything to help specs like Shadow Priest and every Shaman spec?
A: Yes; to some extent community perception matters more than the spec balance. Sometimes we need to “overbuff” something to get the community to notice. “The community doesn’t always do itself credit.” They know they need to take action. (But they’re not announcing any.)
Q: Any plans to bring back tier sets back?
A: Within BfA, we’re trying something different. It’s not necessarily what will be done forever.
Q: Are we staying on 1.12 forever in Classic?
A: Right now we’re focused on getting it out. From there, we’ll do what makes sense.
And that’s a wrap!