World of Warcraft updates its quest icons, director Ion Hazzikostas talks big changes

    
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Friends now.

The floating “!” has become such an iconic part of World of Warcraft’s interface that it’s hard to imagine it ever going away… and lest you be worried, it’s not going away in Shadowlands. What is changing is that important campaign-related quests are now getting a different icon, which places a little shield behind the “!” to denote that these quests are, essentially, part of the main overarching story. It’s one of several improvements being made to the game’s interface with the expansion, including floating objective markers along with the ability to place pins in the map for later use.

Director Ion Hazzikostas took the opportunity to also speak with Twitch streamer Sloot about Shadowlands in both its current state and overarching plans. You can watch the video below or check out a transcription here if you’d like. The interview confirms that there are no more big changes planned (but more tweaking will be done), with things like Single-Minded Fury for Warriors (and possibly two-handed options for Enhancement Shaman) still being worked on. He also states that loot drops are planned to be more limited to avoid loot overload with no random upgrades, and that players should expect no more Emissary quests but a different structure for world quests.

Last, if you’d rather focus on what’s live in the game right now, you can feast your eyes on the Mythic Dungeon Invitational, which will be running this weekend in its first EU and Asian matches.

Source: Wowhead (1, 2), Twitter
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Oleg Chebeneev

MoP community is full of complainers as always. Meanwhile pretty much every alpha tester who is streaming Shadowlands, gives it praises

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Paragon Lost

Really wish they would either do away with the maximum amount of quests you can have or at least double the amount you can have in your queue. It would be a huge quality of life improvement.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Yes, please.

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Utakata

“…and that players should expect no more Emissary quests but a different structure for world quests.”

And oh dear, you can’t have a WoW expansion without them fixing something that really isn’t broken. /sigh

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Jeremy Barnes

I think you mean making something broken that isn’t broken.

Only problem with world quests isn’t with the quests themselves…it’s when they try to force you to do them daily. You know what makes me not want to login and play an MMO? Chores. Daily Chores. Especially now that I have to spend like an hour doing them before I can go do what I want…

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Utakata

I don’t like to equate “force” with incentive, unless I am feeling cynical. O.o

But in this case and anecdotally, I’ve never felt the need to do them every time I log on to do something. That said, I agree there is always a need to improve upon them. It doesn’t sound like that’s what they’re planning on doing here though.

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Kross Vilalobos

I’m sure people feel/is forced to do them now thanks to races and flying being locked behind them lol. You can’t fly or play with the shiny advertised races that may or may not be worth it Timmy until you do ALL your world quest for several weeks! On a side note I feel like a lot of people bought BFA for the races just to find out it doesn’t technically come with that 50$ price tag.

“Purchase Battle for Azeroth and begin your quest to recruit four new playable Allied Races.”in the advertisement didn’t really translate to “Grind your arse off on gated quest and world quest if you want the shiny thing you think is coming with this purchase!”

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Utakata

Any new system will not remove the grind. As long as you something to grind for by that logic, you’ll always be “forced” to do something. So if you want to deal with the feeling of being forced, then the grind will have to be better dealt with or even removed altogether.

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Kross Vilalobos

You mistaken this reply for a complaint about the grinding. No the grinding isn’t the bad part. The design of said grinding and what is locked behind said grinding is the bad part. You’re right the grind have to be better dealt with. I have never seen a game advertise a core thing like a RACE to a RPG (mmorpg in this case.)in a expansion and don’t provide it upon purchase of said expansion and that’s not even mentioning half of them require you to go back to previous expansion Legion. (at least it was half until Vulpera and Mechagnomes.)

It would have not even been as bad if they didn’t stop you from grinding said rep for said races by putting only a limited amount of things per day you can do for said rep. (especially at release.) Not to mention the people who can’t play everyday or don’t have the time to wait for a assault all day. 42000 rep required (plus random quest) for one race and you only get 75 rep per world quest. Legion did the same thing for a while until a patch that let you get 150 but yet again legion didnt lock the demon hunter class or any race that was advertised behind said grind.

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Giggilybits

I agree with you 100 percent.

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Greaterdivinity

I enjoyed the RPG talk. Both because WoW hasn’t been much of a meaningful “RPG” for a while, and because it seems that they think that gear is what defines an RPG. At least based on the notes on MMO Champion.

Oh well, hope it’s good for the folks still playing.

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Bruno Brito

with things like Single-Minded Fury for Warriors (and possibly two-handed options for Enhancement Shaman) still being worked on.

I was thinking about this, and i find that it’s pretty much a core part of their class fantasy. Same for ranged Survival Hunters.

The more options, the better.

I’m interested in the twinking 50-scene for Shadowlands. I don’t give a shit about WoW’s endgame because outside raiding, it’s pathetic.

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Jeremy Barnes

Hello, my name is Ion. BfA was great. Millions of players! Everyone loves the really idiotic stuff we do and only are playing because we’re doing such good things like islands, Warfronts and oh, those dailies in 8.3. People certainly aren’t only still playing because they have more than a decade invested into the game and other people playing it. We have done everything really well and there’s certainly no need to think otherwise.

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Ironwu

ROFLMAO.

Limited Loot Drops, No Auto Upgrades!?!?! Now THAT’S a change I have REALLY been looking forward to in WoW! I’ll run out and resubscribe right away!

NOT!

Does this guy even play WoW as a normal person would?

The Clown Car Parade just keeps rolling along.

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Sorenthaz

Pretty sure at this point the WoW team’s design decisions are 100% based off of a spreadsheet of random data that they collect.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

And it plays like it. Oh, now we’re in cell XEF1326789. Exciting! And how about cell CED543892. Wasn’t that amazing!

It is completely uninspired and uninspiring.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah it feels like BFA is the culmination of everything wrong with Blizzard’s design philosophy which has been a gradual buildup since at least a few expansions ago.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Limited loot drops is a great change. Why would you want all that trash dropping all around nonstop to fill your bags in no time?

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styopa

If they’re going to lock progression behind content (even something as simple as getting your crafting to cap since legion REQUIRES instance running…sometimes a stupid lot of it), then running that content shouldn’t be onerous. (And before people respond, understand that challenging != onerous; something can be slightly challenging and not be onerous, it become onerous when it takes ages to find a group running those old instances; it becomes onerous in a different way when the people running them are speedrunning dicks that are abusive to people who are trying to learn – not much Blizz can do about that part, I fear…)

FFXIV does a good job of it*, really, because at the same time they lock progression behind instance-running, they a) force EVERYONE to do it, and b) strongly incentivize people that are overleveled to live in the LFD/LFR queue where there is thus a healthy population of people who know the instances like the back of their hand leavening the ongoing crop of n00bs coming up.
FFXIV does get its share of speedrunning dicks (I love tanking but won’t tank any more there because of it), I’d love if there was a reliable mechanism for being able to downvote jerks. I don’t have the magical answer for that.

This doesn’t stop a lot of people complaining about it, certainly.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

My pet theory is that Blizzard wants to make WoW the darling of esports. Hence their hamhanded attempts in Legion to push people into PvP and instances. This effort to re-program their players is a complete flop, but has consequently damaged the underpinnings of the game and created a substantial number of Formerly-WoW players. In Legion, they were lucky in having an excellent expansion to limit the amount of damage they were doing.

In BfA, it was a turd on top of a turd.

The need to control players and how they are allowed to experience a game is really going to be the death of WoW. Instead of a vast open world with many possibilities, players receive a limited scope world that can only be approached in a pre-defined way.

It’s one of the underlying design decisions that erodes the fun part of WoW and turns it into a chore.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I’d really like WoW to one day have a single player version where all the 5 Mans and Raids were challenges you approached after completing a zone story, and where you never out level the content.

Maybe in 10 years perhaps.

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styopa

Agree. So much of the game is basically focused and designed for solo play, but then (frex in Legion) they do shit like “to finish this zone’s story you MUST do an instance” or “oh but for your Class/Order hall, you now NEED to do multiple instances and even raids”.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Yeah. Full stop. All story lines ended in dungeons. Made me simply disinterested in the story of WoW. I don’t even bother reading any of the quest text in BfA. What’s the point? Never going to see the end.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

To be fair you didn’t have to, most of the important story beats were voice acted.

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Giggilybits

My wishlist would be: Bring back base stats. Bring back Inscription to its original form and bring back PvP tokens.

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TherecDaMage .

God I miss original Inscription. I paid for years of WoW sub and almost every mount in game with the gold I made selling those major and minor glyphs in the AH.