Ion Hazzikostas took part in a World of Warcraft: Legion Developer Update with Jesse Cox to talk about some of the things coming in the expansion but, prior to talking about that, Hazzikostas revealed that alpha is ending over the next 24 hours and that there will be a full server wipe, a huge new wave of beta invites will be sent out and that beta will officially start on Thursday at 2 pm Pacific / 5 pm Eastern barring any strange build issues prior to that time.
From there, ‘Watcher’ and Cox went over several important questions with regard to Legion:
Cox: So, Order Halls...Garrisons 2.0?
IH: Order halls are not garrisons 2.0. One of their main functions is artifact upgrade. Players will be out in the world most of the time to earn artifact power, order resources, etc.
Cox: How customizable are order halls. What can be changed?
IH: It’s not super customizable. It’s more in the game play, how the artifact appears and grows. These are places that existed before you. You won’t walk in and start changing things around. It’s to reinforce the idea of class identity, both for storyline and give each class their own ‘fantasy’.
Cox: Are you, as your class representative, taking over?
IH: Not really. You are part of a larger group of great peers to save Azeroth as opposed to going in and taking over.
Cox: Are quests randomized or are these more daily quests with everyone doing the same thing?
IH: Each order has a fixed one time epic storyline that unfolds over the course of leveling. It unlocks over time. It is epic class specific content.
There is a world quest system that is much more randomized that is a fixed state for everyone in a specific region. It’s like garrison missions for players, not followers. You choose the ones you want to follow and complete. These quests come and go on different cycles. The idea is that every time you log in, it’s never the same thing twice.
Cox: What about those with limited time and you can’t do them all every day, what can you look forward to?
IH: We want to find a balance. We don’t want to overwhelm. There are 2 pieces to world quests -- the weightier more rare quests will be around for a few days. Emissaries will ask for specific quests to be completed -- pick any four quests for example. You get a reward chest and some gold. If you keep up with those, you are doing well. You can accrue three at a time and catch up when you log in.
Cox: Legacy servers are a big thing. What about them.
IH: That’s been a passionate, heated topic of discussion. The overall statement from Allen J. Brack stands as our philosophy. We on the Warcraft team aren’t focused there but are focused on Legion instead. But it’s been interesting to see the pros and cons about pristine servers. One concern is what’s the point to have such a closed off realm if I log in, level up in a few days and then am left in my garrison.
We need to improve our classic zones. They’re broken and not well-tuned. It’s way too easy. It’s a problem with WoW. We’ve neglected it over the years with trickle down effects from other changes, talents that became passives, moved things around, etc. The pacing of the game isn’t what it should be. We’re going to address that over time.
Everything in Cataclysm changed in the starting areas that pushed you along quickly. It’s the outgrowth of our trying to solve a problem -- barriers to entry -- that we think has been solved now. We made leveling in prior expansions faster. There isn’t a need for us to rush people through leveling. You shouldn’t out-level zones before you leave it.
We want the game to be something we as developers are proud of at every level and it isn’t right now.
Cox: Will other races be able to become Demon Hunters?
IH: Anything’s possible. Historically, only elves can be Demon Hunters. With DH out in the wild, there’s nothing to say that they wouldn’t instruct others in the art.
Cox: What about other race / class combos?
IH: It’s always something we discuss. We have Gnome Hunters now. There are some combos that don’t make sense like a Tauren Rogue for instance. It’s something we talk about.