On Wednesday November 12th, hours before the launch of World of Warcraft’s fifth expansion Warlords of Draenor in Europe and the rest of the world, Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas and Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut from Blizzard took part in a live Q&A hosted on Twitch by WoW Community Manager Josh Allen.
Listed below are the questions from this Q&A with abbreviated answers from the live stream.
Q: Would you consider re-introducing competing factions like Aldor vs Scryer to give players a way to organize beyond simple faction lines? - Annalia
A: The main focus is Horde and Alliance but you will see certain pseudo factions in zones open up different quest lines as you progress through the expansion.
Q: Regarding ability pruning and item level squishing in WoD: anything to prevent them from getting out of control in the future? - @SAS_Polaris
A: Don’t really see the same level of pruning going forward but a squish will have to happen because they grow exponentially and it will eventually get out of hand again.
Q: About the legendary ring, since rings are not seen on a character, will there be a cool visual effect that allows people to see who has the ring without inspecting them?
A: Yes it will have a visual effect.
Q: Why have such a limit on wearing a certain number of crafted gear?
A: Lets them (designers) make crafted items better when they are limited. I also lets loot stay relevant to the raiders. They don’t want LFG to find their best items on the AH.
Q: Will the Vale of Eternal Blossoms be re-stored in WoD? Maybe have an option like having Bronze Dragonflight restore the state of the zone before the destruction like in Blasted Lands Iron Horde invasion. -Shoadowolf
A: No. There is no opportunity for regrowth. What happened happened.
Q: Will we see more level 100 soloable content in the future? - @Benie76
A: Yes. You interact daily with your garrison. It’s not always about a quest objective but it’s content. They see a lot of room for exploration in this expansion also.
Q: What do you guys think about making a “Hide Shoulders” feature, alongside the hide helmet and hide cloak? -Nouway
A: Probably not. It’s a huge part of the silhouette. You can always transmog your shoulders. They are not going to remove them. You can hide helms to see your face.
Q: Is mythic trash harder in WoD? Would love not to AoE everything. [email protected]
A: Trash is harder but not as much of an increase as how hard a mythic boss is compared to a heroic boss. Mythic will also have mythic level trash loot.
Q: The idea of “keys” allowing us to skip to the end of the new raids after we’d cleared them a few times was floated during the last Blizzcon: are they in? How do we acquire them? How do they work? -Sevdorie
A: Yes. For Blackrock Foundry there is a system. You’ll find an orc blacksmith that will make you a key after you kill raid bosses a certain number of time (4) that will allow you to access Blackhand directly. Each difficulty will have a key. Only need one person with the key to open the boss. Once you kill the last boss you can go back and farm the rest. They will still be there.
Q: As Secondary Professions are the same for every character, is there any chance these could be made account wide? [email protected]
A: Probably not. They do represent progression so they are hesitant to take them out for fearing of angering people that actually enjoy leveling these on their alts. (Not that they don’t realise a lot of people find it annoying).
Q: Are you going to take a second pass at lower level abilities? ie... the leveling process?
A: We want to. It’s a matter of time. Probably this will happen later in the expansion cycle. They do want to address access to certain abilities like an interrupt or rez that are not consistent across all classes.
Q: Some of the armor is really starting to show its age, is there any chance they will be updated as well in the future? [email protected]
A: They are a product of their time. We will make adjustments where it makes sense but with transmog there is no reason to wear them if you do not like the look. We would rather focus on making cool new suits of armor.
Q: We saw glimpses of active mana regeneration for healers during the beta. ANy chance we’ll see it returning at some point in the future? -Monkioh
A: Potentially. Shamans have it with certain abilities. It’s hard to balance. You’d always be doing that in your downtime. We feel like it would overburden healers. They have already increased the base rate of mana regen because of this.
Q: Melee mobility & CC breaks, both extremely strong. Is it being looked at closely? [email protected]
A: Yes. We think it just might be the pendulum swinging back the otherway. Always looking at it. Are they too much stronger? Time will tell. Once the arena starts they will get a better handle on it.
Q: Will there be higher levels of LFR?
A: That person’s next step is not LFR but to use the LFG tool and put raids together on normal. Give it a chance. With the release of the new expansion and the new LFG tool it will be much easier to put normal raids together.
Q: What caused Blizzard to decide gladiator stance should be a thing? Was it the concept of shield-slamming DPS, or did you think the prot ability rotation would make for an interesting DPS rotation? (it does btw) -Caargon
A: Yes. Drew inspiration from ancient Romans. It was a cool fantasy. It only involved a minimal number of changes to stats. Minor changes to see how it works. People like it and it is a lot of fun. This satisfies the fantasy. It is intended to be fully viable and it is not a gimmick.
Q: Will questing zones be cross realm at the beginning of the expansion? [email protected]
A: Not automatically but you can join your friends from other servers and go to theirs or they can go to yours.
Q: Assuming this is quantifiable... how much validity does Blizzard put into Simulationcraft damage numbers? - Rothulian
A: Valuable source of feedback. We don’t dismiss it’s usefulness and it’s very valuable. It starts to breakdown to an extent when you try to make apple to apple comparisons across class. Don’t treat it as gospel. Can’t be the sole basis for class balance. Sometimes it can reveal a problem.