After the video presentation, the short Q&A sessions with WoW devs began. This session included Lead Game Designer Ion Hazzikostas and Executive Producer J. Allen Brack. Topics ranged from the long-lasting appeal of Mythic Dungeons to the raiding community, to what will happen to artifacts in the next expansion and a few others.
Question: How do you plan to ‘replace’ the artifact traits at the end of Legion and / or the beginning of the next expansion? Players will get used to those being around and with the end of the artifact at the conclusion of Legion, players will want and / or expect to have them in the next expansion.
J. Allen Brack: The same thing that happens when you left your farm in Pandaria and your garrison in WoD.
Ion Hazzikostas: The challenge for us is to come up with something new and awesome and that happens with every expansion. But I think we have to choose between a balance between awesomeness and persistent. If we made them as a thing you carry with you forever, they’d have 90% less depth and complexity. It’s not sustaintable. You get to a point “holy crap, my artifact is more complicated than my class”. We want freedom to deep dive into a system during an expansion and learn from it. Take the lessons learned from, say, garrisons, take the pieces -- leave something behind but that we take pieces of into the future. Hopefully there will be some sorrow about leaving them behind or maybe it will be more like “holy crap, get rid of this thing”.
In 2014, someone asked me how we could take away the greatest features ever in WoW, the garrison. I doubt he’s got the same opinion today.
Question: Do you foresee mythic raiding guilds finding enough to be interested in with mythic dungeons once they’re in ‘maintenance’ mode having completed the content? Will these present exciting challenges?
IH: Yes, but they don’t have to do them. When a raid tier is conquered, some subset of that group will push hard on the mythic keystone system while others may play something else for awhile. Mythic dungeons are for people who wanted to do hard dungeon content. Is it going to be hard enough? Definitely yes because it can be infinitely hard. It’s great bridging content between raid tiers to keep core skills up.
Question: Effects, both visual and aural, have really been ramped up in Legion. Will there be a way to turn them down or even off in non-instanced gameplay similar to how it is in raids and battlegrounds?
IH: We have a lot of that already in the visuals themselves with thresholds built in when you’re in large high-impact groups. You don’t necessarily care about all the missiles from imps or a fire storm from a mage. We’re actively playing, watching videos, listening to feedback and try to catch the most annoying or overbearing effects and trying to adjust them a bit as needed.
But it’s all about striking a balance. Players need to feel really awesome out in the world and the sights and sounds of their characters in battle is part of that. We’re trying to make them feel amazing but also trying to keep it reasonable.
Question: Will hunters ever be able to apply cosmetic effects enchantments to their weapons?
JAB: We’ve talked about that. It doesn’t work that well. The way it works right now, it’s kind of weird. But we hear that from the hunter community regularly.
IH: We have great weapon effects in Legion and it’s not like we’d want to put a bit fiery enchantment on a bow. It didn’t make sense to explore that for Legion.
Question: What about the artifact cosmetic looks being made available for transmog after the end of Legion?
IH: We don’t know yet and it’s not something we’ll likely know until much, much later in the planning for the next expansion.
Question: Are there Hunter challenges similar to those in Mists of Pandaria? What about other classes?
IH: There already are Hunter challenges in legion. There are challenge tames and things to discover. Mechanical pets open up all sorts of things for hunters.
Question: What did you get into Legion you always wanted?
JAB: I think the most fun I’ve ever had and what we do the best is five player dungeon content. In Legion, we’ll have dungeons that stay relevant over the entire expansion and that’s just awesome.
IH: Demon Hunters are quintessential to the Warcraft universe. We knew forever that we were going to make this class and this was the expansion to do it in.
That pretty well wrapped up Legion Day in California. Between seeing Warcraft: The Beginning and speaking with the Legion dev team, it was a great time.