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Ion Hazzikostas Live Q&A Blog - Big PvP Changes, Allied Races & More in BfA

Suzie Ford Updated: Posted:
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The World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth live Q&A with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas is about to kick off. Keep your eyes on this article by refreshing it from time to time to find out what's what with BfA! And in case you missed it, preorders for the expansion have already started! The expansion is expected to arrive on or before September 21st.

Allied Races - once you've preordered BfA, you'll start the chain to unlock Allied Races and, if the requirements are met, you can start unlocking Highmountain Tauren, Void Elves, Lightforged Draenei or Nightborne.

Per realm character limit is up to 12 for all.

Allied Race unlocks are account wide as are the requirements. Once requirements are met, you unlock all allied races once you have 110 characters on each faction.

Race balance with new additions - racials will be much less of a deciding factor than it used to be. Some racials, such as Belf arcane torrent, will be given a once over. Most are going to be about flavor than power.

Why are allied races unlocked through reputation and achievements? We wanted you to experience bringing this race into the faction. You need the story of the Nightfallen to understand who they are, for instance.

Dark Iron Dwarves and Zandalari Trolls are the last two allied races. Once BfA is released, you will be able to unlock future allied races.

3v3 or RBG solo queuing in BfA is unlikely. We view the premade experience between rated and solo random queues. It blurs the distinction between the two things. Composition and cooperation are paramount, hence the premade aspect. Our community system will help make it easier to create premade groups.

Arena Spectator Mode - It's already in the game. When you use /invitespectatormatch, you can view an arena match. There are also addons.

Prestige System - we're not going to keep adding dozens of new tiers and rewards. It doesn't make sense. But we don't want to undermine the time people have put in during Legion. We will keep Legion Prestige Ranks, though in BfA, we may go with loot boxes given for benchmarks or similar. This is early in iteration and may change over time. Our thought: It depends on what's in it similar to what's already in WoW, it's useless.

Honor Talents - it's something that needs to evolve. There are talents that aren't used and can feel like a barrier to participation. They may be lumped together into a single pool where you can choose what honor talents you may want from the entire pool. Trinket talents will remain separate. Honor Talents will unlock as you level normally so when you get to 110, all of them will be available.

PvP Updates - new battleground, new arena maps. Templates may have given up too much in terms of PvP dynamics and customization. Customization in stats and gear is coming back. You can stack stats you want, but iLevel will play less of a role. It allows us to go back to more meaningful PvP loot.

World PvP - you toggle PvP or PvE on or off in a capital city or in a town. Then you can fight others who are PvP marked or not have to fight at all if you choose not to be PvP enabled. There will be no more PvP or PvE only servers. RP servers will be exempt from this and will continue to follow the existing rules.

Island Battle Rewards - a very lucrative source of Azerite. Normal / Heroic / Mythic / PvP modes are likely. It will provide fairly typical rewards.

Warfronts - heavily inspired by Warcraft RTS but within an MMO wrapper. It's like a WC3 map where you are playing on the map.

Class & Spec Specific Abilities & Balancing - Sometimes we won't balance that, that you'll want to bring the class. The goal is to encourage a diversity of classes and specs. 

Cross-location visitation? Can Horde visit Kul'Tiras and Allies visit Zandalar? It will be a chapter-based experience and helping build a staging ground for future activities in that location. At 120 the world quest system opens up and much more content.

Class wide utility, identity, main role - we over emphasized spec identity over class identity. We want to bring some of that back.

Artifact Traits - Azerite armor (3 pieces) will provide customization. Some artifact traits will find a home in this system. That's not to say that we're not making changes to rotations, we will. If Artifact Traits feel indispensable, that's on us. You haven't had to think about where the artifact ends and the spec begins in a long time. 

Survival Hunters - getting a significant rework. We put spec ahead of class here. It's likely to have a better balance of melee and ranged. They'll still be a Hunter, that's key.

Blink Movements taken away from Druid & Shaman - blink is a core Mage ability which is where the conversation began. Druids are about speed. Mages are about magical "blink". Pruning is to scale back to make room for other things.

Titanforged System - it all averages out in the long run. The people doing the hardest content are getting the best gear. Weapons in BfA could pose a problem. The current thinking is to not let weapons Titanforge. They can Warforge (5-10 iLevels), but not Titanforge. Azerite armor slots cannot Warforge or Titanforge. Titanforging got too common in Legion. 


Suzie Ford

Suzie is the former Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom