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Forbes Interview with Ion Hazzikostas on Rise of Azshara, Faction Imbalance, Crucible Difficulty
11/04/2019 a las 12:13
Ahead of today's 8.2 info dump,
Forbes released an interview
with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas, discussing the faction imbalance, difficulty of Crucible of Storms bosses, and recapping Patch 8.2 features.
Click here to read the full Forbes Interview!
Crucible of Storms should feel like a continuation of the Battle of Dazar'alor tier, with
in difficulty. If that's the case, we may see this Mythic raid race last a few days, as Mythic Jaina progression took a week!
As a reminder, Crucible of Storms opens the week of April 16th.
So there isn't a gimme introductory boss, especially with a two boss raid. I would say the first of the two bosses is somewhere around the range of a mid to late tier Battle of Dazar'alor encounter, think like a Rastakhan or Mekkatorque. And then the final is boss is hard. It's end boss level, like a Jaina. Not necessarily harder than Jaina, but comparable to Jaina in challenge.
Similar to past interviews, Ion confirmed that Pathfinder will allow you to fly in Nazjatar and Mechagon. One of the challenges of flying in
is how to handle the new War Mode system, as flying can greatly impact World PvP.
I think the biggest concern for us is probably actually the implications for War Mode. That's something we're continuing to discuss. And there are toys that will let you dismount, or restrict flight. We may end up wanting to play with those rules a little bit, in terms of, what are restrictions on flying if you have recently been in combat in War Mode, let's say. Trying to navigate a middle ground where it's not prohibitively punishing in a way that makes you turn off War Mode because it's a nuisance.
Continuing with the discussion on War Mode, the team seems to be happy with the participation in War Mode, as well as the relative balance between Alliance and Horde.
War Mode participation overall has remained healthy and in fact it's increased over the last couple months.
Ion also revisited the brief period at the start of Dazar'alor where Alliance received ilvl 400 loot for completing
Contra toda adversidad
, noting that it was "probably too far a step in the opposite direction."
Horde dominate faction balance in raiding and PvP, as we recently saw with the
lopsided progress on Hall of Fame Dazar'alor
. Ion doesn't have any solutions to share quite yet, but it's something the team is actively working on. He also noted that the population is relatively balanced between Alliance and Horde--the challenge is encouraging the Alliance players to form high-end communities.
It's a problem we acknowledge, and something that we consider to be a problem that we need to work on. We don't have any solution to announce right now, but it's something we actively discuss. I think in terms of the balance of racials, in terms of what each faction is capable of, I think there's a good argument actually that tools like Shadowmeld are actually optimal for Mythic Plus.
The challenge is also we're not looking to encourage mass amounts of faction migration. It's more, how can we build a healthier high-end Mythic Plus scene, or a healthier high-end raid scene on the Alliance side, among the Alliance population.
But there is ample critical mass to support healthy communities on the Alliance side. It's more a matter of encouraging the formation and encouraging more people to dip their toe into those types of activities, so that there are more people to play with.
The potential of PvE mercenary mode was brought up and dismissed as "extremely unlikely"--mercenary mode is designed to let you queue for Battlegrounds faster, while with raiding, you are also looking for longer-term social connections.
Ion did reiterate that the faction divide was integral to WoW as well:
The Alliance-Horde divide is something that's integral to Warcraft. It's integral to the franchise, to the world, integral to World of Warcraft.
The highly-touted Azerite revamp was once again discussed, where active abilities are introduced on the actual Heart of Azeroth neck, along with customization paths, longer-term progression, and more choices. Ion clarified that Azerite gear will continue to drop for Helms, Shoulders, and Chests in Nazjatar--you'll just have all the rings unlocked automatically, and choose which traits to select.
That's a direct response to feedback we've heard from the start, about the feeling of progression or lack thereof: the frustration from needing to re-earn specific powers. And in general just the idea of lacking agency over pursuing options, customizing one's character, seeking out desirable rewards and earning them and working towards them.
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