ion hazzikostas interview

Raider.Io recently had an opportunity to sit down and discuss the upcoming expansion for World of Warcraft, Dragonflight. The discussion included several topics relating to the decision-making process for the new release. Notable key points include:

Race to World First

  • Mythic raiding will receive some tuning difficulty-wise. The Devs felt that Emerald Nightmare for Legion was too straightforward to pose a real distinction for Raid World First but that an encounter like Sepulcher of the First Ones in Shadowlands was too challenging and exclusionary to more casual guilds. Compromising this balance while keeping RWF competitive is the goal of Mythic raid tuning.
  • Vault of Incarnates should test the skills of the top Guilds without extensive nerfs to content so that everyone can clear the raid. One of the challenges in tuning raids to be competitive and attainable has been raiders doing splits and farming during the first week of each season — additional optimization is usually the difference between success and failure.
  • Dragonflight will have the simultaneous release of all raid difficulties. Time spent gearing up in Heroic will take away from time spent learning Mythic, and this adds an extra layer of strategy to choose which versions of instances to run. The devs are interested in seeing which groups will jump straight into Mythic over easing into Heroic.
  • The EU daily reset window was adjusted as it was desynced from its server reset time and caused issues that extended maintenance windows. This particular change was unrelated to the possibility of a global raid release.
  • There won’t be any possibility of a global raid release. While the current system isn’t fair, RWF is ultimately a community event with many factors that can impact fairness. The Devs also do not wish to disrupt established guilds that already have set schedules and raid times.

Raid Design

  • While Season 4 had flaws, participation and feedback indicate this was a successful test. We may see recycled older dungeons in M+, and fated raids return in some form before the next expansion.
  • Devs want to focus on open-world content, as they felt the players who concentrate on world content were left out of the final season of Dragonflight. They think there should be an equal incentive for players who aren’t focused on group content.
  • The Hall of Fame should function normally with no planned changes. It’s possible with cross-faction raiding, a spit group would not be eligible, but developers will revisit this with the eventual addition of cross-faction guilds.

Mythic +

  • Dragonflight intends to close the gap between endpoints for the different types of content that are much closer. This means that rewards from M+ and the Great Vault have been increased so they can compete with raid drops. This change results in that dungeon and raid players eventually ending up around the same item level.
  • M+ rewards have been diminished at the lower end to justify the raid player’s time spent in normal and heroic raids. Overall this balance should mean Raid and Mythic players should end up with similar gear levels with about the same effort and challenge.

Design & Development

  • Class balance is an area the developers want to focus on and maintain. There will always be top-tier classes that may be more valued than others, but the team is committed to keeping things fluid and dynamic so that one build isn’t on the top or bottom for too long.
  • Time invested has been a growing concern for community members that feel they can’t progress in the game how they would like without a ridiculous time investment. Blizzard wants to address this and reevaluate the successes of the original version of WoW in 2004. Dragonflight is the first expansion to be built around the philosophy that it is OK to ignore some content.
  • The devs can continue to improve on current changes, but the User Interface Revamp is an excellent foundation for future user experience improvements.
  • With changing talents, the emphasis is on striking a balance between players who don’t like to min/max and want to get straight into the action and those who wish to create Loadouts for individual bosses and encounters.
  • Blizzard is collecting data on how people use the spec and class tree combinations; this information will determine the new system’s success. Special attention will be given to the most minor and popular choices as time passes, and devs will make changes as necessary.
  • There will be more story content in Dragonflight than in the previous expansions. There are multiple end-game narrative chapters and campaigns available at level 70 — players should look forward to dozens of cutscenes!
  • The team wishes to express its passion and goal of creating an experience that makes everyone happy. There are limitations with such a diverse player base, and a balance between different playstyles is the goal.

Check out this exciting interview below!

About the Author

milliondollarpuppy

I am an avid WoW Classic player and love Druid, Priest, and Rogue and look forward to maining a DK in Wrath. When I'm not gaming or writing, I'm catching up on reading and spending time with my family, my parent's dogs, and my pet snake, Gloria.

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