Maximum Interviews Associate Game Director Morgan Day

maximum interview morgan day

Twitch Streamer Maximum had a chance to interview Morgan Day for general information about the upcoming release of Dragonflight.

Lots of ground was covered in this interview, here are some key discussion points:

  • Alpha/Beta Approach
    • The team wanted to focus on what they wanted out of the Alpha/Beta process. They determined they wanted the game accessible and playable to facilitate proper feedback. They tried to hyper-focus on tasks and address each thing they were trying to fix one at a time.
  • Great Vault
    • Adjustments are being made to the Great Vault mechanic to make it more accessible and rewarding as the season progresses, which has been an issue in previous expansions. These changes should allow for some catch-up: more loot if you missed a week and reduced requirements to enable players to get multiple characters eligible for the Vault.
    • The Dragonflight equivalent to the Catalyst feature will be part of this philosophical change, as the Dragonflight version will be changed account-wide and not localized to individual characters.
  • Valor Cap
    • Valor Cap won’t be unlimited, but there are plans to revisit the initial cap and raise it weekly.
  • Talents
    • Talents will receive special focus pre and post-launch. The plan is to make routine changes to various class and spec talents.
    • Future patches may add new class/spec talents. Still, the future ramifications are something the developers want to investigate so that players don’t have to do Dragonflight content when the next expansion rolls around.
  • Class vs. Spec Interrupt Balance
    • Damage vs. Utility is a constant struggle for specific classes, especially hybrids. While there will be trade-offs between damage dealing and utility spells for some classes, there will be a focus on this issue regarding class balance through patches.
  • Loadouts
    • There are technical limitations to how many Loadouts will be made available to players, and 10 was selected as a fair value based on general user stats. The developers figure that power-players who will utilize more than 10 Loadouts for different bosses/encounters will be able to overcome the limitations with addons.
  • Patch Contents
    • The pacing of Shadowlands patches could have been better. To correct this, the development team wants to investigate class further balancing through patches while avoiding the “Borrowed Power” that was relied on for balance in previous expansions.
  • Defensive and Offensive GCDs
    • In BfA, the expansion added cooldowns to the GCD to reduce the over-use of macros to get more casts off. However, this created an issue as classes had a bit of downtime while casting their CDs to stack effects.
    • The effort to add more effective, worthwhile CDs while maintaining the differences in these CDs that make the classes that use them unique is one of the patch priorities.

You can find the full interview on YouTube and our full transcription below.

Morgan Day Interview Transcription

Maximum  00:07
Anyways, I won’t keep too much your time. I do have some questions here. I know, I sent these to you early in the week. But I, ah, a few of them got answered a little bit in Wowhead’s thing yesterday, which is totally fine. But I need, so, what I might do to make up more of the time because I tried to add a few questions that felt good. But I might just, you know, like, go back and forth with you on a few questions. If I have, like a further question on it, just to try to fill it up. But I think overall, it’ll go pretty well.

Alright, so nice to meet you as well. This first time I think we’ve ever met. And also, first time certainly doing an interview with you. So and I’ve, I’ve reacted to basically every interview you’ve done in the last two years. I love the way you talk about the game, seriously. You’re obviously very passionate about it. I’m glad you’re in the position you’re in. So.

Morgan Day  01:00
I appreciate it. And I may or may not have been watching your stream for the last hour, so…

Maximum  01:03
Oh, no. Okay, yeah. Okay, so he messaged me, and I’m like, can you send in the updated questions? I’m like, like, kinda like, I’m trying to figure it out. But okay, s–…

Morgan Day  01:11
So, I was like, well, he’s streaming the questions right now. And I was like, alright, I’ll just do them there.

Maximum  01:16
Okay! No, you see, easy plus one viewer, for sure.

So, all right. Okay. So first thing is kind of just about generally Alpha and Beta, just to kind of get into it, get it all segmented, you guys tackled Alpha, like totally differently. I think this time, then other Beta is like, when we got Shadowlands, it was, you know, we were in that Kyrian zone for like, a month almost before, like you were doing something else.

This time, it was like months later, I think, we ended up getting to us, but it was so much more focused, every week had a theme. And I feel like I don’t… for us, at least it was so much easier to consume the content. I just wonder for you all. Do you all feel like you felt that way as well? Like, were you guys able to get much more focused feedback? Would, like… Did it help in the development of the Expansion in any way?

Morgan Day  01:57
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that was one of the really early on when we’re talking about what do we want our our Alpha and our Beta release to look like? We were talking about, like, you know, what’s our launch day? What do we want to hit? One of the things that we kind of discussed was, well, let’s talk about Beta and Alpha and what we’re getting out of that, and how much it’s improving the quality of the game.

And one of the things we talked about was, we actually spent a lot of time making sure that Alpha and Beta were in basically an accessible state. And that was like, well, that’s a lot of work that we’re not going to end up shipping with. So what if we were looking at our Alpha and Beta and more holistically, actually, funnily enough, something you’re very familiar with, more similar to like our raid testing, where it’s like, look, we’re gonna put the raid up on the weekend, then we’re going to take it down, we’re gonna do a lot of iterating, it’s probably going to be really busted for a while.

So, having to do that work to make sure it’s constantly in a playable state was something that we took a major look at. And also just, it really helped us to, like you said, focus on the feedback, like, where do we want people looking at when something that we’re actively working on right now. And we could really use a feedback versus well, people aren’t going to be looking at that again, for like, another month. Let’s just pull it down. And revisit it later.

Maximum  03:05
Yeah, great. Yeah, I don’t think I have many other follow ups to that, that’s good. So I have two very focused questions about the Great Vault. I think in general, it’s been obviously a great addition to the game because it basically just replaced like the old PvP in Mythic+ Vault from BfA with way less options, and it’s just just way more, you know, full on than that.

I would say it’s an improvement, but it is kind of polarizing, because like it’s a reliable upgrade source, certainly early in expansions and patches and seasons, where like, every week, you’re looking forward to it, you’re know you’re getting something you need. And then later on, I mean, I noticed in my Twitch chat, like people were like, oh, man, I hate the volume. They loved it earlier. But it’s like, man, this isn’t something I could really look forward to.

Basically, like, have you considered increasing the value maybe of the Bad Luck Protection Token, something you can do with that some kind of loot targeting, maybe scrolls to add Tertiaries? Just any anything along those lines of making the later part of the season feel like the Vault has more relevance?

Morgan Day  04:02

Well, there’s a lot of parts of this question. I guess I’ll talk about that last one in particular, because I think that speaks to a really important philosophical shifts that we saw, really, really around Shadowlands right and around patch 9.1.5, there were major philosophical shifts that we’ve talked about in interviews in the past, but this kind of gets to the heart of that. So I mean, more just speaking to the larger problem, or that idea of well, what if there was this cool thing for me to chase right? That led us down some paths that we had a lot of negative feedback on, right, like Korthia Sockets were initially created as a like, well, this is maybe like a super long stretch goal, something that you can go after if you really want to min max your character.

But as we’ve seen, and the way I think about this is like there are power options, right? Like, well, you’ve got two different chest plates at the same item level. These are different options. But then there’s exclusive power, right, like being able to put a socket or, in your example, adding a Tertiary. I can’t get that anywhere else the same way that like, you know. Or, Initially, we were like, oh, Korthia sockets where you can roll that randomly on an item when it drops, or let’s just add a way to add it to the item like deterministically.

Those things very quickly become requirements, right, they’re no longer like this, the stretch goal, this thing that maybe a very small percentage of the playerbase will look at as optional. And adding something like that to the Vault will I think, make the Vault feel like well, I have to hit this every week, I have to get all the Tertiaries on my character before they’re considered done. And, you know, that kind of leads us back to the philosophy shift here where, you know, what if your character could just be done, right? Like, like, yeah, what if, what if you don’t, we don’t ask you to do things with content that maybe wasn’t created to be done, you know, 500 times on that same character. And we’re really a lot more cognizant of what we’re asking the players to do with their time.

This is one of the major reasons that with Dragonflight launch, we’ve put such a focus on alts, right, like, there’s been a lot of things that are really friendly to alts that are designed to that way right out the gate, where previously we might have done that in a future patch. That’s something that we did very intentionally and are really pushing that, you know, like the Catalyst for instance. Initially, we got a lot of feedback around like, “Hey, can I just send this Cosmic Flux across my characters?” With the Revival Catalyst and Dragonflight, there’s, there’s no Flux currency that you need, right? When you earn a Charge, you just have it on all your characters. Even if you made that character after you earn the Charge.

So, I think, philosophically, where we would be going with something like this is, rather than adding something that would be just a stretch goal, something that you could constantly work on that new character. What if we added something like the ability to claim multiple rewards in a week to the Vault as like a catch up mechanic or, you know, an alt who comes in later could could get more things from the Vaults? Like that’s the kind of philosophical direction that we would want to look at for something like that, versus, well, now I have to do a Vault on you know, this character every week, because I need that, you know, that Avoidance or whatever. I can keep going in this one too.

Maximum  07:19
No, no, that’s… I love how passionate you are-…

Morgan Day 07:19
That’s a lot to unpack.

Maximum  07:20
No, clearly, I mean, actually, I’ve never even thought about that. That’s actually such a good idea. Because I definitely think there and because there are times like you know, you can even use the like Hearthstone Battlegrounds approach of like, being able to Freeze something, right? It’s like, you get a, like, a Great Vault one week, and it’s like you have the two best items are like, “Oh my god, I got both of them.” And then like, you know, you have the option to be like, “okay, maybe I can hold that for next week” or something, or like you said, pick both. It kind of solves. That’s actually very, very smart.

I hope you guys go down that path. And the philosophical shift makes perfect sense. Because you know, you could easily get into the lines of, oh, well, people early in the seasons are actually not even taking upgrades. So they get the reroll tokens or whatever. Like instead of actually selecting the Vault like there has to be a clear distinction between the loot you’re getting, and the token you’re getting for not getting what you want.

Morgan Day 08:05
Yeah, totally.

Maximum  08:06
Okay. And then just one more Vault thing. So, currently, the PvP Vault and the Mythic+ Vault operate a little bit differently, the PvP one, your ilvl is determined by your rating, and your Vault fills up with getting Honor from rated things in PvP. In Mythic+, I think it’s always been fine in the past, because you know, an old 15 was just, you know, you kind of just know a lot of people work up to 15’s. And that’s fine, but some people just treated 15’s as the thing they did to get the max out of their Vault and then they left.

Now you guys have a totally different upgrade. Mythic+, progression system basically like a 20 is not supposed to be what a 15 used to be. A 20 is giving you access in Mythic+ to a reward you have not been able to obtain before. But knowing that maybe doing 20… or, 8x 20s or 10x 20s in a week is a large ask… have you basically have you had any thought into maybe having the Mythic+ one operate similar to the PvP, where your ilvl is determined by your… your level of Dungeon you did, but maybe the Valor fill up is what fills up the slots.

Morgan Day  09:09
Right. So that’s an interesting parallel because I think for me, the thing that I look at is actually Mythic+ and the Raid Vault having more similar parallels there, right? Like, that’s essentially equivalent of saying like, what if I do, you know, kill a Mythic raid boss, and then I’m able to clear normal and I get all three options. Yeah, that’s kind of what you’re asking for and that’s not, you know, the parallel to the raids is actually what I would look at as something that we would see that as an you know, maybe taking that one step further like the Vault again with PvP. There’s some other things that we’ve talked about there were like, is PvP a great fit for the Vault? You know that like we’re just talking about coming in late to a season with Mythic+ in PvP, the kind of seasonal rewards are calculated at the end.

So, if you want to change your character for PvP, for instance, coming in later, you know, and the percentage of my gear that comes from the Vault, that can be pretty problematic. So there’s other things that we’ve talked about there. But ultimately like, no, that’s not something I think we would we would want to do. Because I think it’s important to consider, like the potential problems that could cause as well, right, like, especially with season four, having essentially uncapped Valor.

Yeah, this would this would, essentially could cause the same issue to pop up there, right. We’re, well, I do my one High Key, and then I do a spam a bunch of twos. I think it’s important that we look at the full picture of, you know, what the feedback is there, like, maybe there’s actually problems with the way of Valor is acquired, like, why don’t you want to run multiple teams or multiple 20s? Like, what are other things that we can do to incentivize you to want to do that outside of just the Vault? So I think that’s, that’s an area that we would look at, more holistically.

Maximum  10:59
Right. Yeah, no, excellent. And actually, just a quick follow up to that. Sorry, my dog is being cute. Quick follow up would be, you know, in the past, you had or in season four, you did have uncapped Valor. That was something that like, you see, the people who were super into season four, were like, “Oh, this is great. I wish this is like this every season.” And then you start thinking like, “Okay, well, then, like, why does heroic raid gear matter? And you can you get too much gear too fast?” Basically, just I think I know the answer. But like, have you guys considered? Or do you think it really makes sense at all to ever have uncapped Valor in a real season?

Morgan Day  11:35
We’re not going to do that for season one. Yeah, so certainly not that. And yeah, I mean, I think this season for experiment, seeing that it was a much shorter season, seeing how that played out on live, definitely will inform future decisions. I think the thing that we have talked more about is like, you know, it’s not that, that first week, the cap is actually different than when it goes up week over week, right? Like, it’s, it’s not like, 800 every week or whatever, it’s a different value. So I think that initial number is something that we could definitely look at and potentially tune in the future. But there’s a big delta between, you know, uncapped, and you know, whatever the number that we end up going with would be.

Maximum  12:13
Okay. Great. So I’m going to move on from the Vault to the Catalyst. So, Catalyst was talked about a lot last patch. There’s been a big push, as you saw that even from me and other people, you know, going into this, we’re like, man, we really want the Catalyst earlier. And I think a big part of this was a confusion between what we see the Catalyst as and what Blizzard does, you know, I think you guys absolutely see it as in this function, it is perfect, where it is a catch up mechanic where, you know, those those charges are already accumulated, if you’re starting late, if you’re playing an alt, right, things like that.

But for a lot of players, specifically Mythic+’ers and PvP’ers, last season, that that was the way they initially interacted and got their 4-piece in the first place, at that same timeline as it would be now. So basically, the question is, what do you think is or what does Blizzard think is the proper time to maybe acquire a 4-piece in a season if you are an active player clearing a lot of content?

Morgan Day  13:09
Yeah, so I guess the answer to that is, well, what kind of player are you? Right? Like, ultimately, like, at the end of the day, raids, we want to be the primary way in which you can earn sets, certainly early on in a season. Raids were, you know, once upon a time, it was the only way you could earn your set bonus at all. And with 9.2, with the Catalyst, especially that was where we really started to see other, you know, player types, being able to earn your sets at all.

So, you know, the Catalyst is actually doing a lot of heavy lifting, right? Like, for one, it’s Bad Luck Protection for the raiders, right? Like, we want them to be able to earn their set in those first few weeks, do raiding, or do Vault. And that’s an opportunity for them when the Catalyst turns on to kind of complete those sets and feel like alright, cool, I can get my for peace. You know, it’s very possible that we’re a guild who’s still progressing. So that’ll help us maybe get over a hump of one of the bosses that we’re fighting. And then for other people, this is one of the main ways that they’re going to be earning that.

And something that I think is actually pretty interesting nuance here is like, we were just discussing this actually, like, for raiders, the kind of competition is early, right, like the world first race happens. And for Mythic+ and PvP’ers, the competition is at the end of the season, really the right, that’s when you’re pushing the hardest. So we don’t feel like it’s putting you at a disadvantage to have to have Catalyst and your set bonuses come online a little bit later for those types of activities. So like I said, the Catalyst is doing a lot of heavy lifting. It’s kind of trying to fulfill multiple goals, but ultimately, you know, we weren’t waiting to be advantaged for that first initial part and how you get your set bonuses.

Maximum  14:53
That’s actually a really good point. I don’t think I’ve heard that point made with this question asked before it’s actually pretty insightful. Yeah, because my follow up question was kind of just gonna be like, you know, okay, well, you know, specifically now that tier, you know, a tier bonus affects everyone in PvP Mythic+ and raiding the same. So like the acquisition being from raiding, you know, because it’s from there historically, you know, how does that balance make sense? I actually think your answer about, you know, where the competition lies for each one of those things is actually very relevant. I don’t think a lot of people have understood that. So that’s a great, great answer.

Okay, so quick couple quick talent tree questions. So how often do you think the talent trees will be iterated? So and then maybe more-… Because I saw you answer this a little bit. Another thing, just to make it a little bit more spicy? Will the talent trees keep their evergreen nature in Patch content? So like, for an example, like 10.3, or .2 happens? And it’s like, okay, well, for this patch, you get like three more points or something in your spec tree, which would be literally borrowed power, kind of the barbed wire, you’re moving away from the patch? Or in the past? Basically, yeah, just that.

Morgan Day  16:00
I feel like you might be reading some of these questions from like, like a notepad maybe like, and you are reading them…? Haha.

Maximum  16:04
I’m definitely… it’s hard for me to… yeah.

Morgan Day  16:10

Okay, sorry. I’ll try to get to your answer. So yeah, like, like I said, you know, you saw some of the previous answers, which is, yeah, absolutely, we’re gonna be iterating on talents a lot, right, it’s gonna actually be a major focus of the combat and class teams, not only just at launch, but also post launch, this is gonna be something that we’re really keeping an eye on, and looking to make changes pretty frequently.

And with, you mentioned, you know, without having borrowed power, it’s something that we have a huge opportunity to really create a lot of interesting changes season over season, or patch over patch by just adjusting kind of baseline talent tree options. And then for the question, I think your follow up was like, would I add, would we add more talents in a patch? That’s actually a really interesting idea. It is one that we have discussed, however, you know, something that would need to be considered like a potential problem is, well, what happens to like future us, right?

Once we’re done with Dragonflight, we’re into the next expansion. Like, do we now have this case where, alright, I just hit like, level 80, and now we need to go back to Dragonflight to get a couple of talent points there. Like we need to consider what the like future ramifications of the system are. Because, you know, we want this to be where it is, you know, an evergreen system, this new talent system is here to stay. And we want it to be able to last not just all the way through Dragonflight and stay exciting, but all the way into, you know, future expansions as well.

Maximum  17:34
Okay, yeah, great answer. So just want to highlight, I think some issues that a lot of players have seen, actually very, very few specs. So currently, there’s three specs in the entire game that have a really important defensive piece of utility or an Interrupt on their spec tree, almost every other spec in the game and all of them except for three, all that happens on the class tree side, typically with less throughput options.

But I’ll just highlight just Moonkin and Demon Hunter, were taking Solar Beam or Netherwalk or Immunity or a very impactful Interrupt, they will lose anywhere from about 5 to 10% throughput to talent into these things. Every other game, every other class in the game, picking it from the class tree side. I think the high end is like one and a half percent loss to do that. So a couple of these specs feel a little bit singled out, I think I kind of understand it, because you need to keep something spec related. Like you don’t want to put Solar Beam in the class tree, right? Like, but like, how do you how do you balance that and deal with that?

Morgan Day  18:31

Right? That’s, those are very specific examples. You know, that might be a better question for Brian. But I can say, you know, philosophically, that was something that that exact example was something that we talked a lot about and wanting to try to avoid, right like that, “Hey, am I going to give up a huge percentage of damage for this PC utility?” That’s not always interesting options. We know what happens there, which is why we have, you know, the two the class and spec talent tree, as well as the two different types of points, right, that was one of the goals was to get back to some of that hybridity to allow us to create, you know, more viable options, more viable builds for players to play around with was that, okay, “Hey, you’ve got this class talent point, you can spend it over here, and then the spec talent points, that’s where your damage is coming from. Don’t sweat that.”

So if what you’re saying is there’s, you know, a case where there’s some very specific examples, it’s very rare ended up to those problems, then I say, those are absolutely the areas that we need to take a closer look at. You know, that’s not something that we would be able to hotfix like, yeah, that’s potentially a pretty major change that would need to happen to the tree to, to make adjustments there. Those are the types of things that we would have to look at, you know, like, I was just saying the cadence that we’re looking at is, you know, every essentially major patch or dot patch, we’ll be making changes there. So that’s the type of example of that, yeah, absolutely. We… sounds like we have some some looking into to do there are some work to do.

Maximum  19:56
Okay. Yeah, for sure. That’s That’s great to hear, because I I know that a few of those specs were definitely because like, like almost every spec just had that design, they’re like what you’re describing is like, you know, maybe a healer can get an Interrupt for the first time in Dragonflight that hasn’t happened before, but they might have to invest into some points, it’s not going to be like right there, you know, it should be an investment to grab something you haven’t had before.

So, that stuff in the class tree has largely been good. There’s just a couple of spec tree issues. So talent trees, again, just in general, very positive. But generally, you have not that many loadout options. So for example, if you have a class that has four specs, I drew it and even without even trying to specialize it, which you could with how good the talent trees are, you could make a different build for every dungeon. Depending on your group comp, you could swap things up for every raid boss, right? Even it’s not as simple as single target AOE or PvP, right. But even if you wanted to only do single target AOE PvP for a druid, you would not have enough loadout spots to do that. Is there basically, is there any chance to get more options in-game, and not through an addon, to save more loadout slots?

Morgan Day  21:06
Yeah, totally. So I think you just said it. But for a user who feels like they want that level of interaction when they want more than 10. You know, a lot of people aren’t even playing more than one spec across different content. Yes, yeah. So for someone who is, you know, really deeply engaged with Mythic+ PvP, multiple difficulties of raiding. That’s someone that we would consider like a pretty advanced user, and they probably have other addons installed. So you know, when you talk about our base UI, that’s often the target audience might be different than some of the people that you were just talking about with examples there.

So we have to pick a number, right? Like it can’t be infinite coming out the gates for a multitude of reasons, not only like potential tech problems there with saving infinite things, but there has to be a number and 10 felt like a pretty solid number of the gates. Not to say that maybe “Yeah, we don’t increase that over time. I would…” sorry, I giggled because I was having flashbacks to like the hearthstone deck slots, questions that that team got all the time. “Yes, give me give me more deck slots.” Like I have a feeling this is going to turn into that for us. But at least we have addons as an option to increase that over time for other players.

Maximum  22:20
Okay, cool. So we have to skip around a few things. I think I have a few more questions. We only have about six minutes. So let me see where I want to start here. Okay, I think I’m going to do these two. I’m gonna do one Mythic+ one, I think and I’ll come back if I have time. How does the team feel about funding the new seasonal ethics?

I think getting a seasonal ethics like that to a balancing point to where it’s not impactful enough or too impactful is very difficult view it’s obviously built into make it so you know, if you’re a lower level Mythic+ group and you just don’t want to deal with it, you can just stack and get rid of it instantly. And it’s very simple to do that. But if you want to min max it, you know, you really get potentially punished for that, but then also rewarded for doing it for the full duration. How do you guys feel about it?

Morgan Day  23:01
I thought you said thunder was like the most complicated affix ever.

Maximum  23:06
Did I? When?

Morgan Day  23:07
Yeah. When you said that. I was like, Wait a minute. Did you never play with infested? Like…

Maximum  23:11
Oh, infested was like a totally different thing. Yeah, sure.

Morgan Day  23:14
So anyways, so yeah, I mean, as you might have seen, Thundering, you know, our season one Dragonflight, seasonal ethics went through a lot of iteration, like a whole lot. And a big part of that was we were basically having to redefine the identity of what a seasonal affix would be right? Like seasonal affixes previously, like one of the major kind of pillars, and a huge weight that they would have to carry was changing your routing, right? Like a goal of seasonal affixes previously was, this will change the way that you approach the dungeon, right?

Like maybe, you know, there’s a specific route that you might take through a dungeon in season one and season two with the introduction this affix that should change the way that you introduced that with Dragonflight where the goal is to have a new season a new dungeon pool with every season, there was a huge burden lifted off of our seasonal affixes right there. So we’re really exploring like what is the identity and where we kind of landed was creating this elevated sense of coordination as well as mastery with how and how you min max those things right so so thundering as you see it now when the affix becomes active it adds quite a bit of health to the key but also gives you the opportunity to overcome that right like you said if maybe you’re not looking to time the key, you’re just looking for completion you can just delete the mechanic and not have to worry about it.

But if you want to time it there’s a degree of mastery with the coordination required to get the extra damage to push the key past that you know added health that it that it was that felt like something where you know increasing health and then giving the players the ability to you know, min max, this kind of buff that we’re giving you to optimize the key felt like a formula that we could have least attempt to carry forward into future seasons. We’ll see how that plays out. But that’s basically where we landed.

Maximum  25:05

Okay, cool. Also, I want to point out for the record, the current version of thundering is not what I said that about that was the one where everyone like, shut out lightning from them and stun people and stuff like that. I feel like it’s changed a lot since then.

Morgan Day  25:21
I think were two, there were like two different marks or something, also, I think, also when he said that…

Maximum  25:25
Uh… maybe, I don’t remember. I don’t remember anything. It was through a lot of iterations. Like, like a lot of people I am oft I am often wrong. So who knows it is in a very good spot right now. Okay, so a couple more, I probably have time for like two more maybe

Morgan Day  25:40
Were you gonna ask the GCD one because I want to…

Maximum  25:43
Oh, yes, I can, I can actually do that.

Morgan Day  25:43
I was actually wondering pick your brain about that one also. So I’m curious. So, you want to ask? Or you can save that one for last, it’s up to you.

Maximum  25:51
Yeah, yeah, we can do one before that. Let’s see. Oh, there was one that you kind of answered. We have to skip a lot. But I think here’s a good one. So this is about patch content. Obviously not having you announced what you guys are doing for patch content. But just in general, for the last you know, almost six years with a you know, kind of like I guess the borrowed Power era of WoW Legion through Shadowlands where you’re expecting something in a new patch, like corruption or essences or double legendaries.

And that’s like a major feature that is coming along with the game. With this expansion being more evergreen, I imagine there’s not going to be a lot of things like that. So outside of, you know, maybe like a core Thea style Island or, you know, what else can we expect in patches going forward? Maybe a bigger focus on tuning? You’re just like, what-… oh, sorry… my dog just hit my mic. She is not happy that I’m not paying attention right now… Like what, what, what, what comes? What is the new? Is there a new idea for patches? Is it more of the same stuff like that?

Morgan Day  26:47
Do you mean specifically like with the systems? Do you mean just like no, just as a whole like…?

Maximum  26:51
Well, I mean, I mean, like the like, yeah, just like what’s available in a patch besides a Mythic+ a new Mythic+ season PvP season, a new raid, a new and potentially a new island? Do you guys have anything else you’re looking to add now that that big major borrow power source is not going to be in there?

Morgan Day  27:07
Okay, I guess I’ll try to answer that in two ways. One, we fully recognize and understand that our patch content cadence with Shadowlands, you know, that left a lot to be desired that feels like, you know, we heard loud and clear from the players that we need to do better there. We heard that feedback. We have a lot of plans. We’re not quite ready to announce our full content, basically, patch plans, but it has evolved quite a bit from what we’ve seen in the past. Great. I’ll leave that there. Yeah. And then the second part of you know, without borrowing power, I think that, you know, as expansion move moves forward, a few of the things, you know, we have in our immediate focus are things like class tuning, you know, PvP talents, talent, tree updates, class tier sets. Dragonflight, I think is a really unique opportunity to kind of assess the core design of a lot of what our classes look like, without the added complexity of additional systems, right, like, there’s no conduit soul binds legendaries, you know, as our essence is, like, none of that stuff is here.

And one of the more difficult tasks about redesigning the talent tree is was taking into consideration how all of these different layered pieces might impact, you know, core classes. So this opens up the ability for us to take a really close look at what talent trees are doing well, and what we think we could be improving, you know, hopefully giving us a lot more flexibility on updating individual talents, or talent trees, without you know, really throwing the balance completely out of whack. So the new talent system is very fresh still, you know, we’re really happy with how much integration went into it. But we realized that there’s a lot that could still be explored and iterated on there in future patches.

Maximum  28:55
Okay, great. And then as you suggested, we will do the last one about the defensive GCDs this was kind of lower on my list because I know you just got asked about one It wasn’t about defensives is about like utility stuffs like death grip, and things like that. So similar idea, but just with I guess, a few examples, so and we haven’t really talked about GCDs outside of that thing yesterday, since the you know, the offensive GCD BfA style thing where you guys tried the you know, having all your offensive cooldowns on the global but you wanted to like arcane surge, the new arcane power replacement, you wanted the upfront hit of making that feel awesome while also and then and then you guys went kind of back on that and a lot of things you added the you remove the GCDs from a lot of those things.

But since then, it’s had a lot of people think about defensives, because there’s a few between different classes where almost seemingly identical abilities from one class to another one is on the GCD and one is off, or at least very very similar. And basically just what are your roles designed? Like? What is your all’s design ideas for functionally identical abilities having different requirements for the global cooldown?

Morgan Day  29:56
Okay, so I’m gonna put my trap card The reason I’m talking about this is actually the first part of your question I think is really interesting. And I want to pick your brain about it actually. Yeah. So I swear I’ll get to the defensives on the GCD but that initial part of you know cooldowns like offensive cooldowns that are on the GCD and you mentioned Arcane Surge. You know, sharing a little secret Arcane Surge was a pretty big experiment of ours, like you saw in battle for Azeroth, we took a lot of global cooldowns or sorry, a lot of offensive timers, essentially, and put them back on the global cooldown. You know, trying to solve that problem of like, what if I have multiple buttons?

And the correct answer, like objectively is just my macro there? Yeah, that seems weird, right? Like that seems like a problem. So we were experimenting in Shadowlands with buttons like arcane surge, to see like, Hey, can we make this? Can we make a button for mages that feels like it’s worth the GCD or feel like it’s worth the cast time? And actually kind of blank. One of those other cooldowns, right, like arcane power essentially doesn’t exist anymore. Arcane Surge is that new button? So I’m kind of curious like one… do you still think that that battle for us are off kind of problem as we identified with big ol’ macro? Was problematic and to like, how successful has our conservative and maybe that’s not something you can answer, but that’s something that I would love to hear kind of, you know, chat or hear other people’s thoughts on because…

Maximum  31:28
Yeah, no, well, first of all, excellent usage of viewing. But then, but then it just in general, I mean, yeah, so I think the issue in BfA was a lot of classes didn’t have that upfront element added to their thing. So they were just looking at having a 10 second cooldown where they do I’ll just make it up just like 30% more damage.

Morgan Day  31:45
We called it like the nuclear launch sequence where it’s like, Alright, this one now this one, now this one, now this one…

Maximum  31:50
Yeah. It’s like a holy decay incarnate, but for other classes, like they were given that issue of like, oh, well, just one of the 10 seconds, I’m doing increased damage. I can’t press anything. So it just feels bad. But then you actually every cooldown you’ve added, I think, since then, has actually been with that in mind, not only the arcane surge, but when you’re talking about a Evoker right like some of the Evokers biggest burst right now is stacking up a 20 stack of the of using blue spells and then using their cooldown which shoots out the pyres and does like massive elite, right? Like the same thing with the new row cooldown you add it right the Rogue that is no longer vendetta off the GCD it is this big bleed that you put on them that increased you in some way.

So I think I think the answer is the community is very well receptive to and enjoys having their CDs on the global when the the effect that comes from that is worth it. And I think so far of all the examples I just gave you out of this expansion that is exactly you do not see arcane they just complaining that arcane search ever I’ve never seen exactly right.

So the only time they don’t like it is when it’s like okay, this thing I’ve always had has always operated like this now, it’s just worse because I can’t do this thing. But the macro thing is a problem not even incorporating new players. It’s, you know, if you just if you have a macro that slash use, like three different spells, you know, that’s super weird and counterintuitive, right? Even though it’s probably normal did like maybe macro, a two minute trinket into a two minute cooldown, because that’s just easy, right?

Morgan Day  33:08
Yeah. And not only that, but like, you know, when you look at, I wouldn’t say actually, it just kind of all competitive aspects of the game, like in PvP having this huge delta between the damage that I do with all my cooldowns up, and then outside of my cooldowns like, that creates clear problems, right, where there’s burst windows, and then basically nobody can pay outside of those in raids, you know, I…

It’s one of things that still bothers me where I can look at you know, two people in my guild, the exact same class exact same spec, the person pushing all the identical buttons, but one of them might be messing up, they’re basically the timer window on the pole. And their damage is like 20% lower for the whole fight, because I just messed up that like, 30-second window correct, which is kind of crazy to think about. And then in Mythic+, you know, other problems as well there.

So that feels like a problem. Generally, that would still be worth tackling. It’s just a matter of like, what the right way to go about it is. So I was curious to kind of hear how everyone felt about the current iteration. We attempted-…

Maximum  34:10
Yeah… well, it’s also about it’s also the duality of just damaged class in this game in general, right, like, you have 38 specs in class, you did not I think you said this yesterday about how, you know, it’s okay for classes to have great strength and great weaknesses because of how many types of combat and ways to do damage there on this game. So while you have the event, your Moonkins of 9.2, like you said, doing all of that damage in the reverse window, and then you also have the like BM hunters have now where if you look at their damage over a five minute thing, it’s like a straight line.

Both of those things are valuable in different scenarios, though. So it’s like it’s cool to have both but I understand what you mean, where you’re saying like, Okay, if you’re having a, a class that like if they mess up one thing, it’s like, it’s for the next five minutes, like no single decision or action should have that much impact on your entire pool. Yeah, I get it.

Morgan Day  34:53
And yeah, you just walked into the second part of the answer. Great. Okay, which was the defensive cooldowns. I think the other part of the question was like two buttons that can look very different, but they have different cooldowns or GCDs associated with them. Ultimately, the answer there is kind of what you just said, like, we balance, you know, classes as a whole package with different strengths and weaknesses against one another. We don’t balance individual buttons against one another, right?

Like, there’s a lot of room for texture for nuance within those buttons, like, simplest example, you know, (?), too, but Divine Shield, you can kind of run around and still heal people or murder people in PvP, right, like, exact same function, I’m immune, but they have a ton of texture in terms of the differences between them. So we feel like generally, there’s a lot of design space to create strengths and weaknesses with a class there.

And also, when we were just talking about, like, I want that button pressed to be worthwhile. Often that button press, you know, for the offensive cooldowns I can’t take advantage of until I’m off a global versus a defensive cooldown, it did something instantly, right? Like, I am immediately taking less damage. It’s not like I have to wait for my global to be back up again, before I can start taking advantage of this. So those are just a couple of the reasons for there’s more there as well. Like sometimes just history plays a large role in why certain buttons are different than others. But yeah, generally, that’s kind of how we approach that.

Maximum  36:20
Okay, great. And I think you are seven minutes over so thank you.

Morgan Day  36:23
I… apologize?

Maximum  36:24
Oh, no, no, no, no, no, I definitely thank you for that for sure. Thank you for spending this time with me. I I did skip a bunch of them. But I think a lot of the honestly I think we got through a lot of the good ones. But I think in general people are very excited for Dragonflight. I was really nice to read yesterday from you and Ion both giving different sentiments about how you from Blizzard are, you know, you’re seeing this as like kind of a rebirth as well. You know, you’re you’re going through a lot of different ideas and stuff like that. It’s really exciting for us to see, so… thanks for, thanks for talking to me today.

Morgan Day  36:53
Awesome. Thanks for having me.

Maximum  37:02
Okay, he left. All right, cool. Yeah. That was nice. That was cool. That was really, dude. Honestly, I wish… Okay, I hope. I hope I get to talk to him again. Because him and Ion interview so differently. So that was the second interview I ever did. I did one with Ion. And I did one with him. And even I wrote like an entire, like, notepad of questions. And like, I was 75% through it in like 12 minutes. And he was doing great answers, too. He wasn’t like, just going right through it right. And then Morgan is much, just much more thorough with all these answers. And I could have I could have skimmed it down to have much better ones. I think just I mean, obviously there.

I don’t know if there was much way for me to know that before this because like, I really like this look, dude, if we were doing an Ion interview, the I would have went through every single one on here. Right. And that was great. The actual he roasted you good? No, not really. But I mean, either way. I mean, I liked that though. Right? Isn’t that way better? Isn’t him seeing one question I had laid out and him wanting to actually talk about it. I hard dude, I preferred I feel like the last like eight minutes of that interview was amazing. Because it felt like we were actually just two people having a conversation in a Discord channel about something and kind of going back and forth about it, right. So maybe the next time I’m doing one with Morgan, knowing that he really likes doing stuff like that, maybe I will kind of format a lot of the interview that way because I think that was actually really nice.

Also, he was turbo prepared. Not only did I send him questions earlier this week, but he also apparently was watching my stream for an hour in which I like went through my full interview and added things and gave my reasoning behind it. So he was like, he was ready to go, bro, you cut him off. He wanted to do more. No, I didn’t. They’re very strict with 30 minute timelines. They have they have like PR people like literally like looking at their watch, like telling them to leave probably for that entire seven minutes that he was going there best. That 30 minutes. That is for sure. I mean, yeah. I mean, obviously I would talk to that guy for an hour or longer. It was really fascinating.

About the Author


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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