World of Warcraft Live Developer Q&A Recap from March 21, 2019
Last Thursday, World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas and Community Manager Josh Allen fielded questions from the community in the latest WoW Live Developer Q&A. Among the topics addressed were loot distribution, leveling speed, transmogrification restrictions, and the recent changes to portals used for traveling around the world.
Check out some highlights of some of the Q&A topics below, and watch the archive of the full Q&A on the Warcraft Twitch channel.
Randomness vs Choice in Loot Distribution
Ion explained the design team’s current philosophy regarding randomness in loot distribution, with particular detail on how the sheer amount of loot that players collect helps to counterbalance the randomness. He also mentioned that the team is working on improvements aimed at helping limit cases of duplicate items from sources like the weekly Mythic Keystone cache.
Measuring “Fun” in World of Warcraft
When asked how the development team determines what players consider “fun,” Ion described a few different methods and challenges. He explained what the team calls “the Mechanar problem”—a reference to a Burning Crusade–era dungeon that was highly popular, but only because its rewards were valuable, not necessarily because they enjoyed it more than other dungeons. He also described a few metrics that can help the team determine whether players are actually enjoying something or not, such whether they continue to play content that no longer has valuable rewards for them.
New Caverns of Time Portal and Travel UI Updates Incoming
A few changes are coming in response to the recent community discussions around portals, both building on the philosophy around travel laid out in our recent forum post. A future content update will add a new portal to the Caverns of Time, as well as a UI update that will make it clearer to players how best to travel to other continents.
New Transmogrification Options
In response to a question about new transmogrification options coming to the game, Ion confirmed that a “Hide Chest” option is in the works, for players who want to show off their characters’ tattoos or just embrace the “berserker” look. He also mentioned that the team is looking to loosen some restrictions on “silly” items that have historically been ineligible for transmogrification.
Next Set of Allied Races
Ion confirmed that there are no new Allied Races planned for Rise of Azshara, but he did hint that there are more planned for the future.
Rate and Reward for Leveling
Ion discussed the challenges inherent in making each level feel rewarding in an environment where you have 120 (or more) levels to get through. He said that the development team is currently considering a “level squish,” which would reduce the maximum level cap, but make each level feel like more of an accomplishment.
Roleplaying Realms in WoW Classic
Ion confirmed that there are three types of realms(servers) planned for the launch of WoW Classic: Normal, PvP, and, at least in regions with populations large enough to support them, Roleplaying. There are currently no plans for RP-PvP realms in Classic, but the team is open to adding them at a later time if there is enough of a community to support them.
Read more about the latest news on the official World of Warcraft blog.