Shadowlands Interview with Ion Hazzikostas
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Torghast Time Commitment
The long term goal for Torghast is not multiple hour runs.
Torghast is still in early development as they wanted to get it up early for feedback.
They haven't put much time into the meta progression just yet. They don't mind having a build come together in the middle and make that portion easy, but it shouldn't continue infinitely.
They're looking to condense the runs where you get your build together, you get to crush some floors but the runs don't take a long time.
There will definitely be a full suite of achievements for Torghast.
Achievements are generally one of the last things to develop as they want to understand the system.
Milestones, Beating different bosses, personal challenges and more!
Torghast Two-Week Events
Torghast is being built with events in mind.
A certain event might take over a section of the tower, but that's more of a long term goal to keep Torghast feeling fresh.
Legendary Item Crafting
It's not available in alpha just yet, but it will hopefully be up in a few weeks.
It'll hopefully be unlocked early in Torghast.
There will likely be an extra room that you can enter in the lobby of Torghast where you can head into where you find the Runesmith who originally crafted Frostmourne.
As you explore Torghast, you can find scraps that you can turn in to the Runesmith to add the Legendary effect.
Unlocking and learning the legendaries as well as the crafting materials will last the entire expansion.
Time Passing in the Shadowlands
There isn't a fixed amount of time like 3x or 10x faster like in a sci-fi movie. It's more chaotic.
What does that mean for the player? We'll have to see when we come out the other end.
Covenants Ability Choice
It's a design challenge.
It's essential for the RPG aspect of the game to have choices with consequences and choices that shape the strengths and weaknesses of your characters.
They understand the community in the current World of Warcraft climate and don't want players to feel like they're letting their guildmates or group down.
Covenants are a full package deal, which includes Soulbinds, and they're planning on continuing to balance and update Covenant abilities on the Alpha in order to try to make sure that there's no wrong choice.
Class Trainers are at the end of the new player experience where it teaches you about choosing a spec.
Players no longer start with a spec in Shadowlands which leads to the focus on class identity rather than spec identity.
No plans to make players go back to Class Trainers, but they would love to find a way to make Class Trainer relevant again.
Lordaeron and Teldrassil
There are big unresolved elements there.
There's a piece of the story with Tyrande in Ardenweald.
We may encounter many who fell in Battle for Azeroth in Shadowlands.
Finding a new home for the Night Elves and Forsaken isn't a great fit for the Shadowlands but they know that it's unresolved and it will be addressed in the future and they are already thinking of ideas.
Heritage Armor will continue until all races have them.
They want to continue doing them in Shadowlands patches, usually in X.5 patches.
Adventure System - New Mission Table
Should be on alpha next month.
They want to have a system that represents the fantasy of WoW's combat.
They want to evolve the mission table system to add more depth.
Legendaries and Professions
Current plan is only special items can be turned into Legendaries.
They need to made with certain items so they have the latent power that can be turned into Legendaries.
This means that you'll need items made from the crafting professions Tailors, Blacksmiths and Leatherworkers.
This should give the item-crafting professions sustained importance throughout the entire expansion.
Legendary Catch Up and Alts
It's likely that there will be some catch up eventually.
But unlike Legion, you can immediately work towards the Legendary that you want.
Whereever possible, make the recipes that you earn account-wide.
Crafting an Item
They want to introduce the Shadowlands system to previous profession levels but it's not a top priority.
You can craft without the optional components and it'll roll with random stats, but you can craft with additional components and guarantee a specific stat.
Graphics and Raytracing
No plans to drastically raise minimum requirements.
Class Armor Sets and Tier
Set bonuses are the piece that they're still trying to figure out.
Bonuses is why they pulled back class sets -- raiding isn't the only end game system and there's more loot in the game and they don't want players to feel locked into a set of 4 armor pieces.
They're currently focused on covenant armor when Shadowlands launches.
No plans on PvP only stats so the system will be like BFA.
Imagine when you fill your conquest bar, instead of getting a specific piece you get a token which you can turn in for a choice from a long list.
Covenant Transmog Restrictions
Current thought is in order to use the Covenant transmogs, your character must be a member of that Covenant.
If you have multiple characters in the same Covenant, those transmog should be account-wide.
Pre-Expansion Patch Duration
They're still working on the pre-expansion event and that event can only go out when Shadowlands is complete.
They know that players are excited for Shadowlands and are looking for new things to do in Visions of N'Zoth but they don't want to sacrifice quality of the expansion to release it earlier.
They've learned a lot from BFA on War Mode.
Battle for Nazjatar had a lot of factional imbalance but factional assaults created a lot of natural World PvP.
There will probably be some FFA areas similar to Legion.
They're also thinking about potentially some Covenant vs Covenant action. Covenants are not naturally enemies but there's probably some spaces where there can be some challenges between the factions.
Reputation Buff on Live
The experience buff was open ended and you can never have too many alts.
The reputation buff has allowed players to unlock allied races or new rewards and will not be extended
There's another buff coming out after the reputation buff that will help players with alts catch up.
"How do I get the corruption I want" and Legendary Cloak getting caught up was mentioned.
Hopefully news in a few days.
There's a range of storytelling options -- from the Warbringers pieces to the ingame cinematics to the pre-rendered movie quality cinematics.
They use each of them when it makes sense for the story to tell.
They will continue to see all of those types of videos to support the Shadowlands story.
Faction Leaders in the Shadowlands
Can't say much more due to spoilers.
Important Names in the Shadowlands
Arthas is somewhere in the Shadowlands right?
They want to be careful with that character and you'll be learning about the power that shaped the Lich King but they also want to be respectful about one of the great characters of Warcraft Lore.
You probably won't be running around with him, but you will be learning some things about him.
Oribos and Covenant Sanctum Features
Oribos should be on the alpha within the next week.
Oribos and the Covenant Sanctums have a lot of parallels to the way Dalaran and the Class Halls worked.
Loading Screens in Torghast
It's an unfortunate tech limitation due to the dynamic nature of Torghast.
They agree it's a little immersion breaking.
They may explore a different loading screen effect instead of the blue bar.
Traveling Between Shadowlands
Bolvar will serve as a bridge between Azeroth and Shadowlands, providing valuable insights as we quest.
Chances are high. He survived the confrontation with Sylvanas.
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