en tu navegador.
Jeremy Feasel and Frank Kowalkowski Interview on Rise of Azshara’s Loot, Warbringer Easter Egg, and Sylvanas’ Looming Endgame
15/05/2019 a las 10:04
We caught up with Senior Game Designer Jeremy Feasel and Technical Director Frank Kowalkowski recently on the design philosophies of Patch 8.2
Rise of Azshara
, as well as some teases for the future--Sylvanas' endgame will be clear soon!
In April 2019, Blizzard revealed the full suite of content updates for
Rise of Azshara
--including two new zones Nazjatar and Mechagon, Azshara's Eternal Palace Raid, Mechagon Mechadungeon, Tauren and Gnome Heritage Armor, and flying. While many basic details on 8.2 have been up for testing on the PTR for a month, we wanted to ask some questions as to the reasoning behind these decisions.
No release date has been given yet for Patch 8.2, but you can learn all about each feature in our
Rise of Azshara
We asked both Blizzard employees what their favorite part of the patch was, and both discussed the collecting and exploration aspects of the patch. While
Rise of Azshara
has many updates for competitive players, including Season 3, a new dungeon, and new raid, it's interesting to see that the collection aspects of the patch also shine strong.
8.2 contains many new features such as the two new outdoor zones and Eternal Palace raid. What are you most personally most excited about?
Frank: I've played Mechagon on several different characters on the PTR. I love gnomes and the whole goblin/gnome interchange so to see a whole zone dedicated to those very responsible scientists, was super cool! I love he customization of the trinket, of building that cat...it's a fun zone! We're going a bit different there with progression mechanics around the island.
Also looking forward to the Heart of Azeroth. We think it will be something that gives players a lot of choices when deciding how to progress their character.
Jeremy: You know me, I'm all about the pets and mounts and collecting! I want things to do. This content updates give you a lot of
and I think the cool part is that they are very
things. The World Quests you're doing in Nazjatar are very different than what we've seen so far. When you also look at ways to progress your character, we now have Essences from different sources. You could log in and just do an activity like PvP, for example, and work towards Essences.
After her pact with N'Zoth and transformation of the Highborne into the Naga, Queen Azshara and her servants created a new capital under the sea, Nazjatar. This is now a level 120 zone in Battle for Azeroth, coming in Patch 8.2
Rise of Azshara
Rares will have powerful Azshara themed buffs that change each time you see them and claim areas of the zone, bringing Naga and base defenses with them. More world quests will unlock as you help your allies throughout the main questline.
Nazjatar is intended to take the best parts of previous outdoor content and fuse them together, such as rare spawns and mini-events from the Timeless Isle. Notable Nazjatar achievements include
Dame la bolsa más grande que tengas
¿No se suponía que eran raras?
With Nazjatar recently open on the PTR, we’re seeing some new gear catch-up systems, including notably the
which shares some similarities with Timeless Isle catch-up gear like upgrading tokens, but a twist with interesting combat and exploration procs. Can you talk a bit about your design philosophies behind this new gearing system?
So one of the things we wanted to do with
Rise of Azshara
in particular was give you a large number of different choices on how to progress your character. So you'll see this in a number of different ways, and one of them is this system in Nazjatar where you can start getting catch-up gear, and upgrade that gear, and get procs on it. With this system, as well as others in 8.2 like the Mechagon trinket, dungeon loot, and the Essence system, we want you to feel like there are many ways to progress your character, and they each offer different powers, on top of the existing Azerite gear.
Our design philosophy for 8.2 gear is all about player agency.
So we're also having a lot of fun exploring Nazjatar, What are some little touches from Nazjatar that you think will make people smile or that you’re particularly proud of? We think it's a nice touch that
Azshara follows you around everywhere
, mocking you while holding a wine glass in her hand.
One thing we worked on from the tech side to make Nazjatar feel a bit more epic was the giant wall of water surrounding the zone. We're trying to sell the notion that the ocean is parted and we're looking at the bottom of it. Everywhere you look, you see that wall, and you're reminded that yep, we're under the ocean. It's cool that there's a constant reminder that you're here due to the will of Azshara.
Nazjatar and Mechagon were very different places. We had some incredibly creative designers working, giving us opportunities to do creative things in these spaces. You can see this in everything from the fishing questlines in Mechagon that are starting to be teased on the PTR, to other types of wacky content with unique little story elements, to things like the combat allies you encounter in Nazjatar. Everyone got to tell their own cool unique story.
Going back to Azshara, we wanted Azshara to feel like the focus. Every rare and champion in the zone...she's the one that's talking to you, welcoming you to her court as a gracious hostess. There's an element of congratulations when you win against a champion. We wanted her to be the spectacular character that she is.
Vash’jir introduced a lot of Naga lore in Cataclysm, but felt truncated when the Abyssal Maw raid storyline was not pursued. Could we be seeing some familiar faces from Cata in 8.2 or continuations of old storylines?
The original idea behind the Abyssal Maw raid didn't really form with a major storyline to carry forward. However, one thing we do want to showcase though, is the Warbringers piece. There's an entire
questline in Nazjatar
highlighting the Warbringer piece, where you get to encounter the place Azshara held back the tides. We also wanted to highlight the storylines of what happened to the people that didn't side with Azshara. What happened to them, and their battle pets?
There's so much history down here in Nazjatar for us to get to, we tried to get to as much of it as possible. There was one question from the community asking about seeing the
again...unfortunately no. But Azshara has some brand-new followers we'll meet.
Mechagon is a level 120 outdoor zone coming in Patch 8.2 Rise of Azshara, with more secrets per square foot than any other WoW zone.
Important components of Mechagon are the junkyard, exploration, and mechagnomes. Completing the discovery meta-achievement
awards the wheel mount
Llaves del modelo W
Another new zone in 8.2 is Mechagnon, which is designed pretty differently from Nazjatar. One interesting component is the
, a crafting system anyone can access. Wowhead’s audience is pretty familiar with the basics, so can you explain some of your favorite things you can craft from the junkyard and what you were aiming for with this new system?
It's pretty extensive--we don't want to spoil everything, but we want people to go out there and discover some of the unique recipes out there. I like collecting things, so the first thing I did in Mechagon was go out and try to craft that cat. I love the idea of using the
Dispositivo de cómputo de bolsillo
to create the best possible trinket, picking components that are the best for them. Also looking forward to the Dungeon--we spent time working with the artists creating a giant city within a mountain, where we'll wind through Mechagnome streets to face off against Mechagon.
I think it will be interesting to see how War Mode turns out. War Mode is a new feature expanded throughout Battle for Azeroth--most recently, we saw it part of Incursions, where many players were engaged fighting in the same spot. We're doubling down on that idea. What happens when you're on this tiny island? Also recently we changed up the Flame Turrets and other constructs to be faction-specific, which should impact the battle.
We talked a bit about Nazjatar loot, but
is also unconventional in many ways, which is exciting, ranging from the punchards to the set bonus rings, How does this system fit into gearing developments of BfA, which started off pretty generic and is now getting more exciting as patches progress?
Definitely will be interesting to see what happens when people choose to gear themselves for Season 3. Because that unlocks not only the new dungeon and those gear bonuses, which may conflict or interact with older bonuses from Dazar'alor or Crucible, but there are also Essences which provide a whole new set of choices for your character, in addition to the passive bonuses and potential for acquiring upgraded versions. Plus, the new Azerite armor, and the punchcards...it's difficult to predict how it will go.
One thing all on our minds for this patch was "hey, let's make awesome stuff" and we made sure to add this gear early to the PTR so we have ample time to test and respond to feedback.
It's nice to get people excited about other gear slots again--
, for example, had the artifacts for the weapon slot, and interesting legendaries for the armor slots.
One thing with Legion legendaries we wanted to revisit was the idea that you could get game-changing elements, not only changing how you played your character but also your plan for gearing that slot, leading to a more-interesting decision-making process.
Heart of Azeroth Essences
In Patch 8.2
Rise of Azshara
, a new type of customization has been added to the Heart of Azeroth called Essences. This allows players to gain talent-like Major and Minor Powers based on which Essences they decide to place into the Heart of Azeroth.
Check out our
Heart of Azeroth Essence Calc
to plan your Essence setup for Patch 8.2, Rise of Azshara.
After the loss of the
artifacts, the Azrite system felt empty in comparison. Instead of unlocking powerful traits on famous weapons, with options to change its appearance, players had countless pieces of Azerite gear to farm and level up. Patch 8.2 hopes to change things by offering more compelling components to Azerite, such as visuals, a clear progression system, interesting choices.
We’ve been testing and covering the essences system for a few weeks, but one of the components that's been hyped up we don’t know much about are the legendary effects. Will they be up for testing on the PTR, or any you feel look awesome?
We haven't talked about testing the visuals on the PTR yet. Right now, we're looking for feedback on the acquisition of the essences. But on the other side, checking out the spell effects does feel like something players would be interested in. Our goal is that all of them must look spectacular--some we are still iterating on.
We told the Visual Effects team to go crazy with Azerite, and they did! This is the maximum level of Azerite.
We’re also learning more about essence sources, seeing them change in recent PTR builds. How do you feel about players being incentivized to acquire an Essence that's out of their comfort zone, because it's powerful for the content they like doing? For example, if you have to do high-end PvP content for something that's powerful in Mythic+.
One of the reasons for putting all the essences on the PTR so early and revealing their locations was to gather feedback. When we later do a character wipe on the PTR, we hope to have adjustments in place, reflecting that earlier feedback.
We feel pretty good about having a variety of different things come from a variety of different places. There is a small percentage of the audience, Cutting Edge raiders, and I think for that player, they will pursue any avenue they need to for any level of power. But getting feedback from all types of players is super valuable. Different essences will lend themselves to different play styles, so everyone might feel a little differently about Essences.
If players have feedback that they wanted to access a particular Essence, but it seemed out-of-reach or something they didn't feel like doing, the bigger question there is...what can we do to help you do to feel more comfortable doing the content?
BFA has implemented a lot of improvements for alts in recent patches. Are there any plans to speed up the acquisition of Essences on alts, for Essences which have already been obtained on the main character, or account-wide unlocks?
Account-wide unlocks are something we're always thinking about. We're at the stage right now where we're looking for feedback on main Essences, and then as people start to unlock them for real, we can look at what requirements feel too onerous for alts.
The Essences system introduces a lot of exciting flashy things, but there’s some 3% stamina traits. What is the purpose of the 3% stamina traits on the Heart of Azeroth, as it’s a generic trait for everyone?
The purpose of the node system is to feel like you have something to work towards. We had an early version where the Heart just had the three powers, and it felt too little--we wanted you to feel like you were going in there and getting gains as things lit up.
Is the Azerite system something that will be expanded upon in future patches? The story hints at a
for Azerite which feels like it could impact the future.
Right now we're focusing on the feature for 8.2, with the major and minor powers. We have however built the system to be expandable, with the idea that we could explore more in the future if we wanted to.
Future and Speculation
While Patch 8.2 is up for testing on the PTR, players are still keen to learn how the expansion ends, as well as other features that could be on the horizon. It's unusual that the ending and villain of an expansion is unclear this late in the game, so we asked some questions related to the uncertainty, challenges, and freedom this provides.
While some of the replies were vague, teasing more questions than answers, we did learn that Sylvanas' endgame is coming up soon, which has served as a tantalizing enigma for the entire expansion. This section may contain hints for
upcoming story spoilers
If you enjoyed these questions, make sure to check out our recent speculation articles on
Where is the Prison of N'Zoth?
Eye of the Corruptor Whispers in Nazjatar
Blacktalon Agents of Wrathion
Sylvanas' End Game, Old Gods, and the Faction War
The Emerald Dream and Il'gynoth's Whispers Revisited in Rise of Azshara
At BlizzCon it was teased that some exploration-style Island tech was in the works, so it wouldn’t just be a race for resources. Is that something we can expect to see on the PTR still, or is that still being tweaked in favor of something else?
We've been talking about increasing the time for AI to show up on normal mode, which creates more of an exploratory experience.
We’re enjoying playing through 8.2 content, and noticing a lot of callback's to Legion's plot from over two years ago -
, Il’gynoth whispers. How long has BFA been in works for? And how do you keep all the hints and breadcrumbs straight?
More than two years! We have a plan that spans many years, not just on where this story is going, but what comes after. We have to do that - we have to make sure that the flow stays consistent.
It's interesting...there are many stories to tell in a long-lasting game like WoW, and it's interesting when developing
World of Warcraft
to figure out which surface at what point. There's a lot of
happening right now.
Yeah, for example, you can loot the
Remanente del Vacío
in 8.2 but it's not needed for any quests--will picking it up be important later on? It seems significant.
Hmm...doesn't it? That's one of the great parts about
, because...maybe it is. Maybe in some number of years from now, we'll look back and be like 'ohhhhhh.'
Sylvanas’ actions have left many confused, and she’s still a bit elusive in 8.2, appearing to be one step ahead of our plans. There’s also a theory that each
Warbringer will be in the spotlight
for a different BFA patch (Jaina 8.1, Azshara 8.2). Will her motives become clearer in a future BFA patch or too early to say?
She's coming up on her endgame. In a future content update, we will see exactly where Sylvanas is going.
Speaking of endgame, the dungeon journal entry for Queen Azshara seems to heavily imply who will be the final boss of BFA, as she talks about freeing a certain tentacle friend from a prison. Do you think these entries can be misleading, a bit of a misdirect to lead to plot twists before the final BFA patch? Or is it pretty safe to say we’ll be seeing more Old Gods?
I think it's really fun to speculate.
Usually we know the end of an expansion, with the ‘big bad’ revealed as soon as the expansion comes out, but as you just answered--that's not the case with BFA. Are there any unique challenges or and opportunities in creating an expansion where the end boss and story isn’t revealed at the very start?
It's very similar to Mists of Pandaria...it really depends what the storytelling team plans to do. In some cases, it's quite obvious--it's Wrath of the Lich King. The Burning Crusade, not so obvious because we killed Illidan and then other stuff happened. The fun thing for WoW as a storyteller is to mix things up with your stories...you're going to have to wait and see!
Final question. Our last question from
2018's dev interview
was on Wrathion's whereabouts, so here's another! We played through the 8.2 content and noticed
keep appearing. Any statements on why they keep popping up?
It's great for the Dragonflights to be back in the spotlight again, they have some complex and interesting storylines. For example, we get to see the daughter of Ysera and explore her feelings. A lot of things have happened. Lots of storytelling there...and that's all we want to say for now.
Escribir un Comentario
Obtén Wowhead Premium
para apoyar la web, ocultar los anuncios y disfrutar de funcionalidades Premium!
Inicia sesión para publicar un comentario
No has iniciado sesión. Por favor
entra a tu cuenta
registra una cuenta
para añadir tu comentario.
« Publicación siguiente
Publicación anterior »
Conectar con Wowhead
Feed de noticias
Recursos de Wowhead
Herramientas de usuario
Acerca de nosotros
Otros Sitios Fanbyte
Hearthstone Top Decks
Final Fantasy XI
© 2021 Fanbyte