“Ghostcrawler” Greg Street and Ion Hazzikostas Interview!
Today, Gary Gannon, Josh Allen and Olivia Grace interviewed Blizzard Lead Systems designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street and Ion Hazzikostas about the upcoming World of Warcraft patch 5.2: The Thunder King. This interview was broadcast live on Gamebreaker’s twitch.tv channel on March 1st at 1pm PST, and, of course, remains available above.
- We started with the PvE side, talking about the lessons learned from the current bosses, and of course we wanted to know which of the current tier was Ion’s favorite boss!
- Next up was the change in philosophy regarding daily quests, as there has been a substantial change in the methods of reputation gain with the new raid-based factions in patch 5.2. The Blizzard devs explained the philosophy behind the changes, and perhaps acknowledged that the requirements put on players’ time, and the amount of “mandatory” content for serious raiders was too high.
- We talked about the potential return of item upgrades, as it seemed from the recent blog notes and tweets from both Ion and Greg that they might not be making a return to the game with patch 5.3 or later.
- We talked about the structure of the new patch 5.2 raid, asking why the progression path was completely linear rather than using an approach with wings or similar, as has been seen in previous raids.
- We spoke about the absence of the usual Patchwerk-style fight, and Ion explained that there was a focus on mechanics over pure DPS, a shift in philosophy for this patch, which would hopefully make DPS requirements less onerous for normal mode guilds.
- We then discussed whether the increase in mechanic difficulty would itself prove too taxing for the more casual raid teams, but Ion was confident that any issues could be repaired with tuning.
- Of course we had to ask about limited attempts — Ion clarified their approach on Ra-den, and expressed the dev teams’ confidence that running alt raids would not be a viable method for subverting the attempts limit. Ion dropped a bomb here, confirming that the patch was slated for next week.
- Scenarios were next up, asking if there had been a philosophy change from patch 5.1 to patch 5.2
- Ion addressed the concerns about players deliberately wiping in LFR to build up determination stacks as well as the potential for abuse of the new tapping mechanics being introduced in patch 5.2
- Greg was unfortunately rather taciturn about the unannounced new feature, that he’d teased on twitter back in January, and Ion confirmed that he was unsure about joining Greg on twitter.
- We then rounded up with PvP, discussing the removal and reinsertion of blanket silences in patch 5.2, which Greg confirmed we might see return in the next expansion, but was too big a change for mid-expac.
- We spoke briefly about balancing, asking if they thought they had done enough to repair the problem classes of patch 5.1, as well as discussing the philosophy behind the new gearing system, particularly the removal of the rating requirement, as well as the upgrade system, and the thining behind delaying the conquest catch-up to patch 5.3.
- And lastly, Greg confirmed that they’d love to see Skirmishes return!