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The Starting Zone Patch 9.2 Interview with Morgan Day - Anduin Encounter, Sepulcher Shortcuts, & Personal Loot
18 дн. назад
World of Warcraft Lead Game Designer Morgan Day just finished an extensive interview
The Starting Zone
Podcast. We're still organizing the huge amount of information shared regarding the upcoming Patch 9.2 systems and design intent, but you can watch the hour long interview yourself or take a look at our notes below.
Among the top takeaways from the interview are the Anduin encounter being designed as an end-of-raid scale encounter, Sepulcher being one of the biggest raids in WoW but with shortcuts, debating not testing the final three bosses of the raid on PTR, and not tying raid power to outdoor progression in Zereth Mortis. The failings of personal loot were also briefly discussed, although any changes would be addressed between expansions rather than in a patch.
New Zone: Zereth Mortis & The Cypher of the First Ones
Going to Zereth Mortis was always the plan and the story the team wanted to tell - the unique looking gateway in the Arbiter's room used to get there has been around since Shadowlands launch, players just didn't know what it would be used for until now.
Very early on, you'll earn a customizable Automa named Poke-Poke. Very customizable with different looks, he's part of how you interact with Zereth Mortis, almost like a rosetta stone to the cypher language.
The Cypher of the First Ones is a very big system, which will drive a majority of outdoor content, and will be available week 1. The major goal is to incentivize exploration, though raiders should be able to ignore the system if they want to - no raid player power will be bound to it.
The talent tree is comparable to Torghast's Box of Many Things - you'll have agency of what you'll want to unlock, but eventually you'll have the entire talent system unlocked. Some of the researches have a timed element, but they are separate, so you can research multiple things at the same time.
Cypher content will award currency with no weekly caps, which will be spent on it's own talent tree. One of the goals with the system is to add difficulty to outdoor content and they felt the talent system would be a good way to have players gradually explore and eventually defeat harder outdoor content. The Cypher will unlock buffs, interactable items and much more.
New quests related to the Cypher will also unlock as you advance the Zereth Mortis storyline. These will be account-wide unlocks similar to those seen in 9.1.5. The team will also look into ways of adding ways to speed up content progression on alts, such as ways to earn more Cypher currency as time goes on.
You'll be able to find gear, treasure, and rares within Zereth Mortis, with an item level range of ~229-249. The gear will have special set bonuses like increased mobility outside of instances.
No plans for any new gold sink mounts, but there will be two forges for collectors - the Synthesis Forge, where you'll collect automa/construct pieces and combine them to make pets and mounts - all using resources collected from Zereth Mortis.
Raid Design: Sepulcher of the First Ones
They always try to not repeat mistakes from one raid to another, using "Tomb of Soakgeras" as an example of a failure in design that they dont want to repeat.
They feel like in SoD raid teams are strategizing too much around the availability of raid cooldowns (or having to hold cds), and that falls on the same level of design failure as soaking was in Tomb.
Regarding the length of Sylvanas' encounter, they wanted to tell a story with end bosses and given Sylvanas' history with WoW as a whole, they had a lot they wanted to get across. They knew from the get go it would be a long fight. They felt like it was a good opportunity to do that on Sylvanas, but no fights in the Sepulcher should last that long.
There is a flight network within Sepulcher, and the raid is competition for being the biggest raid size-wise in WoW history. They want to convey the grandiose of raiding the place where entire afterlives are created. Flight networks are unlocked as you defeat bosses and these will reset when the raid is reset, but shortcuts are being planned.
On boss timegating, the Anduin encounter itself could be the end boss of every other raid in WoW and the encounter is supposed to be super epic. They want the timegating to serve as a breather for history reasons, and they also feel the majority of the playerbase won't be affected by the timegating. They want to use this opportunity to try something special with storytelling.
Still being discussed (not decided yet), but there are plans to not test the final bosses at all on the PTR.
They want to focus on delivering a quality raid with no bugs so a lot of ongoing discussion on making that happen.
Gear - Tier Sets and Legendaries
There will be a new rank of legendaries, but to upgrade it will require Cosmic Flux, a new currency is inspired by Echoes of Nyalotha, which is obtainable from nearly every endgame activity including Raid, M+, World Quests, and even Torghast.
Previous legendary ranks will still require older materials, but those are far easier to farm than they were when current.
Cosmic Flux will also be used alongside Creation Catalyst to create tier set pieces from other activities such as Mythic+ or raid.
When you upgrade an item into tier sets will have static stats, so you don't need to fish for items with perfect secondaries to transform into tier.
Tertiary stats are currently not planned for Tier gear as they dont want a repeat of benthic gear.
Tier pieces and bonuses will be the same no matter where you get them from, whether its dropped from raid or crafted.
Tier bonuses will also work on all zones, there's no Domination shard-like limitation.
Domination Shards were thought of as a way to give exclusive bonuses to the raid, but they recognize they failed on that regard. They still want to give raiders some sort of early advantage, hence why tier set gear will initially be from the raid only, with the Creation Catalyst coming later.
They want set bonuses to serve as a path to catch up to other players. As far as unique loot goes (like KT sword or Sylvanas dagger), there will be "a thing" in Sepulcher, but it won't be a big part of your player power, it should serve just as a fun side bonus.
Personal Loot & Great Vault
They recognize personal loot has problems for both guild groups and casual pugs, but it would be something to be addressed between expansions, not a patch.
They like how the Great Vault has expanded upon the system from BFA, it should feel like Christmas every reset. Rerolling items in the vault has been brought up in discussions, but no plans on that end yet.
Tier set pieces can drop from the great vault.
Requirements for great vault chests are not being changed, raid loot will still be limited by what bosses you kill.
They heard a lot of community feedback on conduit acquisition, with how much effort it takes to upgrade them and how you can't target specific conduits, so they've added steps to address some of the problems, but haven't decided how to properly address others. They're discussing if a conduit upgrade item like the ones from Korthia will be in the patch or not, but there will be new conduit levels in Patch 9.2 - he has to double check but he believes only one more rank for conduits.
Currently unsure if there will be a for minimum conduit item level "floor" for catch-up purposes, but Morgan acknowledged that it's a good idea.
Torghast will recieve new content, floors and creature types, along with a new wing: The Jailer's Guantlet.
Cosmetic rewards only, less traditional open floors and more of a boss-rush kinda scenario where you slam bosses back to back to back.
No new upgrades for Box of Many Things.
They felt like Operation: Mechagon was in a good spot when it was added to Mythic+, and they want to try a similar approach with Tazavesh.
It should be testable very early on the PTR, though like Mechagon, the Hard Mode is currently not planned to be added to M+.
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