Hopes for tomorrow’s Q&A

Tomorrow (August 3rd) there will be another in what has become a rather sporadic series of “Q&A” sessions, in which the ever-cheerful Lore selects players’ mostly-softball questions to pose to a game developer — in this case it will be none other than the Game Director himself, Ion Hazzikostas.

There is always a forum prior to the Q&A where players can submit their questions. Submitters are cautioned to pose short questions only, usually limited to 40 words or so. In what to me is always a stunning display of — stupidity? arrogance? failure to read instructions? — invariably most of the posted questions are long treatises on everything the poster thinks is wrong with the game or their particular class or whatever. (One has to wonder if these are the same folks who refuse to listen to raid instructions because, y’know, THEY are special and allowed to stand in fire due to how awesome they are…) There are other venues to submit questions, too (Twitter, for sample) — although the full list remains a bit murky, possibly by design so as to allow some conveniently-leading topics.

At any rate, the Q&A questions are pre-selected, I suppose in order to allow Blizz to focus on whatever their intended message is for the session. Often these events occur just prior to release of major patches, and the “questions” take the form of, “I love the new [badass mount/questline/gear/etc]! Can you tell us what other awesomeness is in the new patch?” In answer, of course, Hazzikostas launches into a 20-minute advertisement for the patch.

Another category of “questions” are ones that really have no impact on how the game is played at all, which tend to be ridiculously boring to me but which I suppose are of some interest to a certain segment of the player base. For example, “Is there any chance we will see Bigevilorc finally get his comeuppance in the next raid tier?” This is usually my cue to go get a cup of coffee, because it is absolutely certain that Hazzikostas will kill at least 10 minutes of the hour-long session being coy about the answer, and Lore will interject his own hopes on this vital issue.

From time to time, however, Hazzikostas will choose to address concerns that have bubbled up in the community and he wants to prevent them becoming a huge thing. (Example: Flying in WoD.) Or he wants to introduce a new design philosophy, possibly feeling out the community for a future expansion mechanism or major game change. The mechanic is that Lore will read a short question on the subject, and Hazzikostas will launch into a very detailed answer, almost as if he had prepared to address it! To me, these are the most informative parts of any Q&A session, because they reveal insights into the bigger picture and often give us a glimpse of how the game might evolve in the foreseeable future.

These are some of the meatier topics I would love to see addressed tomorrow:

  • Gear — whether the current stat of complexity is by design (and thus we will continue to endure it in coming expansions) or is just an unintended consequence of the whole artifact/legendary/class balance intertwining. I would also love to hear him explain why, for example, old tier gear and even 860-level trinkets are still “required” for some specs. And are we stuck with the horrible Legion legendary design from now on, or will Blizz abandon it in the next expansion?
  • RNG — whether the intent is to increase its reach even more, or whether maybe it will be dialed back a bit in the next expansion. In particular, I would like to see him address the role of RNG in gear, and ideally would love to see him back off a bit from his absolutely asinine insistence that RNG for gear is fun™.  (Not hopeful here, but we are basically optimistic creatures…)
  • Plans for more catch-up mechanisms for alts. For example, making Blood of Sargeras BoA, compressing order hall quest lines even more, instituting profession catch-ups.
  • Hints about class design changes, both in 7.3.5 and in the next expansion.
  • While he is at it, hints about the timing for the next expansion — will we actually see Blizz adhering to their stated 2-year expansion goal and thus se th next one about this time next year?
  • Zone design — is the preferred design now small, closed areas rather than the exploration-friendly open spaces of the past?

As far as I know, there have been no announcements of the focus of tomorrow’s Q&A. That makes me think it will be either an advertisement for 7.3 or an explanation of some issues Hazzikostas deems important. It would be fun if it were a vehicle for dropping some bombshell about the next expansion, but I think that is highly unlikely. I will be happy if we get a few words on even a couple of the subjects I listed above.

PS. Any guesses as to how many times uber-polite Lore will apologize for mangling someone’s name? I am betting on 6.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

5 Responses to Hopes for tomorrow’s Q&A

  1. Marathal says:

    I have asked the same question several times worded as brief as possible and addressing the guild interface especially from a GMs point of view. I always had hopes, maybe this time. But when I looked at the forum postings, I just closed it and admitted there was no point. It does not impact raiding or Mythic dungeons. I am an isolated case. Trying to maintain a guild with over 450 accounts in it. So I have given up having hope that questions aren’t chosen for subjects they want to discuss. I certainly can’t watch the stream while I’m in work. And I will scroll through the highlights later in the day and just shrug my shoulders.

    • Fiannor says:

      Yeah, I have no clue how they “select” the questions, but I don’t think I have ever seen any of the forum questions answered in any of the sessions. The whole venue seems pretty fixed and pre-determined to me. I probably will not watch the stream live, either — will catch it later when I have a little more time and can dissect it more, assuming there is anything in there to dissect.

  2. I’ll be watching if I can find the link, seems like I somehow find two choices and, well, end up staring at their “getting ready” screen when they’ve really started but in a different place.
    I don’t know why this Q&A exists. The forums are not on fire from class imbalance (maybe everyone is numb or has left), we’ve seen data-mining squeeze a lot out of 7.3, there is no major issue like flying or full instances and cue times: so … why is this happening?
    I sure hope it is not a victory lap for Ion Watcher, that would be unbearable.

    • Fiannor says:

      I, too, am puzzled as to the timing of this. As you say, the forums do not seem to be on fire over any particular thing, and it is a tad early to be ramping up enthusiasm over 7.3. Guess we’ll find out in a few hours.

  3. Alunaria says:

    Thank you for giving me insight into this, I really appreciate it – it gives me an opportunity to think on a much wider scale. I have gotten quite curious of this Q&A now and really want to watch it, that never happened before. I hope the topics you listed will be addressed, I can understand all of them. I would still like to see a stat squish soon.

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