World of Warcraft, 06.06.2017

Morgan Day Interviews Summarized

Lead Encounter Designer Morgan Day did several interviews, sharing some details about the upcoming raid Tomb of Sargeras and encounter design in general. Here’s a summary.

We have linked all the VoDs below, here are the most important things from all the interviews.

Dev Interview Highlights for Raiders

  • Morgan Day follows up Ion Hazzikostas as Lead Encounter Designer, working on Tomb of Sargeras and the next, unannounced raid tier lately

Raiding in Legion so Far

  • Legendaries and Artifacts did not affect raid design at all, only in terms of number crunching
  • but the Nighthold was tuned three times overall. This should not happen again in the future
  • Morgan Day is happy with the overall pacing of raid progression so far. Trial of Valor did a great job in terms of difficulty and story
  • No plans to change the Titanforged / Warforged system anytime soon. Mythic groups will always have a higher item level

The Upcoming Raid: Tomb of Sargeras

  • Tomb of Sargeras is the culmination of the complete Legion expansion story so far, evolving all around the Pillars of Creation
  • The team is excited of the fights in ToS because a lot of them interact with the environment the encounters happen in
  • New technology will be seen in ToS: some sort of a fog of war (on Kil’Jaeden) and ground breaking in lots of pieces (Fallen Avatar) – much cooler than during Lichking
  • Boss order:
    • Goroth first
    • Harjatan or Demonic Inquisition next
    • Mistress Sass’zine, then Sisters of Elune, Desolate Host and Maiden
    • Fallen Avatar
    • Kil’Jaeden last
  • There will be a shortcut to the last two fights after you have killed Maiden four times
  • The team expects you to have Concordance unlocked upon entering the new raid

Difficulty and Length of Encounters

  • The team is happy with the duration, the amount of abilities and very punishing mythic mechanics of certain mythic encounters. It depends on the audience and a lot of joy comes from defeating the hardest bosses
  • On easier difficulties mechanics are less punishing, this will be the way to go in the future as well
  • Fights should be playable without having to bring a certain class on Normal and Heroic. Things like Mind Control on Blast Furnace will be Mythic only – and the team strives to not limit it to one single class
  • The team strives to create more visual clarity and consistency on abilities. You should know what to do, when a glowing swirl spawns at your feet
  • A encounter is not designed with mods in mind
  • Mythic exclusives phases are not seen as a requirement for final bosses. But the team will do them as far as they make sense story wise

Encounter Design Process

  • It starts with a big meeting with all of the Game Directors to develop the core ideas for a fight
  • An Encounter Designer creates all the details and after that
  • internal testing and design iteration process starts

Some Trivia

  • The team is happy with the artifact challenges so far. The could be more solo content of this kind in the future
  • No spectator mode for WoW planned so far. The team is afraid this would make a coaching position mandatory

Watch the VoDs