WoW’s director talks about its endgame loot problem: ‘Raiders, we hear you’
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands has been a great expansion so far, but if an undead fly is in the ointment, it’s the way endgame gear is popped out. While PvP players swim in an ocean of loot, those dealing with Shadowlands’ ultra-tough Mythic + dungeons or its new assault will feel hungry for good gear.
But Blizzard heard your silent groans, and Game Director Ion Hazzikostas says the team is working hard on several big changes, some of which will appear in WoW’s major 9.1 update later this year and some in a smaller 9.0.5 patch in March . When 9.0.5 kicks off in March, an old currency called Valor Points will be brought back so that dungeoneers can upgrade their equipment and advance into more difficult battles, even if the chest at the end of the dungeon doesn’t have what they were hoping for. But Hazzikostas says there is a lot more that can be done.
“We knew that when we set out to create loot systems for Shadowlands, we had reduced World of Warcraft loot to its basic basics,” said Hazzikostas. “I just tore away years of shift systems like warforging, titanium forging, corruption and everything else. And I don’t know if we thought it would stay there, but we knew we were.” We need to look at how these systems have evolved and we will be very careful to respond to feedback to move them forward. I think we are really happy with the performance of the PVP equipment and we have had great feedback from this community. We think both raid and dungeon gear could really use an improvement in terms of your long tail progress through a raid level or pressing higher buttons with your friends. “
Hazzikostas explains that the situation felt so bad for Mythic + dungeon runners that the team decided to push out the 9.0.5 patch and add Valor Points back into WoW. But Raiders will have to wait for Chains of Domination to kick off later this year to find a proper resolution. Hazzikostas hopes it will be worth the wait.
“We have some exciting plans in the works to bring special, exciting rewards to raiders who go to the Sanctum of Domination [9.1’s new raid] and maybe even to be able to tinker with the power of domination that resides within them when they receive unique pieces of armor and more, “explained Hazzikostas.” We will have a lot more to say about this system than that [Public Test Realm] goes up, but for raiders we hear you. We understand that at times it felt like you were overshadowed by dungeon runners and PvP-oriented players. We want all three of these endgame group gearing paths to be equally feasible and offer something that the other two would envy. And outdoor players too, we hear you. We know you are out there. We want to make sure you still have goals to build your character, because that’s what MMOs are all about. “
Chains of Domination, WoW’s next big patch, doesn’t have a start date, but it’s big and there’s a pirate dragon too. Patch 9.0.5, which adds Valor Points and some minor balance changes, is coming in March.