World of Warcraft’s Ion Hazzikostas talks about Shadowlands alpha

There's a lot to digest here.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard developer Ion Hazzikostas spent about an hour on Sloot’s Twitch stream to talk about plans for World of Warcraft after its alpha release for the upcoming Shadowlands expansion.

Sloot’s questions ranged from asking about some of the basic mechanics that Blizzard is changing in Shadowlands to inquiring about how the development team is approaching certain new systems for the game including Covenants.

Many players have been negative about the idea of a Covenant system that forces players to choose one of four options early in their gameplay experience. Additionally, all indications are that the players’ choice will have some degree of permanence or at least be difficult to switch from.

“The community, I would hope, is with us in this fight,” Hazzikostas said. “The conversation I’d love to have in the coming weeks is, ‘What are the balances that we can strike.’ What is a path forward that’s not just, ‘Hey, Blizzard don’t ever attach power to any kind of meaningful choice’ because there’s something cool about those choices, and let’s try to save it before we just throw it out.”

Among some of the many topics Sloot and Hazzikostas had in their conversation, there were many quick takeaways as well. Here are some shortened answers Hazzikostas had for questions about WoW moving forward.

  • No plans to reintroduce master looter as an option.
  • No plans to allow players to change gear in Mythic+ dungeons planned.
  • Tier sets could be coming back, but it’s not been designed yet.
  • They have focused on alternate character friendliness relative to Battle for Azeroth.
  • The team is looking to balance the “Covenant” system, not get rid of it.
  • No warforging, titanforging, or corruption style system coming to Shadowlands.
  • No specific plans for changes to Mythic+ dungeon affixes.
  • Legendaries will be craftable and obtained by doing various activities.
  • Emissaries will be replaced with “Callings” from your Covenant.