BlizzCon Legion Interview – Matt Goss, Lead Game Designer on World of Warcraft


Matt Goss: Hi I’m Matt Goss, I’m lead game designer on, one of the lead game designers on World of Warcraft

Elvine: Lots of stuff going on at BlizzCon so far, so we’ll just dive right into it. You didn’t really touch on it, since we’re doing upgrades to Obliterum that means crafted items will still be random stats, now are we going to have the ability to reroll them through an item crafted by professions?


M: That’s something we’re looking at, I think with Obliterum it’s much less of a problem then it was in Warlords where you’d make an item and have nothing else to do with it other then maybe sell it and buy the one with the stat combination that you want. We’re going to try to see if we can do without it, because it’s cleaner without rerolls because there are a lot of items that we have, and use Obliterum as that backup mechanism.

E: So just keep on making it, break it down or sell it?


M: Sure, also without multistrike, we have less secondary stats that you’re rolling in between, which mean you should be able to get the ones that you get, we’re also going to take a look at the list I think we have a lot of ratios of stats that is just too much so the odds of getting the stat combination that you want will be lower…

E: Yeah, cause I know that from a user, player base you collect all the materials you get the items and make it and ‘oh it’s not the one I need’, then you get the materials for the reroll and ‘still not again’.


M: Yeah so we’re baking that kinda into the system with Obliterum, so you may start getting them off a little bit lower then you used to and actually have more chances to upgrade as you go.

E: Let’s touch a little bit on sockets, are those going to be randomized again transferring over from warlords, on gear?


M: Yeah I think we’re going to keep it that but we’re also going to have it on jewel crafted pieces it will be fixed to those pieces

E: The neckpieces?


M: Yeah so that will also give a better market to gems.

E: Jonathan (LeCraft) touched that it was in discussion, prospecting. Are we going to get prospecting back for jewelcrafters?


M: Yeah. We will have prospecting back. I can’t promise anything right now, but we are also looking at ways to make it a little bit of a better experience. I know that if you have a 200 stack of ore that you’re prospecting that it can take a little while

E: So you’re helping the quality of life of the shuffle?


M: Yes, exactly. We had a version of it in Warlords right?

E: For milling


M: So that’s one potential solution we’re also looking at other things too.

E: I didn’t know it grabbed from the bank as well so I queued it all up and went away, two hours later all my herbs were milled. oops. *laughs*


M: Yeah usually when you’re crafting..yeah..good point. I hope you enjoyed all that pigment *laughs*

E: Yes I did. We found out that nodes are going to be shared, like personal loot essentially? or described differently?


M: It’s personal loot but we want to make sure it’s still going to cycle through so it won’t stay up forever. So it will have like, I think the way it’s going to work is kinda like how treasures work in the world, where you’ll loot it and it will stick around for maybe 20 seconds so others can loot it in that time period.

E: So once it’s looted the first time it will initiate a countdown?


M: Yeah, we’re not sure how long the time is, it could be a minute it could be 10 seconds, we’ll have to figure out what feels right for that.

E: How do you think that will affect the economy if, lets say, a multiboxer gatherer comes around with 40 accounts, gets the nodes and immediately has three stacks of materials? or botters.


M: I think we’ll have to have some amount of limiting autos, I’m not sure quite sure what that is right now so that in the common cases you’ll never get that, but in the case of botter or multiboxer who are doing an extreme number of characters we’ll make sure that it doesn’t damage the economy.

E: What you said in the panel, saying that inscription we’re still going to have the cards for trinkets, for Warlords due to the upgrade system and itemization of the trinkets, the market for those plummeted within a couple of days. And then also being able to make the trinket without having the faire around. Is that something you’re going to continue moving forward with, not having the darkmoon faire around to make those trinkets again?


M: Yeah I think so, it makes it a market for inscription all the time rather than only that certain time. You see price fluctuations at the time of the darkmoon faire was in session so people could buy things. So I think we’ll leave that outside of darkmoon faire for now.

To your other question, I think overall we had, the actual trinket problem was more caused by our trinket balancing problems from raids. We ended up having to do a lot of work there that we weren’t intending to do and that kind of trickled down through all the other trinkets.

E: Economy wise, does Blizzard keep track of how many materials are in the world? One thing we talked about as well, was watching the economy with Warlords, herbs plummeted with garrisons and it just never recovered even with the bandaid fix of adding the trader in, being able to exchange for primals, it bounced back for a few days but then plummeted again and was just never there.


M: It’s tricky cause I think Warlords in the end…we do keep track of where prices are and where things are. We like to know the balance of how things are coming out, but with the garrison in particular we did have a lot of that ore community coming. The actual price of ore wasn’t too far off from where we wanted it to be, it plummeted at times but would bounce back and stayed relatively decent. We don’t have a target price in our mind but if it gets down to 2-3 copper then we’ve clearly made a huge mistake. Without garrisons we should be in a much better state of not having to worry about where those are at.

E: Speaking of garrisons those treasure missions, what are we going to be doing with those? Are they going to be nerfed? Speaking from a player base (at least my listeners and viewers) if they stay the way there are we will keep going back to get that gold from those treasure missions.


M: Our goal is for you to be immersed in legion. We want you to be at the class hall, we want you to be at Dalaran or the capital city, so if players are compelled to always log out at their garrison that counters what that is. So we’ll probably, we’ll have to figure out what we want to do there, we have a lot of ideas of what we can do to make it, but the safe answer is we’ll probably have to reduce it quite a bit, if not remove the gold part of it specifically. But it’s definitely a, we’re still looking at it answer.

E: Touching on transmog, you said we’re going to go back and get all the old quest rewards, even the ones we didn’t choose, what about items that are no longer in the game?


M: So that’s one we’re going to have a hard time with, there are, if we still have, this is more a data limitation on our side a technical limitation, if we still have the data around for you having completed that quest and the item is still attached to that quest it will unlock it. For things that don’t exist in game and are completely disconnect and are just showing up because people have them in their bags, a lot of those looks are, if they’re super rare we can hide them from the collection just to make sure that players aren’t killing themselves trying to find things that are super rare to get, but I think a lot of those we’ll probably try to bring back in some way, the goal would be not to damage the rarity of the ones that exist. The chromatic swords is one of the examples of an item that’s really rare and it doesn’t show up in the game very much anymore and when it does it commands a very heavy price, that’s cool.

E: Yes it is


M: But at the same time is it okay for, we want to keep that rare and we want to keep that special but maybe there is a way we can keep that special around, but have it still show up in the game.

E: Another example would be Chan’s Imperial Robes



M: Chan’s Imperial Robes absolutely, those are heavily sought after. And most of the time the only reason you see them is people logging onto their accounts again and finding them again and putting them on auction.

* both fanboying about Chromatic Sword*

E: Does the Chromatic Sword still drop? Same for Chan’s Imperial Robes?


M: I’m not sure, I just know the price is so huge that it’s one of those things. If it’s not dropping anymore, it’s such a huge extremely low rate that we may want to do something about that.

E: I’ve had players transfer servers just to buy them that’s how much they want it.


M: I have one, so…

E: You would


M: I bought it off the AH, so..

E: Are you an Auction House player as well?


M: I like it, it’s fun.

E: One thing, to the completionist side, you said you could hide things. Are you going to do that same for recipes that are no longer in game as well?


M: Yeah, we’ll probably go through this as well. I mean in a lot of these cases the content still exists and it still works so if we can find a way that we’re happy with bringing it back, then we’re going to really try to bring it back. In a way that feels faithful towards the original and also still makes it feel special. In cases where we can’t do that we’ll hide them, but you can still unlock them so you won’t have them in your bags.

E: For those that do have the recipes that are no longer in game, that require materials that are no longer in game as well, how would we go about, will those be hidden as well from the transmog book?


M: They would be hidden as well, until/if we can come up with a way to bring back the materials as well.

E: That would be a huge plus, because some of them are really nice.


M: There is some great stuff

E: like the orbs from original naxx to make the ice robes. (I meant the Frozen Runes from Original Naxx to make the Glacial Vest)


M: Right. And those things that’s where we really lean on the community too, there is so much, the game is so huge, so what things you guys are looking for and what we can do to help with that too, that’s great for us. We try to help when we can. I think we did a pass when we went through timewalking dungeons to make sure we were dropping relevant materials so players would see some rare mounts and recipes showing up again. We didn’t add any that weren’t existing yet, but that’s a good place potentially to do that.

E: For alchemy mastery, they didn’t come back for Warlords are they going to be coming back possibly for Legion?


M: Possibly. I don’t we like them a lot but they are tricky. The cool part about it is that you can really specialize, and that’s something that for the most part it’s hard to get two different alchemists to feel different. The downside, if you are a transmute master you drive the transmute market, the whole price of it drives to that. And if you aren’t that you can’t be competitive in that and that’s true of all three specs. so I think it’s on the table still as something we can do, we’re really looking at recipe ranks as really the solve for that. I think we will also explore, this is something we’re still trying to figure out, I think we should explore making legendary items from crafting as well. If we do that it helps with making you feel distinct, if you have a recipe that can make legendaries it sets you apart from someone else. It’s something we really want to do it’s something that’s pretty exciting.

E: Yeah I remember back in vanilla, making threads trying to find someone with recipes, people were known on the server for making those, and in the current state people don’t want to look for someone. But that’s part of the mmo, the social aspect of going to a guy you know to make it instead of just going to the AH all of the time


M: I think that’s the key, it’s either finding the person who can do it which feels really cool, or doing it yourself. Buying off the AH is to me, the last resort. It’s where the market and gold is once you’ve progressed past making things for yourself, making things for your friends, it is the place that you go. But the fantasy of being a blacksmith who could make legendary items or the fantasy of finding the guy on your server, making sure he’s logged in. That’s super cool makes the mmo more.

E: The social aspect of it. It seems like players are disconnecting from that in warlords.

This is a pet peeve of mine, transmute cooldowns of old content being tied to current content. I can’t transmute and eternal air to shadow without using my current transmute cooldown. It’s frustrating if I’m trying to make an old item with old materials and if I want to transmute, for example trying to buy the Cata recipes that require the steel as currency, I can only make one per day.


M: I think it’s something we should look at again. I’m not sure if it’s a technical restraint but we can look at it again.

E: You said that we will have prospecting back so gems will be coming from there, from rare to epic will be be seeing requirements of previous gems again? The cooldown materials jonathan told me at dragoncon there would be little to no cooldown material restrictions in Legion?


M: That’s the intent. Paul said it best today, craft at your own pace is really one of the big goals we have, and the daily cooldowns were something that, for the most part, we were pacing out your crafting. We’ll still probably have some of them, like the transmute cooldown is probably something we’ll continue to limit daily, just because of the material transfer, the AH market drives that more than anything else and keeping a cooldown on it helps that. But for the most part we’re going to try and remove as many as we can, it really lets you, if you want to put the effort in then you can do it.

E: IF you want to be the guy who spends 20 hours grinding materials to make that thing, let him?


M: Yep, putting the power back into the gatherers too I think is really important. Having that, if you want to mine there is a lot more to mine, your ore will be more valuable with no free ore from the garrison anymore. So, it’s a good thing.

E: Okay, I think that’s pretty much it.

M: Cool

E: Tackled a lot, I appreciate it.

M: Of course, yeah.

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Comments 1

  • Artenesse
    January 1, 2016

    I just wanted to say how much I appreciated your intelligent questions. So often you watch an interview and you think ‘Oh why didn’t they ask this or that’ – you asked a lot of the questions, that I have myself with regards to professions – so good job, and thank you for posting!

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