WoW news

Developer Interview – Ion Hazzikostas

Developer Interview – Ion Hazzikostas
WowChakra is sitting down with Ion Hazzikostas to discuss World of Warcraft.


  • The long term goal for Torghast is not for it to become extremely easy the higher you rise in floors. It is still very much in development and the team doesn’t want runs to take forever.
  • There will be a range of achievements to complete in Torghast.
  • The team is building Torghast with including events in mind to change up the experience, such as different creatures invading the tower.
  • They are hoping to have legendary crafting testable in a few weeks. Collecting parts for legendary creation will unlock a door just outside of Torghast where a mysterious smith (the one who crafted Frostmourne) will help you use the materials to craft your items.
  • You should be able to unlock the door to the rune smith during the first week of the expansion, but material gathering will take longer.


  • Time is different in Shadowlands. It is a construct or order and structure, which isn’t a focus in the Shadowlands.
  • We will have to see how this difference in time will effect our characters when we come out the other end.


  • Choices with consequences tied into the mechanics of the game are core aspects of an RPG. They fully understand modern community mentality, however, and do not want people to feel like there is a wrong choice. They want to iterate on the covenants during the alpha to expand past just the abilities, such as with the soulbinds. They want these to showcase strengths and weaknesses for different content.

Class Trainers

  • Class trainers will teach new players about their different specializations in Shadowlands.
  • When you make a new character in Shadowlands, you will simply be a class with no specialization until you reach level 10.
  • There are no plans to have players learn spells from class trainers again.

Burning of Teldrassil

  • Tyrande’s story will continue a piece of the burning of Teldrassil in Shadowlands. The war started in BfA is not over in her eyes.
  • We may encounter many who fell during Battle for Azeroth in the Shadowlands.
  • The team knows there is an unresolved story with Teldrassil and plan to continue it in future stories, not necisarrily in Shadowlands.

Heritage Armor

  • Races will continue to receive their heritage armor throughout Shadowlands. There is nothing to announce regarding who gets it next, however.

Adventure System – Mission Table

  • The team is hoping to have the adventure system up on the Alpha in a month.
  • The team is looking to shift the mission table to something that matches the fantasy of encounters in WoW. They don’t want it to be simply a coin flip or automated by add-ons.


  • Armor crafters will be able to craft items to help with legendary crafting. They want item crafting professions to feel important throughout Shadowlands.
  • The optional crafting materials might be added to previous expansion professions in the future.
  • You can still craft items without optional items and get random stats, but the team wanted to introduce a way for the player to have some control of what they create.

Legendaries and Catch-Up Mechanics

  • There will likely be some sort of catch-up mechanic for legendaries throughout Shadowlands.
  • The system is designed so a fresh alt can start aiming towards a legendary right away, unlike Legion.
  • The team is experimenting with making legendary recipes account-wide for alts.


  • The team always wants to take advantage of the latest technology, such as with the options for ray tracing support.
  • They also want to maintain a totally accessible minimum specs.

Tier Sets

  • Tier sets will make a return later in Shadowlands, but the team is still deciding what to do with set bonuses.
  • Set bonuses are one of the reasons they pulled back on tier sets originally. They limited item diversity because certain slots were locked to tier sets.

PvP Gear

  • PvP stats are not returning. Itemization will remain like it is in Battle for Azeroth, with the inclusion of a PvP vendor to give players more choice of gear acquisition.


  • Current thinking is that transmog from each covenant is locked to players that belong to that covenant.
  • If you have multiple characters in a covenant, however, the transmogs will be account-wide for characters of the same covenant.

Pre-Expansion Event

  • The pre-patch can only release when all of Shadowlands is done.
  • The team is monitoring BfA and thinking of additions that will give players rewards and goals to pursue while they wait for the pre-patch.

War Mode

  • The team is continuing to build upon War mode in Shadowlands. There might be more free-for-all events instead of faction events, including the possibility of challenges between covenants.

Current Reputation Buff

  • The reputation buff is still ending, but the team is planning to add new permanent bonuses that will help alts catch up for the rest of the expansion, such as the with the legendary cloak progression or getting corruption that you want.

Legendary Progression

  • Legendary acquisition won’t necessarily get faster as you progress in the tower, but you will likely get more options for different scenarios as you accumulate more.

CGI Cinematics

  • The team will continue to use all of the expected media seen in Battle for Azeroth throughout Shadowlands.

Characters in Shadowlands

  • Many important characters from Azeroth will be in Shadowlands in some form, and the team is excited for everyone to see where different characters end up.
  • Arthas is obviously SOMEWHERE in the Shadowlands, but they want to be respectful with the character. We will learn more about him and his true nature, but we most likely won’t be adventuring or interacting much with him.


  • Oribos will be available in the alpha in the next week.
  • Oribos will function much like Dalaran did in Legion while the Covenant sanctums will function much like order halls.

Loading Screens in Torghast

  • The loading screens between floors is a technical limitation. The team might experiment with using a visual effect to transition instead of a blue-bar loading screen.

Shadowlands Lore

  • The ability to travel between Azeroth and the Shadowlands is possible for your characters in lore. It also allows us to take characters from Azeroth into the Shadowlands.
  • Bolvar will be involved in the pre-expansion events and the story of Shadowlands. Sylvanas left him alive at the end of their encounter.