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WoW: Balancing, Torghast, M+-Rating - Interview with Lead Game Designer Feasel

After more than six months of the same content, the time has finally come. On June 30th, patch 9.1 will finally be released on the live servers of WoW Shadowlands. And it will bring a lot of content: new areas, a new raid, a new mega dungeon, new story campaigns, and much more. It's not for nothing that Blizzard's Lead Game Designer Jeremy Feasel calls it one of the biggest first patches an expansion has ever received. That's important, too, because it could take longer again until the next content update. While they want to deliver faster and agree with everyone about six months being too long, they elegantly avoided a "yes" when asked if upcoming patches will come faster now.

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"These were just a few of the answers Jeremy Feasel gave us in the interview we conducted with him during the release of patch 9.1


We also talked about the upcoming Mythic Plus rating, the new affix, and Torghast. And of course, balancing was once again a topic, but Jeremy Feasel dodged most of the questions like a rogue during Escape. We did get a few answers though.

We have summarized the most important information of the interview for you here. You can find the complete interview on the second page of the article.

Interview with Jeremey Feasel - Lead Game Designer


  • The developers are still very happy with all the features in Shadowlands and want to continue to expand them.
  • One of the reasons is that players have already invested a lot in their fame levels, Legendarys, media, etc. and it wouldn't feel good if these systems weren't continued.
  • With the Shards of Domination, they are introducing a new system nonetheless. This is primarily to upgrade gear from raiding within the raid. At the same time, hardworking raiders should get a small bonus that makes other activities a little easier.
  • Internally, there is a lot of discussion about giving players some form of compensation if they have to remake their Legendary in a new slot in order to benefit from the shards of domination. However, Feasel was unable to give us a concrete measure just yet.
  • By the way, the postponement of the Sylvanas novel has nothing to do with the slow development in Shadowlands.
  • Everyone agrees that patch 9.1 has taken far too long. They always want to release patches as soon as possible.
  • After all, according to Feasel, we're now getting one of the biggest first patches an expansion has ever gotten.
  • Jeremy Feasel himself found the BlizzConline footage actually quite enjoyable, but still misses the real BlizzCon and watching the players' reactions from dark corners.

WoW: Balancing, Torghast, M+ Rating - Lead Game Designer Feasel in Interview (3) Source: Blizzard


  • The new season affix is again a kiss/curse affix (an affix, with a negative and a positive effect). For all affixes, however, this is not a good plan.
  • They want to keep the normal affixes relatively simple, so it doesn't get too complicated.
  • On this basis of several simple affixes, one could then build up increasingly complex seasonal affixes.
  • In addition, the existing affixes will be looked at again and again to see if they still fit. For example, with the launch of Shadowlands, some have been reworked. That may very well happen again.
  • The internal Mythic Score, in Feasel's eyes, does not exacerbate the group search problem. Those who previously placed value on the strength of their teammates, reached for the addon anyway.
  • But now that it's available to everyone, Blizzard can raise awareness of it and show players ways to increase it while closing any gaps in equipment or knowledge.
  • Blizzard collects a lot of data on player behavior and has a subgroup dedicated to that.
  • If Blizzard sees that a particular addon is really extremely popular, they ask themselves two questions. Can they integrate the feature directly into the game, or would it be better to leave it in the hands of the community. In the case of the M+ rating, it made more sense for them to integrate it.
  • If it turns out to have a negative effect, it would certainly be a way to give players the option to hide their own score and other data.
  • He said you always want to encourage players to play exactly how they enjoy it the most - be it class, spec, or talents. Even if that's not necessarily the best option mathematically. They are very aware that they will never achieve perfect balancing in such a complex game.
  • But you want to strengthen the chances of players who are not necessarily the META. The fact that you get extra bravery points when you take weaker players into a mythic-plus dungeon is a first step in that direction.
  • But more importantly, he said, is strengthening the social components. Integrating players into groups and communities where you help each other and aren't pushed into a role you don't want to play.
: Blizzard's Survival Guide for Patch 9.1 Chains of Domination World of Warcraft from€14.99


  • changes to Torghast had several goals
  • One of them was clearly to help players who are stuck at any point with new features. You should always be able to progress and never reach the point where it seems impossible to progress. That just doesn't feel good.
  • The new hallways and monsters are also meant to make it feel like we haven't seen all of Torghast by any means, and there are still plenty of new places to explore. Replay value should be kept high by the large amount of cosmetic rewards, he added.
  • New content for the Winding Corridors is being discussed internally. However, they are not quite sure yet in which direction they really want to go with this feature. We'll definitely be hearing some more about it in the future though.

WoW: Balancing, Torghast, M+-Rating - Interview with Lead Game Designer Feasel (2) Source: Blizzard


  • can attract players with more than a high item level
  • In addition to cosmetic collectibles like a custom weapon set, players will certainly want to hunt for the various mounts that are up for grabs in the mega dungeon.
  • And thanks to the hard mode, the item level should also be interesting enough for some players.
  • Also, they're not sure if mythic raiders would really like having to play a mega dungeon because of the equipment. The developers would like to collect more feedback in the forum.
  • For twinks, however, Tazavesh is excellent, also because many of the cosmetic rewards are unlocked account-wide.
  • Feasel could not yet confirm whether Tazavesh will be split and made accessible to Mythic-Plus in an upcoming patch, but he believes it is a fitting future for the mega-dungeon.

Balancing boosts in

  • the form of additional stats or percentage increases to an ability are meant to ensure a certain base level of strength for the character
  • You can then build on that with fancier effects, such as crazy procs and the like.
  • You have to be careful with it, though. The storm of effects must not become too big, neither on the screen nor in the numbers, so that the clarity is preserved.
  • Moreover, the fewer such procs you have in the game, the stronger you can make them without jeopardizing the balancing.
  • A lack of class balancing is something that developers are actually always confronted with. But a lot of it has to do with the design of the bosses. And often you don't know how something is going to play out until the raiders get going.
  • Being able to shine in some situations and not so much in others is also part of the identity of many classes.
  • But it shouldn't be the case that certain classes are urgently needed in normal or heroic mode, because otherwise the fight becomes a minute longer and can hardly be managed.
  • In general, balancing during an ongoing content is usually content with curbing the absolute outliers and filing down the top of the DpS ranking, so to speak.
  • Even though it often seems that way, there is no internal rule that certain classes or play styles have to be relatively high up in the ranking. Besides, every class has its place in the spotlight. Even if that was a few years ago for some of them.
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