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September 11, 2019 General

Devblog 8.2 + Q&A!

Hello everyone!

If you read our announcement about Sethraliss’ 3rd content update, you’re aware that for a little while now, we started working on the development of 8.1 content on a 8.2 client. At first, only a few devs were assigned to it, but now almost all of them are working on it, which also explains why our 8.0 development is lighter now (less tickets in the live changelog is one of the symptoms).
In that last announcement done in July, we mentioned that we were aiming for a release mid October: we’re halfway there, so we figured it would be a good time to share with you our progress and aims for the release! The ETA of the release is now the end of October (just a slight delay in 2 months worth of development).
In the meantime, we’re still taking care of Sethraliss and making sure our 8.0 version is stable, don’t worry! A few developers are still monitoring it and making sure the important issues are addressed (major spell bugs, main questline / Uldir issues, etc).

As we said before, the client itself will be an 8.2 client (the latest we can), but the content we are scripting is the one directly following what you currently have on Sethraliss: 8.1 questlines,  zone & raid. We do not wish to skip anything from the content part, but having an 8.2 client will allow us to keep on scripting up to 8.2 without having to update the client again, which is a huge gain of time for us. So do not worry, you won’t miss on anything BFA has to offer! For those that remember our Legion’s development, we did a similar thing when updating our client from 7.1.5 to 7.3.5, without skipping any of the 7.2 content.

One thing worth mentioning though is the class balance that will be taken from 8.2 right away when the 8.2 FS client is released. We’re aware that this means you won’t be doing the content with its related balancing, but there are several reasons that made us stick to this choice (again, the same way it was done on Legion):
It drastically reduces dev time: between each game version, a lot of balance changes are done, including removal & addition of new traits or spells: Altering one spell for 8.1, and then again when we’d get into 8.2 content would take twice the amount of time. In essence, later versions are often “better” balanced than earlier ones: some bugs or unintended features are fixed, and the strongest classes are usually slightly nerfed while the weakest are buffed, which leads to a healthier state of the game. That point is up for debate, we’re aware, but it still explains why we also believed this was a good approach.  

 
For a few weeks now, our Quality Assurance team is focussing on making reports of class changes, and our developers are fixing them. On the side, some QA members are testing the next raid, Battle of Dazar’Alor (most bosses have their main script done, and require feedback for adjustment).
As a reminder, you can apply to join our Quality Assurance team and help us bring out the best release possible here!
 
Here is our developer assignment at the moment:
1 dev on Sethraliss monitoring & major bug fixing
3 devs on BoD (one per wing, so 3 bosses each)
2 devs on class fixing
2 devs on the continuation of the war campaign (one for each side)
1 dev on Darkshore
1 dev on PVP invasions

 
Also, as you may have seen for the past months (and still ongoing) we have a few developers that work on low-level zones or older expansion questlines: Gilneas & Kezan have been rescripted, Elwynn Forest is on the way and we also have a developer working on WoD’s main questline: the idea is to then rescript fully a “leveling route” that will allow you to level up from 1 to 110 as easily as you can level up from 110 to 120 on BFA’s questlines. This means, broadly, scripting 1 zone of each level range available where every race can go without too much effort.
 


Now for the more detailed list of what’s planned on our 8.2 client release! 
Currently on Sethraliss, every 8.0 content short of the Island Expeditions are available. We know we announced them a while ago, but their development got delayed: rest assured, one of our developers is working on them at the moment, and 3 islands should be available at the release! As usual, when doing a client update / new expansion release, a Public Test Realm will be set up so players can test the new contents.
 
8.2.0 release content at launch:
8.2 Class balance 
8.1 War campaign continuation 
New allied races / Kultiran / Zandalari 
1st wing of Battle of Dazar'alor
New endgame zone Darkshore 
Siege of Boralus and Kings' Rest available on Heroic difficulty.
PVP Invasions
Azerite gear Vendor 
New Azerite traits
 
Then, from there on we will script content as it was released on retail: 2nd and 3rd wing of BoD, then the full Mythic mode, then the 3rd Raid Crucible of Storms alongside its quests, and finally 8.2 zones.

As you noticed, we plan on releasing BoD wing by wing (like we used to on Legion) and not fully at once as we did with Uldir. We initially thought that releasing the raid all at once would help deliver a better experience for players, and this point still stands; but what we underestimated was the impact in terms of workflow: It’s harder to test all the bosses at once for the QA, and harder for the developers as well, who have to make some bug fixes as long as 3 months after the boss was released. On top of that, we saw on Uldir that only a few guilds actually profited from the full release, as most were progressing (in HM at least) at a pace close to 1 wing / month, which is what we plan on doing on BoD.
Easier to test & to fix means higher quality, to the “price” of quantity. We thought we could manage it on Uldir, but it wasn’t really conclusive so we’re switching back to the old, more manageable way!

 

 

FIRESTORM Q&A
 
It’s been a while since we gave you guys the chance to ask us about Firestorm, and the 8.2 client update sounds like a great opportunity! On Tuesday, October 1st 6 PM Server Time, we will be hosting a Questions & Answers on the public discord!
Its system will be the same as the previous times: We’ll unlock a channel for you to post questions, then lock it and take time to answer them: there will be about 5 or 6 rounds.
Please read carefully everything in this devblog to not waste questions on stuff that we already explained!
 
Thank you for your time! We hope this will shed some light on the 8.2 client update!
 
The Firestorm Staff

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September 11, 2019
General

Devblog 8.2 + Q&A!

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