|World of Warcraft prepares for the future as 9.2 launches
World of Warcraft‘s new big patch, 9.2 — Shadows of Eternity, launched today. This is the last chapter for the Shadowlands expansion, and it represents something of a crossroads (or maybe bridge) for Blizzard.To get more news about Buy WoW Gold Classic, you can visit lootwow.com official website.
The MMO and its team have been through hectic times. Accusations of workplace problems and investigations into those issues surfaced last year. In January, Microsoft shocked the world by announcing its plan to purchase World of Warcraft’s parent company, Activision Blizzard.Even outside all of that madness, World of Warcraft has been dealing with an increasingly discontent fanbase. Many players disliked Shadowlands’ story and its over-reliance on convoluted progression systems. Blizzard has been taking steps to win fans back, including making plans to finally allow players from the two games opposing factions — Alliance and Horde — to play together.
I had a chance to talk with World of Warcraft game director Ion Hazzikostas and senior level designer Sara Wons. We discussed what’s new in today’s update, as well as what’s coming in the MMO’s future.Ion Hazzikostas: First off, we’re adding a ton of new content. But in a lot of ways it’s carrying forward the philosophies that we pivoted to, in many cases, in 9.1.5 in response to player feedback over the course of Shadowlands. Building a whole new ecosystem, a whole new piece of content from the ground up with those in mind. As players are experiencing the thrilling conclusion to Shadowlands, as we’re going to this mysterious amazing high concept land of Zereth Mortis, and taking the fight to the Jailer, going through the raid and the dungeons, throughout that process we’ve asked ourselves on the system side, what are the things, traditionally, that are going to be pain points two or three months down the line?
We’re bringing back class sets. How will players feel two months into the patch when they want to switch characters or their friends are coming back and they feel like they’re behind with no way to catch up on getting their set pieces? Okay, let’s add a system, the sort of thing we previously patched in down the line, from the start. We have this creation catalyst that players will be able to unlock using currency a couple months in to target and specifically accelerate their acquisition of set pieces, build their own sets in a deterministic, non-RNG way. We’ve made most of our unlocks account-wide, whether it’s flying in the zone or access to content. In general, just trying to get ahead of what we have been hearing from players in recent years and taking those lessons to heart and building them into the content from the ground up.
Sara Wons: Zereth Mortis is an opportunity for us to dig even deeper into the crazy universe that we’ve already seen with Shadowlands, but then really take it to the next level. We were intrigued by the idea of keeping this place mysterious, while also giving some breadcrumbs and things for players to figure out. We dove into, who were the Progenitors? How would they have functioned? How would they have built anything here? We ended up focusing on the building blocks of the universe and sacred geometry. You’ll see that woven into the landscape here, in the denizens, in the creatures. That’s one thing that we focused in on, that recurring theme of this sacred geometry, as well as mystery and things to explore.
Hazzikostas: I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a core change. It’s more trying to support parallel paths of progression and different play styles, recognizing that there are a bunch of folks who love outdoor world gameplay. That’s what they do, their entire endgame. We hadn’t necessarily served them as well as dungeon players or competitive PvP players or raiders in the past. We wanted to take steps toward changing that. We set up a system that has a lot of depth, a lot of deep understanding of the zone, thoroughly integrated into the zone’s mechanics, as something for those explorers to really delve into.
But we understand, and we certainly heard loud and clear from the community, that if we put power that will increase your damage in a dungeon or damage in a raid behind a system, it now becomes mandatory, whether that’s gameplay you enjoy or not. And so having this as something that is, for hardcore power gamers, optional, but still deep in something they can take at their own pace, it’s something we’re trying to do to offer a range of options without pressuring people to play the game in a way they’d rather not.