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Mamytwink Interview with Cory 'Mumper' Stockton on WoD

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Mamytwink has released their post-Patch 6.2 interview with lead World of Warcraft game designer Cory Stockton, a.k.a. Mumper. In this interview, Stockton talks to Zecharia and Mamytwink about daily quests, reputation, garrisons and followers, and the future of patches in Warlords of Draenor. Patch 6.2 and Hellfire Citadel are slated to be the last content tier in this expansion.

 

You can view the full interview (in English) below:

 

Mamytwink interview with Cory Stockton.

 

Stockton says they're aware of the risk of a 'gap' along the lines of what players experienced with Siege of Orgrimmar, and that they are doing everything they can to make that gap smaller.

 

Are you satisfied with Hellfire Citadel and Patch 6.2 as the 'end' of Warlords of Draenor? Have any thoughts on the length of this expansion, or its content? Let us know.

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I have very mixed feelings about this, because it can send two messages 1) the WoD storyline isn't interesting enough to keep it going for any longer 2) See you in 1 year for a new expansion. For Cataclysm, we had to wait almost a year, for MoP 9 months, and for WoD 13 months.

I don't usually say anything, because it's hard to dissociate what I say from Icy Veins, as it's my website, but still. When I started playing this game, my days in WoW were very simple and I enjoyed them very much: a few daily quests, a bit of mat farming, a heroic dungeon (with people from my realm that I found in trade, not some random guys from Looking for Group), and a raid 3 times a week. Legendary quests were legendary, as in progress in them was super gated and only one guy in the guild at a time could do it. Everyone was either raiding or doing PvP and there was a lot of emulation. Now, there are a gazillion things to do: transmog, garrisons, pet battles, dungeons (4 difficulties), raids (4 difficulties), legendary quest is like a requirement. When I play a game, I always try to finish it 100% and if the game is so vast that I can't, then at some point, I get tired and stop playing. I think it's what is happening to WoW, there are so many things to do that people like me feel compelled to do them (and you sometimes have to, I mean there's no trying to do anything with WoD without garrisons) and they eventually burn out.

I also used to enjoy playing alts, but I don't anymore, because it means doing things like building a Garrison from scratch. In the past, you'd level up an alt, farm a few reputations, gear it up quickly, and you'd be done. Now, it's a mountain of work to maintain different characters.

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To me, ending the expansion early like this communicates only indecision on their part and/or that they aren't happy with the way the Warlords of Draenor storyline is playing out. I can't blame them on the latter, because I'm not too thrilled with it either.

 

I'm not at all convinced that using an alternate timeline and very old lore characters was the way to do it this expansion. It felt very weak from the beginning - they created this contrived explanation for why we're going back and fighting all these guys that had long been laid to rest, and to revisit a continent we had already been to, but completely redesigned so it doesn't feel like the place we knew at all anymore! Talk about confusing.

 

I wish they had simply explored one of the expansion ideas that does not rely on contrivances and timeline gimmicks. We have untouched story arcs that could have been exploited instead that would simply have propelled the story forward and allowed players to experience new things that they had been expecting. I'm not an expert on lore or on conspiracy theories, but ideas like a South Seas expansion, a Burning Legion invasion with Sargeras, and so on, would have sounded very good to me.

 

Alas, this is all in the past now, so we should look to the future and the next expansion.

 

In my opinion, I think Blizzard have not actually burned all their recycling bridges, so to speak. My personal idea for the next expansion would be to have us revisit Northrend and face a new threat from the Lich King. It could be something as simple as Bolvar having finally awakened and turned evil, resurrecting/conquering whatever was left of Northrend, or perhaps invading Kalimdor/Eastern Kingdoms with his Undead armies. The expansion could have us retake these places and then, later on, march back on Northrend itself.

 

Alternatively, we could have an expansion centered around defeating (and actually fighting) an Old God, such as N'Zoth, who is still supposed to be alive. That, or we could have Yogg'Saron or C'Thun come back (since they allegedly can't really die), but I think a fresh Old God would be best. Old God fights have been some of the best in the history of World of Warcraft, so I can't understand why Blizzard is holding back on this and other cool lore ideas while their game appears to be losing popularity and subscribers. It almost seems as though they're pacing themselves to ration content out over the next 15 years, but the game will be lucky to still have 3 years with the kind of content they want us to play.

 

And finally, regarding actual gameplay issues, I agree with Damien. I like Garrisons (and the Shipyard), and I like the simplicity of gearing a character now, but I intensely dislike the way the legendary items are being done (there's absolutely nothing special about them anymore - you're only special if you don't have your legendary, and not in a good way), and I also dislike that maintaining alts is no longer really viable, especially if you can't dedicate 4+ hours a day to the game.

 

I too feel that having such a wealth of activities is driving away completionists, because they realize that there is absolutely no way they will ever come close to doing it all. Simpler is better.

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Agree with everything posted above. I've raided without a break since TBC & for the first time this week I felt bored with the content. HFC has only been out a few weeks and I actually caught myself feeling bored already. I used to love my alts; but now I only just managed to level two to 100 & I really don't have the time to be gearing them. The game is declining rapidly and I think the blizzard camp are out of ideas as how to bring people back. So much has gone into catering for 'casual' players (LFR, legendaries for everyone out of a vending machine, garrisons for quick gold), that Blizzard has actually managed to force people to invest more time into the game than ever if you want to get ahead.

 

But meh! I'm 30-something now and WoW can't last forever! It is already a shadow of its former self I just hope that shadow isn't ground into dust before the end.

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I too agree with nearly all you've said.

 

Mechanically this expansion has had highs and lows.  Where I'm disappointed is the story and in the lore.  Thus far, I have enjoyed the story of WoD the least of any expansion to date.

 

Without trying to pick it apart in detail, one thing stands out to me; we just killed the second most powerful agent of the burning legion with a band of 10 heroes.

 

The last time we slew Archimonde we had to sacrifice the world tree, and the Elves their immortality.  We beat Kil'jaeden when he was at fraction of his power, not yet having made it into this world.  This time we beat an Eredar Lord by hitting him on the head.

 

We can't lose and that has to change.  One of the many reasons the characters of old had meaning is that they could lose and die.  Archimonde obliterated cities with a wave of his hand; Arthus sacked Lordaron.

 

My single biggest hope for the next expansion is that we are beaten, and that we lose things that are precious to us.  Iron Forge or Mulgore wiped from the map, or our faction leaders slain.  

 

Blizzard can tell excellent stories.  Corny in someways but nonetheless brilliant.  They've done so often.  But the premise that the Burning Legion is a threat was weak before the expansion, and now has pretty much vanished.

 

Putting WoD behind us, because that's pretty much what it feels like we're doing already, I hope the next expansion is better.  But more than anything I sincerely hope we get beaten.  I want to feel like the odds are hopeless, but if we struggle we might just have a chance.

Edited by Pandrel
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As Damien said we have had a few big gaps between expansions and Blizzard has said they don't like this. Blizzards wants to try and get 1 expansion per year out and it seems they are almost frantic to do so. If you look at how WoD was slated they had original ideas that they crapped out on. Originally in Highmaul we didn't kill Kargath, we merely bludgeon him enough that he fled the battlefield and we were going to have to deal with him again. Also, very clearly on the map there was Farahlon and to the lower left of the map the ogre homeland (name escaped me at the moment). It seems like there was so much more to the WoD story. Even Cho'galls story just.... stops out of the blue. Even the dialogue Kairoz said was leading down an infinite dragonflight type deal jumping in. They started so many stories that they just dropped. In their haste to match a year turn around time they butchered what could have been a ground breaking expansion. The build up was huge, take the original orcish horde that won the first war and give the most up to date and cutting edge weaponry plus a knowledge of how the future more or less would play out. So cool. Instead we get ogres, tentacle plants, and sick chickens. I don't think people mind longer expansions as long as there is content and enough to do. However, 6.1 the twitter patch wasn't content and 6.2 basically just added what was cut from launch. 

 

So I fear now blizzard can't see the trees through the forest. They are rushing and it really shows. Heck this season pvp and pve are sharing gear models. So i'd rather blizzard gives us fuller complete expansions then just rushing them. WoD for me was going to be one of the most exciting gaming moments and instead was one of the most disappointing.

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