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PCGamesN Interview with Production Director John Hight

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PCGamesN recently sat down with Production Director John Hight to talk about Battle for Azeroth.

You can read the full interview here.

PCGamesN Interview Highlights

  • After defeating the common foe, it's time for the Alliance to explore what really happened in Legion (Varian's death).
  • The story arc in WoW is typically planned two or three expansions ahead.
  • It's too early to make assumptions and Blizzard has plenty of interesting and exciting twists and turns in store for us.
  • Battle for Azeroth has distinct storylines for the Horde and the Alliance.
  • The faction conflict in Battle for Azeroth harks back to the early days of Warcraft itself.
  • When choosing an Allied Race, they first look at the geography of the space and who the inhabitants were, but in other cases, they need to invent a new race to suit it. Then, they consider their natural tendency to choose the appropriate faction and do some balancing. They don't want everyone on the Horde to look ugly.
  • The order that they're putting Allied Races out depends on how the story unfolds.
  • At first, they wanted to roll out Zandalari Trolls even ahead of time, but that wouldn't make sense, because we haven't earned their trust or gone through the storylines yet.
  • The release of Allied Races in Battle for Azeroth is planned out, but subject to change throughout the expansion.
  • The decision to put in Dark Iron Dwarves was based on players saying for years that they've wanted to play that particular look of dwarf, and have been very disappointed that they never gave it to them.
  • The same goes for Mag'har Orcs. Players wanted more variety in Orcs. The team wanted to do more of an upright Orc, but some of the individual personality traits of the various Orc clans in Warlords are not that distinguishable when you're armored up, so they decided to make an amalgam of all these different clans.
  • No immediate plans to include the Wildhammer Clan as an Allied Race.
  • They have two members of the design team with a responsibility for the storyline for their particular faction. They sit with each other and communicate on a daily basis. The goal for the factions is to have a unique flavor.
  • They're okay with separating the content out between factions. It's what gives a faction part of its identity.
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After defeating the common foe, it's time for the Alliance to explore what really happened in Legion (Varian's death).

Wait...seriously?   Do they not have -any- spies among the horde?    Wtf is their intelligence network even being paid for, the entire horde force was overrun and got a Valkyrie airlift, how hard would it be to bribe a greedy goblin to find that out?    Not even to mention a magical investigation/scrying.      I figured the initial Greymane rage lasted about 3 days till details trickled in, but they were fighting on Argus together still thinking the Horde betrayed them to the demons?

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14 minutes ago, Migol said:

Wait...seriously?   Do they not have -any- spies among the horde?    Wtf is their intelligence network even being paid for, the entire horde force was overrun and got a Valkyrie airlift, how hard would it be to bribe a greedy goblin to find that out?    Not even to mention a magical investigation/scrying.      I figured the initial Greymane rage lasted about 3 days till details trickled in, but they were fighting on Argus together still thinking the Horde betrayed them to the demons?

It might not be to do with the Horde so much as why Varian had to die or so - they probably know the Horde wasn't to blame, but someone needs to be. The King doesn't just die randomly. Someone has to be to blame here, whether it's Genn for letting him go, the crew for not getting out of there fast enough, whatever it was.

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1 hour ago, Stan said:
  • When choosing an Allied Race, they first look at the geography of the space and who the inhabitants were, but in other cases, they need to invent a new race to suit it. Then, they consider their natural tendency to choose the appropriate faction and do some balancing. They don't want everyone on the Horde to look ugly.

So now you know it my hostile hordies, generally you look ugly...just some of you may look ok (no, not even good, just "ok"). :-D

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12 minutes ago, Blainie said:

Someone has to be to blame here, whether it's Genn for letting him go, the crew for not getting out of there fast enough, whatever it was.

Newsflash to kings: People die in war. If your alliance puts you at the front of the line and expect you to survive, the people don't deserve you.

Edited by Yridaa

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2 minutes ago, Yridaa said:

Newsflash to kings: People die in war. If your alliance puts you at the front of the line and expect you to survive, the people don't deserve you.

To be fair, Varian wasn't a normal king :p

When you look at the legend of Lo'Gosh, he was an absolute beast capable of more than most humans, as well as being the chosen of a Wild God. I hated his death because it felt so damn cheap. He's all of that and just kinda got stabbed by normal demons. 

If we're speculating, I reckon Varian would have refused to not be a part of it, especially when Vol'jin was on the front lines too (another amazingly strong fighter that died to something ridiculous). 

I just don't really understand how Genn can justify letting his king go and fight rather than doing it himself. Why let your king sacrifice himself rather than do it yourself? Especially someone that is supposedly so close to him?

Yeah, great, he cried on the boat flying away, but come on.

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2 minutes ago, Blainie said:

To be fair, Varian wasn't a normal king :p

 

And Tirion wasn't a normal Paladin. His bubble didn't save him from Krosus' fel breath, but all we did was watch it happen. Jaina could've teleported him or put up a frostwall between Tirion and Krosus (Like she made that frostbridge to close the gap to Krosus).

 

My point is: Blizzard doesn't really know how to properly kill off characters in a believable way. However, that doesn't mean that you should expect a king on the front line to live against the Legion, especially near Sargeras' tomb and Gul'dan fueling his army.

 

I mean, sure he'd want to be there himself, but I don't really see why the alliance would put up an investigation into his death. I mean, an army of alliance soldiers saw that Varian sacrificed himself to save that army (and ship), including Gelbin Mekkatorque.

 

p.s. I don't know how Genn would've taken down the Fel Reaver with his claws, so I understand why it was Varian that went to kill it. On one hand you expect a "loyal dog" to follow his master to his death, but when your master tells you to deliver a message to his son, you obey.

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8 minutes ago, Yridaa said:

And Tirion wasn't a normal Paladin. His bubble didn't save him from Krosus' fel breath, but all we did was watch it happen. Jaina could've teleported him or put up a frostwall between Tirion and Krosus (Like she made that frostbridge to close the gap to Krosus).

True, but Krosus vs. a Felguard - given that Varian was basically a demi-god at this point with all the blessings and crap he had on him, I just would have expected him to die to something with a bit more... "oomph". 

Like, it took 10+ of us to kill Krosus when he was alone and it took Krosus and Gul'dan to kill Tirion. That's a fair bit more impressive than what we saw with Varian/Vol'jin. At least Varian was killed by Gul'dan, Vol'jin just kinda died to poison.

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Spoilers: The bubble did save Tirion.

The Paladin order hall has you find him being tortured by demons, he doesn't survive the rescue.    His final legacy is dying in a cave somewhere.    Him and Vol'jin have to be pretty salty in the azeroth afterlife.

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1 hour ago, Blainie said:

Like, it took 10+ of us to kill Krosus when he was alone and it took Krosus and Gul'dan to kill Tirion. That's a fair bit more impressive than what we saw with Varian/Vol'jin. At least Varian was killed by Gul'dan, Vol'jin just kinda died to poison.

He also single handedly broke Frostmourne while the (10/25) of us took 10 minutes to not make a dent in it. I refer back to my "Blizzard doesn't know how to kill off chracters in a believable way". I still absolutely agree with your point though. To keep up my suspense of disbelief to what happened to Varian and Vol'jin to them fighting for hours upon hours before the cinematic kicks in (i.e. they slaughtered hundreds of demons including important "raid boss" level ones like JARAXXUS.)

 

To the point where they were so exhausted that a single "level 6 boar" could effortlessly slay them.

 

Of course, it all happened in the span of 2 minutes, but lets pretend they've been fighting for hours. :P

 

P.S. Where is your GLORIOUS warlock?! Why is it a phoenix. Q_Q

Edited by Yridaa

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6 minutes ago, Yridaa said:

To the point where they were so exhausted that a single "level 6 boar" could effortlessly slay them.

Going to have to keep telling myself this each day until BfA, until I find something else to pick at!

6 minutes ago, Yridaa said:

P.S. Where is your GLORIOUS warlock?! Why is it a phoenix. Q_Q

It was just a general piece of art that I had done a few years ago :p

I thought I should use something that actually reflects what I play everywhere - a mage!

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3 hours ago, Allseye said:

So now you know it my hostile hordies, generally you look ugly...just some of you may look ok (no, not even good, just "ok"). :-D

Orcs and Tauren are handsome!!!

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6 hours ago, Stan said:

They're okay with separating the content out between factions. It's what gives a faction part of its identity.

I say the same thing about classes, even before Legion. Paladin class mounts, ftw.

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5 hours ago, Migol said:

Wtf is their intelligence network even being paid for,

Clearly youre not familiar with things like military "intelligence" ;)

...of which there really isnt much.  I can imagine the same problems befall both factions in a made up universe.

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18 hours ago, PatrickHenry said:

I say the same thing about classes, even before Legion. Paladin class mounts, ftw.

Dwarf one is awesome.

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