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The Daily Mail Interview with Gary Platner & Terran Gregory

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The Daily Mail recently sat down with Principal Exterior Level Designer Gary Platner and In-game Cinematic Project Director Terran Gregory for an interview about how to keep the narrative interesting for 14 years.

Click here to read the full interview

Interview Highlights

  • 14 years of Warcraft is a generational age, teenagers who started to play the game when it came out are now adults.
  • Vanilla story had a hyperbolic fantasy and comic book-esque story and over the course of time, the audience has gravitated towards more compelling narratives.
  • Terran constantly sees the new younger generation discovering WoW on Twitch.
  • Terran's parents both play WoW. His mother raided Black Temple when it was current content back in the Burning Crusade.
  • Platner has been a fan from the beginning, but he would've never imagined the fidelity and story depth that they were able to get out of the last three WoW expansions.
  • Gregory compares storytelling to daily soap operas; no matter what you think about them, they usually run for a really long time and for every character that goes out, you weave one in. You can't do them all at the same time. The same formula applies to WoW storytelling.
    • Garrosh was being braided in during Burning Crusade, moving into the center during Wrath, coming to prominence in Cataclysm, and his story came to an end in Mists.
  • Every single quest in WoW has a unique name and it's really hard for the team to come up with names that are not yet taken.
  • With 2.5D videos (Warbringers) they aim to tell a character's story and internal thoughts.
  • CGI pre-rendered cinematics (Old Soldier) are usually relegated to one per expansion, but they knew some players would incline more to Saurfang whereas other players like the Banshee Queen. They use the story as a vehicle to remind everyone of war.
  • The passion that the people who work on WoW have for the game and the story is going to keep the game going for many years.
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3 hours ago, Stan said:

Every single quest in WoW has a unique name and it's really hard for the team to come up with names that are not yet taken.

I always assumed that they did...but I guess until I read that I never thought of the actual # of quests there might be in the game.  10s of thousands?


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33 minutes ago, PatrickHenry said:

10s of thousands?

Somewhere around 20,000, although it's hard to say since there are a lot of quests in the databases that are technically no longer available, as well as dublicates for both factions, different rewards depending on player level etc. etc.

For comparison, Vanilla 1.12 had about 700 quests.

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4 hours ago, Stan said:

The passion that the people who work on WoW have for the game and the story is going to keep the game going for many years.

This. As one of those now-adults that started playing as a teenager, I have never lost an interest in World of Warcraft. Even for the couple of years that I was unable to actually play the game, I was always interested in keeping up-to-date on the lore/story line and the direction the game was developing towards. I personally think it's amazing that the game has lasted as long as it has, even with the "dead game" hype that seems to happen a lot. Remember when Wildstar was "the WoW killer?" 😂 Not sure this game will ever end!

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I've been playing WoW with my parents since vanilla, when I was 5 or 6. Mom was mostly casual, and Dad was a raider up until Wrath, but he passed away in 2011. I am now 18, and I still play almost every day. Mom also plays occasionally. Mom made a gnome warlock in vanilla for me to run around on, and named it the same thing she nicknamed me, Punka. She also leveled it alongside her warrior main at the time, and when I asked her to get a Voidheart Crown for me, she raided Karazhan each week until she got it. (although the token was given to someone else first, and she got mad at her guild.) Karazhan was also the place where she told the same guild that she wouldn't tank for them anymore, and she eventually started healing, which she did with her new priest main by Wrath. She didn't raid, but did enough heroic dungeons to get a Perky Pug. She said that took some patience with toxic players. She has refused to heal rude players in dungeons, and I respect that. Eventually I took over most of the leveling business, and by then we were considered altoholics. Now I have a little brother that is about to start kindergarten, and I hope that he will love Azeroth as much as I do.

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