Jump to content
FORUMS
Sign in to follow this  
Damien

Warlords of Draenor Interview with Tom Chilton

Recommended Posts

6795-warlords-of-draenor-interview-with-

Our World of Warcraft / Warlords of Draenor interview with Tom Chilton, Game Director

Finding good questions for a WoW interview is always tricky, because Blizzard communicates just so much about this game. Also, with so many other media having interviews with Tom Chilton at GamesCom, we had to find these few questions that we would be the only ones to ask. Here are the results of our brainstorming. We hope that you enjoy the answers we received.


Below, you will find the whole transcript of the interview, but first we would like to present you with the main things that we have learnt. Note that we only had 20 minutes of interview, to share with other fansites, so we did not get to ask a lot of questions.
  • The delay in the release of Warlords of Draenor caused by massive recruitment on Blizzard side to increase the size of the WoW development team. New employees had to get up to speed first, which slowed things down. Also, Garrisons ended up being much more involved than originally planned.
  • Zones for the next expansion already in production.
  • No plans for new subscription methods, like free-to-play or partial content.
  • The annual pass for Mists of Pandaria was questionable and it is not likely that we will see another promotional offer like that again.
  • Challenge modes for raids would only be considered if more people engaged in dungeon challenge modes.
  • Northrend and Outland could one day be made into level 60 to 80 zones, offering a choice to leveling players.
  • It is unclear what is going to be improved next, after the character models. Physics could be introduced in the game or combat could be made to look better.
  • The progress race is balanced enough, no need to tweak anything.

Blizzard Icon Transcript from Interview with Tom Chilton


Q. You announced repeatedly that you would release content faster: "every 6 months", "no more ICC". Obviously, that did not really work out, so we were just wondering what caused it.

A. That is definitely fair criticism. We did a good job earlier in Mists of Pandaria, having the content come at a more frequent intervals, and certainly we had hoped to have Warlords of Draenor out a couple of months ago. The reality is that scaling up the number of people that we have, to work on multiple projects at once has slowed us down. Honestly, it should have not come as a surprise to us. We increased the size of the team by 50% and the majority of those people had never worked on World of Warcraft before or any other MMO, so it is really difficult for them to create content right away, without getting up to speed. So we ended up redoing a lot of the content that we were doing for Warlords to make sure that we would get it at the quality level that we would expect. Also, the garrison feature turned into a bigger thing than we expected it to be. Quality is the most important thing, so if we have to make a choice between getting you something two months ago or getting you a great expansion in November, the choice is obvious. I think we are in a better position now for the future, we already have zones in production for our next expansion. So, if things go well, there will be less of a gap.

Q. Right now, there are a lot of things you can do in the game: pet battles, raids, dungeons, garrisons soon, etc. Do you have any kind of plans whatsoever to have different subscription plans? Maybe for people who do not want to raid or who only want to do dungeons.

A. We do not have any plans for that. It is something that has been talked about along with free to play and things like that. I do not know if this is really the right thing for World of Warcraft. You can never say never. If our players really want something like that, we would consider it more, but this is not something that we hear a lot about. Usually, when people play, they want to experience, or at least the option to experience, pretty much everything or a lot of it.

Q. Another kind-of-businessy question. Any plans to have another annual kind of thing, like you did for Mists of Pandaria and Diablo III?

A. It really depends on whether there is a good opportunity. With the annual pass, at the time, we felt like we had this awesome game coming out and we wanted World of Warcraft players to feel that they got some kind of benefit for a continued subscription, like they would get a really good value and feel like they saved money. We had kind of a mixed reaction to the annual pass. People were very enthusiastic when we first launched it, but after it was all set and done, we looked back on it and asked ourselves "are our players clearly happier about Blizzard, because the annual pass exists". It felt like it was questionable, so if that is questionable, it does not seem like something that our players want to see us do lot more often.

Q. Do you think we could have challenge modes for raids?

A. We will see. We feel kind of like our Mythic difficulty raid are already kind of challenge modes for raids, although it is a bit different for challenge modes, because of the leaderboard, which is pretty cool. It is something that we talked about. I think that if we get to the point where more people are using the challenge modes and want to see more of it, then we are more likely to do it. Challenge modes are definitely a very hardcore activity, and so are our Mythic raids. We have to be careful on how much time we spend on just that kind of content.

Q. The leveling experience is a little bit strange. It is definitely good, but the experience requirements for Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King are such that you just fly through the zones, without even finishing the quest lines, and you jump to the next zone. Are there any plans to homogenize that?

A. We have ideas for how we would like to address it, but it would take us a significant amount of time to fix, though. So, it is the kind of things where it is like "We could have the expansion take longer to come out, but we could fix that!". For example, we talked about having both Outland and Northrend go from level 60 to level 80. So, you pick if you want to do Outland or Northrend, and each of them would go at half the speed they do now. That way, you would not run into that kind of problems and it would feel that you have more different content options for what to do. It would probably make leveling different characters a little bit more interesting. So, we like that, but it takes so much of our designers' time to go through and fix it and our system designers' time to go through and make that actually work, because it is really very non trivial, changing the rewards and all that kind of stuff. So, it is one of those cool ideas, but when do we spend the time to do that versus trying to finish the expansion faster.

Q. Now that the new character models are finished (or almost finished), do you have idea what is going to be next, in this direction?

A. There are a lot of different things that could be next. Certainly, I do imagine that we are going to continue improving the look of the game, one element or piece at a time. Our environment looks much better now, our character models are about to look much better. I think that other things we could tackle next would be integrating physics in some way, it is also possible that we could take a crack at making combat look better, just like the way we synchronize animations, spell effects, sounds, and stuff like that. We could make things feel cooler without actually changing things mechanically. So, there are a lot of different ways that we could explore that and we just have to see what works within the resources that we have and the features that we are trying to do in the future.

Q. Are you happy with the way the progress race is happening right now? Like, for example the drops that the top guilds get in the first lockout really influences the rest of the race. Any thoughts about balancing the loot drops, at least in the very beginning?

A. To be honest, I am pretty happy with the way it is. You can always identify things that would theoretically make things a little bit more fair. The reality is that in general, the best guilds always find a way to win. Granted, that is not always the case for every single boss or every single raid, but I think the level of competition and how closely the guilds are matched is actually pretty impressive, for something as large and complex as raid balance. I think that this is dangerous to go too far in terms of spending a lot of time to make that race just this much more balanced, when literally nobody else in the world is affected by that. You know what I mean!
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan
      Oribos, the main hub of Shadowlands, could definitely use more mailboxes, according to players.
      Zandalar offered a mailbox every few feet, whereas, in Oribos, you can only find two.
      It's obviously just a convenience thing, as the game offers other ways that grant access to a mailbox, like Katy's Stampwhistle from the Postmaster quest chain or having an alt parked in major cities.
      The location of the second mailbox is bizarre too. It is located at the backside of the inn, where scarcely people go. Kudos to Kitteh_Kate for the image.

      Source: Reddit + Reddit
    • By Starym
      14 years ago, on January 16th 2007, the very first expansion to World of Warcraft arrived. It was a monumental day in the life of the MMO, and one which can never be repeated. The expansion itself was among WoW's best and brought a huge amount of new features, including flying mounts, the Dranei and Blood Elves, stat ratings (instead of fixed percentages), jewelcrafting and a lot more!
      The expansion was the fastest selling PC game of all time when it released, having moved 2.4 million copies in its first day. We're also most likely be seeing more of it very soon, as Burning Crusade Classic is a foregone conclusion at this point, and will almost certainly be announced at BlizzConline in February (and we already have rumors about the beta release date as well).
      On a personal note, the Burning Crusade is very special for me, as it was the height of my involvement in WoW, playing in Nihilum and racing for World Firsts. I will very much never forget all of its raids, Black Temple especially, where we managed to defeat Illidan before anyone else, and even my Flames of Azzinoth off-tanking couldn't stop us from defeating him. I also stopped hardcore raiding at the end of BC, so it will truly forever be a high-point of WoW for me, and I'm sure for many out there as well.
      And while the following trailer isn't the original and it's actually from last year, it still encapsulates the awesomeness of one of WoW's most famous raids very well (and my personal favorite, obviously):
      And here are the rest of the expansion's original cinematics:
      You can also head on over here to check out some more of the incredible concept art for the expansion, like the following few pieces:
        
        
        

      What were some of your experiences with the Burning Crusade and/or are you looking forward to it coming to Classic?
    • By Starym
      If I asked you to think of your least favorite Shadowlands World Quest you probably couldn't immediately think of one, but when you see this one and remember it, we're pretty sure you'll agree it's just the worst.
      The Bastion Flight School: Up and Away! World Quest is genuinely one of the worst ever made, and when I came upon this reddit post it immediately reminded me of my own horrific experiences with it, and reading the comments it really is no one's favorite. The flowers just randomly decide not to work, and despite the fact that I've only done the quest maybe twice, this crazy feeling of rage immediately took me over when watching the footage above.
      Here are just some of the comments on the wonderful flying flowers:
      However, we also got an explanation on what's (most likely) happening and a potential solution!

      And now let's move on to a much better WQ, with a tip for it that will make an already pretty short and chill quest even shorter! In the Aid From Above WQ, you can significantly speed things up by spamming the drop crate icon when you're in the correct position. Presumably due to server lag, you can actually drop as many as three crates at once (but will usually and consistently drop two), making the quest one of the absolute fastest in the Shadowlands.
      So what are some of your favorite and least favorite World Quests in the Shadowlands?
    • By Starym
      A couple weeks ago delicatedead posted a very funny flow chart for picking the class you want to go with, and now it's been greatly enhanced with some cool images! While the actual helpfulness of the chart is debatable/right on the money, what certainly isn't debatable is its accuracy in portraying some of the specs, and it's high-level humor!

      Source.
      As many players took the chart test, plenty actually got to their mains through it's choices, so there's definitely something to it! Personally I take offense at Fury Warrior not being behind a "do you want to play the best spec ever, but perform poorly on the charts" question, but nothing is perfect. Also, the one for Survival Hunter is probably the best in there.
    • By Starym
      We already talked about the weird ways the Kyrian carry specific player forms, but it seems most Shadowlands flying creatures don't have a lot of respect for the things they carry...
      The Venthyr's General Draven has two very specific carrying styles himself, first the "hold them this way in case you need to smash something using their body":

      Source.
      And the "it's just Theotar, who cares how I carry him" style:

      Source.
      We didn't even mention the third style he uses, as it's currently involved in a lawsuit with the boomkin in question:

      Source.
      But it's not just the Kyrian and Venthyr that got in on the weird carry action, as Ardenweald's denizens have their own ideas on optimal transport, and they're... well:

      Source.
      And finally, the kings of in-flight comfort, the Kyrian have discovered a way to get both you and your mount on board... although the technology isn't quite foolproof yet:
×
×
  • Create New...