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Developer Thoughts on Plunderstorm

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Lead Software Engineer Orlando Salvatore shared his thoughts on Plunderstorm now that the event has concluded.

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Thank you for playing Plunderstorm. Feedback was heard, Plunderlords have risen, fire whirls were nerfed, tournaments were conducted, W’s were shared. We tried something new with this, and it’s been a hell of a ride.

Working on and releasing Plunderstorm has been a dream come true. Starting from an early prototype, to not knowing exactly how a BR would work, to changing how healing worked in the mode about a million times before it launched, a lot of challenges that we needed to overcome. 

The energy that our peers brought to Plunderstorm while it was in development was next level. We got so many great ideas and things changed around because of our internal playtests. Every discipline brought in their passion, from QA, to the design, to the music, to the engineering, to the art, to marketing, to many more involved. There was no shortage of good ideas thrown around.

The team working on Plunderstorm day to day was relentless, driven, and clearly cared about delivering a fun, quality experience. We had many discussions about what else we could do to juice up the game mode.

Plunderstorm’s point of entry was an important one for us. Though some may have been disappointed they couldn’t use their main characters, the low amount of clicks needed, no previous content clearing required and Dragonflight not being required was an important goal of ours. We wanted anyone, no matter who you are or what experience you have, to be able to load into a Plunderstorm match. No leveling needed, nothing. Just jump straight in and start playing.

There were a ton of first we tried with Plunderstorm. There are things we may do again, or may never do again. And all of that is ok! We learned a lot from this. There’s never been anything like Plunderstorm in WoW, and it was a huge experimental feature during a time when the expansion is winding down and kicking off a great 20th anniversary. We should never be afraid of trying something new. As a player, novelty is what drove me to WoW in the first place. 

Steve Jobs once said “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat". WoW is a huge game, with a lot of players who all play the game differently. Innovating in WoW is something we should strive for to seek opportunities. Introducing new playstyles, new fun moments, new ways to interact and more is what game development is all about. It’s been a dream come true to be part of something so wildly different.

Someone once said “World of Warcraft players are some of the smartest players in the world”. This is a very true statement. This community should never forget how special and great it is.

Thanks for plundering with us.
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Plunderstorm is a shitshow and i had 0 fun as someone who has no interest in PvP content. Thanks for locking nice transmog behind this event. Guess its one more type of content i wont be able to get and essentially being locked out of.

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I love that this was a thing. Plunderstorm (and DF in general, really) is Blizz being weird and experimental and just plain having fun designing something, in a way we haven't seen in a long time. It's almost reminds me of BC, where they we're constantly coming up with new ideas, and just throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.

I personally didn't play Plunderstorm, having on interest whatsoever in that type of game mode, but I'm still glad it exists.

My only real complaint is the limited time factor. That essentially forced people who wanted certain rewards into a short term grind, rather than being something you could work towards slowly and casually overtime.

 

1 hour ago, AKrandom said:

Plunderstorm is a shitshow and i had 0 fun as someone who has no interest in PvP content.

Not every piece of content will appeal to every player, and that's okay. The fact that you are not the target audience doesn't make something bad.

 

1 hour ago, AKrandom said:

Guess its one more type of content i wont be able to get and essentially being locked out of.

Being locked out and choosing not to participate because you don't like it are two wildly different things.

I'm not interested in high end raiding and will (probably) never get AotC or CE, but I also don't think their existence is bad or that I'm unfairly locked out of them. I choose not to do that content because I don't enjoy it. That's on me, not Blizz.

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36 minutes ago, Brightamethyst said:

Not every piece of content will appeal to every player, and that's okay. The fact that you are not the target audience doesn't make something bad.

I can agreed with this to some extent, but there is an issue with rewards. A lot of people just wanted a transmog and mounts, so they had to play a separate mode they hate, just so they can use these rewards in PvE. It would have been a different thing if such mode had nothing to do with the main game. But then how many people would actually play it? This would show how many people actually cared and liked this mode as opposed to those who were just there for rewards.

I still got it, but it was a boring grind in the end. It was somewhat fun in the beginning, but it became stale very quickly. It felt rather snowbally, either you were lucky with landing and there was barely anyone there, so it was easy to farm mobs and get some powers early on (even won some games this way) or there was a fight which ended with wasting time to kill others or early death. In some cases it was more productive to just finish the quest for bonus plunder and die early if circumstances weren't favorable.

Edited by Arcling
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1 hour ago, Arcling said:

but there is an issue with rewards. A lot of people just wanted a transmog and mounts, so they had to play a separate mode they hate, just so they can use these rewards in PvE.

That's true of everything though. I imagine very few people enjoy literally every single piece of content in the game. There will always be something you dislike but still want the rewards from (true IRL, as well), and all you can do is decide for yourself if you think it's worth it. I've done some grinds I disliked just because I wanted the rewards, and I've also passed on some others because the reward didn't outweigh the time and annoyance factor. That's just life, and not something the devs can realistically design away.

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