WoW Developers Discuss Updates, Realm Balance, and More – Blizzard Interview
As the developers at Blizzard continue bringing on the World of Warcraft updates, they discussed in an interview what it’s like to create them. WoW still has such a huge following and a lot of that has to do with the constant flow of updates and patches that keep things fresh and interesting. Paul Kubit, a developer for WoW, says that’s the best way to keep players engaged is by providing new content, no matter how small the change.
“We need to keep the game vibrant with content, and the way we do that is by making sure, every couple months or so, we have something new to do. And that’s the point of these .5 patches–it’s to have, even if it’s not the giant raid tier and outdoor farming zone, something new that you can play.”
According to the WoW developers, so far it hasn’t been too exhausting making all these updates. Their team is large enough and the experience between them has made things manageable on their part. One of the best reasons for them to keep it up, is the steady flow of new players that the patches bring out and making it easy for the new ones to catch up to the experienced players helps too. Adam Kugler, another developer, explains how they do that.
“One thing that we did in 7.1.5 is gave more ability for alts and new players to jump in so that they can catch up to other players and such–there’s never been a better time to play. I think that any specific time that we have a new patch come out allowing other players to jump in, even if they didn’t start at the expansion start, is something that we care very passionately about… A new player can get their artifact knowledge up very high just by going in and syncing resources they don’t have as much time getting as they would have. Your order progression is similarly cut down on time, so the resource cost is still the same to keep it fair to the players who have invested there.”
Some players complain that the game is too accessible now. They think that Legendaries are a little TOO easy to obtain and that it’s lost the special feeling you would get from working harder for it. The WoW developers, although willing to listen to feedback and adjust accordingly, believe that the Legedaries give newcomers more motivation and satisfaction while playing. Kugler explains it like this,
“I think that our goal with legendaries is to spice things up and promote the player to play the game as much as they can. When you do play a lot, you have that moment of, “Oh, I just opened my cache,” or, “I just spoke to Blingtron and he graced me with an amazing legendary.” That moment is such a great thing to capture, and having variability within there just adds to the texture of the game.”
Another common complaint is that in certain realms there seems to be either too many Alliance players or Horde and people want a better realm balance. John Shin says that they understand there can be problems with balance and that they will do what they can, but there isn’t much they can do about it at this time.
“It’s been this evolution ever since Mists of Pandaria when we first got cross-realms active in the game, and it’s only evolved further from that. I think the game definitely feels way more lively today than it ever has. No matter what zone I go to, I’m always running into some people. Population wise, that’s obviously something that’s going to be realm specific from time to time.”
The team went on to discuss the buffs and nerfs of each class with the different updates. They only changed what they felt comfortable with and Jay Gill says it was never their intention to heavily buff or nerf specs. They say that they will continue to make small tweaks in order to optimize the game play. When talking about the needs of PvP, raiding, and PvE groups, Kugler says there are so many options now that everyone can play with their own unique style.
“We like to joke around the office that we don’t have 12 classes anymore, we actually have 36 because every spec is so different from one another, and even the amount of talent diversity that we provided in 7.1.5. Talents used to be shared a lot more across different specs and now there’s very much a sense of having your own style, your own spin on what it is to be a mage or a hunter or a paladin. But I think the most important thing for me, in all of that tuning, is that every spec should have a place where they feel they can shine so that there’s variety in where they go.”
Let us know what you guys think about all the World of Warcraft patches in the comment section below. Did you enjoy reading about the WoW developers and how they think? Make sure to follow DFTG on Twitter for all your gaming news and check out these other WoW articles below!
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