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Venturebeat Interview with Ion Hazzikostas on WoW’s Future

Venturebeat Interview with Ion Hazzikostas on WoW’s Future
Venturebeat sat down with Ion Hazzikostas to discuss the game’s future and current soul-searching. Click the banner below to read the full article!

  • The team created an internal process for employees to flag pieces of the game for review that haven’t aged well or could be seen as offensive, and a diverse group reviewed them for change.
  • These changes did not take away from development time and would likely have gone unnoticed if they weren’t spotlighted from datamining.
  • The team understands that they aren’t fixing systemic injustice by these changes, but why not do it in tandem with working on larger cultural community.
  • The WoW team is also working closesly with the Overwatch team to try and catch toxicity in game right away without relying so much on manual reporting.
  • In the end, the team wants WoW to be a positive place to escape the trials and tribulations of the world.
  • Diversity makes a better game. They don’t want WoW to be for a niche audience.
  • There has been a lot of work towards allowing more open communication and feedback within the team about things going into the game.
  • 9.1.5 was born out of the team being allowed to pitch ideas and try out things that they think will make the game more fun.
  • Ion acknowledges that they should have reacted to player feedback earlier about conduit energy, and knows that they can do better about communicating not only that we are being heard, but why things are not necessarily implemented or changed right away.
  • 9.1.5 reflects a shift toward more accessibility and letting go of old lessons instilled on the team from the past that don’t necessarily reflect the way that the game is enjoyed today.
  • Cross-faction raiding is a bit more on the radar now. If Jaina and Thrall are working together, why can’t the players?
  • They will be talking about the conclusion of Shadowlands in more detail in the future.
  • 9.2 is coming, and we will hear about it soon. They have much more planned after that, but it’s hard to say too much more without spoiling some of the story that is coming.
  • At this point, your characters are heroes and there is no way that they can go back to being anonymous adventurers, but the team also wants to go back to simple core fantasy and not so much more escalating cosmic adventures.
  • The team wants to keep expanding on ways to better use what they have built over the years into the game, but it’s not quite there yet.
  • There really isn’t a time when the game becomes so old that a reboot is needed. However, they need to be mindful of bloat.