Blizzard interested in iOS devices

"If we could make the right game changes."

Blizzard's Greg Street - aka Ghostcrawler on the World of Warcraft forums - has spoken to Eurogamer about the appeal of iOS devices within Blizzard and the potential for mobile MMO gaming.

"Everyone I know here has an iPhone or an iPad so we're huge fans of the hardware," he said. "If we could make the right game changes to make that work, it's something we'd be interested in. It's not something you're going to see in the next week or two, but it's the kind of thing we're always looking at."

Once again, the challenge of bringing WOW to console platforms was discussed.

"That's a really big topic. The one [issue] that comes to mind is that WOW is designed for use of a mouse and a keyboard and we haven't yet seen a console solution that lets us replicate it easily," he said.

"I suspect that we would also want to own a lot more of the back-end than most console companies would be willing to let us have. Right now we're being pretty successful just supporting the PC and Macintosh. We'd love to do it if it ever made sense - I'm sure we would."

Eurogamer also spoke to Street about class balance in the latest patch, and the challenges involved in breathing new life into a seven-year-old system.

"There aren't a lot of sweeping class changes this time around, no-one was totally rebuilt since the Cataclysm launch. We had to adjust some things that didn't work out quite the way we had hoped and tweaked some numbers around. There are a few mechanics changes, but hopefully it won't feel too overwhelming for players logging in."

Would Blizzard ever consider overhauling the talent system to revitalize it and bring something new to the players?

"We'd love to. The challenge is that, as designers we can always come up with better systems. Then you run the risk of the players not understanding that it's better. Even if you end up with a better system, the shock of change could be enough to really turn players off. It's really risky messing with something that ingrained in the game."

While discussing the developer's aim to provider faster content updates and expansions, Street also indicated that there's plenty of life left in WOW.

"We know that frequent content updates is the key, but I compare WOW development to a battleship - and it's hard to get a battleship to turn quickly... If we're looking back three or four years from now, we'll be saying how much better Blizzard has got at delivering quick expansions... We'll keep working as long as the players keep playing the game. It doesn't look like the game is going anywhere soon."

One new feature that we may see in an upcoming expansion is an additional level of difficulty for the game's raid and dungeon instances.

"We have a very wide variety of player skill. I look at a lot of other games and see that they might offer five difficulty levels - but we really only offer two. That's something we talk about a lot, do we need to offer more difficulty levels?"

World of Wacraft's latest patch, Rage of the Firelands, launches later this month.

World of Warcraft patch 4.2 trailer

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