The Remaking of World of Warcraft • Page 2

Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street and Dave Kosak on the launch of the new old WOW.

Eurogamer: I don't think anyone would argue that the questing and storytelling haven't improved – they clearly have. But you mentioned travel – that's something people might miss. You now feel very much like you're being led through the world – there doesn't seem to be as much encouragement to explore as there used to be.

Greg Street: I think we still hide easter eggs and that sort of thing around. If players look, they'll find things hidden in the far-off corners. But we didn't want players to have to discover the fun.

It was never fun to be on a quest line and finish it and be like, well, where am I supposed to go now? We don't expect players to kind of mine the game for fun any more, we want to give them more direction. OK, you've finished this zone, the next zone is here; if you ever get lost go to the main cities and we have a big board telling you what areas you can go to now.

Eurogamer: Recently, I saw a supposedly leaked schedule of Blizzard releases for the next few years [via PC Gamer]. Now, I know you're not going to comment on "rumour and speculation", but I did notice that this schedule had roughly 18-month gaps between WOW expansions, whereas to date you've delivered them once every two years. Is an expansion every 18 months feasible?

Greg Street: It's certainly a goal, we would like to get expansions out very quickly because we know players respond to them very well, it keeps attention. We can't generate content fast enough for a lot of our players, so we would like to get expansions out quickly. Whether or not we can... It always comes down to the quality level, we're not willing to cut too many features or sacrifice quality to be able to come out quickly.

I think in an ideal world... We've talked before about what it would take to have an expansion come out every year, or something like that. We're not anywhere close to that now.

Dave Kosak: It would be a different idea of an expansion, it wouldn't be these giant lumps of content... if we did expansions every year. But we do think about it.

Eurogamer: Do you think you'd be prepared to make that decision? Or do you think the players would respond to it? Because now you've sort of taught them to expect a monolithic expansion every two years.

Greg Street: If we delivered on expansions more often, I think players would love that. The risk is that we try to come out with a leaner expansion more often and we end up cutting features or making it shorter and then still taking two years. That would be... we can't do that. So you either have to deliver on tons and tons of content or deliver on coming out very quickly.

Eurogamer: So you must have started thinking about the next expansion...

Greg Street: Oh, sure.

Eurogamer: Do you see it as another monster expansion or are you thinking about slimming it down a bit?

Greg Street: We're so early, still, on what the feature set means and what the content would mean... We kind of talk about it in two directions, if it's a quick expansion what we would put in, and and if it's the full-blown Cataclysm style, what the feature set would be.

Eurogamer: Back at BlizzCon, John Lagrave said that there was an idea for expansion four, that it wasn't locked down but that everyone was really excited. Is that idea locked in yet?

Greg Street: It's pretty close to locked in. It's hard, sometimes... Even on Cataclysm we had one direction and we ended up changing it along the way, we ended up going a lot more with the old-world revamp than we originally intended. We have a direction now but that's not to say that this is the one true path that we'll eventually deliver on.

Dave Kosak: And the team is very excited.

Greg Street: Oh, super excited.

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Oli Welsh

Oli Welsh

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Oli is the editor of Eurogamer.net and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.

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