As we come to the end of the Warlords of Draenor cycle for World of Warcraft, the game is in an odd state. While it is certainly a more advanced game than in the past, complaints over the amount of content, and how repetitive what is there can be, have lead to the community being more down on the game than ever. While it would be difficult to objectively call it the worst World of Warcraft expansion, that’s certainly how elements of the community perceive it. In our interview, game designer Luis Barriga says that he feels Warlords itself was a good expansion – it was what came next that was the problem.
“We all play the game so any time our fans perceive something, it’s likely that we perceive it as well,” he explains after I ask about that perception, saying I personally enjoyed it but understood the complaints. “I agree with you that Warlords was actually not a bad expansion, but our support of it, in terms of stuff that there is to do and patch cycles and all that – we didn’t do enough. That is something that we absolutely… we’re really excited to correct in Legion – there is so much stuff to do.”
Barriga points to world quests, the new feature that adds randomly-appearing things to do in the outside world, as well as the new scaling nature of all content, PvP systems and professions as evidence that they’ve learned people want diverse, interesting things at max-level. Even the transmog system, newly updated with a nice interface, is seen as a way to give more players more stuff to do.
“Like, I’ve been playing the beta a ton and I haven’t run out of stuff to do. We’re all really excited about that side of it, paired with a really aggressive patch plan where we feel that we as players will not be starved for content at all.”
Work on those updates has already begun – there’s been hints dropped as to what will be in the 7.1 patch, and when asked, game designer Jeremy Feasel said the team’s current workload is split between the upcoming launch and “some of us working on a future patch here and there.”
Promises are, of course, just that, and we’ll see how the community reacts in a couple of months once the newness has worn off. Based on past experience, Blizzard will have fixed one problem and created another, but the game will keep rolling on. We will have early impressions of Legion and a full review as soon as possible once it launches, so look out for it.