Developer Interviews

Posted: by Arth

A recent wave of developer interviews have produced a lot of general information about MoP and what Blizzard thought about it internally. With patch 5.4 about to drop, and work to begin on the next expansion, it seems like a good time to look at some of the hits and misses over the last couple patches and expansions.

The longer version of the interviews is summarized here. Below I highlight some points that I found most interesting.


  • Garrosh will be dropping heirloom items (weapons). For hunters, the weapon is Hellscream’s Warbow. And the first heirloom you receive will be for your current spec, but then you’ll be able to receive any of them at random. This should give some players a reason to keep farming Garrosh even as the expansion nears. Except for Frostheim, whose Dwarven curses at another damn bow can be heard half a country away.
  • The “flex” concept from flex raiding is being considered for expansion. It could apply to scenarios, and they’ve also discussed upping the scaling limit to 30 players. I love the flex idea, so anything like this seems cool to me.
  • Proving Grounds could also be expanded upon in one of several ways, including making it catered to more than simply endgame players. Blizzard has expressed this interest if Proving Grounds prove to be popular.
  • In general, the popularity of a gameplay mode seems to drive new content. For example, pet battles are very popular. Ergo, Blizzard wants to expand the available content for it. If players are willing to commit to a particular new mechanic or mode, Blizzard will continue to expand and refine it. This seems to be the case for flex raiding, pet battles, proving grounds, brawler’s guild, and even things like old-world content, which Blizzard has tried to make more accessible with each expansion.
  • Leveling professions should be a bit easier in the next expansion. As level caps increase, and grinding continues, this is good news to many players.
  • Blizz will be rolling out several new character models in the coming months.
  • Button bloat is not a problem limited to hunters. Several classes have begun to experience this. One dev stated that the outcry that would happen from not adding new abilities every time we level for an expansion would be another large problem. So there isn’t always a perfect solution to this issue.
  • ilvl squish is already being tested internally, and is likely to happen in the next expansion.
  • One dev stated that in terms of total subscriptions, Diablo III had a bigger impact on WoW than any MMO. As we’ve seen, the trend in subscriptions has slowly dwindled, but it’s still a MASSIVE player base. And Blizzard has begun collecting realms together so that the experience feels as populated as ever.
  • The devs are happier with MoP than they were with Cataclysm. This seems like a no-brainer – there have been MANY new gameplay modes and improvements in MoP – but Cata wasn’t entirely a bust. Changes to the old world were still cool, and things like revamping old instances for endgame players continue to be popular and fun for long-time players.

There’s a LOT more to talk about; this is just a taste. And we’ll undoubtedly receive more news in the coming months. So go take a look at the full summary (link above). What caught your eye?

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  1. Clin says:

    Thanks for the link Arth, there is a lot of interesting stuff in that.
    I fully agreed with their statement “One of the mistakes made… was removing very situational or fun abilities. For example, Eyes of the Beast doesn’t take up a keybind or important action bar slot, but it is something that players miss now.
    I fully disagreed with their statement “The removal of Have Group, Will Travel worked out well, making the world feel more alive”, omg I have never heard anyone in the game who was happy it was removed. Isn’t this a “situational” ability that doesn’t take up a keybind that players miss? Didn’t they just say it was a mistake removing them?

    • Mechakisc says:

      I definitely don’t get the removal of Have group Will travel. I mean, two of us show up at the stone now and summon the Warlock (or if he’s out then mostly everyone). Everyone does their own thing unless a group of us do something together, so we’re out in the world pretty routinely.

      • Noxxana says:

        I agree that it’s a feature people miss now.

        Well, I also agree with Blizzard’s point of view (doesn’t happen very often). Personally I don’t like the “Generation L”(azy) . Standing in Orgrimmar / Stormwind, getting mass-ported, getting fed and buffed by feasts and cauldrons. LfR made that worse even more, but that’s a different story… It grew a whole generation of mentally shrunk and somewhat helpless players.

  2. Mechakisc says:

    I transmog everything to the Bear Hunter’s rifle for my hunter. Bow schmow.

    We have a 10 man raid team, and I will never not say this: we need 13 raiders at least. Flex normals would be the greatest boon ever, because we’d run 13 most weeks and 12, 11, or 10 when folks had to be gone.

    • Mythriak says:

      I just wish that Flex rewards could be the same ilvl than normal rewards. So I could, as a sub, just join the core team and help them doing the same bosses they’re trying without making them suffer on the rewards or “wasting” time leveling me up to help them on normal.

  3. Garfurion says:

    I find it very hard to understand what Blizzard considers button bloat. One interview mentions abilities we rarely use, others mention Readiness which was part of our rotation. It does seem Bliz finally understands removing Eyes of the Beast had nothing to do with button bloat but chances of getting it back are slim since they removed part of the code :(

    I expect Garrosh will be easy to kill if he uses a bow….you should never bring a bow to a gun fight :P

  4. Dailyravager says:

    im definately feeling the button bloat on my characters my hunter which is my main and my new druid at lvl 65 seems to be getting there too id prefer if there was more things on seperate cd’s (not more buttons) so that i could macro more. my paladin is a prime example of a class the needs better cd’s as im often twidling my thumbs waiting for things to become available some times even a whole 3 seconds before i can do anything.

  5. Noxxana says:

    “ilvl squish is already being tested internally, and is likely to happen in the next expansion.” This. I can’t even tell for how long I’m waiting for this feature. Feels like an eternity. I miss the Northrend dungeons.

    Updated character models. A bit late, but yes.

    And I really hope they understand that LfR, Flex, Scenarios and whatever are no valid replacement for new dungeons. (Solo-)Scenarios are a great way for storytelling but let’s just face it: As “group content” but they’re boring as hell.

    Flex raid would be cool if it allowed to run with 9 players or 12 in NORMAL MODE (with normal version loot ouf course). Maybe minus the chance of “thunderforged” drops to encourage people to play at the “correct” raid size.