With August 14 approaching quick, followers of World of Warcraft are eagerly awaiting the discharge of Battle for Azeroth, the seventh enlargement within the mega-hit MMORPG. WoW was first launched in 2004, and within the fourteen years since, expansions and patches have launched iconic options like flight (Burning Campaign), the dungeon finder (Wrath of the Lich King), transmogrification (Cataclysm), garrisons (Warlords of Draenor), and artifact weapons (Legion).
Battle of Azeroth will introduce two new continents, in addition to gameplay options like island expeditions, during which gamers can compete in opposition to synthetic intelligence bots in fulfilling aims.
“Each new expansion we add to the game, we’re looking to expand the core of the game the players have come to know and love over all these years, but also add brand new ways of playing the game, new features, new types of gameplay, new challenges to undertake, and a fresh look at a game that seeks to reinvent itself every couple of years,” says Ion Hazzikostas, the sport director on World of Warcraft at Blizzard Leisure.
However that’s not all the time straightforward to do. Take flying, which the staff launched within the recreation’s first enlargement, The Burning Campaign. “That was huge, it really changed the way we built zones and different landscapes and design visually the landscapes too,” says Jimmy Lo, the sport’s visible improvement supervisor, within the video above. We now needed to truly take into consideration transition zones and the way one panorama transition into the subsequent one.”
Altering these landscapes offered all types of challenges, because the staff discovered when growing 2010’s Cataclysm. “Cataclysm set out with a large enterprise of really breaking the world,” Hazzikostas explains. “So it told the story of this great dragon, Deathwing, who burst forth from within the Earth and unleashed chaos and catastrophe across Azeroth. Areas were flooded, areas were broken apart, massive crevices appeared, but what this did, what this provided was a vehicle to remake the original world that had been crafted in 2004.”
Adjustments wanted to be carried out whereas individuals are nonetheless gamers are nonetheless actively taking part in the sport, which is the place engineers are available.
“How do we sunder the world out from under the players, make it believable and not mess everything up in the process?,” asks Patrick Magruder, WoW’s lead gameplay engineer. “Because when they logged out, they were above the ground, and when they log in, this exact same position is now inside of a mountain or inside of a fire pit, or they’re high up in space because there’s now a crater where they were.”
“That was, even to today, I might say in all probability the only largest job the World of Warcraft staff has ever undertaken,” says Hazzikostas.
Watch the video above to listen to from Hazzikostas, Magruder and Lo concerning the evolution of World of Warcraft and each enlargement, from The Burning Campaign via Battle of Azeroth.