Hey, it turns out that designing long-term MMORPGs that aren’t pump-and-dump schemes is hard!
That’s the takeaway from a new PC Gamer interview with Blizzard’s Ion Hazzikostas, during which the World of Warcraft game director admits to what the developers of the dozens of MMOs that came before WoW could’ve told Blizz had it, y’know, ever considered asking.
“We are becoming increasingly aware of the cost of any change we make that has ongoing maintenance and the risk of design bloat,” Hazzikostas says. “If we keep adding and adding with every expansion, eventually what we end up with becomes very unwieldy. It’s an issue that we weren’t cognizant enough of early on because we were in uncharted territory, but we are now.” Yeah, he said uncharted territory.
This is why Blizzard has put a moratorium on adding new systems like farms and garrisons and legendaries and class halls. Just kidding. That’s never gonna happen.
As to the future of the game, Hazzikostas says work on the game’s next expansion has indeed begun, but declined to comment on the community speculation about a final confrontation with the Legion, possibly on a new planet — actual uncharted territory. “Story-wise, we try to think two expansions ahead at this point. We’ll see what the end of Legion brings, but we’re trying to make it a cohesive narrative that flows and segues from one expansion into the next.”