PAX West 2018: World of Warcraft’s Ion Hazzikostas shares his game development journey


World of Warcraft’s head guru helped to kick off PAX West this weekend with an hour-long keynote address. Ion Hazzikostas entertained the crowd with his journey as a developer and as WoW’s game director working at Blizzard for the past decade.

Hazzikostas said that when World of Warcraft launched, he was among the crowd of players sucked into this enthralling MMORPG. After being in contact with the studio, he walked away from his law career to start as a game designer for Blizzard.

His career covered working on Wrath of the Lich King’s zones and encounter design before moving on to class design for Cataclysm and then lead encounter designer for Mists of Pandaria.

Wowhead has the highlights of the talk if you want the TL;DR version, although you could just settle in to watch the full video after the jump.

Source: Wowhead

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:

Yeah, they hired a former EQ raid leader, then an oceanologist…might as well as bring someone from the legal profession to round it all out! o.O


Honestly, from his Q&A non-answers and BS’ing it was pretty obvious that his previous profession was a lawyer. This guy has all the personality and charisma of a piece of hardtack.


To go along with giggly, the leveling from 110-120 felt absolutely worthless. It awarded you nothing, not even world quests, the ability to do heroics, no spells… nothing.

Why are we grinding levels in this game? Are these expacs so thin that we need to slow people down for a week?

Class balance is currently atrocious which is really disheartening given the age of the game and the amount of pruning. Lots of smart people working in Irvine you’d think they could’ve figured out their oldest problem… especially given the fact that they’ve hung their hat on a good pvp experience as a selling point for BfA.

Eric Dinosa

Unfortunately, have to agree very much. Leveling isn’t satisfying at all, since things get harder and harder for many classes. While that has always been the case somehow (when you get to level cap, you have to start gearing, as you will feel weak), it never was this bad.
NPCs are just bullet sponges, there are no new talents/skills, and with some classes/specs, pulling more than 2 mobs or so means you’re in serious trouble.
Again, you never were able to one shot max lvl mobs at max level right after dinging, but this just feels… dull, like a huge chore, and not satisfying. Even worse for shadow priests, feral and balance druids etc.
I am a big altoholic, have had one of each class at level cap ever since Cata, but now that 2 chars are at cap, I don’t feel any motivation to level another char.

Anyway, hope things will change again…


Got to ask why no spells or new abilities from level 110 to 120? Legion set the bar very high this came well below it IMO.


When I look at BFA, all I see is Legion rehashed. There is really nothing new in this expansion, and many of the existing systems have been made much worse by changes.

The one thing that is new, the instancing of the entire game world for War Mode, is most promising for how it might be used in the future for WoW Classic.

So, I am not surprised there are no new Spells, Abilities, or Talents. Just more of the same-old, same-old, been there, done that, content. Fun for about 2 weeks, then just grind for the same stuff that was in Legion.

Eric Dinosa

THink I have reached the “fun for about 2 weeks, then just…” point. As I said in another comment, leveled two chars, I do log in to do the emissary WQs for rep, but have no interest in leveling another char or anything else. Came back after a 10 month break, but even though I like some things about BFA (zones, for example), I feel like I am omw out the door again.


Not too far into the future WoW’s level cap will be level 200. Once the level cap was level 60. There are still people playing the version with the level 60 cap and Blizzard will be launching their own soon. Let that sink in.


And not too long ago kids got in trouble for watching the Simpsons because it was too inappropriate. Let that sink in.


Nice. xD

Bruno Brito