The debate over whether World of Warcraft was more social “back in the day” than now has some more fuel for the fire. In an interview with Wired, Game Director Ion Hazzikostas looked back over the evolution of the MMORPG and said that players were more “tolerant” of each other in the vanilla era due to how long it took to form groups and get through content.
“There’s an inverse relationship between friction and the strength of bonds that are formed as a result of that friction or to overcome that friction,” noted Hazzikostas. He went on to note that compared to the early years of WoW, today’s player is pressured to min-max, has greater access to epic raid bosses, and is far more equipped with social tools.
So what does Hazzikostas yearn from in MMOs? “Something that surprises me anew with the promise of unexplored spaces. One of the biggest things that’s exciting about the concept of an MMO is going into an unexplored, undiscovered world. It’s almost the promise of something that somehow breaks all the rules we were talking about when it comes to how players understand and deconstruct systems.”