With only days to go until Shadowlands ushers World of Warcraft players into the afterlife, it’s definitely a good time for the studio to drum up hype through interviews. Blizzard seems to be on a tear with these, starting with Assistant Lead Quest Designer Johnny Cash and Art Director Ely Cannon sitting down with VG247 to talk about the month-long delay and upcoming launch.
The two said that the team used the extra month of development to polish the expansion and make a lot of tuning adjustments to the covenant systems — including rebuilding the Venthyr Rogue abilities from the ground-up. They said that the story is accessible to relative newbies but should delight those who enjoy plunging deep into Warcraft lore.
In the interview, you also get to see Blizzard attempting to defend the “borrowed power” design that it bakes into each expansion. There is a grudging acknowledgement that players do want persistence, but the studio said that it has to evaluate that on a case-by-case basis.
Another interview that just went up is with Wowhead, which spoke to Ion Hazzikostas about a variety of topics including class balance, legendaries, and covenants. He also gave an overview of what an average week might look like for players in the expansion, but ultimately concluded that it’ll be a bit different for each person’s focus.
“There’s a lot to do, and my advice to players getting into Shadowlands would be not to get overwhelmed,” Hazzikostas said. “The vast majority of it, unlike a couple of the recent expansions where nearly every activity was something that if you skipped for a week, you might feel like you were falling behind. That’s not the case for most of what’s there in Shadowlands.”
In a separate interview, he fielded a question about the “monthly active users” number that Blizzard touts in its quarterly earnings report and why that might be misleading for people invested into just one game. “We do look at metrics like those, but they’re more leading indicators of where people are spending their time,” he said.