A new slew of World of Warcraft interviews touches on the future of Sylvanas and lack of story planning

    
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This has not gone according to plan

Good news, World of Warcraft fans! If you thought you were going to be done with Sylvanas after the next patch arriving tomorrow, well… you won’t be. Actually, you probably already suspected that, but a new interview roundup on MMO Champion includes game director Ion Hazzikostas noting that he looks forward to the community dissecting what happens with Sylvanas after the raid is over. That implies pretty clearly there is an after. It also includes this absolute gem of a statement from Hazzikostas:

We had the sense that players would be contending with Sylvanas for a while now, that they would be delving into and learning more about the nature of the Maw, and the Jailer’s power in this first major content update. But, the specific details of the twists and turns the story is going to take, who the bosses in the raid are, even some of the major narrative moments that we’re going to see play out in the coming weeks are things that came together at the end of last year, and the beginning of this year.

That screaming sound you hear is every video game narrative department.

Other highlights from the interview include Hazzikostas stating that the problems with Torghast were not possible to be discovered in beta, an interview with narrative designer Steve Danuser and encounter designer Morgan Day in which it’s claimed that the long delay on the patch was all about providing an appropriate level of quality, and confirmation that you should be unlocking flight easily in the second post-patch week if you’ve been keeping up with Shadowlands story content otherwise. Check out the full roundup here.

Source: MMO Champion
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Connor

WoW’s story forums were ablaze with this news. Ion’s and Danuser’s handling of this expansion has been……imperfect, to say the least. At least with BfA a lot of players could convince themselves that Sylvanas’s bizarre characterization would be addressed in Shadowlands. Now with SL shaping up to be WoD 2.0 …… things could be a lot better.
https://fr.millenium.gg/news/380364.html

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traja

If testing doesn’t reveal problems that need revealing then you need to overhaul the way that you do testing. There are no valid excuses for poor quality. Some part on the production chain has failed regardless and it shouldn’t be happening after working on the same game for a decade and a half. Ion likes to bring up all the lessons that they are learning but at some point you should become good at your job.

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Sean L

I can’t believe I still give this company money every month.

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Hurbster

Didn’t all the beta testers who reported problems in Torghast just get ignored?

And this all sounds ominously like ‘this is a redemption story whether you like it or not…

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Dug From The Earth

beta testers, “This is a problem”

WoW directors, “Its unfortunate that no one has found any issues”

After you have had time to back away from this game and anything involving it, you start to almost feel bad for it… almost. Like when you see someone hold to their guns about standing up for something you know deep down they realize isnt worth defending anymore, only they still do. You just wanna pat them on the back and say, “its ok, you can give up the charade, no one believes you anyway… just take a break and relax”

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tyyriz tyyric

it tells you that the people in charge
care about esports, m+ and world firsts, maybe(?) pvp???

they dont care about story at all.

and when I think of the story of Classic Westfall or Hillsbrad or any of the MOP zones.
and then we’re given stuff that they are making up as they program it??? Come on. Wasnt Cristie Gold supposed to bring a novelists approach to the story design?

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Munchmeat2

The current direction of the game were the focus of the entire game is on competitive content started with Ion.

WoW completely sucks now for casual MMO players because of his influence on the game has trickled down to like every department.

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Sarah Cushaway

All that money and they hire some of the worst writers I’ve ever seen for an MMO (or, more likely, the suits Ion are hampering what the writers are allowed to produce)?

Sad.

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Rndomuser

Like lore ever mattered in this game… Just make a cool CGI video showing random fight between random NPCs of both factions, throw more dungeons at people and do that faster, with more loot to grind through those dungeons or through arenas and BGs and that’s all that most WoW players need.

Even most of RP players on Moonguard don’t care about any lore, they create their own stories not dependent on any NPCs or factions, especially people who are into specific kind of RP which involves various kinks.

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Greaterdivinity

are things that came together at the end of last year, and the beginning of this year

I think we could have all guessed that the story/narrative elements are jammed in to fit with design. That’s fine and all, just stop talking up the story elements if you’re just going to admit that they’re functionally an afterthought and not something that is a part of the design of upcoming content patches.

This video is getting a lot of use, but I feel like the design team is on the right and everyone that actually cares about story/lore is on the left – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evthRoKoE1o

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Utakata

…the person on the right could be disingenuously efficient or asininely disinterested. Along the way though, the spirit of doing the right thing has long been vanquished. /sigh

Aldristavan
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Aldristavan

In the past I’ve really avoided the “get rid of [insert developer here]” mentality, but.. it’s time. Time for Ion to go. He is way out of touch. To say that none of Torghast’s obvious flaws were predictable is nonsense. That entire dev team was given mountains of feedback from beta players, which they ignored.

Every single criticism is answered with “Well, our game design philosophy is…” Uhhh, no one cares about your game design philosophy, Carol. The players aren’t happy.

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Paragon Lost

Gonna have to strongly agree. Any time I see his name I have a visceral gut reaction of loathing. He has to go for the good of the game.

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Dug From The Earth

Its not that he is out of touch.

Its that he puts on the facade that he actually believes the BS he is spewing.

Everyone knows its BS. Everyone knows HE knows its BS.

It would have been better at this point just to be honest and come clean. People are better at accepting redemption than at accepting stubborn futility.

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Bruno Brito

I think it’s both. He’s out of touch because he wants to be. He clearly hates the “subsects” of players he has to attend to and would like to be just doing his raids. I don’t get how this man, who clearly should be a lead raiding dev with a team, is the game director of EVERYTHING.

WoW’s gamedesign nowadays is clearly about loathing casuals. You either consume this dogshit excuse for content on a hardcore timeframe to MAYBE have fun in the raids ( which is a big maybe, i hated raiding, it was stressful and made me really nervous for no reason ), or you get gated at every spot by idiotic systems that clearly had no thought of any kind put into it, specially not RPG “meaningful choices” thoughts.

No wonder F2P brackets are more fun and active than endgame, kek.

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Bannex

Just the dumbest fucking story and I don’t even care about mmo stories. It’s like if George RR Martin was the senior writer for blizzard…