World of Warcraft explains Dragonflight’s modular design and the end of borrowed power


If you’ve ever wondered why World of Warcraft seems so slow to adjust to poorly received expansion pack systems, perhaps part of the blame can be pinned on Blizzard working too far ahead. In a new video from YouTuber Preach, the studio explained how there’s a significant time delay between realizing how systems are received and changing upcoming content to reflect that.

This “modular design” ripples forwards and backwards as Blizz both works on the current expansion and the next (in fact, even as Dragonflight launches this week, the studio is laying the foundation for the pack to come after that). In other words, the studio hasn’t been agile enough to respond properly to unwanted systems or bad design. It’s also why popular systems eventually degrade into worse versions in subsequent expansions.

Coming to terms with this failure is what’s been informing the MMO’s development going forward, with the removal of “borrowed power” systems, effort poured into evolving, evergreen features, and other long-term design. Check out the video for the full explanation:

Alternatively, if you want the four-minute bite-sized version, here you go:

Source: YouTube. Thanks Rick!
Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees unionize¬†and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2022, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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