World Of Warcraft: Battle For Azeroth Interview: PAX East 2018

World of Warcraft announced its Battle for Azeroth expansion over the weekend, marking the first major expansion since Legion in August 2016. The massively multiplayer online role-playing game will test players’ resolve as they champion their faction’s cause in a devastating new war.

In the Battle of Azeroth expansion, players will be able to explore two fabled kingdoms. As a champion of the Horde, travel to the Zandalar empire to persuade the trolls to lend their naval might. As a defender of the Alliance, venture to the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras, home of Jaina Proudmoore, and rally its inhabitants to fight for your cause. Players can also recruit allied races to help strengthen their factions, scour Azeroth’s uncharted islands and conquer an ever-changing array of enemies and objectives, infuse armor with Titanic Might, instantly boost to level 110 and battle up to 120.

Developers Daniel Stahl and Morgan Day spoke with us at PAX East about the longevity of World of Warcraft as it nears its fifteenth anniversary and how important community and engaging with the players is with the game.

“An expansion is a great time to jump back in or jump in for the first time,” Stahl said. With level boosting, a player doesn’t have to sit through over a dozen of years of content that they might have missed, keeping new and returning players in the present loop. “We might not have thought about that twelve years ago, but it’s important now.”

“We want to provide frequent updates with satisfying content for our players to consume at a great rate,” Day added.. “With Legion, we were just trying to follow that through. Even though it’s two years apart, it’s the smallest window of time between a patch and an expansion release.”

World of Warcraft remains one of the most popular games and is an example of how interaction and story can remain fresh and new, keeping people interested while also inspiring new players to jump in. It’s been one of the bridges in the evolution of games in the last decade. Much of that is because of the players themselves.

“This virtual world has been around for a while,” Stahl said. “There’s a mutual respect that happens where the dev team will come out with new features and stories and its fed by this very excited fan base and players. We’re about to release a new expansion, and this isn’t just marketing, this is us engaging with our players and seeing how they’re interacting with our stories. We look at the forums, we look at the feedback and we ask, does this feel right?”

The Battle of Azeroth expansion will be available for World of Warcraft players August 14, 2018.