Recent World Of Warcraft Changes Are Part Of "Building An Inclusive And Welcoming" World

Blizzard is offering insight on recent WoW changes that have altered or removed older content the developer says is inconsistent with its values.

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World of Warcraft's patch 9.1.5 is currently being tested on the game's public test realm, and each new test build brings more changes to older game content that could be seen as inappropriate or offensive. Now Blizzard is offering insight on why those changes are being made and what fans can expect in the future.

In a new blog post titled "The Evolution of Creative Content in World of Warcraft," the WoW development team says the changes are part of a goal of "building an inclusive and welcoming game world."

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"In a game that has thousands of art elements and a word count in the millions, we recognize that these updates will amount to very few total changes overall," the blog post reads. "Nonetheless, we believe these changes are worthwhile. World of Warcraft is meant to evolve over time, and every day, new players from every walk of life and every corner of the world experience our in-game content for the first time. As a team, we want the world they see to stand as an expression of our talent and principles."

Recent changes outlined in the PTR include the removal or alteration of crude or suggestive emotes, name changes for certain items and NPCs, the removal of in-game references to former employees, renamed achievements, and more.

"Goofy jokes and occasional mature innuendos are part of WoW, and probably always will be," the blog post continues. "Still, we want to remain mindful of whether certain elements of that world are welcoming to all players. In short, we want our jokes to be inclusive and not punch down."

Blizzard goes on to clarify that they don't plan to make any alterations to player looks or cosmetics, saying they want players to be able to express themselves. In outlining additional changes that will come post patch 9.1.5, Blizzard says it will be creating an incubus demon which can be added to certain parts of the game to replace the scantily-clad succubus demon model. Warlock players will have the option to summon either the succubus or the incubus through the game's glyph system.

The changes all come in the wake of multiple lawsuits, investigations, and allegations regarding widespread harassment and discrimination towards women at Activision Blizzard. Those allegations have seen numerous Blizzard veterans leave the company, including former Blizzard president J. Allen Brack.

Blizzard recently announced WoW Classic Season of Mastery, which will add seasonal servers to the old-school version of the MMO alongside balance changes.

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