WoW Dev Team Bigger Than Ever Before, Already Has Next Expansions In Mind

"We've never been more forward-thinking about the types of things that we can do with World of Warcraft."

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Blizzard Entertainment's genre-defining MMO World of Warcraft celebrates its 10th birthday next month, and though subscriber numbers may be down, don't expect Blizzard to stop supporting the game anytime soon. In fact, World of Warcraft executive producer J. Allen Brack says in a new interview that the game's development team has never been bigger and the studio already has ideas in mind for multiple follow-ups to November's Warlords of Draenor expansion.

"The World of Warcraft team is 50 percent larger today than it was when we shipped Mists of Pandaria [in 2012]," Brack told Polygon. "We're already working on the next expansion. We already have ideas for the expansion after that. We've never been larger. We've never been more forward-thinking about the types of things that we can do with World of Warcraft."

World of Warcraft launched in November 2004, and had 6.8 million subscribers as of June 30. Following the Chinese release of the game's second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, the MMO's subscriber base ballooned to 12 million, the largest ever for the game.

Warlords of Draenor is World of Warcraft's fifth expansion, and it has already sold 1.5 million copies through pre-purchases alone.

Also in the wide-ranging interview, Blizzard senior vice president of story and franchise development, Chris Metzen, recalled the launch of World of Warcraft tens years ago. He said the game's growth and success has been a "high-class problem," in that it transformed Blizzard into something larger than was ever originally planned.

"Maybe this is too harsh, but World of Warcraft’s success was one of the biggest challenges we ever faced," he said. "It challenged our character. It challenged our culture, the growth and the complexity, for a team that had been very tight."

"And suddenly a lot of that core team is running different groups. When organizations grow that fast, suddenly you have all these lights to keep on and all these mouths to feed and these really talented developers that we've brought in to help us do this," he added.

"Your thinking can begin to become a little institutionalized. You start to think a little more systemically, like, 'Oh god, don't break it, keep all the plates spinning, we've got to keep this up.'"

Warlords of Draenor launches November 13. For more on the expansion, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

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Grenadehh

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Sigh. Meanwhile roommate plays WC3 in the other room still.

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Psycaustic

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Unless they port it to PS4 or XB1 I'm never playing it again. Cata was terrible MOP was just flat out insulting and my days of shelling out 5g's for a gaming rig system every three years to push top end PC games is DONE... FF14, DCUO, and now Destiny proves the consoles have matured enough to handle mmorpgs. Both KBM supported and controller supported. Blizzard is shorting themselves, I think a lot of players like me are TIRED of fighting for drivers and troubleshooting hardware and software to play PC games with friends... vent or ts or mumble or rc voice are always a pain and FF14 plays with a keyboard and mouse just fine on my PS4 and looks infinitely better than WoW so I dont know what the problem is to port it. But I miss wow enough to play again if they would just port it.

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The_evil_Nemesi

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<< LINK REMOVED >> 5G's every three years? Either you don't know what you are buying and you don't know how to upgrade or you just buy branded computers like Alienware and stuff like that. Plus you don't need that kind of machine to play WoW. I play it with a laptop sometimes, using the onboard graphics card.

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Grenadehh

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@Psycaustic Um, no. As someone who played WoW for 9 years, no. As terrible as the game is, consoles still cannot handle the level of gameplay, voice chat, or otherwise communication needed for a good mmo.

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FalkonValant

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@grenadehh

Um, no. The PS4 fully supports a mouse and keyboard, so what's the problem exactly? Voice chat? PS4 players can voice chat with each other already, so the only issue would be setting up a voice chat platform for PS4 to PC communication.

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Unfallen_Satan

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Originally I was worried the success of WoW would perpetuate a sub-based MMO mentality. Recent big brand entries have shown me that's not a big problem. Player bases are healthy but modest, and publisher expectations are, I hope, more realistic. There are still many millions of subscribers to WoW, so why shouldn't Blizzard continue to service them? In my opinion, a better WoW has a greater chance to bring more benefit to more players than any other game I see Blizzard making.

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ghost140

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*sigh* goodbye WoW RTS you never got a chance to shine.

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Cruxis27

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I know hating on WoW is the cool thing to do nowadays, and honestly it is not without reason. But damn, some of my favourite moments in gaming came from WoW. The friends I made, the enemies and the downright trolls.. Ah good times

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The_evil_Nemesi

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Hating on Nintendo is also pretty cool

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gatorman4446

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Making WOW available on Xbox one and ps4 would be an achievement worth noting not another patch to try and keep their cash cow going and try to make it seem fresh.

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LoudAngryJerk

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<< LINK REMOVED >> they'd have to overhaul the combat even further, not to mention the interface. Seriously, you can play WoW using a ps3 or xbox 360 controller right now, and tell me thats a game you want on console...

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DarkAztaroth

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Those 'patches' are alot bigger than a xbox/ps4 release would be to me. game would be unplayable on any of those, and that ''patch'' increases the max level, adds a huge new continent (Bigger than most mmos are as a whole), a bunch of dungeons, garrison system, new open PVP area, will come with added raids through the course of the next year, new character models, change the raiding structure (Flexible normal and heroic raids, change of old heroic to mythic with fixed number of players), item squish, new item system where armors change stats depending on your spec, a group finder for raiding pugs, upgrade to the questing log interface, reduced latency AND a bunch of other features/improvements :D

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hansbeej

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<< LINK REMOVED >> They want everything going directly through Battle.net and only Battle.net, so that will likely never happen.

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LoudAngryJerk

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> no, thats not the issue, otherwise they never wouldve put diablo on consoles. the issue is that WoW isn't built for console. seriously, go play it with an xbox 360 controller, you can do it right now. its frickin AWFUL.

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Dissentioncc

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> The abilities are being cutback enough that I think it might be possible in the future.

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hansbeej

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@<< LINK REMOVED >>A company like Activision/Blizzard absolutely wants to keep their IP, social interactions, and digital transactions on their platform.


But anyways, regarding design, porting to the console is the heavy lifting. Adding interface options to support controllers would be a comparably minor effort. Like how they made the control adjustments for the Diablo 3: Ultimate Whatever Edition for PS4/X1.

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hellknight40000

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Blizzard is already raking in tons of money with WOW. Putting it on consoles wouldn't be worth the effort. Plus, playing WOW on a controller would be ridiculously inefficient.

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Psycaustic

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I play FF14 with a kbm on my ps4... no excuse for them to ignore it.

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Psycaustic

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I play ff14 with my keyboard and mouse on the ps4... theres no excuse for it not to be on a console.

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gatorman4446

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How about making it for Xbox one and ps4, that would be an achievement worth noting something awesome

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Boddicker

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How about working on WoW2? Just an idea.

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gjozefi

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<< LINK REMOVED >> That's what expansions do. There's no point it's the same game.

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PinchySkree

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Even if they put a 2 on it like Borderlands or Dark Souls.

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Sevenizz

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They literally copy/paste this headline with every expansion.

And that's coming from a WoW player.

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SovietsUnited

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I hope after filler expansion is over players come back to Azeroth and find it besieged by Queen Azshara

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Tribesmaster

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WoW sucks.

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Evil_Sidekick

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That's what Blizzard said about WoW gamers:


> "I see dumb people"

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Thanatos2k

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So they cancel development on their new MMO and just shove all the team members back on this dinosaur.

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deactivated-5ef2e90d409c5

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<< LINK REMOVED >> As you know, it took millions of dollars to develop a new game that in the end they weren't happy with, so ultimately, pulling the plug was the best option. Fair enough. It isn't the first time a company has done this and it won't be the last. It now seems like they're going to play it safe for awhile and focus on what they have rather than focusing on making something new. It's a smart thing to do. Who knows. Maybe they will be able to inject new life into their current products.

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Thanatos2k

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Not making games is not a smart thing to do.

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jinklos

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<< LINK REMOVED >> No. They stopped development on their new MMO because they didn't think it was going in a direction which would actually create a fun game people would even want to play. The expansion of the WoW team was a completely separate endeavor and they began hiring for the expanded team when MoP came out, while Titan was still an ongoing project. They stated themselves that the primary reason WoD was delayed was because they brought in so many new designers whom they had to bring up to speed. Dunno why people shit on this game so much. There's only one reason people continue playing a subscriber based game, and that's because it's still entertaining.

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Unknownpaws

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Better they start concentrating on how they are going to fix the damage they do with Warlords, before they look to their next disaster.

- Un-necessary pruning and removals within Classes

- Anti-Aliasing fubar forward rendering to CMAA/FXAA (if you have a decent graphic card game will look horrible.)

- Total Devastation and nullification of Crafting Professions

- Un-necessary time sink and control functions on progression leveling plus crafting.

- Restructuring of long term game features, Druid Forms now a one button MESS, Possible No Flight at all for WoD expansion.

The list could go on & on. This isn't what they pitched at Blizcon 2013. I can see a lot of problems and emotions rising at Blizcon 2014. First time I can actually say I think Blizzard just fell partially on their own swords in regards to World Of Warcraft in my opinion.

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dani_i89

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<< LINK REMOVED >> How bout just cancelling this sh!t?

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xariona

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<< LINK REMOVED >> This kind of answers is probably why they "fell". They listen and read comments like that all day long. So it gives you a reason to complains about things and to make them more successful for people who still like them. Don't like them? Turn the page, move on and change company and play other games as simple as that. No need to be bashing on a successful company because you are not agreeing with their plans or choices regarding their games.


No pun intended just expressing myself as you do.

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MuffintopX

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So the MMO team working on Titan has been reassigned back to WoW in the mean time.

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SunriseAngel

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Yep... and in the same time a nice moderator chose not to publish my post/personal opinion on that. Ain't life interesting?

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fmftint

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blizzard has been saying this since TBC launched, but have never delivered.

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SunriseAngel

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Bye Bye Titan - Welcome back WoW !


I mean, why give up something that still works incredibly well and brings you tons of money? Even if some people are bored of the same shit every time. Not saying WoW is necessarily bad. But it's kinda of old... with our current technologies we should do a lot better. And Blizz likes to emphasize a lot on farming hundreds of hours(like in diablo 3)... instead of doing fun an diverse stuff.


But in the end $$ > Gamer's dreams/enjoyment. Sad story...

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gamingnerd121

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Considering the team size, it's interesting that there aren't more content patches. Their attempts to simplify classes over the years has been repulsive as well, not to mention the removal of the talent trees and such. The way things are currently, i can't see myself going back unless free.

It's amazing what mediocrity people will accept.

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DarkAztaroth

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Classes have been getting more complicated, more bloated with every expansion pack adding a bunch of new skills.


I do miss the old talent tree though. Free would kill the game with cash shop.

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Suaron_x

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Okay, I understand the need to keep feeding your cash cow...but when is it time to move on? Having to purchase what 5 expansions and the core game just to play WoW is a daunting task for any newcomer...let alone building the character up to level 90 something to just to play with others. Skipping straight to 90 really doesn't help someone overcome the learning curve. When I left before Cataclysm, the lower end levels had been nearly dead during the previous two expansions. Isn't it time to start thinking about WoW 2?

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DarkAztaroth

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<< LINK REMOVED >> When you buy the game you get every expansion except the last.

They plan on having a little ''training'' for new players using the skipping to 90 feature (a bit like DK I guess)

No one stays low lvl for very long, that's true, but they added CRZ to make the zone feel more populated, it makes you see people from other servers on yours in some less populated areas so you have some people to play with.

Not a waste of met people either because the game works cross server for almost everything.

You know Cata revamped the old content and made lvling A LOT less tedious than before, right ?

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0Cloudkicker

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Honestly there probably wont be a WoW 2. They have to keep going with expansions to finish story lines and start others, there will be at least 2 more expansions. Then after that, from what I have heard and has been speculated , a Warcraft 4 will be made.

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SunriseAngel

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Why start WoW 2 when the first one does so well with very little efforts? And I get the feeling that it's gonna stay for quite some more time because the lack of imagination/vision of the competitors is just so... amazing.

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wexorian

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Sorry blizz but i'm not gonna back to wow, 1 year no new content, and 1 year when i stopped playng wow, hell not gonna go back, my realm is still not merged , there are population problems , i'm not gonna pay extra cash for transfers, Wod will repeat same formula as pandaria, reach max level then daily quest for garrisons "farms", then just dungeon grind for few hours and jump into raids that's it. then wait for new content for 5-6 month.

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Sajius

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<< LINK REMOVED >> ...You just described the gear treadmill WoW has had since it's creation. Did you seriously not understand what you were getting into when you started playing?

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