World of Warcraft lead systems designer Greg Street has concerns about how long-term players have reacted to some of Blizzard’s newest additions, like pets and farming.
“I worry about the perception. I think after BlizzCon we faced this misperception that we were somehow forsaking our hardcore players. Which is not at all what we were doing,” the designer told Gamespy.
“There’s plenty of violence and sadness and death still going on in World of Warcraft. We’re not trying to dumb it down or shoot for a lower age demographic or anything like that. We’re just trying to offer more varied ways for players to play the games.”
Street said Blizzard needs to provide alternate gameplay avenues or risk player boredom.
“If someone logs in and says, ‘I’m tired of PvPing, I’m locked out of my raids for this week, but I still want to play,’ you can go work on your factions. We have seven factions that all have these little mini-games you can do rather than just ‘I’m gonna kill Furbolgs until I’m exalted.’ That’s not the kind of gameplay we can keep asking players to do year after year.”
That said, lead quest designer Dave Kosak is quite clear that World of Warcraft will always remain true to its core gameplay.
“We’re not going to significantly change up WoW at any point in the future. I think there’s an expectation when you play WoW. Honestly, I think our combat game is really fun,” he said.
“When you get a quest to kill ten things, that lets you be your class, and you know exactly what to do, which means that you can concentrate on the story, concentrate on the atmosphere, concentrate on chatting with your friends. You can really be in the world.”
World of Warcraft’s next major content expansion, Mists of Pandaria, has gone into beta.