World of Warcraft may eventually contain procedural content as a supplement to handcrafted expansions

Saturday, 16 November 2013 19:36 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Blizzard has discussed the possibility of adding procedural content to World of Warcraft as a supplement alongside handcrafted content, according to lead content designer Cory Stockton.

Speaking with RPS, Stockton said players tend to burn through the content the developer creates “so fast” that the team is currently designing multiple expansions.

“People just burn through our content so fast, if we could build enough content, we would,” he said. “Procedural content is totally something we’ve talked about. The conversation of procedural and how it’d work in WoW is totally a topic that we’ve talked about. I feel like that has to be the next step.

“I think a good way to look at it is as a supplement. There’s a lot of games that do many things very well, but I don’t think any game can touch our handcrafted content. Our dungeons and narrative, for example. I don’t think there’s remotely any comparison. So I don’t think we’d ever want to replace that and say, ‘Now we can have, like, 20 dungeons!’ But they’re all, like, random.

“Maybe the dungeon is random, maybe the boss is randomized with different [abilities] – how ever we could do that. But I think that’d be a cool supplement to the handcrafted stuff. Because I think that’s what sets us apart.”

Stockton said the team wants to deliver expansions to players faster and for the storylines to “meld,” but it’s “extremely difficult” to deliver an expansion every year.

“The team is making its biggest effort ever to do that. We’re growing. We have people working on tons of different things – more than one at a time,” he said.

The fifth expansion to the nine-year old MMO, Warlords of Draenor, was announced during BlizzCon earlier this month, and in it, players will face new foes from the Horde fortress in Frostfire Ridge, homeland of the Frostwolf clan, and Shadowmoon Valley, base of operations for the Alliance and home to the draenei holy temple of Karabor.

It also auto-raises the level cap to 90 and includes a new feature which allows players to build, command and expand a Garrison.

A release date has not been set.