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

Saturday, 16th 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.

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7 Comments

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  1. Arcnail

    raises the cap to 100..

    #1 5 months ago
  2. TheWulf

    I can’t really help but read that as Blizzard having looked at EQN, and they’re actually scared enough by it to try and copy it. Though WoW’s engine doesn’t and can’t ever really support that kind of thing, it would take a complete engine and content redo from the ground up to even make that happen. And if they’re going to do that, then they might as well work on WoW2.

    #2 5 months ago
  3. Thegaiden

    @2 WoW’s engine does have the capability. They would just have to release it as phased instances. Anyway a WoW2 would be infinitely more arduous than this. They would have to rebuild Azeroth, Outland and now Draenor + still have enough staff to churn out the already slow enough major content patches.

    As much as I would love it. WoW2 doesn’t seem like it will be a reality.

    #3 5 months ago
  4. wicktus

    Outdated engine, ridiculous character design, boring and horrible “déjà-vu” gameplay, generic heroic fantasy world, and now kinda recycled content (the latest expansion shows clearly a difficulty renewing WoW), WoW and acti-blizzard is on a rough rough edge….

    #4 5 months ago
  5. Darkfield

    @wicktus WoD is not a recycle, they redesigned the whole thing from the ground up, but of course someone who talks out of his rear end wouldn’t realize that. It’s an alternate timeline, and what happened during Timeless Isle questline clearly built up to it. EVE is running on the same engine albeit they redesigned it to some extent but they didn’t change it on visual level, WoW’s engine is the same, they kept updated it and are updating it adding more things technology-wise. It’s outdated, fair, you don’t have to like it, there are games coming soon with up to date engines and great visuals. That said, you are more than welcome to jump ships, as many have and many will. Not liking something you played a lot is fair game.

    #5 5 months ago
  6. Ireland Michael

    @5 As someone who has been a fan of WoW for eight years… even I feel its recycled. The locations they show just don’t have the same feeling of polish and variety that Pandaria had. A lot of them “feel” like they’re using heavily reused assets from the rest of the game, and none of them really stand out.

    No need to insult someone just because they don’t agree with you.

    #6 5 months ago
  7. Darkfield

    @6 Weird that wasn’t the impression I got from it, although I wasn’t happy with this not be the Legion second coming that I thought Wrathion was warning us about but I liked what I saw, I get to kill a lot of orcs again, I’d sink down to their barbaric savage ways and burn them in their homelands, directing the war effort in the name of my King from my garrison. Honestly it felt rather nice.

    And it wasn’t an insult, it was fact, Draenor is not the Outland, it’s a new zone, new design, new lore, well technically new, it’s based on Humans and Orcs, in an alternate timeline.

    #7 5 months ago