World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria developer Blizzard has spilled the beans on why its latest expansion will make questing more fun than ever before, and why a cut-back on phasing will help make the game world a better place.
In a GameSpy interview, lead quest designer David Kosak explained why phasing – a way of changing World of Warcraft’s environments based on your quest progression – had to be scaled back in the game’s latest expansion.
Phasing essentially meant that players who weren’t at the same phase as you, couldn’t see this changed landscape, and most importantly, couldn’t see each other. Kosak assures players that this isn’t the case any more.
Kosak stressed, “As I instruct my team, phasing is like a story sledgehammer. It’s the big gun. We want to avoid it as much as possible. There’s still phasing in Mists of Pandaria for major story moments, but it’ll be very obvious that you’ve been phased.”
“And even then,” he continued, “the big change for Mists of Pandaria over most of Cataclysm is that players will be able to see their friends even if they’re in different phases — the difference being that one player will see one version of the surroundings and others players will see another.”
“We did a little bit of that in patch 4.2 with the Firelands. We really want to keep that, moving forward. Being in an MMO, you want to be with other people,” Kosak added.
Group quests are also removed in the expansion, giving people a chance to tackle the expansion at a reasonable pace. Kosak said, “People have less patience these days. The biggest problem with group quests way back in the days of vanilla WoW was the process of actually getting people together. It took a long time. It was a shame, especially if it was part of your quest progression, to just hit this brick wall where you need to find some other people, and if fewer people are in the zone it’s even harder.”
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria launches September 25th.