The next World of Warcraft expansion will make it easier to play the game on controllers.
Shadowlands, World of Warcraft‘s upcoming expansion, is adding official controller support to the MMO for the first time.
Programmer Martin Benjamins first broke the news when they discovered strings referencing controller input in a recent patch. The feature has since been confirmed by community manager Randy “Kaivax” Jordan, who talked a little bit about Blizzard’s intent on the official forums.
For one thing, it doesn’t look like Blizzard is interested in making the game fully playable on controllers. Jordan specifically turned down the idea that controller support in World of Warcraft would be similar to that of Final Fantasy 14.
Instead, Blizzard is merely interested in making it possible for players with disabilities, and those looking to play the game without keyboard and mouse to bind some of those functions to their favourite input device.
“For a long time, we’ve seen a small number of players turn to 3rd party addons, such as Console Port, in order to work through certain accessibility issues,” Jordan wrote.
“We always want to make WoW more widely accessible, if possible, so in Shadowlands, we’re attempting to add some support for keybinds, camera, and turning a character on controllers such as the Xbox Adaptive Controller.”
Though that is indeed a welcome addition, it’s a bit disappointing to see Blizzard shy away from creating a default setup for World of Warcraft on controllers. That said, it wouldn’t be an easy task given the number of abilities at players’ disposal.
Shadowlands releases this year.