Venturebeat Interview with Ion Hazzikostas on WoW's Future
Venturebeat sat down with Ion Hazzikostas to discuss the game's future and current soul-searching. Click the banner below to read the full article!



  • The team created an internal process for employees to flag pieces of the game for review that haven't aged well or could be seen as offensive, and a diverse group reviewed them for change.
  • These changes did not take away from development time and would likely have gone unnoticed if they weren't spotlighted from datamining.
  • The team understands that they aren't fixing systemic injustice by these changes, but why not do it in tandem with working on larger cultural community.
  • The WoW team is also working closesly with the Overwatch team to try and catch toxicity in game right away without relying so much on manual reporting.
  • In the end, the team wants WoW to be a positive place to escape the trials and tribulations of the world.
  • Diversity makes a better game. They don't want WoW to be for a niche audience.
  • There has been a lot of work towards allowing more open communication and feedback within the team about things going into the game.
  • 9.1.5 was born out of the team being allowed to pitch ideas and try out things that they think will make the game more fun.
  • Ion acknowledges that they should have reacted to player feedback earlier about conduit energy, and knows that they can do better about communicating not only that we are being heard, but why things are not necessarily implemented or changed right away.
  • 9.1.5 reflects a shift toward more accessibility and letting go of old lessons instilled on the team from the past that don't necessarily reflect the way that the game is enjoyed today.
  • Cross-faction raiding is a bit more on the radar now. If Jaina and Thrall are working together, why can't the players?
  • They will be talking about the conclusion of Shadowlands in more detail in the future.
  • 9.2 is coming, and we will hear about it soon. They have much more planned after that, but it's hard to say too much more without spoiling some of the story that is coming.
  • At this point, your characters are heroes and there is no way that they can go back to being anonymous adventurers, but the team also wants to go back to simple core fantasy and not so much more escalating cosmic adventures.
  • The team wants to keep expanding on ways to better use what they have built over the years into the game, but it's not quite there yet.
  • There really isn't a time when the game becomes so old that a reboot is needed. However, they need to be mindful of bloat.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Venturebeat Interview with Ion Hazzikostas on WoW's Future started by Stoy View original post
Comments 331 Comments
  1. Dakhath's Avatar
    In case of emergency, deploy cross-faction raiding.
  1. LordKharon's Avatar
    So... 9.3 back on the menu? 10.0 back to Azeroth, Dragon Isles (core WoW fantasy)?
  1. Sentynel's Avatar
    Ion acknowledges that they should have reacted to player feedback earlier
    *insert CJ's oh shit here we go again meme*

    How many times he said the exact same thing?
  1. Orisai's Avatar
    TBH, they should remove artificial faction barriers and let players have a true, rich RPG experience in which they choose their allegiance based on the story being told. Faction war expansions like Mists of Pandaria and Battle for Azeroth would've benefitted from that.
  1. erifwodahs's Avatar
    Sounds good. X-faction raiding, less bs story, more accessibility - I can take that.
  1. Mhyroth's Avatar
    At this point, your characters are heroes and there is no way that they can go back to being anonymous adventurers
    Watch them say it's the communities fault in a couple of months.
  1. Postmasters's Avatar
    How can they learn nothing while trying to claim credit for half ass implementation from alpha feedback..?

    The arrogance always manages to startle me but it shouldn't.
  1. Hyrja's Avatar
    "At this point, your characters are heroes and there is no way that they can go back to being anonymous adventurers, but the team also wants to go back to simple core fantasy and not so much more escalating cosmic adventures"

    Yes yes yes!
  1. Postmasters's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dakhath View Post
    In case of emergency, deploy cross-faction raiding.
    Think they will let go of the mythic restrictions or are those wanting to play alliance and get CE with more then a dozen guilds in the world to choose from still screwed?
  1. Kumorii's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by LordKharon View Post
    So... 9.3 back on the menu? 10.0 back to Azeroth, Dragon Isles (core WoW fantasy)?
    I don't think 9.3 was ever off the table except for doomsayers.
    which admittedly consists of 30% of the forum....
  1. Grimalkin of Old's Avatar
    What future?
  1. Biomega's Avatar
    No surprise on the X-faction, we all know it's coming it's just a question of when and how.

    The rest is the usual non-committal PR talk you get in interviews. Nothing about 9.3 or no 9.3, nothing about how COVID will affect the expansion cycle, nothing about anything really that wasn't already known.

    Bringing up "the conclusion of Shadowlands" is interesting, but phrased so vaguely it could mean anything.
  1. exsanguinate's Avatar
    I don't know man, doesnt sound to me like they learned anything or they will change the game for the better.
  1. panda040's Avatar
    I would have noticed that painting change, sure not as soon as with datamining but, still it would have been sad to see
  1. OrangeJuice's Avatar
    O look an Ion interview where he says "we're sorry, we're learning" for the millionth time and gives empty promises about things that they can't share just yet. Crazy how they can hire and assemble an entirely new team AND implement changes within weeks, but only when it comes to pleasing investors. Shows what their priorities are.
  1. GrinnersGrin's Avatar
    Starting to miss the times when the Devs ignored us now, damn.
  1. damonskye's Avatar
    Ugh. The same Ion Hazzikostas legal mumbo-jumbo replies, the same promises to do better, the same "realizations" that they've made mistakes and won't make them again, blah blah blah.

    We've heard EVERYTHING in this interview before. We've heard every promise things won't happen again.

    Blah blah blah. What garbage.
  1. Mazzic518's Avatar
    They have learned nothing. We need a calamity and a reboot for 10.0, only way I will come back.
  1. vincink's Avatar
    The team understands that they aren't fixing systemic injustice by these changes, but why not do it in tandem with working on larger cultural community.
    Why is cultural community even a factor here? That seems to negate this claim: "In the end, the team wants WoW to be a positive place to escape the trials and tribulations of the world." On the one hand, Blizzard wants to work in tandem with "tribulations" of the world by consulting with Western progressive culture. But on the other hand, they want a "positive place to escape the trials and tribulations of the world." Which one is it? This form of reasoning is evidence of leadership that is either completely asleep at the wheel or has an ulterior motive.
    Diversity makes a better game. They don't want WoW to be for a niche audience.
    Never was a niche audience, isn't now, and never will be. This claim negates the undeniable fact that WoW has long dominated the MMO market and left an indelible impression on the entire world. And "Diversity makes a game better"? How much better? It is an unanswerable question. I would not want leadership of any creative endeavor to be making claims that cannot be analyzed.
    There really isn't a time when the game becomes so old that a reboot is needed. However, they need to be mindful of bloat.
    True, I still enjoy Super Mario World. But the advantage that SMW has over World of Warcraft is that it is timeless-- it has not been overtaken by "diversity", "inclusion", or "equity". It is art and entertainment that endures cultural shifts and yet remains the same. World of Warcraft could be that way as well but Blizzard has decided that intersecting cultural studies with game development will somehow make it better when in fact as the last two years have acutely demonstrated in our world, intersecting modern Western progressive culture with anything destroys the original thing. Literally, in some cases.

    World of Warcraft has become a disappointment. First it was the cloudiness brought on by the behavior of some of its employees. But, second, when Blizzard could have ridden that out, they decide to go all in and drink completely the oil drum of progressive culture. Without seeing it at all, Blizzard is intending for World of Warcraft to succumb to the slow acid burn of progressive culture.

    I cling on the edge with D2 but I expect that to eventually be overtaken by culture.
  1. Morae's Avatar
    Ok.

    I'll trust them in the next expansion IF they actually do it.

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