Chris Metzen Interview
Scott Johnson had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Metzen and talk to him about how he is doing and the how the community treats artists they disagree with.

We've recapped some of the major points below, but listen to the entire thing for context!


  • Whenever Metzen would draw Thrall, he would draw him a little bit more upright than other Orcs
  • Early Blizzard played lots of Samurai Shodown 2 and Wan-fu was one of the characters. Wan-fu has a necklace of balls, which was the inspiration for Thrall's Balls.
  • Metzen had back surgery and couldn't move around as much for four months.
  • It's hard to watch people get attacked because their movie, comic, or game displeases some number of people out there.
  • Metzen isn't going to attack a director publicly on the internet if he didn't like a movie, he'll just not buy a ticket to his next movie.
  • During Diablo 3 when there was a lot of controversy over decisions, the community really raked Jay Wilson over the coals. He just happened to be the public face at the time.
  • Metzen was very lucky, as he was a public face for many years, occasionally did or said something stupid, and the fanbase would call him out. This included things like Red Shirt Guy. He made a mistake on stage under pressure and confused two characters.
  • Metzen always felt very embraced by the community, and was appreciative of that. The internet can turn on you quickly and it would be hard to re-establish trust.
  • What if you wanted to be an artist, filmmaker, or make games, but you grew up with an internet that literally stoned people that displeased them. What kind of incentive is that for a young person with imagination right now?
  • There is sometimes an appalling lack of empathy for the artists that are standing up there and trying to keep the discussion going. There is a lack of empathy for that person and their heart, imagination, soul, and their spin on things. Take a step back and take a breath, everything in life isn't going to please you.
  • If you didn't like something, such as the Last Jedi, take the opportunity to introduce someone to an expression of Star Wars that you love. Take the opportunity to engage positively. Pay forward elements of the franchise you loved.
  • Christie Golden being attacked was embarrassing to Metzen on behalf of the community. Christie is an important voice on the Story and Franchise Development group at Blizzard and helps the game developers expand the story of the game.
  • Metzen tried to hire Christie Golden for years, as she is an amazing voice and storyteller.
  • The attacks on her were not only misplaced, but unfair and unjust.
  • The last Warcraft thing that Metzen worked on was the BlizzCon 2017 Battle for Azeroth cinematic. They started on it over two and a half years ago.
  • Every expansion people complain and lose their minds, complaining that everything sucks and the game is ruined. Then a couple months later, we are into the expansion and the tone has shifted to "This is the most Warcraft it's been ever". Let the story play out.
  • Have some empathy for the artists that are giving you everything they've got. You may not agree with every decision they make, but they are people too.
  • Metzen isn't interested in going back to a regular job, such as a Creative Lead, anytime soon.
  • Metzen had the chance to do a voice for an upcoming animated show recently. It was a very limited part, but it was fun to get back in the studio. It was nice to be part of something creative that didn't rest on him.
  • If Metzen comes out of retirement to do something big, he wants to build a show that people love. An adventure that fires the imagination and heart, about people growing up together and finding themselves together in the midst of really high octane geeky stuff.
  • Some of the things that used to drive Metzen crazy while he was at Blizzard he now has a fondness for after looking back at them.
  • Metzen feels much better than he did two years ago in his last interview. Stepping away from Blizzard worked.
  • Remember that empathy is important, especially in today's climate. Things are tense and there is a lot of hate out there, so to find that same kind of binary aggressiveness in our hallowed nerdy halls is disconcerting. We are supposed to dream the big dreams of a fantasy of a better tomorrow and being better people.
  • We are all in it together, be good to each other.


Battle.Net - New Avatars Added
Battle.Net added some new avatar options for players with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 for players that pre-ordered.






Fan Art - Anduin Wrynn: The Little Lion
Embran released a nice cut of multiple cinematics that focus on Anduin.

This article was originally published in forum thread: Chris Metzen Interview, New Battle.Net Avatars, Fan Art - Anduin: The Little Lion started by chaud View original post
Comments 127 Comments
  1. sillag's Avatar
    would love to hear metzen's thoughts on wow forums now being filled with people using literal neo-nazi arguments and logic to justify actions taken by fictional characters that he himself invented

    but the interviewer forgot to ask him about that

    too bad....
  1. smaktat's Avatar
    Anduin has a large vageem.
  1. soulgroove's Avatar
    coub.com/view/z9094
  1. babyback's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sillag View Post
    would love to hear metzen's thoughts on wow forums now being filled with people using literal neo-nazi arguments and logic to justify actions taken by fictional characters that he himself invented

    but the interviewer forgot to ask him about that

    too bad....
    Why should that be his problem?
  1. Zabatakis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SniperCT View Post
    There's a massive difference between offering feedback and attacking people. Or attacking a game in general. Devs tend to respond a lot better to reasoned and thought out critique than they do some of the awful things I've seen flung at various games and dev teams.

    These people are human, and they deserve to be treated well, regardless of one's opinion of a video game. That's the point that Metzen is trying to make.
    People give feedback though. Every alpha, every beta, feedback is given and outright ignored since Wrath (when, ironically, they listened too much to some classes). Only bug reports hold interest. Eventually when you treat your fans like apes some of them will start acting like apes. I can't condone harrassing devs and such, but I can't sit here and pretend they are blameless in this either. As for the lore, its an absolute dumpster fire. I am sure Christie tried to do her best, but either she has no idea what kind of behaviors would be consistant with the characters shes writing or more likely blizz boxed her in with no way out, or perhaps didn't even have anything to do with the war of thornes.
  1. babyback's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zabatakis View Post
    People give feedback though. Every alpha, every beta, feedback is given and outright ignored since Wrath (when, ironically, they listened too much to some classes). Only bug reports hold interest. Eventually when you treat your fans like apes some of them will start acting like apes. I can't condone harrassing devs and such, but I can't sit here and pretend they are blameless in this either. As for the lore, its an absolute dumpster fire. I am sure Christie tried to do her best, but either she has no idea what kind of behaviors would be consistant with the characters shes writing or more likely blizz boxed her in with no way out.
    Beta testing has nothing to do with the story though...
  1. lyphe's Avatar
    Metzen is and always has been a cool dude.
    Great to see him out and about.

    Cheers.
  1. Noznatation's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sololux View Post
    I think this could be possible. But it's not gonna be the community taking the first step towards that ever. It's gonna have to be developers first or it will never happen. Stop rehashing art, stop making lazy development decisions, stop nerfing over performing classes to balance, buff underperforming classes to balance. The developers have to put forth the effort if they want this type of reward. This community didn't start off like this. It developed through years of mistreatment through the game.
    It amazes me that some people cannot understand that nerfing 2 classes to bring them on par with 10, is the exact same as just buffing the 10, also the community is exactly as it has always been, with small changess that follows the overall trend of the internet.
    It is also not the whole community in anyway that is part of the problem, many can easily look at the current story and understand that maybe we don't have all the pieces yet, and even if we do, we don't start yelling at the story tellers. If you don't like this story, then go listen to another one, or hell, make your own.
  1. Role Unknown's Avatar
    During Diablo 3 when there was a lot of controversy over decisions, the community really raked Jay Wilson over the coals. He just happened to be the public face at the time.

    My ass.......he had his hand in the development of the game, and how hideous the game was at launch. You could see the Diablo 3 influence brought to WoW when he was moved to the WoW team.

    Plus his comments in light of the controversy really sunk his image. "F*** that loser."
  1. Zequill's Avatar
    I was looking at Golden twitter the night of Warbringer : Sylvanas was release and the only example of really mean tweet was one that she responded to, making it automatically the second sentence you saw. I was scrolling and scrolling without seeing anything other then people asking for answer.

    Public figure react more and more the same when they screw up a fan base, they start yelling that they are attacked and death threaten, even if we never prove of that. They go all turtle mode, avoiding legit question because someone offended them.

    If she was not responsible for this specific part of the story line, you can be sure she would had told us so. So took a beloved franchise, lower the bar, completely changed a beloved character forever and we are not suppose to take the tools she use on shiny day to ask question (not talking about threat here, like I said, I saw none)?

    The issue with Warbringer Sylvanas are numerous. We guessed the reveal when Blizzard shown the artwork, we told them this was stupid but they told us to wait an see. Now that we know they want the stupid way, the are asking us to wait are see more? It's wont appease anyone this time around. An other massive issue is there are no character from the horde that react to what happened. Your superior just killed around 9000 civilian and you just walk away... Old Soldier shown us what really happened, this is why that video got much more apprise.

    Can we stop painting any community reaction as blood thirsty maniac and act as if all the reaction are threat? If they were that bad, people would have posted them on the internet. People love mean tweet.
  1. volition's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Noznatation View Post
    It amazes me that some people cannot understand that nerfing 2 classes to bring them on par with 10, is the exact same as just buffing the 10, also the community is exactly as it has always been, with small changess that follows the overall trend of the internet.
    It is also not the whole community in anyway that is part of the problem, many can easily look at the current story and understand that maybe we don't have all the pieces yet, and even if we do, we don't start yelling at the story tellers. If you don't like this story, then go listen to another one, or hell, make your own.
    Respectfully that's not necessarily true. From a PvP perspective it is. But if you have 10 people in a raid and nerf the top two to bring their performance in line, unless you re-tune the raid you've made players as a group undertuned in comparison to where they were supposed to be.
  1. nerv234's Avatar
    Long story short: no informations if there will be thrall with Vol'Jins urn or it was scrapped due to his back surgery.
  1. Dominus89's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sololux View Post
    I think this could be possible. But it's not gonna be the community taking the first step towards that ever. It's gonna have to be developers first or it will never happen. Stop rehashing art, stop making lazy development decisions, stop nerfing over performing classes to balance, buff underperforming classes to balance. The developers have to put forth the effort if they want this type of reward. This community didn't start off like this. It developed through years of mistreatment through the game.
    Yeah man, always someone elses fault. How about taking responsability and stop acting like a douchebag just because your class isn't as fun as you thought it was before, or because your favorite character is going down a path that you dont like?
    Make your own game, then you can write the story however you want.

    It's sick that people get so upset over minor things that it's absurd.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Zequill View Post
    I was looking at Golden twitter the night of Warbringer : Sylvanas was release and the only example of really mean tweet was one that she responded to, making it automatically the second sentence you saw. I was scrolling and scrolling without seeing anything other then people asking for answer.

    Public figure react more and more the same when they screw up a fan base, they start yelling that they are attacked and death threaten, even if we never prove of that. They go all turtle mode, avoiding legit question because someone offended them.

    If she was not responsible for this specific part of the story line, you can be sure she would had told us so. So took a beloved franchise, lower the bar, completely changed a beloved character forever and we are not suppose to take the tools she use on shiny day to ask question (not talking about threat here, like I said, I saw none)?

    The issue with Warbringer Sylvanas are numerous. We guessed the reveal when Blizzard shown the artwork, we told them this was stupid but they told us to wait an see. Now that we know they want the stupid way, the are asking us to wait are see more? It's wont appease anyone this time around. An other massive issue is there are no character from the horde that react to what happened. Your superior just killed around 9000 civilian and you just walk away... Old Soldier shown us what really happened, this is why that video got much more apprise.

    Can we stop painting any community reaction as blood thirsty maniac and act as if all the reaction are threat? If they were that bad, people would have posted them on the internet. People love mean tweet.
    Nice try, but she did get alot of hate thrown her way. Perhaps your twitter feed didn't update.
  1. Trassk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zequill View Post
    I was looking at Golden twitter the night of Warbringer : Sylvanas was release and the only example of really mean tweet was one that she responded to, making it automatically the second sentence you saw. I was scrolling and scrolling without seeing anything other then people asking for answer.

    Public figure react more and more the same when they screw up a fan base, they start yelling that they are attacked and death threaten, even if we never prove of that. They go all turtle mode, avoiding legit question because someone offended them.

    If she was not responsible for this specific part of the story line, you can be sure she would had told us so. So took a beloved franchise, lower the bar, completely changed a beloved character forever and we are not suppose to take the tools she use on shiny day to ask question (not talking about threat here, like I said, I saw none)?

    The issue with Warbringer Sylvanas are numerous. We guessed the reveal when Blizzard shown the artwork, we told them this was stupid but they told us to wait an see. Now that we know they want the stupid way, the are asking us to wait are see more? It's wont appease anyone this time around. An other massive issue is there are no character from the horde that react to what happened. Your superior just killed around 9000 civilian and you just walk away... Old Soldier shown us what really happened, this is why that video got much more apprise.

    Can we stop painting any community reaction as blood thirsty maniac and act as if all the reaction are threat? If they were that bad, people would have posted them on the internet. People love mean tweet.
    I love metzen, always have, and I've enjoyed goldens work, she brought me into not just a deeper understanding of warcraft lore, but painted for me my favorite aspects of warcraft lore, the orcs and their redemption arch.

    But despite the fact I love metzen and goldens writing back then, it doesn't excuse these current events as mistakes. People screw up and make mistakes, writing can get bad, writers can make bad decisions and stir the story in a bad direction, and people who are deep fans of something can become disheartened with the writers because of this.

    Yet in such a job as being a writer, if you don't have thick skin to handle criticism, you shouldn't be in it. In something like an ongoing drama like this, when you come on board as a writer, its up to you to keep fans happy in what they want, and if you fail to do so, if the structure of the ongoing series fails because of your mistakes, then YOU become the target, not the overarching story.

    I've seen this in comic books all the time. Spiderman is a beloved character and having his ongoing series for decades, but over the years they have had some awful writers coming along and fucking up the spiderman lore (examples the backing ironman in civil war, One More Day, Hitting mary jane), all from writers who didn't get what people loved about spiderman, trying to put their own spin on him, but ultimately just putting a stain on his reputation as a character in the comics.

    And thats what we are seeing here in warcrafts current writing, its putting a stain on the lore in different ways. I've never liked sylvanas, but I at least respected her somewhat as a dark leader who did fight beside the horde, yet now thats all gone because of how much of a cartoon supervillain she's become. After everything with Garrosh, you'd think the other horde leaders would have instantly turned on sylvanas for her request to purge the night elves from kalimdor, but they said nothing. They didn't even show anyone reacting negativly to the trees burning until the cinematic was released after the events. All this painted characters in a way people hated.

    And they keep babying the fanbase, looking down on them telling them 'oh, wait a little longer, your see, your see!', we're not fucking children blizzard, we're seen some awful mistakes in your lore over the years so we have a justified reason to be concerned and not take your word for it when it gets this bad.

    As it stands right now, if this level of disregard for the fanbases feelings on this is so cast aside, then its no wonder their even more pissed off at the writers and developers, and now having the companys ex figurehead telling the community they shouldn't be so mean to writers.

    Sorry Chris, I love yah, but if you want the fanbase to settle down, maybe look at the problem itself that caused it.
  1. Zequill's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dominus89 View Post

    Nice try, but she did get alot of hate thrown her way. Perhaps your twitter feed didn't update.
    https://twitter.com/ChristieGolden/s...21922983587846

    Mostly positive vibe, some people that wonder where the story is coming but stay polite and ONE that ask her to step down without using any mean word. We are far from the public lashing...
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by volition View Post
    Respectfully that's not necessarily true. From a PvP perspective it is. But if you have 10 people in a raid and nerf the top two to bring their performance in line, unless you re-tune the raid you've made players as a group undertuned in comparison to where they were supposed to be.
    The same thing apply to your reasoning: Not necessarily true.

    Unless the raid was balanced around those two doing that dps (and actually with people only playing those two classes because of that), then yes, you would need to re-balance it.

    But the truth is that this is hardly true and they just didn't pay attention (by mistake, "dev pride" or lazyness to name a few reasons) to those two outperforming and doing much more than they prepared the content for.

    We've seen that plenty of times over the story of WoW raid and world 1st races. Like "wow! check out the druid bleed damage! It's insane... STACK DRUIDS!". That raid was never balanced around that insane bleed damage (and of course not for druid stacking).

    Never forget that not only they nerf the top two bringing their performance in line with the other 10, but they also buff those two instead of nerfing 10 when the oposite happens (like it did happen at the begining of Legion).
  1. Hinastorm's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zequill View Post
    I was looking at Golden twitter the night of Warbringer : Sylvanas was release and the only example of really mean tweet was one that she responded to, making it automatically the second sentence you saw. I was scrolling and scrolling without seeing anything other then people asking for answer.

    Public figure react more and more the same when they screw up a fan base, they start yelling that they are attacked and death threaten, even if we never prove of that. They go all turtle mode, avoiding legit question because someone offended them.

    If she was not responsible for this specific part of the story line, you can be sure she would had told us so. So took a beloved franchise, lower the bar, completely changed a beloved character forever and we are not suppose to take the tools she use on shiny day to ask question (not talking about threat here, like I said, I saw none)?

    The issue with Warbringer Sylvanas are numerous. We guessed the reveal when Blizzard shown the artwork, we told them this was stupid but they told us to wait an see. Now that we know they want the stupid way, the are asking us to wait are see more? It's wont appease anyone this time around. An other massive issue is there are no character from the horde that react to what happened. Your superior just killed around 9000 civilian and you just walk away... Old Soldier shown us what really happened, this is why that video got much more apprise.

    Can we stop painting any community reaction as blood thirsty maniac and act as if all the reaction are threat? If they were that bad, people would have posted them on the internet. People love mean tweet.
    There was more than one threat to her, and there were death threats also. She also DID explicitly say she was not involved in this specific thing.

    Also, this was very hard to read. If English is not your first language, completely ok. Otherwise, ya.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Trassk View Post

    Yet in such a job as being a writer, if you don't have thick skin to handle criticism, you shouldn't be in it.
    Surely you are not excusing threats of death and violence because of bad writing?
  1. Casperite's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zequill View Post
    I was looking at Golden twitter the night of Warbringer : Sylvanas was release and the only example of really mean tweet was one that she responded to, making it automatically the second sentence you saw. I was scrolling and scrolling without seeing anything other then people asking for answer.

    Public figure react more and more the same when they screw up a fan base, they start yelling that they are attacked and death threaten, even if we never prove of that. They go all turtle mode, avoiding legit question because someone offended them.

    If she was not responsible for this specific part of the story line, you can be sure she would had told us so. So took a beloved franchise, lower the bar, completely changed a beloved character forever and we are not suppose to take the tools she use on shiny day to ask question (not talking about threat here, like I said, I saw none)?

    The issue with Warbringer Sylvanas are numerous. We guessed the reveal when Blizzard shown the artwork, we told them this was stupid but they told us to wait an see. Now that we know they want the stupid way, the are asking us to wait are see more? It's wont appease anyone this time around. An other massive issue is there are no character from the horde that react to what happened. Your superior just killed around 9000 civilian and you just walk away... Old Soldier shown us what really happened, this is why that video got much more apprise.

    Can we stop painting any community reaction as blood thirsty maniac and act as if all the reaction are threat? If they were that bad, people would have posted them on the internet. People love mean tweet.
    So after reading his interview highlights I came here to see people attacking artists for no reason other than they don't agree with the story...was not disappointed. And you don't need to go to twitter to see the vile people spit at artists, just look at these forums.
  1. VanishO2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SniperCT View Post
    There's a massive difference between offering feedback and attacking people. Or attacking a game in general. Devs tend to respond a lot better to reasoned and thought out critique than they do some of the awful things I've seen flung at various games and dev teams.

    These people are human, and they deserve to be treated well, regardless of one's opinion of a video game. That's the point that Metzen is trying to make.
    Yes, they are human, and that's why they also make mistakes and don't always respond "a lot better" despite receiving reasoned and thought out critique. They also have their pride in their work (which some call dev pride) to the point where even with a huge mistake being made, they don't fix it because they think that their choice was good and the public are not good enough to realize it. From story implementation (like the current "outside the game only" full story) to game systems (like WoD garrisons) and class designs (like the recent class fantasy rework in Legion that had problems since alpha, but devs decided that they were right and the feedback was wrong, leading to inumerous changes/reverts after launch and during the entire expansion).

    Some players that were hired to work directly with the devs to help with that critique, had to dealt with it and some decided to just leave because of that (since some devs would treat them badly because these devs would take the critique as a personal attack to their skills as devs). It's "normal", blizzard employees are human and they do that without it being a reaction to someone else.
  1. Trassk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Hinastorm View Post



    Surely you are not excusing threats of death and violence because of bad writing?
    No I wouldn't excuse that. though I haven't actually seen those death threats myself and others have said they trailed though the tweeter messages and not seen them.
    Got a link or pic showing those threats, would like to analysis them.

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