We recently caught up with Blizzard's Ion Hazzikostas at an event, and he talked us through what fans can expect from the next expansion to the evergreen MMO, World of Warcraft.
Straight off the bat we asked him why fans should still be playing WoW, and Hazzikostas was in a particularly bullish mood. "Because it's the best MMO in the world," he told us. "Warlords of Draenor is allowing us to revisit a place that goes back to the roots of Warcraft and World of Warcraft. This goes back to the realtime strategy games, the origin of the whole series."
Hazzikostas also explained some of the famous characters that players will be meeting, as Blizzard are tapping into Warcraft lore for this expansion. It was also explained to us that while Warlords of Draenor may look to the past for narrative inspiration, Blizzard has both eyes firmly on the future when it comes to the actual game: "I think right now we're really focussed on carrying the story forward and carrying players' experiences forward. We'd rather create new and epic experiences... rather than go back again to old content."
We also talked about the recent level boost that has been a hot topic of late. "Warlords of Draenor will allow you to boost or create one brand new level 90 character so you can jump right into the action. That means if you have a friend who wants to check out the game or come back to the game who maybe hasn't played in a while, they don't have the need to go through this obstacle of levelling before they can experience the new story and play alongside you."
Hazzikostas then explained: "we're going to make sure that when you boost a character in Warlords that we take care to unlock your abilities piecemeal, so a few at a time, kind of like the Death Knights starting experience were. It's going to be a structured progression because we know if we take a new player and we give you a level 90 mage with no information or training... that's going to be really overwhelming."
You can read a preview of Warlords of Draenor (by following this link) if you'd like to know more about the upcoming expansion.