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[Interview] World of Warcraft: Ghostcrawler on Thunder King and Azeroth’s Future

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Recently, we caught up with Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street, Lead Systems Designer on World of Warcraft to talk about all things past, present and future of WoW. We chat about the new stuff in 5.2, how the team is focused on recapturing the magic of Vanilla WoW, and what the future holds, even hints of the next expansion.  

MMORPG: Hey everbody, this is Bill Murphy, Managing Editor of MMORPG.com and I am here with a very special guest today for Game On: Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street of Blizzard Entertainment and World of Warcroft Warcraft... let’s try it without a British accent. Let’s get right to the questions: Thunder King is out, living and breathing on the live servers.  Have you slept yet, or is 5.3 right there on the horizon?

Greg Street: Always more to do, and once we ship a patch as large as 5.2 there’s always more to fix. There’s always more to do, and everyone behind the scenes is still pretty busy, and that’ll probably keep going for the next couple weeks until everything is running smoothly. 

Read more of Bill Murphy's Ghostcrawler on Thunder King and Azeroth’s Future.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Uncommon

    i dislike Ghostcrawler but this is a good interview

     

    I liked this more than Ghostcrawlers commentary via IGN earlier this week

     Warcraft Patch 5.2 brings back "old school" feel.

     

  • ThaneThane berlinPosts: 2,232Member Uncommon
    [mod edit]

    "I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me!"

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,377MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by Nadia

    i dislike Ghostcrawler but this is a good interview

     

    I liked this more than Ghostcrawlers commentary via IGN earlier this week

     Warcraft Patch 5.2 brings back "old school" feel.

     

    Thanks, Nadia.  And Greg gets a bad wrap.  I'm sure a lot of people would do just fine in his position and please everyone

    /rollseyes

  • crabdogcrabdog KabinburiPosts: 30Member

    Although I stopped playing before MoP I still have very fond memories of WoW and consider it one of the best games out there even now. The combat feels really responsive and your character moves as you would expect it to. There have been so many newer mmorpgs come out since WoW with "enhanced" combat additions like active dodging and stuff like that but for me nothing else has captured the feeling of WoW's combat.

     I started playing TERA when it went F2P and my immediate impression was that it looked and played like a very old game. The environment is so stale and repetitive and can't even compare to the 8 year old juggernaught. Needless to say I got to lvl 45 and simply cannot bear to login anymore.  Now I'm not here to bash TERA, just saying that WoW has stood the test of time incredibly well and it's still a gem amongst mmos.

     
  • evilastroevilastro EdinburghPosts: 4,270Member
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Nadia

    i dislike Ghostcrawler but this is a good interview

     

    I liked this more than Ghostcrawlers commentary via IGN earlier this week

     Warcraft Patch 5.2 brings back "old school" feel.

     

    Thanks, Nadia.  And Greg gets a bad wrap.  I'm sure a lot of people would do just fine in his position and please everyone

    /rollseyes

     Yeah, you can't really fault the guy for his perspective. When you have that many loyal subscribers, are you really going to rock the boat?

  • IllyssiaIllyssia LondonPosts: 1,524Member
    Originally posted by Thane
    [mod edit]

    Does the 9 million still count the time cards in China?

     

    Anyway, I think it is interesting that Greg is telling us that they are preparing for a new expansion to WoW. I am guessing for 2014. My approach to Panda was to simply play a class I liked from level 1 till level 90 then quit. A lot of game, but I didn't like the Panda art so much. A future and darker kinda expansion might make me dip into the end game. But, having done the WoW raid gear treadmill in both hardcore and casual guilds I feel I don't need to go there just yet.

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Illyssia

    Anyway, I think it is interesting that Greg is telling us that they are preparing for a new expansion to WoW. I am guessing for 2014.

    i agree - Fall 2014 is likely the next expansion

     

    i have no doubt that Blizzard is *sincerely* trying to do annual expansions

    but Blizzard has been trying to do that ever since the game launched ...  heh

     

    Aug 2006

    http://www.gamespot.com/news/blizzards-goal-annual-wow-expansions-6156502

    Oct 2008

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/wow-still-aiming-for-annual-expansions

    Sept 2012

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/interviews/9918-Behind-the-Design-of-WoW-Mists-of-Pandaria

    We've said for years that we need to get expansions out more frequently and we've just not been able to pull it off yet.

  • NitthNitth AustraliaPosts: 3,684Member Uncommon

    "No internal builds, all available on PTR"

     "Already laying ground work for next expansion" - Where is this ground work then?

    image
    TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development

  • ManestreamManestream PrestonPosts: 633Member Uncommon

    Playing, has not really intrigued me to stay with the game, is either just me or i need to find something more interesting.

    ok server i play on is dead and empty, pvp gankers camping portal spawn points and your dead before you can say wh...

    Many peeps on the empty servers have asked to move but we are unwilling to pay £15 per character to do this (come on several other online games offer free moves to wherever you want to go) but full and empty servers are usually marked closed, why carnt blizzard do this, oh wait, they make a shadload of money from peeps jumping around, especially when they may have upto 11 characters to move.

    This problem has been with us a while now and has yet to be addressed. Not just for some things but marketwise (auctionhouse) too. If they do not want to close servers and move people then at least they should bring in joint Auctionhouse use cross servers.

    Right now, old school wow, nah far from it. May be nice to actually see them start working on a new game, where mining has you havign to venture into mines/caves and actually mine, having to use torch's to see in these places, maybe have them go deep down for huge exploration. WoW is now approaching old age, was great when it came out, held #1 position since but to stand back and wait for someone to finally beat it is a mistake (much like previous rulers had done).

  • causscauss sonnegaPosts: 668Member
    I'm playing WoW since a week, and I'm really enjoying it! After playing almost every MMORPG there is on the market I finally decided to play an MMO with my friends instead of playing alone all the time because they only play WoW. Also, nice read.
  • TsumoroTsumoro EozeaPosts: 408Member Uncommon
    I've never had a problem with Ghostcrawler, just a man doing the best job he can and for the most part he does it well. Looking forward to the continuation to the games story. After cata I was put off from the game for a long time, it wasnt until many months after MoP's release did I get back into it and I have very much enjoyed what I have taken part of.

  • plutosamsplutosams Seattle, WAPosts: 49Member
    Just starting playing WOW this week and I have to say I am having far more fun than I have had in other MMOs recently.  There are definitely aspects that are a bit dated, but I feel immersed and I actually feel like the world is alive and meaningful.  I think it would be incredibly difficult for devs to keep innovating in an eight year old game while maintaining the soul of the game; however this is something I think blizzard has done fairly well on wtih only a few missteps.  
  • CoolitCoolit FalkirkPosts: 468Member Uncommon

    Although I'm not as interested in WoW as I once was that was a pretty interesting read; nice interview Bill :)

  • GravargGravarg Harker Heights, TXPosts: 3,332Member Uncommon

    I like Ghostcrawler.  He's more vocal, and you see him talk more than others.  He does get a bad rap, but I don't think it's his fault the people that complain about him left.  Perhaps, you've played 8 years (for example) and you're just burned out on WoW.  I have days where I got free time, and I'm like "I really just don't feel like logging in today".  That's what motorcycles, cars, and a big backyard are for right? :)

     

    I espeically like how he commented on theivery between companies.  Everyone does it, but only the successful companies/games get a bad rap for it.  People complain about the combat is old and stale, but do they want another SWG?  One of the reasons why WoW is so big, is that they do what they're going to do.  I've seen many games that will change MAJOR components on a whim (SWG, the F2P conversions, etc.).  I know some of the F2P conversions were needed, because the worlds were pretty much empty, but if the game was worth it's weight in salt, it wouldn't have had to happen anyways.  

     

    Look at Rift, it's like the last subscription game that came out and stayed subscription.  They learned from Blizzard, and made a similar game (although they're really alot different).  Blizzard seems to be learning from Trion now.  With the content patches coming out faster.  I know people say they all loved Vanilla WoW (Rose-colored Spectral XT-57 Goggles on and what not lol), but do you really want to wait 4-6 months for a new content patch? That's what they did in vanilla... Now they're getting them out every few months.

     

    As for pet battles, I love them.  I've always loved having my companion pet running around with me, but it's nice to have them do something.  It's actually not just a side feature.  I make more money through pet battling, than I do through any tradeskill (I have everyone maxed).  Doing the Pet battle dailies, then selling off the pets is a very fast way of getting money.  Especially when new pets come out.  The Beasts of Fable quest gives you a random panda, which is selling on my horde server for 15k+ depending on which panda it is.  Also the Isle of Giants Raptor pets, they're going for between 250-3k gold depending on which one it is.  The price seems to have gone up as well, since they lowered thier drop rate.

     

    Overall, there's really nothing better than WoW (imho).  Rift is a close second, so I play both.  I've played both of them since launch, and haven't gone more than a week without logging in (I was out of town on week hehe).  Both games have really responsive controls, good graphics, superior lore and story, and they're just a heck of alot of fun.

     

    Edit: Didn't mean to write and article about an article, but I did cut it short XD  In Short, Ghostcrawler, WoW, Rift are good for me.  If you don't like them, that's ok, it's your opinion, everyone is entitled to thier own opinion :)

  • DJMantissDJMantiss Tracy, CAPosts: 100Member

    A really good interview and its hard to bash the guy on anything. I mean he says it point blank that they are developing and expanding in a way that their current player base enjoys. Which is awesome.

    I played WoW first during the Vanilla beta and loved it. Got up through WotLK and into the Cata beta after which I lost interest. Its not a bad game, but for me I had been there, done that and needed to move on.

    I'm still waiting for the next "great" thing and in more betas than I care to mention. However its very hard to beat games with this much content. Same reason why EQ and even EQII have dedicated player bases. Or EvE for that matter, its a great thing when the devs cater to those playing the game and disregard the rest.

    That next gen MMO hasn't been created yet and will take a lot of innovation, just like WoW did. Borrow all the latest/greatest ideas, improve them, expand on them and throw in your own innovations until you have the next MMO with 9+ million players after 8 years.

  • GravargGravarg Harker Heights, TXPosts: 3,332Member Uncommon

    I forgot to mention, I can't wait to get my three-fingered hands on Garrosh.  I look forward to replacing him with Vol'jin ;)  Just a hoping prediction,  Vol'jin will come back since his troll regeneration healed him up nice and fast, reunite the Troll Tribes, after we defeat Lei Shen and his most loyal trolls.  Then after Garrosh's death, Vol'jin (the only guy left that's been around the horde since the begining) will take over as Warchief, and the Horde will enter a golden age, because everyone knows that Trolls rule :)

     

    I'm happy it's going to happen sooner rather than later.  At the rate they're going, it should be out by the end of this year :D

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member
    Such a deep deep game. The entire mmorpg community feels the descicions made by blizzard. They have set the bar and just keep pouring it on. Year in and year out, WoW is the only one with a reliably high replayability factor.
  • CoolitCoolit FalkirkPosts: 468Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gravarg
    snip

     

    Overall, there's really nothing better than WoW (imho).  Rift is a close second, so I play both.  I've played both of them since launch, and haven't gone more than a week without logging in (I was out of town on week hehe).  Both games have really responsive controls, good graphics, superior lore and story, and they're just a heck of alot of fun.

     

    Edit: Didn't mean to write and article about an article, but I did cut it short XD  In Short, Ghostcrawler, WoW, Rift are good for me.  If you don't like them, that's ok, it's your opinion, everyone is entitled to thier own opinion :)

    I agree, WoW and Rift are the best of their type with good lore and the only games still worth a subscription.

  • KostKost Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,975Member
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Nadia

    i dislike Ghostcrawler but this is a good interview

     

    I liked this more than Ghostcrawlers commentary via IGN earlier this week

     Warcraft Patch 5.2 brings back "old school" feel.

     

    Thanks, Nadia.  And Greg gets a bad wrap.  I'm sure a lot of people would do just fine in his position and please everyone

    /rollseyes

    It's undeniable that some of the decisions he has made have ushered a large amount of players out the door.

    The Paladin debacle, for instance....

    It's not a matter of what others would do in his position or whether they would please everyone or not, pleasing everyone was never the keystone flaw in his decision making. The main issue has always been his heavy handed approach and the very well known bias he expresses towards (and against) certain classes.

     
  • MackehMackeh LondonPosts: 164Member

    Greg you need ti watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5H13K77Tmi8

    Then you need to open Vanilla server or a BC server and watch the millions of players return to a game that was good, not this utter mess that you now call WOW.

  • tordurbartordurbar Alexandria, VAPosts: 429Member Uncommon
    The CATA talent changes soured WOW for me and then the MOP changes sealed it. This was an interesting interview. I don't like what Ghostcrawler has done but at least he says what they plan on doing. However, I do think that Blizzard is catering to the core and new players more than the the middle group (players who were long term subs and then quit). I do create a free character about every year to see what has changed but I never get the feeling that I had from the beginning through WOLK.
  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    >we wanted to get that epic old world feeling that people really missed.

    With micro-raids and random groups... Right, we can totally see that.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by Illyssia

    Anyway, I think it is interesting that Greg is telling us that they are preparing for a new expansion to WoW. I am guessing for 2014.

    i agree - Fall 2014 is likely the next expansion

     

    i have no doubt that Blizzard is *sincerely* trying to do annual expansions

    but Blizzard has been trying to do that ever since the game launched ...  heh

     

    Aug 2006

    http://www.gamespot.com/news/blizzards-goal-annual-wow-expansions-6156502

    Oct 2008

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/wow-still-aiming-for-annual-expansions

    Sept 2012

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/interviews/9918-Behind-the-Design-of-WoW-Mists-of-Pandaria

    We've said for years that we need to get expansions out more frequently and we've just not been able to pull it off yet.

    Blizz is going to ride WoW to the very end. Sadly more and more players have realized for the longest time that after each x-pac It is the same game but to the beat of  a diffrent drummer. WoW is soooooooo over polished now that what it boils down to is either a start a new toon for the 100th time and do those same boring kill ten rats and save the zone over and over again until you reach 90 or you can lvl up by running the same random instence while waiting for the lfg time to come around to you or you can try your hand at pvp and hope you dont find yourself on the side of morons all the time at which point trying to lvl up your toon will take forever if your side keeps loosing all the time.

    Ya sure you can use BOA to lv you up faster and make sure your in a lvl 25 guild for all the perks also use the friend perk to speed it up even more so this is not the issue at all the issue is that grinding and grinding and grinding.

    When you are not grinding you have to farm your mats if you want to have any gold at all you have to play the AH or you  will be broke all the time. On top of that Blizz give you the options to play Pokewow cant neglect your pets now. On top of that you can start your grind feast with fishing, cooking, firstaid, and or archaeology but we all ready know this right? Even with new classes and new start zones etc it dont matter anymore since it boils down to grind feast yet again.

    Then when you hit 90 or whichever the lvl cap will be I hear they are shooting for 100 but when you do that then you are forced to not to be happy with your gear need better gear or the pvp along with pve will kick your ass hince force endgame or lack of endgame for now you are grinding BG if you are a pvp player or RBG for that matter maybe arena. If you are a pve player you grind heroic runs and raids along with a thousand prob yes literly a thousand dailies.

    What this rant is basicly getting at is that WoW hayday has been long gone for millions who no longer play. The numbers are in a slow decline I mean we all remember 13 million active players at the hight of WotLK days when we all started to realize omg not anouther ICC run yet again. have to get that "Kingslayer" achievment and title no matter what. Today do players even care bout that title anymore?

    I hope Blizz dont wait to long to give us "Titian" at this rate they will run WoW into the ground first. After all the only game that will kill WoW is WoW itself.

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  • MaxJacMaxJac Another Dimension, CAPosts: 185Member
    I tried the game a few days ago and I couldn't get into it because of the combat, it felt dated to me. With that said, Pandaria looks fantastic. If I were a fan of the combat, this interview would be exciting. Even then, I can still appreciate it as an outsider.
  • radagast777radagast777 poop, OHPosts: 80Member
    Originally posted by Volgore
    You must have missed that there is barely anyone left who is still interested or believes what this guy says. Waste of space on this site.

    Its funny how the minority is usually the most boisterous and think they know what they are talking about.

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