Blizzard devs on keeping World of Warcraft's narrative fresh, almost 20 years on
World of Warcraft has been a household name for many years, many characters have arrived, departed, and occasionally returned since 2004. Since then, new expansions have been released, and Azeroth has become home to more than just Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. Now, it is also home to the Dragon Isles, in the latest expansion of World of Warcraft: Dragonflight.
GGRecon had the opportunity to sit down with Stephen Cavallaro, Megadungeon lead and Morgan Day, Associate Game Director about the direction of Dragonflight and the game's rich narrative.
Does the fountain of content ever run dry?
“That's one of the joys of working on World of Warcraft is just the rich history that there is to explore,” Day explained.
“We saw with the Dragon Isles, this is an opportunity to explore some existing themes, this idea of the Dragonflights and the Aspects and this theme of awakening.
“The idea of adding a third spec for Evokers, for instance, this idea of they're not done awakening, they just woke up, but they're learning!”
By adding Dracthyr as the latest race to World of Warcraft, Blizzard has not only given players a brand new class to experiment with as well as new specialisations to try out, but it has given the developers a trampoline to bounce off of and an opportunity for more lore.
What's next for the Incarnates?
The game's latest Megadungeon, Dawn of the Infinite, as well as the newest Raid, Aberrus, The Shadowed Crucible, delve further into the story of the Primalists, the Dracthyr and the Dragonflights as a whole.
This expansion has breathed a new life into the stories of characters such as Alexstrasza, Nozdormu and Chromie, and has given them new facets that players haven’t seen before, as well as introducing a whole new race to the mix and taking them on their journey of self-discovery.
Introducing such powerful characters at the beginning of the expansion, such as Razageth and her three children, has allowed for the story to slowly develop and take players on many different journeys, many of which have been chaotic.
“There's such fertile space to kind of draw from there," Day explains.
"Additionally, we're always looking to make sure we're planting new seeds. There have been many times when players have been kept on their toes and have been left with cliffhangers, and it gives the developers the perfect amount of time to hone in on a character’s story and really evolve it and go in-depth with it.
“The Incarnates are such interesting characters to me because they're all unique people," Day continues.
"They all have their own unique personalities, which, casting your mind to the Incarnates, they all have such vastly different personalities and behave in different ways.
"That being said, they each have their own unique way of causing chaos and destruction.
For more on World of Warcraft, check out the devs' reasoning for making Dawn of the Infinite a Megadungeon instead of a raid, and their comments on the future of WoW's PvP.