WoW designer Chris Kaleiki has stepped away from the fan-favourite franchise after 13 years because he's 'unhappy' with the way Blizzard is handling its future.

15:36, 20 Nov 2020

Although Chris Kaleiki was a big name in World of Warcraft circles thanks to his impressive 13 years with the company, he's decided to leave Blizzard's beloved world. Despite Kaleik promising, there are no hard feelings between him and the company, he has opened up about why he's stepped away. 

Kaleiki said he was a big WoW fan before, and went on to praise the talented team, but has admitted he could no longer work for Blizzard. During his tenure, Kaleiki's impressive CV has seen him focus on PvP and class design.  Discussing his time with WoW, Kaleiki said his mission was to create specs for different classes. As for his legacy, Kaleiki said, "I felt it was sort of a duty to the player to really make all these specs and classes viable, and in as many aspects of the game as possible".

Even though he's stepping away from Warcraft, he credited some of his biggest achievements as designing the Monk class for Mists of Pandaria, the PvP system, and other upcoming work on Shadowlands. Posting in a lengthy YouTube video, Kaleiki went into greater detail about why now was the right time to leave.

 

Why is Chris Kaleiki leaking World of Warcraft? 

It's no secret that Shadowlands is a million miles away from the 0G Warcraft that hit the scene back in 2004. The MMORPG is barely recognisable, and it was partly this that sparked Kaleiki's departure. Last year's WoW Classic delivered a "vanilla" version of the original for those who wanted it in its purest form, however, even this wasn't enough to keep the designer around for much longer. 

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Kaleiki explained, "For a while now, probably too long, I've just been unhappy with the state of the game". Unfortunately Classic only highlighted his frustrations. He said that the original values and the updated ones are "a little muddled" - pointing to the change to guilds as a problem. A

"I think in Classic the guild's a big deal", continued Kaleiki. "To do anything at endgame you really need to be in a guild. What this does is it creates interdependence among players, where they really need each other in order to be successful. And I think this can feel really restrictive at times, but ultimately what it really does is it creates cohesion, it creates community". 

 

Kaleiki also has a problem with WoW stories

World of Warcraft Chris Kaleiki

Another gripe is an emphasis on story. Although many argue this is one of WoW's best features, Kaleiki said the players themselves used to be the story. He said "Warcraft and WoW has always had a story, but lately I think in the modern game the story is just a bigger part of it. The characters and all their own dramas really soak up a lot of air in the game. Whereas I think in a virtual world, in an MMO, really the players are the story". 

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Kaleiki concluded by reminding everyone he doesn't think of WoW as a bad game, simply that there's a "disconnect". He rounded off by saying, "It's not so much a problem with the game as it is really a disconnect between what the modern game is and what the game used to be".

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Teasing his own future, Kaleiki hopes to enter "the next big virtual world instead". With the release of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands just says away, it will be interesting to see if Kaleiki's concerns are echoed by players themselves. 

 

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