PCGamesN Interviews John Hight on Battle for Azeroth
PCGamesN got to take with John Hight, World of Warcraft Production Director, about Battle for Azeroth. Here is a recap:

  • The Legion threat brought the factions together, but now that it is dealt with the events of the Broken Shore are coming back into focus. The Alliance feels betrayed for losing their king and want redemption.
  • Story arcs for expansions are typically constructed two to three expansions ahead.
  • It hasn't been revealed how Battle for Azeroth will end and so players shouldn't make too many assumptions on where the story is going. There are many planned twists and turns.
  • John believes even skeptics will come to believe that the faction conflict was a good creative choice for the expansion.
  • You are not seen as an ally on the opposing faction's continent and it will evoke the feeling of not being safe when there.
  • Scaling has brought some of the challenge back to leveling and given players a reason to level new characters again.
  • The team wants players to pick a race and faction based on what they identify with.
  • When creating a new Allied race, the team focuses on interesting races that inhabit a relevant area of the story, their natural tendencies and who they align with because of it, and balancing big tough races and cute smaller races between the factions.
  • Zandalari trolls were originally discussed being rolled out at release, but the team realized it didn't make sense with the story because you hadn't gained their trust at that point yet.
  • Legion races were made Allied Races early specifically to give players extra content to do prior to the expansion launch.
  • Future Allied Races are already planned out.
  • Players have gotten good at datamining content that the team uploads without the intention of immediately unlocking it. This could mean races that have been datamined (such as Vulpera) are planned for future Allied Races later in the expansion. The response wasn't blunt.
  • The Mag'har Orcs received the different tribal skin customization to better differentiate them from current orcs while wearing armor.
  • There are no immediate plans for Wildhammer Dwarves, but it is possible in the future.
  • There are two members on the design team who focus on each faction storywise. They communicate daily to make sure that there is a balance on content and experiences without a lot of duplicating stories and quests.
  • Alpha releases a lot earlier than in the past so that the team can catch things such as one faction not having a cool feature or weak pacing.
  • Playing only one faction in Battle for Azeroth will still give you as rich of an experience as Legion.
  • Each faction will have wins and loses, but these are battles and not the war. You will have to wait and see where the story goes!

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