World of Warcraft: This Expansion Flopped So Badly That the Developers Had to Rethink the Game Completely!

Player feedback has resulted in many fundamental changes to World of Warcraft, which will be reflected in the upcoming 10th expansion.



The turnaround of the developers of World of Warcraft is quite spectacular. Especially after the Shadowlands expansion, which nearly killed the game, largely dismissed player feedback. With the MMO’s 10th expansion, The War Within, approaching, Game Director Ion Hazzikostas said that Blizzard is more willing than ever to rethink WoW’s core systems to stay in tune with players’ needs.

“The last few years really have been a time of introspection and reexamination of all of the building blocks, the design DNA, of WoW,” he said.

“Turning over every stone holding it up to the light and examining it and asking ourselves, ‘This clearly served us well for a long time, is it still the right thing for our players in 2024?'”

A recent example proves this: the radical transformation of Mythic Plus. The goal was to keep affix variety for lower-level players to keep dungeons interesting but allow hardcore push teams to work on raw difficulty alone, as requested. It’s been a frankly wild series of changes, and we’re only two months away from the expansion’s release.


Can we expect more radical World of Warcraft changes?!


Hazzikostas’ comments in the interview suggest that more such radical changes can be expected. According to him, it took Blizzard time to fully recognize the change in WoW’s audience.

“I think it was beginning but definitely accelerated over the course of Shadowlands where, from a design perspective especially, we had a bit of a reckoning,” said Hazzikostas.

“We had built systems and leaned on what seemed like time-honored WoW principles like deep investment in your character and meaningful choices and differentiation.”

This led to decisions such as players and characters belonging to certain in-game factions being unable to obtain rewards or cosmetics from other factions.

“But what we were hearing from players was ‘that’s not what we want anymore. I did this one, why do I have to do it again? I don’t want this power to be tied to a cosmetic choice, I want them to be separate,'” he said.

Blizzard’s failure to address these issues has led to a significant player exodus during Shadowlands, which is backed up by statistics.

In the expansion that followed, Dragonflight, Blizzard finally stepped in to recognize this growing problem and faced it with great success. But the overwhelmingly positive response to the Mythic Plus changes – and the other changes made along the way with this philosophy in mind – suggests Blizzard may be on the right track.

The War Within, WoW’s 10th expansion, will be released on August 26 (early access is available three days earlier for pre-orders).

Source: Blizzard, Wowhead

Spread the love
Avatar photo
"Historian by profession, gamer since historical times."

No comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.