BlizzCon 2017 World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Panel Transcript

LEVELING IMPROVEMENTS

Ion: So I just mentioned that we are inviting players to journey through Azeroth once again, just start off with these Allied Races at level 20, and explore. Now if you have done something like that recently, you probably noticed the experience is kinda rough around the edges.

Now the content, the world, the stories — those hold up. Those are great. There is humor, there is life there. But the pacing of the experience, is all off. If you are trying to play through, let’s say: Hillsbrad, you will quickly find that about half way through the zone a lot of the quests in your log are turning green or even grey.

On the one hand, all the mechanics of the game are telling you to get out of there. To move along for better rewards, more experience, a place where you belong. While the story is telling you to stay, because you want to see what happens next.

We want to solve that. Now in Legion, during the level up experience, we introduced the concept of scaling zones, and that allow players to pick and choose their way through that experience. So– you have it figured out, I don’t even need to give this presentation. But you can see where this is going. So we are looking to take that tech, and expand it to the entirety of World of Warcraft. We are super excited about this, too.

There will be a couple of little differences in how it plays out here versus how it played out in Legion. So first off, we don’t ### all the scale all the way up to (let’s say) level 110. SO within these regions, there are level ranges with minimum and maximum levels. For two reasons: If you are a brand-new one-dagger, you are a Forsaken starting off in Tirisfal Glades, we think it is important that when you look eastwards toward the Plaguelands, there is a little bit of terror there. That is a scary dangerous place. You are not strong enough to get there, and if you try, welcome bear will come out and hug you, and then you would come back to your graveyard; and that is how it works.

On the other hand, if you are a seasoned adventurer returning from a campaign in Northrend, and you come back to Elwynn Forest, and find that the wolves and the bandits there are now still an even match for you — that kinda undermines your progression.

So we are thinking about a structure more like — imagine Westfall scaled from 10 to 60. Imagine Burning Steppes scaled from 40 to 60. You are never going to out-level the zone while you are in it, but there is still some sense of progression; and once you have moved past the entire expansion, you do feel like you have surpassed it, and you are more powerful.

Now speaking of expansions, we would also like to take a step back from just zone choice, and think about how you navigate expansions, and the course of leveling up. So if you leveled alts recently, you know the drill. You hit 58, you go to Hellfire Peninsula, and maybe do a zone and a half, or so — depending on how many dungeons you are doing. Then it is off to Northrend. Or… what if you could choose? What if Burning Crusade content scaled all the way from 60 to 80?

 

It is pretty self-explanatory. Burning Crusade 60 to 80. Wrath of the Lich King 60 to 80. Similarly, Cataclysm 80 to 90. Mists of Pandaria 80 to 90. You can pick one expansion, do much of its content if you want, you can bounce back and forth between the two, it is flexible. The point is player choice. The point is having the experience that you want to have as you are leveling through WoW; and yes, this applies to Dungeons, it applies to all the rewards along way.

It is awesome to hear the excitement. We are every bit as excited about this, and because it is something that really isn’t exactly an expansion feature, it is just a basic improvement to the game. We want to get this to you sooner.

You may have noticed the patch that just went live: the 7.3.2 — that was a small infrastructure thing. We have a proper 7.3.5 around the corner. It will be coming to the PTR in just a few weeks; and you will be able to see the beginning of some many of these improvements there. We can’t wait to hear your feedback. We want to get this on your hands ASAP.

 

NEXT: HEART OF AZEROTH

WORLD OF WARCRAFT: BATTLE FOR AZEROTH PANEL TRANSCRIPT
1. Battle for Azeroth2. Zones of Kul'Tiras3. Zones of Zaldazar4. Zone Flow
5. Allied Races6. Leveling Improvements7. Heart of Azeroth8. Island Expeditions
9. Warfronts10. Battlegrounds & Arenas11. World PvP12. Dungeons & Raids

Read the BlizzCon 2017 panel transcripts

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Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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