08Jul

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Developer Update (July 8) Transcript

SHADOWLANDS ALPHA RECAP

Ion: Everybody, thank you for sharing your morning or evening with us as the case may be. Super super hyped to be able to share that Collector’s Edition with everybody. One of my favorite features that John didn’t get a chance to mention is that those pins actually have a self-destruct mechanism built-in. So pick one carefully. The other three might vanish instantly.

Let’s talk a little bit about what is coming up in the Beta ahead, and Shadowlands in general. So first, I want to look back at the three months since we launched our Alpha.

It’s about three months ago to this day the Alpha began, and we welcomed thousands of folks from around the world in to begin to share this great project that we’ve been working on really for the last couple of years.

You at this point journey through the four main zones in the Shadowlands, seeing a glimpse of The Maw, experienced Covenant active abilities, and of course, seen Torghast.

Our valiant alpha testers have completed over 800,000 quests in that time. Over 2000 unique characters have finished Exile’s Reach — our new player experience on the Alliance side, and ventured off to join the Alliance and go to Kul Tiras.

Over 62,000 Torghast runs have been undertaken on our Alpha servers; and at last over 11,000 of those ended in the clutches of the Tarragrue. You have to be more careful next time; and crucially, over 64,000 in-game bug reports using our in-game reporting tool have been entered by Alpha testers.

Our QA team internally is busy pouring over those. So far I think they have catalogued something like 16,000 unique bugs that are being tracked in our system as a result of those reports, which will be fixed of course by the time Shadowlands comes out; and we know that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

This is really an invaluable tool, and every bit of your feedback matters.

Speaking of feedback, it’s not just the feeback within the tool, but also broader discussions on the forums and the community at large on places like Reddit and Twitter and the videos folks are making to share reactions, thoughts, and ways in which the experience that they’re seeing could be improved.

Something that our entire development team is eagerly attentive to. Now our alpha experience and our alpha process really is a true alpha. The past weeks, what you have been seeing is the active organic evolution of the game.

Sometimes a build might have a change that literally is five days old. It’s an experiment. It’s a solution to some problem that was discovered, and I want to see what reactions are immediately. There is a very quick turnaround time there, and it’s a collaborative process between us and the community; and so we’ve seen some changes to for example the pacing of Torghast, and the removal of any sort of the torment system or time limits there.

The area in Torghast we’ve heard a lot about also is frankly just how much fun people are having, and the grim prospect of only being able to do it a certain number of times a week.

I think we previously discussed that the endless corridor section of Torghast would be completely ungated, but I am actually happy to announce that at this point we are shifting to completely remove all keying from all the wings of Torghasts, and you can run it to your heart’s content if you want to go in, have fun with a buddy, try out a new build, just experience the dynamic gameplay of Torghast, we don’t want to get in your way.

We will figure out the solution to the reward system there to make sure that you’re not required, or overly encouraged to endlessly grind it all week; but if you want to do it just because it is fun, we don’t want to stop you.

Of course, our class team is listening in our combat team or listening to the feedback there, and there are regular updates coming out, and many more to follow.

Our level design team, which sculpts the hills and the mountains and the roads that shape our zones are actually eagerly devouring every bit of footage of people playing the Alpha.

They can get their hands on often watching people who get turned around or confused or stuck trying to climb up a hill that looks like it should be climbable, and they are instantly going in fixing those areas for the next build the next week.

Every part of the game, our character artists we are looking at reactions to character customizations that are going out and hearing are most excited about, what they wish they could have, what options are missing, and doing what they can to add that.

So I can’t thank all of you enough. Both, the people who are in the Alpha who have been testing there for us, but also those who are sharing their thoughts as part of a broader community conversation.

The work that goes into Shadowlands is as much yours as it is ours. Truly. So now, turning the corner, looking ahead to what the next weeks will hold as we move into our Beta.

NEXT: SHADOWLANDS BETA FEATURES

SHADOWLANDS DEVELOPER UPDATE TRANSCRIPT
1. Shadowlands Collector's Edition2. Shadowlands Alpha Recap3. Shadowlands Beta4. Covenants
5. Soulbinds6. Conduits7. Renown8. Upgrade Sanctum
9. Anima Conductor10. Scouting Map Missions11. Covenant Sanctums12. Theater of Pain
13. Return to the Maw14. The Road Ahead

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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) ***Fans who would love to watch Blizzard-related panels and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet's patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donations will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round to bring you the latest interview with the developers, photos, and panel videos (where allowed).