BlizzCast Episode 12

Blizzard Entertainment has released a twelfth BlizzCast episode, which you'll find is broken into two sections that are entirely devoted to World of Warcraft's 5-year anniversary and the 15-year anniversary of the entire Warcraft franchise.
Karune: : At this time when there were tons of people playing also online in addition to the single-player experience for Warcraft III and they're still actually playing today. Did that take part in the amount of people who were actually playing online and the popularity of Warcraft in bringing that into the MMORPG genre? Taking a different jump into a different genre was obviously a huge step from something that had traditionally been an RTS franchise. What was that like, or how did you guys come to that decision?

Samwise Didier: I think it's like how Blizzard always does. We'll play a game that we really like, everyone was playing EQ and we go "god, how cool would it be to do like a World of Warcraft," just like we did when we were all playing Dune II and go "oh my God, what if this was in a fantasy world with orcs and knights?" We play a game and if we like it we always want to make our own version of it. I know that's kind of how everyone started thinking about it.

Rob Pardo: Yeah, and I think a lot of the thing with doing that, the question would be which franchise to use. I think there really never was a question. We could have done something with StarCraft, we could have done something with Diablo. But I can't remember a time we ever even argued it. It was clear that Warcraft was the right franchise to do a Massively Multi-player Role-Playing Game.

Samwise Didier: Hydralisk mage didn't seem as cool. Yeah...

Rob Pardo: Yeah, it wasn't quite there the same way. But we saw that opportunity and a lot of us played Everquest and before that Ultima Online quite a bit, and we just saw how much more fun it was to play a game that you had really deep social connections to people you played with. You were playing content together that you had to overcome night after night, but the problem was that those games really didn't make that content well accessible to a broader group of players. But, there is no reason why you couldn't. We knew that if we put in the Warcraft franchise and we kind of took all of the lessons we knew as gamers and game designers that we could really broaden out that fun and really make it accessible to our whole Blizzard audience that, previous to that, might not even have tried an MMO.

Chris Metzen: I think also that, like we were saying earlier, that Warcraft III had so much world detail built out. Event-wise, the orcs had founded their own homeland and we had met groups like the tauren and the trolls, and we had built out all of these spaces. Since we were really liking the idea of doing one of these big MMOs, Warcraft was easily the richest thing we were sitting on and it just made the most sense, because we had the most visibility on the kind of world it was and the conflicts that made the fiction engaging. And it was really kind of a no brainer in terms of translating all of those ideas into more of a virtual space.

Samwise Didier: Yeah, even the creeps, they are still making them. They had just recently done the forgotten ones and all that sort of stuff with Wrath of the Lich King. I wonder if there's any creatures that haven't been made with lots of polys and new textures and put into WoW that was leftovers. I wonder if there's any leftover ones.

Chris Metzen: I'm trying to think. I remember there are still a bunch of characters that we made for WoW itself that we haven't really leveraged the way we intended to leverage with all the story that we had planned.

Samwise Didier: The two headed ogre ninjas, yeah.

Chris Metzen: Yeah, they're silent but violent. [Laughing] Yeah, there's still a lot of pepper left in the tank.