With Shadowlands out later this month we play through the brand-new starting zone in World of Warcraft
called Exiles Reach, and chat to Kevin Martens, Lead Designer on the WoW team, about its creation and the New Player Experience.
With well over a decade of new content, the long-awaited level-squish sees over 100-levels of progression brought down to a more manageable 60. And with so many years of WoW, Blizzard has also created a new starting zone called Exiles Reach - an idyllic but troubled island locale designed to give players both new and old a quickfire taste of what WoW is all about.
Our Full Exiles Read Preview and WoW Interview
From questing to storytelling to the eternal conflict between factions, Exiles Reach even concludes with a group dungeon - bolstering and highlighting the social side of WoW as being as broad and vast as Azeroth itself. Kevin Martens, Lead Designer on World of Warcraft, notes that Exiles Reach has been a longtime coming.
“The way that we develop is we do an iteration pass, and then we hand it off to play testing, and then we come back with the play testing information and redo it,” Kevin tells me. “It was probably at least a year. We went through several iterations and we had a lot of new players play through it. Friends and family in the company, basically, would play it and give us feedback so we could really work on the tutorial elements of it and the clarity of the storytelling, and then the dungeon itself.”