This week marks the release of the 10.0.7 Content Update for World of Warcraft: Dragonflight
, which introduces a new high-level Zone for players to explore in the Forbidden Reach. And with major Content Update 10.1 Embers of Neltharion around the corner, there seems to be a renewed vigor for all things WoW within the walls of Blizzard.
We sit down with Ion Hazzikostas, Game Director of World of Warcraft, to discuss the launch of Dragonflight, the current state of WoW development, 10.0.7 and the Forbidden Reach, dragon-riding becoming a mainstay, and a lot more.
Read Our Full World of Warcraft Interview with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas
You mentioned how the community engages with content on the PTR side and how valuable that is for testing multiplayer. And then there’s the Community Council, which is a little bit different, but also about lowering the barrier between the team and the community. With so many different playstyles and voices, listening and engaging with the community, how do you manage that? Let’s say there’s a vocal group talking about Mythic+ affixes, and that’s now a hot topic. How is that weighed versus something else?
Ion: Between us developers and the community, that relationship is essential to World of Warcraft. Ultimately, we've created a world in which we are so gratified that millions have chosen to spend their time and make it their home. And we are custodians and caretakers of that world, and we have a duty to the players who spend their time with us to ensure their trust in us is well-placed. That we're taking care of them and their goals thoughtfully. I think for sure; there's a wide variety of playstyles, and navigating that, oftentimes conflicting desires are pitted against each other. That’s the tricky part of just navigating it all. But we need to be hearing it all.
The Community Council serves two purposes. To focus discussion and provide us with an avenue where we can talk with a large group representative of players in a way that we can't necessarily talk with millions simultaneously. There are so many playstyles, and if discourse is left to its own in this day and age, it gets dominated by voices from only a portion of the different playstyles. The more hardcore, the high-end raiders, the people who are pros writing the guides. Those who have lots of followers on Twitch, YouTube, and Twitter. Their voices are amplified, and we hear their feedback loud and clear.