World of Warcraft: Dragonflight Interview

With the Dragonflight expansion for World of Warcraft looming on the horizon, we get this VentureBeat interview with Blizzard’s lead game designer Jeremy Feasel and UI designer Laura Sardinha that essentially promises a return to form and talks about the game’s new talent system, Evoker class, Dragon Riding system, and more.

The interview goes on for quite a bit, so here’s just a couple of questions to get you started:

GamesBeat: Does Dragonflight have a release window?

Laura Sardinha: No dates yet. When ready, we’ll have a date. But not for now.

Jeremy Feasel: And that’s on purpose. We want to make sure Dragonflight’s released when it’s ready. There’s a lot of cool stuff we want to do here, a refresher for a lot of systems that will last for hopefully many years. We want to build a talent system that can last 10-plus years. We want to build an awesome UI that can last 10-plus years and that we can add to in the future. We want to do it right.

Sardinha: The old UI lasted 18 years, so hopefully the new one will go for 20.

GamesBeat: There’s a different tone with what we’ve seen of Dragonflight so far. We’re seeing features that can last beyond just this expansion. Is that intentional?

Feasel: I think Dragonflight represents a return to Azeroth for us in a number of different ways. We’re not only physically returning to Azeroth from the past. It’s also a great chance to tell some core WoW stories. The Dragonflight have been a part of WoW fantasy for many years, but we’ve never really gone in depth with them. A map for the Dragon Isles has existed since Classic. It’s been a part of our minds for a long time. There’s a ton of stories we want to tell here.

But it’s also a chance to look at core parts of WoW that feel like they need a refresher. Things we want to last many years into the future. Things like the talent system. We want to be thinking about feature extensibility in a way that Classic designers maybe weren’t thinking about back when they designed the original talent schemes. Same with the UI. Updates we’re doing to our season system and the mythic dungeon finder. Updates to the profession system. All of these things are core Warcraft elements that we want to design to be futureproof.

Sardinha: On the UI side, we’ve been focusing a lot on UIs for expansion-specific features. If you look at Shadowlands, soulbinds look so cool. The azerite UI, the look and feel is really awesome. But we never did anything, really, for the base UI itself. And then we have all this awesome stuff for features and animations, all high res. It looks really awesome. We thought it was time for the base UI to look awesome too. So here we go.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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