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Posts with tag Dave-Kosak

The World as Story: Emergent storytelling in World of Warcraft

How does storytelling function in World of Warcraft? What are its limits? Does it have to unfold solely via quest text, or can it be told via other means? I ask this in part due to a developing discussion on the scale and scope of how the world we interact with as we play reveals the story elements. Back when I first started playing WoW, game story was almost exclusively revealed via quest text. When it wasn't, it was often revealed via in-game books. I remembered being floored with the pre-fight scene between Majordomo Executus and Ragnaros because it was a bit of story happening entirely in front of my eyes via dialogue and scene.

Over the years World of Warcraft has added a host of tools to its story delivery options - cutscenes, scenarios, events like Battle for Undercity, open-ended exploration, and quest integration with each of these kinds of vectors for story. It's not all just text anymore - we have in-game cinematics, cut-scenes rendered and played through using totally in game scenes, dialogue (the end of the Isle of Thunder, when Jaina and Lor'themar confronted one another was entirely realized through in-game dialogue), scenarios like A Little Patience and Dagger in the Dark, and even more complex combinations of all of them. The Dominance Offensive/Operation Shieldwall story in particular was unveiled through all of these techniques, using every arrow in the quiver to drive the story points home.

I'm bringing this up because of the recent revelation that not all secondary objectives in Warlords of Draenor will have quest text. The discussion led to a series of tweets from Dave Kosak that I think definitely are worth discussing. How do we get story in an MMO? Can the world we encounter be the story itself? As we move through it, how can it be best presented to us?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

BlizzCon 2013: World of Warcraft Adventure Continues Q&A

The World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues panel during Friday's action-packed BlizzCon featured Lead Narrative Designer Dave Kosak giving a short presentation on the story behind the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Along with the history lesson, which was summed up by Matthew Rossi, the panel also featured a brief Q&A session that wasn't advertised in the program, but proved to be a pretty good list of questions and answers about the new expansion and what we can expect to see.

Along with some clarifications on whether or not this is a time travel expansion (it isn't), there are also a few new lore reveals regarding the next expansion, and some tasty tidbits of odds and ends that have yet to be addressed. Read on for the full list of questions -- some of the answers may surprise you.

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Filed under: Lore, BlizzCon

Furor returns to World of Warcraft

Alex Furor Afrasiabi
Alex Afrasiabi, AKA Furor, has returned to work on World of Warcraft. Alex began his career as the guild leader of a famous Everquest guild (Fires of Heaven) and then came to work at Blizzard, eventually becoming Lead World Designer for WoW. He left WoW and was rumored to be working on the Titan project. But now, according to the BlizzCon schedule, he is the Creative Director for what we assume is the next expansion. He will be on World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues panel.

Also appearing on the panel is Game Director Tom Chilton and Dave Kosak, who was formerly the Lead Quest Designer and is now listed as the Lead Narrative Designer. As this panel will be discussing the direction of the story, Chris Metzen will of course be there as Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development.

The panel will be at 2:30 p.m. PST on the A Panel Stage. So if you are interested in the story and/or the return of Furor, the Adventure Continues panel is for you. If you're not attending BlizzCon and don't have the Virtual Ticket, WoW Insider will definitely be covering this panel.

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Community Manager Zarhym on game design vs. story development

Zarhym on game design vs story development
It's always interesting seeing the blue team's thoughts on World of Warcraft, whether on the community, or the development of the game itself. Community Manager Zarhym had some profound words to share this week regarding the interviews we've been seeing for patch 5.4, and the challenges of setting up community interviews with the different developers. There's been a big, ongoing debate amongst players regarding story development this expansion -- in particular, faction story development. Players feel that the Alliance story has been somewhat left behind this expansion, to say the very least.

Zarhym decided to chime in and comment not only on this topic, but on the topic of interviews in general, and how hard the story development team works on the story behind the game we love to play. Given that we've done several interviews with various developers over the course of Mists of Pandaria, it was nice to see Zarhym's thoughts on the matter. Read on for his post in full.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Weekly news roundup with Panser of TradeChat

TradeChat's official WoW Insider weekly news recap is here once more, and as probably expected the biggest news on the tips of everyone's tongues is patch 5.4 and everything related. Topics covered in this week's video include:
If you like the show, make sure to subscribe to TradeChat, leave comments, and tune in next week for a new episode!

Filed under: News items

TradeChat interviews Dave Kosak

Panser of TradeChat has posted the video of her interview with WoW Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak about what's to come in patch 5.4. Covered topics include things to look forward to on the Timeless Isle, Wrathion's legendary quest line (including some discussion on the legendary cloaks themselves), the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, flex raiding, proving grounds, and the much-anticipated noodle cart scenario. You can watch it embedded above or head on over to TradeChat's Youtube channel to check it out there. September 10th is only two weeks away, folks!


Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Micky Neilson, Doug Gregory discuss The Burdens of Shaohao

Micky Neilson, Doug Gregory discuss The Burdens of Shaohao
The Burdens of Shaohao, a six-part series released earlier this month, was met with resounding praise across the board from players and devoted lore fans alike. The sweeping tale of the last Emperor of Pandaria was unlike anything we'd ever seen before from Blizzard -- a stunning, gorgeous piece of animated, narrative storytelling featuring artwork by Laurel Austin. While we've seen narrative tales in the form of cinematic-style storytelling, this is the first time we've seen anything of this nature.

We sat down with Lead Story Developer Micky Neilson and the director of Shaohao, Doug Gregory to discuss the piece and how exactly it all came to be. While we were originally supposed to have lead editor Lucas Merino on board as well, he was unable to attend the interview as he and his wife received a special gift shortly after the release of Shaohao -- a healthy baby boy! Despite Lucas' absence, we had a delightful time discussing the film, its development, and the possibility of future projects in the unique style of Shaohao.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Stormwind Harbor just fine in patch 5.4

Stormwind Harbor will be just fine in patch 54
Players may recall datamined spoiler images and videos from earlier this month, indicating a particularly disturbing fate was in store for the Stormwind Harbor in patch 5.4. The datamined information suggested that the Harbor and possibly more of Stormwind would be under direct attack from Horde forces and possibly ruined -- a low blow to the Alliance that are still diligently working on repairing the damage from Deathwing's attack in Cataclysm. But it's okay. You can breath a sigh of relief courtesy of Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak, who clarified this information on Twitter earlier today.


Don't worry, citizens of Stormwind -- your city appears to be safe and sound. You're just looking at the optimistic visions of an overly enthusiastic megalomanical warlord bent on global domination and the onset of racial supremacy. That's ... comforting, right? Either way, you can look forward to punching Garrosh in the face in patch 5.4, ruining any and all plans, or dream boards, that Warchief Hellscream was constructing.


Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Possible hint to the next patch?

Possible hint to the next patch
Mists of Pandaria has brought about a ton of visual changes, and not just to Pandaria -- Orgrimmar has seen a lot of evolution over the course of the expansion, what with the abrupt shut down of the Valley of Spirits and the wild Gamon chase all throughout the city. However, it looks like the Siege of Orgrimmar might not be the last patch we'll see in Mists of Pandaria after all -- Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak made an interesting comment on Twitter regarding the future of Orgrimmar.


Whether this is pointing to the usual lead-in patch for the next expansion, or a patch 5.5 in the works is, of course, completely up in the air. But it's nice to see that Orgrimmar won't be in a state of perpetual lockdown for good. It would be even nicer, however, to see the Vale restored at least a little bit in some sort of resolution -- after all, its appearance in 5.4 is kind of a shock. And if we're dead set on cleaning up Pandaria, wouldn't it be lovely to see some kind of evidence that we're serious about it? For that matter, seeing the Jade Forest cleaned up would be nice, too. Sure, it might take another hundred years to build another statue for the Jade Serpent, but I miss the orange trees.


Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Live WoW Developer Q&A Thursday, April 25

Next week Thursday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. PDT, the World of Warcraft community team will be hosting a live Q&A session with Blizzard developers/designers Dave Kosak, Ion Hazzikostas, Brian Holinka, Cory Stockton, and Greg Street. The last time we saw one of these with a developer collective was back in October 2011. More recently, in December 2012, Blizzard Customer Support hosted a Q&A of their own.

The full details and job description of each of the developers involved can be found below.

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Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

There will be no more 5-man dungeons in Mists, not Warcraft

Back in the dev interview that GamebreakerTV did we learned that Blizzard isn't planning any more 5-man dungeons in Mists of Pandaria. What has been lost in translation, however, is the fact that this just applies to Mists and not WoW in general.

Dave Kosak tweets:
This whole no more 5-man in Mists thing is kind of a surprise, but that doesn't mean we won't be getting more group content, and small group content in particular. Scenarios have become wildly popular amongst many WoW players, and it's entirely likely that Blizzard is focusing more attention on this. Blizzard has said before that scenarios are easier to design than dungeons, and there might be more room for the innovation therein, which Blizzard is known for pushing.

Filed under: News items

Blizzard developers discuss patch 5.2 and more

Patch 52 Developer fansite interviews
Last week was a flurry of preparation for patch 5.2's launch, including a whole host of developer interviews. WoW Insider had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak, but there were plenty more interviews to be had as the week progressed. And just in case you happened to miss any of that developer excitement, we've put together a roundup of all the fan site interviews in one handy spot.
While the same developers may have done multiple interviews, each interview offers a different look at what's in store for patch 5.2 and beyond. It's certainly nice to see the developers out and about in the community and talking content -- and one thing's for certain, everyone is pumped for patch 5.2's release. Be sure to check out all of the interviews for the most in-depth look at patch 5.2 you can get.

Filed under: Blizzard, Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 and beyond with Dave Kosak

Patch 52 and beyond with Dave Kosak
Hot on the heels of the official patch 5.2 trailer, we had the opportunity to sit down and speak with one of the developers behind it all. While chatting with Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak about patch 5.2 and its development, one thing became incredibly clear -- 5.2 is definitely not just a raid and a few dailies. There is far, far more to be seen and experienced in the new patch.

Read on for some of the details behind the trailer released earlier today, the story in the new patch, daily quest development, scenarios, and even a few hints at what's in store for patch 5.3.

Please note: There are a couple of minor spoilers for 5.2 content in the interview. Nothing huge, we promise!

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler and Dave Kosak switch jobs for an evening on Twitter

Ghostcrawler and Dave Kosak switch jobs for an evening on Twitter
When the Ghostcrawler is away, apparently the Kosak will play -- or at least, take over Ghostcrawler's job for a few days. Those following Dave "Fargo" Kosak or Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street on Twitter may have caught a flurry of tweets from the two. It all began with an innocent enough notification from everyone's favorite crustacean, letting followers on Twitter know that he would be fairly quiet over the next few days. Dave Kosak decided to respond and note that he would be taking over class tweets in the interim. Chaos, of course, ensued.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Humor

Talking patch 5.1 with Dave Kosak & Cory Stockton

Patch 51 interview with Dave Kosak and Cory Stockton
Patch 5.1 introduced a lot of new content, and a lot of new lore -- and who better to explain it all than Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton, and Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak? We sat down with both, along with Community Manager Zarhym to talk about some of the new features found in patch 5.1. Along with questions about the Brawler's Guild, both Kosak and Stockton addressed scenarios, daily quests, tweaking old content, that pesky matter of player housing, and what's to come in patch 5.2.

Patch 5.1 was an incredibly fast patch. Is this going to be a trend with Mists?

Cory Stockton: Yeah, for sure -- this has been our goal for a long time. We can't promise that we're going to have the exact same amount of content in the exact same amount of time, but it's definitely our intention to deliver patches in a time frame similar to this with a similar or larger amount of content. It just all comes down to each individual patch and the details of what we can do, but it's definitely our goal.

Dave Kosak: We'll alternate between patches that have raid content and patches that don't have raid content as sort of required by what players are doing in the game and try and space it out. But our objective has always been faster content delivery, and we're hoping that players are seeing that we're trying to live up to that.

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Filed under: Interviews, Mists of Pandaria

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