Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag brack

J. Allen Brack talks to Wired about Pandaren and Pet Battles

J. Allen Brack, the production director for World of Warcraft, was interviewed by Wired.com about the upcoming expansion Mists of Pandaria, why Blizzard's introducing the Pandaren now, and what the future holds for the increasing number of expansions needed to be purchased in order to play an up-to-date version of the game.

Brack says that the idea for the first neutral race actually was rooted in the Goblins for Cataclysm, since the Goblins would have made an excellent neutral race, but the team was adamant about giving the Alliance a more sinister race to play. The Goblins for the Horde filled the whimsical role nicely.

The Pet Battle system coming with Mists of Pandaria is going to require a lot of tuning, according to Brack. The feel of the system is going to be much more "rock, papers, scissors" than "all-powerful rare pet wins the fight," giving a lot of hope to collectors out there who want to use some of the more esoteric companions in battle without having to always pull out the best pet.

Finally, Brack made an important point about the "expansions every year" comment and goal of the development team. Brack explains that the concept is nice but not something feasible in the present time and that Blizzard has not been successful with rapidly turning out content. Cataclysm, it turns out, took longer to develop than any other expansion.

You can read the full interview on Wired.com.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is the next expansion, raising the level cap to 90, introducing a brand new talent system, and bringing forth the long-lost Pandaren race to both Horde and Alliance. Check out the trailer and follow us for all the latest MoP news!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Potential character model revisions in Cataclysm

WoW's fifth anniversary and the interviews surrounding it have ended up providing us with some previously-unknown tidbits of information -- which is a good thing, especially when it comes to stuff we've been wanting to hear about for a long time.

This particular tidbit comes from the Warcry network interview with J. Allen Brack and Samwise Didier about the game's anniversary, and it's about a subject near and dear to our constantly-complaining hearts: new character models. They might even be coming in Cataclysm.

Says Brack:
"Even though things would be better with new (character) models, we'd probably spark a lot of player outrage. So we've talked about giving players a choice between the classic models or the new ones, but it might not be something we want to take on at the same time as we remake Azeroth."
That's pretty big news.

Read more →

Filed under: News items, Expansions, Interviews, Cataclysm

Joystiq interviews J. Allen Brack



Intrepid reporter and all-around cool guy Kevin Kelly over at Joystiq scored an interview with J. Allen Brack during the festivities at BlizzCon 2009. Just in case you're not aware, J. Allen Brack is the lead producer for our beloved World of Warcraft, having joined the team back in 2005. Kevin's a pretty smart cookie, and managed to get some great insight into the game from Brack. The interview's worth a full read, but there's a lot of insight that's worth spending some time talking about.

It's not any surprise that Brack told Kevin that there's no end in sight for WoW, and that he expects the game to survive at least another 10 years. But Brack immediately followed up by saying that Blizzard has changed the way they view the franchise novels recently. Back in the day, it seems, they just let authors go wild. "Go off and create a kind of story in the world," Brack told Kevin. Now, however, it seems like the creative team is spending more time trying to make sure the novels reflect what they plan in the game, as well as vice versa.

Brack confirmed that Blizzard still keeps an eye on what other games are doing, and will bring that into the World of Warcraft by giving it their own take. That comment reminded me of the discussion about upcoming Fishing changes in Cataclysm, and how the new fishing system was inspired by Animal Crossing.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Interviews, BlizzCon

Blizzard and the hidden population of disabled players

A Dwarf Priest has a nice long post up about the relationship between Blizzard and one of the more hidden (and yet surprisingly large) groups within their population: disabled gamers. It's no secret to anyone who's played WoW for a while that a lot of disabled gamers have found a lot of solace in a social game where you can be almost completely anonymous and play a character at whatever pace you want to play. Even if you go with the lowest of estimations, there are about 525,000 people playing the game with some kind of disability in real life. That's a much bigger number than I expected, and it's a significant number of people paying Blizzard every month.

Fortunately, Dwarf Priest found that accessibility is relatively good in Blizzard's game -- most of the work is actually done with third-party addons, but the UI and display is so customizable that even with the default interface, many people without a full range of controls or movement can figure out how to play the game. For their part, Blizzard has agreed that a customizable UI is the best way to make a game accessible -- J. Allen Brack says that's a priority in this interview with Able Gamers.

Dwarf Priest has lots more, including a quick comparison with accessibility in Warhammer Online, and even a weird wrinkle in the Glider lawsuit (the botting program's creators are apparently claiming it helps disabled players play their characters). It's a very well-written post about a subject that doesn't get covered much, and there's lots of extra reading to dig into at the bottom as well.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items, Add-Ons

Chilton content to endorse multi-boxing

Belfaire already explained previously that Blizzard's okay with the idea of multi-boxing, whether it's for PvE use or even to compete in the Arena. In the same Eurogamer interview that discusses the new phasing technology, Tom Chilton reinforces that Blizzard is "content to endorse multi-boxing to some reasonable degree."

Eurogamer was focused on the possible abuses of Blizzard's Recruit-a-Friend program, and the speed with which players can create and level new accounts. Chilton says that if someone wants to drop the bucks on a new account -- not only the retail fees, but also the subscription cost -- then Blizzard's okay with that.

J. Allen Brack immediately brings the discussion back to a point I've previously made -- the idea is really to help players get ready for the new expansion. You can bring in a friend or family, and get them to a level where they can play with other friends very quickly. They want new players to be able to "roll a Death Knight and be ready to go."

Now, Chilton did say the endorsement only goes to a "reasonable degree." I suspect if we see vast abuse of multi-boxing in multiple areas of play, the endorsement might quickly be repealed or re-focused. But, for now at least, Chilton has confirmed Belfaire's statement -- Blizzard's okay with multi-boxing.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Interviews

Blizzard says MMOs might work on consoles, but not WoW

Here's one more interview with the folks at Blizzard from Leipzig today -- play.tm sat down with J. Allen Brack and Tom Chilton during their interview marathon to chat more about Wrath of the Lich King and our favorite game. Unfortunately, with all the talking they've been doing lately, there's a little reptition -- we hear again that the game will provide content for both hardcore and casual players, and they mention a possible graphical overhaul again.

Their answers about the "biggest advancement" in Wrath are interesting though -- Brack says that he thinks the fact that they're introducing a new class to the game for the first time has been the biggest design challenge so far. Chilton is excited about the achievements (as am I) -- they should provide a lot of new ways for players to extend their gameplay and get rewarded for new accomplishments.

They also talk about a few things players don't usually associate with MMOs: social networks and consoles. Brack says that both are possibilities for Blizzard, though consoles wouldn't really work with World of Warcraft as we know it. Any MMO, they say, for consoles would have to be designed from the ground up to work with the hardware, and that's not something (including the next-gen MMO, we assume) that Blizzard is working on at the moment.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Leveling, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

Brack: Will Blizzard consider a graphical overhaul? "Yep, probably."

Chilton and Brack are just all kinds of talkative at the Leipzig Games Convention this year -- in addition to chatting with the buffed.de folks, they also sat down with Jeff Kaplan and Eurogamer, and the results of that conversation are now up on their site.

They start out by talking about the changes with 10 and 25 man raiding, and Kaplan says plainly that the Burning Crusade endgame was just too plain hard: "We just had: 'OK, welcome to level 70, here's a brick wall. Maybe you can climb it.'" There will still be a hardcore endgame in Wrath, but it'll be later on, near the very end of the raiding ladder. They also describe Wrath as a "coming home" moment -- after an "exploratory" period in Outland, Wrath will be a return to Warcraft's tradition and lore. And perhaps most surprising, Brack actually lends a lot of credence to a question about a graphical overhaul "from the ground up." He says that by the next expansion they'll "probably" have to look at updating the graphics system completely.

And finally, Blizzard believes that yes, even though it doesn't seem like it now, eventually there'll be something bigger than World of Warcraft. Brack's last word is an interesting look at the future: "Something will come along and WoW will be like EverQuest: a great game I played back in the day."

[via WorldofWar.net]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

The family that games together stays together

We've covered the topic of family members gaming together before, but Sonya Smith, Gadgetress of the OCRegister, brings an interesting story about it to light, which she learned about on her tour through Blizzard's new HQ.

Like our own Amanda Dean, J. Allen Brack, senior producer over at Blizzard Entertainment, plays World of Warcraft with one of his parents. Unlike Amanda Dean, his relationship is paternal. Brack relocated to California from Texas two and a half years ago to take his position at Blizzard, moving away from his family. Interested in the work his son had taken up, Brack's father began playing the game himself, having never been a gamer prior to that. Now they use the game as a way to spend quality time together, half a country apart.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories