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Tuesday, August 7, 2007
 

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An Interview With WoW Lead Designer Jeffrey Kaplan
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The MMO Gamer has posted an interview with World of Warcraft Lead Designer Jeffrey Kaplan. The interview focuses on questions about the game's appeal, mistakes made over the course of the game's development, and which players take advantage of raid content.

The MMO Gamer: On the subject of raids, I obviously donít know the exact numbers, but there are rumors floating around on the internet that only something like under two percent of players in WoW actually make use of the end-game raiding content. How do you respond to the notion that you are catering to a small, vocal minority, while ignoring the large majority of casual players?

Jeffrey Kaplan: I think that's kind of a misconception that we're only creating content for a small group of players. First of all, our statistics show that our most popular instance is Karazhan, that's getting done by more players right now each day we get statistics that show what our most popular instances are, and each day it comes back Karazhan, so a lot of people are doing that. We're coming out with Zul Aman in direct response to the popularity of Karazhan.

Now, in regards to some of the more difficult raid content, like Naxxramas, or like Black Temple, I think there is some validity to what you're saying, that not enough people are getting to see the content. In direct response to that, we want to take Naxxramas, what we felt was possibly one of our best dungeons in terms of game design, in terms of cool encounters, great art, it had some of the best music out of any of our zones, and a lot of people missed it, and I think they missed it for a couple reasons: One, it was super hardcore, it was our hardest dungeon of original World of Warcraft, the other reason is that it came only a few months before The Burning Crusade. I think a lot more people would have gotten the chance to experience it if they had the time to progress, but since they didn't, they missed it.

So what I want to do in Northrend is to take Naxxramas in all of its glory, scale it down to the 25 man raid size, and then take the difficulty and retune it obviously we'd tune for level 80, it would no longer be tuned for level 60, since that would be a little silly and it wouldn't be a lot of fun for people at that point, but I want to put rewards in there that are very exciting to level 80 players, but make it the entry-level raid, very accessible, tune the encounters so that there's something for everybody to do, and let the majority get a chance to see that content that they hadn't seen before.
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The MMO Gamer: Jeffrey Kaplan Q&A
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Archives  News  An Interview With WoW Lead Designer Jeffrey Kaplan