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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

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Exploring World Of Warcraft's Arenas
1:20 PM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GameSpy has posted a lengthy new article examining the arenas in Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft MMO. Blizzard's Lead Designer Tom Chilton and eSports Manager Joong Kim discuss a variety of topics including the introduction of tournaments to the game and the future of PvP in Azeroth.

GameSpy: Why eSports and why now?
Tom Chilton: Before this, we didn't really have a good forum for competitive eSports. WoW PvP was just kind of there. For example, our battlegrounds always had the limitations of the Horde having to play against Alliance, it was very themed toward the conflict within the game itself. So it didn't lend itself all that well to an eSports kind of setup. It works with arenas, and we feel like arenas can break through that.

GameSpy: Has shifting WoW over to a game with a full-fledged arena system for competitive players heavily influenced development in other aspects of the game? Making sure that classes and talents remain arena viable?
Tom Chilton: Sure, we call it the Arena magnifying glass. There's definitely more emphasis now on class balance. It puts everything under the microscope. Even what would ordinarily be considered extremely small balance differences really look big under the arena microscope. It's definitely influenced us in terms of the things we have to do so that players feel that it's a strong and balanced environment.
At the same time, WoW isn't just an arena game. We always have to play that against what the implications are for the rest of the game. To make sure that nothing that we do isn't making the rest of the game not fun. All aspects of the game are now tied together. Inevitably, changes that we make don't influence PvP alone, and don't influence PvE alone, so we're very cognizant of that every time that we make a change.

Head over to the site below to read the full article.

GameSpy: WoW Arena Tournament Interview
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