Assistant game director Ion Hazzikostas responded to a forum thread about expensive vendor items, and actively tried to dismantle the widespread belief that there exists a feeling of consensus in a world as massive and diversified as WoW's. He wrote:
"If I’d instead posted that we were going to reconsider and massively reduce the prices of the cosmetic items on this vendor, there would be other people feeling like their feedback was ignored.
It’s exceptionally rare that everyone wants the same thing,” he added. “And even then, there is a large silent majority that does not post on forums. If there were actual unanimity regarding a certain issue, we would change our design: For example, early on in Warlords, we changed Group Finder loot from Personal back to Need/Greed until we could iterate on Personal loot further, and the community overwhelmingly told us that was a dumb idea. The change was reverted within 2 days.”
He wrapped up his response by honing in on the value of tailoring different kinds of content to different groups, as opposed to just issuing one 'low common denominator' that lacks any real excitement, for anyone.
“If an awesome mount comes exclusively from PvP, the majority of players who don’t participate in PvP yet desire the mount would prefer that it were otherwise,” Hazzikostas explained. “If our goal were to please a majority, we would likely have to make a version of that mount also available through raiding, and one also available through outdoor questing and reputation, at the very least. But doing that would dilute the reward itself. Ultimately, the approach we take is usually to tailor different content and rewards that can feel special to different groups, rather than trying to come up with a lowest common denominator that isn’t special to anyone.”
You already get one level 90 boost if you buy the Warlords of Draenor expansion, but in order to allow players to level more than one character without buying multiple copies of the expansion, Blizzard is selling the boost separately at the same $60 price tag. Why $60? According to designer Ion Hazzikostas:
If our goal here was to sell as many boosts as possible, we could halve the price or more than that - make it $10 or something. And then hardly anyone would ever level a character again.
But levelling is something that takes dozens if not over 100 hours in many cases and people have put serious time and effort into that, and we don't want to diminish that.
The Nostalrius debate reached its head a while ago when a sh*toload of Vanilla server martyrs banded together in a wild mob to throw themselves off a cliff in a staged outcry of unrest over Blizzard's decision to shut down Nostalrius. See video:
Well, Blizzard, expectedly so, is busy making final preparations with Legion; but that didn't stop them from putting aside some time to play through a dungeon on Nostalrius. Here's what the WoW team of execs had to say about their experience:
“We got to play on the server for a little while,” he divulges. “It's really cool, they did an incredible job of building an experience that feels classic and authentic and that's incredibly hard to do. The painstaking effort it takes to research old videos to try and figure out what the data was because it doesn't exist anymore so you have to pull it out of the nether to put that experience together.
“The leadership team got together and we did a Stratholme run. John Hight [production director on WoW] was a Hunter and had a level eight pet and pulled half the instance, wiped us a few times. It was like, ‘why is the whole instance pulling? Oh it's your level eight pet!’ J [Allen Brack, VP and executive producer] was our priest, he’s like [casting buffs] and then sit and drink for 45 seconds, cast again, sit and drink,” he chuckles. “It's funny, we laugh at all that but it was a very moving experience because it's nostalgic and we all have very fond memories of playing that, that's when we were hardcore and all that stuff.”
Game director Tom Chilton also went on to offer up his take on Legacy servers:
“I think it's something that interests Blizzard and we've always had the thought that it would cool to do a classic server or a Burning Crusade server or a Lich King server or whatever.
“It's difficult to pull off and the real cost in terms of our ability to do stuff for the existing game or our ability to do other new projects would be meaningfully affected if we decided to put our resources behind that. Unfortunately, it's not just the push of a button.”