World of Warcraft is one of the main franchises of Blizzard, and the launch of the expansion shadowlands naturally placed it as one of the main highlights of BlizzConline 2021, the fair at which the next update, Currents of Domination, has been revealed.
At the producer’s invitation, we spoke exclusively with Frank Kowalkowski, the technical director of WOW Shadowlands, and with Jeremy Feasel, the lead game designer. Check out how our chat went.
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands was one of the most well-received expansions by fans and critics alike. That should further increase the responsibility for new content, isn’t it? What can we expect from the next update?
Frank Kowalkowski: It’s very exciting, and we were very happy with the reaction from the players. This made us even more eager to bring more content to them, which is exactly what we’re going to do in Currents of Domination.
Jeremy Feasel: From a storyteller’s point of view, it’s going to be cool to see what the Jailer is up to, because he’s been a dark and mysterious figure for a while, working behind the scenes in the Shadowlands. We had met him a few times before, but we still didn’t know what his ultimate plan was. So this is the ideal opportunity to show what he’s been up to.
We will have lots of cool narratives, great quests for players to enjoy, and it will be possible to experience the next chapter in the plot of all Pacts. It doesn’t matter which one the gamer joined, now he can go to the next zone and see what happens to them. We will have great adventures not only for the Jailer but also for the Shadowlands as a whole.
I think fans will like where we’re taking things, especially when they step into the new Raid in the Shrine of Domination and face Sylvana Correventos herself. The end of this arc is truly amazing, and I can’t wait to see what people will think of it.
The union between the Pacts seems to be a big focus of the future narrative after everything we’ve seen in the release of shadowlands, right?
Jeremy Feasel: We have this feeling that the Pacts are joining forces now because, over the past few events, we’ve taken the anima around the world, restructured their forces, so the Dark Lands is once again a force to be reckoned with. And that’s one of the ways they can now face the Jailer.
But the Pacts will also help each other deal with the threats found in the different stories. Anyone, in any pact, can help themselves, especially when heading to the Gorja, as it has always been a hostile space for players, with the Jailkeeper’s dark influence preventing them from even mounting.
So the mere presence of the Pacts will already help to combat the evil influences, and it will be possible to summon the mounts again. The main idea is to establish that the Pacts are affecting the Jailer, so you can spend a lot of time there, and we’re adding a lot of activities as well.
There will be a whole new space that will be Korthia, the city of secrets, while the Pacts send direct attacks on the Jailer in Gorja, much like the invasions in legion, but this time taking the fight to them and working together.
And what can players expect to find in the new city of Korthia?
Frank Kowalkowski: Korthia is the city of secrets, right? It’s close to Oribos, so it’s going to have a lot of familiar architecture for players, even though it’s not at its best after the Jailbreaker’s attacks. It has new fauna and flora, while maintaining the atmosphere you would expect from the Shadowlands.
Jeremy Feasel: When we create art for these things, we usually think about what the area would look like at its best, what the trees and buildings were like when the city was still thriving. After we’ve created something beautiful and unique there, we need to destroy everything [risos]: kill the plants, demolish the buildings, show that a lot of destruction happened and how it became a terrible place.
How will the new Raid Raid with 10 bosses work?
Frank Kowalkowski: The Shrine of Domination is basically what you’d expect the Jailer’s home to be, and a perfect place for Sylvana to have her rendezvous with the players, who are basically trying to get to her and are going to face incredible bosses in varying locations, but never will doubt that they are in the place with the most Domination face among everything we’ve done in World of Warcraft.
From everything you’ve added in shadowlands, which mechanics or system they liked the most and think should continue to be explored in Currents of Domination?
Jeremy Feasel: I think the Renown system ended up working really well, as there are new things to do, new powers to gain, new gear to wear throughout extremely lore-focused quests, because it turns out to be quite rewarding to have so much to do. every week.
It turned out to be a great way to tell more stories about each of the Pacts, so that’s something we want to continue to expand on Currents of Domination, with a lot of new plot even from the Pacts of which the gamer is not part. But of course, if there is dedication to a particular Covenant, even more rewards will be received from it.
In addition, there are specific Covenant rewards. It will be possible to unlock the flight between the four main zones of the Shadowlands, with specific flight mounts and armor from each Covenant, which is always a good opportunity to create very different items. For example, Maldraxxus’ armor looks like an homage to the necromancer in Warcraft III, with large shoulder pads, but all in Maldraxxus colors.
Any final message for the Brazilian community of World of Warcraft?
Frank Kowalkowski: Thank you very much! I can guarantee that we are all passionate about the game too. We work very hard to deliver the best content possible, and I always like to say thanks, because we do this both out of the love of the game and because we know we have a community eager for more content from World of Warcraft.
Jeremy Feasel: I think fans will enjoy the opening ceremony, and I can’t wait to release it all. We have so much to show, and it’s going to be really cool to see how people react.
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