Greetings, ladies and gentlemen!
So, I just found out that former producer for WildStar, Stephen Frost, has acquired a position at Blizzard Activision as the Design Producer for World of Warcraft. As a fan of his work on WildStar, I am glad that he found more work in the game industry. Unfortunately, I was sort of hoping he’d lend his producing skills to another potentially amazing project instead of finding his way to a game that, from my perspective, has long since lost any semblance of intelligent (or generally good) design. On the other hand, this could be a blessing in disguise, and maybe, just maybe, his entry into the WoW development team will create a shift in how the game is designed. Though, that is really dependent on how much weight his position holds on the game’s direction.
After hearing this news, I began to wonder if World of Warcraft would once again become a game worth my time, and, more importantly, my money. The single greatest factor that has prevented me from going back has been the game’s overall design as it has progressed from expansion to expansion. The process has been the same achievement nullifying, power grind extending failfest that began with the introduction of The Burning Crusade (if not sooner). By the time the end of Wrath of the Lich King rolled around, I just didn’t want to waste my time playing a game that forced anything that I invested my time into to become absolutely irrelevant as soon as a major update or expansion was released. My internal hopes are that with Stephan Frost as a member of the design team, the next expansion will have features created from noticeably smarter design choices. This includes features that the dev team actually plans to build on with future expansions (cough garrisons cough).
It may just be a pipe dream, but I do keep up with the updates to World of Warcraft to see if there is anything worth coming back to. The graphical updates to the character models were awesome, but that wasn’t really good enough for me to force myself to endure gameplay that hasn’t seen a significant overhaul in a good while. Also, for a game based off the Warcraft RTS series, World of Warcraft has an extreme lack of focus on the “War” aspect. Especially since the current iteration is World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. There are some recorded accounts on WoW-centric YouTube channels, though I cannot recall which (Preach? Bellular?), stating that World of Warcraft hasn’t seen a significant addition to PvP for 2 years. That’s pretty sad. Given the PvP-centric-ish nature that WildStar had, perhaps Stephan Frost can make PvP relevant again (though, there’s still no hope for world PvP, lawls).
What do you guys think of Stephan Frost joining the WoW Dev team? Do you believe he can bring a new direction to WoW’s design? Do you know who Stephan Frost is? If not, are you telling me you have not witnessed the hilarious “Papi vs Frost” WildStar stream? Join the discussion below.