Coming back to Patch 6.2 and Hellfire Citadel, apparently it is the last raid of the expansion. Perhaps you will confirm this or not. How do you plan to bring content before the next expansion. Will there be a patch 6.3? How will you not have a long gap like before, because players didn't feel really happy to wait more than one year for new content in the game.
Yeah, we're not happy to have players wait for new content. It's not something we want to do, but we found ourselves in those situations where we're working on the new expansion, and as Blizzard devs, we're not going to release it until its at the quality level where it's going to be right.
Does that mean it's right to have a year gap? No, there's no excuse for that. But it's a definitely been a situation where we've been in, where we feel like we have to make sure it's right, it's good. It's better for the expansion to take a little bit longer and have it be great, than come out two months earlier with tons of issues.
So, that's something we're actively trying to avoid, we're working as hard as we can so the gap is smaller. In regards to future content patches, we've announced we're doing a 6.2.x patch that has flying in Draenor, the Pathfinder achievement, and that will offer flying to people.
That's our next announced specific patch that we'll be doing--introducing flying and a bunch of fixes to ensure that flying works correctly in Draenor for everyone. Outside of that, I don't have any specific info I can give you on future patches, what we would do between now and what our next thing is. Part of that comes down to how Patch 6.2 plays out on servers--we watch things closely, check and see how far players are along, how are they doing on raids, reputations--and we'll get a feel with how long that content will last. We're pretty reactive to that stuff, we're doing everything we can to make the gap smaller.
So is Hellfire Citadel the last raid of the expansion?
It's currently planned and that's the way we look at it--the wrap-up. It's hard to beat someone like Archimonde for a boss, as players know. He's a pretty amazing guy to fight. It's clear to people who have played the storyline--they saw Tanaan Jungle at the start of their experience and now they're wrapping around to it again. We see it as that pinnacle of where players are getting to.
For the future, are you planning on two raid patches for expansion?
Good question. We've gone back and forth. Sometimes we've had 4 patches, sometimes we've had 3. Here we're looking at 2 big patches with 6.1 and 6.2. If we hit the goal of patches getting shorter, an obvious impact is that there are less-large patches. Building big patches takes a lot of time. As you see that shrink, you see the number of patches shrink. But I can't give you an exact number, it's like a feel. It's like "Do we need a patch right now? Does it feel we need a patch in the next few months to give players something they want? ...because the raid takes a little bit longer, but we need something in the middle." So we'll come up with something that feels good with a patch, and we also try to have a plan for the story. Just like our community, the game is always changing--feedback, we play it ourselves, feel something has to be different. Have to keep up with the pulse.
At BlizzCon, you mentioned Faralhon, a zone that would have been introduced in WoD. Did you completely push it off, or do we have some hope to see it?
Faralhon was a very cool idea, something we were excited to deliver on. It didn't really fit into the story we were telling, how we expected it to play out. Things change over a course of an expansion, and there's a number of things we talked about that ended up different. At that BlizzCon, you could choose where your Garrison would be, another thing we realized wouldn't work. Things change, it doesn't mean Faralhon isn't an awesome cool place, it was on thh map originally because we thought there was cool story we could tell there--concept art, Netherstorm lore--but it didn't play into the expansion.
Does that mean we'll never do it? Totally not. When we have a cool idea, we latch onto it. We try to do those ideas later. Lots of things didn't make into TBC or Wrath, that we get in later down the line. Tol Barad didn't make it until Cataclysm, and we were talking about it all through Lich King, and it just didn't fit the Wrath story.
You announced from the beginning that Grommash was the end boss of the expansion. How did you change your mind during the flow of the expansion?
That changed when we were designing the raid, Hellfire Citadel. We felt like we wanted to do something that felt a little more, encompassed more of the story outside of Draenor. We positioned Grommash at that villian and he plays a big role. but Pulling Archimonde into it with the Dark Portal, everything feels like a grander scale. that's just a decision we made, it felt stronger. It doesn't mean that Grommash is any less of a character, if anything, it lets you know that the story of what's happening here is big, and it could affect the story in the future. It's making sure we end on a very epic note.