Last week I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Ion Hazzikostas, Game Director of World of Warcraft & Calie Schie, Senior Game Producer at Blizzard Entertainment to ask them questions related to WoW Classic.
I decided to start the interview off with a few ice-breaker type questions to get to know their background a little better. One thing we spoke about was what characters they currently play, and I quickly learned that Ion still actively plays his original Shaman from Vanilla and plans to recreate it when Classic comes out.
We moved on to a bit more content related questions such as their planned length of Phases, which was stated that they don't have a concrete schedule and rather will let the community more or less set the tone based on progression.
Another interesting question I asked was if they have any intention to release other Legacy servers in the future, such as one for The Burning Crusade. They said they're open to what the community wants and where the demand is, and that they're not against the idea.
All in all, it felt more like a conversation than an interview. It was a pleasure to speak to both of them and gain further insight into the WoW Classic project.
I think for now, we're focused on recreating the authentic experience for WoW Classic, but as Ion said, we're always open to community feedback. We'll see what happens after Classic comes out.
Newman: Do you have a feel for how big you expect WoW: Classic to be? As a sustainable experiment, do you expect this project to be on the level of other IP variations within the company, or is this a one-off love letter to those fans that were assiduously trying to preserve history?
Brack: It's a great question, and I honestly have no way to answer it. Because there is not a realistic or reasonable way that anyone has done, that I have found, to sort of size, what is this thing? How many people are actually going to play it? I think there's going to be a lot of interest on day one. And then what is that level of sustained, 30-days-after interest?
The answer is, I don't know. If it is wildly successful, and there are huge numbers of people who are in it and are interested, and it becomes this call for the next thing, then I think that could be something that we talk about then. We certainly now have the ability to do it in a way that we never did before. It's something that now has become possible. Whether or not we will do it, I think will really depend on the fans' interest and the fans' reaction.
Newman: So there's the opportunity for, if folks wanted it, the vanilla server, the Burning Crusade server, the Wrath server?
Brack: Yes. I don't want to trivialize the amount of work that's required to do that, or the amount of time. It's not something we can just dial up and dial down at any moment. But assuming a wildly successful Classic, we'll see what the future brings.