Mists of Pandaria expansion to World of Warcraft will be adding literal kung fu pandas to the preeminent MMO, and Blizzard is hoping the hardcore players will accept it.
According to lead systems designer Greg Street in an interview with “I worry about the perception. I think after BlizzCon we faced this misperception that we were somehow forsaking our hardcore players. Which is not at all what we were doing.",
Street feels that just because the expansion brings some levity to the MMO, it doesn't mean that the game is being "dumbed down."
“There’s plenty of violence and sadness and death still going on in World of Warcraft. We’re not trying to dumb it down or shoot for a lower age demographic or anything like that. We’re just trying to offer more varied ways for players to play the games,” he stated.
He also revealed that Blizzard is looking to increase the gameplay avenues and options to the MMO, to prevent the game from getting too stale.
“If someone logs in and says, ‘I’m tired of PvPing, I’m locked out of my raids for this week, but I still want to play,’ you can go work on your factions," Street explained. "We have seven factions that all have these little mini-games you can do rather than just ‘I’m gonna kill Furbolgs until I’m exalted.’ That’s not the kind of gameplay we can keep asking players to do year after year.”
Llead quest designer Dave Kosak, on the other hand, insists that the core gameplay will remain the same, promising, “We’re not going to significantly change up WoW at any point in the future. I think there’s an expectation when you play WoW. Honestly, I think our combat game is really fun."
“When you get a quest to kill ten things, that lets you be your class, and you know exactly what to do, which means that you can concentrate on the story, concentrate on the atmosphere, concentrate on chatting with your friends. You can really be in the world,” he concluded.
Beta registration just World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, which is expected to have a 2012 release.for