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World of Warcraft Interview Discusses Battle for Azeroth, Shadowlands, and More

Game narrative is hard, you guys

Poorna Shankar Posted:
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A recent interview with World of Warcraft Lead Narrative Designer looks at Battle for Azeroth and the upcoming Shadowlands.

The interview was conducted with Windows Central with Lead Narrative Designer, Steve Danuser. The topics ranged from story challenges, the Alliance, aftermath of war, cinematics, and more. For example, the question was asked how the team keeps track of the complex story with the various characters. Steve replied,

“The challenge comes in pacing out that content in a way that makes sense for the game. Our goal is to tell a focused, entertaining story that our audience can follow and interact with. If we pull in too many characters at any one time, it runs the risk of making our narrative disjointed and hard for players to keep track of. We try to think in terms of which are the major characters and plot points of a given content update, which are the minor ones, and which we are better off saving for a later opportunity.”

He continued that pacing played a huge role, with some stories being self-contained, while others are complex and weave into others. Steve also touched whether or not the shifting focus between Sylvanas, Azshara, faction war, and Old Gods was planned or if it just happened,

“The actions of Sylvanas were inexorably intertwined with the war between the Horde and the Alliance. From the epilogue cinematics that introduced Azerite in the last content update of Legion, to her actions in the novel Before the Storm, to the novellas we released on our website and in the Collector's Edition, to the Battle for Undercity that kicked off the expansion, Sylvanas was at the center of it all.”

He continued,

“But Azshara and the Old Gods were in the mix from the beginning as well, seeded into Stormsong Valley and the Uldir raid. It was always our plan to delve deeper into those storylines, even though the faction war was the instigator that kicked off the action of Battle for Azeroth.”

Be sure to take a look at the full interview if interested, as it provides a fascinating insight into game writing and narrative.


ShankTheTank

Poorna Shankar

A highly opinionated avid PC gamer, Poorna blindly panics with his friends in various multiplayer games, much to the detriment of his team. Constantly questioning industry practices and a passion for technological progress drive his love for the video game industry. He pulls no punches and tells it like he sees it. He runs a podcast, Gaming The Industry, with fellow writer, Joseph Bradford, discussing industry practices and their effects on consumers.