How World of Warcraft Was Made?

The 17-year-old game is still relevant. Find out about WoW on

World of Warcraft was designed as a response to other MMORPGs, whether the game experience in an online game could be even better. At the time, there were a few giants of the genre like Ultima Online and Everquest, and WoW had to compete with them and offer a new, innovative experience to players.

The game was based in the Warcraft universe, which was established in the RTS game: Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos. This universe was filled with various nefarious creatures, monsters, characters the player base fell in love with — all because of Blizzards’ pipedream to make a good game.

Creating a game is an undoubtedly hard but creating process, and World of Warcraft’s developers learned it the hard way: from run-down offices to non-scheduled chaos caused by the utter desire for creative expression through the WoW game. Games are hard to polish, the bug correction seems to be endless as too many bug fixes happen almost every month and players seem to find new ways to exploit the bugs.

Countless concepts and mechanics of World of Warcraft gameplay were handpicked from other games that preceded it. The team was engaged with other games not only as developers, but, in the first place, as gamers, that wondered if they could make an MMO experience even better than said other games. For example, the death penalty system in Warcraft is much more sparing than other online games: you don’t lose experience, all you have to do is find your corpse and resurrect — you won’t lose gear at all, only its durability; unless you resurrect at a graveyard: you will suffer a penalty to further experience gain.

World of Warcraft’s game ideas were quests. They wouldn’t feel like a means to an end than an end in itself. Players would pick a zone, enter it, do all the quests and proceed to the next zone. These zones would act as a training field to allow space for the player to get a better understanding of their characters’ game mechanics.

Rob Pardo, Blizzard’s game developer said:

“That was our on-paper design. But pretty early on, once we were doing team play tests, what we learned was the moment that you ran out of quests in your quest log, the game just felt broken and people didn’t know what to do,”

“It was definitely this big moment where the team was like, ‘Uh oh, I guess we have to do ten times as many quests as we thought we were going to do.’ But I think it’s one of those great moments that happen in game development, where once you find the nuggets that are really fun, you double down on it.”

The WoW team had to get bigger. So they had to hire new employees for quest design. According to Pardo, one of these new hires was associate game designer Jeff Kaplan, who you may also know as the game director for World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King and a small game called Overwatch.

World of Warcraft: November 23, 2004

When World of Warcraft came out on November 23, 2004, Blizzard Entertainment, after so much time beta testing, was finally released in North America and Australia. The European release would come in February 2005.

Many people know what World of Warcraft is — it is a result of ambition, risky game design, and innovative ideas. One of the big features of the game was raids — they were a key feature keeping WoW alive. In Classic, Onyxia’s Lair and Molten Core were 40-player raids available at launch, with Molten Core’s Ragnaros being a “final” boss of Vanilla WoW at the time. Blizzard made a legendary event available for players to fight over, causing huge guild wars over the Scarab Lord title which was obtained through the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj in the deserts of Silithus event. This would lead to the outdoor 20-man raid The Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj and the instanced 40-man Temple of Ahn’Qiraj.

Fast forward to 2021’s World of Warcraft

The last WoW expansion called Shadowlands was released on the 24th of November, 2020. It promised a lot of new game changes players craved and have requested. Those are new game mechanics, class changes, the newly implemented Covenant system, the Anima grind that came to replace Azerite, new mounts, gear, and so on.

World of Warcraft Shadowlands initial release date was planned on 1st of November 2019, however, the expansion wasn’t fully ready and polished, so Blizzard have decided to postpone it. Shadowlands’ pre-patch has aired on 13th of October, which laid a lot of character leveling revamp, customization, and new players’ experience leveling on Exile’s Reach (a new leveling zone for players below level 50).

Blizzard said they were happy with the results, yet the end game content needed more tuning.

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