You are currently viewing Blizzard Interview for WoW Dragonflight Alpha – With Patrick Dawson

Blizzard Interview for WoW Dragonflight Alpha – With Patrick Dawson

As the Dragonflight Alpha is in full swing, we participated in an interview with Patrick Dawson (Production Director). Here is the full interview.

Dragonflightthe next expansion of World of Warcraft, begins its alpha cycles in a new way never before seen in the history of the game, with precise and organized phases. So we were able to discover a lot of new things and ask a few questions.

Breakflip had the chance to participate in a round table with Patrick Dawson (Production Director) and other journalists. Here is the full transcript! We have also prepared a summary of this interview for you.

Disclaimer: The questions and answers have been organized in chronological order of the interview.

Complete interview for World of Warcraft: Dragonflight by Patrick Dawson

There have been some debates surrounding Dragonflight’s release timing. People are wondering if it’s a bit early to release the next expansion. What is your answer to this fan question?

Patrick Dawson: “It’s pretty close to our usual cadence for releasing expansions. The end of 2022 will be 2 years since we released Shadowlands so that’s not bad. When we release a set, we’ve been working on it for years, not just a few months. We started working on Dragonflight before the release of Shadowlands. A lot of love, effort and care has gone into creating this expansion. I think what may alarm players is the difference in Alpha philosophy. We use this new method to try to get very specific feedback on each of the areas. We start a little later but continuing to release content for the alpha will keep the hype going throughout. I’m excited for players to discover the game and realize that the end of the year is a good release target. »

Are you going to let us do Dragon Riding everywhere?

Patrick Dawson: “The Dragon Riding is amazing, the feeling we have when using it is the point on which we have worked the most. For now, we’re really focusing on the Dragon Islands and how this system fits into the islands. There are no plans to bring Dragon Riding to Azeroth but depending on player feedback we could think about it but for the Dragonflight expansion it will be an island exclusive feature. »

How much time has been invested in Dragon Riding? The movements, the physics, the design is a lot of work. And you are going to update the interface and the talents, what can we expect?

Patrick Dawson: “These are very good questions. Regarding Dragon Riding, we started working on it a long time ago. What we do when we work on such projects, we wonder what additions we can make to an extension. Once we have determined the additions we want to make, we assign them to smaller teams who will evaluate how fun they can be. So you’re right, Dragon Riding took a lot of time. For a year and a half, we have experienced the feeling of Dragon Riding a lot. And now we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to integrate it into the content.

For the interface and the talents, we started a while ago. What you see in Alpha is really the first fruit trials of our work. For the interface, we are really on a work in progress we will add functions as we go. I especially like the new channeling bars. All of these additions have had a lot of internal builds, discussions, and testing. »

There are a lot of things to do before you can play an alt in Shadowlands, what will Dragonflight change?

Patrick Dawson: “I think Shadowlands has evolved a lot on that. After 9.1.5 we listened a lot to the community and we deeply changed the mechanics to catch up with the power level of the current patch. At Dragonflight, we want there to still be a feeling of progress when you play an alt, but we also want to see what part of the content should only be played once to be able to skip them without playing them with your alts. »

Dragonflight looks way more advanced than other alpha expansions, is that just an impression?

Patrick Dawson: We always wanted this alpha to be much more advanced than in the past. Before we released the alphas in less advanced states and every X weeks we released a new area or something and after 2 / 3 months the game appears in its almost final form. We then asked ourselves “Does it make sense to do that?”. We were then inspired a lot by the way we test the raids. When we test a raid, we activate certain bosses for a certain period of time, to focus all the attention on this boss. Rather than having an alpha not really planned, we will rather have a shorter period for the alpha but with a precise plan, for example with the zones. There we already have the Travée d’Azur, then we will deactivate the Travée to see the next zone and we repeat this process in a loop. We really want there to be things to do every week, either with new areas, new dungeons, new talents, new professions… It’s thought to be in a shorter time to be able to focus on specific parts. »

Are there things you would like to change about Shadowlands? Maybe about the storytelling?

Patrick Dawson: When we make an extension, we receive positive and negative feedback. We look at the parts that have received the most criticism and modify them. Regarding the narration, there are things that were quite confusing for the community so we will change this point. For the next expansion we focus on the feeling of exploration and wonder. »

Are you going to improve the Darkmoon Faire?

Patrick Dawson:We improve this content from time to time but in general we do it not at the release of an extension but rather in the additions of content following the release. »

Most evocative skills have a 25m range, are bosses going to be designated around that?

Patrick Dawson: “It’s a mid range class. Since dragon fantasy is based on breath skills, the class needed to be in a bit closer combat, spitting from 40m doesn’t make too much sense.” »

Did you learn from Classic?

Patrick Dawson: “We take inspiration from everywhere, including Classic. For Classic, it’s partly the talent tree but also the world building. The new area is almost larger than Northrend. We learned from Classic that not everyone needs to be populated, the “negative” space is also important, we don’t need to have to do anything everywhere. If we are going to do an extension on exploration, we have to do these huge areas with places without particular activities. »

Dracthyrs are an advanced class, how long will casual and veteran players take to master the class?

Patrick Dawson: “We have set up a starting area that will really take the time to introduce each spell, you will learn the class over time, without rushing. Once you reach the endgame, you will have had time to familiarize yourself with the class and additional depth will appear. »

Any other class specs that would go mid-range like evoker?

Patrick Dawson: We’ll see what happens with the evocator. If one day the players want to see more things in this direction, we do it whether it is with a revamp of spec or a new class. »

How is Dragonflight developing internally?

Patrick Dawson: The majority of the game has been finished, there are still a few features to finish and we will add depth and polish what already exists but for now we are at the right point to release the game at the end of the year. »

Why did you choose not to get out of borrowed power systems this time?

Patrick Dawson: “These systems are thematically tied to the sets they came out in. There were good points but also negative points, whether for the devs or the players. For Dragonflight, we wanted to find something more grounded that changes the way you interact with your class and not just adds an extra weapon to your character. We will continue to deepen the systems as the talents as the game evolves we will deepen these systems. »

How long will the feedback in Europe take to come to the devs? Is using US forums better?

Patrick Dawson: “Whatever your language, there are teams that explore the different forums and collect feedback. The more people talk about a system, the more likely it is to reach developers but everything will eventually come to our ears, including the bugs announced via the forum system. Providing feedback directly through the in-game tool is surely the most effective way to provide feedback. The forum is really not the only way we receive feedback, we will get it everywhere, express yourself. »

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