Jeff “Tigole” Kaplan criticizes WoW

WoW Logo 2Tigole spoke at the Game Developers Conference last week and discussed what he felt are WoW’s nine major flaws.  This is where you say, “This is a lore site, why should we care?”

You’ll find it interesting, because it all has to do with quest design and lore implementation.  Enjoy!


(Article courtesy of

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kesak March - 2009 at 11:36 pm

while I think there are certainly valid points, a significant amount of the game content is actually driven by the stories nobody reads, and a lot of the content referenced is from “vanilla wow” (not that the expansions and patched content are perfect – there is significant improvement in the player experience though)

take ulduar for example, it’s build based on the story of the titans and the problems thorim had. i didn’t read shit for quests in storm peaks, and I know there’s probably some cool stuff written in the quests if i read it. doesn’t change the fact that whatever story they made and character development exists and gives a preface to bosses whether or not you want to read it.

that and who wants to play a game where you click on a dude and he just says “go kill 5 wolves” and then you go back and he says “here’s some crap thanks”. i don’t read the quest text, it’s just not my thing, but i think seeing that some guy has something to say gives you the understanding that this guy has a story why he wants you to do something. for 90% of the population i’d guess that’s enough.

my gripe is mostly in the books and wall scrolls and tapestries and shit that lay all over and are hidden in places like the SM library or stratholme side-rooms with the book shelves. there’s probably awesome stuff written in those and some good story. there’s achievements to go read a bunch of books all over. given what they did with wrathgate and the sunwell 5-man mini-cinematic, I think there’s a lot of room to eliminate those, and just make a few awesome in-game cinematics like there are that people will actually watch and listen to, and be done with it.

hopefully that would give the quest designers some time to tweak out some new quests or events to immerse the player. I know i’ve never read a bombing quest’s dialogue, but it sure is fun to fly around and drop bombs on clumps of mobs from above knowing they can’t do shit about it and see a lot of numbers fly up and kill 100 things in 2 minutes or whatever. it’s quite a different experience than running around pressing moonfire to kill 10 wolves.

2 Isenhame April - 2009 at 3:47 pm

Well said Kesak! I think I agree with you entirely. I find the books are too long to read mid-instance when my allies are ushering me owards, and cinematics worked in in some other way would be an excellent alternative…perhaps with that patrick stewart fellow reading the text from the book aloud. Or, someone else with an equally captivating voice. If the quests became as abbreviated as this shmuck suggests they should, then it may well drive me away from the game entirely. I don’t always read quest text, but when I do, I greatly enjoy it.
And when I don’t read it, I still believe it’s important enough for me to do, since it was important enough to write a book report on. And besides, my next character can read it.

But Kaplan does have a few valid points. More effort put into less predictable quests would be excellent, and would be more enjoyable for players. However, his presence in the Blizzard company makes me fear for the quality of future blizzard games for one reason.

“We need to stop trying to write a book into our games.” Or whatever he said…

To me, this is what sets Blizzard apart from most other companies, they fill every nook and cranny with story, lore, and obscure cultural references. Characters have development, stories have lines, worlds have maps, races have languages!

I love being immersed in a fantasy world, but most games don’t give me enough to sink past my knees in. In WoW, I feel like I’m an ocean.

So, shorten the quest text to five words or less, and burn down Azeroth’s libraries. I can keep an open mind to that being a step forwards. But if you don’t work those words back into the game somehow, in cinematics, more elaborate quests, pick-up-able books, or some such…wow is simply going to start losing players. And I guarantee that if my immersive ocean of lore becomes a mere mudpuddle, I’ll be the first to set out in search of clearer waters.

3 Al Tucker September - 2010 at 7:41 pm

I have played wow from the begining and was not sure why the level went from 60 to 70 but went on to get the gear level and almos into black temple when they raised the level again to 80 now that i have the t10 gear and ready for the nevet level from icc there raising it again. when the word came out 8 months ago most of the people I was playing with have stoped playing and are waiting for the level change to restart they say they got all of the gear to the top like last time and threw it away for greens that were better. this is a problem with design. just think if the level was still at 70 and you had to get your t7 gear to get into the next highest instance and t8 to the next leveland intering into the land of the heros northrend that was advertised. it left Shat like a desert just like Dalaran alot of work went into the second expantion to turn it into a desert but if the level had not changed it would be full because you have to be there getting you lower tier gear to move up instead they power level to 80 and the first tier piece was t9 not 8,7,6,5,4
moving the level to 85 is another mistake, this new expantion you should have your t10 gear just to get in the front door without aggrowing the world on top of you, now just level to 85 and go in icc in a 10 man with 5 and take LK first run. was that the plan the team building this game should be looking at this instead of throwing away all your gear in 2 days because thats how long it took to level to 80 two days and then went nto black temple and made it look like deadmines with 25 man. see we pay alot of money every year not to get cheated out of a good game just saying bring them back to this great game and no more leveling just the gear you know you dont even get to sell you sant/ t10 gear you have to delete it so when you change the level to 85 all that work into the garbage and why because the game designers had lost the internal mechs of the Game
Think about it

4 Dennis May - 2013 at 4:26 am

Fascinating… How can you tell that?

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