WoW Game Director Says Patch 9.1.5 Is A "New Perspective Going Forward"
To say it's been a turbulent few months at Blizzard would be an understatement. Leadership changes, in-game protests, employee walkouts, and campaigns calling on players to cancel their World of Warcraft subscriptions have caused Blizzard to go from one of the most beloved names in the video game industry to one associated with deeply troubling sexual harassment and discrimination allegations outlined in multiple lawsuits and investigations.To get more news about buy wow gold classic, you can visit lootwowgold official website.
Changes both big and small have come to Blizzard and its flagship title as a result. The World of Warcraft team put out multiple statements laying out their plans to make Azeroth a more welcoming and inclusive place, and while some of those changes are already live, many of them are set to happen with the release of the upcoming patch 9.1.5 for World of Warcraft's latest expansion, Shadowlands.
As the first patch to be released in the wake of the ongoing fallout from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing's initial lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, it's clear based on a recent interview that World of Warcraft game director Ion Hazzikostas intends for patch 9.1.5 to be a major turning point for both the development team and for Blizzard's MMORPG. Whether it's looking to create a more open, safe work environment or attempting to cast off nearly two decades' worth of assumptions about what World of Warcraft can be, Hazzikostas described patch 9.1.5 as the start of a "new perspective" for the game going forward.
Hazzikostas said recent months at the studio have been simultaneously extremely challenging and inspiring, as he witnessed Blizzard come together to find and fix problems in how the organization operates. Some changes have happened at a high level, while others have happened on a team-by-team basis.
"Some changes happened immediately," Hazzikostas said. "I don't want to say little because I don't want to minimize any of this, but it's things like reviewing the wording and how we phrase the job descriptions that we post for our roles, to make sure there aren't things that are subtly or subliminally deterring a diverse range of candidates that we want to attract. It's looking at practices for how we conduct our meetings, and to push towards a culture where it's well within etiquette to call people out for minor transgressions or talking over someone or interrupting someone in a meeting. The little things that can accumulate to create an environment where people don't feel completely at ease. Ultimately, for what we do, for the business we are in, which is creative and collaborative, we need everyone to feel at ease and everyone to trust one another, to feel open, to feel safe. At all levels of our organization, those are the conversations that are going on, asking, 'What more can we do?'"
The question of "what more can we do" has also manifested in the form of in-game changes coming in patch 9.1.5 to remove or alter problematic content. World of Warcraft is a 17-year-old game, and it's not exactly surprising that some older jokes, references, or imagery have not withstood the test of time.
"Unlike many products of art that you can say are maybe a product of their time--like old animations, animated shorts, Disney, you name it--from 80 years ago...World of Warcraft is an evolving, living world," Hazzikostas said. "[It's] something that was made in 2005 but doesn't remain in 2005, it's re-experienced and republished every day, every hour, for new people who log in for the first time and explore Azeroth. It's incumbent on us, [it's] our duty, that the world we are curating, the world we are the caretakers of, remains reflective of our team's values and our playerbase's values in 2021 and beyond."
Hazzikostas explained how the team is currently going about reevaluating older game content for the modern era. The World of Warcraft team has set up internal channels for team members to speak up about pieces of potentially problematic content that may be worth taking a second look at. He called it a bottom-up effort on the part of the team, with members calling attention to various aspects of the game that may have bothered them for a long time but, without an official method for calling attention to the content in question, was previously never looked at with a critical eye.
Once flagged for another look, a panel of team leads of different backgrounds, races, genders, and perspectives evaluate the content before determining whether or not it should stay as is, be reworked, or be removed from the game entirely. It all comes down to whether or not the content in question is making the game a less welcoming environment.