Battle for Azeroth – Island Expeditions – Developer Insights


Hi everybody, my name is Jeremy Feasel. I am a game designer working on the Island Expeditions feature for Battle for Azeroth, and with me today is my producer. Yes, hello, my name is Daniel Stahl, and I am working with Jeremy on this wonderful feature, that I have to say,
I am really in love with. Yeah, we’re super excited
to be able to talk to you today about the Island Expeditions feature. This is the first time
we’ve talked about it since BlizzCon, and we’ve got some
interesting stuff to chat about. Yeah. So, at its core,
your goal on an island expedition is to show up and gain Azerite. This is this powerful substance,
the blood of the planet, that empowers your Heart of Azeroth, but is also being used
by both the Alliance and the Horde as a weapon of war. Players are going to gain Azerite
from a variety of different sources. Everything from Azerite crystals
of all different sizes growing up all over the place, to treasure chests,
where the denizens of the island have gathered up some of it
for themselves. You might fight powerful rare spawns,
rare elite chieftains of whatever the island’s inhabitants
happen to be. That’s one of the things
that we were really trying to capture with Island Exhibitions
was this feeling that you’re exploring
this unchartered land. that we’re not just going to put
all the sources of Azerite on your map from the start. In fact, you’ll be limited
in what you can see based on yourself
and your party members’ visibility, so you have to explore your way
across the landscape a little bit. To me, that’s what makes it feel
like an expedition, because I’m not looking
at my objective tracker saying, “OK, let’s do this, this, this”. We have to talk.
We have to decide as a team what’s the right strategy for us. And another one of those layers that I think helps make this
a fun adventure is that unlike a lot of the spawning
in WoW, nothing on Islands is static. You might spawn up at a location and sometimes
there’s a Hozen fisherman there, and sometimes it’s a giant clam, and sometimes it’s a quest giver trapped in a cage,
that needs a key. We have these hundreds of locations
all across the landscape, and tons of different things
can show up there, ensuring it’s
a completely different adventure every time that you go there. While you’re on this expedition, you’re going to be looking
for sources of Azerite, but then an events going to occur. Yeah, you might be travelling up a hill
to get a chunk of Azerite, and then all of a sudden,
the ground shakes underneath you, and Azerite springs up from
a separate location on the island, where it wasn’t there before. Suddenly, you have to make a decision
about whether you’re going to run back
and grab the Azerite or keep going
in the same direction you are. You’re not the only ones
that are after this Azerite. It’s not just Horde and Alliance that
are trying to get this stuff. There’s others, right? Yeah, tons of groups of creatures
all across Azeroth are after this stuff. I mean really, whoever has the most of it
is going to have the most power. So you’re going to find everything, from the Naga to elemental lords, will show all you start gathering Azerite
on the island and try and take it from you. And you know, Daniel,
you’re not alone on the island. It’s not just the Alliance there. There are Horde forces there as well. That’s right. Depending on the faction you’re playing. I’m playing the Horde, and I look out and there’s another ship
of the other faction, and… these aren’t players. They’re something different and new. So this is a new group of creatures,
that we’re calling advanced NPCs. They have more abilities
than you might be expecting from a creature in World of Warcraft. They have intricate knowledge of how to play through
this gameplay space. -Oh, do they!
-They can play the island, just like a player can, and will give you
a run for your money in terms of trying to get the Azerite. You know, the team has been having
a lot of fun making these enemy champions. The first thing I do,
when I roll up to an island, is I get off the boat, and I immediately want to know
who am I facing. Absolutely. We’ve been having fun
from a couple of different perspectives, and one of them is just making
interesting members of the opposing faction to fight. If you’re a Horde character,
it’s a lot of fun to fight a really wacky group
of mechanized gnome characters. If you’re an Alliance player,
of course you expect to fight a Headhunter Darkspear troll, that really encapsulates what it means
to be a Darkspear member of the Horde. But, in addition, our AI NPCs
also have different tactical layers. So, one particular group of the enemies might play the island
by getting a little bit more in your face and trying to find the Azerite from you,
as a very aggressive group. While another group
might be more defensive and prefer to avoid the player and try to take the Azerite out
from under you in areas that you’re not going to. So sneaky! We have this wide variety
of different abilities to give the AI tactical knowledge
of the island, and that means
that they’re also very unpredictable. You’re never sure which group
you’re going to be facing off against and what tactic they’re going to take to
try and win today. We’re planning on having
4 different difficulties: Normal, heroic and mythic, of course,
but also a separate PvP difficulty where you can race against
3 flesh and bones members of the opposing faction to see who can get the Azerite first. I’ve been jumping into Islands
and really having a lot of fun. One thing that really sticks out to me
is that I get to play my character the way I love to play my character. I’m there with my team, we’re trying to figure out
which way to go, what’s the best strategy. And depending on who I’m with,
I really get to play a role. And that feels very special to me. A lot of the creatures on islands
have been built with that idea in mind. That you have a set of tools
in your toolbox as a player: You have interrupts, you have stuns. So we’ve created powerful elites
that are maybe pretty difficult to take on on your own. That is probably one of my
favorite parts of it: when you arrive on the island, you don’t know where the challenge
is going to be. You might see a large Azerite cluster
in the middle of 3 elites, and knowing that you can’t take that on, but with some co-ordination,
with some consumable usage, with usage
of things you find on the island, you definitely can overcome it
at certain points. Thank you for letting us talk to you about
Islands Expeditions. It’s really been fun. It’s a feature we’re really excited about
personally, and we’re also really eager to get it
into your hands as soon as possible. So, thanks for listening. On behalf of the World of Warcraft
Development Team, we hope you enjoy Battle for Azeroth.

100 thoughts on “Battle for Azeroth – Island Expeditions – Developer Insights

  1. azerite= artifact power? and when i have worked hard to get more than everyone else, you just going to give them 50mill azertie as catch up mechanic?

  2. Fix PvP again. Fix world PvP … Legion ruined it all. Bring back the old PvP.. not like legion 2 click classes and call it a rework? We never asked for rework but we got it and so far no one seems to like how boring the classes are right now.

  3. No rpg value,created to sunk in hours to farm currency and divert attention from lack of meaningful content. However it uses prebuilt code so it's relatively 'easy' to develop.better use the time to create some questlines or develop professions imo

  4. Bringing dynamic content to World Of Warcraft…rekindling that sense of immersion, adventure and exploration we all felt when we first started playing. I didn't think this was possible, but you guys did it. This is incredible.

  5. You know, They are calling it Island Expeditions, But it looks more like Island Expidition(s). There seems like there's only one island map. Gonna feel VERY same-y every time with just mobs being different. I mean anyone with some basic knowledge could make an island in UE4 or something. So they've gotta be able to make more than one. But it's the WoW dev team. Minimal effort is the norm now. Which is depressing.

  6. tell your employees to stop milking the consumer and give us vanilla or get edgier and less safe space for users

  7. I am looking forward for it, but honestly i didn't play Pandaria at these times and i am doing that content now when i am done with leg content for a week. Like hunting achievements, doing Story Line of Pandaria and i gotta say – I LOVE IT. For me Lich King and Pandaria as for a player who started with WoW since Legion are the most amazing contents in WoW. Would like to get something like Pandaria but situated in Japan, like Samurais, Sakura, Sake etc… Just dreaming of it, but hope so in future will get it.

  8. This looks like it's gonna give solo players a run for their money; since queued groups won't be coordinated at all, but at least they're trying to vary instances with dynamic enemy spawns.
    Definitely changes the formula up when you go to do a run and don't know every spawn location off the bat.

  9. Jeremy and Daniel,

    These guys are amazing at getting information across, the way this video comes across really makes me want to indulge in this new sport which is a addition to BFA. Even other information I have gathered makes me think BFA is truly going to be a amazing expansion to this game . Boy we needed it. But you guys really need to cover more videos for this game.

    Thanks for a great view time 🙂

  10. I have to say, I do have an issue with the random spawns. This just creates problems in the game. There really needs to be more chances for the rarer stuff, otherwise, many will feel very left out.

  11. I am a bit confused about the PvP In Island Expeditions. When they said about 3 vs 3 is that against actual players ? or what form of these will have player vs player .. or is it the just the advanced NPCs ?

  12. Yes upon second viewing I come to the conclusion Blizzard is creating a method that forces people to play as a group in order to enjoy the full experience of World of Warcraft. FORCED GAME PLAY SEEMS TO BE THE NEW PATH OF BLIZZARD.

  13. I've played WOW since day one. At times, I've had two accounts at the same time because I was hiding from my raiding guilds >.< so I don't have a life, get over it. WOW, WORK, WOW, WORK. I've never had invites to alpha or beta test and I've never really cared one way or the other. However, this is first time I regret I do not have invite to the test. Since this is a publicly owned company, the stockholder only care about the bottom line, which is how much money they can make at the end of the day. As a business major, I understand that 100%. However, as a WOW player, I hate you stockholders! You suck! Eat shit and die! I've pretty much grew up with WOW and I hope they will not force me to play something else. Every interview I've watched so far is a waste of time. Dear Lord, I think I see Mine craft in the near future…

  14. What scraps are you going to toss the Alliance while surging ahead with your never-ending mission of Horde worship?

  15. So now it looks like azerite which you will need is there to be found andthen when you do whether you like it or not you will at busy times probably be forced into PvP for it or and possibly AND get involved in the new PvP like activity NPC v P ffs.

    Too much pvp already I hope there is away of making that type of interaction avoidable for those it not on specific pvp servers

  16. Sounds real cool guys, like those new npc's, and that things are different each time you go to the islands.

  17. Would be nice if you'd introduce some action combat mode, at least similar to Guild Wars 2's combat+action camera mode. Also, it would be nice if the mandatory grind imposed by keeping up with the ilevel would be reduced and replaced with other activities, consisting of fun dynamic/replayable experiences (like pvp) or various paths of progression towards alternate builds and transmogs.

  18. First there were battlegrounds…stun stun stun, I'm dead. then there was arenas…stun stun stun, I'm dead. Now there's Island Expeditions…stun stun stun, I'm dead. Do you really think I'll be tricked into playing your new form of PvP? I like to be able to play too.

  19. High Elf sighting at 3:38. It’s definitely not a Void Elf. All the other races in that segment are playable or will be playable. High Elves as an Allied Rave conformed?

  20. This sounds like the best and most exciting feature coming with Battle for Azeroth. WoW has been dying to get some real variety in its gameplay and this will make for a perfect co-op experience with friends, not knowing what kind of adventure is in store on your random island.

  21. I don't mind resource grinds like this. I only wish they scrap garrison/order hall-like missions. Terribly boring stuff.

  22. An interesting feature would be a case in which the faction leaders appear on the islands, also searching for azerite clusters.

  23. When they said other races will try to stop you when you start collecting azurite it kind of turned me off. Makes it sound like starting to loot some will just be a mini defense quest.

  24. In terms of "Gameplay", I find most MMO's lack. WoW is just the most polish, but I still don't find the MMO fighting mechanic to be really fun.
    What I enjoy is making my own custom character with my own unique abilities, appearance, and story that I can show off to other people online.
    I like the gameplay involving the garrisons and order halls. Maybe evolve that a bit more to add some strategy-game elements and let me actually train recruits to build my own person army I can fight PvE or PvP battles against other armies with – like in the original Warcraft.

  25. So another words when this comes out, let ppl fight for this new material, let them farm and grind to build this up and then wait awhile and then blizzard will make it that everyone can have it and make those ppl feel like they wasted their time like every other new addition to the game, in today’s modern WoW, it pays to be lazy and wait for them to hand given it to everyone.

  26. This AI tech is Blizzard's way of testing a feature that will be widely implemented in the next expansion. Would make for great challenges in the world

  27. I said months ago, this expansion is going to blow people away. I expect a big surprise some months into release. A lot of us do actually so i guess it isn't a surprise lol, but word is spreading of a threat from the depths! CAN'T WAIT!

  28. I've wasted so many days of actual play time to farm these mounts and have still only one so far… please add them to the dubloon vendor or at least make the drop chance realistic. The way it is right now makes it definitly the worst feature ever added to WoW for me.

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