Exclusive WoW Patch 4.2 Interview with Greg 'Ghostcrawler' Street

Updated Mon, Jun 27, 2011 by Saia


With Rage of the Firelands finally going live this week, we sat down with Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, World of Warcraft's Lead Systems Designer and to get the inside scoop on WoW, the Firelands and just how awesome this new patch is going to be.

It’s been over six months since Cataclysm launched, are you happy with how the game has been received?

Greg Street: Yeah, I’d say overall we’re really happy with the reaction and a lot of us are still playing the content.

So how many patches will be in the Cataclysm story arc?

GS: We usually approach it with a couple of different plans because we don’t exactly know how things are going to pan out. Then we can switch between them depending on what the player reaction is. We try to stay a little bit ahead but we don’t set things in stone years in advance.

The removal of keys in 4.2 has led to strong feedback from players, did you expect this?

GS: Yeah I was kind of surprised by the reaction to that. We knew that the raid UI was kind of hidden and we also wanted to add a new UI element for the dungeon Encounter Journal so we decided we’d add two more buttons to the bottom. Once we did that we started to run out of space so we tried to figure out if there was anything we really didn’t need anymore. So there’s the keyring, you don’t really see it, you kind of forget it’s there and there are all these random quest keys.

Our experience was that players don’t regularly open up their keyring and get all excited about it; we just don’t use keys in the same way anymore. Basically, it was a great way to simplify the game in a way that players won’t miss. But, of course, we were wrong and players are huge keyring fans. They certainly let us know!

So tell us about the Dungeon Journal.

GS: Well it was an amazing amount of work too. Originally we were going to just do the Firelands raid and then we thought we really should go back and do the two troll dungeons. Then we’re like, well we nerfed the content like Blackwing Descent and Bastion of Twilight in the previous raid tier for 4.2 so maybe we should explain those fights too and finally we just decided to do all of Cataclysm. It was a ton of work but we just decided let’s just explain every fight and so that’s what we did.

Are you planning to eventually include older dungeons in the Journal?

GS: Yeah, we wouldn’t have done it if we couldn’t commit to eventually doing all of the content. I would say the next thing up would be to do the leveled up dungeons. There’s not a ton of demand for the other really complicated level 60 and 70 raids. The players that do that tend to solo it anyway.

Greg is a nice guy and all, but lets face the facts. He has singlehandedly done more to hurt the game than any Blizzard staff member since the inception of the title.

Removal of keys? Another dumbing down of the game that is meant entirely to cater to a casual minority. I disagree strongly with this move. Attunements and Keys were NOT a roadblock to content, despite what some misguided people may believe.

I would come back and play again full time if someone else was at the reigns, until that day comes my WoW account is shelved.

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