The MMO Gamer sat down for an interview with WoW lead developer Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan recently. You can hear the audio or read the transcript at their site, but for my money, here's the most interesting bit. In the middle of a rehashing of the debate over whether Blizzard should spend a lot of time developing raids that few people will see, he drops this great idea:
So what I want to do in Northrend is to take Naxxramas in all of its glory, scale it down to the 25 man raid size, and then take the difficulty and retune it-obviously we'd tune for level 80, it would no longer be tuned for level 60, since that would be a little silly and it wouldn't be a lot of fun for people at that point-but I want to put rewards in there that are very exciting to level 80 players, but make it the entry-level raid, very accessible, tune the encounters so that there's something for everybody to do, and let the majority get a chance to see that content that they hadn't seen before.
Naxx as the Karazhan of Northrend. I like it. I am one of the many who never got a chance to try Naxx the first time around, and I hear it's a well-designed raid. I also like that the entry-level raid is planned to be 25-man, not 10-man; the transition from KZ to Gruul and SSC has caused problems for a lot of guilds. Apparently it's also a bit of a misconception that raiding is unpopular; Tigole says out of all the instances in the live game right now, Karazhan is the one that gets done by the most people each week.
The interview goes on to discuss the links between WoW raiding and EverQuest raiding (Tigole was a raid guild leader in EQ for some time before working on WoW), and what Tigole would have done differently if he could go back in time to when WoW was first being made. It's a good read, like most developer interviews, so go check it out. But Naxx in Northrend? Awesome!