WoW Insider: Are you guys ever considering merging attack power and spell power together, since you've been homogenizing stats and gear?
Chilton: We actually considered that for Lich King, however... essentially the math behind it was... it got to the point where it wasn't feasible to be able to do it with the Lich King launch. The retroactive changes would've applied to everyone's itemization, and characters, talents, all that kind of thing. It ended up being too much of a hurdle for us to do with Lich King. It's still something we've considered, and I'm sure we'll consider it again later down the line. If the timing becomes right and the need is still there for it, then we'll consider doing it.
There's also a certain amount of fun to putting together multiple sets. Like its fun to put together a PvE set and your PvP set, and that's kind of cool. We don't want to take that away entirely. So if you're a Hybrid class like a Shaman, you're putting together your Enhancement set and an Elemental set and that's pretty cool, but it can go too far.
With The Burning Crusade the itemization became so different that when an item would drop, it's not any good except for one guy of one spec. So what we tried to do was to get that to a point where that feels reasonable, and if there's more need for stat homogenization later, then we'll do it.
WoW Insider: Yeah, leather spellcasting gear...
Chilton: Yeah, that's not something you see a lot of specs using, is it?
WoW Insider: At one point you guys mentioned integrating a kind of in-game addon like Outfitter. Can we still expect to see that?
Chilton: Well, I can't say specifically when you'll see it but it is still something we're thinking of doing. Swapping items quickly is one thing we want the base UI to do more cleanly or smoothly than it can right now, swapping sets and that sort of thing. It's something we're interested in and something we've done a little work on internally, but I can't give an eventual patch date on it. I don't really associate it with patch 3.1 or 3.2 or 3.3, we really don't know.
WoW Insider: Are you still positioning for growth in America or are you looking more toward expansion in, for example, foreign markets?
Chilton: Well, certainly when we do an expansion we're positioning ourselves for growth. We are still growing in North America, we have been for some time. I have no idea how long that's going to keep going. We try to keep that in mind when we make an expansion. It's interesting for players that played in the beginning and might come back, it's exciting for new players that haven't played before, so hopefully that keeps happening.
"We are still growing in North America, we have been for some time."
WoW Insider: You talked previously about the Death Knight class as a hero class being an experiment. What criteria would decide if it was a success or not?
Chilton: Well, whether people really like it. (Laughs)
WoW Insider: Well, how do you gauge that? There's always so much complaining on the forums... I mean is it the number of people playing the class and how they're playing it? In the first month? Beyond that?
Chilton: Right, well, we'll look at whether or not the class itself fits into the game, and stands up on its own and is successful as a DPS class, a tanking class, if it's successful in PvE and PvP. The whole approach of starting at level 55 and the kind of epic questline you go through to introduce you to the class, that seems to be going very well. It seems to be one of the more popular features of the expansion. So far it seems adding the Death Knight and having it as a hero class has been a succesful concept. I can imagine us continuing to do it in the future. I do believe there are a limited number of classes we can have in the game before everything starts becoming the same, so we do have to pace ourselves and be careful about what we pick, and how we actually do it. We will be very careful about adding new classes without question, but I think it's something we can do in the future.
WoW Insider: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us tonight. I hope you get some sleep.
Chilton: Oh, no, I'm going to go home and play!