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The Queue: Big Blizzard, Warcraft RTS, and Alts


Welcome back to The Queue, the daily Q&A column in which the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky (@adamholisky) will be your host today.

Let's dive into the deep end of the pool today and start tackling some of these questions and views.

Hyde asked:

Before the release of Wrath of the Lich King, a Blizzard developer talked about how they had some extra content planned in case the release of Wrath did not go they way they wanted. Now, we've had a very large dry spell of content without a peep about Blizzard having a back up this time around. Why did the company not have some extras? If Chilton is to be believed, they admitted to being "slowed down." Would it not be prudent to have something to fall back on?

First, I think Chilton can absolutely be believed. He has nothing to gain by spinning the facts. If he did spin them, we and others would just find out and call him on it. More so, he's just not the kind of guy to hand people a line. He's admitting that they didn't get WoD out when they wanted -- that's terrible PR for Blizzard. But it's honest, which is what we need from a community perspective.

Now why did they get slowed down? Because they expanded the team too much without the structure there to handle the project management in an adequate way. Note that I am extrapolating on what Chilton said a little bit, but when you expand a team and then end up slowing down, it's because the project management wasn't there. That's the only explanation in the software development world. This is a good problem to have, but it's still a problem. Blizzard tried to just throw resources at WoW, and it kind of backfired in a way -- at least in the short term. Long term, it's very good for the game; but until they get their projects (aka: expansions and content) under tighter control, things will be rough.

As far as we know those projects are already under control, and there's been adequate changes since Blizzard's producers realized WoD development was slowing down too much. In fact, I'd be my paycheck on the fact that they've already got things either solved or being solved. The concept of difficulty when expanding software teams isn't anything new; but it is something that can be solved when it's realized it's happening.

Moving on to having backup content -- yes, that's something that I'm sure they'd like to have in an ideal world. However with the tightly integrated story and the resources it takes to tell those stories, there's not a lot they can do as "one offs" without seeming very lame. In Wrath the Ruby Sanctum was filler content, and we didn't really get anything in Cataclysm. I doubt there's anything else we're getting in Mists; although we should get a pre-expansion event sometime in the near future.

Blizzard just needs to get their content generation and project management in order and let things fly at full steam ahead. The faster they get content out, the better for the game, and the better for the company and its shareholders.

Wihenfung asked:

I put forward the theory that WoD is actually setting the stage for a relaunch of the original Warcraft RTS game. Since we're dealing with an alternate dimension that includes not only a new Draenor but also a new Azeroth as well, it makes perfect sense to have Warcraft IV take a new direction on this new universe.

At once a setting both familiar but also brand-new. None of the baggage of our regular continuity, and exploring storyline possibilities unshackled by what's come before. Blizzard would be avoiding a lot of the potential headaches and pitfalls that would come from having the RTS and MMO running at the same time (At least from a storytelling perspective).

They could have their cake and eat it too. The possibilities! Think about it. Anyway, I just wanna play a new Warcraft RTS. What are the odds of this being the case? Thoughts?

I think there's a real possiblity of another Warcraft RTS sometime in the next 10-years. Blizzard would be silly not to bring the game back. You are right that WoD could provide a different path for the RTS to take from a story perspective, however I think with as difficult as it has been for most of the community to grasp the divergent timeline we have right now, going even deeper down that rabbit hole and having an entire Warcraft game that's related only to the other timeline will just create even more confusion.

My bet is that the next major war will happen in the RTS.

ForEach asked:

Do you think it would be a good suggestion/idea to be able to recruit your own alts in garrisons?

I love this idea! It'd be awesome if they were walking around in the gear they're wearing as well. I'd just love to have my priest walking around in Tier 5.

That said, I think this is probably pretty difficult to implement technically, so I'm not sure we'll see it.

Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW Insider crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column. Leave your questions in the comments, and we'll do our best to answer 'em!

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