World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Interview with Game Developers John Yang and Johnny Cash

“Ours is a cycle of hate.”

These words from the eponymous Warchief of the Horde, Sylvannas Windrunner, rings true in Blizzard Entertainment’s latest installation of their massively multiplayer online role-playing hit – World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth.

The seventh expansion to World of WarcraftBattle for Azeroth will see the age-old war between the Alliance and the Horde reignited, with both sides clamouring to find a foothold in Azeroth as the threat of the Burning Legion dissipates.

Fresh from the triumphant victory against Sargeras and his ilk, the tenuous alliance forged between both factions has been shattered – the Horde aggression in Kalimdor resulted in the burning of Teldrassil (Capital of the Night Elves), and the Alliance responded in kind with the sacking of the Undercity (Capital of the Forsaken).

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To give a bit more insight into what we can expect from the latest expansion, we managed to catch-up with two of Blizzard Entertainment’s Game Designers for Battle for Azeroth, Mr. John Yang and Mr. Johnny Cash.

“This expansion pays homage to the namesake of the game. It’s good old-fashioned Alliance versus Horde as they seek to gain control of the new resource, Azerite, and better the standings of their factions within Azeroth,” explained Cash, who was instrumental in creating the varied zones that players will get to experience in the latest expansion. “There’s tons to do, there’s the revival of old storylines, there’s new allies to be made, cool new Island Expeditions and Warfronts, giving players more variety in content as they seek to give their faction an edge over the other.”

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Apart from the usual new content, storylines, dungeons and raids that players can expect from each new expansion for World of Warcraft, we managed to get a better understanding of how various class balances happen in the game, and how the game designers go about implementing the changes.

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“With each different patch and each different expansion, balancing class power always remains a challenge,” said Yang. “Players need to feel that they are getting substantially more powerful, while being in line with the expansion’s aesthetic and themes. While it’s possible for us to always provide all the existing powers and talents from previous expansions, players will begin to feel that class power becomes too derivative, which is why we are always looking to create a more rewarding system when acquiring class power.”

Existing players of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth in patch 8.0 would’ve noticed significant changes to their iconic Artifact Weapon, which was acquired at the beginning of the World of Warcraft: Legion expansion. With the death of the Artifact Weapon, players can look forward to new ways of acquiring power and boosting their potential through newly introduced Azerite Gear and an all-new legendary item – The Heart of Azeroth.

To returning and existing players alike, World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth promises to be an exciting expansion with its foundation built on a simple theory – war. With the newly introduced War Mode, and varying other content to help bolster the ranks of their respective factions, players and fans of Blizzard Entertainment’s most successful game can expect all-out chaos from the get-go, and perhaps find clues to a deeper, underlying threat – whispers of forgotten names, old gods clawing at their prisons and awaiting their ushering into the world…

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Sound the battle horns and make ready for war! World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth storms online on 14 August 2018, 6 am (GMT+8). Blood and Honour, fellow champion of Azeroth!


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