Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft keeps on keeping on, now well into its 6th year and seeing another major point release (content patch 4.3), complete with new raids, new items, new faces on old places (like Darkmoon Faire and Zul’Aman, to name two) and the final epic battle against Deathwing the Destroyer. Blizzard did a little Q&A session with World of Warcraft’s Lead Encounter Designer, Scott Mercer and the challenges of getting this grandiose final encounter into the game.
[quote]It took a lot of new technologies to set up the fight on Deathwing’s back. The artists in particular focused on selling the fantasy that you’re grappling with a giant dragon midflight. We’ve never done anything quite like that before. Overall, setting the right scope for an encounter like Deathwing required a lot of development disciplines working together–artists, coders, encounter designers, level designers, and animators. We built corrupted Deathwing as a giant set piece with a lot of moving parts–probably our most complicated character model to date–but we felt it was necessary to convey the epic scale and do justice to the final boss of Cataclysm.[/quote]
As per usual, Blizzard isn’t naming an exact date for 4.3 to drop, but it’s coming up soon (hence all the promo). When it arrives, you’ll be able to grab it simply by logging into Battle.net and letting the game patch.
Knock World of Warcraft if you wish, but no other MMO has offered up as much high-quality content for free. Ever. Their point releases are like what other games companies would treat as expansions. They earn that subscription fee, folks.