Why Blizzard is not doing an expansion of Old Gods for World of Warcraft

Blizzard will release the latest main content patch to World of Warcraft expansion Battle for Azeroth today. Players have come a long way since the early days of the expansion, where dinosaurs and pirates fought on the new continents of Zandalar and Kul Tiras. In Visions of N’Zoth, adventurers will face each other with the unleashed Lovecraftian god N’Zoth. To fight against him and his corruption in front, they must enter the land of newly resurrected madness, the Black Empire.

Previously, players have expressed their loyalty to the Ancient Gods during the expansion with Eye of N’Zoth, a custom item that manifests itself as a giant, spooky eyeball on the player’s head. Only those with Eye of N’Zoth can see other characters with Eye of N’Zoth, creating a fun secret society among those who know.

While some are excited to probe the depths of the maddening city of Ny’alotha, other players wonder why this event is relegated to a patch of content. After all, a whole continent of horrors in the style of Cthulhu is a rich terrain for expansion. World of Warcraft Recently it has taken us to some very important areas with deep ties to tradition, ranging from the planet of Argus to the watery kingdom of Queen Azshara. It’s a big change since the days of The flaming crusade or Wrath of King Lich, which focused largely on an area of ​​the world.

According to the main narrative designer Steve Danuser, there was talk of “the idea of ​​an expansion with the theme of the Ancient God” “many times” in Blizzard.

“People love the ancient gods and it’s really cool,” Danuser told Polygon in a telephone interview. “But when we were watching Battle for Azeroth in particular, we feel [N’Zoth’s] the story really related well with this expansion. “

Indeed, N’Zoth has been in this expansion since day one. He appeared in Warbringers animated shorts that preceded the expansion; we found fishermen with squid heads in Kul Tiras; and one of Zandalar’s most important characters was conspired with N’Zoth all the time. While Battle for Azeroth it was sold as an expansion of factional war focusing on Horde versus Alliance, it was always clear that N’Zoth was in the background, pulling the spooky threads.

“Although people love an idea and it’s great, it doesn’t necessarily become something you can build a complete expansion on,” Danuser said. “N’Zoth is a horror story. It’s a monster story. And many of the most successful horror movies or books about monsters give you the monster in moderation and very deliberately. If you were surrounded by ancient gods all the time , 24/7, playing month after month after month, maybe it’s not scary anymore. Maybe it’s not so cool. “

With 8.3 being the final patch before the launch of World of Warcraft ‘s next expansion, Shadowlands, Azeroth’s heroes could be hovering around the Black Empire for a few months. It is the culmination of a lot of teasing and glimpses throughout Battle for Azeroth.

One of those threads was the Eye of N’Zoth. The adventurers who wore the Eye were not only in a creepy club, they also heard the whispers of N’Zoth himself. This was the second important player choice in Battle for Azeroth, and it was accessible to both factions. The other important option, deciding to support Sylvanas or Saurfang in the Horde, was only accessible to Horde members.

For some players, the expansion was not about Horde versus Alliance, but about getting on the Old God train to worship N’Zoth. The Eye was proof of their loyalty, something that has visibly marked their characters for months. This ends in 8.3; Noth’s eye will not take Shadowlands.

World of Warcraft: a photo of the Black Empire themed by the ancient gods

The ancient gods just want you to come see the Black Empire. It’s okay!
Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Danuser said that Eye of N’Zoth was never a fundamental part of a character’s internal history. “The choice of Saurfang versus Sylvanas was very fundamental to the story and fundamental to what your character believed,” he explained. “It was a way of expressing which side your character wanted to follow.”

But while Saurfang and Sylvanas represented seemingly sustainable views, the ancient gods want to devour all reality. “At the end of the day, we have to do something about their presence,” Danuser said. “We can’t allow your character to go out of control or anything like that.”

The team is aware that ancient gods are popular and, therefore, Eye of N’Zoth was added for its flavor and mystery. But there is no way to pull fast and try to preserve it, or aim at an Azeroth ruled by the ancient gods in a meaningful way. It seems that patch 8.3 may well be the end of the ancient gods for some time.

“Remember that N’Zoth is not the top of your particular food chain,” Danuser said. “Above the ancient gods is emptiness as one of the six great cosmic powers that define our universe.”

Those six cosmic powers are Light, Disorder, Death, Shadow, Order and Life. How World of Warcraft Advances, we are learning more about those cosmic forces and beginning to unravel the secrets of the universe. Shadowlands It is configured to explore a new plane of existence in the hereafter. Danuser described the cosmic map as a “partial road map”, and the powers behind N’Zoth will remain “very much at stake.”

While we are not going to get an expansion with thematic N ‘Zoth, today World of Warcraft the patch will allow both Horde and Alliance to face an ancient god and his henchmen. That may be the end of the road for N’Zoth, but as World of Warcraft Fans know that killing a boss rarely solves the main problems. There is always another expansion, and another incursion of bad guys to fight. World of Warcraft It is moving away from getting the bad guys out of Warcraft strategy games in real time, and more in building great cosmic forces for us to fight. It’s a strange and wild movement, and one that will probably focus more with Shadowlands.

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