Blizzard's Vice President of Creative Development Chris Metzen talked with PC Gamer about the upcoming expansion pack for World of Warcraft, Mists of Pandaria. He indicates that the players are the real villains in the story because they come to a peaceful island bringing corruption and death.
"The big hook to Pandaria is that as we roll up on the beach, all the hate and violence we bring as Alliance and Horde really kind of begins to make the Sha bubble up," he describes. "And the Sha is something that’s been contained for ten thousand years. It has been a very serene place, and of course our shenanigans break it, heavily."
"The weird psychology of players bringing the problem with them to a relatively untouched land was an interesting spin," he adds. "You always hope these things, as experimental as they are, play well. I don’t mean necessarily in terms of design, but that people get it, and run with it, and it feels engaging after all these years."
Later on, PC Gamer asks an interesting question about whether Pandaria's peaceful mentality will change the Horde and Alliance, or will these two factions simply invade the island, corrupt it, and then resume cutting each other down. Ultimately the MMORPG will always be about the Orcs warring with the Humans although there will be times when both factions realize that warring doesn't beget a lot of personal growth, that there are children to raise ad societies to build.
But in Mists of Pandaria, the factions are reminded of their true hatred towards each other.
"We’ve spent so long fighting alien demons and broken planets in Burning Crusade, the lord of death in Lich King, and the world literally falls out under our feet," Metzen said. "The Alliance and Horde have just been banging against events and reacting to all these mega-level chapters. With this one, they find themselves like, 'Oh, yeah, I hate you. We had to deal with all that stuff, but I hate you!' And that coming around again felt like the right beat for this time in the franchise’s history, or ongoing storyline."
He also admits that some of the designers have already left the team to go work on the new MMO "Titan." To read the full interview, head here.