“World of Warcraft” Co-Designer: MMOs are Kind of Like TV Shows

“World of Warcraft” Co-Designer: MMOs are Kind of Like TV Shows (photo)

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Rob Pardo constantly gets name-checked as one of the sharpest and most insightful game execs around. Under his stewardship, “World of Warcraft” became a genuine cultural phenomenon. It’s currently the world’s biggest massively multiplayer online game, with about 12 million active users, and its latest installment debuted yesterday. The much-anticipated Cataclysm expansion pack radically changes the fictional world of Azeroth, where the game takes place. Deathwing the Destroyer–a giant demonic dragon from the series’ past–comes back and lays waste to much of the familiar geography. “Cataclysm” also brings an influx of new playable races and makes the leveling up process much more streamlined for new players.

Radical changes like this run the risk of alienating longtime players but, in an interview with Edge Magazine, Pardo compares the creative cycling of an MMO to that of a television series:

WOW has changed a great deal since its launch. Do you think it can be continually added to and tweaked in order to maintain that level of influence, or does it take a whole new reboot like Cataclysm to do that?

I certainly think you always have the opportunity to keep an MMOG going for a very long time, and I always compare it to how most games are like making a feature film, whereas an MMOG is more like running a TV series. Some series last a few seasons and some go on for 26 seasons. Now can WOW become more like that? I hope so. We do have the ability to continually add to the game and evolve it, but the trickier challenge is that eventually people are going to want to move onto new types of entertainment. And simply from a graphical point of view, as time goes onWOW will come to look increasingly dated. I think it’s very resistant to that due to the style we chose, but five to ten years from now there’s going to be some amazing looking games.

I think that Pardo’s essentially arguing that change is necessary to evolve great game experiences, which is great to hear in a medium where conservatism so often seems to be the order of the day. There’s loads of other great stuff in the article so head on over to Edge and read the whole thing.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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