I think the build we saw more recently on the beta really opened up a lot of the functionality, and the next beta build is going to unlock a ton of different buildings that weren't really accessible before. I think players will have a lot of fun checking it out.

Q: Each expansion clearly serves the game's existing audience first, but there always appears to be a secondary goal of either driving new player sign-ups, or winning back lapsed accounts. Warlords of Draenor looks like it's especially designed to win back lapsed players.
Would you say that's a fair assessment?
I would agree with that.
We're certainly trying to accomplish that. First and foremost, like you said, we try to make sure that any expansion services the audience that we have. After that we try to think about what it means to returning players, and what it means to new players. While we're always trying to make improvements, I think that Warlords of Draenor is a substantially better experience than any previous expansion for lapsed players. The level 90 boost gets people right into it. The fact that you'll earn your abilities back pretty quickly and start right off with a clean slate – three skills and an empty backpack rather than an inventory full of junk that you can't remember what you were doing with! – I think that experience lends itself well to giving people the opportunity to come back. We are also trying to make things easier for new players. We have an improved tutorial. We've definitely found over time that the players we're getting now are far less familiar with the standard MMO-slash-RPG mechanics than the players we got years ago were. Frankly, that's the biggest difference in terms of our subscribership. It's harder to keep the funnel of people coming in to offset, inevitably, people not playing anymore. So we're making a lot of improvements there, teaching people how to move their characters, how to look around, and how to turn their first quest in, because we're seeing that's where huge amounts of people drop out.

Q: Going back to the subject of 10 years, and talking about changes in the subscribership, different playstyles and different expectations, have you seen a shift in your demographics?
We certainly have.
Our demographic has gotten a lot older over time. A lot of that is because we have a lot of players who've been with us for 10 years, and now they're 10 years older than when they first started playing. Our age has shifted up over the last 10 years. That has interesting implications in that essentially the playerbase becomes more casual over time. As people get older and have kids and careers, they have less time to spend on playing the MMO.

It definitely influences how we evolve the content and trying to make sure that there are good ways to engage with the game that aren't massively time-consuming.

Q: If you had to pick out a single part or personal highlight from 10 years of World of Warcraft , what would that be?
Probably the original development of the talent system. It felt like that was a turning point in our Friends and Family alpha or beta at the time, where suddenly the game clicked with people. People loved the content, they loved the idea of the classes, but we were hearing constantly at the time, 'My character isn't customised enough in terms of gameplay'. We were trying to figure out [what people meant]: did they mean they wanted the option to have a bigger nose, or did they mean they wanted their character to play differently than the other mage next to them? We felt like it was the latter moreso than the former, so we developed the talent system with that in mind, and there was this huge sea change. People felt like they were completely invested in the game.

(@ source
JudgeHype - Blizzard prévoit déjà les 7 ou 8 prochaines extensions de WoW !) et Gameplanet - Then, New et next)