Prior to the launch of Warcraft Rumble, we had the opportunity to speak with Art Director Jeremy Collins and Game Producer Elhora Davis from the development team in an interview.
Warcraft Rumble, for those who might not be familiar with the title, is an upcoming mobile strategy game set within the World of Warcraft (WoW) universe where collectible Minis come to life and engage in battle.
One of the new things that will be included in the game is a brand new mode called Arclight Surge, which as quoted by the developers, is a new way to play content in the game where players might’ve already been through the campaign.
As mentioned by Jeremy Collins, Zones are now overloaded and on a rotating basis, with two zones being lit up with Arclight Energy throughout the week and players can replay maps with different modifiers in play.
One future content that Warcraft Rumble will be introducing are Raids, which if you’re an avid Warcraft fan should have an inkling as to what that might entails. Raids will have player play cooperatively with their guild members using a shared tower and knockdown the molten core.
Raids as told by the developers work in a “Wing System” where there’s two bosses in every wing and there’s a total of three wings and ultimately make your way to face Ragnaros at the end. Players will need to beat through the wings in order to progress, which also unlocks rewards the further you get into the raid.
Considering the amount of lore that Warcraft Rumble will be drawing from, we asked the developers what their approach was to choosing the right stuff to implement in the game.
Jeremy mentioned that one of the main things the team made sure was to include most of the iconic ones. Characters such as Cairne Bloodhoof or Grommash Hellscream were some of the bigger characters in the franchise that made it into leaders in the game.
When it comes to making the choice for other bosses in the game, Jeremy mentioned that most often times it’s a design driven based decision around the type of creature or character that the team needed.
He also brought up that sometimes, the team wanted to shine a light on some of the lesser known quest-givers from WoW.
“A lot of people have interacted with Goldtooth outside of Fargodeep Mine and Elwing while going through the alliance quest line in WoW, but you didn’t have much of a background. We saw this game as giving him a little a bit of an opportunity, and shine a light on some of those lesser known heroes and villains because Azeroth is just filled with a ton of stories. We wanna make sure we were telling all of them basically.” Jeremy continued.
Elhora also shared her opinion on the matter, saying that there are so many stories in the Warcraft Universe and the game is a space where players can explore the characters, similarly to how Hearthstone has that irreverent fun feel to it.
“Stomper Kreeg, who was an NPC that you can meet in Dire Maul who you can interact with and can even buy grog from him, but he has a full feature within a dungeon of ours wherein his mechanic is that when enemies get to 50% health they actually turn and they start attacking him.” said Elhora.
Iconic Characters Joining The Roster
One of the questions that we asked the development team was can players look forward to some of the iconic characters from the World of Warcraft franchise joining in the roster, and how does the team determine which faction they’d join in.
While Jeremy wasn’t able to go into details on which specific characters that will be joining in the game, fans can most definitely look forward for more well known leaders and units be put in the game.
In terms of deciding the factions that characters are assigned to, Jeremy mentioned that deterministic factors either revolves around the leaders themselves or their mechanics.
“We try to round out each of the families with unique mechanics for each of the leaders. Because they exist as basically like deck archetypes in the game.” said Jeremy.
Finding Balance Between Catering To Newcomers And Veterans
Another question we asked the development was how they find the balance between ensuring that the features and stories in the game are accessible for newcomers, but also including Easter eggs and references for fans.
“It’s like this eternal thing of introducing folks to something they’ve never seen before. Well, I think that one of the strengths of the Warcraft universe is that it is vast. And I think that with the minis and the cast of characters, they sort of have this like very appealing kind of look to them.” said Elhora.
Elhora mentioned that the team showed off the cast of characters and they have a lot of different things that people can do. No matter what kind of a player that you are, and no matter what Warcraft knowledge that you have, there will be something for players to be able to experience.
Jeremy continued on by saying that Warcraft is for everybody and the team wanted to make sure it feels that way, and there were some deliberate choices that the team had to make.
Limitations on Development
Considering how Warcraft Rumble is developed on mobile devices, we asked the developers if there were any limitations or restrictions during development.
Elhora mentioned that the team wanted to make Warcraft Rumble an accessible game for everyone and developing it for mobile devices are a way to do it.
“We’ve really tried to concentrate on making sure that it runs great and that it looks great across a spread of different devices.” she continued.
Jeremy mentioned that there had been some restrictions during development, notably with the hardware considering how mobile devices don’t have graphic cards that can rival a gaming PC. However despite the restrictions, Jeremy said that the team liked working within those restrictions which resulted them to come up with some creative solutions to overcome the limitations.
Warcraft Rumble currently has 5 different factions for players to try out, with each factions having access to a different number of spells. We asked the developers how the team make sure that the disparity between the number of spells for each faction are balanced in a way that one faction doesn’t outright overpower the other.
Elhora brought up that the flavour of your army hinges on the choice of your leader. However, just because a leader is of a specific faction, it mean that players are only limited to only using that faction’s characters, and you can have a mixture of all kinds of different factions if that’s something a player wants to do.
She mentioned that the team encourages players to experiment and have fun with the different combinations they can think of.
Jeremy continued on by saying that each unit has three talents, which also affect the way the unit is played appreciably aside from just spells.
One thing that looms over players minds for titles that soft launched are whether or not they will keep account data and carry it to the official launch of the game. We asked Jeremy if there’s a planned reset after the launch period.
“No planned reset. I’m very confident that player progress will continue after the soft launch and going into worldwide launch.” said Jeremy.
Overall Response To The Soft Launch
With Warcraft Rumble being soft launched in a few countries already, we asked the development team what was the overall response been and what had been the key things that the team had learned during the soft launch period.
Elhora mentioned that one of the few things that the team had learned was the overall difficulty of the game, as it was originally too hard. Aside from that, Elhora also brought up the team learning a few things from PvP.
“One of the things that we had actually learned from PvP is that players had really wanted to be able to express their PvE progress in PvP, and so navigating that is something to kind of express and have people feel like their PvE collection was reflected was something for us to incorporate.” she continued.
Jeremy mentioned that BlizzCon will be a big moment for the game team, as that allows them to physically interact with people who would be playing their game.
He also continue by saying that they had surfaced a lot of information to the player of Warcraft Rumble, but it’s not always as easily as accessible as the team would like it to be.
“We use that feedback very heavily to just make sure that you’re getting the information that you want as a player.” said Jeremy.
We would like to thank Jeremy Collins and Elhora Davis for taking the time to answer our questions during the interview.
Warcraft Rumble is set to launch on 3rd November 2023 for Android and iOS.