There is no “Blizzard”. Old argument.
From Caydiem the confirmation that today World of Warcraft is lead by a “hydra”:
Didn’t the lead developer leave blizzard and go to NCsoft?
EnoYls is still here, as are Tigole and Kalgan… these people being the lead developers for World of Warcraft.
So no. :P
Who are these guys? Is this really Blizzard or just a bleached shade of the old company?
EnoYls is Rob Pardo. He definitely is a piece of Blizzard history and knows how to design a game. He was behind Starcraft, Diablo 2 and Warcraft 2 and 3. If WoW is so much successful it’s because he knows how to do his work. He’s also one of the few who remained on the projects from the beginning to the end. He is responsible for the game in all its parts.
Tigole? I don’t even know his real name (found it: Jeff Kaplan) and he’s known mostly as a “catass” guild leader. I do not have many more informations. He is one of the two we know about that was hired specifically for this project (the other is “Furor”, part of the Quest team and not a “lead designer”) and, specifically, to make the game appealing for those “uber guild”. In fact he is responsible for the endgame raid content. From my point of view he isn’t a bad guy and definitely knows what he is doing. But we also know where he wants to go and right now the “endgame” in WoW is clashing directly with the rest of the game and the part that has more problems. In this case it’s the approach to be wrong and not the specific work of the designer himself. Beside this, he is definitely not “Blizzard”. He arrived just for this game and was hired in 2002 when the project was already ongoing:
Originally posted by Tigole, 4-18-02
Blizzard’s desire to provide well designed high-end content will prove to be a breath of fresh air for the readers of this site. Unfortunately, I cannot go into much detail at this time but I can say that there are ideas being discussed for the hardcore, end-game player which are nothing short of groundbreaking. You guys, the fans of this site, know how discerning I am when it comes to “uber” content in a game. Trust me, you have much to look forward to.
And finally we have Kalgan. My little pet peeve. He is the one responsible for the utterly horrible PvP system. The one we have to thank for having thrown the true potential of the game right in the toilet. Depending on your opinion you can also blame him if you feel the classes aren’t balanced. If Tigole cannot be considered a Blizzard guy even more so can be said about Kalgan. He arrived when the game was in beta and just a few months from release. Right in time to wreck the PvP implementation, killing all the fun we started to see and appreciate with the well designed (at that time) PvP ruleset servers. He is also known as “Evocare”. He used that nickname when he was the lead designer of Ultima Online. Real name is “Tom Chilton”. If mmorpg development is a social treadmill he is one of the best at catassing it.
Two of three are “not Blizzard”. Blizzard itself does not exist anymore. It has been cannibalized between Blizzard North, South, Vivendi, NCSoft, Flagship Studios and hell knows what else. Companies and brands are a stupid illusions. What matters is about the people behind. The authors. Those who keep jumping as grasshoppers from company to company and from game to game.