WoW - Rob Pardo Interview @ Hollywood Reporter
Blizzard's Rob Pardo, introduced in this article as the "Maestro", has been interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter on the success of WoW:
THR: You'd mentioned that because "WoW' was your first MMOG, you sort of stumbled into it a bit. If you were to launch another MMOG tomorrow, what would you do differently?
Pardo: Tons of things. We have a whole laundry list entitled "We'll never make these mistakes again."
THR: For instance?
Pardo: Well, anytime we're going to make a major change to the game, we want to take that patch and put it on what we call a "public test realm," a place where the public can stress-test it out for four or six weeks and discover whether it has any real problems. When we first shipped "WoW" in 2004, we didn't have that public test realm, and so our early patches in the first three months of the game were quite the rollercoaster ride of problems. We'd make changes and there'd be all these horrible bugs that we hadn't noticed. It was a huge mistake on our part and, I assure you, it will never happen again. When you build a massively multiplayer game, you really need thousands of testers to stress-test certain types of things. Our servers hold up to 2,000, 3,000, sometimes 4,000 players, and not even our great 100-person quality-assurance department can stress-test something that big.