Author Archive

Ian Bates

WoW lore fan, aspiring writer, video game player, fish keeper, maybe employee of Blizzard one day I hope?
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Azeroth’s Away Team: Familiar Horde Faces in Draenor

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in BlizzPlanet Articles, Lore, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

A few weeks ago we looked at some of the characters who would be traveling through the Dark Portal and into this alternate Draenor on the Alliance side.

Before hitting the jump to see them, note that is all alpha information and is highly subject to change. It’s also datamined, which means this could be left over data from already scrapped content. In other words, this is what appears to be correct at the time, but take it with a grain of salt just in case.

NPC Facelift in Warlords of Draenor

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in BlizzPlanet Articles, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

One of the most exciting, yet overlooked, aspects of Warlords of Draenor is that the new character models will also be applied to npcs. This will give Azeroth a facelift even Cataclysm could not offer. Unfortunately, with the alpha still employees only; we had no way to see how our favorite NPCs would look with the new models, until now. Thanks to Wowhead‘s model viewer, any NPCs using finished models (male and female orc, gnome, dwarf and male tauren) can be viewed in their brand new WoD glory. I’ve put together a sampling of 12 iconic NPCs (who at least two of which will play large roles in Warlords of Draenor.

First off, some notes:
-The new foot design with separately modeled toes hasn’t been accounted for by Wowhead’s model viewer yet, so ignore that all the characters appear to be wearing extremely tight socks instead of boots. This should be fixed in-game.
-Moira Thaurissan and Gelbin Mekkatorque should be on this list, but both of their models are glitched (in Moira’s case, terrifyingly so) at the moment.
-Tauren males in general seem to be glitched. Dezco is a notable exception.
-For reasons unknown, Aggra is using a new female fel orc skin. Her appropriate Mag’har skin is being used by Dragonmaw orcs right now.
-If your favorite NPC isn’t here, you can search literally every character currently in the game on Wowhead’s model viewer.

WoD-Models

Expect more looks into the NPC facelift in the future as more models are datamined and glitches are cleared up with current ones.

Azeroth’s Away Team: Familiar Alliance Faces in Draenor

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in BlizzPlanet Articles, World of Warcraft News, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

The recent datamining of the Warlords of Draenor alpha by MMO-Champion has revealed much about the upcoming expansion’s story. We’ve known from its announcement that, similar to MoP, our characters will journey into Draenor with an elite team of heroes from their respective factions, but now it has been revealed precisely who will accompany us. While we’ll be seeing plenty of characters from Warcraft’s lore on Draenor, these are the familiar faces from Azeroth. For this first article, we’ll look at the Alliance expedition.

Before hitting the jump to see them, note that is all alpha information and is highly subject to change. It’s also datamined, which means this could be left over data from already scrapped content. In other words, this is what appears to be correct at the time, but take it with a grain of salt just in case.

New World of Warcraft Novel, “Yrel: Heart of Draenor” to be Written by Tara Gilesbie

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Developers, Blizzard Licensed Products Line Up, Blizzard Products News, Uncategorized, World of Warcraft Pocket Book Excerpts, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Update: April Fools’ Day – April 1, 2014
However, a real Yrel short-story may be in the works

I’ve been waiting quite a while for the NDA to wear off on this. I am proud to announce, in a BlizzPlanet Exclusive, the next World of Warcraft novel, World of Warcraft: Yrel: Heart of Draenor! Just as World of Warcraft: Vol’jin: Shadows of the Horde had a writer new to the Warcraft franchise behind it, so will Heart of Dreanor: the famous Tara Gilesbie!

Aprils-fOOLS

In the press details I was given by Micky Neilson, Lead Story Developer for Blizzard Entertainment, he explained this novel will bridge the gap between Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor by giving readers a look into one of the expansion’s lead characters, Yrel. The story will chronicle Yrel’s journey from a simple priestess at Karabor, to her witnessing the formation of the Iron Horde, ultimately leading to her first encounter with the player character (done similarly in Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War).

“We are incredibly excited to be working with Ms. Gilesbie,” Micky said in regards to the upcoming novel. He also mentioned we may be seeing a forbidden romance in Yrel’s adventures which will heavily affect her role in Warlords of Draenor.

He also clarified that, following another of Shadow of the Horde‘s traditions, Heart of Draenor will be a darker and more mature fare than most Warcraft novels. Due to this, I’ve had to censor the excerpt provided later on in the article slightly for the BlizzPlanet readership.

“We’ve seen how massively popular the pairing of Jaina and Kalecgos was in Tides of War, and Thrall and Aggra presented in-game is still considered one of our best works here at Blizzard. So it was natural to have another unique and well written romance. I wont’ say who catches Yrel’s eye, but I’ll give you a hint: his dad’s the leader of the Iron Horde.”

Just imagine the conflict that’s going to come from that! It looks like Yrel won’t just be Warcraft’s Joan of Arc, but perhaps their Romeo and Julliet as well?

As for our newest Warcraft author, Tara Gilesbie is a world renowned writer who, like many in today’s age, got her start on the internet. She is best known for her novella My Immortal, a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead-style take on the popular Harry Potter series of books; which chronicles Harry’s adventures through the eyes of a mentally challenged vampire student attending Hogwarts. Originally published for free, the full work can be read here if you want to get a taste of Gilesbie’s unique writing style before Heart of Draenor is out.

While I could not reach Tara herself, I was given this quote from her: “I m sooooo eksited to work on dis story! Fangz (geddit becuz Im Goffik) Blizzurd for givin me the change to work with u guys1″

I was also given a very short excerpt from Yrel: Heart of Draenor, detailing a scene between Yrel and her forbidden lover. As this is a spoiler, I’ll leave it under the read-more.

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New Pandaria Story: “The Untamed Valley”

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in Lore, Uncategorized, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

A new Pandaria faction story has been uploaded the official World of Warcraft site, this time focusing on everyone’s favorite farming, Harvest Moon-esque pandaren, the Tillers!

“The Untamed Valley” was written by Robert Brooks, who has also authored “Death from Above”, and the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls story “The End of her Journey”. Writing about simple farmers may appear a far cry from Brooks’ earlier focus on giant Old God worshiping insects and demon-slaying, light-blessed warriors, but to bring out a cliche, appearances can be deceiving.

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Remaking a World: Continuity in Warlords of Draenor

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in Novels, Story-Forum, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Recently, Community Manager Bashiok made a post on the official story forums, a place normally devoid of blue posts. He responded a thread called “Big Continuity Issue:Zangarmarsh,Blade’s Edge”(sic), where a poster named Gartherix brought up how Draenor as it is set to appear in Warlords of Draenor differs significantly from how it was presented it past lore, such as World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden. Bashiok clarified many of these discrepancies, and explained how they will be addressed. As it’s a rather long set of posts, I’ll leave the information from the thread in that link if you wish to peruse it.

This got me thinking, why not go through everything we know about Draenor as it will appear, and compare it with Outland today. Let’s see how the continuity between Draenor and Outland has been maintained so far.

Warlords of Draenor

Red Shirt Guy Explores Draenor, Part 1: Frostfire Ridge

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in BlizzCon, BlizzCon 2013, BlizzPlanet Articles, Blizzplanet Reviews, Event Coverage, Lore, World of Warcraft News, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Hello everybody, I know this is a few days post BlizzCon, but its the thought that counts, right? Anyways, the Warlords of Draenor demo from BlizzCon has been covered elsewhere; so this won’t be quite like the other descriptions of it. Instead I’ll be focusing on some neat tidbits I found, as well as some potential theories to the expansion’s plotline. Take the jump downwards to find out more!

Siege of Orgrimmar Ending Cinematics Revealed

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in Dungeon & Raids, Dungeons & Regions Lore, Lore, Patch 5.4 - Siege of Orgrimmar, World of Warcraft News, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, Wrathion Legendary Questline

Thrall n Varian

THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS HEAVY SPOILERS AND ME LORE-NERD-ING ABOUT THEM. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

First of all, I must give credit to Availed on Anvilmar-US for the world first Garrosh defeat, Apophasis for the first horde Garrosh defeat, and Silencer for uploading the following videos.

Now, in a first for Blizzard, upon defeating Garrosh, the raid receives a different cinematic depending on their faction. Each version has a scene unique to the Horde/Alliance showing their perspective on what should happen after Garrosh’s defeat.

HORDE BIAS! A Red Shirt Guy Editorial on the “Faction Bias” Arguments

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Developers, Blizzard Entertainment, Blizzard Product Reviews, Cataclysm, Lore, Novels, Uncategorized, World of Warcraft - Races, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

Orgrimmar

Hi readers and welcome to my first editorial type article. With the release of Patch 5.4’s trailer (see it here if you haven’t already), the debate on whether or not Blizzard is biased towards the Horde in content development has risen again. Its a subject that really came to a head with the release of Cataclysm, enough so that Blizzard actually had Dave Kosak make a blog post, “Dev Watercooler: Faction Favoritism“. It was very negatively received, and in fact was seen by many as further proof there was faction bias favoring the Horde enough to be detrimental to the Alliance among Blizzard’s developers. So, does this faction favoritism really exist? Is Blizzard ignoring half their playerbase because they can’t muster the effort to to create content for a faction they don’t like? Or is this all overblown outcry from WoW’s notoriously unpleaseable fanbase?

SoO

Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar Trailer Released

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in Blizzard Games News, Patch 5.4 - Siege of Orgrimmar, World of Warcraft News, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, WoW Machinima

Blizzard has just released the trailer for Patch 5.4: Siege of Orgrimmar and it is amazing! Probably my favorite patch trailer they’ve ever done. We see exactly how the Vale of Eternal Blossoms became corrupted, and a showdown between Taran Zhu and Garrosh that’s been a long time coming. Let’s just say it doesn’t end too well for one of them.

 

Now that you’ve watched it, lets discuss something I found interesting about this trailer: Garrosh’s reason for destroying the Vale. He claims “the heart thirsts”, and this along with several quotes datamined from the actual Garrosh fight allows us to draw the conclusion that the heart of Y’Shaarj is directly telling Garrosh what to do. This of course opens a can of worms in regards to what is really going on here, and who exactly is in charge. Dave Kosak has been adamant that Garrosh is not corrupted, he is fully in control of his actions here, and yet the heart is giving him directions.

What can we take from this? There is of course the idea that yes, Garrosh is corrupted if he’s taking instructions from an old god, but there’s another, perhaps more chilling idea. Could Garrosh be listening to Y’Shaarj and fulfilling the hearts will for his own gain, of his own free will? In other words, is he the one controlling Y’Shaarj? Y’Shaarj is in a state of existence we haven’t seen any old gods in before, a “dead dead” state according to Blizzard. Perhaps he is weaker, unable to corrupt someone as strong-willed as Garrosh, allowing the Warchief to use an old god as a tool. The idea of a mere mortal controlling an old god is a tantalizing one, and assuming this is what Blizzard was going for, I’d love to see it explored further.

Red Shirt Guy

Greetings from The Red Shirt Guy

Written by Ian Bates on . Posted in BlizzCon, Blizzcon 2010, BlizzCon 2011, BlizzPlanet Articles, General News, Lore, Uncategorized, World of Warcraft News

Hello, my name is Ian Bates, more commonly known as the Red Shirt Guy, and I am happy to say I am now Blizzplanet’s newest contributor! In the coming days, weeks, months etc I hope to provide a variety of, perhaps not news but “flavor” articles for the site. You can expect lots of speculative ideas on future content, as I love imagining expansions, zones, where the game could go. I’m also planning on doing an article about the current “faction bias” issue that has reemerged with patch 5.3.

I hope you will enjoy these future articles and that they will help make Blizzplanet a fun read for all fans of Blizzard’s products.

Red Shirt Guy