BlizzCon 2013 – World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, The Adventure Continues Panel Transcript
Even the garrison — and we’re going to talk more about garrison’s panel tomorrow, even your garrison kind of hints on this theme. I mean this is a dangerous place. You got to build these big stone walls to, you know, keep the savagery out. This is your bastion, your safe haven on Draenor and also an idea of building that community, you’re going to be bringing heroes from all over the world to your garrison and you’re going to sort of be forming your own sort of dream team. Here so, you know this theme comes across in all the content in everything we do in Draenor. Anything else… I’m missing anything else here.
Afrasiabi: Those savage, very savage. We might want to pause here and actually talk a little bit about how we got to this savage world and how we decided upon Draenor? Maybe that’s good enough..
Metzen: Savage process, it was brutal.
Afrasiabi: Actually, yeah.
Not too savage. That’d be taking it a little too far. But close. Yeah so interestingly enough when we talked about this expansion, warlords are the highest point of equity first I think. But the second point is — as it always has been, the world and we went through a whole lot of iteration as to what this world could be. I think we really..
Kosak: We wanted to get those warlords and we were like what was he doing, raise them from the dead, bring them back. Where do we put them? Where do we put this expansion?
Afrasiabi: And we actually did that. We initially when we’re going to, Garrosh is going to go to the outland itself. He is going to be exiled or something like that. He is going to use some kind of ancient horn and resurrect the fallen warlords and then invade Azeroth as well. Then as we started to look at what that would look like the world design perspective, I think we all were a little over Outland as it exists now. Then we thought about, Wow this, there is something here though, there’s a world here with a story to tell. And so how do we get that world? How do we get that version about Outland to our players who have never seen it and get our warlords; and I think this is how we started going down this path of what we have now which is the Warlords of Draenor, and Draenor thirty years ago.
Metzen: And Tom in particular really wanted us to get into this theme of time travel, and use it a lot. Because it is very popular…
Chilton: Or not.
Afrasiabi: We used time travel, by the way.
Kosak: Yeah it’s important to note that this expansion is about Draenor. So it’s not really the time travel expansion. You don’t have to worry about Thrall’s parents not meeting and now he’s got to play guitar to school dance (Note: Reference to Back to the Future). That’s not the expansion we’re building. We want to get you to Draenor, we want to get you to this really epic mythic heroic place to have savage adventures with savage savages savaging the landscape. (Is that good?)
Metzen: So I actually, on that point, like I just to get out ahead of it, with the time thing I mean I mean we’ve got a number of stories kind of set in the past where the ancients and things like that and there have been issues over time where there is a little potholes, a little breaks in the line. You know is that factored into this expansion set in really chasing this story. We certainly thought a lot about that. Time travel stuffs — they could be pretty rough. As writers, and making you editorially making sure everything lines up and everything fits — sometimes you know things don’t go to plan. So with this one, we want to say very clearly, that yes at some point, oh my god! Some point soon Garrosh will go back in the past but the point at which he arrives which is slightly before the events of “Rise of the Horde.”
Afrasiabi: You can stop now.
Metzen: I just lost my train of thought. See how complicated it is.
But the point at which he arrives, it’s all normal kind of continuity at that point, and the point at which he arrives effectively; it’s like its own game, our world is fine, history is fine. The thread ultimately is in maybe makes like a quantum… I’m not even going to go there. He told me to stop I will stop. Fine you explain it.
Kosak: If we do our job as a — the past is fine. We are focused on Draenor right here kicking some orc butt. But what really excited us about this place, I was talking about was sort of all these kind of unanswered questions, this is a place steeped in WoW lore that we never really got to explore. I mean you’ve never seen Draenor before the demons had their way with it before it was shattered into outland. So what was it like? What was this place like? What was Karabor like before it was the Black Temple? This by the way is a video of the Alliance capital in this expansion.
You get to see Karabor when it was sort of this gleaming, glorious past.
What about Auchendoun? What did it look like? Well probably something like that. What was it like when it was sort of this beautiful muzzily…
Metzen: Savage beauty.
Kosak: Savage beauty! How about Shattrath? Did you know that Shattrath was a coastal city? Did you know that Draenor had oceans?
Of course it did. This is Shattrath on the Zangar Sea. We are going to get to see Shattrath as a City of Light, as a glorious, the city that it was. Of course it is in trouble, this is Warcraft. So we’re going to have to save it. But this place is really steep in lore, and it really gave us a chance to explore it.
What were the Arakkoa like when they had wings? It was spoiler, they were jerks. So when we have this kind of savage backdrop it gives us the opportunity to create these really, really over the top villains and I think we started to talk about these guys. I love, all their stories are amazing. We get to spend a lot of quality time with these guys. Look at sort of buried here in the middle on the left there, that’s Kilrogg Deadeye, right. These guys whip out their own eyeball to see their future, their own glorious death and then they steam rolled toward that death with everything they have. How do you fight someone like that? How do you fight that kind of savagery? Yeah, I said it. What are you going to do?
Metzen: It’d be a geeking game. Bit plastered by now. Blizzcon’s over, too much.
Kosak: I guess the important question to ask is what would happen if the baddest, bad asses in Warcraft history formed a basketball team. (A joke here with the word: dunk) I think I’m glad I got a chuckle. I spent minutes photoshopping that.
Now we kind of cheated sneaky are we snuck in right there in the middle wearing the wolf cowl that’s Durotan, that’s actually Thrall’s father. Is he a hero? Is he a villain? Woooo…
You’re going to have to play the expansion.
Now having these big epic villains — is there anything you want to cover before, I did my basketball joke that’s all we need. So having villains this big and this bold means that we can have heroes rise up to the challenge. First of all, that’s you guys. You guys got to face this kind of threat down. Someone just raise their fist “yeah he is talking to me”. You guys are going to get to do that.
It also gets us the opportunity to really kind of adventure with some heroic characters and I’m very pleased to introduce you to Yrel, here is one of the Draenei, this kind of situation, it is kind of savagery. Go ahead have a drink. It’s going to force ordinary Draenei to step up and become extraordinary and so we’re going to get to follow Yrel’s journeys. She is kind of a Joan of Arc, kind of archetype for the Draenei. As one of a kind of characters we get to follow and you get to help.
Metzen: Just to jump in on that, Dave, it’s like you were aware that the past number of expansion sets that we set the Draenei up in the Burning Crusade. It was potentially really, you know, really deep really interesting kit, and by the end of that game, you know, they got help from the Alliance and Horde and ultimately did whatever we did in Outland.
Illidan, yeah! I’m a little aimless in hindsight — nothing personal. But ultimately the Draenei kit had a lot of potential and the past number of expansion sets we haven’t done much with it. So part of this was being really, really excited to kind of dig in on the Draenei kit and show them I think David said it earlier kind of at the height of their civilization. You know, before they were ruled by the Horde, before they were annihilated, we get to see what they were like and what they thought and how they lived and where their factions within their own race; and being able to create a character like Yrel has been super cool, right. Just not only get a butt kicking female character come to the fore of the Draenei; but just to have this really rocking new mega level Alliance champion that isn’t one of the same old race leaders like that was something that was really, really fun for us.