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.
Bashiok posted a new chapter of the ArtCraft series that aims to provide fans a glimpse into the work of the artists and the new features they are working on for the Warlords of Draenor expansion.
Just in this ArtCraft, seven developers in the Art Team offer insight into the artistic development process of the Garrison and some of the buildings, and props.
Chris Robinson (senior art director)
Cory Stockton (lead content designer)
Wendy Vetter (lead artist, dungeon team)
Eric Browning (lead prop artist)
Jordan Powers (associate artist)
Eric Braddock (associate 3D artist)
Jay Hwang (senior 3D artist)
Chris Robinson: Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Artcraft! I’m Chris Robinson, senior art director of World of Warcraft, and for this second entry I’ve gathered a group of Warlords of Draenor developers to talk a bit about Garrisons—specifically, how our artists are working closely with the game designers to ensure that the visuals we’re crafting support their design goals.
We’re not really going to get into the details of how Garrisons work here, like specific mechanics of their design. Think of this more as a behind-the-scenes glimpse into our art process with two of our groups: our dungeon art team, which is responsible for all the Garrison’s large buildings, walls, gates, and so on; and our prop art team, which is focused on the profession buildings and all of the awesome details you’ll find inside of them. — read more
Bashiok revealed there are plans to add a PvP on/off toggle in Warlords of Draenor for PvE realms. That means flagged players can no longer mount up and stand on an NPC to force players to get PvP flagged accidentally; and can PvP only if the player wishes to participate. In some cases, the PvP system would flag a player out of the blue.
The new PvP on/off toggle system is quite a load of work — it’s basically rewriting the PvP systems from scratch.
Bashiok: Well, I understand where you’re coming from, but flagging as a PvE character is based on a player’s action to flag themselves (even if it’s on accident), so I’m not sure it’s us making you PvP. The systems that can cause someone to flag can absolutely at times be involuntary, which is notably frustrating.
In any case we are continuing toward a goal of a PvP on/off toggle for players on PvE realms to be added in Warlords of Draenor, which would absolutely and in all situations allow someone to refrain from becoming flagged regardless of their actions. Heals toward flagged players would fail, coalescing to PvP realms wouldn’t be possible, misclicks and AoE’s would never damage a flagged opponent, etc. It’s actually quite a bit of work because of all the systems involved, but it’s still something we think PvE players should have, and how the game should work for them.
Blizzard Entertainment revealed the new Human female model, and plans to reveal new models in upcoming weeks through the new blog “ArtCraft” at the World of Warcraft website.
Read what senior art director Chris Robinson said concerning this new model.
“Hi, I’m Chris Robinson, senior art director of World of Warcraft, and this is the first in a series of articles we’re creating to bring you all closer to the development of the player character model revamps we announced at BlizzCon. In this series, we’ll give you an inside look at the process we go through to do one of these revamps, discuss the kinds of art issues we’re addressing with the new models, and provide a bit of insight our future plans for their continued polish.”
Senior character artist Joe Keller also said:
“Everyone is pretty familiar with the Human character models in WoW, but working on these updates gives us a chance to embellish and fill in the blanks. For the Human female this meant we could give her more muscle definition and personality in the face while still staying true to the overall look and spirit of the original. Hopefully this will also help show her as more of the capable fighter that she is.”
Blizzard Entertainment posted a glimpse of a upcoming new mount — which gives me a serious Arakkoa-vibe. Will it be a new Blizzard Store mount? — some past mounts have been announced to be for charity purposes (aka St. Jude’s Children hospital/Make-A-Wish). Will it be the Warlords of Draenor version of the Recruit-A-Friend reward?
Blizzard Entertainment is preparing to launch Warlords of Draenor Beta Servers very-soon!
In addition, when you pre-order the Digital download of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, you gain the ability to boost a character to level 90 at the moment of purchase (before the expansion’s release date) when Blizzard enables digital presales (soon) — includes Standard Digital and Digital Deluxe pre-purchase versions. Check out the details here.
Blizzard recommends players to go to their Battle.net account page. Visit the Beta Profile page by clicking this area:
In the next page, make sure you have opt-in to all Blizzard games including World of Warcraft.
The best venue to get into Warlords of Draenor beta is to enable opt-in within your Battle.net Account Page. However, it is by far the only option to get a beta key. Fansites and Gaming networks usually giveaway beta keys provided by Blizzard Entertainment.
Keep an eye on Blizzplanet and fellow fansites over the next few weeks or months.
The Iron Skyreaver mount is now available through the World of Warcraft in-game store. This mount is inspired by the Warlords of Draenor expansion and wears Iron Armor and a dual goblin-rocket engine. During its flying animations it will randomly rotate in the air and accelerate its engine leaving a visible fiery trail.
Hello Blizzplanet readers, unfortunately some technical difficulties have gotten in the way of my write-up about Shadowmoon Valley as shown at BlizzCon 2013, so in the meantime let’s look at another important topic. Just when are we going to get to Draenor, anyway?
Presenter: World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues panel. Your panelists are Alex Afrasiabi (Creative Director), Tom Chilton, Brian Holinka, Dave Kosak, and Chris Metzen (Senior VP Story & Franchise Development).
Kosak: Hello, hello, hello BlizzCon. Guys I am… I am so excited! I’m so excited to be here just to meet the fans and the costumes – guys you outdo yourselves every year. I got to tell you, you guys make this the most fun gaming convention I’ve ever been at, hands down! Thank you so much.
Alright so we’re going to talk about Warlords of Draenor. So if you were on an earlier panel, I think we blew through two hundred PowerPoint slides in like 60 minutes or something. It was a little much, we kind of ran out of time. For this panel we wanted to want to slow down a little bit, take it easy.
We are going to talk about just a few topics. What we’re going to do is we are going to talk about the heart of this expansion, our values sort of the soul and why, most importantly why Draenor is absolutely the next place to take the Warcraft franchise.
Alright, so let’s get my PowerPoint up here, because I’m a big fan of PowerPoint.
Okay so recap, how did we get here? How did this all began? We asked ourselves what if, what if you take, you take this guy, Garrosh Hellscream. Now we know about Garrosh, we know about his values, we know what’s important to him; we know yeah, yeah we know the kind of horde that he wanted.
Now that I’ve gotten home from one epic Blizzcon, let’s go over some substantial changes coming to raiding in 6.0!
Spec is everything:
One of the biggest announcements for Warlords was that armor pieces will now change stats according to spec. Plate is plate, mail is mail, leather is leather, cloth is cloth. Here’s an example: I have a Pandaren monk who starting 6.0 will have leather with agility stats in my Windwalker spec. If I change to my other spec, Mistweaver, it will change agility into intellect the moment the spec cast bar completes! Same goes for Brewmaster, which would shift to armor emphasis as a tanking stat. This change also includes Tier bonuses for each spec as well! What impact does this have on WoW? It means a few things: raids will gear up faster, with no more hunter mail drops that an elemental shaman can’t use for their primary spec. A cat druid will no longer skip on intellect gear, its leather armor pieces will change stats for all roles! There will still be non-armor gear (such as trinkets) that will be role specific, but as a whole this will be a very welcome change to how gear works. My Ret Paladin can actually consider tanking without being in tanking armor that is more suitable for two or three raid tiers prior. Alternate PvE specs will likely get a lot more use now that players can try out new roles on a more competitive ilvl. Imagine having your 4 piece set bonus and switching to Prot! This change will also apply to PvP, which is a welcome change for many classes.
Speaking of PvP, a very welcome change is coming that will have people using the same Arena gear. No longer will you struggle in rated Arenas while you earn enough Conquest points to become competitive. Along with the resilience changes in Mists of Pandaria, this poises PvP to be skill based. Do you prefer flexing your PvP gear muscles in the outside world? That gear is still available for purchase, but will not function in ranked games.
You may be wondering, what about gems and enchants? They are on almost every piece of gear! You know what is on every piece of gear? Reforging! So much gold and bag space for switching specs. Fear not, for Blizzard has taken steps to make sure these obstacles are minimal:
1) Reforging: Removed! Blizzard felt it was too much of a penalty without enough fun to it. It caused people to hesitate on gear, fearing the cascade effect that so many of us are familiar with.
2) Gems: Less items will have gems, but they will increase in potency. I like this change because it makes gems feel special and more manageable for switching specs.
3) Enchants: These have also been reduced, which will make us feel them more as well as make gear less expensive to play with different specs.
4) What about Jewelcrafters’ and Enchanters’ pocketbooks? Blizzard stated that they will be creating new ways for them to make money, minimizing the economic impact for those professions.
A couple of other things. As I mentioned above about Brewmaster, armor will now be the primary tanking stat as Blizzard really likes active mitigation going forward. Hit, and expertise will no longer be a factor as they have been removed! The sigh of relief in the room when this was announced was universal. It appears that Blizzard’s philosophy for this expansion is to really remove obstacles and things that are useless wastes of time (looking at you hit and expertise) so we can maximize our time playing. Next up we will be discussing the exciting raid size and name changes! What are you most excited about?