Saturday, 9 November 2013

Blizzcon Recap - Day 1

   As all of you know, yesterday was the first of the two days of Blizzcon. If you were able to attend then I envy you greatly. For those of us that didn't, here's a recap of the WoW-based info released from Day One.

   Warlords of Draenor is the next WoW expansion.
   However, it has nothing to do with the Burning Legion, so, in essence, my speculation was more or less completely wrong. Blizzard have also said that they have 'many more expansions lined up' so the game will continue for years yet - though whether people are happy about this is a foggy subject. I know where I stand on it.
   It is, instead, travelling back in time and seeing Draenor before it was destroyed. This aspect I am excited about. The others, not so much. You will also reach level 100 - that's an extra 10 levels this expansion, rather than the recent 5 in the past two. Hopefully there will be enough content to keep this interesting, and hopefully keep levelling perhaps three characters still a bit fresh. It's inevitable, however, that we will find it tedious after a few run-throughs, and that's the danger of alts. So, as ever, prioritise well.

   New WoW Character Models are coming.
   They'll be released with the new expansion, but that raises questions: how long did it take Blizzard to work on 25% of them, which was when they shelved them a month ago? Did they lie and have been continuing work all this time, or had more than 25% done? Is it actually a quicker job than they've let on? Or do Blizzard count their percentages the same way your PC does when it's running an anti-virus scan? Either way, they are simply upgraded versions of the currently existing Vanilla races, and we're not likely to see any real changes in terms of design, meaning the Undeads' rot is still stupidly symmetrical, and male Orcs are still likely to be hunched while the females stand tall. Still, only the male Orc, Gnome and Dwarf are previewable at the moment.

   Other races have a few screenshots of the progress so far but they aren't officially previewable yet. I'm actually quite excited about the Undead so far, though they're still symmetrical, but the detail on the bone actually looks great. I'm excited to see the females, and Spinegrinder's future.

   You'll be able to boost a single character on your account straight to 90.
   I'm not sure how I feel about this. This is aimed more at new players - if they only just started playing then they'll have to wait for a long time before they can experience Warlords of Draenor, however it also seems to make many things redundant. It means they'll be able to get heirlooms easily with barely working (ie 1-80) for them, so any other characters they make can rocket to 90 as well and they won't experience the game, despite being first-time players; they won't understand their classes and will faceroll and try to raid immediately without knowing how anything works; they won't experience any of the past content which has had hundreds of hours of work gone into it by so many different developers and designers, and won't be able to appreciate the new content the way we will. However, for those of us who have played the game properly several times through, it does mean that we can raise a character that we've been meaning to level but can't be bothered again. I plan to race change my Worgen Rogue to Undead and boost her from 42 to 90.

   Player housing, to a degree, will be taking place with your own garrison.
   This appears more like a minigame in its arrangement, as if they've added an aspect of Warcraft to WoW - build your base and upgrade it over time. It's also got the SWTOR feature of having NPCs do quests for you - though I'm 100% certain that they cannot do actual quests in your place. The houses look delightlful, I think, when they're level 1, and by the time they're level 3 it's a bit too much. Of course upgrading your garrison will yield better rewards, but I have to wonder whether the rewards are worth it. I might just make it look pretty on an alt, assuming each character has its own garrison. Though all we've really seen so far is the Alliance's garrison in Shadowmoon Valley. The garrison will be movable, and you can, apparently, pick the zone you want it in, though whether that means actual zone, or just means plot within the same zone, or simply building plots in a single allocated area, I don't know. But apparently over the next expansions we'll be able to upgrade it further. This is a long-term project, clearly, and other players will be able to visit your 'home', but likely by invitation only.

   Dragonfly Mount

What does this mean? Does it mean Fey Dragon, or does it, more likely, mean this thing?

    There is a lot of other info, and you can find all of it on MMO Champion. I picked out the bits that I found most interesting. And anyway, here's the trailer for the new expansion. Enjoy.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

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