Ever wonder what it might be like to see two of your favorite Blizzard games collide in an epic battle? No, we’re not talking about cosplayers from this year’s BlizzCon (though that could be interesting). Instead, check out this video by Blizzmeng of the Zerg invasion on Azeroth. They come fast, furious and dirty — who will win? Could this be one common enemy that would unite Alliance and Horde together in battle?
Who do you think would win if the Zerg initiated a full-on invasion of Azeroth? You know they’re floating out there in space somewhere — perhaps not too far from a neighboring Blizzard world. I think we have the makings of the next post-Cataclysm expansion!
Yeah, I’m only, like, a few years late. After buying the War of the Ancients trilogy months ago, I finally actually picked it up and started reading, and now have finished the first book in the trilogy, The Well of Eternity. You’ll hear my thoughts on the writing style in this week’s WoWCast, but for the purposes of this post, I thought it’d be fun to talk a bit about the lore I’ve picked up so far.
As a preface, you should know that this was my first time reading a novel based in the Warcraft universe. Some of you reading may be thinking, well, of course you’re going to pick up lore and back story when reading Warcraft-themed novels. And I did. But it was more than that — at least, much more than I expected.
But I would argue that, when you truly allow yourself to be taken in by the story, it becomes a matter much greater than just knowing the detailed lore surrounding the events. Author Richard Knaak allows readers the privilege of peering into the thoughts of each character. Not only do we see what they do, but we also learn the intimacies of their motivations, their secrets, the happenings that not even others in the story may understand.
Time and time again, we’ve hammered in the idea that Cataclysm is a massive undertaking — quite possibly the most ambitious “expansion pack” to any game previously released, and nearly large enough in terms of content to count as an actual sequel. But given recent news, it’s hard to shake the feeling that Blizzard may have bitten off a little more than they can chew. Core systems such as Path of the Titans and Guild Talents have been totally scrapped, in favor of vastly simplified ones that both ease balance and assuage the development process.
Then, we learn that other bullet points so boldly splayed out on the big screen at BlizzCon 2009 like a deli cart full of choice meats, are being reconsidered or pushed back into content patches. Heroic versions of Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep may not fall to the same fate as the fabled “Dance Studio,” but on the surface they don’t seem like terribly hard things to implement, right?
Well, actually, that’s a perfect example of the problem. Blizzard isn’t simply dealing with a looming release and waning interest in the current content (which Ruby Sanctum will resurrect about as effectively as a paramedic using a potato battery for a defibrillator); they’re also compelled by their obsessive need to ship a quality product. That’s to say that a Heroic version of Deadmines isn’t that easy to implement. On one hand, an update of an old dungeon isn’t as pressing as polishing the brand news ones, meaning that it can safely be set on the back burner. On the other hand, Blizzard clearly wants to do more with it than plug in new stats for the mobs and rejigger the loot table (like they did with Naxxramas). If they’re going to push the Defias storyline forward, Deadmines has to reflect that, and that could mean brand new bosses and events or compelling versions of the old ones (personally, I’d like to see them fix all the mobs on the pirate ship that seem to have x-ray vision). Releasing with, say, 4.1 would allow them to do just that.
As we inch closer to the Fall, I’d expect to see more promised features fall by the wayside, become neutered, or otherwise look far different from their original incarnation. It’s a fact of life in the video game industry, and it’s hardly something new for a Blizzard game. But we shouldn’t fret quite yet… Continue Reading
It’s been a long, nearly eight months since we first learned that Mount Hyjal would become a playable zone back at BlizzCon 2009, and now we’re finally starting to hear some of the juicy details. Today, Blizzard released a new informational page on the zone detailing some of the zone’s lore, areas within the level 78-82 phased zone, and a teaser on Firelands, an “all-new level-85 raid dungeon” in the zone.
Here’s the basics:
For years, Mount Hyjal and the wounded World Tree, Nordrassil, have remained cut off from the rest of Azeroth. Sealed away within a protective field of dense foliage by Malfurion Stormrage, Nordrassil has been slowly recovering from the devastation of the Third War, when Malfurion called upon the tree’s power to destroy the archdemon Archimonde and repel the forces of the Burning Legion and Scourge. Now, with the impending cataclysm, the World Tree’s well-being is threatened once more. From the Firelands within the Elemental Plane, Ragnaros and his minions prepare to burst into Hyjal and set Nordrassil ablaze — and the conflagration would endanger all life on Azeroth.
In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, players will have the opportunity to explore the newly reopened Mount Hyjal as Azeroth’s heroes, with the help of Ysera, Malfurion Stormrage and Hamuul Runetotem, are called upon to push back the armies of the Firelord, banish Ragnaros to the Elemental Plane and lay waste to the twilight dragon stronghold in nearby Darkwhisper Gorge. This all-new level 78-82 zone will feature multiple quest hubs, phased terrain and quest lines, portals to micro-zones within the Firelands, an all-new raid dungeon, and much more.
Read on for the full details, a brief analysis and another screenshot.