Chris Metzen and Alex Afrasiabi are about to begin the WoW Lore & Quests panel at 5:30pm.
Liveblog begins after the jump.
We are waiting for it to begin.
Chris Metzen: What up BlizzCon!
Alex is the lead quest designer.
Questions that aren't answered today will be posted on their website (or here!).
Chris: Northrend is a natural location for the expansion.
Quick Wrap up on TBC
Pros and retCons
It held together pretty well. "My lazy ass is level 68 so I'm still questing through it."
There were a lot of high concept elements -- not standard fantasy fare.
Reason: building Azeroth for a while and while we had a lot of things not seen in a fantasy world. With Outland, we wanted to push the boundaries a little bit.
Wanted to show where the orcs have come from.
The Burning Legion: Is this the end?
We didn't get to all of the legion content we wanted to and more legion content patches will be forthcoming.
Still parts of Outland that will still take shape. The Legion plotline is not done yet.
Why are we going to Northrend?
This is the land where Arthas went to fight and lost his soul and become the Lich King.
We don't have the details, but there will be an inciting event before this goes live.
Arthas will be seen on the move and will tip his hat and badger the Horde and the Alliance and stir things up. So the Horde and the Alliance will send people to deal with the Scourge Problem.
Old scars only serve as a reminder.
They want to create more of a conflict between Alliance and Horde in Northrend. It will escalate. It will be front and center.
Heroes: Old and new
Garrosh Hellscream and Sylvanas
Highlord Bolvar Fordragon and Brann Bronzebeard
Tirion Fordring and the Order of the Silver Hand
Garrosh Hellscream -- storyline -- knew his dad as a monster. A lot of the questline is trying to convince him that his dad was a hero. You redeem him. As we move on to the next chapter, he will emerge as one of the heroes of Northrend.
Garrosh leads the expedition to Northrend, but he ends up being more aggressive than Thrall would wish.
Lady Sylvanas, she sure does hate Arthas. And she's had her apothecaries creating a designer plague destroy the Scourge.
They will be testing out their new plague across Northrend.
The Forsaken will be getting new architecture.
First time we'll see Brann in WoW but will be a huge part of the alliance campaign in Northrend.
When we last left Tirion, he was mourning his son. We think this is the perfect place to unleash Tirion. We might be hitting on something called the Ashbringer as well within this story arc. (applause)
We gotta get Brann into the game and leverage him into the endgame content.
One of the big overarching themes is the dwarves discovering the origin of life on Azeroth. That storyline will come full circle. Brann will be critical to uncovering the real truth of Azeroth.
New Allies and Enemies
Taunka - ancient offshoot of the Tauren who live in Northrend and have been there for a long time. More like buffalo. Both very spiritual, but where Tauren are very down to earth and they live in tranquil Mulgore. Taunka must subdue the elements and dominate the North Wind. They are anti-rangers. Ultimate survivalists. Ultimate trackers. Not communing with the land, but bullying it again.
They will have different philosophies from the Tauren.
Tuskarr - A fun race. They were a joke when designing Frozen Throne. It really took off. It terms of Northrend, there are so many brutal, evil cultures. The Tuskarr serve as a relief. They pick up their villages and travel nomadically along the coastlines. There are a number of Easter Island like carvings that track their travel paths.
There is probably one ill tempered tribe.
Iron Dwarves are a new critical lynchpin in the tale of the origin of Azeroth. Magical sygils carved into their bodies. Iron black skin. Pretty ill tempered. Not pretty nice. There will be a mystery to be uncovered in the quests.
Vrykul - New race in the Howling Fjord. Giant dark vampyric vikings from hell... We gotta have giant vikings!
They are one of the ancient races of Northrend that we haven't spoken of before... because we hadn't made them up before. (laughter)
They have woken up and are retaking their ancestral lands. I'm a big Thor fan, so here it is.
They will also tie into the big Titan creation myth. There are a lot of really cool surprises about over who they are and who they begot!
Initial questing will introduce you to all of these races and more.
The Lich King
Inside his mind: Genius or madman?
Chris goes over the story of Arthas. He was worn down from his fight vs. the scourge and he lost his morals and merged his spirit with the Lich King. He serves as the main villain of the expansion.
In TBC, Illidan is the main villain, but at the end of the day, how much did you really get about who he is and why bring him down.
In Northrend, we want to make the villains feel more relevant and make the situations where you meet them and wear them down to be more compelling.
Relative to Arthas's experience, he was his greatest rival's greatest weapon. He was the hammer that dropped. It wasn't the army of the Scourge that made it happen, it was the big hero that made it happen.
(cheering in background for another event) Let's here you guys roar. (roaring) Take that yo!
Arthas precipitated this whole thing. But using you guys against your own cities is pretty funny.
It remains to be seen how that will plan out.
Jeff Kaplan touched on this in the dungeon/raid panel. We think the players want to interact want to interact with the key NPCs and elements of the expansion.
So you will be able to interact with Arthas as early as level 70. We also want to cut up the expansion in acts.
A lot of big themes and stories. They will originate and conclude in an act and lead to the ultimate conclusion in battling Arthas. Every player, raider, grouper, soloer will ultimately determine whether he is defeated or whether he takes over.
No details yet or not finished it, but you may see visions of him trying to taunt you. He gets under your skin. By the time you dispense personal justice on this guy, you have a real feeling about it.
Question: Will we kill Arthas? The lich king is an enemy, so probably not kill him. But Arthas, probably.
still working on details
We had the idea that the owner of Frostmourne will become the new Lich King, but you can see the problems with that...
Screenshot of Private Ownusohard dwarf or gnome Lich King.
I am the lich king lol
Lots of laughter.
Uldaman -- suggested there is an Uldoom. We are talking about Uldoom we are absolutely adding Ulduour. A titan city in the far north.
Endzone dungeon: a lot of this Titan stuff goes on.
The Titans may or may not be sending their harbingers, so we will have to see. We cannot confirm or deny...
Imagine them coming back... Crystal Spaceships!
Titans for dinner again? but mom...
Malygos and the waqr against magic. This world must be purified!
Malygos's realm is magic itself.
He was crippled and his mind never recovered from Deathwing's attack. As a result, the Blue Dragonflight hasn't done much lately.
The netherdragon physiology is healing Malygos. His power and his will has become very focused and he is looking around with his ancient eyes -- he sees -- a lot of mages running around.
Malygos is no joke and his minions are pretty powerful.
(repeating an audience member's yells) Bring it on you big blue bitch, right? (applause)
The red dragonflight will stand up and defend us against him. We will get empowered as players by their leader.
The remnants of the Kirin Tor has been crafting a crazy spell. Now they are ripping out Dalaran out of the ground, sending it over Northrend to act as the center.
Leading the Kirin Tor, Rhonin, will feature prominently.
This plan for Dalaran has been around for years.
Nerubians and the old gods, B.F.F.
Ajol Nerub, the ancient spider kingdom in Warcraft 3. It was a really prolific kingdom and has existed for eons.
Chris is going over their origin quickly.
The Akiri worshipped the old gods. After the old gods got punked down, the Akiri got splintered.
I probably didn't need to go into all that, but I figured what the hell. (applause)
As the Lich King first started to setup in Northrend, he found the nerubians and systematically destroyed them and turned them into the crypt lords.
One of our jobs as adventurers is to explore Ajol;Nerub to see what is there. We will find something bigger and ancient and... ok it's obviously one of the old gods. Ok, we've already let that out of the bag. (laughter)
Q: Garona Halforcen
A: Would like to try to make her significant. She is a very cool character and would like to try to bring her back in and make her a den mother of the orcish race. Just an opinion, not sold to the boys yet, but it would be cool to find Thrall a mate one day ... (laughter). I mean, he's gotta have sons, right? That's my thinking but we'll see how that pans out.
Q: Warcraft 2; Will we run into Turalyon and Alleria?
A: They are still MIA. They had planned to bring them into TBC, but they are not in yet. The intention or want is to reveal what has happened to those two critical characters.
Q: Interaction with the gamelore with the movie? true to the game vs. inaccessible to the public. How canonic will it be and will there be an affect in the game?
A: Don't want to say too much about it, the way we are doing the movie, it is by necessity a little more like Xmen or Batman Begins. Such a massive continuity, what's the right story or jumping in point? A little hard to define. It's not a static game, which makes it even harder. We wanted to construct a story that was a perfect jumping off point which hits the main themes. It all comes down to orcs and humans and how they can't get along. I can't tell you what this is, but when we come out with it you'll be like OOHHH right right right!! It will be all that you know. As true to the characters and themes as much as possible, but it is inevitable that it be pushed and pulled on things. For comic fans, it will be the Ultimate version of Warcraft. The continuity will be a little broken, but you will see why and think it is absolutely the right call.
Q: How will the death knights fit into the Alliance, when they were primarily horde.
A: Still deliberating. Warcraft II death knights were on the Horde side. In Warcraft III, it was a number of paladins who succumbed to despair and fear. Arthas never died. Are death knights really dead and do their powers reflect Warcraft III? How can they be let into the factions? They are similar to warlocks, so they are a necessary evil. Creatures who can fight fire with fire. Not set in stone, but imagine they have gone through death knight academy and in the graduation ceremony, you've got all your powers and taking all your tests, and you decide you're just not with these guys. A Robin Hood element. Much like the Forsaken. The death knights will have to make their own choice as to who they will serve and how they will use their powers. Not finalized, but this is what is discussing.
Q: Emerald Nightmare, what's the deal?
A: We will likely not see a result in this expansion, but there is a major upcoming event... there are a lot of events that may have common ties. It is definitely a plotline that will be explored at a later date.
Q: Fight against Arthas? Like Illidan? with the help from others.
A: That sounds pretty cool. We haven't talked about it but it sounds great. That guy right there just got you help during the encounter! (cheer)
Q: Arthas had an older sister, will she come into play.
A: No plans, but will follow up and see if she is interesting enough.
Chris: For the Horde!
Thank you for joining us! This is the last liveblog for the day. The concert will be starting soon and there will still be updates.