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What we learned from BlizzCon


Here it is-- a comprehensive, one-post guide to everything we learned at BlizzCon 2007. From Alleria to Zul'Aman, it's all here. Everything we know about Death Knights, Wrath of the Lich King, what's happening in Azeroth between now and the next expansion release, what Blizzard thinks about midlevel content, and how they're going to deal with the AFKers in Alterac.

From top to bottom, in alphabetical order, here's every single new thing WoW Insider learned (and confirmed-- no speculation here) in Anaheim this weekend. If you have questions or additions, add them below, and I'll either update the list, or answer them to the best of my knowledge. Enjoy.
-Alchemy
  • Change coming to daily Transmute cooldown-- will make it reset like a raid instance
  • Discoveries will be easier to get
-Alterac Valley
  • AFKers are a huge problem and "will be dealt with," "going to be dealt with," "We have plans for those people."
  • Players won't spawn in the cave until there is nowhere else to spawn
  • Players will report AFKers, and when enough reports have gone down, AFKers will get a debuff that only disappears when they enter combat. When they don't, they get another debuff that keeps them from gaining honor that BG.
  • Honor distribution will change-- more honor towards the end of the BG
  • Pulling mechanics will change-- no more solo Vandar Stormpike pull
  • Group queuing in AV will return
-Arena PvP
  • New arena and gear coming in Season 3
  • DoTs will be affected by resilience in 2.3
  • Map gimmicks (ie Cyclones) are a bad idea, no more of those
  • Rating requirement will be necessary to buy an arena weapon, so no more saving up points just for the weapon
  • Fear isn't overpowered in 5v5, though it may be in 3v3 and 2v2
  • In Season 3, season 1 gear will become available through the regular honor system (thanks, Aurdon)
-Arthas Menethil
  • Is not dead-- we may be able to separate him from the Lich King
  • We will have interaction with him the whole time in Northrend, as early as 70
  • Wants to turn players against the Alliance and the Horde just as he was turned against his own people
  • Sylvanas and/or Jaina will probably join the actual fight against him
  • Will do something really bad to Azeroth to send the Alliance and Horde after him
  • "Every player, raider, grouper, soloer will ultimately determine whether he is defeated or whether he takes over."
  • Arthas had a sister? She may come into play
-Battlegrounds
  • New BG coming in the expansion, will be 15v15 and take about 30-40 minutes to complete
  • Will include siege weapons, which are player-controlled and can destroy certain buildings
  • "Meat Wagons," "Ballistas," and "Catapults" are all listed as examples
  • No name announced yet
  • BGs are created as "Warcraft III meets Battlefield 1942"
  • Alterac Valley was originally non-instanced, as Lake Wintergrasp will be
  • Flag in EOTS was originally a 5th mobile objective
  • Considering making variable sizes of battlegrounds-- playing same BG as a 15v15 or a 20v20
  • Guild Battlegrounds are being considered, as well as a guild rating for each BG
-Cooking
  • Daily quests coming in 2.3
  • New recipes: Food that buffs melee and spell crit.
  • Shockcops-- like Dragonbreath Chili, but with lightning damage
-Death Knight
  • WoW's first Hero Class
  • Like an Anti-Paladin, can tank with 2h or dual wield (no shields)
  • Wears plate, likes bladed weapons (runeswords and runeaxes)
  • Will use a Rune resource system rather than Mana, Rage, or Energy-- choose six Blood, Frost, or Unholy runes out of combat that can be consumed for spells, or refreshed by spells and abilities
  • Will have their own mount and itemization
  • Will be Alliance and Horde, "unlocked" via a long quest at level 80, and that quest will supposedly explain how players can become Death Knights
  • Once unlocked, starts off at a higher level (55, 60, 70, not sure yet)
  • Spell: Army of the Dead: Summons ghouls. Not a pet class, but some abilities like that.
  • Available to all races
-Druids
  • Moonkin itemization will get better
  • Moonkin mana is being examined
  • Decurse and Cure Poison coming in Treeform
-Engineering
  • Will be able to craft a new flying machine
  • Going to "get some love"
  • Working on "reducing the selfishness" of the profession
-Enchanting
  • New enchant: Executioner. Occasionally ignore 840 of your opponent's armor. Power comparable to Mongoose.
-Hero Classes
  • Death Knight will be the only one in the new expansion
  • More are coming-- the idea is to put all WCIII Heroes in eventually
  • Will be a completely separate character-- the devs said players who upgraded their character felt they were losing something by doing so
  • Will start at a higher level and with "pretty good" gear
  • No additions to character slot numbers
-Hunters
  • Legendary ranged weapon coming
  • Hunters having to buy two arena weapons is a problem, and prices are being reconsidered
  • Hunter mana is being examined
  • Hunter arena representation is being examined for 2.3
-Inscription
  • New profession in WotLK
  • Inscribe spells and abilities with extra power (example: Fireball gets knockback or extra damage)
  • Create completely new items (not scrolls)
  • Another side of inscription that is not yet announced
-Jewelcrafting
  • Jewelcrafter only gems: +12 Spell Crit Y, +26 Healing R, +18 Stam B. Made from blue gems.
  • New recipe: Steady Talasite, +4 Resilience and +4 Stam Y/B. Meant to raise prices of Talasite on AH.
-Lake Wintergrasp
  • Non-instanced PvP zone in Northrend
  • Will have multiple objectives (like AV), siege weapons, and a persistent effect (like the Spirit Towers)
-Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain
-Machinima
  • Illegal Danish 2, "Escape from Orgrimmar," was delayed because of the WSVG, should be out in the next two weeks
-Mages
  • Water and Food factories (like the soulwell) are incoming
-Miscellaneous
  • Some people have far too much time on their hands
  • Profession daily quests coming, cooking quests coming in 2.3, fishing probably soon after that
  • Free spell damage for healers coming on items
  • Spirit is being re-examined, maybe adding more mana regen to it for next expansion
  • 1-60 and 1-70 leveling time should be made to go faster
  • New Caverns of Time instance coming soon, before the expansion
  • One more raid dungeon, including six more bosses, coming in BC-- very likely the Sunwell
  • Naxx will play a part in the next expansion, so players may get another chance to see it
  • Also considering another 5 man before the expansion
  • Midlevel content and making old dungeons heroic is not seen as a priority by Blizzard
  • Refer-a-friend may make it easier for friends to play by offering leveled characters
-Northrend
  • Will not be all snow and ice
  • Has been planned since before WoW was released
  • Will have more zones than Outland, since no new race means more time for content (map they showed us had 10 zones, but not finalized)
  • Dalaran will be the "Shattrath of the North," a huge city hovering over the center
  • Flying mounts will be useable
  • New races: Taunka (anti-Tauren, control the land instead of worship it), Tuskarr (nomadic Walrus fishermen), Iron Dwarves, Vrykul (giant vampiric Vikings)
  • Instances: Utgarde Keep (Vrykul castle), Ulduor (Titan instance)
  • Two points of entry (so no chokepoint like HFP)
  • Howling Fjord: has Utgarde Keep, huge cliffs, two levels, ships, Daggercap Bay
  • Borean Tundra: Tuskarr, Naga are there melting half the ice, inspired by Easter Island, Warsong Hold, Gnome town (with airstrips)
  • Grizzly Hills: Furbolgs, Grizzlemaw, redwood forest feel, also Dwarven city called Durn Rhodan (sp?)
  • Dragonblight: Where dragons go to die, huge dragon skeletons, ice caves (with new shader system)
-NPCs/Lore
  • No plans for Garona Halforcen yet, but Metzen would like (personally) for her to get jiggy with Thrall
  • Garrosh Hellscream will go into Northrend (to the Orc fortress at Warsong Hold) and maybe start to be a little more like his father
  • Turalyon and Alleria will return
  • The Kirin Tor has moved Dalaran to hover above Northrend (it was always planned by Blizzard that the city would fly, although where it would go is pretty new)
  • No current plans for Argent Dawn to appear in Northrend
  • The Burning Legion isn't dead yet, but we may see more progress against it before the expansion (in content patches)
  • Brann Bronzebeard will be a big part of the Alliance campaign in Northrend
  • Tirion Fordring and the Ashbringer will make an appearance in the expansion
  • Forsaken will finally get their own architecture, and will be introducing their own plague against the Scourge
  • Malygos is back and fighting a campaign against magic, Kirin Tor (and Rhonin) will oppose, as will the Red Dragonflight (Alexstrasza!)
  • Nerubians will be messing around with that "Old God" seen in Warcraft III
  • Emerald Nightmare not coming yet
-Paladins
  • Season 3 arena set has resilience on it. Old sets won't be changed, because players bought those as is.
  • Paladin stats will be rearranged. Reliance on spell damage will specifically be lessened.
-Priests
  • Lolightwell will be looked at, get better scaling from gear
  • Circle of Healing will also be examined, should be improved
  • **Fear ward will finally be spread around in the expansion** (I'll make that bold and starred for emphasis :) )
-Rogues
  • Rogue mobility in PvP, especially Arenas, is an issue and is being looked at
  • Sap is useless in arenas, so that utility is being looked at
-Shaman
  • Shamanistic Rage will reduce damage taken by 30% when it's on, as well as its previous mana-regenerating effect.
  • New talent: Shamanistic Focus. Seems to occupy the place of the previous Two-Handed Axes and Maces talent. Reads as follows: Rank 1/1: After landing a melee critical strike, you enter a Focused state. The focused state reduces the mana cost of your next shock spell by 60%.
  • Mental Quickness increases spell damage and healing [thanks, csulok] by 30% of your AP (for 3/3 talent points) as well as its previous instant-cast cost reduction effect.
  • Evaluating CC options for Shaman in 71-80.
  • Mana Spring Totem will be buffed.
-Tailoring
  • Frostweave is the new cloth in Northrend
-UI/Addons
  • Blizzard wants to bring popular addons into the UI: versions of KTM, Item Rack and Deadly Boss Mods should be incoming
-Warcraft: The Movie
  • Legendary Pictures wants it to be a tentpole movie
  • Released in 2009
  • Will be more of a combination/reimagining of events in Warcraft
  • Thrall will make an appearance, as will other Warcraft heroes
  • There will be a new lead character, probably Human (boo!)
  • Live action, director and cast not yet picked
  • Rating obviously not picked, but will not be G or PG. This is Warcraft, not World of Pillow-fightcraft.
  • "Absolutely a war movie"- 300, Braveheart, Gladiator
  • Teldrassil will make an appearance
-Warrior
  • Protection DPS being examined
-Wrath of the Lich King
  • Raises level cap to 80
  • No release date yet, besides when it's done, of course
  • Will open up Northrend
  • May require Burning Crusade to play
  • There will be a closed beta, and a number of different ways to get into it
  • +1/3 new recipes were added in BC, and same will be added in WotLK
  • New avatar hairstyles, skin colors, and will be able to change existing ones
  • Learned a lot from attunements in BC-- looking at making that easier, including having one person attune a whole guild
-Zul'Aman
  • Is Indiana Jones-themed
  • Full of un-polymorphable Amani'shi trolls, including Flame casters, and Crocolisk handlers
  • Lots of waterfalls, carved stone altars, and a lagoon area
  • Drop: Dagger of Bad Mojo: 98.6 DPS, +21 Agility, increase AP by 40, ignore 154 armor
  • Drop: Jin'rohk, The Great Apocalypse -- hi stam + haste sword
  • Sets for Rogues, Moonkin, DPS Warriors, and Elemental Shamans
  • 20 minutes "Sacrifice" timers start when you zone in
  • Hex Lord Malacrass gets stronger as sacrifices get... sacrificed
  • Nalorakk: Lynx boss, Akil'Zon: Eagle boss, Halazzi: Bear boss, Jan'Alai: Dragonhawk boss

Filed under: Fan stuff, WoW Insider Business, Blizzard, News items, Instances, Expansions, Leveling, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

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