As we near the end of development, it's become apparent that the new Blood Elf models won't be finished to meet our standards before launch.- Chris G. Robinson (@artofcgrobinson) July 30, 2014
Filed under: Warlords of Draenor
So it's still a work in progress, but take heart in the knowledge that Blizzard abandoned their original plan, which was to release the new faces before customization was completed. "Our initial idea was to release the new models with their base face, and then add additional options in updates over the course of the expansion." That would have been a huge mistake, in my opinion. People would likely have been very unhappy with the uncertainty of knowing whether or not they'd get the face they identified with.
Our next big focus is doing justice to the facial options. With the original models and their simplistic geometry and low-resolution textures, a lot of facial expressions were simply painted on. Now that we've moved to higher-polygon models with lips, teeth, and fully articulated faces-not to mention higher-resolution textures-recreating those same facial options isn't as simple as painting them onto a flat surface. Previously, to get a sneer out of a model, you'd just paint a sneer on its face, and that was that. To do it correctly now-and make it look great-we have to fully pose a sneer, create a custom texture, and mesh that base pose with all of the existing emotes and animations.
Head on over to the latest artcraft and check it out now.
This year's gamescom runs from August 13th to August 17th in Cologne, Germany. Dare we hope for a release date for Warlords of Draenor by then? Yes. Yes, we dare to hope for that. Maybe the cinematic? Why not? I'm from Rhode Island and I say release it all! Sorry, got excited, referenced Starship Troopers. it won't happen again.
To get Nat, you'll first have to unlock the garrison Fishing Shack, which becomes available at level 96. From their, your garrison fishing vendor will send you on a quest to catch a specific type of fish from a specific place. Once you turn that in you'll get a quest to go find Nat Pagle, and from there begins his recruitment questline. Once you complete all his requirements -- to fish up various Lunkers throughout Draenor using special bait -- you'll be rewarded with Nat as a level 100 rare-quality garrison follower. You'll also be able to start catching Lunkers throughout Draenor without using bait. No word yet on what Lunkers do, but my guess is that they'll be required for certain high-level cooking recipes, so devoted raiders or guild suppliers probably want to make sure to schmooze Nat into their garrisons! Happy fishing!
Filed under: Warlords of Draenor
A new expansion is certainly about delivering new content, but it's also a vehicle for story progression -- and the end of Mists of Pandaria left behind plenty of questions waiting to be answered. Unfortunately, any questions having to do with Pandaria or Azeroth will have to wait, as we have other, more pressing matters to think about. In Warlords of Draenor, the Iron Horde looms just over the horizon, a threat eerily reminiscent of the old Horde that began the First War so many years ago. Except the Iron Horde is stronger, more organized, and bolstered by the knowledge of just what's on the other side of that Dark Portal they are constructing, thanks to Garrosh Hellscream.
That story, the story of Warlords of Draenor, is taking us in a different kind of direction, the likes of which we haven't seen before. While Mists may have pushed the button on innovation as far as max-level content was concerned, its seemingly never-ending cycle of daily quests upon daily quests quickly grew from entertainment to frustration as players quickly grew tired of the cycle of daily gated content and rewards. Warlords has none of that -- but it does have a whole host of new ways to make the story feel important, without overpowering how the player approaches the game.
Please note: The following Know Your Lore contains small spoilers for Warlords of Draenor.
Oregorger from Heroic Blackrock Foundry will begin at approximately 10:30AM PDT, and the Twin Ogron encounter from Heroic Highmaul will begin at approximately 4pm PDT. Characters that participate in testing will have their effective level scaled to 100 for the purposes of testing, so no need to worry about gear or level. Keep in mind that testing periods are subject to change at any time -- so if you're interested in testing, keep a eye on the official forum thread for any updates.
But perhaps the coolest part of the soundtrack starts at approximately 11 minutes into the piece. Long-time Warcraft fans should immediately recognize the familiar sounds of the human theme from Warcraft III, beautifully re-done with a triumphant flourish. It's a gorgeous new piece of music, but it's also a fantastic nod to one of Blizzard's beloved classics. Listen to the full theme above, and be sure to check out Adriacraft's channel for more from the Warlords beta.
While I can appreciate the skill and care put into these new cat form models, I'm not entirely feeling it, at least not yet. I just can't imagine my druid looking like that! Fortunately, it doesn't seem as if the talent is really relevant to my personal playstyle -- Lunar Inspiration seems more my speed -- but I can see how it may be very important for PvP'ers in particular. What about you? Are you going to grab Claws of Shirvallah at level 100? Is the model part of the reason why or why not?
Check out Wowhead for the full 3D models of all four forms in their modelviewer, as well as video of the new forms in action.
It's really unfortunate that the raid test had to be delayed - I was hoping to get a look at some of the new mechanics, get a feel for how raiding is going to work in Warlords, but I'll admit to understanding the motivation for postponing it. It's not likely that the servers will be as stable as one would hope, and sitting around waiting for them to be up doesn't make for a good, focused group to really test the content.
In addition, the new beta build will be renaming beta realms for clarity. They will lose their unique names, and instead be given names that are simple descriptors.
- Lost Isles (PvE) is being renamed to Beta Leveling Realm 01
- Gilneas (PvP) is being renamed to Beta Leveling Realm 02
- Mekkatorque (PvP) is being renamed to Level 100 PvP
Starting in Warlords of Draenor, you'll be able to change your weapon enchantments or hide them entirely via the Enchanter Building in your Garrison. This is really nothing but great news for those of us obsessed with transmog. Personally, every weapon I own will now get the level 60 Fiery Weapon Enchant. End of story, end of game. I just beat the World of Warcraft, thank you, Jonathan LeCraft.
.@HideEnchants Enchanter garrison building allows you to trade WoD enchants for the same effect with a different visual (including none).- Jonathan LeCraft (@TheCrafticus) July 24, 2014
There's no indication on how much this will cost, and LeCraft said a "maybe" when asked if Death Knight runes will be included in this feature.
Filed under: Warlords of Draenor
Head on over to the official site for the full preview, it's well worth your time.
In yesterday's changes to Warlords of Draenor we saw one of my most beloved spells be removed from a Warlock's demonology spec arsenal: Grimoire of Sacrifice. My Warlock relied on the Grimoire to take care of all his evil ministrations, and whenever he needed to kill something and get that blood urge out of him, his demon was always near by. It's amazing the thing never turned on him.
As far as the reasoning behind its removal, Blizzard has this to say:
Personally I think the change makes sense, even though I enjoy sacrificing my little demon. As to the Grimoire of Synergy, it makes sense too, but looks to be a lot less fun. It almost feels like an old-school talent too, which is interesting given Blizzard's move to get rid of straight up increases.
Update: Clarified that this is about the demonology spec.
That, in fact, is exactly what got me thinking that it's possible that BlizzCon itself is bad for the game, for the game community at large, and for the future of the franchise. BlizzCon, by its very nature, is a hype machine. It's where we learn details about the expansion - its name, its features, its setting and goals - before they are even close to being ready for players. People play demos. Developers give talks about the games. In many ways it's very exciting. I've never been myself, but most of my coworkers and a lot of my in-game friends have. So my argument isn't that BlizzCon itself is bad.
But looking over the past year or so, in terms of Warlords of Draenor and player interaction with it, I start to wonder if having the big reveal at the convention does more harm than good, overall. Expectations are set at the convention - looking at the recent player reaction to the news that Karabor and Bladespire wouldn't be capital cities in Draenor, the issue can in part be traced back to the fact that we were told they would be at BlizzCon. Players (like myself) had months to get excited about the idea of Karabor as a capital city. Then, suddenly, we were told (almost as an afterthought) that no, the capitals were moved to Ashran.
We don't really know much about Draenor. Certainly we know plenty about Outland, the shattered remains of a world once called Draenor, but that shattered world is a mere remnant of what Draenor actually was. In the Warcraft cosmos, the only planet we are incredibly familiar with is Azeroth -- and even then, Azeroth holds plenty of mysteries and riddles that have yet to be solved. But Draenor bears very little resemblance to Azeroth, touted instead as a savage land on which we'll have to fight to survive.
That statement is far more literal than you'd think. And if you thought the Iron Horde was the biggest problem we were going to face on Draenor, you'd be very, very wrong. In a universe of benevolent Titans, bastions of order, what makes a planet fight not just with aggressive invading forces, but itself?
Please note: The following Know Your Lore contains spoilers for Warlords of Draenor.
Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains speculation based on known material. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.