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Posts with tag Alex-Afrasiabi

BlizzCon 2014 interviews feature Cory Stockton, Alex Afrasiabi

Just in case you missed it in the madness of Warlords of Draenor's launch, WoW Insider had the opportunity to interview not one but two developers this year at BlizzCon 2014. Both interviews were posted earlier this week and are well worth the look -- and may have been missed in the flood of Warlords expansion announcements and updates.

For those with more of a bent towards lore, the interview with World of Warcraft's Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi focused on the story behind the expansion, including discussion on alternate universes, some surprising stories about Garrosh Hellscream and the development of Warlords, and even an interesting tidbit about alternate Azeroth.

For those with more of a technical bent and burning questions about Warlords of Draenor's features and content, check out our interview with Lead Game Designer Cory Stockton. In the interview, we take an in-depth look at garrisons and their development, the new look of Warcraft's professions, and some cool new things to look forward to with transmogrification, as well as a few other fun features of the latest expansion.


Filed under: Interviews, BlizzCon, Warlords of Draenor

Alex Afrasiabi on Warlords, Garrosh, and alternate Azeroth

Warlords of Draenor is a little over 24 hours away from launch! Although Warlords of Draenor is seemingly a step in a different story direction for the franchise, it has never been in more capable hands. BlizzCon may be over, but we had the opportunity during the convention to sit down and chat with World of Warcraft's Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi about the new expansion, Garrosh Hellscream, Warcraft's creative direction, and much more.

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Filed under: Lore, Interviews, BlizzCon, Warlords of Draenor

Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi's weekly look into Warcraft's past

Twitter Throwback Thursdays are one idea that World of Warcraft Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi has grabbed onto with both hands, and today was no exception. We saw the very first Naaru in the game, before they had a naming convention, and apparently before they stopped being boxing champions.

Alex followed this with an image showing his design for the DK starting area, a colorful but almost illegible flow chart that split the starting experience into chapters, and, from what I can read at least, had several recognizable quests and characters spelled out.

Next up was a screenshot of a very orderly queue in the DK start area on beta, apparently a bug was causing a bottleneck, which the beta players decided to overcome with an orderly queue, and stern admonishment for anyone who tried to skip their place in line.

Lastly, an image of the testing of the Battle for Undercity. While not much detail was provided on this now-removed feature, the image shows an Alliance group, with a couple of Horde flags, and a whole lot of deep freezes. It's great fun seeing old shots and remembering the days when that was a totally normal screen resolution!

Filed under: News items, Interviews

Warlords of Draenor: Gameplanet interviews Alex Afrasiabi

Gaming news website Gameplanet has posted an interview with Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi featuring a detailed discussion about the next expansion for World of Warcraft. Along with discussing the development of Garrosh Hellscream, Afrasiabi dropped some interesting new tidbits we hadn't heard before. Ner'zhul will be allied with the Iron Horde, but only for, as stated in the interview, a short time. In addition, garrisons are shaping up to be a massive, interactive experience -- and sound much more expansive and interesting than the farms introduced in Mists of Pandaria.

And if that weren't enough, there's some new details on the introduction to the expansion itself. The Iron Horde is trying to push through the Dark Portal into Azeroth, and players are immediately thrown into a frenetic 45-minute gameplay experience in which they are immediately confronted by thousands of Iron Horde. Afrasiabi states that players will, in that moment, realize where the orcs that have been streaming through the Dark Portal in the weeks leading up to the expansion's release have been coming from. It looks like we'll have our return of pre-expansion events -- something that was sorely missed leading into Mists of Pandaria.

But the most interesting part of the interview involves the discussion of flight on Draenor.

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Filed under: News items, Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

More old World of Warcraft design notes

Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi loves to tweet out his old notes, and this morning has seen another two instalments from his journals of Warcraft past. This time, we saw Rhok'delar's design laid out in messy scrawls over two pages, personally the "turn in to third dude" made me chuckle. The interesting thing about those notes is how the design is created before any kind of story, and how the different stages panned out in concept.

Next up, as an extra treat, Alex posted the to do list we see above, which you can view in all its glory on Twitter. He also issues a challenge, asking readers to spot what didn't make it to fruition. What can you see? I can certainly see a couple of lines that I can barely make out... Repeatable something something for Silithus? Hard to tell. And if you want to follow the Blizzard team on Twitter to see these for yourselves, WoW Insider posted a guide to Blizzard's Twitter accounts.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion

Alex Afrasiabi's design framework for Benediction

Benediction design notes
Today on twitter Alex Afrasiabi is at it again with the pictures, this time with the above: a photo of his 10-year-old notes for the design framework of two classic priest weapons: Benediction and Anathema.

Priests from World of Warcraft's days of yore probably have vivid memories of these coveted items, Benediction and its counterpart, Anathema. In order to obtain them, an eager priest would first have to get The Eye of Divinity from Majordomo Executus in Molten Core, then The Eye of Shadow from an elite demon in The Blasted Lands or Winterspring. With both trinkets equipped, the ghostly questgiver Eris Havenfire became visible in the Eastern Plaguelands. Eris would then task the player with healing and curing 50 peasants escaping the undead. If 15 of them died, you failed the quest. Once you had successfully completed the objective, Eris would give you the Splinter of Nordrassil, which together with the two trinkets created Benediction. Priests could then switch the two staves into each other as they wished.

Afrasiabi's photo is a nice little glimpse into a world WoW has largely left behind, and a sure shot of nostalgia for those who were there. It's also nice to see how much of the work was done the old fashioned way, with pen and paper! What a nice, pre-Valentine's Day gift for the playerbase.

Filed under: News items

Warlords of Draenor: New Gorgrond screenshot

Gorgrond in Draenor
Hot on the heels of the Talador screenshot we got the other day, Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi has also tweeted the above picture of another Draenor zone: Gorgrond. Gorgrond is found in Draenor's north, a formerly lush oasis that has been reduced to Victorian levels of pollution (thanks Olivia!) by the Blackrock clan's industrial development.

I'd say the picture, with an Iron Horde fortress looming ominously in the background, makes Gorgrond seem like a suitably hostile place. It's certainly far less inviting than Talador was. My poor druid is already feeling the distaste.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

BlizzCon 2013: World of Warcraft Adventure Continues Q&A

The World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues panel during Friday's action-packed BlizzCon featured Lead Narrative Designer Dave Kosak giving a short presentation on the story behind the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Along with the history lesson, which was summed up by Matthew Rossi, the panel also featured a brief Q&A session that wasn't advertised in the program, but proved to be a pretty good list of questions and answers about the new expansion and what we can expect to see.

Along with some clarifications on whether or not this is a time travel expansion (it isn't), there are also a few new lore reveals regarding the next expansion, and some tasty tidbits of odds and ends that have yet to be addressed. Read on for the full list of questions -- some of the answers may surprise you.

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Filed under: Lore, BlizzCon

Furor returns to World of Warcraft

Alex Furor Afrasiabi
Alex Afrasiabi, AKA Furor, has returned to work on World of Warcraft. Alex began his career as the guild leader of a famous Everquest guild (Fires of Heaven) and then came to work at Blizzard, eventually becoming Lead World Designer for WoW. He left WoW and was rumored to be working on the Titan project. But now, according to the BlizzCon schedule, he is the Creative Director for what we assume is the next expansion. He will be on World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues panel.

Also appearing on the panel is Game Director Tom Chilton and Dave Kosak, who was formerly the Lead Quest Designer and is now listed as the Lead Narrative Designer. As this panel will be discussing the direction of the story, Chris Metzen will of course be there as Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development.

The panel will be at 2:30 p.m. PST on the A Panel Stage. So if you are interested in the story and/or the return of Furor, the Adventure Continues panel is for you. If you're not attending BlizzCon and don't have the Virtual Ticket, WoW Insider will definitely be covering this panel.

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

Alex Afrasiabi and Tom Chilton on Cataclysm

"I think people are blown away. I'm blown away, and I'm so jaded at this point." If you're looking for the big quote from this interview G4's Feedback did with Alex Afrasiabi (WoW's lead world designer) and Tom Chilton (its lead designer), then look no further, my friends. Discussion topics include whether Blizzard is going to take over Harmonix (all signs seem to point to no), the attempt at parity between goblin and worgen starting zones, how it feels to step into these new zones as a player once you've taken off your designer hat, and the battle between design intent and scheduling.

If you're interested in hearing from the horse's mouth what Blizzard was thinking when it implemented Kezan or redesigned your favorite zone, here's your chance.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Blizzard developers lead visual tour of Cataclysm zones

I recently spoke to a friend in game about the new zones developed for Cataclysm. Some of them are so packed with visual highlights (like Vashj'ir or Deepholm) that I found myself spending more time ooohing and aahing over new sights and sounds than actually playing. The combination of new and alien vistas, gorgeous new effects, and stunning creatures (seriously, whoever designed the new sea life in Vashj'ir is a bloody genius) has kept me more or less dazed the whole time I've been mucking about down there.

If you're a gawker like me in Azeroth's hottest tourist spots, the folks at G4 have these video tours of the new zones for your perusal, hosted not by David Attenborough (although that would be cool) but instead by Blizzard's Alex Afrasiabi, the lead world designer. This is sort of like having a tour of the Labyrinth hosted by Daedalus. The zones in question, Vashj'ir, Uldum, and the redesigned Stormwind, are some of my favorites (although I am bummed out there's no tour of Deepholm, possibly my favorite new zone), and I really enjoyed listening to how Blizzard designed Stormwind from the ground up for Cataclysm. So go check those out.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

Scarlet Blouse Gentleman receives NPC for fact checking efforts

Unless you've been living in a cave since BlizzCon 2010, it's highly likely you've heard of the unnamed gentleman in the scarlet blouse who managed to catch Alex Afrasiabi and Chris Metzen in an error during the Quests and Lore panel at the convention. The man and his question have since gone viral, the video of his question and the answer receiving over 2 million views on YouTube. He's since posted a video in response to the internet's reaction, and the original video even appeared on The Soup as the clip of the week.

According to a post on Reddit, the popularity of his question and answer have not gone unnoticed by Blizzard staff, as Falstad has made his return to his rightful seat on the Council of Three Hammers, accompanied by ... a gentleman in a scarlet blouse. This NPC, named Wildhammer Fact Checker, is an obvious tribute to the man who was clever enough to catch the error and confront Blizzard on it. While the NPC does not appear to be on the beta servers as of yet, blue poster Valnoth confirmed the existence of the NPC on the official forums. Hopefully, Falstad's loyal Fact Checker will continue to keep the record straight as far as who should be where and who definitely isn't deceased, in the future.

[Thanks to reader Otown for the tip!]

BlizzCon 2010 is over! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. You'll find our liveblogs of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: News items, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2010: Quests and lore panel highlights

The Quests and Lore panel at BlizzCon 2010 answered some old questions, raised a few new ones and featured some information with heavy implications as to what we may see in future Cataclysm content. The panel, hosted by Alex Afrasiabi and Chris Metzen, was a flat-out Q&A geekfest in which the hosts answered as many questions from the audience as possible in the hour they were given to do so. Check out our liveblog for the full coverage of questions asked and answered, and read on for some of the most surprising moments from the panel.

Please note: The rest of this article contains heavy Cataclysm spoilers. If you wish to avoid any content reveals, veer away now!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, BlizzCon

BlizzCon 2010: Emerald Dream and/or Nightmare in the future

There are a lot of questions that come up from the WoW community at events like BlizzCon. Will we ever have player or guild housing? Why doesn't Blink work right? Where's my moose? One question that keeps coming up is will we ever see the Emerald Dream or its corrupted version, the Emerald Nightmare?

While there is no announcement for an exact date or even which expansion it will appear, Alex "Valnoth" Afrasiabi (lead world designer for World of Warcraft) has finally answered this for us, and that answer is yes. The problem comes down to a matter of finding the right place to fit it in. This might mean something in patch 4.2 or all the way in patch 6.2. It really comes down to when it will fit in the game storyline.

At least we now know that it is something they will do.
BlizzCon 2010 is upon us! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. We're bringing you liveblogging of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, BlizzCon

G4 talks to Blizzard about five years of WoW

We are quickly approaching the fifth anniversary of World of Warcraft's release (my calendar has it on the 23rd of November), and G4 has gotten a head start on celebrating -- they sent Morgan Webb over to Blizzard headquarters to talk to the team, including Tom Chilton, Alex Afrasiabi, and Jeff Kaplan, about what things have been like in the last five years since WoW's launch. There's nothing super groundbreaking in here, but there is lots of reminiscing about the game's early thinking -- Chilton talks about how dual specs were never even considered as an idea (until they, you know, were) and what things were like in the early post-launch days. Pretty stressful, sounds like.

Afrasiabi talks about how the quest team puts together and tracks all of the game's quests (he mentions both Metzen and the game's historian as the "lorekeepers" of the game), and the fact that they've put together "millions of words" of story and background lore for the game at large. He specifically talks about Cataclysm and replacing questlines, and says that if something does get removed from the game, they're hoping to replace it with something better, but most "fan favorites" will stay. And finally, Jeff Kaplan looks back on the early game itself, from unfinished zones to broken balance to launch day exhaustion. G4 teases something about the next MMO project, but all he says is that he can't talk about it. Oh well -- if we can't look forward, at least we get a nice look back from the folks at Blizzard who've been there since the beginning. You can see all four of the videos after the break.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Quests, Lore

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