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Posts with tag ChrisMetzen

Blue Posts and Other WoW News: Chris Metzen's curious tweets

Join us every weekday evening as Today in WoW runs down all the WoW news that you could possibly want. From comments from Blizzard's blues to the latest datamining info -- we've got you covered.

I heard the floating skull was a little scary for some people. So here are some sheep. They shouldn't be that bad. It's not like the all explode or anything crazy...

Don't forget to check out our Weekly Podcast Roundup to find out what else is going on in the WoW community. And if you have a news tip, feel free to drop us a line and let us know.

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Filed under: Today in WoW

Immersion in the story is just icing on the cake

Chris Metzen and Alex Afrasiabi discussed with players at BlizzCon their desire for the World of Warcraft to be more immersive, for the characters to be more believable and relevant, and for the story to be more at the forefront, right alongside gameplay.

So now a professional screenwriter named Cocles submitted a suggestion on the forums as to how that feeling could be created, by letting the world's characters react to you in a more believable way. Here's one of his examples:
Think of how immersive it would be if you were to step into Outland and have Nazgrel look at you and say, "When I sent word to Orgrimmar that we needed more troops, I never dreamed they would send the slayer of C'thun himself to aid us. You will be a great asset to us Cocles, and I am glad to see you here!"

Had I not killed C'thun, or done anything else of note, Nazgrel could instead look me up and down and say, "Well grunt, let's see what you're made of."
Check out Blizzard's response beyond the jump...

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Filed under: Lore, RP

Putting the War back in World of Warcraft

Lagerosi asked on the general forums if The Frozen Throne was in fact the end of the war between the Alliance and the Horde. Jheric clarified our current faction status well:

What exists now is essentially a cold war, with the two factions fighting in proxy areas such as Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin, much like the way the U.S. and U.S.S.R. would send weapons and 'advisers' to small countries in Africa and Asia.

With the transition from active warfare has come shifting allegiances, such as the Blood Elves joining the Horde after falling out with the Alliance (pretty much all the fault of one Alliance general), and Dalaran electing for neutrality.


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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Expansions, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

The voices of Azeroth

Last week we looked at who made the soundtrack of Azeroth (and I heard-- and saw-- those very people at the Video Games Live BlizzCon concert), and this week, olanthe on WoW Ladies wants to know who's behind the other, very memorable part of WoW's audio: the voices.

Unfortunately, just like the music, Blizzard doesn't actually credit the talent part by part, so while it's easy to find a list of who's voiced something in game (the IMDB entry is probably the most comprehensive, as it contains all the names from the booklets to both shipping WoW and Burning Crusade), finding out who's done what is a little harder. Tony Jay did the intros for all the races, and Cam Clarke has been pegged as the male Blood Elf (among others, including Nexus-Prince Shaffar and Medivh). Voice actress Erin Fitzgerald has done quite a few voices in Burning Crusade, including Dorothy and the Wicked Witch, as well as Sarannis and the Essence of Desire in the Black Temple. Kath Soucie, another well known voice actress, has also done voices in BC, as has Michael Dorn (yes, Worf).

But most surprising on the list is probably the sheer number of Blizzard employees-- some, like Samwise Didier, Chris Metzen and Mike Morhaime, are well known, but others, like Tracy Bush, Derek Duke, and Glen Stafford, are usually working on the music of Azeroth. And even others-- Michele Arko, and I'm sure a few other names that I just don't recognize, work in completely different departments of Blizzard, from QA to Administration. So it seems like they invite a lot of their local employees to come in and record voices for their games, and not until recently, with the Burning Crusade, have they turned more often to more high profile actors.

Unfortunately, that doesn't exactly answer the question of who the female Night Elf is. But especially for the shipping game, odds are that it's someone who works at Blizzard, not a professional voice actor.

Update: You guys are the best. A reader of ours is friends with the Night Elf voice, so here she is: Debi Mae West. And yes, her goods really are of the highest quality. Apparently, she was also Meryl in Metal Gear Solid.

Breakfast Topic: Old heroes with new stories


At the Lore panel at BlizzCon Chris Metzen mentioned that some old faces will appear in new ways in future content. We can expect Sylvanas to make an appearance, Bronzebeard will lead us to unlock the mysteries of the world's creation, Hellscream will lead the Horde into Northrend. Keeping this in mind, what heroes would you like to spend more time with? Is there anyone you would especially love to see again?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Lore, BlizzCon

The portals among us


Many of us have stepped through the Dark Portal into Outland, and in that time dozens of players have mastered the content available there. Now that we have BlizzCon in our sites, all eyes seem to be on what our next expansion will be. As Chris Metzen mentioned at the last BlizzCon, Outland is peppered with portals, each with the potential to open another world for us to explore.

I personally know of two such dead portals, empty and devoid of life. The first is in Zangarmarsh, at the appropriately named Portal Clearing, and the second is in Nagrand. Have you found any other portals in your time in Outland? If so, do you think that the locations of the portals could be a clue to what lies behind them? Going with this theory, we might postulate that the Zangarmarsh portal might lead to the Maelstrom, since that zone is riddled with naga. What do you think?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, The Burning Crusade

Starcraft II on WoW's homepage


The image above is what you saw if you visited the official WoW homepage this weekend, and a few players wondered why Blizzard was talking about a real-time strategy game on a site meant to discuss a MMORPG. Yeah, how dare they do that!

But it's a good question-- Starcraft II will be (assuming it does get released) the first game Blizzard has published since WoW, and so there's a lot of questions about how this will all be handled. How much do the audiences actually intersect? (personally I love MMORPGs, but not so much RTS, if only because I'm so bad at them) And how is Blizzard going to connect the two games, if at all-- are we going to see ads for Starcraft on the loading screen for WoW, or even in-game? Blizzard fans will probably buy and enjoy both games, but there is likely a larger percentage of the WoW population who just don't care about an RTS, even if it is another Blizzard game.

Of course, Blizzard has faith in both games serving their audiences well-- not only is the Starcraft team well-equipped to build their game, but WoW, they say, won't suffer one bit. I tend to believe them on that one, as Blizzard undoubtedly hired a lot of people to make sure WoW is running as smoothly as possible, and while Metzen is apparently working on Starcraft as well as directing WoW's lore, I'd doubt the two teams have that many people in common. Of course, rumors persist that Blizzard will be announcing yet another game at Blizzcon. Along with the new expansion, multiple sources are still reporting that we'll hear about Diablo 3 in August. Can it be possible that Blizzard might be split three ways at the same time? And can that possibly be a good thing for WoW's development?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions

Phat Loot Phriday: Preserved Holly


Come the Feast of Winter Veil, Smokeywood Pastures descends on Azeroth and offers up all sorts of neat seasonal loot. But of the fun things they can give you, this is probably the best.

Name: Preserved Holly
Type: Quest Reward
Damage / Speed: N/A
Abilities:
  • Use: Transforms your mount into "something more festive."
  • AKA a freakin' reindeer! Yes, your mount turns into Metzen the Reindeer, complete with a shiny nose.
  • Some would even say it glows.
How to Get It: As you might guess, yes, it is a quest reward. If you want this mount, you'll have to join in on Blizzard's reindeer games. In the capital cities of each faction (Org and Ironforge), there is a Christm-- err, sorry, Feast of Winter Veil tree with a few goblins standing by it. One of them will be giving out quests this holiday season, and you want the one called Metzen the Reindeer. Now, all the research I've found says the quest is level 60, but on my 51 rogue I was able to obtain it. Your mileage may vary on lower levels-- post in the comments if you have trouble. Since it is a mount, I'd assume you need at least level 40.

Anyway, get the quest, and you'll find it requires you to seek out one Metzen the Reindeer (named, yes, after Blizzard's "Head Architect" of World of Warcraft). Read the notes given you to, and it'll be pretty obvious that you'll find him in Tanaris, in south part of the pirate camp along the coast (in among the buildings south of the big bonfire). Talk to Metzen, sprinkle the fairy dust on him that you're given, and boom, it is a Christmas Miracle! Your mount is a reindeer! Wait, I mean it's a Feast of Winter Veil miracle. Never mind.

There's one more way to get this item, but it's not nearly as much fun as finding Metzen. Near the goblins, there is a machine called a "Holly Preserver"-- just stick some Deeprock Salt and 5 gold in there, and voila, Preserved Holly. But why do that when you can save a reindeer?

And I can't resist telling you: this item first appeared as an exclusive last year right here on this very website. Go us!

Getting Rid of It: You want to get rid of the reindeer? You grinch! Preserved Holly doesn't expire, but the buff does-- you get 5 charges for completing the quest, so use them wisely. Also, there's a bug in the game right now, where if you have buffed your mount to look like a reindeer, and then try to dismount, you'll get an error that says "You are mounted." Well no duh. To get off the reindeer, you have to right click and remove the buff.

Filed under: Items, Tricks, How-tos, Events, Quests, Features, Phat Loot Phriday, Buffs, Mounts

The most powerful being in Warcraft

Relative to the recent discussion about two well-known characters in the Warcraft universe battling it out, Kobrakaii asks on the forums who the strongest being in the entire Warcraft Universe is.

There's lots of Warlock jokes (my favorite is the thought that the first Warlock with a 41-point Demonology talent will be the most powerful in the known Azeroth universe), "any pally for 8 seconds," the expected suggestion of Arthas the Lich King, and even a mention of High Overlord Saurfang (who, with that link, might replace Captain Placeholder as my new favorite NPC). In the end, the debate basically comes down between Sargeras on the bad side (he's a fallen Titan who's become the main villain in Warcraft lore) and Elune on the good side-- even though her identity in Azeroth as the "God" of the Night Elves isn't quite clear even inside the Blizzard offices. Sargeras, however, is currently trapped in an "unbeing" state, so the title probably goes to the Titans, a group of beings who oversee the Universe (and eat old gods like C'thun for lunch-- the Master's Glaive in Darkshore is a remnant of the Titans' power).

Of course, as Drysc points out later in the thread, Chris Metzen is really the most powerful being in the Warcraft universe. Way to ruin the fun, Drysc.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Instances, Lore, NPCs

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