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Posts with tag starting-zones

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Pandaren introduction video

In what seems to be an update to the latest beta patch, the full video and audio files for pandaren just starting out on the Wandering Isle have been added. Like other starting zone videos, this one features a sweep over the Wandering Isle's gorgeous landscape, offering a small taste of what's to come. The voiceover feels like a marked departure from the other starting zones; there's a different flavor to the audio and music that feels entirely different from anything we've seen before.

Of course, there's still one question that everyone is waiting to find out: Now that the official introduction has been added, how long will it be before we see Mists hit live servers? It's going to take a release date before we know that one for certain. However, the fact that the 5.0.4 PTR is now live seems to suggest sooner, rather than later.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

BlizzCon 2011 World of Warcraft Art Panel

I know that the World of Warcraft preview and question-and-answer sessions always tend to attract the most commentary at any given BlizzCon, but for my money, the most interesting ones in the long run tend to be those concerned with the game's artistic and technical sides. Seeing how developers got the game to look the way it does, and the reasoning behind the design of different races, zones, and items gives you a much better appreciation of the game while you're in it. The gorgeous Uldum sky didn't get there by accident.

As you'd expect, the art panel contained a number of previews of the characters, locations, dungeons, and props we'll be seeing in Mists of Pandaria. If you're only interested in a peek at the male pandaren's model and animations, well, you can get that here, but there were a number of interesting observations made. Two of the things that really jumped out at me:
  • They're experimenting with tier and item set models. Rather than pasting a design onto the standard-issue flat chest and leg pieces, for example, we may see swinging chains, ribbons, and other three-dimensional objects on more gear in the future.
  • Technical advances in very recent months have made it easier and faster to add more detail to the environment. New texture tools have made it possible to add snow or lava between cracks in a road, or pooled in the nook of a hill, much more quickly than they could earlier.
We'll have a full gallery of the panel up later!

The news is out -- we'll be playing Mists of Pandaria! Find out what's in store with an all-new talent system, peek over our shoulder at our Pandaren hands-on, and get ready to battle your companion pets against others. It's all here right at WoW Insider!

Filed under: BlizzCon

Breakfast Topic: The starting zones you most love or hate

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

With Cataclysm looming, I find myself tearfully saying goodbye to the game as I've always known it. I have leveled (well, at least partially leveled) a character of every race on the Horde side (except an orc), and I've leveled a night elf out of the starting zone on the Alliance side. Now, everything has changed. The starting zones that I grew to love or hate are already different, and I'm not sure what to think about that.

I loved the tauren starting experience, and I hope that it only gets better with the new expansion. However, I quickly tired of the orc/troll starting zone. Likewise, I did not have the urge to go through the blood elf starting experience with multiple characters. But once I gave it a chance, I enjoyed the undead experience quite a bit. I think what I enjoyed about the tauren and undead experiences was that I felt like I was involved in the lore. Additionally, I found that the scenery of Mulgore and Tirisfal Glades made the leveling experience more enjoyable.

Which pre-Shattering starting zones do you think were the best, and which ones were the worst? With the world having undergone such a drastic change this week and more still to come, which new leveling experiences are you looking forward to the most?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Cataclysm, Guest Posts

Cataclysm: Guards in starting zones buffed to level 90

Planning on kicking off Cataclysm by killing all the quest givers in newbie zones? Think again: Blizzard has increased the level of starting zone guards in areas like Coldridge Pass and Deathknell to 90. These guards are currently level 65 on the live servers.

The change, which guarantees you'll be at least five levels lower than the guards, takes advantage of existing game mechanics to protect lower-level players from mischief. NPCs that are five levels higher than you are exceedingly difficult to hit (spell casters will suffer a 39 percent chance to miss) and frequently wallop you for higher-damage-causing crushing blows far more often. The guards will also have higher health pools as well. This contrasts vividly with guards on the live server, who are prone to dying if a level 80 character accidentally sneezes on them.

Level 90 guards are better suited to protecting newbie players from max-level griefers. Note that only starting areas will see these high-level guards. The guards in major cities are now level 85 -- dangerous, but soloable.

Players who are upset by this change are encouraged to stop being jerks who grief newbies.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), 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

Worgen starting zone preview from Scrolls of Lore

In lieu of providing any new information on Cataclysm in the wake of BlizzCon, Blizzard's been showing the goblin and worgen starting zones at a lot of major gaming conventions, which means a good handful of players have had the chance to try them out. Nostra from popular lorecrafting site Scrolls of Lore is one of those handfuls, and they've written up a fantastic walkthrough of the worgen starting zone, starting from your character's royal connections and subsequent infection and culminating in Deathwing's cataclysm.

What's not explained (so far, likely because no one's able to get that far yet) are how the night elves play into the whole worgen "thing" as shown in the Cataclysm trailer, but there's still a lot of new information on phasing, quests, and scenery in Gilneas besides what we've already covered, as well as accompanying photos. It's definitely worth a read.

Hopefully Blizzard will continue to fill in more blanks in the worgen storyline as we get closer to the expansion's release, or maybe even update the Cataclysm site more than once every four months. In the meantime we can rely on sites like Scrolls of Lore to give us exhaustive previews of public demos like this one.

Thanks, Nostra!

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In WoW.com's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Expansions, Cataclysm, Worgen

BlizzCon 2009: Worgen and Goblin starting areas with the Props team


The Props team at BlizzCon showed a video on what they do, and also displayed a lot of the characterization and mood setting of the new Goblin and Worgen starting areas. The Lost Isles for the Goblins are just beautiful and quirky and funny, abounding in tropical drinks, a breakfast machine, and a "rocket-catapult-turtle-powered-machine" (and did they actually build a railroad out of bamboo?), although I have to say that the Dickensian/Victorian feel of Gilneas is just...words fail me. It's lovely. This is perhaps the loveliest, most haunting, spooky and creepy zone Blizzard's ever done, and...it's going to be an almighty lagfest when Cataclysm hits. Oh well. Truthfully, I had no idea just how much of what we think of as the "landscape" is in fact the Props team at work.

As an FYI for readers who have observed this on previous video, yes, there are gold-sellers' ads popping up on Viddler, and no, we're not happy about it, and we certainly didn't put them there.


BlizzCon 2009 is here! WoW.com has continuing coverage, bringing you the latest in Cataclysm news, live blogs, galleries, and reports right from the convention floor. Check out WoW.com's Guide to BlizzCon for the latest!

Filed under: Machinima, Events, Fan stuff, WoW Social Conventions, Blizzard, Expansions, BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

BlizzCon 2009: Live blogging the Cataclysm new starter zones


Live from the BlizzCon press room it's character creation for Worgen and Goblins. We're going to write up our experiences live, so keep your eyes on this post.

Be warned, below there be spoilers!

Read more →

Filed under: BlizzCon, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

Gamestop makes another funny

Whoever writes the descriptions for Gamestop and EB Games is quite the joker -- we already reported on their hidden little note for the early preview, but now that we're getting closer and closer to the Wrath of the Lich King release, they've posted another funny on the preview page.

This time, they're making fun of the starting zones -- apparently the "Borean Tundra" is where the Packers play (chuckle), and a "Howling Fjord" is what you get when the windows of your Tauren Taurus are cracked open (guffaw). Cute. Just don't quit that day job of writing descriptions for Gamestop's sales pages.

Thanks, djtyrant!

Filed under: Fan stuff, Expansions, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King

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