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Posts with tag the-barrens

Blizzard posts interview with designers of Southern Barrens

Today, Blizzard released an interview with Dave Kosak and Roman Marotte, two of Blizzard's game designers, about their work in the cleft-in-twain Barrens of Cataclysm. Specifically, this interview deals with the Southern Barrens, which is almost completely redesigned from its vanilla counterpart. Taking place in the level 35 to 40 block in Kalimdor leveling, Southern Barrens should give both Alliance and Horde players plenty to talk about, according to Kosak and Marotte.

Cataclysm Preview - Southern Barrens
Q. What was the original concept for the zone?
A. The Barrens is one of the areas of Kalimdor hardest-hit by the Cataclysm. It has literally been ripped in two! The Northern Barrens retains much of the feel of the original zone and fulfills a similar gameplay purpose: it's primarily a training ground for low-level Horde characters. That gave us enormous freedom to create a whole new gameplay experience for the Southern Barrens. In the wake of the Cataclysm, the Alliance has been aggressively expanding into the heart of the continent from the east coast. As players enter the zone, they'll find that the Horde is really up against the ropes. The escalating conflict between the two rival factions is front and center here, providing a backdrop for much of the area's quests.


Those wanting more details about this new/old Cataclysm zone can check out the full interview here.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Saving the old world with wallpapers


I don't know that we've ever quite posted about this, but here you go: given that we're going to be losing old Azeroth forever (sometime in the next 12 months, if the guessing is to be believed), Too Many Annas is stepping up the wallpaper project, aiming to put together pictures of every single zone in the World of Warcraft. Before, this was just a bit of idle fun, turning some scenic views into desktop-sized files, but with the recent Cataclysm-ic news, this is almost a public service, saving these classic old zones from extinction. We've got time yet, surely, but if you like the way anything looks in Desolace or The Barrens, now's the time to screenshot it for good.

TMA is even taking requests, so even if you just have a suggestion for a great view, you can send it along and it'll get into the wallpaper database. Only a matter of time until the world is completely shattered; probably a good idea to admire these old zones while we can.
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: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Screenshots, Leveling, Cataclysm

Lowered Expectations sits down with Ghostcrawler


There are two great articles over at the Lowered Expectations blog about him meeting Ghostcrawler during an event at his university. The posts are quite an interesting read and I highly recommend everyone heads over and checks them out.

There's some interesting tidbits that came out of his time with the Ghost:
  • Sindragosa will be playing a part in Patch 3.3
  • We shouldn't expect a hero class in every expansion
  • Ghostcrawler was split down the middle on the Death Knight starting at level 55
  • Blizzard is interested in buffing up the old world levels to make them more interesting. He listed off (the top of his head): Darkshore, Stonetalon Mountains, and The Barrens.
  • Ghostcrawler is responsible for the many varieties of fish in the game. This makes sense.
  • Expect an expansion every 18 to 24 months
Again, I highly recommend you head over to Lowered Expectations and check it the full articles. They're well written and quite informative.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

WoW zones in real life


Aurdon over at I Sheep Things spotted this great collection of comparisons between real-life environs and the in-game places that they inspired. Not all of the comparisons are pitch-perfect, obviously (there are no Nagrand-esque floating islands in the real world, and the Crystalsong Forest picture shows trees covered in ice rather than the mystical wood that grows in-game), but lots of the pictures are really dead-on, and they show you really well how Blizzard uses a kind of hyper-realized version of Earth to create what seems like a very real Azeroth.

We've posted before how the architecture of WoW mirrors real-world places and culture, but even the natural world of Azeroth uses lots of Earth's real-life elements. And it would be cool to know where these pictures actually come from -- some of them are recognizable (obviously, Stranglethorn Vale is based on parts of the Amazon, and The Barrens represents Africa's savannahs), but even Icecrown and Zangarmarsh are represented (in slightly less mythical form) on Earth. It would be interesting to know exactly where.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions, Screenshots, Wrath of the Lich King

Around Azeroth: Hey, I think I've got one

There are only two constants when it comes to fishing. The first is that fishing is always more fun if you're drunk. The second is that if you want to catch bigger fish, you need bigger bait. Unfortunately, the first sort of blurs the limits on the second. I don't know what Kevin here is trying to catch, but I'm going to get the hell out of here so I don't need to find out.

You should probably get out of here as fast as possible too, and stop by your WoW screenshots folder! WoW Insider wants to see all of your unique and quirky snapshots of the World of Warcraft so we can show them to the world here on Around Azeroth. Within reason. No more sunsets, no more Battleground/Arena scoreboards, and no more scantily clad ladies. Well... maybe if they're extra scantily clad, but not that normal scantily clad. That's so 1990. Oh, and make sure your UI is turned off in your screenshots as well. If you think you have something good, send it off to aroundazeroth@wow.com and you may be seeing it here someday soon!

Filed under: Humor, Around Azeroth

Know Your Lore: Living Relics of the Barrens


Welcome to Know Your Lore, where each week Alex Ziebart brings you a tasty little morsel of lore to wrap your mind around. Sweet, sweet lore. Mmmm. Have suggestions for future KYL topics? E-mail us! Or, if you have a question for our sister column Ask a Lore Nerd, e-mail us those, too!

Most of us probably know the Barrens as the far, far too big and empty zone that we all spent too long running through. I know I do. You whippersnappers these days and your three flight paths. In my day, we had one and we ran to Ratchet on foot every single time. You kids nowadays have it easy. All of that aside, though, did you know it was originally a lush forest, some of which was part of the ancient Kaldorei territory?

It used to be a much more peaceful (and tolerable) place than it is now. Of course, we're talking ten thousand years ago. That place totally sucks now. Don't get all sentimental on me and pretend it's deep and meaningful and spiritual to quest there or something. It's horrible. Let's learn about it anyway, because learning is fun! ...Right?

Read more →

Filed under: Horde, Dwarves, Orcs, Tauren, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

What WoW should learn from certain quests in and around The Barrens

Lakotamani welcomes you to the beautiful Barrens!So I've been thinking a bit about questing lately as I traverse Outlands on my latest project, a level 61 Blood Elf Paladin, working on the Outlands quests. I think my favorite part of playing a lowbie hordeling is how many quests there are to "stumble upon" in the oft-maligned Barrens. Technically, they're all very basic "find and kill these dudes" quests, but the presentation is such that I always get a big rush from doing them. They really do make me feel like a mighty hunter.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Quests, Expansions, Lore, Leveling, RP

Around Azeroth: Leisure time for NPCs


These Stormhide roam throughout the Southern Barrens aimlessly, like any other NPC -- in endless circles, simply waiting for players to come by and kill them. (For quests, XP, leather, fun... really, who needs a reason?) But reader Kurai has captured this shot of the Stormhide taking a leisurely drink. Hey, Stormhide! I'm pretty sure leisure activities are explicitly forbidden in your NPC contract!

Do you have a screenshot that captures a interesting NPC moment? We'd like to see it on Around Azeroth! All you have to do is e-mail aroundazeroth@wow.com with a copy of your screenshot and a brief explanation of the scene. You could find your pictures and story featured next!

Filed under: Screenshots, Around Azeroth

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