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Posts with tag warlords-of-draenor

Garrisons and their role in Warlords of Draenor

We're all talking about garrisons these days. Whether it's how they're going to work, where they're going to be, or what we're going to do with them they're the big new feature for Warlords of Draenor and we're all constantly worrying at the bone to try and squeeze more information out of them. It's understandable. Players have wanted something akin to player housing for years, and the garrison goes beyond that - it's effectively your own fortified town. It brings back memories for players of old school pen and paper RPG's like me of hitting the end of the expert levels in D&D and getting a dominion.

We've recently found out that the garrison will be heavily integrated into the leveling experience, requiring it to have a stable location (Frostfire Ridge for Horde, Shadowmoon Valley for Alliance) and that there will be specific racial-themed buildings for the professions section of your garrison. There's even going to be group content for garrisons. Mumper has even assured us that the garrison will not be required to level. Meanwhile, Muffinus has asked players who, out of the entire World of Warcraft, would they want as a follower - I'm personally pulling for Rexxar and Marhsall Windsor. Yes, I know.

What this all means is in flux, of course, as Mumper himself acknowledges - design is iterative, and changes happen. We're still waiting for more details, but what I wanted to talk about now is how the garrison is shaping up to become one of those rare things, a feature that can completely transform your playing experience in fundamental ways, yet not directly.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Who I want to see in Warlords of Draenor: Restalaan

Yep, another one there's no art for. Enjoy this picture of some random draenei instead.

Who was Restalaan and why should you care? I'm glad you asked. Restalaan was the closest thing Velen had to a buddy - a close friend and confidant, a right hand who led the defense of the draenei city of Telmor. Having been with the prophet since the exodus from Argus, Restalaan was technically an ancient eredar, born during the time when Velen, Kil'jaeden and Archimonde were the triumvirate and led all eredar before the coming of Sargeras.

Restalaan was always there, serving as Velen's sounding board and anchor. In the history outlined in Rise of the Horde it was Restalaan who led the patrol that saved Durotan and Orgrim Doomhammer when they were children - an event that should still have happened in the Warlords of Draenor timeline, since both Durotan and Doomhammer are confirmed to be alive. In the original timeline, Restalaan would come to have reason to regret this decision, since in the process of saving the two young orcs and leading them to Telmor to meet with the prophet he exposed Durotan to the use of the Ata'mal fragment Leafshadow. This enabled Durotan to later expose Telmor to the Horde, which destroyed the city - Durotan killed Restalaan during the battle. So died Restalaan, captain of the guard of Telmore, Velen's best friend, survivor of the exodus from Argus - killed by the boy who's life he saved.

But that fate is not set on the Draenor of Warlords.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Who I want to see in Warlords of Draenor: Griselda Blackhand

No, this is not actually a picture of Griselda.
If you don't know who Griselda was, that's not really your fault - she was a character who lived and died during the original Warcraft game. But to my mind Griselda is a perfect example of the way you can make use of the parallel world of Draenor we're going to visit, a character who can highlight the ways that things have changed.

Originally, Griselda was one of the three children of Blackhand the Destroyer, and like her brothers Rend and Maim, she was artificially aged to adulthood via warlock magic and trained to fight. But unlike her brothers, her father denied her the blood of Mannoroth (so, ironically, she was spared the blood curse) and would not give her a position of authority like the ones he'd given Rend and Maim. This was a colossal act of disdain on his part - he'd stolen her childhood from her, turned her into a weapon, and then refused to make use of her. Why he did this is unclear - it's often said it was a punishment for her insolence, but we don't know what that insolence entailed.

Her fate in our timeline (turning against her father, running to the Deadmines alongside an ogre named Turok, assassinated by her father's warriors) isn't what I'm interested in, however. It's how the Griselda of this Draenor could turn out that interests me.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

New WoW Source: PvP and Class Changes

WoW Source has made a return, with Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas, and Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut. They're talking PvP and Class Design.
  • Diminishing Returns categories have been cut from thirteen to five.
  • Fear's PvP duration has been reduced from eight seconds to five.
  • CC needs reduction, but without it the game would be boring.
  • In WoD every PvP item will have two item levels, e.g. 550 for PvE and 590 for PvP. This will be effective in the world too.
  • We saw an early map and description of Ashran -- looks like a League of Legends style ARAM-esque back-and-forth with other activities around the main central run.
  • There was some more information on Skirmishes, they may drop Conquest gear, and will drop bags containing Honor, Honor gear, or gold.
  • Tanking will not go back to being about Threat
  • Button Bloat has focused on redundant or duplicative abilities
  • Sometimes cutting or simplifying buttons has made class flavor/fantasy better.
  • They do want to give players new things where appropriate, but they need to free up some space to do so.
  • The devs do their best to avoid different spell behaviors in PvP.
  • The devs endeavor to make classes fun to play without affecting their numbers.
  • The devs are listening to feedback and nothing is final.
You can view the video above or on Battle.net.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Alpha Patch notes for April 17

A new round of updates have been released for the alpha client of Warlords of Draenor. Included in the patch notes are new sections covering changes and adjustments with Itemization, Movement Speed, Raid Utility Balance, Reforging, and Combat Resurrection. There have also been updates to existing sections as well - many class sections have received a lot of updates and adjustments, as expected for such an early build.
  • Haste % and Crit % bonuses have been streamlined -- no more spell/melee/ranged, it's a universal Haste and Crit % bonus for all.
  • Druids, rejoice -- Ravage no longer requires you to be behind the target.
  • Many glyphs have been removed, and a lot of new glyphs have been added, with some glyphs now being exclusive to a specialization.
  • Movement speed enchants now increase Movement Speed by 10% -- up from 8%.
  • Hunters, there has been a comprehensive sweep over pet abilities -- it's a major list!
  • Paladins, there have been some major tweaks to both Holy and Protection specs.
For the full list of updates, check out the official Battle.net site for all the details. New updates are denoted in red for easy reading.

Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

War Crimes novel release date details

So if you're wondering when War Crimes (the upcoming Christie Golden novel about post-Siege of Orgrimmar Garrosh Hellscream and his trial) will be released, we have the details straight from author Christie Golden's Twitter account.
So not only do you know that the book will be released on May 6th, but if you just can't wait that long, you can go to Denver to the StarFest convention and snag a copy there three days early. I'm not saying you have to do this, nor am I saying to get me a copy while you're there, but I wouldn't mind it, either.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Lore, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

The World as Story: Emergent storytelling in World of Warcraft

How does storytelling function in World of Warcraft? What are its limits? Does it have to unfold solely via quest text, or can it be told via other means? I ask this in part due to a developing discussion on the scale and scope of how the world we interact with as we play reveals the story elements. Back when I first started playing WoW, game story was almost exclusively revealed via quest text. When it wasn't, it was often revealed via in-game books. I remembered being floored with the pre-fight scene between Majordomo Executus and Ragnaros because it was a bit of story happening entirely in front of my eyes via dialogue and scene.

Over the years World of Warcraft has added a host of tools to its story delivery options - cutscenes, scenarios, events like Battle for Undercity, open-ended exploration, and quest integration with each of these kinds of vectors for story. It's not all just text anymore - we have in-game cinematics, cut-scenes rendered and played through using totally in game scenes, dialogue (the end of the Isle of Thunder, when Jaina and Lor'themar confronted one another was entirely realized through in-game dialogue), scenarios like A Little Patience and Dagger in the Dark, and even more complex combinations of all of them. The Dominance Offensive/Operation Shieldwall story in particular was unveiled through all of these techniques, using every arrow in the quiver to drive the story points home.

I'm bringing this up because of the recent revelation that not all secondary objectives in Warlords of Draenor will have quest text. The discussion led to a series of tweets from Dave Kosak that I think definitely are worth discussing. How do we get story in an MMO? Can the world we encounter be the story itself? As we move through it, how can it be best presented to us?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Warlords of Draenor

Muffinus serves up Garrison details

Senior Game Designer Jeremy Feasel (he has an NPC named after him, the ultimate honor) has been answering questions on twitter about garrisons. Quite a few, in fact. Under his twitter handle of @Muffinus he dished out some pretty interesting details on what the current design for the feature is.
  • Garrisons are going to give you perks outside of them (we already knew about the faster mount speed perk, but others are being worked on).
  • Some perks, like a free resurrection, will not carry over into raids so as to keep them from becoming mandatory perks everyone has to get for their garrison. They want to keep customization as a draw and let players pick the perks they want.
  • You aren't hard gated by the initial quest that establishes the garrison - you can pursue the benefits and perks of the feature even if you decide to bypass it when leveling.
  • You will not have to stop doing something to run back and defend your garrison if/when it comes under attack. It's not a time-limited mechanic.
I'm pretty excited about garrisons, as they combine elements of player housing, RTS elements from the old Warcraft games, and new kinds of minigames. Should be interesting to get to see them in action.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor Screenshot of the Day gallery

Yes, it was a Cataclysm feature that continued in Mists of Pandaria's development process, and now it's back again for the ramp up to Warlords of Draenor -- the official Screenshot of the Day. We're actually up to five of them so far but the above scene from the steps of the Temple of Karabor is my favorite. Still, this picture from Frostfire Ridge (I presume) definitely interests me as well. Looking forward to combing over the pictures obsessively for the next few months.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

PAX Beta keys temporarily allowed Warlords of Draenor access

Matthew Rossi posted on Friday about Blizzard's handing out Beta keys to people who played Warlords of Draenor at PAX East. Those keys were supposed to be for a later phase of the beta, but, as Bashiok elucidates on the official forums, a few of them actually worked during the PAX weekend itself.

This meant that a few of the players who took their key home and applied it to their account were able to access and play the beta well in advance of when the keys should have allowed them to. Blizzard has taken steps to revoke those players' access, but it would explain some of the streams seen on Twitch over the weekend. Where players have legitimately accessed Warlords with PAX keys, no action appears to have been taken. However, it seems that the Twitch warning is still in place for anyone streaming the alpha outside the select few who had accessed it legitimately with keys.

Those players no longer have access to the beta, and will need to re-redeem the same keys again at a later stage. No comment has been made by Blizzard so far about keys appearing on Ebay, but based on previous betas, they will be taken down as soon as they can be. Hit the break for Bashiok's full post.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New info from PAX East

Elekks on Draenor
PAX East 2014 has come and gone, but we at WoW Insider have come away from the weekend with juicy new information to share with you about Warlords of Draenor. During the expo, I sat down for a chat with senior game designers Steve Burke and Brian Holinka, lead class designer Kris Zierhut, and other developers.

In our brief time together, they told me some exciting info about garrisons, raiding, transmog, and the expansion's starting experience. They also provided insight into what a boosted level 90 will experience after the expansion launches.

Please note that mild spoilers about the early story of Warlords of Draenor will follow. Join me after the break for all the new info!

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Filed under: News items, Raiding, Interviews, Transmogrification, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: New garrison screenshots from PAX East

Hunter site Eyes of the Beast attended PAX East this weekend, and uploaded some images from the press kit. Included in the screenshots are an impressive shot of what appears to be the Spires of Arak, a shot of Frostfire Ridge, another shot of the gorgeous scenery in Shadowmoon Valley, and of course, garrisons. The garrison screenshots in particular are interesting because it looks like this is a garrison at or very near completion -- giving a much clearer look at just what these things will look like when we get to set them up ourselves.

Of course, the buildings displayed are all Alliance structures -- we haven't really seen any fully realized previews of Horde settlements just yet. The Alliance architecture seems to blend in with Draenor's lush landscape remarkably well. I'm hoping that the Horde buildings won't stick out like a sore thumb in comparison -- but we'll have to wait to see what the Horde structures look like, for now. Check out the full post on Eyes of the Beast for all the images.

Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Wowhead interviews Warlords developers at PAX East

Our friends over at Wowhead are attending PAX East this weekend, and Perculia had a chance to sit down and interview Lead Class Designer Kris Zierhut and Game Designer Steve Burke about Warlords of Draenor. A variety of topics were discussed -- Garrisons were discussed in detail, as well as raid cooldowns, the strengths and weaknesses of the Timeless Isle, professions and the removal of damage bonuses, and much more.

One of the more exciting discussions addressed the issue of storage space. Mentioned in the interview was the new toy box tab that will rid your bags of all the interesting gadgets and toys you find while questing. But that's not all -- most profession materials will stack to 100 in the new expansion, and gathered quest items from kill and carry quests will be tracked, but not actually take up space in your bags. And perhaps the most exciting news from the interview (for me, anyway) is that at long last, transmogrification fanatics will be getting a second tab of Void Storage in which to squirrel away their favorite fashions. You can listen to the full audio from the interview above -- it's well worth checking out.


Filed under: Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Understanding Draenor Perks

What's the point of a Draenor Perk? It's a question that seems to be fairly common among players, ever since the bonuses were mentioned in the patch notes for patch 6.0. As players level from 90 to 100, each level will bring with it a perk. Each class and spec has nine perks, and by the time you hit level 100, you'll have them all. However, the order that you receive these perks is completely random. You can't choose the perk, the perk chooses you.

Wowhead dug up the full list of Draenor Perks for each spec and class, and the perks themselves seem to be pretty much the same -- bonus damage or a boost to specific player abilities. In many cases, it's just a flat percent damage boost. This seems all well and good, but players seem to be confused about the point of the perk system, since it looks a lot like something that was deliberately culled from the game a few years ago.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Garrisons much more than player housing

Garrisons seem to be shaping up to be the centerpiece of Warlords content -- not in the sometimes soul-crushing manner of the daily quest grind in Mists, but as an entertaining and engaging diversion for players to do at max level in between dungeons, raids, scenarios, and whatever else happens to pop up. We have yet to get a proper introduction to the feature, but we've been told and shown in glimpses here and there that it's going to be big. Much, much bigger than our farms.

Wowhead has been busily datamining everything under the sun from the Warlords alpha client, and some of that information directly involves the new feature. While there's not a clear picture of how exactly garrisons are going to work, the datamining does point out some fascinating details and perks. It's become incredibly clear that while garrisons have been referred to as WoW's version of player housing, in fact they're likely going to be much, much more than that.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

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