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Posts with tag wrath of the lich king

The return of Varian Wrynn

Did Samwise draw the King of Stormwind on this cover?Is that him in the WoW comic book, or is he going to be in Northrend?

The answer, according to Stormgaard of Se7en Samurai, may be 'both'. And to be honest, I agree with him. Not because of the strength of his evidence, good as it is, but because his argument makes sense. One of the things we've seen with World of Warcraft tie-in media like the manga series and novels is that they all flow back into the MMO, help develop and direct the lore forward. As much as players like to chant 'lorelol' it is clearly important to the folks at Blizzard, and Stormgaard's argument that the comics and movie may well be setting up a new age of hostility between the horde and the alliance centered around a new lore figure who is connected to, if not the 'star' of the Missing Diplomat quest makes a lot of sense to me.

Plus, having the comic star a human who washed up without his memory on the coasts of Durotar... well, if you look at the map you'll see why that could well lead to the exact scenario Stormgaard posits. It makes sense to me. What do you guys think?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Lore, Comics

Metzen on BC: "There was nothing really personal about it."

From our WoWinsider image gallery for Wrath of the Lich KingThe folks at World of Raids linked to this fascinating and disturbing interview with the folks at Blizzard about the upcoming expansion. Disturbing in a good way, to my mind, in that they talk about making the journey from 70 to 80 one of tough moral choices and twisted encounters with the Lich King himself, and fascinating because it talks about what the design team for the expansion learned from The Burning Crusade.

Blizzard vice president of creative development Chris Metzen seems to be apologizing for it. "It had a lot of high-concept ideas, high-concept environments," he says, calling to mind the psychedelic mushrooms of Zangarmarsh, the tragic majesty of Tempest Keep, "but other than some really nice moments, there was nothing really personal about it."

There's a lot more substance in the interview, although some of it is stuff we've seen before - Lake Wintergrasp PvP, flying mounts not working right away, Death Knights - but the insight into what they've learned and how they're approaching the mood and feel of the new expansion is, I think, worth a read in of itself. The way they intend to weave Arthas' journey into each player's experience, if it works, will be one of the most interesting things any MMO has ever done.

Filed under: Blizzard, Expansions, The Burning Crusade, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

A new interface for Wrath?

Courtesy of the excellent Daily Blue feature of World of Raids comes this tidbit about possible changes to the user interface for Wrath of the Lich King, posted originally on the European forums, where a lot of the good blue responses seem to reside.

Blizzard poster Salthem cautions, as is often the case, that it's too soon to expect much in the way of details but that there's not likely to be a radical change in the UI. "I doubt we'll see a dramatic completely new User Interface, generally we prefer to implement more gradual changes or options to the existing interface." While this sounds like a safe and generally correct way to go, it does leave us with some wiggle room for speculation. What gradual changes should they be working on for WoTLK? I'm personally pretty content with the UI as it stands, I don't fiddle much with it or use a lot of addons, but I'm sure more advanced modders have ideas. A built-in threat meter would be kind of cool, or the long-promised shaman totem UI.

What changes would you like to see?

Filed under: Add-Ons

Blizzplanet brings you the lore of the Sunwell

Blizzplanet, long home to detailed loregasms for those of us who can't keep it all straight (I have to use Know Your Lore constantly to keep track of who we're killing and why, try to keep it all straight as I may) as well as a good general resource for all of Blizzard's games, has dropped a nice roundup of the Sunwell lore in time for us to begin thinking about the Sunwell Plateau, the last big content release before Wrath of the Lich King drops. Packed with spoilers for the Sunwell Trilogy manga (which I have never read) it does a pretty decent job of filling in spaces I had missed... for example, I had no idea who this Dar'khan fellow was or how he'd betrayed the High Elves to the Scourge, and that's even after I'd killed him a couple of times. I need to start reading the quest text more and just clicking through to my rewards less.

Thanks to Chadwick for the tip and to Blizzplanet for a very comprehensive look at the Sunwell's appearances in the game to date. They even manage to tie in the heroes of the Sunwell Trilogy to what's happening to Malygos in Wrath of the Lich King. I had no idea I was helping to eradicate all spellcasters on Azeroth when I did that quest. Live and learn, I guess, unless Malygos kills us all, in which case... oops.

Filed under: Lore, NPCs, BlizzCon, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Under Development page (finally) updated

If you've been keeping up with the news here on WoW Insider, you already know the information that has been updated on the WoW Under Development page. But it's nice to see it in black and parchment.

Under Almost Ready, Blizzard lists the highlights of Patch 2.2: Voice Chat, Mac Movie Capture and the Improved Chat Interface. They also include a link to the current PTR Patch notes. These changes will be released in the next major patch, which unfortunately looks like it will be a while.

The Coming Soon section lists things that will be in upcoming patches, presumably before the expansion. They don't link to any further official info for this section, but I've provided links to WoW Insider details:
The On the Horizon section is all about Wrath of the Lich King. The highlights they list are the new level cap, Inscription, Northrend, Death Knights and Character Customization. For more info, they link to the official WotLK website.

I was hoping for more official info on the Coming Soon topics -- and something more than just 3 items. I don't expect the expansion to be here for another year, so an official sneak preview of some more of the free goodies we're going to get in the meantime would be nice.

What are you most looking forward to being added to the game before the expansion? Or will nothing satisfy you except for new hairstyles, ten new levels and another continent?

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Enchants on the AH in WotLK

On the French-language EU forums, Blizzard poster Thyvene gives enchanters a hint of news on something they've been wanting for a long time: the abilitity to sell their enchants on the auction house. For those of you attempting to confirm on the site, but failing your language skill check, Thyvene's comments approximately translate to:

The developers plan to give to enchanters the possibility to sell their enchantments at the auction house, nevertheless this shouldn't be implemented into the game before the next expansion, Wrath of the Lich King.

Of course, without knowing an official release date for Wrath of the Lich King, this change could still be a year off. However, I'm certainly looking forward to a time when my enchanter won't have to stand around in a major city spamming macros in oder to market and sell my wares.

[Thanks, Boubouille!]

Filed under: Enchanting, Wrath of the Lich King

Death Knights' "rune" system might take some skill

"Oh my frikkin dog, everybody and their second cousin is gonna wanna be Death Knights!" was the cry heard throughout Outland when the new Hero Class was announced. WoW players everywhere had visions of dungeons and raids filled with only Death Knights; as well as Alliance and Horde cities alike all filled wall-to-wall with thousands of players who abandoned their original class to become Death Knights, only to discover (along with rogues and hunters) that it ain't so easy being uber-cool and powerful when everyone else is uber-cool and powerful too -- because everyone else is taking your raid spot.

Well Drysc has a ray of light to shed on this despair... or, in the case of Death Knights, perhaps that should be a big tank of unholy frozen blood to spill on it (assuming that would help):
I expect just about everyone is going to want to try one, but is everyone going to want to drop their long-time proffered class for one? I seriously doubt it. Also there's some amount of self regulation that will really be required to keep group composition equalized.
Not only will the other 9 classes still be needed to succeed in any group effort, but the tactics involved in playing a Death Knight might be too hard for the average Stanley Noobsauce to master. In response to one player who felt that the rune system Death Knights will be using seemed "clunky and not fun," Drysc responded:

Read more →

Filed under: Expansions, Humor, Classes, Death Knight

Slaughtering? No, it's just burning down houses (with people inside?)

When I first heard about the new Caverns of Time instance coming up in Wrath of the Lich King, where we go about helping the pre-lich king Arthas as he tries to "purify" the city of Stratholme, I heard other people jumping for joy, while I was feeling a bit of dread. When I played through that stage of Warcraft III, I remember that Arthas was already going down the proverbial moral hill, being ruthlessly indiscriminate as to whether the citizens had actually become undead or not. He didn't have much interest in helping them -- even if help was impossible, he didn't have any sympathy or hesitation in his slaughter.

I understood that part in the game to show how he was already beginning to fall even before he went to Northrend and picked up Frostmourne. I was pressing the buttons that killed those digital Stratholmians, but I also knew that I was just advancing the plot of a story, even if I didn't approve of the action. If the same scene appears in the Caverns of Time however, then this is not, in my mind, merely advancing the plot. This is my character taking part in activities that I myself would never condone. Slaughtering almost-but-not-yet-undead families feels a little too close to home to me. "They're doomed anyway so might as well slash them to ribbons?" That inhuman attitude is sometimes used in real life to do horrible things, and it's quite chilling.

Well, Blizzard CM Bornakk would disagree with me: "Slaughtering is a strong word," he says, "maybe it would be better to say that you are aiding the pround Prince Arthas in Straholme [sic] as he uses his divine Paladin powers to purify the streets of vile evil undead creatures ... and burns down houses." Well, I'm glad not to be hacking defenseless mothers, fathers and children apart myself, but burning down their homes is a serious thing, particularly if the houses to be burned are supposed to have these not-yet-undead families inside of them. For Arthas to do that in the story of his corruption is one thing, but for my character to help him is totally different.

Now, admittedly you could argue that one of the existing CoT instances has us helping Medivh open a portal for orcs to come and rampage lots and lots of people, and yes technically that's an evil thing to do. But there's a big step between opening fantasy portals and burning down houses that are supposed to have families inside them. Does anyone else see a problem here?

[Also, as a side note, the thread in which Bornakk tells us that slaughtering is a strong word actually begins with a really funny idea for another CoT instance, "Back to the Future," which is worth checking out.]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: What does Northrend look like in your mind's eye?

A poster to the official forums complained (they're just so good at complaining!) that Northrend is "supposed to be completely covered in snow and ice," but so far there hasn't been enough of either in the screenshots for the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Bornakk responded: "While we have no plans for Northrend to appear like an island of paradise, we do want the zones to bring a wide variety of scenery and environments for all players to enjoy. Making a continent one big block of ice didn't seem to fit with this ideology too well."

Several posters came right back at him though, and while no one wanted to go through a whole continent that was just like Winterspring, the general feedback going Blizzard's way was to say: less chill, more freeze. One poster put it well: "
I was hoping that maybe the Devs would actually try and I bet if they wanted they could make a plethora of breathtaking Ice and Snow environments that would be much more interesting than Winterspring."

When I read that, my mind leaped with images of giant ice structures protruding from the earth, refracting sunlight as you looked at them. It was a beautiful image, not at all like Winterspring, and possibly variable enough for one or two zones.... but 10? 10 whole zones of different ice and snow environments? How in the world could one avoid the overwhelming dominance of the color white? Where would all the variety be without some areas that have... less freeze and more chill?

Of course a lot of Blizzard's landscaping work for the expansion is probably already planned out, but as things stand I'd imagine it's not too late for a little bit of player input to influence just how icy Northrend actually is. What's your take? Can you describe some significantly different environments that don't look like Winterspring?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Blizzard explains the early WotLK No-Flight-Rule

Vengeance LandingMany players were unhappy to hear that their hard earned flying mounts aren't usable in the early parts of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Every player has to beg, borrow and steal to scrape together the 5,000g for their epic flying mount. Or in this case: grind, loot and mine. Why should they have to put aside their hard earned and beloved mount?

Recently, CM Bornakk explained the reasoning behind that unpopular decision. Essentially, they don't want players flying over the early content. The entire expansion is designed with a certain progression in mind from zone to zone. Flying would make that irrelevant.

There will be a point in the expansion where flight will be enabled in Northrend. Blizzard is currently considering level 78, but hasn't made a concrete decision.

What do you guys think? Should flight be enabled immediately or should you enjoy the early zones flightless?

Filed under: News items, Mounts, Wrath of the Lich King

Two Blizzard inverviews from Leipzig now on video

Utgarde KeepYesterday, new Wrath of the Lich King information began trickling out of the Leipzig Game Convention in Germany. Journalists are lining up to talk to Blizzard and two of the interviews with Warcraft Lead Designer Jeff Kaplan can be viewed as video.

First, we reported on German game site Buffed's interview with Jeff Kaplan that revealed more details of the new COT: Stratholme instance and an explanation of the Death Knight rune system. If you go to their page, scroll down past all that German and you'll find a video of the interview (in English!)

Later in the day, we covered Curse Gaming's own interview with Kaplan that announced Utgarde Pinnacle, gave more detail on the new Inscription profession, revealed the plan behind the increased pre-60 leveling curve and explored the dev's thoughts about giving the Hunter class some PvP love. Now Curse has put up a video of the interview.

Leipzig isn't over yet. Hopefully we'll have more revelations before the weekend is over.

Filed under: News items, Expansions, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King

New pre-WotLK zone announced: Sunwell Plateau

Utgarde Keep Entrance
ActionTrip cornered WoW Lead Designer Jeff Kaplan and Art Director Chris Robinson today at the Leipzig Game Convention in Germany (E3 for Europe.) And boy, did they get a lot out of those two about Blizzard's plans for the future. Here are the highlights:
  • The art for the expansion will look more like classic Warcraft (gothic fantasy), and less like Outlands art (high fantasy)
  • Sunwell Plateau will be coming in a patch before the WotLK launch. It will include both a 25-main raid and a 5-main instance with both normal and heroic mode.
  • WotLK will have "just as much" 5-man instances as TBC and more 10-main instances due to the popularity of Karazhan
  • A new PvP area called Lake Wintergrass will combine world PvP (non-instanced) with the new siege weapons and destructible buildings. The faction that controls this zone may receive an effect that not only applies to the zone, but to the whole continent
  • When asked about class balance, they said they had no plans for any major changes to classes
  • The Death Knight unlocking quest will start at level 55-60
If I'm not mistaken, the Sunwell Plateau is north east of Silvermoon city, the Blood Elf capital. I hope Blizzard is planning some kind of Alliance friendly transportation into the area with the introduction of the Zul'Aman raid zone in Patch 2.3. If not, they are definitely going to need it for these new zones.

Full interview can be read here.

Via WorldOfWar.Net

EDIT: In regards to #14's comment: Stratholme is the new CoT instance according to this interview with Lead Designer Jeff Kaplan aka "Tigole." It is a 5-man, Level 80 instance. You will travel to the past before Arthas was corrupted and help him rid the city of demons and burn it down. As far as we can tell, the Sunwell Plateau will only be accessible by traveling there physically.

That same article also mentioned that future Hero Classes could be Demon Hunter, Archmage or Blademaster.

He also talked about the Death Knight rune system. What runes the Death Knight carves into his blade will determine what role he plays in the group (i.e tank, dps, a mix of the two, etc.)

In this separate interview, Kaplan revealed another new WotLK instance, Nexus, located in the Borean Tundra zone. It will be split into several wings, one of them for a 25-man raid that must defeat Malygyos, the blue dragon.

Filed under: Patches, News items, PvP, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

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.

Read more →

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

Blue Notes: WotLK mounts and reduction of epic mount costs

WindserpentBlizzard Blues have been active on the official forums. With rampant speculation about the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion, they've mostly had to give the standard variation of the "no comment" reply. But on two expansion mount issues they were able to give a small bit on insight.
  • Player Serpentis requested a windserpent mount in WotLK. New Blizzard poster Bornakk reported that new flying mounts are being considered, but nothing will be revealed until they are closer to releasing the new expansion.
If Blizzard were to incorporate new flying mounts in Northrend, what would you like to see?

Filed under: Mounts, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: What do you want your character to look like?

You're likely already aware that one of the great new features to be unveiled in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion is the ability to change your character's hairstyle. A number of players (including myself) have actually stopped playing certain characters just because our original appearance choices didn't turn out as good in play as they seemed in the character creation screen. Some (including myself) have spent a long time thinking about what a new character should look like and trying out many variations, playing for a bit, deleting them and trying again until you get something you know you can live with for the rest of your character's life.

Soon, however, our characers' hairspray will no longer be stone-stiff, and a new era of creative exploration will open up to Azerothians. Existing characters with ugly hair may get a second chance at coolness -- but as many already satisfied players know, your characters' good looks often come from a desire to make them fit, as closely as possible, some image we already have in our mind.

So tell us of your dream for your character, how you envision him or her when you close your eyes. Do you want your Death Knight to look like Darth Vader, or -- heaven forbid -- Chuck Norris? If you like, you could link to a picture you like, or even draw your creative vision for us!

My own most vivid character visualization was for a night elf rogue I had in mind. I wanted her to have the look of an angel who used to live among the stars in the sky, but had somehow gotten lost on earth and forgotten her way home. In hindsight, I was probably very inspired by my favorite Neil Gaiman novel, Stardust, in which a star actually does fall to the earth... and breaks her leg.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Expansions

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