Now that Blizzcon has been and gone it is time now to see how my predictions went and my thoughts on the new World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor. There will be spoilers in this post, so if you don’t want anything to be ruined or would like to find out the information yourself MMO Champion has a recap over at their site.
Prediction 1 – The next expansion will be Burning Legion themed
This is partially correct. While my reasoning was a little off I was heading in the right direction none the less. Warlords of Draenor is set on the planet Draenor – the once home world of the Orcs and Dranei, but it is before the Burning Legion exerted their influence; before the Orcs drink the blood of Mannoroth. I thought that we might go to Argus as I didn’t think that they would have “gone back in time” as such. Since we know essentially what happens I think it is highly likely that the Burning Legion will make an appearance midway through the expansion.
With regards to the map of Draenor shown at Blizzcon – I had imagined Draenor to be much larger, at the moment it just looks like a fleshed out version of Outland. Outland is the shattered remains of Draenor so I was expecting Draenor to be significantly bigger with more contents / zones as it’s an entire planet. But it is still exciting. I like how you can clearly see how Outland was created, most interesting was the creation of Blade’s Edge Mountains through the fusion of Frostfire Ridge and Gorgrond. These maps don’t show the scale really well. The maps that used in their Blizzcon presentation show that the Draenor zones are a little bit bigger than their sort of “equivalent” in Outland.
Prediction 2 – Updated character models will stand in for a new race / class
Correct. I nailed this one however it was pretty sure to happen and not too out of left field. Updated character models, especially for the eight original races (Humans, Night Elves, Dwaves, Gnomes, Orcs, Trolls, Tauren & Undead) has been talked about for ages and is long over due. Bringing these models up to the same level as the Pandaren would breathe new life into these icons. It’s not a decision undertaken lightly by Blizzard and people shouldn’t be disappointed buy the lack of a new race or class. Like with the expansion theme my reasoning was a little off but this blue post by Bashoik gives some insight into their decision making specifically with new classes;
“As far as a new class, when we take a long-term view of World of Warcraft we don’t see a game where we ended up having 50 classes. A new class is a big deal, and while it can be a lot of fun, it’s also a big shake up to people’s understanding of the game (“Who is this new guy and what does he do?” /in your best Arnold voice). Even if you don’t play one they’ll be in your groups and so it requires that everyone essentially learn the new class. We are intentionally cautious about adding new ones. Plus we just added monk and the class landscape right now feels pretty good.”
Prediction 3 – No new professions but existing ones will be overhauled
Correct, mostly. No new professions were announced at Blizzcon and there were wasn’t much said about overhauling existing ones as much as I would like to see it. Some changes mentioned included being able to craft directly from your bank, some items stacking to 100 instead of 20 and players will have access to a wide variety of professions at the garrison. Also jewelcrafting and enchanting will have some changes – gems will be more significant and sockets will be rarer, & the number items requiring enchanting will be reduced, but a wider variety of enchants for those slots will be available. Ghostcrawler did mention the impact this would have on the economy and discussed the idea of both professions making additional items to help offset the economic loss e.g. off hands for enchanting.
Predictions 4 & 5 – The next expansion will be released in May 2014 & Patch 5.5
This is still up in the air as no date was specified at Blizzcon and my Patch 5.5 prediction was debunked. Several questions were asked on the topic but it looks like my prediction of May 2014 is looking very possible at the moment. Here is a summary of the topic (Source – MMO Champion);
- Another MoP patch would delay WoD, so Patch 5.5 isn’t going to happen. The entire team is working on WoD right now, so any more MoP content would slow down development.
- Q: “Typically after you announce something it is another year, but we are at Patch 5.4 now. What content do you have planned for between now and then?”
A: “Any content we do now will delay the expansion by the same amount of time it took us to make that content. We are completely focused on making the next expansion and will try to deliver that as soon as we can, hopefully on a shorter cycle than players are imagining, but you never know, we will have to see.”
- Q: “Typically that would be in the Winter of next year. Does that mean it is a goal to bring it in to Summer or Spring?”
A: “Well certainly the goal is before that, but we’ll see, it is very hard for us to predict.”
That’s it for my predictions. There were some other predictions that got left out accidentally such as the item squish and scaling content, both of which were discussed at Blizzcon. Pretty excited for Warlods of Draenor. Blizzard just keeps raising the bar and continues to make the game more streamlined and increase the decisions available for the players. I would like to do a post on the new level 100 talents in the future once I have thought about them a bit more. As always if you have any questions, concerns or feedback please let me know. You can leave a comment on the post, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on twitter @Elamari_ or like and comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.
And here is one last surprise I will end on. Enjoy 😀