So that just happened. Well, a couple of hours ago now but I wanted to wait until the “What’s Next” panel concluded before I posted any thoughts. Let’s start with the trailer. I loved Anduin’s helm. If you didn’t know it was him, it would come across very cold. Too bad he’s the opposite. And then there’s his opposite on the battlefield. She can turn into a banshee again? I get goosebumps every time I watch the trailer and that moment comes up.
That we got a cinematic trailer the same day Battle For Azeroth was announced was a great surprise by Blizzard. I think this one does a great job of setting up the expansion (so much for my “we don’t need factions anymore”). One has to wonder how she obtained the ability to transform and also what brought the Alliance to the doorstep of Lordaeron. Hopefully enough will be explained at some point before we head off to Zandalar and Kul’Tiras.
Given the theme of the expansion, I really enjoy the idea that the Horde and Alliance will go 110-120 in completely different regions. It puts a proper emphasis on the factions being strongly divided once more. Both zones look interesting enough from the previews we got but there wasn’t a whole lot of substance to that. I’m sure more will trickle out from the players who get to playtest it this weekend. Same goes for the two dungeons that were made available. Though I am very interested in the Kezan dungeon when the time comes. Who knows what the goblins have done this time?
There were many things touched on in the brief one hour but I’m not going to talk about all of them. I will mention a few other things that I found noteworthy:
- Going the Guild Wars 2 route with all zones of Azeroth. This seems long overdue to be able to have scaled questing anywhere on the planet. Glad they are finally not only bringing it forward but pairing up expansions as well (such as Outland and Northrend being scaled 60-80). I only hope that with it we can have a somewhat expedited xp boost. It still takes too long to level a character, even with heirlooms. New players get the instant boost, so they don’t have to do it if they don’t want to. But existing players are probably going to roll more alts. Why?
- Allied Races. We are getting half a dozen subraces, with three to each side. Horde receive the Highmountain, Nightborne, and Zandalari. On the Alliance side it’s the Dark Iron Dwaves, Light Forged Draenei, and Void Elves. These races each need to be recruited but once you do, you basically unlock them as an alt that starts at level 20.
- No Legendary Artifacts. Those are going to fall by the wayside and we’ll go back to standard weapons once more. Instead, we’ll have “The Heart of Azeroth” which is an amulet powered by Azerite (the very essence of Azeroth herself, seeping into the world). The more you get, the more you can do and it is used by three armor slots (helm is certain, my guess is chest and legs as well).
- Realms are going to be streamlined so that there are no longer PvP or PvE realms. Instead, you will have the option on any server to simply toggle PvP on or off. In doing it across all realms, this gives the developers a chance to do things like Bounty Hunter quests or assassinations.
- World of Warcraft Classic. You wonder where a guy is going when he talks about his two favourite ice creams being Cookies & Cream (yes) and Chocolate (meh)…until he mentions some people prefer Vanilla. It sounds like things are still in early stages, but the plan is in place to have throwback servers. Who knows how many, but they are definitely on the way at some point.
There was more if you didn’t get to see the segment (or find it on YouTube yet), but I want to wait and see what comes from the panel later today as well as the Q & A before commenting further.