When the music started, the darkness of the room envelops you, whether you’re at home or in the even itself; it’s captivating, terrifying, and Grom Hellscream talking about war wasn’t helping. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even want to watch the stream, as I felt it more important to try and get another heirloom in a Normal Siege of Orgrimmar where my raid was all set to start Garrosh, but I ended up the only one out of our raid of 25 to not be afk. Without much choice, I joined in on the stream, along with my raid, and was welcomed to such a treat, I would have kicked myself if I missed it.
Let’s face it; we’ve been waiting a damned long time for the actual announcement of the release of Warlords of Draenor. But yesterday, it was finally said and done, and the announcement came with a lot of eye candy too. With much fanfare, the unveil event was a sight to behold; it was the first time ever, as Chris Metzen said, that they have ever set up a community event to introduce some cinematic trailers and other things just to hype up the newest expansion. You can tell that there’s a lot of love for Warlords of Draenor by the staff, and they showed us just that as the event continued.
There were a lot of talking about raiding and PvP, and while I’m never worried about PvE’s treatment in WoW (other than loot distribution, of course), I have to admit, hearing the good things planned for PvP still has me skeptical. Blizzard has had a decade long battle with that facet of MMOs that will never ever be perfect. I kind of fizzed out as they were talking about it, as I believe only time will tell about how great, or bad, it will be. Though, to be fair, the idea of looting other players that you have slain in Ashran is really exciting, and really caught my attention. Other than looting artifact fragments, we’ll see what else can be accomplished in this new form of world PvP.
The Blizzard staff spoke lovingly of Ashran, a PvP “playground” that is filled with some fun times as they’ve seen in earlier testing with countless players just battling it out as an alternative to battlegrounds or arenas, hearkening back to the old awesomeness of areas like Alterac Valley. We know how fun PvP can be in this game, and without a doubt, I don’t think anyone truly denies the possibilities to be had in WoD’s claims in improved PvP experiences, but again, I think we just have to wait and see. Need I remind you all of how messed up Timeless Isle can be on PvP servers?
Sure, I loved hearing the whole “new technology” to combat the reality of Horde or Alliance domination in a server, but I’ll take it with but a grain of salt. Many attempts have been made, and most of the time, those attempts have not been very good. Good on them, though, that they’re still trying and, hopefully, things will turn out better this time around in Warlords of Draenor.
Though, I have to admit, I’m extremely excited about the World of Draenor as it presents this new and amazing looking environment that appears to present the same kind of wonder and whimsy in WoW that hasn’t been seen with since WotLK and/or Cataclysm, as opinions diverge on the matter. I find that it presents something new and exciting, but more importantly, familiar. This is unlike how Mists of Pandaria is as it has managed to alienate a lot of fans of WoW due to the vast difference it had with the rest of Azeroth. I’m in no way saying that Mists of Pandaria is bad; just too different for its own good. WoD, I believe, is a damned good call as it goes back to the original Warcraft roots many of us fell in love with and the planned world PvP in Ashran and perhaps other places, may heighten that sense of wonder. I’m pretty hopeful in this aspect.
But, of course, most of us, if not all, just really wanted to see the actual release date and whatever cinematics our senses could gobble up and, I believe, they really delivered. The first cinematic they presented was the first episode of the Lords of War, focusing on Kargath Bladefist. In the same style as that of the Seven Burdens of Shaohao, the animated storybook, as Chris Metzen regards it, explores much of the lore and backstory of varying Orc chieftains in Draenor. I think it’s a great attempt on their part to add more personality to the game, and anybody can see that they’ve been getting better at telling these stories with every patch and expansion. I’m glad that they never forgot that, because and MMO like WoW, without a story, is just a mindless grind and fancy matchroom for endless PvP, something that a lot of MMOs these days unknowingly head for. Hopefully, the quality of the writing, and the storytelling, never drop as further episodes of Lords of War are released, and that they won’t stop making these sorts of things even when they hype has settled and WoD’s arrival had calmed.
Speaking of keeping the hype, it was mentioned in the unveiling that the revamped version of Upper Black Rock Spire would become available as a sort of taste of what’s to come in Warlords of Draenor, and I’m sure everyone’s excited about that. It’s instantly new content in our hands that we can partake in whenever and however we please. It’s a good call on Blizzard’s part, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s just some method to satiate the players due to the unusually long tier of content at the present time. Regardless, I’ll take what I can get and I can only get excited about this, but I think it would be nice if they added a bit more of these “preview” content from WoD.
Next up, they showed off Warlords of Draenor in action, where little snippets and previews can be seen in their gameplay montage, as well as introducing how the new zones look like and the PvE activities available. As earlier stated, they all look fantastic and some, like Nagrand, just got even better. Heck, Nagrand in outland looks so pretty at the current time, and I didn’t think it could look even more fantastic when Draenor was still whole. The new models and animations of characters in game really breathed a whole new life to WoW, and when paired up with the amazing new environments, it somehow looks to be a different game, but again, with that familiarity of Warcraft’s roots.
And, finally, as the coup de grâce for the entire event, lo and behold, an awesome cinematic of epic proportions detailing the event where the Orc chieftains were to drink Mannoroth’s blood and become cursed with bloodlust, but now, with the intervention of Garrosh Hellscream. For one, I hate Garrosh so damned much that I use his picture as a dartboard, but this cinematic really got me rooting for Grom, and by extension, Garrosh. It is just one amazing piece of visual orgasm that I could care less about my pre-existing hatred for Garry. The cinematic itself does much justice to how Blizzard is portraying WoD, and if the game is really presented in a manner just as fantastic, I can’t see how this expansion will fall short of any expectations. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, go watch it. Now.
With all that said, the unveiling never really touched upon other aspects, but only on things we already knew and were hyped about in the first place. The Lords of War episode and the WoD cinematic were certainly a nice touch, but was all there was that was new. I agree completely that the unveiling event was just as great as great can be and it was certainly not intended to be any form of Blizzcon, but the way that it was marketed, presented, and hyped, you’d think they’d give the populace a little bit more of a taste. I just think that for the most of us, we feel there could have been more. It sounds a bit greedy, but the level of excitement around the unveiling seems to pale in comparison to what was expected, making the event to appear no better than a glorified announcement. Then again, actualy attendees were able to obtain a beta key for WoD, so I don’t think anyone is really complaining.
Regardless, we found a date, and we’ll never forget. That’s what we’re all really after and that’s what we got. With some extra things unveiled in the event, I still think we have a pretty good deal on WoD and I’m hopeful that it’ll only get better. It would have been great if there were more information divulged in the unveiling, but overall, it’s made me happy. Until then, keep farming for those heirlooms; you won’t know what else is in store for us.Related: Blizzard Entertainment, Expansion, Fantasy, Features, MMORPG, Release Date, World of Warcraft