New expansion for WoW announced at Blizzcon today. Here’s the reveal trailer to get your feet wet:
Here’s a little bit about what we know so far.
- Garrosh will be put on trial and escape before a verdict. He is going back in time, altering the current timeline slightly.
- Garrosh’s goal is to stop the Orcs from drinking the blood of Mannoroth and building the Iron Horde using technology from the present.
- The end of this expansion is going to spill over into the next one. Many more expansions are lined up now.
- Homeworld of the Orcs, heart of the Draenei, lots of giants, seven new zones.
- The Iron Horde is here to take an army into Azeroth and your job is to stop them.
- Netherstorm will be used in a future patch, not at launch.
New Player Models
- New models have lots of facial detail, teeth, tongues, smiles, and animations. Gnome, Orc, and Dwarf are ready for preview.
- Dwarf (click to view)
- Orc (click to view)
- Gnome (click to view)
- Build your own base on Draenor, WoW version of Housing (and return of MoP farm likely)
- Your friends can come and see it, trade resources.
- Collect followers and send them on missions, raids, quests, etc.
- Collect trophies from achievements, mount rare spawn heads on walls, etc.
- Buildings provide unique buffs/bonuses
- Upgradeable similar to the MoP farm
Boost to 90
- New levelcap of 100
- Warlords of Draenor will boost one of your characters to Level 90 for free.
- The boost will clean up your bags, quest log, and action bar to reduce the mess.
Dungeons Raids and PvP
- Seven new dungeons at launch – 4 for levelling, 3 for level cap
- Two new raids for level cap
- Mythic new difficulty harder than Heroic
- Ashran new PVP zone, persistant with no start/end like Wintergrasp – more like original AV
For a more detailed breakdown and more info, head over to MMO-Champion.
Today is Blizzard’s Blizzcon conference at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. They just announced that they were down to 7.6 million subscribers – but that’s only down from 100k and in a different perspective – they retained 98% of their subscriber base over the last quarter. If you’d like to stick your head into the /r/wow community’s IRC channel, point your browsers here or your IRC clients to irc.quakenet.org and joining the #blizzcon channel. Here’s a schedule detailing the events of the two-day gaming conference.
Sources in the industry say that EA has lost $273 million this quarter (hope you speak German). While one may see this as bad, and on paper it is, keep in mind that money spent on things like advertising for games (this quarter saw advertising for their new sports titles, Battlefield 4, among others) are realized instantly, it can take several months for games to realize their potential value and make up the return on investment. Seems strange that they’d lose money in the quarters that they release their big titles, but with AAA studios and the advertising and promotional budgets their titles are given, it’s not completely surprising.
On the flip side of the coin – that doesn’t mean they’re not feeling the pressure. The upcoming game Command and Conquer has been axed and the developer studio Victory Games is closing. Pandemic Studios, founded in 1998, was purchased by EA in 2007 and closed in 2009. Bright Light Studios founded in 2008 closed it’s doors in 2012. Danger Close, Black Box Games, EA Phenomic, and others – and that’s just since 2009. It’s kind of what you get when you focus on quantity over quality. That being said, most of the developers from these studios merge with larger studios or move on to greener pastures.
On the indie side of gaming – Starbound developers Chucklefish have announced that beta for the game is just around the corner. They’ve made a blog post on their website outlining the three stages they foresee the beta going through. Stage 1 is basically “alpha” in the most common terms – they suggest not playing during this period of the beta if you don’t like encountering bugs, having characters and worlds wiped by frequent patches and updates, and if you don’t want any “spoilers” before the game is fully released. There won’t be any major questlines through the game’s storyline and the game engine will lack polish and could run poorly on slower machines. Stage 2 is a more polished stage, but just barely. It will be more optimized and the feedback from slower computers will be vital for the game’s final performance. The major questlines still won’t be in yet but the sandbox aspect of the game will be close to complete. During the third and final phase (Stage 3) before release, it will be mainly about finishing it up, polishing the game, and prepping for it’s official release. They’ve also outlined that their plans for future post-release content and updates is going to be around a year’s worth. Obviously you shouldn’t feel entitled to any additional content, but this is more than we got after Terraria and obviously less than we got (and continue to get) with Minecraft.
Who all is planning on playing Starbound during the beta?