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World of Warcraft – What’s Next

by - 7 months ago

At the start of the World of Warcraft – What’s Next panel Terran Gregory took to the stage to get the ball rolling on what is coming up in the near future in WoW: The War Within, the next expansion to the World of Warcraft and first chapter of The Worldsoul Saga

To start us off: Xal’atath has returned and is spreading a message: The Black Empire has fallen and the Old Gods are dead. The forces of the Horde and Alliance have prevailed, and the Harbinger has been watching.

Xal’atath has recruited the kingdom of Azh’kahet and restored the mighty Nerubians to their old form. Several heroes are returning. Anduin returns, having survived and recovered from his domination but has lost his connection and faith in the Light. Thrall returns as well, and Magni Bronzebeard.

Alleria Windrunner also takes a place at the forefront of the expansion, hunting down the Harbinger as a Void Hunter.

These are just a few of the characters we’ll see as we progress through our next adventures.

Maria Hamilton, Associate Design Director then took the stage to do a deeper dive into the expansion.

The Radiant Song summons us to Khaz Algar where we discover the Earthen, a new unlockable Allied Race.

The Earthen are a society in decline, still following the edicts of the Titans. The Earthen are divided into three groups.

The Oathsworn guard the passageway into the core of Azeroth.

The Unbound are considered rebellious, no longer providing resources to the Oathsworn.

The Machinespeakers continue to keep the Titanworks functioning, but have still strayed from following the edicts of the Titans.

This fracture has allowed the Earthen to decline. By helping to restore the connection between the three factions of Earthen players can unlock them as a playable race, available for both factions of players.

Players will also encounter the Arathi. Yes, those Arathi. Not much is said about the Arathi as it would involve many spoilers but the Arathi are dedicated to being bastions of Light against the darkness, including powering their airships with Sacred Flames.

Ancient survivors of the Black Empire, the Nerubians are also present in Khaz Algar. Xal’atath has assisted some Nerubians in evolving through Alchemy.

The surface of Khaz Algar is called the Isle of Dorn. An untouched paradise, the island is the home to many new creatures.

The Ringing Deeps is the second zone, a cavernous space with lava-heated foundries used by the Machinespeakers to maintain the Titanworks. Kobolds have taken over significant portions of the mines, led by the Candle King.

Descending further, we reach Hallowfall. Lit by an enormous crystal, this zone is the home of the Arathi. The borders are constantly under attack by the Nerubians. The light periodically dims, allowing creatures of the Void to attack Hallowfall.

The deepest zone of the expansion, Azj-kahet, is home to the ancient Nerubians. To travel among the Nerubians safely players will need to make use of their skills and pheromones.

These zones will all be built around Dynamic Flight (renamed Dragonriding) and will allow players to transition between the zones using the Seamless Descent, which will traverse the zones without loading zones.

Following the zone introduction Morgan Day took the stage to talk dungeons, raids, and systems.

There will be eight new dungeons (four leveling, four max level). Each leveling dungeon will represent the culmination of a zone’s storyline.

One such dungeon is the Cinderbrew Meadery.

Nerub’ar Palace is an 8 boss raid taking place in Azj-Kahet.

For systems, the team is putting an emphasis into evergreen features (Dynamic flight vs Azerite power).

The team wants to make sure there continues to be gameplay available for everyone, not just high-end raiders or dungeon runners, and would like to ensure they are respecting the player’s time.

One such feature is Delves. For Delves we join the Dragonscale Expedition in their search for lost treasures on Khaz Algar. Delves will be integrated into the outdoor experience as a part of seasons, and will add an additional row to the Great Vault for players who consume this content to coose from.

There will be 13 unique 1-5 player role-agnostic small adventures throughout the world, with a seasonal NPC joining you in each Delve to “help” in your journey. The season 1 NPC will be Brann Bronzebeard, with customizable mechanics and loadouts.

Another new feature is Warbands.

Warbands will allow players to share their accomplishments across their entire account and all of their characters. This will include transmogs and reputations.

Hero talents will also be introduced. Three new hero talent trees per class will be available, with two available to swap between per spec. Hero talents have their own self-contained talent tree that builds on what we currently have. This system unlocks at level 71, with 1 point being earned per level up to level 80. The ability to change talents will follow the same rules as the existing talent trees.


Timothy Prine

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