You know that feeling when there’s so much you want to talk about you don’t even know where to start? That’s what I’m going through right now. Bizzcon 2018 delivered a whole more more World of Warcraft reveals than I had expected. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised and even a little overwhelmed. Let’s have a look at the biggest reveals in this Blizzcon 2018 Highlights Special!
I’m going to be honest, I didn’t expect much for World of Warcraft at Blizzcon this year. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I found the timing to be unfortunate. After all, Blizzcon 2018 was right smack between the release of Battle for Azeroth and Patch 8.1: Tides of Vengeance. During the Opening Ceremony, I was reminded of Blizzard’s determination to prove me wrong!
I’ve been a fan of Blizzard games for around 20 years now. Even in the pixelated 90’s, the quality of their cinematics became one of their hallmarks. In what Blizzard promised to be one of the most story-driven expansions in the history of World of Warcraft, they kicked their cinematic game in overdrive.
“I WANT MY HORDE BACK!“. Chills, even as I watch it for the nth time. Everyone seems to be in agreement (except for that handful of Sylvanas fanboys), the Horde is not what it used to be. The fact that Varok Saurfang lets Anduin live and allows himself to be captured in order to have a chance at stopping Sylvanas says a lot. The fact that Anduin Wrynn enlists the help of Saurfang to achieve that goal says even more.
Saurfang and Wrynn will be working together to bring Sylvanas down and make the Horde great again! Sylvanas will be facing more and more resistance from within her own faction. We will discover later she will face even more resistance from outside her faction as well.
In case you’re an Alliance player and wondering why you should care, the Alliance needs a strong, honorable Horde. It is the constant arms race between the Alliance and the Horde that made both factions strong enough to fight the Scourge, the Burning Legion and the Old Gods. However, this is not an honorable Horde. These are war crimes, killing more innocent civilians than soldiers. It leads to an impossible to sustain storyline within the game. The only way World of Warcraft works, is by maintaining a status quo between the two factions.
8.1: Tides of Vengeance
The “World of Warcraft: What’s Next” panel brought us a whole lot more details about patch 8.1. We finally got a release date! Patch 8.1 is set for release on December 11th for the US and December 12th for the EU!
The second largest piece of news concerning 8.1 was the reveal of the available classes for the allied races!
That both Kul Tiran Humans and Zandalari Trolls would be able to be Druids, was no secret.
Kul Tiran Humans will also get the option to become Shamans! A weird direction you might think at first, but it kind of fits the whole Tidesage theme. It also means cute little anchor shaped totems! YAY!
Zandalari Trolls have a big ace up their sleeve as well. When Classic WoW was the only WoW, we had a 20-man raid dungeon called Zul’Gurub. The faction connected to Zul’Gurub were the Zandalari Tribe. They had a pretty interesting piece of lore about their Freethinkers. Basically the Troll version of a Paladin. As a result, Zandalari Trolls can become Paladins!
Terror of Darkshore
As if Lost Honor wasn’t enough, we got another cinematic. This time, it’s one of those “in engine” cinematics. Terror of Darkshore serves as an introduction to the Battle for Darkshore Warfront.
It took a while, but the Warcraft III Night Elves are back! Those of you who thought the Night Elves were tree hugging hippies … Guess again! Night Elves, especially when driven out of their sacred home, can be ruthless and savage. It is especially exciting to see Malfurion hasn’t forgotten to be badass. Tyrande rocking her new Night Warrior look serves as another reminder that these Night Elves are out for blood.
8.2: Rise of Azshara
With 8.1 just over 5 weeks away, it’s time to look at what lies beyond. Not too much detail here, since this is all a bit further down the line, but enough to be excited about. Let’s have a look at the juiciest parts of the 8.2 reveal.
It is finally time for Queen Azshara to make an appearance. in Patch 8.2, she will raise Nazjatar from the depths of the ocean and make her presence known to Azeroth!
Besides a new raid, Nazjatar will also bring us new outdoor content with a more persistent and replayable angle to it. Both Horde and Alliance will find friends among the denizens of Nazjatar. Since Azshara and her naga are not to be trifled with, I’m we can use all the help we can get.
Another new zone in Patch 8.2, Mechagon is sure to satisfy even the most discerning steampunk lover. Besides new quests and storylines, Mechagon will feature a huge megadungeon with 8 bosses! Reminiscent of Karazhan in Legion, Mechagon will be available on Mythic difficulty only at first.
The biggest scoop about Mechagon is not the dungeon though, but the Mechagnomes! Outcasts of the Mechagon high society, they will enlist our help to retake their city. Now, let’s just call it right here, right now: Mechagnomes will be the next Alliance Allied Race! You might be wondering what the Horde will get. There will be no “Mechagoblins” for the Horde. Remember, Mechagon will be featured alongside Nazjatar in Patch 8.2 and the Horde will be getting Gilblins! It fits the narrative of Nazjatar perfectly, and they are already in the game. We met plenty of them in Azsuna in Legion.
Is That Knaifu!?
As the panel continued, we got some more information about the key characters and the progression of their story. A slide showed Sylvanas, Saurfang, Jaina and Anduin. It would make sense that the story of Battle for Azeroth would feature these key characters. Two very important things to point out here.
First of all, Jaina Proudmoore is a raid boss in the Battle for Dazar’alor raid, but will most certainly not be killed. We suspected as much, since she’s such a huge character but the fact that her story continues beyond Patch 8.2, confirms that.
The biggest shocker however, is Sylvanas Windrunner. In the slide, she is not holding her bow Deathwhisper. Instead she’s holding Xal’atath! A lot of dialogue concerning the Legion Artifact weapon for Shadow Priests has been datamined from the Patch 8.1 PTR. Until now, it was still unclear what would eventually happen to the blade though. Now we know! Sylvanas will recover the blade and a lot of conspiracy theorists have already linked her to Old God corruption. Needless to say, I’m very curious how this will all play out.
Looking for New Warchief
The final highlight I want to talk about did not come from the “What’s New” panel, but from the Q&A panel. Chris Metzen took to the floor and asked the panel when the Horde will be getting their real Warchief back! Think of the answer what you will, but as I stated before, the current situation with Sylvanas is unsustainable from a story balance point of view.
Battle for Azeroth may have had a rough start, but in anything, Blizzcon 2018 made me excited for what is to come. A lot of balancing is coming in patch 8.1 and along with all the new content coming out, I’m sure Battle for Azeroth will have something for everyone! I look forward to covering all the new features in future issues of the Battle for Azeroth Bulletin!