World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
World of Warcraft Warlords of Draenor.png
Developer(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher(s) Blizzard Entertainment
Designer(s) Tom Chilton
Cory Stockton
Ion Hazzikostas
Brian Holinka
Chadd Nervig
Composer(s) Jason Hayes
Russell Brower
Glenn Stafford
Series Warcraft
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X
Release date(s) Fall 2014[1]
Genre(s) MMORPG
Mode(s) Online
Distribution DVD DL, digital distribution

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is the upcoming fifth expansion to the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft, scheduled for release in Fall 2014. The expansion will raise the existing level cap from 90 to 100 and will introduce player-built, upgradeable garrisons.[2]

The expansion was announced on November 8, 2013 at BlizzCon 2013,[3] and is currently in beta.[4]

Plot and setting[edit]

The expansion is set after the events of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria and takes place on the world of Draenor, the original homeworld of the orcs, prior to its destruction and the creation of Outland as featured in Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, and World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Legendary characters of Warcraft's past, such as Grom Hellscream, Ner'zhul and Blackhand, will appear.[5]

At the end of Mists of Pandaria, Garrosh Hellscream is overthrown as Warchief of the Horde by a combined Alliance-Horde force and taken into custody by the Pandaren so that he can stand trial for the atrocities he committed in Pandaria. However, before he can be judged, Garrosh escapes captivity and, with the aid of a renegade bronze dragon, travels back in time to the orcish homeworld of Draenor prior to the rise of the Horde. He creates an alternate timeline by preventing the orcish clans from drinking the blood of the demon lord Mannoroth, which led to their corruption by the Burning Legion and played a major role in the events of the first three games. The clans unite into an "Iron Horde", using technology Garrosh brought from his time, and begin a war of conquest on Draenor, building a Dark Portal that would allow them to travel through time and lay siege to Azeroth of the present era.[6]

Gameplay[edit]

The expansion will allow players to level up to 100 from the previous cap of 90. It will also include new dungeons and raids, and will introduce a new difficulty of raids called Mythic, which will be the hardest version of that raid.[7] Players will be able to build and upgrade their own garrison, a personal area in which they can recruit non-player characters to carry out missions to earn them items. The garrison will be assembled from the individual buildings like stables or armories, increasing their size and look.[8]

The development team is making a number of changes to the player versus player (PvP) aspects of the game; altering the way that PvP items behave when players fight, reducing crowd control abilities, and adding a new PvP-focused island area called Ashran containing various objectives and battles for players to participate in.[9]

Development[edit]

For this expansion the development team changed the file format used by the game, moving from the MPQ file format used previously to a new file format called CASC.[10] The game will also contain updated character models with improved textures and a higher polygon count; the developers have said they want to "keep the soul of the original characters" while upgrading them to the quality of the Pandaren race introduced in the previous expansion.[11] Game performance has been taken into account with this expansion, with the developers saying that there will be no big drop in performance as a result of the models, and reducing the amount of visuals on screen during large fights.[12]

Warlords of Draenor was playable at PAX East and entered alpha testing in April 2014.[13][14] Blizzard invited players to enter the beta in June 2014.[15] Players who pre-order the game receive a free level 90 boost for one character. Subsequent boosts may be purchased for $60 each. Blizzard made the price high because they did not want to devalue the experience of leveling a character. [16]

With this expansion, Blizzard are aiming to create expansions at a more frequent rate, as often as once per year.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pre-purchase Warlords of Draenor Now and Get a Level-90 Character Boost - World of Warcraft
  2. ^ Stuart, Keith (8 November 2013). "Draenor expansion announced". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Fahey, Mike (8 November 2013). "Warlords Of Draenor Brings The Original Warcraft Trilogy To WoW". Kotaku. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "World of Warcraft®: Warlords of Draenor™ Beta Test Begins!". Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-06-27. 
  5. ^ World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor BlizzCon 2013 FAQ - World of Warcraft
  6. ^ Fahey, Mike (8 November 2013). "How World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Goes Back in Time". Kotaku. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Hafer, T.J. (November 9, 2013). "World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor - Everything there is to know so far". PC Gamer. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  8. ^ Farokhmanesh, Megan (November 9, 2013). "World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Garrisons detailed". Polygon. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  9. ^ Farokhmanesh, Megan (April 23, 2014). "World of Warcraft designers offer 30-minute deep dive into Warlords of Draenor's changes". Joystiq. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  10. ^ Stickney, Anne (April 3, 2014). "Warlords of Draenor Alpha testing begins". Joystiq. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  11. ^ McWhertor, Michael (November 8, 2013). "See World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor's revamped orcs, dwarves and gnomes". Polygon. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  12. ^ Maiberg, Emanuel (April 17, 2014). "World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor's new character models won't affect performance". PC Gamer. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  13. ^ Pitcher, Jenna (April 3, 2014). "World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor enters alpha testing". Polygon. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  14. ^ Sarkar, Samit (March 17, 2014). "Blizzard bringing Diablo 3 PS4, Hearthstone iPad, more to PAX East". Polygon. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  15. ^ Royce, Brianna (June 27, 2014). "Blizzard dispatches Warlords of Draenor closed beta invites". Massively. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  16. ^ Makuch, Eddie (February 25, 2014). "Why World of Warcraft character boosts cost $60". GameSpot. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  17. ^ Carlson, Patrick (November 21, 2013). "Blizzard wants new World of Warcraft expansions every year". PC Gamer. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 

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