Author Archive

Ian Bates

World of Warcraft Writer and columnist for Blizzplanet. I am also known as The Red Shirt Guy (BlizzCon).

Future Allied Race Speculation

After that pessimistic last article of mine, I feel it would be a good idea to discuss something more positive. So let’s take a look at one of Battle for Azeroth‘s most interesting features, the Allied Race system. Essentially a way to add playable races that would otherwise be too similar to existing ones opens the door to many potential races I would never have thought to be made playable. Then there is the fact that Blizzard said the six allied races coming are just the beginning. It’s unclear, at least to me, whether they meant additional allied races will be added during Battle for Azeroth‘s patch cycle, or if allied races will be something we can expect as a core feature of any future expansion like new regular races or classes. Either way, there are a tons of potential candidates worth speculating on.

So read on past the jump to see my predictions for what allied races we could see in the future.

I’m Worried About Battle for Azeroth…

I’m super-hyped for Battle for Azeroth. Just from the short demo of Nazmir at BlizzCon, I can see that Zandalar is everything I’d ever hoped it would be. Add on finally getting to visit Kul Tiras, the allied races, more story and development for faction leaders like Jaina, Saurfang, Baine, and Genn, and more old world updates (though it sounds like they’ll just be phased scenery like Theramore, but still I like seeing the world change and evolve) and this is looking like a pretty great expansion. So why I am so worried that it won’t be?

Read on to find out.

 

Updates to Stormwind and Orgrimmar in the Battle for Azeroth Demo

I’m back from BlizzCon, and what a BlizzCon it was. While I have some serious worries about the expansion, worries I detail in a future article, Battle for Azeroth in terms of what content it’s offering is shaping up to be my favorite expansion ever. I’ve wanted Zandalar as a continent for a long time… (far longer than when I wrote that article, even)

However we’re not here to talk about Zandalar or Kul Tiras today. As I’ve mentioned on twitter, the BlizzCon demo for Battle for Azeroth also hid some very surprising updates to Stormwind and Orgrimmar. Each city has had a new district added, with some very surprising lore developments included within. It goes without saying that this post includes heavy spoilers for Battle for Azeroth. So read on at your own risk.

Subraces Part 2: Before the Storm

We’d previously talked about the strange additions to the “chrraces” file in WBDX that could be evidence of four subraces coming to World of WarCraft in the next expansion. Thanks to the crafty people in the MMO-Champion hype thread, and WoWhead, even more details on these strange entries has been uncovered. Already it was getting to be too much to keep updating the original article, and then another bombshell dropped. Christie Golden’s next World of WarCraft novel has a title and description that might shed further light on the upcoming expansion. I’ve decided to the combine the two into a single, pre-BlizzCon speculation extravaganza.

REMINDER: I’ve seen some confusion over this on places like Twitter and Reddit; nothing in this or the previous article is confirmed. While the file evidence is real, we can only make educated guesses as to what the details mean. 

Possible New (Sub)Races Datamined

Happy two weeks until BlizzCon, everyone! I’ve covered several previous datamining clues towards expansion seven in these past few months, and unless something huge happens, this should be the last one. On MMO-Champion’s “Official Patch 8.0 Speculation thread,” a list from the game database was uncovered that could point towards four new (sub)races being added in. What are these potential subraces? What is the evidence for them? Find out after the jump!

Update: A new piece of information has surfaced, as well as a look back at an interesting quote from a Gamescom interview. Check them out at the bottom of the page.

The Kul Tiras Expansion Rumor Continues

As we’ve covered previously, files on the 7.3 PTR and the BlizzCon key art have pointed towards Kul Tiras as the setting for the next World of Warcraft expansion. On August 25th, yet another 7.3 PTR build has come up with datamined information that only deepens the mystery. According to MMO-Champion the new build removed the icons for all of the Kul Tiras armor “from the list of files that are extracted when you extract all of the interface files from the game.” What’s equally interesting was that even more icons relating to Zandalar were removed along with them. What does this mean? Well, based on a previous expansion leak via datamining, I think I know. Read past the jump to find out:

Kul Tiras Expansion Rumor Intensifies with New BlizzCon Key Art

Blizzard Entertainment’s twitter account has been releasing portions of the key art for BlizzCon 2017. So far they’ve released the Diablo and World of WarCraft key art, with the latter having some very interesting implications for what will be announced this year. Previously datamined armor sets suggest that Kul Tiras might be the setting of the next expansion. Now World of WarCraft is being represented by Jaina Proudmoore this year, and if past BlizzCon key art has anything to say, then its even further evidence that the long requested island kingdom is finally making its way into WoW.

Want to know why? Read on after the jump!

Expansion Concept: Shadows of Kul Tiras

The recently datamined armor in the 7.3 PTR points to the island nation of Kul Tiras being the setting for our next World of Warcraft expansion. Aside from hinting that Kul Tiras will finally be making its appearance in WoW, the naming scheme of the datamined files suggest Kul Tiras might not just be a zone in the next expansion, but an entire continent. Leveling gear in expansions usually follows this naming convention ““inv_(armor slot)_(armor type)_(“snippet of expansion’s name”quest)_b_01.” For example Legion leveling gear uses file names like “inv_chest_leather_legionquest100_b_01” and Warlords of Draenor used “inv_bracer_leather_draenorquest90_b_01.” That would suggest Kul Tiras is part of the expansion’s name, probably something like “(Blank) of Kul Tiras.”

The idea of making Kul Tiras into an entire continent is intriguing to me, so I couldn’t help but try to flesh out a potential expansion of that nature for myself. This won’t be your standard “South Seas expansion”, as we can also guess from the sheer amount of new ethereal and void models and art assets introduced in 7.3 that there’s a good chance they’ll play a major role too. I hope you enjoy “Shadows of Kul Tiras.”

Potential Expansion Leak in the 7.3. PTR

UPDATE: As several people have pointed out on Twitter, I shamefully forgot to mention another expansion leak via-dataming, done by our very own contributor Handclaw. The article has been updated with this information.

WoWhead has broke news about the recent patch 7.3 PTR build which could potentially be a look into the next expansion. A set of armor named after Kul Tiras has been datamined, in a situation eerily similar to three previous expansion leaks accomplished via datamining. Read on past the jump to learn more about these past leaks and what this might mean for expansion seven.

Who is the Final Boss of Legion?

The following article contains spoilers for the Kil’jaeden defeat cinematic in the Tomb of Sargeras raid.

From the moment of Legion‘s announcement, we’ve been wondering who the final boss of the expansion would be. The Avatar of Sargeras and Kil’jaeden were some of the most popular suggestions (I personally leaned towards the Avatar), however both of them have been dealt with in the Tomb of Sargeras raid. Another theory was that we’d be facing Sargeras himself, though that raises the question of how we’d be able to fight a raid boss the size of a planet, both from suspension of disbelief and technical limitation viewpoints. I’ve come up with a different theory, one that’s outlandish enough I can’t say I expect Blizzard to actually go through with it, but one I’d really like to see and think the evidence supports.

Read on if you are not bothered by spoilers.