Author Archive

Ian Bates

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

PTR 6.2 First Look: Tanaan Jungle

Hi everyone, it’s the Red Shirt Guy here with some screenshots of the new areas added in patch 6.2.’s first PTR build. We’ll be looking at Tanaan Jungle, and a change to the Alliance garrison.

Pictures after the jump…

Tanaan Intro quest:

WoWScrnShot_041315_221602

The Red Shirt Guy’s BlizzCon 2014 Predictions

BlizzCon 2014 is nearly upon us and, as with every year, speculation about the convention’s announcements have run wild. Here are my predictions for what we shall see announced this year.

Things I’m Very Sure Of:

Hearthstone expansion, it’s been teased to fan sites over the past weeks and the Hearthstone website posted a strange article hinting at new features. From these various teasers, I’m fairly certain the Hearthstone expansion will be mechanical themed in terms of the new cards added, and will have a spectator mode and a new gameplay mode, “speed rounds,” in which each player is given only fifteen seconds for their turns.

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void reveal. Blizzard released several StarCraft II sound files over the past few days which are titled respectively “See” “…you…” “…at…” with the last one uploaded only 11 hours ago as of this writing. Yes, technically LoV can’t be “revealed” as we’ve known about it since before StarCraft II even launched, but this would be the first public look at the expansion, similar to Heart of the Swarm‘s reveal trailer several BlizzCons ago.

Warlords of Draenor patch content. Jeremy Feasel mentioned on Twitter that they will be showcasing some new pet battle information, which means, even if it’s just pet content, there will be information about 6.1 and beyond. My personal guess would be a showcase of Tanaan Jungle, perhaps discussion on how the patch cycle will work as they have been rather vague in past interviews, and if they’re ready, a preview of the updated blood elf models.

Things I’m Not as Sure Of:

Overwatch. Blizzard has filed 7 trademarks for this recently, one months ago and the others over these last two weeks. Considering all the different trademarks I’d hazard to say Overwatch is a new IP, and possibly the “big announcement” that Blizzard employees have been alluding to on Twitter. As for what it is, I’d theorize it’s the setting and lore made for the canceled Titan project put into a non-MMO game of some type, but it’s just a guess with no real evidence backing it up.

Heroes of the Storm beta announcement. Nothing for HOTS has been teased the way Hearthstone has, but with the “final phase of the technical alpha” having started a little while ago, now would be the perfect time to announce when HOTS will enter its beta test. I’d also expect some new heroes and possibly new maps to be shown off as well.

Eye of Azshara is fake. Yes, someone would have had to spend $299 and commit a crime to get that trademark up if it’s not genuine, but at this point things aren’t looking to be in EoA’s favor. It hasn’t been filed in any other country, whereas Warlords of Draenor was quickly trademarked in other regions after its discovery. I would certainly like it to be genuine, I might even make a series of posts about what I would want to see in a hypothetical Azshara expansion, but at this point I doubt it has anything to do with this year’s BlizzCon. Hopefully I’m wrong on this one.

 

The Hunt for Alleria Windrunner (Warlords of Draenor Beta)

If one builds a Lunarfall Inn (Alliance) or Frostwall Tavern (Horde) in their garrison, they gain access to unique quests given by various figures in WoW lore such as Darion Mograine, Lorewalker Cho, and Aviana. These quests have some interesting background lore; for example Darion is researching the Shadowmoon clan to better understand the Lich King’s origins, and Cho believes there are Titan artifacts hidden in the Everbloom. However there is one quest which has far bigger and more immediate implications. It comes from an unlikely source, a masked night elf simply referred to as “Cowled Ranger,” and she gives a quest titled “The Huntresses.”

Lost Veil Anzu: Ogres, Arakkoa and Mind Control Oh My!

Situated between the Spires of Arak and Shadowmoon Valley is an extremely odd level 100 area called “Lost Veil Anzu”. After searching through WoWhead, I’ve found no quests mentioning it, and none of the level 100 garrison dailies appears to have sent anyone there. Besides its unusual location and lack of reason to visit, the most bizarre thing about Lost Veil Anzu is that it has an eerie similarity to places corrupted by the Old Gods…

The Legacy of Garrosh Hellscream (MASSIVE Spoilers for Warlords of Draenor)

The Warcraft lore fan-forum Scrolls of Lore has unearthed a shocking discovery. Forum poster Gurzog completed the quests in the newly opened Nagrand zone on the Warlords of Draenor beta. Nagrand is the final zone in Draenor, and where players will reach level 100.

Unlike past expansions simply giving players some fireworks and a letter from a lore character for hitting the level cap, Warlords of Draenor will have something much larger. Finishing the leveling quests in Draenor will reward players with an event of Wrathgate/Battle for the Undercity proportions: a quest chain referred to in the zone achievement as “The Legacy of Garrosh Hellscream”.

This questline comes across as a conclusion for the first chapter of WoD’s story, and thus has INCREDIBLY MASSIVE SPOILERS. If you choose to read on, know that you have been warned. All credit for the following images goes to Gurzog on Scrolls of Lore.

Thank you for documenting this for lore fans everywhere.

Note: Gurzog only did the Horde version of these quests, and due to how faction oriented they seem to be, it’s possible they might be significantly different Alliance side. Once the Alliance version of events have been documented, this article will be updated, or a followup article will be made if the differences are extensive enough.

New Stormwind Easter Egg: Warlords of Draenor Beta

While exploring Stormwind to check for further updates on the odd new portal, I discovered a smaller addition. An “Easter Egg” involving an new NPC named “Archmage Nakada <Master of Spells>” giving a Harry Potter-esque magic lesson to some “Junior Mages”.

Upon further research, I think this might be a tribute to Blizzard’s former Senior Software Engineer, Ron Nakada, who passed away this April. If so, it’s a very touching tribute. They easily could have just made another NPC, but his students and interactions with the player character will make Nakada a far more memorable addition to Stormwind.

Ashran – A Tour of Stormshield and Warspear

Ashran has been opened up for testing in the latest beta build for Warlords of Draenor. This includes the two new capital cities, Stormshield (alliance) and Warspear (horde). The island and the cities are very unfinished with terrain bugs, missing npcs and a lack of general polish. So instead of going in-depth on obviously unfinished content, here’s a brief photo-tour of the two capitals. This will specifically deal with their pvp section (the capitals are split into pvp and pve areas) as the pve areas are devoid of npcs.

Alleria and Turalyon Should be Villains; a Red Shirt Guy Editorial

One of the most engaging mysteries left in Warcraft lore is the question of what happened to Alleria Windrunner and Turalyon. Last seen on Outland in the moments after Draenor’s destruction, they have not been heard from since. Blizzard has joked about their absence frequently, both at past BlizzCons and the in-game loading screen tip “Nobody has seen Alleria or Turalyon in years” (which in the Warlords of Draenor beta has been changed to “Nobody has seen Alleria or Turalyon in years. Still”).

There are a myriad of theories on what happened to them, or how they will re-incorporated into World of Warcraft, but this article won’t be about that. I’ve been thinking more on what Alleria and Turalyon should do once they are back.

It’s often been speculated that they will leave their heritage as Alliance heroes to become neutral characters. Characters following the same “for the greater good and little personality beyond that”-personality used for Tirion Fordring in Wrath of the Lich King, Thrall in Cataclysm, and Archmage Khadgar in Warlords of Draenor. I want Alleria and Turalyon to have a more interesting role if and when they return…

I want them to be villains.

Blasted Lands Revamp in Warlords of Draenor, Part 1

The most recent build of the Warlords of Draenor beta has dramatically altered the Blasted Lands. The zone has been entirely conquered by the Iron Horde, with small Alliance and Horde camps offering a new, level 90 questline. At the moment, it is unclear whether this is a permanent change, or simply a temporary world event for the expansion. I believe it might be a mixture of the two, as Blizzard had described a launch event more grandiose than what has currently been added, and there still needs to be a questline leading players to Draenor. Currently on the beta, players speak with a gigantic version of Khadgar in Stormwind and Orgrimmar who teleports them to Tanaan Jungle, most certainly not final.

Alliance

Horde

Meet the Clans of Draenor

When Thrall became Warchief of the Horde, he dissolved the orcish clans (though many still exist as organizations within the Horde, such as the Warsong Outriders and Shattered Hand rogues). This is not true of the orcs of Draenor. Instead of a conglomerate nation, the orcish clans each have unique cultures, fighting styles, leaders, strengths, and weaknesses. If one is to survive the coming onslaught by the Warlords of Draenor, knowledge of the orc clans in paramount.