Author Archive

Ian Bates

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

World of Warcraft: Age of Azshara, a fan-expansion concept by the Red Shirt Guy (Part 1)

We’re in that unfortunate period of time where all the major story patches for the current expansion have been released, and the next one is still months away from being announced. With little to report on, my thoughts have turned to what said next expansion might be. So for the next few weeks, I will be doing a series of articles detailing the expansion concept I’ve created. We’ll talk about major features, zones, dungeons and raids, storyline and more! This first article will be a general outline of the expansion concept.

ageofazshara

-Title card courtesy of fellow Blizzplanet contributor Benjamin Vogt.

Archimonde and the Infinite Legion, a Potential Lore Revelation

A conversation between @1990Sanji and World of WarCraft creative director Alex Afrasiabi has revealed a pretty shocking piece of information about how the alternate Draenor we’ve spent the past several months on works. Namely, the Burning Legion there is the same Legion we’ve been facing back on Azeroth and Outland. Even more shocking, the Archimonde and Mannoroth we’ll be fighting in patch 6.2 are the same ones from WarCraft III! The implications behind this are staggering. Read on after the jump to see the full conversation and find out more.

Archimonde and the Infinite Legion, a Potential Lore Revelation

Patch 6.2. Second Look: Ashran Excavation

Following the newest build of the patch 6.2. PTR, I returned to Ashran to see if any new lore about the artifact had been added. There hasn’t been, but the new Ashran Excavation area has been heavily modified and looks much better than during our last look at it.

Read on for the full preview.

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:

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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.