Author Archive

Ian Bates

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

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.

Medivh (Possibly) Sighted in the Warlords of Draenor Alpha

A big surprise has been unearthed in the Warlords of Draenor alpha. A youtube poster known only as “WoDBeta” has uploaded a video of the quest “All is Revealed” in Frostfire Ridge. The quest has players use an “all-seeing eye” created by Khadgar to spy on Gul’dan and the Shadow Council. Gul’dan is seen accompanied by his usual accomplices Cho’Gall, Teron’gor and Giselda the Crone. However a fourth ally can be seen standing next to Gul’dan, his appearance obscured by shadows.

Once Gul’dan notices the presence of the all-seeing eye, the shadowy being vanishes while the other four remain. Who is this Mysterious Figure? There is one individual who immediately comes to mind. Someone who both greatly resembles the figure’s silhouette, and has a very strong connection to Gul’dan at this point in time. The Last Guardian, Medivh… (Though he’s technically not the Last Guardian anymore due to Med’an, but that’s still kind of Medivh’s title)

More Warlords of Draenor Revamps: Razorfen Kraul and Razorfen Downs

Following on the heels of Blackfathom Deeps’ unexpected return, it appears Razorfen Kraul and Razorfen Downs have been given similar treatments. New npcs, new mechanics (such as traps you must disable in Kraul, or a deadly plague mist covering portions of Downs) and new stories. In Razorfen Kraul, they quillboar are harnessing the powers of strange crystals that may be related to the Twilight’s Hammer, while in Razorfen Downs the scourge works to ressurect the lich Ammenar the Coldbringer.

Unfortunately both instances are heavily glitched. Upon entering the second boss’s room in Razorfen Kraul, the alpha crases. In Razorfen Downs, the first boss cannot be defeated properly, instead respawning after several minutes and preventing you from moving further in due to a wall that’s supposed to go away when the boss dies.

These videos show their dungeon journals (not nearly as complete as Blackfathom’s, Razorfen Downs does not even have model viewing yet) and what portions of the instances I was able to access.

Blackfathom Deeps being Revamped in Warlords of Draenor, the Red Shirt Guy Explores

While exploring the Warlords of Draenor alpha, I found that besides the announced content such as Frostfire Ridge and the new models, there was another very shocking addition. The classic five-man Blackfathom Deeps has been completely revamped. All of the bosses have been replaced (with the exception of Aku’mai and Ghamoo-ra, who both have new models and abilities), along with new npcs, a new story and a strange new scenario-like quest feature.

First we’ll look at the new dungeon journal, then behind the cut, a sixteen minute long run-through of the entire instance. This was filmed in the also to be revamped, but as a level 100 heroic, Upper Blackrock Spire to give you a sneak preview of that as well. There is no indication that Blackfathom Deeps will have any heroic equivalent.

The Future of the Past, a War Crimes Analysis

world-of-warcraft-war-crimes-coverThe latest World of Warcraft novel, War Crimes by Christie Golden, came out today. Reviews of the book have been pouring from various WoW fansites over the past few days, but this will not be one. Suffice to say, I really liked the book (aside from one big flaw), and it make me extremely excited for Warlords of Draenor. Instead, I’m going to talk about some of the shocking revelations brought to light in War Crimes and the implications they might have for the storyline of Warlords of Draenor.

Obviously this means there will be spoilers, so if you with to read the book “fresh” then I recommend doing so first before reading this article.