Red Shirt Guy Explores Draenor, Part 1: Frostfire Ridge
Hello everybody, I know this is a few days post BlizzCon, but its the thought that counts, right? Anyways, the Warlords of Draenor demo from BlizzCon has been covered elsewhere; so this won’t be quite like the other descriptions of it. Instead I’ll be focusing on some neat tidbits I found, as well as some potential theories to the expansion’s plotline. Take the jump downwards to find out more!
There were two areas available on the BlizCon floor, Frostfire Ridge and Shadowmoon Valley, which are the Horde and Alliance’s starting zones on Draenor, respectively. I did not get to explore Frostfire as much as Shadowmoon, so for today we’ll start there.
I love snowy areas, and Frostfire is no exception. Immediately upon entry my character found himself standing in front of Thrall and Durotan. Durotan does not have a unique model at the time, but he is wielding the axe from his TCG artwork.
At this point in time, the Frostwolf clan is assaulting an ogre stronghold called Bladespire Citadel, which will ultimately become the Horde’s capital city in Warlords of Draenor. I find it rather strange that we’re getting an ogre city before getting playable ogres, but that brings me to my second point. The new ogre model is great, almost padaren-quality. I wouldn’t be surprised if Blizzard is laying the groundwork for playable ogres down the line, especially with the large, ogre controlled continent in southern Draenor looming at the bottom of the world map. Also of interest is that these ogres come in one and two-eyed variants. Previously we’d only seen two-eyed ogres outside of ogre lords and their two-headed counterparts.
Other new models were clefthooves with large tusks, and boars covered in spines. I believe these are meant to be uncorrupted versions of the felboars found throughout Outland. After looking around this initial quest area I decided to go exploring the frigid wastes. Frostfire Ridge is neat looking, but unvaried in its environs. There’s snow, volcanic areas with Blade’s Edge style spires, and more snow. However I also found, immediately upon leaving the quest area, dozens of dead nerubians. I followed a trail of them to a hole in the ground leading to a cave filled with even more dead nerubians. Seeing as it was a straight drop with no apparent way out, I left the hole. All these nerubians had the name “Scorpar” plus your standard mob titles, so I’m pretty sure they’re just placeholders for what sounds like a new scorpion people race. I just hope they aren’t all dead, scorpion people sound pretty cool.
Further out I entered a large canyon full of Thunderlord orcs. Aside from a few spirits in Burning Crusade, this is the first time the Thunderlord Clan has appeared in WoW, as they were wiped out during the Second War. Once I approached some of the orc mobs, my quest bar made a sound and the words “bonus objective: kill 40 Thunderlord Orcs” appeared beneath my active quests. It looks like this is part of the “dynamic event” system talked about at the panels. If so, I heartily approve of using scenario type objectives to help keep track of what’s going on. I wonder, could this even be a pre-cursor to un-instanced scenarios of some sort?
Continuing my exploration I came across a large Northrend-Style Horde settlement. The Iron Horde uses unique looking buildings, as I’ll get to in my Shadowmoon Valley review, so I doubt this is meant for them. Here’s a screencap from the “Warlords of Draenor: Faction Zones” trailer which appears to show the same fortress I saw:
Once I got close enough my zone header changed to “Horde PH” before being teleported back to Thrall and Durotan. Considering its otherwise out of place nature, I think this might be the spot where a Horde player’s Garrison goes, though I don’t have much evidence to back it up.
This ended my exploration of Frostfire Ridge, and I went on to Shadowmoon Valley, which I’ll talk about next time. We’ll meet Yrel the “draenei Joan of Arc”, learn some troubling things about Velen, see some familiar faces from our timeline, and find out more about garrison locations.
The video below shows both zones: Frostfire Ridge and Shadowmoon Valley. Enjoy! (720HD available)