On Tuesday, August 21, senior game producer Michael Bybee and lead environment artist Ely Cannon addressed the press members privately to discuss World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth at a GamesCom venue.
Blizzard Entertainment unveiled the Realm of Torment cinematic featuring Jaina’s guilt tormenting her over the years. Somehow, her mother Katherine is able to witness all these memories inside Jaina’s mind. How she is able to do this is not revealed in the cinematic. However, the first few seconds show Jaina as a littlel child sobbing on top of a pillar stub. Looking closely to its design, it is the same seen in Drust ruins.
What Admiral Katherine sees in Jaina’s mind is the many events of her life that have tormented her: the Culling of Stratholme, the death of her father, the death of Rhonin and destruction of Theramore. Right after each event in her life, you will hear a whisper that tells Jaina what she should have done, and didn’t.
This is a really well done and emotional cinematic. I can’t wait to see when this cinematic plays in-game to learn more about its context.
Watch our GamesCom 2018 Overwatch panel video where Blizzard Entertainment revealed the new Animated Short: “Shooting Star” featuring D.va, and the new control map reveal: Busan. Thanks and props to correspondent @Handclaw for recording it in a last-minute notice. I informed him there were no livestreams, and though he didn’t bring his tripod, he held the camera by hand and came through.
NOTE: The moderators speak in German. However, videos shown on the big screen are in English, with German subtitles.
Message from Jeff Kaplan at 4:00
Michael Chu at 10:52
Animated Short: Shooting Stars (English) at 20:03
The Warbringers: Azshara Animated Short will be unveiled at GamesCom 2018 on Friday, August 24. Just a few minutes ago, Handclaw participated in the Press Group interview with the World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth developers. They gave the press a small poster showing one of the scenes that appear in the Warbringers: Azshara.
They didn’t tell us what the image is about.
My personal interpretation is that we might possibly see a flashback from the point of view of Azshara of the moment the Well of Eternity imploded. This scene might be the moment the palace began to crumble, and Azshara’s magic to protect her people began to wane before the cataclysm and the rushing waters surrounding them. It makes me wonder if we will get to see the scene from Warcraft: War of the Ancients Book 3 where N’zoth strikes a deal with Azshara in exchange of saving her people, leading to their transformation into the naga.
That would be extremely awesome.
The Blizzard booth may be found at Hall 7 for those who wish to try some playable content (including: Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth).
Blizzard announced the following — “Overwatch: New Content Reveal on Wednesday at 11:15 CEST.” Will it be a new Hero? New Maps? New Arcade Maps? New Skins? New Cinematic? Single-player mode? Two or more of those?
The official GamesCom 2018 Blizzard website went live today with a countdown for the LIVESTREAM.
Danny Perschonok attended the E3 2018 World of Warcraft Storytelling panel by Christie Golden, Terran Gregory, and Steve Danuser. The panel didn’t go deep into what we should expect post-launch, but it let us glimpse a bit into the process of storytelling, which is not simply done by Christie or Terran as an individual. There is a whole team of over twenty quest design developers and about 15 story development writers who chime in, share ideas, and the combination of those ideas and group decisions shapes the story.
There are two nuggets of info that came out of the panel. Someone (or plural) is going to die in this expansion, and as mentioned by Daniel Stahl at PAX East 2018, something our way is coming soon before launch. According to Terran Gregory, there is some stuff coming soon that Blizzard hasn’t done before.
That’s very intriguing on itself because we have seen that kind of stuff Blizzard has never done before:
- Animated Shorts (Harbingers, Lords of War, )
- Audio Dramas (A Thousand Years of War, The Tomb of Sargeras)
- Digital Comics (Latest ones: Reunion, Three Sisters, The Speaker)
So, really, to hear that something is coming that Blizzard hasn’t done before is exciting, and enigmatic. Could you even make a decent guess? There is actually something Blizzard did recently in Heroes of the Storm that might qualify as something never done in World of Warcraft. If you watch the Heroes of the Storm Mecha Storm Trailer, you will quickly notice that it looks like a Robotech TV Cartoon.
Imagine close up one-on-one combat, and full army combat scenes in the same vibe as Mecha Storm, and that would be awesome. Other than that, I can’t even fathom what could qualify as something Blizzard hasn’t done before for a World of Warcraft pre-launch crossmedia.
Blizzard Entertainment’s production director John Hight just teased at E3 2018 via IGN the Blood Troll race might be coming to World of Warcraft. It didn’t sound official, but mostly teased.
“On the opposite, there is Zandalar. There are a lot of troll fans out there, and I think they are going to be pretty excited about what we are doing with their culture, their mythology, and they get pretty hairy, pretty sinister. Blood Trolls are a pretty cool looking group. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see the opportunity to play as Blood Trolls at some point.”
UPDATE: Don’t be alarmed, there are no plans for a Blood Troll allied race in the foreseeable future. Blizzard is aware of what was said at E3, and quickly responded:
Ornyx: Just to clear the confusion, there was a small segment in yesterday’s E3 interview with IGN in which we weren’t entirely clear – but we want to clarify that Blood Trolls are not currently planned as an Allied Race.
It can be easy to mix up words in interviews when you’re covering a range of story points such as that of the Blood Trolls and their interactions with the Zandalari – but we just wanted to be sure we could get a note out on this before we get more Allied Race rumors flying around.
Thanks for the discussion here!
World of Warcraft Storytelling Panel VOD
I had the opportunity to interview lead game producer Daniel Stahl at PAX East 2018. Daniel briefly discussed dynamic content, and dynamic/seasonal vendors, and possibly something akin to the Harbingers animated-drama for Battle for Azeroth. Alpha testing is its last phases as Beta Testing will begin rolling soon.
I had the opportunity to play Island Expeditions briefly at PAX East. For those who don’t know, you queue to Island Expeditions by going to a table on the west corner of the Zuldazar Port, or outside the lower end of the Boralus Inn.