Sylvanas was Behind the Wrathgate?!

World of WarCraft lore discussion has been set aflame (see what I did there?) over the past few days, following Eurogamer’s interview with Alex Afrasiabi. The interview itself is about the divide of opinions on Sylvanas and her future in Battle for Azeroth. What’s caused the frenzy of confusion and speculation is this one line from Alex:

“I’ve heard these discussions on the internet about ‘she’s going off the rails’, but is she? I’ve been writing Sylvanas personally since 2006, and this is pretty much – the Wrathgate and the Blight and the Forsaken – in character. Those were all under Sylvanas’ orders. What we’re seeing now is an escalation of the plans Sylvanas has, clearly, and we’re in the middle of that.”

The Wrathgate being under Sylvanas’ orders, rather than part of Burning Legion aligned coup that followed, hugely changes one of the most beloved moments in WoW’s history. Is this a misunderstanding? It wouldn’t be the first time Alex Afrasiabi misspoke during an interview. Or was he correct? It’s not the first time Blizzard’s suggested Sylvanas had more to do with the Wrathgate than she let on. I’ll be looking into the implications behind this and various theories below.

PTR 8.1 Island Expeditions: Jorundall

The Battle for Azeroth PTR 8.1 (28366) introduced testing of the new Island Expeditions map: Jorundall. The isle features a Vrykul village and Storm Drakes. I also encountered Taunka & Tauren, Gorillas, Hydras, Crocs, a Pandaria elemental boss, Ice elementals, Pirates and Tol’vir invasions.

The second run, I encountered an injured Drogbar named Brunold who started a quest to administer a cure for him.

BUG: The current build has a substantial bug. When you get near a steam vent of Azerite, your graphics card goes bonkers with 2FPS. Sometimes you crash or freeze. In that case, hold down ALT+CTRL+DELETE to force quit WoW. Launch the game again. Sometimes you get spawned in the Island Expedition. Now move away toward the area you came from. That will default you back to normal FPS. Avoid that area, and move to another destination.

Here are some screenshots I was able to take when my two teammates crashed and didn’t return. Gave me a chance to explore solo.

BlizzCon 2018: Support Blizzplanet’s Panel Transcripts. Hear my story

Greetings to all our Blizzard games fans visitors.

It is difficult for me to write these words, and set aside shyness and sort-of pride; but I need to share the story. Pride in the sense that we shy people tend to be protective of ourselves, and build a barrier to not be affected emotionally by bullies and trolls. I do get those from time to time, still, but I cope.

Blizzplanet is nigh 16 years old, thanks to Blizzard Entertainment and to the community. I was there as the website was born, and ever since.

Those who have visited Blizzplanet for many years are aware of some of the thoughest moments of my life. From 2010-2015, I ended up living in a shelter for the homeless. I had no income other than food basics (probably under $100 a month). I have been disabled physically since 2001, but hadn’t gone to doctors to properly diagnose it.

Without going into details about my disability, a simple trip to the city or to visit my sister, knocks me in bed for a week or two unable to walk during that period. I battle through pain and poor sleep due to this. Legs, muscles, and body in general need to recover and heal to the best possible, which isn’t much, after a trip. Summers increase the pain, as my body doesn’t know how to sweat to cool down. Just so you know, simple tasks as going to the supermarket or anywhere within 1-10 miles I do on a Mobility scooter. I’m 47.

It was around early 2013 that through a couple of doctors I was diagnosed. With their evaluation and tests, I was able to apply for disability. With the help of a legal aid, I got approved. This helped me eventually to fill the requirements to get low-cost housing assistance, and finally move out from the shelter into an apartment.

I have been a Blizzard fan and gamer since my first Apple Mac G4 in 1999, and later an HP computer in 2003 where I played Warcraft III and World of Warcraft beta. I know what it is to be in the low end after suffering through those 5 years as a homeless. I know what it feels to be a disabled person. And to not have a steady income to afford things beyond food or my favorite games.

That’s what made me decide to do something unique here at Blizzplanet these many years ago since 2013 — when I was still living in the shelter.

That was the first time I started transcribing the BlizzCon panels. I have done so in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and now in 2018.

From a humbled position where I have gone through so much, I know some of you. You… the one who is maybe underage and obviously go to school, maybe don’t have a job yet. Or maybe you do but still can’t afford to buy a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, far less a normal ticket, flight and hotel.

I know You… the one who probably is disabled. Whether hearing impaired, or otherwise. Sometimes you might not be able to afford the Virtual Ticket. Even if you do, most of the time the camera is not showing the person speaking. You can’t read lips that are not shown onscreen (especially when the screenshot slides are shown full screen, or the audience is shown). During Q&As, the fan asking a question is not always shown onscreen. So a hearing impaired fan can’t read lips most of the time to learn what’s been revealed or discussed during the panel. Or simply, you can’t afford the Virtual Ticket to begin with.

A couple years ago, in 2016, as I posted several of the BlizzCon panel transcripts, and got a lot of visibility in the internetz things changed drastically. I don’t know how it started, but fans started to share my transcripts on Reddit. All heck broke loose. The servers got hammered hard knocking Blizzplanet offline for several days. Back then, I paid $15 a month from the ads. The website self paid itself without me.

When Reddit, MMO-Champion, WoWhead and WoWpedia started opening the flood gates of traffic for fans to read the transcripts, I had to take a decision that affected and hit my pocket directly. Upgrading to a better server plan to prevent the site from going under. Blizzplanet costs $85 a month nowadays. The transcripts take me too long all by myself, so I am now outsourcing to professional transcribers who charge $5-10 per 15-20 minutes of transcription.

So you see, when I put my pride aside and ask our visitors via Twitter to support Blizzplanet via Patreon or PayPal, I am not a greedy fella. Most of it goes to these transcripts each year, or the website hosting. Sometimes I get a hit to the pocket when there is not enough from the ads or the YouTube partnership program.

These BlizzCon panel transcripts are useful to those who can’t afford traveling to BlizzCon, or the Virtual Ticket — whether you are underage, unemployed, or even homeless. The disabled, including the hearing impaired. It is useful to all fans who attended or watched the livestream as well.

The Virtual Ticket VODs are there for a limited period of time, and then they are gone.

The transcripts help so many fans. These are also shared in forums and social media to estimulate discussion. These are shared by fellow writers as a resource of information to publish articles based on straight quotes from the developers, or even an archive of information for those who love to contribute in WoWpedia.

Special thanks to those who currently or in the past have supported us, and to those who share our transcripts and interviews throughout the community.

This year, I already posted the World of Warcraft: What’s Next panel; and the Diablo Immortal panel transcript.

For $37 — Velma, a professional transcriber, is right now working on the Heroes of the Storm: What’s Next panel transcript and the Warcraft III: Reforged panel. Another transcriber should be almost done with the Hearthstone: What’s Next panel for $12.

Once they deliver the transcripts, I have to proofread. While they are professionals, they aren’t infallible to video gaming terms, names, and locations they never heard before. So I spend hours reading and listening to the panel VODs to correct the typos, format, and add images as needed. I do that for free, for our community. However, I can’t cost everything on my own. Not all panels in past years have gotten transcribed for a reason, but I try to cover the basic ones.

Please, support Blizzplanet via Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/blizzplanet — or one-time donation via Paypal: http://www.paypal.me/blizzplanet

Many thanks for your unconditional support over the years,

– Tom / Medievaldragon

 

BlizzCon 2018 World of Warcraft: What’s Next Panel Transcript

The World of Warcraft: What’s Next panel focuses on Patch 8.1 Tides of Vengeance, and Patch 8.1.5. New model/skins for the Worgen and Goblins. Kul Tiran and Zandalari Allied Races. Micro-Holidays, Timewalking: Warlords of Draenor. Portal Rooms in Orgrimmar and Stormwind. Profession Questlines. Brawler’s Guild new bosses, Transmog sets, and mounts.

Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch have been remastered with updated graphics ( buildings, trees, etc). Patch 8.2: Rise of Azshara will introduce Nazjatar, new Story quests, new Allies, and replayable content. Azshara’s Eternal Palace (Raid) with 8 bosses, and an underwater Boss. Culminating with Queen Azshara herself as the last boss of the 8.2 Raid.

In addition, a new 8-boss Mythic dungeon in Tiragarde Sound known as the Mechagon Megadungeon, the ancient lost city of the mechagnomes.

Among the speakers were:

  • Ion Hazzikostas (game director)
  • Ryan Shwayder (senior game designer)
  • Jeremy Feasel (senior game designer)

BlizzCon 2018 World of Warcraft panel transcript

BlizzCon 2018 Interview: Warcraft III: Reforged

Blizzplanet members Danny Perschononok and Handclaw had the opportunity to interview Robert Bridenbecker (VP of Technology and Strategy Planning) to discuss details of Warcraft III: Reforged. The interview focuses on the engine overhaul and assets, and Battle.net Launcher transition, as well as the World Editor and mapmaking’s capabilities side.

 

BlizzCon 2018: World of Warcraft Classic Hands-On Review

Those with a BlizzCon Ticket or Virtual Ticket have access to download and play the World of Warcraft Classic demo at home or at the computer stations. Only Westfall is available for testing at the moment.

When creating a new character, you are automatically level 15 in the demo. The character creation screen looks exactly like it did back in 2004; and you can only obtain the old models.

After login, my character spawned at Sentinel Hill. I gathered two quests, and the first thing I noticed with dread is that the quest tracker isn’t interactive, and you can only track what you shift-click in the Quest Log. Opening the map doesn’t show any markers to inform you where the quest objectives are located at.

world of warcraft classic

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