Ion Hazzikostas opened PAX West 2018 with his Storytime Session keynote on Fri, August 31 at 10:30am PDT. This keynote was not about World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, or its upcoming content. Instead, his keynote explored the early days of Ion as a kid, and embarks the listener into a journey of his life as he grew older and the myriad of experiences that lead him to become a Blizzard Entertainment developer.
The Warbringers Azshara animated short was released today at GamesCom 2018. As I expected, it delve in the moment Queen Azshara held a protective magic shield to prevent her people drowning as the waters rushed upon Zin-Azshari after the Well of Eternity became unstable.
However, this was no flashback as I speculated. The Animated short only covered that epic moment when N’zoth offered a deal to Azshara, and transformed them into the Naga. There was no flashback in the sense that the animated short never showed present time Azshara to have a blast-from-the-past moment before giving the marching orders in the present to assault Kul Tiras.
No. That did not happen. As a fan, I loved Warbringers: Azshara. However, I need to be honest and crude here. In a IRL that has become a reality show where truth is not truth, and gaslighting rules supreme, getting the same treatment in the universe I immerse by choice, leaves me with a uncomfortable taste.
Not a single verbatim word from Richard A. Knaak’s War of the Ancients novel is used in Warbringers: Azshara. Sink that in for the next two minutes.
Richard A. Knaak’s legacy has been silently stripped from Warcraft for reasons I still can’t fathom. Rhonin and Krasus were killed within months. The dragon aspects were depowered and haven’t been seen since Cataclysm, to my knowledge. Now the words Queen Azshara and N’zoth uttered in the novel, were not the words they uttered. Retcon.
Then there is no direct connection to the present Azshara to initiate the march against Kul Tiras’s fleet to connect why old players may wish to get back to World of Warcraft for Battle for Azeroth.
I did like the animated short, but I wish the narrative had used verbatim dialogue from the novel in respect to the old school lore fans and Richard A. Knaak’s legacy.
Watch the GamesCom 2018 Blizzard Dance Contest held on Thurs Aug 23. Be advised that the entire video is in german. Some dances have been muted by me due to copyright music. However, I wrote onscreen the name of the artist and the song.
Horde and Alliance heroes around the world answer their faction’s call to arms in force as Blizzard Entertainment’s latest release surpasses 3.4 million in day-one sales globally
IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 23, 2018– When the Battle for Azeroth™ erupted worldwide last week, champions of the Alliance and the Horde around the globe were called upon to fight for their faction. Heroes everywhere turned out in force, and Blizzard Entertainment today announced that as of Battle for Azeroth’s first full day of launch on August 14, more than 3.4 million units of the latest World of Warcraft® expansion had sold through worldwide—setting a new day-one sales record for the franchise and making it one of the fastest-selling PC games of all-time.*
“Battle for Azeroth is a definitive chapter in the Horde and Alliance conflict at the heart of Warcraft, and it’s been thrilling to see players representing their factions in record numbers and embarking on their war campaigns—not to mention joining in ourselves,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “But the launch is just the beginning of this conflict. More epic content is coming to World of Warcraft in the weeks ahead, and we can’t wait for players to experience the full story as it unfolds over the course of the expansion.”
As Azeroth’s defenders continue to explore new regions in search of allies and resources, preparations are being made for the next great confrontation in the ongoing war:
In the coming weeks, players will be able to charge into Battle for Azeroth’s first Warfront, Stromgarde—a 20-player co-op battle for control of a key strategic stronghold in the Arathi Highlands.
On September 4, the gates will open to Battle for Azeroth’s first raid—Uldir, an ancient titan facility housing horrific Old God experiments gone awry.
Also on September 4, the expansion’s first PvP season and first Mythic Keystone dungeon season will commence. The Mythic Keystone dungeon will feature a unique “seasonal affix”—Infested—that introduces new challenges based on the corrupted denizens dwelling in the Uldir raid.
Beyond that, additional updates are in the works that will provide even more content for players on an ongoing basis, including the ability to recruit the Kul Tiran humans and Zandalari trolls as playable Allied Races. More information on future updates will be shared at a later date.
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.
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.
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 World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth expansion is now live starting August 14. Start with the Battle for Lordaeron if you haven’t, and travel to Kul Tiras (Alliance) or Zandalar (Horde) to begin your journey in search of new Allies and Azerite.
The Horde and the Alliance march to war as the new expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game launches around the world
Starting today, players can champion their faction’s cause on new frontiers, seek critical war resources in Island Expeditions, and more as they embark on an epic campaign of war
IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 13, 2018– The tensions between the Horde and the Alliance have reached the breaking point, and the entire world of Azeroth is now consumed in the fires of war. Battle for Azeroth™, the seventh expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s internationally acclaimed massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft®, is now live!
Today’s launch signals the start ofa new era of all-out warfare between the Alliance and the Horde, as players around the globe set out on a vital mission to ensure that Azeroth’s future belongs to their faction. Defenders of the Alliance are called to the kingdom of Kul Tiras, ancestral home of Jaina Proudmoore, to enlist the aid of their legendary navy, while champions of the Horde must seek allies in the distant empire of Zandalar, home of the ancient Zandalari trolls. As part of the campaign ahead, heroes will clash for critical resources in myriad Island Expeditions; draw upon the strength of Azerite, lifeblood of the planet, to unlock new powers using the Heart of Azeroth artifact; prepare for a massive confrontation on the Warfront of Stromgarde; recruit new Allied Races to bolster their faction’s cause; and much more.
“Battle for Azeroth builds upon nearly 25 years of faction rivalry, history, and pride to challenge World of Warcraft players with the question of what it truly means to be a member of the Alliance or the Horde,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This expansion is loaded with new content and features that draw upon that core conflict, but today’s launch is just the beginning—we’re excited for players to experience everything we have planned as the Battle for Azeroth unfolds.”
Battle for Azeroth – Standard, Digital Deluxe, and Collector’s Editions
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is available in physical and digital standard editions (SRP $49.99) as well as a Digital Deluxe Edition (SRP $69.99). The latter contains an arsenal of in-game bonuses for a variety of Blizzard games, including the Seabraid Stallion mountn (Alliance), Gilded Ravasaur mount (Horde), and Tottle the Baby Tortollan pet for World of Warcraft; an “Azeroth Is Burning” card back for Hearthstone®; a Primal Flamesaber mount in Heroes of the Storm®; Horde and Alliance sprays for StarCraft® II; and a collection of faction-themed cosmetic loot for Overwatch®.
Battle for Azeroth is also available in a retail-exclusive Collector’s Edition (SRP $99.99). In addition to the in-game items from the Digital Deluxe Edition, the Collector’s Edition contains a cache of faction-themed loot, including a collectible Horde and Alliance Double-Sided Mark of Allegiance; a limited-edition hardback of the novellas ElegyandA Good War,featuring exclusive artwork; and a Battle for Azeroth digital soundtrack. For additional details, visit https://worldofwarcraft.com/battle-for-azeroth.
Each edition of Battle for Azeroth also includes a level-110 character boost so players can immediately head to the front lines and fight for their faction’s cause.† In addition, new players interested in joining the fray for the first time with this expansion can do so simply by purchasing Battle for Azeroth and subscribing to World of Warcraft, which unlocks full access to the original game and all previous expansions.
World of Warcraft: Battle for AzerothFeatures
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth includes new content and features that put heroes’ fortitude and faction dedication to the test. Over the course of this expansion, players will be called upon to:
Explore Two Fabled Kingdoms: As a champion of the Horde, travel to the empire of Zandalar to persuade the trolls to lend their naval might. As a defender of the Alliance, venture to the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras, home of Jaina Proudmoore, and rally its inhabitants to fight for your cause.
Recruit Allied Races: Take a new form for your adventures as several new playable Allied Races, each with unique racial abilities. Earn the favor of the Dark Iron dwarves, Mag’har orcs, Highmountain tauren, Void elves, and others to create a new character of that race and add their strength to your faction.
Plunder the Islands of the Great Sea: Set out on Island Expeditions and conquer an ever-changing array of enemies, environments, and objectives. Battle in groups of three as you race against cunning rival intruders—or enemy players—to collect each island’s resources and fuel the war effort.
Prepare to Charge the Stromgarde Warfront: Get ready to fight on the battlefields of a large-scale, 20-player cooperative Warfront to claim a key strategic location. Capture resources to build your faction’s forces, lead the charge as your troops lay siege to objectives, and fight the enemy commander to claim victory in this new mode inspired by classic Warcraft real-time strategy–game battles.
Infuse Your Armor with Titanic Might: Seek out Azerite, an invaluable new resource that has emerged in the Burning Legion’s wake. Imbue the Heart of Azeroth—a legendary neck piece entrusted to each hero by Magni Bronzebeard—with Azerite to customize your armor with new powers and traits.
Battle to Level 120: Trace the corruption of the Blood God to the Underrot, unearth the secrets of a lost titan vault, escape from the Drust Realm of the Dead, and more as you quest through 10 new levels—then continue to grow in power through new World Quests, raids, dungeons, and more.