I have been telegraphing this for a long time since Legion, when Sylvanas stroke a bargain with Helya. Still it was vague enough to discard as looking too deep into it. I even wrote a speculation article back on May 2018.
Then, Nathanos ordered the raising of two Kul Tirans from the death as Forsaken (during the War Effort Campaign) in Battle for Azeroth. That was a strong hint of things to come.
As explained by Ion Hazzikostas, Incursions are like the Legion Invasion world quests, which interrupt the normal flow of daily world quests with a special event that lasts less than 24 hours.
The Incursion is an invasion world quests hub where instead of demons, Horde soldiers attack Kul Tiras, or Alliance soldiers attack Zandalar. It is the next chapter of the War Effort. At the end of the Incursion, you get a Achievement progress for “ON THE FRONTLINES” (Alliance) or “FRONTLINE WARRIOR” (Horde).
Activision Blizzard named World of Warcraft executive producer J. Allen Brack as the new president of Blizzard Entertainment. Former CEO Mike Morhaime will stay at Blizzard in a strategic advisor capacity. Ray Gresko and co-founder Allen Adham have also been promoted, according to the press release.
Company Appoints Ray Gresko as Chief Development Officer and Blizzard Founder Allen Adham to Executive Leadership Team
SANTA MONICA, Calif.– Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced the appointment of Blizzard veteran and World of Warcraft® Executive Producer J. Allen Brack as the new president of Blizzard Entertainment succeeding Mike Morhaime, who will remain a strategic advisor to the company. The company also announced the appointments of Chief Development Officer Ray Gresko and Blizzard Founder Allen Adham to Blizzard’s executive leadership team.
Two weeks ago, Ion Hazzikostas held a livestream to discuss details of the upcoming World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.1 content. It was mostly a mini-panel. Below, I share with you our transcript of that livestream as a reference. The transcript was outsourced, same as the upcoming BlizzCon 2018 panel transcripts will be. Please, become our Patreon or chip in via PayPal for future transcripts.
World of Warcraft Patch 8.1 Livestream Transcript
Ion: Hey, everybody. Thank you for tuning in and joining us for this livestream today. So, slightly different format. You may notice Josh isn’t up here with me. This isn’t a Q&A like the usual format. We still have a lot to talk about our ongoing conversation about things that are going in the live game, plan changes, upcoming tuning, a wide range of issues that’s going to continue in a lot of different formats. Whether it’s on our forums, social media or streams like this.
Today, however, I’m excited to talk about what’s coming next in Battle for Azeroth content-wise. So far, we have had Horde and Alliance that kicked off this expansion just over a month ago with massive massive battles, massive war.
Blizzard Entertainment has released the full schedule for BlizzCon 2018 revealing there is absolutely something new coming from the Diablo team. In fact, on Friday, Diablo: What’s Next is the first panel after the Opening Ceremony, and a Diablo World and Q&A panel on Saturday. What caught my eye is the lack of a “Diablo III” in the text. Simply “Diablo.”
On the the other hand, there is as well a StarCraft II: What’s Next panel which specifically names StarCraft II — which makes you wonder why the Diablo panel wasn’t named Diablo III. This year, there is no StarCraft II Q&A panel.
While playing in Heroic Island Expeditions, a message pop onscreen alerting that mists had begun to engulf the isle and that Kvaldir were about to engage shortly. We killed a few Kvaldir rare elites, and at the end of the Isle Expeditions I was rewarded with Ring of the Reefs.
The item begins a quest titled the same way, and asked me to travel to Stormheim to deliver the item to Valdemar, the Vrykul Valajar Emissary.
The quest reads:
Valdemar: “Another ring? Hmph. Yes, we have been seeing them more frequently. Helya is growing in power. What, small one, are you surprised? Did you think she was defeated? You cannot kill death! I thank you for making me laugh today, little friend. Odyn has heard about your search for Azerite, we have gathered what we could. Here, it is yours.”
Microsoft has officially announced Keyboard and Mouse Support for Xbox One developers at the platform level. Players who are part of the Xbox Insider Program will be among the first to try this functionality.
“Developers can now build mouse and keyboard support in their games if and how they choose. It’s important to note that mouse and keyboard support for games is added on a title-by-title basis, entirely at developers’ discretion.“
Even better, Microsoft has partnered with Razer to offer the best possible mouse and keyboard experience for this new functionality. Game titles ready to support this new feature will be announced on November 10.
I won’t bet whether Blizzard might announce something at BlizzCon, but the chances of World of Warcraft coming to Xbox One are exponentially good. The main issue would be hard drive space.
Here is something J. Allen Brack (who is currently developing World of Warcraft Vanilla) said to Kotaku in 2010:
”There’s those technical challenges,” he continued, “there’s patching challenges, there’s the quality controls that we have vs. the quality controls that say, a Microsoft or Sony or Nintendo has. All those things sort of raise the bar in terms of the challenges and then specifically in the case of WoW, WoW was designed to be a keyboard game and its control scheme and its camera controls and the number of abilities that you have and the spells and how things work are very keyboard-centric. The idea of translating that to a gamepad is a very, very challenging proposition.”
Well, now Xbox One will have a keyboard and mouse, and the developers can design how it is used from within the game itself. One less challenge to bring World of Warcraft to Xbox One.
At the end of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the Dragon Aspects expended their “Aspect” powers in order to defeat Deathwing with the help of Thrall and the raid heroes. At that moment, Alexstrasza proclaimed the “Dawn of the Age of Mortals” had begun.
An age where there are no longer aspects to protect Azeroth from evil forces from beyond and below.
Ever since, the dragonflights have disbanded and gone their separate ways roaming the world. Except there is a problem… Blizzard hasn’t capitulated on this through three expansions. Sure we have seen individual dragons go solo on quests like Kairoz machinating how to change the timeline by using Garrosh. We have seen Chromie do her thing. We have seen at least one red dragon in Battle for Azeroth in Drustvar. But there is no much to account for dragons mingling in the Dawn of the Age of Mortals after Deathwing’s defeat.
While my Battle.net Launcher was up, out of the blue I got a notification that a Gift had been credited to my account. After clicking the Gift icon on the top-right of the Launcher, I was greeted with the following message:
Renewing your World of Warcraft subscription for 180 days (6-Months) any time until April 30, 2019 will grant you The Dreadwake mount as a gift.
**I didn’t purchase it, however. Unless it is a bug or intended, the gift was retroactive for me. I had auto-renewed the 180-days game time a few months ago.
Just in time for International Talk Like a Pirate Day, we’re celebrating all things pirate with a special limited-time offer*. Purchase 180 Days Game Time in the Shop, and you’ll also receive the epic new Dreadwake mount free! The Dreadwake mount will then arrive as a stand-alone mount in the Blizzard Shop and in-game shop sometime in 2019.
True to nautical tradition, the Dreadwake pirate ship mount has a unique figurehead inspired by an unknown kraken-faced god of the deeps.
Once you’ve purchased the 180 Days Game Time product in the Shop, the Dreadwake mount will be automatically added to your in-game collection. It’s the perfect way to cruise through Azeroth in true buccaneering style.
Players on an existing recurring subscription plan who purchase 180 Days Game Time will have their next billing date automatically adjusted to align with the addition of this time. Players who already have game time on their account will have the 180 days added to their current total. By purchasing 180 Days Game Time, you’ll also save up to $24 per year.
In addition, WoW players who have purchased the 180 Days Game Time service in the Shop within the past 30 days** or who are currently on a 6-month recurring subscription will receive the Dreadwake mount at no additional charge. Look for the gift icon in your Blizzard Battle.net desktop app to claim yours.***
This plucky feathered friend is just the companion you need on your swashbuckling adventures through Kul Tiras, Zandalar, and beyond. Adopt yours today!
*Offer available from September 19 through October 21, 2018
**Must have purchased current 180 Days Game Time service on or before 12:01 a.m. PDT on September 19, 2018.
***Mount must be claimed in Blizzard Battle.net desktop app prior to April 30, 2019.