Pax West 2018 Battle for Azeroth: A Competitor’s History of WoW

On Monday, Sept 3 — Anthony R. Palumbi (Chicago Review Press writer/historian) held a panel titled Battle for Azeroth: A Competitor’s History of Wow. Our PAX West 2018 correspondent Ben Lehman was there to record the panel. Anthony is the author of Blood Plagues and Endless Raids: A Hundred Million Lives in the World of Warcraft.

Anthony R. Palumbi

PAX West 2018 Storytime Session Keynote with Ion Hazzikostas

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.

Warbringers Azshara Released

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.

Battle for Azeroth became the fastest-selling World of Warcraft expansion ever

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.

Order your copy of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth or its Collector’s Edition (Boxed).

GamesCom 2018: Blizzard Unveiled Realm of Torment Cinematic

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.

GamesCom 2018 Livestream: Blizzard Entertainment

Watch our GamesCom 2018 Overwatch panel video where Blizzard Entertainment revealed the new Animated Short: “Shooting Star” featuring, 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.

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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

GamesCom 2018 – Warbringers: Azshara Sneak Peek

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.

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