Alongside my coverage of the Shadowlands event server, I was able to take part in a group interview with Ion Hazzikostas about the expansion and WoW in general. The interview went, round robin style, from one person to the next until we ran out of time. I ended up being able to ask three questions. While there was some very juicy information revealed from others’ questions, I don’t want to steal anyone’s thunder. I’ll let those parties share those answers on their own time.

Here are the transcripts for the three questions I asked Ion and his answers.

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Yesterday, I had the chance to play on an event server for the initial build of the the upcoming Shadowlands beta, featuring The Maw and the venthyr covenant. I’ve decided to split up the many pictures I took into multiple articles based on theme. Here are some random other updates to be found on the event build.

Oribos received a few cosmetic updates. There are now tons of broker camps surrounding the city, but they lack NPCs. Sometimes guards walk past and stare at the empty camps for a moment, then resume their patrol.

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Yesterday, I had the chance to play on an event server for the initial build of the upcoming Shadowlands beta, featuring The Maw and the venthyr covenant. I’ve decided to split up the many pictures I took into multiple articles based on theme. This time, we’ll look at the venthyr covenant.

Your journey begins with Prince Renathal, leader of the resistance against Sire Denathrius, welcoming in you to the covenant. There’s also a hint of intrigue and the suggestion that Renathal’s motives aren’t as pure as they seem.

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Yesterday, I had the chance to play on an event server for the initial build of the upcoming Shadowlands beta, featuring The Maw and the venthyr covenant. I’ve decided to split up the many pictures I took into multiple articles based on theme. First up, let’s take a look at The Maw.

Unlike the other Shadowlands zones, players enter The Maw by jumping into the flow of souls at the center of Oribos. There are no flight paths or inns in The Maw, this is the only way to get in.

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It’s time for another of my fan expansion concepts. You may have noticed there’s been a lot of foreshadowing about Wrathion and the dragonflights in Battle for Azeroth. The most tantalizing piece is an island expedition quest (Unscarred Black Scale) that reveals Wrathion is searching for the Dragon Isles. For those unaware, the Dragon Isles were a scrapped zone north of Tirisfal Glades planned for vanilla WoW. They gained a level of infamy for their cool name and this really neat concept art. It may have been re-purposed into BfA’s own Shrine of the Storm:

Outside of the concept art and some other behind the scenes information (such as The World of Warcraft Diary by John Staats), the Dragon Isles have never been mentioned in lore and were assumed non-canon. BfA changed that. From the Unscarred Black Scale quest text, this official version of the Dragon Isles is actually related to the dragonflights. Whereas the old version was just a bunch of Old God temples based on sea creatures. Obviously the concept has changed and so for this expansion I started from scratch. Yes the nautilus temple is iconic, but at this point it really would just come off as Shrine of the Storms 2.0 and that wouldn’t work in the expansion immediately following it. Maybe it could show up in a patch.

I don’t have a name for the expansion this time. I wanted to call it World of Warcraft: Dragonsworn but that sounded too close to the Dragonborn expansion for Skyrim in my opinion. I’ve tried to follow the history of expansions sounding pretty out there story wise when first announced (no one tends to predict major side stories or in some cases even main stories for real expansions) so some of the story will be pretty out of left field. Mostly the return of a certain character. Read it after the jump.

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Battle for Azeroth is officially live! While we explore Kul Tiras and Zandalar, further the war campaign, and recruit new allied races, the question of what fate has in store for the Horde’s Warchief hangs in the air. After how the Burning of Teldrassil turned out, the discussion over Sylvanas and what’s become of the Horde under her rule has been, to pardon the pun, heated. I won’t dwell on the controversy much because the discussion quickly became vitriolic towards Blizzard’s writers (especially Christie Golden) in a way that was far too similar to the worst portions of the Star Wars fandom. Instead let’s look at the story itself and where I think it might be taking Sylvanas.

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Since its introduction in Warlords of Draenor, the mission table has been one of the most contentious features in the game. In fact, for both Legion and Battle for Azeroth, developers have mentioned in interviews that they heavily considered scrapping the system only to keep it around anyway. But in Battle for Azeroth, the mission table has a greater purpose, one that at least to lore fanatics, will be invaluable. Recent datamining from WoWhead and MMO-Champion revealed the text for most of level 120 missions, and instead of just being based around stuff we did while leveling, these missions reveal how the war is progressing in the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. It’s essentially a way to keep the old world’s stories updated without having to do a Cataclysm-style revamp. Read on past the jump to see what these new missions reveal, some of the stuff happening in EK and Kalimdor is pretty out there!

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After that pessimistic last article of mine, I feel it would be a good idea to discuss something more positive. So let’s take a look at one of Battle for Azeroth‘s most interesting features, the Allied Race system. Essentially a way to add playable races that would otherwise be too similar to existing ones opens the door to many potential races I would never have thought to be made playable. Then there is the fact that Blizzard said the six allied races coming are just the beginning. It’s unclear, at least to me, whether they meant additional allied races will be added during Battle for Azeroth‘s patch cycle, or if allied races will be something we can expect as a core feature of any future expansion like new regular races or classes. Either way, there are a tons of potential candidates worth speculating on.

So read on past the jump to see my predictions for what allied races we could see in the future.


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I’m super-hyped for Battle for Azeroth. Just from the short demo of Nazmir at BlizzCon, I can see that Zandalar is everything I’d ever hoped it would be. Add on finally getting to visit Kul Tiras, the allied races, more story and development for faction leaders like Jaina, Saurfang, Baine, and Genn, and more old world updates (though it sounds like they’ll just be phased scenery like Theramore, but still I like seeing the world change and evolve) and this is looking like a pretty great expansion. So why I am so worried that it won’t be?

Read on to find out.

 

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