Blizzcon Aftermath: Battle for Azeroth Preview Opinion

So, after my return back home, I’ve been watching Blizzcon in retrospective with my virtual ticket.

Some quick highlights about panels before we set out to talking about WoW news.

I enjoyed listening to Mike Morhaime’s speech. Talking about community and attitude was something we really lack in the modern world. The amount of asshole behavior and hate speech is overwhelming nowadays, to the extent that I’m not really looking forward to dungeon experience in the new expansion. We need reminders like this to feel ourselves a family, rather than other players as means to measure our virtual dicks with, both in playing skills and/or your-mom talk.

I’ve enjoyed the new cinematics for Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm. I’m playing neither of these games, but they were awesome – as always. And with every piece of Overwatch lore I’m longing for a full-scale pixar-type movie, because I really want to see this world’s story and their cinematics are already of a movie quality. Hope they do.

I’ve watched several extra panels, and they were not too exciting. There was a fun master class from ‘Carbot Animations’ – I’m a fan of his YouTube channel, and seeing him creating this magic live was very fun. If you’re not acquainted with him, go watch immediately! It’s better to see for yourself.

I’ve watched two sound panels. It was amazing to see the sound engineers create the ambience of a nerubian dungeon in WotLK right on spot. I’m not a noob in sound programs, and I actually used most of his perks myself – it was interesting to see the origins of sounds and how they were being edited.

But with the voice panel… I mean, what the fuck was that?! There were ‘power women of Azeroth’ voice actresses… and we haven’t heard anything from them. The panel was hosted by a casting director, and she was awful. I was totally convinced that she was drunk as hell. She just didn’t shut up, and she didn’t give the actresses any chance to speak. She interrupted them, gave comments – and oh my, would it be something clever? No. It was comments like “Yeah!” and “Go girl!”. What she lacked was a pint of beer and a bar counter to make a complete impression. Whichever part of the video I click – I hear her talking some bullshit. No sense, no information, no nothing. So, the panel sucked.

Now, for WoW.

Expectations and Reality

The expansion guesses? Let’s roll through my list of predictions as of the previous week.

  • Sea-bound theme – Yes.
  • Azshara, naga & N’Zoth being the ultimate enemy – Yes, Azshara was announced as a later raid boss. They haven’t announced the ultimate expansion enemy, but it’s very possible that it may be N’Zoth.
  • Zul Again and pirates as raids in the middle of expansion – Yes. A Zandalar/Titan tomb raid as the first one.
  • Kul Tiras and some goblin/troll island as the most likely A/H sea base of operations – Yes. Kul Tiras and Zandalar as faction bases, and we return to Kezan as a dungeon. What I didn’t expect was that continents will be separate for factions.
  • Your own admiral ship as the new garrison. It’s gonna move from island to island by Vindicar’s technology of moving between Argus shards, and it’s gonna be upgraded during the expansion instead of artifacts. – Yes and no. There will be some sort of a map to jump between the islands for the endgame scenarios. The thing to upgrade is gonna be a necklace.
  • Old grudges rekindled: A/H clashes, with Jaina/Genn vs Sylvanas leadership – Yes! And it’s actually in the name of the expansion.
  • A special point will be awarded to Blizz if there will be an emphasis on dwarf/gnome/goblin technologies and overall steampunk/dieselpunk attitude to building your fleet – Not confirmed yet, but probably not.  We rely on the new factions’ navy. Yet, if we’re going to reach Azshara… we may need submarines and submarine turtles.

So, 95% of my guesses were true :) As long as every speculation is basically a player’s wish, you could assume I’m happy as fuck. I’m so eager to see and explore Kul Tiras and Zandalar, as these territories were heard of much, but never seen before.

New Zones

Kul Tiras – there will be three zones, more or less in one vein. A classic, fantasy human setting is one-love to me. The variety includes a rich, vibrant sea port city (yes, please), a lush valley zone (give us some open space!) and a haunted zone – did they finally bring witches in WoW?! Whoo-hoo! And a zone preview also involved some gallows quest scene!

KUL-TIRAS

Zandalar – is a type of southern terrains, and although I’m not a fan, it looks very diverse and the thing to explore. Obviously a Zandalar capital which brings Stranglethorn troll villages in mind and majestic aztec temples. Then there’s gonna be a swamp… not a cool one, but there were some bone monsters. And a deadly desert, which will remind me of Tatooine, along with a friendly hooded cuddlies vulpera.

Zuldazar

I’ll be exploring both with pleasure, and I’ll be happy running world quests there.

Then there’s gonna be islands, islands and islands. They will bring amazing variety, adding to the continents, and they look like very nice places to be at. There’s actually no limits in them. They shown us a tropical beach and a Victorian city yet, but there could be anything: bare reefs, Northrend icy isles, old Goblin refinery platforms – anything.

Warfronts

As a person who started his acquaintance with Warcraft universe from RTS in 90s, namely Warcraft II, I’m eager to see how it will work live. It’s an experimental feature for Blizzard, so I’m not sure how this will work. there will be mistakes and drawbacks, some unpredictable bugs will pop up. But all in all it looks a very promising activity to do.

WoW_Battle_for_Azeroth_Warfronts

New Artifact 

A necklace, which will alter your abilities on other worn items. I didn’t understand a shit after watching all the Blizzcon videos, I hope it will work somehow easier than artifacts. What I definitely want from the new system is two things

First, less grind. Empowering must come naturally.

Second, no special runs to some empowering crucibles or whatever. At this step of Legion it feels too lazy to return to your order hall to activate your next earned level. So however this works, I hope that I put on a new helmet, I open it and choose the empowering abilities right at the place – easy as that.

Heart-of-Azeroth

Legendaries

They go away. Hooray!! The players’ obsession with this orange random shit was somewhat scary in Legion. To hell with them.

Allied Races

…and six new slots. More leveling for me :) At least for transmogs. But I like leveling, so why not. I also like that there’s some plot involved in opening them.

Tauren and Zandalar, Dark Irons and Lightforged Draenei – are nice. All seem like an awesome playing option for me. Elves… I’ve got overfed with them in Legion, so no excitement.

Battle_for_Azeroth_Allied_Races_Alliance

Leveling Scaling

Yes, yes and yes. Again: I like leveling, and it’s amazing that you will finally be able to finish the storylines and not overgrow them by 5-10 levels.

Changes in PvP/PvE Realms

I don’t care as long as I can do questing without being ganked.

Plot & Cinematic

The cinematic obviously gave me goosebumps. Every character present got his highlight. Sylvanas finally remembered that she’s a banshee queen, not a freaking elf ranger, and she deserved a grim satisfying nod from me :) Anduin is still dual, he’s still between his priest nature and his father’s expectations, with Shalamayne sword as a constant reminder. It would be awesome to see the character in development.

A very special flip off to Blizzard is for the absense of both Gnomes and Goblins in the cinematic.

World-of-Warcraft-Battle-for-Azeroth-Cinematic-Troll-Shaman

The real highlight – and you never guess it would have been – were the troll shaman in action, it was the sort of thing that makes you create an alt. Guess who’s gonna be my Zandalari toon? And my second favorite and inspiring moment was the Alliance footmen proudly rising with their spears and shields… What can I say? FOR THE ALLIANCE!!

The battle between factions is what everyone was asking for, and this is what we get. I’m grim happy, I’m ready to go and die for my blue/golden colors. Lordaeron is ours!

My Horde toons are not that bloodthirsty. I’m playing three goblin girls, and they are happy to explore the new lands more than rip the other factions’ throats. And my Tauren druid will devote herself to mending the wounds of her allies rather than rushing into action in cat or bear form.

It’s strange, but I met the destruction of Teldrassil… with a shrug. It’s been a cosy place, and I liked both being there, questing and leveling, hanging around in the city… but no hard feelings. Yet the siege of Undercity is what I’m gonna do with eager. I want to join the fight – on Alliance side, obviously.

Cherry on the top of the plot – Jaina’s back, and with Proudmoore family!

Summary

Bring the expansion on!

It’s amazing how I couldn’t care less about the upcoming Antorus raid… Just bring us these demon loot bags to while away the time until the true things will happen next year :)

I’m hyped.

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16 thoughts on “Blizzcon Aftermath: Battle for Azeroth Preview Opinion

  1. I hope your trip went well :)

    I must say…I have been holding my tongue. Didn’t really know which kind of outlet I would use to say it…But I am SO relieved to see someone else comment on that host during the “Voices of Blizzard | The Powerful Women of Warcraft” panel.

    was so looking forward to this. I thought I would get some insight and hear more of those that put voice to some of the iconic NPCs in game. But my husband and I couldn’t get through it, because of that host. She was such a distraction and so unpleasant to listen to. So much of what she said came out in such a superficial way. I do not get why some hosts seem to forget that its not about them, its about who they interview.

    Thank you for the recommendation on the other things, I might go watch that, then. :)

    Yes, finally, Jaina! Though I miss hearing what she has been up to. I guess that is to come :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was so disappointed with that whole “WAAARGH” theme of the new expansion. Burned down Teldrassil, Anduin child tantrum, fractions JUST finished one of the most devastating wars in history suddenly finding enough resources to go against each other – none of that makes sense to me. Even goddamn Ashran in Draenor seems less forced now. I really hope that Old Gods are involved (in fact – someone on Nobbel’s stream made a good suggestion – what if Teldrassil was burned not by the Horde but by Old Gods minions to start this mess). A/H fighting is a huge step back, both lore-wise and game-wise (just like Classic servers everyone is so pumped about).
    The content of the expansion itself is good though, if a little bit recycled (some of Kul’Tiras locations look similar to some parts of Spires of Arak in Draenor or Brandensbrook in Val’shara, imho). I’m excited about new races (though it’s a pity that their transmog will be race-locked).
    Sorry for the saltiness, but that’s what’s been on my mind after that Blizzcon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let me remind you that the first and the ONLY contribution of Alliance/Horde in fighting Legion was murderous and selfish clash in Stormheim with each other. Sylvanas went for a chase of a magic lantern to bolster – no, not even the Horde, Undead ranks. With sole purpose to continue her march through the Eastern Kingdoms. Genn went to avenge Varian’s death and their betrayal.

      After that, Sylvanas got her plans ruined and retreated to Orgrimmar. Genn failed to kill her, but at least he ruined her plans. We would not count elves in Suramar – it was their heritage, family business, and even so they nearly attacked each other. Only Khadgar and heroes kept them from fighting.

      Now tell me, how’s that even close to factions working together to fight the same world threat?

      ORDER HALLS, non-faction specific, worked against Legion with Illidan, Khadgar, locals of Broken Isles – and later – Army of Light. Factions had nothing to do with it.

      Everything is quite logical with Alliance and Horde. They accumulated rank armies, they prepared assaults, they are ready to attack each other now and fight for the world dominance. The heroes, now free from the planetary business, remember where their loyalties are. And they are ready to join their leaders. They won themselves a home, now it’s time to deal with the local grudges.

      Liked by 2 people

      • There were no Alliance vs. Horde action in Stormheim, just Forsaken vs. Worgens (but yes, that was stupid and selfish from both sides).
        As for the Order Halls – yes, TECHNICALLY they are fractionless, but come on! Each order consists of members of different races working together despite Red vs Blue bullcrap. Lore-wise: in the morning I, Archmage of Tirisgarde, go to a war against half of my colleagues and in the evening we all gather for a nice cup o’tea? Where’s logic in that?
        Regarding A & H armies: their armies where seriously damaged during that unsuccessful first assault on the Broken shore, their fleets lost many ships (accoridng to the Legion cinematic), their cities (not the capitals, but large enough settlements) were invaded by the Legion during pre-patch events. Definetely the best time to go kill each other, sure.
        And even if we dismised all that – why is Anduin acts like a spoiled brat again? Didn’t he walked the road long enough to become a true king and come at peace with his father’s death? Nope. “FOR THE ALLIANCE!!111 I’m gonna resurrect you, so you could die again!” Not to mention Sylvanas being stupid enough to burn Teldrassil of all places.
        Sorry, can’t buy this war as it is.

        Like

      • Not just Forsaken vs Worgens, I recall at least humans, dwarfs, gnomes on the air battleship. Besides, the whole point of factions is protecting your allies with all your forces. If someone touches draenei, or night elves, or trolls, or tauren – they would get a full scale response with all the iron we have.

        Order Halls were less logical than factions war. Aethas Sunstrider barely survived Jaina’s purge of Dalaran, and now he’s back like nothing happened? And all the other Horde mages? My Micromantica met him with a squint: you bastard, how dare you crawl back after you smuggled Garrosh’s doom weapon into our then–neutral city?

        I think we forget that characters are alive persons. Some of the heroes fight Legion firsthand, they land Deathwing’s spine and they ascend the Frozen Throne. I’m ready to tolerate the Horde in my order hall while we do that. But even so, I always remember Southshore, Gilneas, and most of all, I remember Theramore. I remember that Sylvanas is a murderous conquerous bitch, and I want to end her expansion in Eastern Kingdoms. Because she exploits tactics of barren fetid land on her wake, and she’s not to be allowed this.

        Anduin holds her responsible for Varian’s death, and there’s Genn who saw it with his own eyes. A very influential father figure to the yound lion cub.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Faction war is very logical.

      Imagine that you hate your neighbor and want to drive him out from your neighborhood. But suddenly, some criminal gang show up and wants to kill you both. You have noother choice than to fight the gang together (or die). You’re lucky and manage to drive the gang away/hold it out until polie arrives.

      Now, the gang is away, and you still hate your neighbor. What are you going to do now?

      Like

  3. Woohoo! While I didn’t see any of the game play, the shots of the three new zones, and eventually six, looked like it would make for some easy point-to-point traveling. I have no idea of the scale of these places but I sure do hope it is roomy enough for some free minded riding and a few shortcuts. They looked lovely!

    Liked by 2 people

    • There were sneak peaks into questing of two zones and completing of two dungeons among Blizzcon videos. It’s a spoiler, but a minor one. I looked just a few moments, I’m happy with how it works out.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Well said! And great predictions :D

    One the the things that restored my faith in the players was seeing the interactions and posts of the WoW bloggers. The battle net forums, reddit threads and facebook groups are so toxic and full of negativity sometimes. There is a bigger sense of community here, and that makes me happy.

    I loved the cinematic, but, as someone who plays a Disc Priest, I would really like if people stopped saying that the power Anduin did was a battle resurrection. It was Power Word: Barrier, clearly ^^

    And concerning RAcOt’s comments above, why wouldn’t it make sense for two allies of convenience to turn on each other after defeating the common enemy? It was never a true alliance in the first place, its was more a “enemy of my enemy is my friend” type situation. Something not at all unheard of, the Tito – Stalin split after WWII comes to mind.

    It’s important to remember that there will be a full book of lore about what happens between the end of Legion and what we saw in the trailer. We can speculate all we can about motives and causes, but ultimately they will be only that, speculations.

    I still have to watch more panels, hopefully I’ll be able to do so this week. Thank you for the recommendations and for the warning about that panel. I’ll try to watch it, but it’s good to know that if I dont, I wont miss much :)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Exactly. You and your neighbors repel, say, a zombie apocalypse or a werewolf attack together. But it doesn’t mean that you have to tolerate their dog pooping on your lawn ever since.

      If we go on with my example: imagine you hold the perimeter against zombies with your neighboring house. And they suddenly just go inside the house, leaving a breach in the fence, letting zombies in and causing your father to die. What would you do after you deal with zombies?

      Even so, my point is that faction leaders didn’t work together during Legion invasion. They tried once, they suffered heavy losses, they lost their fleet and they retreated. Alliance is full of grief and anger, Sylvanas is just a conquerous bitch.

      P.S. Obviously it looked like Power Word: Barrier, but it also rezzed and healed people :) Blizzard told us at Blizzcon that hero characters are capable of much more than your ordinary player.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You are very right about that, Lord of Icecrown. It is sad, how negativity gets thrown around so heavily. In general, it does appear as if human beings forget to think of the positive things. It’s not an easy skill to master. Glad we have all these awesome bloggers :) And if negative feedback finds it way on our blogs, it’s always said in a constructive matter too, I find.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice job on the predictions! Those were some really solid guesses.

    I did not get the Virtual Ticket and instead relied on news sites reporting the panels, but it’s a shame to hear that so many of the panels were a bust! The voice actresses one in particular- that sounds like the kind of panel that would be totally awesome to watch. Hopefully Blizzard acknowledges flaws and works to correct them next year.

    Regarding Teldrassil, I have to say, I strongly agree with you on this one. I’ve always been a draenei player at heart, so the World Tree never really left a huge impression on me. And additionally, I really, really like that Blizzard is once again allowing their zones to change and evolve. After the debacle that was Cataclysm, I was worried they’d be too scared to ever touch those old world zones again, but Battle for Azeroth is proving otherwise. For a game that is so narrative driven, sweeping changes to beloved elements is a must. I’m excited to see what else Blizzard has planned, because I suspect Teldrassil and Lordaeron are not the end of it.

    While I am excited for Antorus to come out, I have to admit, I’m even more hyped for the next expansion!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Loved your post, and I agree with pretty much everything!

    I’ll be fighting alongside both Horde and Alliance, I am quite divided, but my heart stays with the Horde until Sylvannas dies. And even then… I don’t know. I guess it’s time for me to review the Lore and see what created both and their differences. I don’t think they are so different at core, and I believe this expansion will be good to check what truly separates them.

    I love Night Elves, and to see Teldrassil burn hurts so much! On the other side, Undercity belongs to the Forsaken, even if it was once from the Humans.

    The cinematic gave me goosebumps! Sylvannas’ banshee form was awesome and her shout “For the Horde!” made me want to pick up weapons and fight. At the same time, Anduin’s power basically screamed “hope” for me. Is that weird? Horde relies on perseverance and raw will to keep fighting, while the Alliance holds on to hope and inspiration. That was the duality of feelings I got from the cinematic, which I think was perfect.

    Shoutout to you for guessing all that!! :)

    I also got the virtual ticket, still have the woman’s thing to see.

    Liked by 2 people

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