Tagged: Frostfire Ridge

Blizzard has just released all the ingame cinematics for WoD! Keep in mind that they are heavy with spoilers so think before you click! For that reason as well we will not post them directly here but here’s the link.

Quote from: Blizzard
*SPOILER ALERT!* Warlords of Draenor In-Game Cinematics

Warning: Here be spoilers!* Go no further! Turn back now before it’s too late! You have been warned!

The distant echoes of the Iron Horde’s war machine have already begun to reach the ears of Azeroth’s heroes. Soon, the journey into Draenor will begin in earnest—a journey filled with drama, tension, and momentous events that will shape the fate of this world.

To tell this tale, we’ve created more high-quality in-game cinematic footage for Warlords of Draenor than ever before—and as your story unfolds, these cinematics will illustrate some of the key moments of your adventure.

While we generally like to keep story beats like these a surprise, we know some players enjoy seeking out spoilers, and there are always plenty of people who find these files in the beta or on the PTR and share them. To help mitigate the potential for unsuspecting players to accidentally come across these and spoil their own adventure ahead of time, we’ve decided to go ahead and upload them ourselves—and provide plenty of caution and safeguards against watching them accidentally.

Of course, it goes without saying that we recommend you wait and watch these videos in-game as they were meant to be encountered—but if you choose to watch them here below, we hope you enjoy them, and only ask that you allow others to experience the story as they choose. Thank you for your continued excitement and passion for World of Warcraft, and we’ll see you in Draenor!

*What follows are the in-game cinematics that will play at various points during the Warlords of Draenor campaign. We encourage you to play the game and experience them in-context as you progress through Draenor—but if you decide to watch them now, don’t say you haven’t been warned!

*SPOILERS*

Warlords of Draenor: The Burning Crusade 2.0 – Part 1

WoD Logo

Warlords of Draenor is coming out in 3 months time and at the time of release we’ll have had 14 months of Siege of Orgrimmar, 2 pvp seasons, the timeless isle and countless heroic scenario runs. While usually I look at something game design/philosophy-wise with the Mezzy Talks series, instead I’ll review Warlords of Draenor as an expansion. Keep in mind that it’s still in Beta, so anything that might be a concern could very well change before release.

Anyone who has been lucky enough to get a beta invite will probably agree that it’s a breath of fresh air: Back to leveling, building a base for the first time in WoW, building up your own personal army and a lot of story integrated in the leveling experience.

Before we get into a zone by zone analysis, the general feeling: While questing in Draenor it really does feel like you’re back in Outland, playing The Burning Crusade expansion, except even better. The difference is that the story is much more cohesive and the graphics blow it out of the water.

It’s hard to get everything across so let’s go zone by zone what makes it good or bad. After that, in part 2, we’ll take a look at the features/changes to game mechanics that come along in WoD.

Shadowmoon Valley

 

Shadowmoon Valley2

When questing in Shadowmoon Valley as an alliance player you really feel like you are on a strange outlandish planet. The draenei have their own problems they have to deal with and you have to prove yourself to them as an ally. The flaura and fauna are beautiful and are not quite what you would find on azeroth. You’re just as foreign to the locals as they are to you. There is one thing you might get annoyed by though, and that’s the amount of hills you have to get around while questing. Although in most zones I did not miss my flying mount, at some points I did on SMV. If you read quests or pay attention to what happens during the RP this zone certainly brings some shocking story progression, which you would not expect from just questing. As an alliance player this is a good zone to start Draenor with and you’ll certainly enjoy it.

Frostfire Ridge

 

Whereas Shadowmoon is the re-envisioning of a zone in outland, Frostfire Ridge is a brand new zone. You get the same type of feeling in Frostfire Ridge, except you’re helping Thrall’s ancestor’s clan. FRR (Frostfire Ridge) is a cold desolate vast plain, a similar feeling to Hellfire Peninsula, except much much grander. The Bladespire Fortress alone is a testament to how the environment team has continued to grow after Mists of Pandaria. Most of the zone is quite fluid when it comes to questing here. There is one particular quest that comes to mind though that you can’t pick up until level 92, which rewards a follower, but you’ll come across it at level 91. Meaning that if you forget to come back after leveling up again you’ll miss out on a follower. Between the two starting zones it’s hard to pick a favorite, both are quite enjoyable to play through and I certainly won’t regret using my lvl 90 character boost to get a lvl 90 horde character.

Gorgrond

 

WoWScrnShot_072414_142742

Gorgrond is a mixed bag of feelings for me, the start of the zone is hard to get in to, the story did not really feel engaging. On the other hand you build your first outpost which is your garrison away from your garrison. You’ll get to choose between the lumber mill and sparring arena for your outpost. Each gives a different garrison ability for you to use in the zone. The LM gives you the ability to use a shredder which has 2 dps abilities and can fly for a short while. The SA gives you the ability to summon a gladiator. It’ll be a different one each time on rotation. When the gladiator leaves you’ll have a buff for a short while. By far the worst was the chance on hit reduced damage taken and the best was the chance to stun your target. So the usefulness of this ability will vary each time you use it. This is also the first zone where you’ll get different followers depending on which outpost building you choose.

Once you get past the initial quests it will start to feel more fluid. There is a lot of traveling here so prepare yourself for it. It’s not a bad thing however, as while exploring (or using this guide) you can come across 2 events which give you unique looking followers to add to your personal army. Another perk is that there are bonus objectives everywhere. These are quests on location that give A LOT of experience compared to regular quests (3 to 5 times as much), which make them very much worth doing. You’ll have already come across bonus objectives in your starter zone, but this is where you’ll want to do as many as possible if you haven’t yet, and that’s because of the next zone.

Talador

 

Oh Talador, how you remind me of Terrokkar forest. While the nature of the zone is for the most part nice, the quests are scattered. It doesn’t feel coherent and it’s just a lot of traveling that makes you long for your flying mount. I’m painting a bleak picture here, but it is compared to the other dreanor zones because they are just that good. Once you get to the main questline for Talador things turn around and things actually get quite epic as you get your first big series of encounters with the burning legion. The story is engaging, the quest flow is good and you get a good follower out of it at the end.

When it comes to your outpost building choice, I feel that the artillery tower/ armory is by far the best choice. It gives a cooldown with 3 charges that bombards an area for roughly 300k damage and each bombardment stuns those hit.

The mage tower gives you a 5 minute cooldown that summons an arcane orb for 30 seconds. Although it looks cool as it reminds you of Algalon and titan technology, it has a pretty weak AoE for the duration as it follows you around.

Overall this zone will feel rather slow for a while but once you get to Auchindoun you’ll enjoy yourself when kicking some demon butt.

Spires of Arak

 

WoWScrnShot_080814_213526

The spires of arak is another completely new zone where you’ll encounter the Arrakoa, both with the old and new models. If you’re into lore then you’ll want to pay attention here as you get into Terokk’s past.

A fun addition to this zone are the archeaology treasures that you can loot through the completion of jumping puzzles that you’ll encounter here. As of right now the treasures show up on your mini map, so you’ll come across these naturally if you just quest. They’re particularly good because of the amount of fragments they give. Allowing for a quick headstart on solves while questing, and if you’re lucky enough (like I was on the beta, meaning I won’t on live) you might even already get a rare solve.

Your outpost choices consist of the inn and the trading post. The inn gives you a extra hearthstome which brings you back to your Spires outpost and a passive 20% experience bonus. Which is nice if you want to level quickly. There’s a price you pay for this choice though, as you can not currently switch outpost buildings. The trading post allows you to summon a trader who sells rare goods, including a follower with a sun guardian model. Choosing the inn currently means sacrificing the chance to get him.

Due to the arrakoa pressence this zone continues your feeling of being in another world and the meaningful outpost choice and archeaology jumping puzzles make this a meaningful zone.

Nagrand

 

WoWScrnShot_080314_164031

Nagrand is the last of the leveling zones and it feels just like the original one, except that it’s so much bigger. It has not only expanded on the ground level, it has also expanded towards the sky giving you a lot to explore. The latest beta build added new flightmasters, making it easier to get from one side of the zone to the other.

You continue the Iron Horde story and encounter Highmaul, the ogre raid. You also get to tie up some loose ends in a questline. For the outpost you get to choose between the siegeworks and the stables. The siegeworks gives you a siegetank which does plenty of damage and is definitely the way to go if you’re a hunter. The stables gives you a talbuk mount that you can ride in battle. You’ll be able to cast while moving at a 100% movement increase.

The pacing of the zone feels good, there’s a lot to see and you’ll feel good being back in Nagrand. Again with exploring (or with our guide) you’ll be able to find some interesting followers to add to your garrison. Exploring is highly recommended for Nagrand just because of it’s grand scale and it feels like a good last leveling zone.

Conclusion

The leveling in Warlords is a lot more fun compared to previous expansions, the zones and quests are more interesting and the many rares and garrison interactions give it a breath of fresh air. In part 2 we’ll take a look at the features/changes to game mechanics that come along in WoD.

In Warlords of Draenor you can recruit followers for your garrison each zone. You’ll come across a lot during questing, but the zones are so big you might miss them. As we discover the rarer followers we’ll add them to the liast as well. To help you keep track of them all we’ve compiled a list of all the rares we’ve been able to find. Remember WoD is still in beta, anything can change. If we missed any feel free to leave a comment with the location and name of the rare mob or event. Click on the map for a full size version.

Number Follower Name Image Comments
1 Lokra  photo FrostfireFollower1_zps834f74aa.jpg Complete the Battle for Thunder Pass quest
2 Agg’kra  photo FrostfireFollower2_zps3ea33374.jpg Possibly alchemy only, currently removed
3 Shadow Hunter Rala  photo FrostfireFollower3_zps59d7daad.jpg Complete the quests in this quest hub
4 Mulverick  photo FrostfireFollower4_zps929d960b.jpg Complete his quest
5 Dagg  photo FrostfireFollower5_zps2aac4fa3.jpg Release him from the cages in Grom’gar and Daggermaw Ravine. He will then be infront of your garrison. Obtainable by both the Alliance and Horde.
6 Weaponmaster Nashra  photo Follower6_zpsbdea73ac.jpg Complete her 1 quest (she starts as Initiate Nashra)
7 Gronnstalker Rokash  photo Follower6_zpsbdea73ac.jpg
8 Archmage Vargoth  photo FrostfireFollower8_zps4fce6626.jpg One of 4 quest items

 

In Warlords of Draenor there are many rares in each zone, a lot of them are to kill while leveling to diversify the leveling experience. It’s a combined and improved version of leveling and the timeless isle. To help you keep track of them all we’ve compiled a list of all the rares we’ve been able to find. Remember WoD is still in beta, anything can change. If we missed any feel free to leave a comment with the location and name of the rare mob or event. Click on the map for a full size version.

Number Rare Name Image Comments
1 The Bone Crawler  photo FrostfireRare1_zps9f3edc54.jpg Level 100
2 Gorg’ak  photo FrostfireRare2_zps544331fe.jpg Level 100
3 Borrok the Devourer  photo FrostfireRare3_zps7dd558e0.jpg Video of this encounter from the alpha at the bottom of the article
4 Time Lost Tower  photo FrostfireRare4_zpsbeb8669d.jpg
5 Cindermaw  photo FrostfireRare5_zps68e4e9f7.jpg
6 Grizzled Frostwolf Veteran  photo FrostfireRare6_zpsccf1b4cf.jpg
7 Coldtusk  photo FrostfireRare7_zpsc3934826.jpg
8 Giantbane  photo FrostfireRare8_zps8f190dc6.jpg
9 Giant-Slayer Kul  photo FrostfireRare9_zps7f826143.jpg
10 Yaga the Scarred  photo FrostfireRare10_zps7f1497e7.jpg
11 Primalist Mur’og  photo FrostfireRare11_zpsa754ea94.jpg
12 Scout Goreseeker  photo FrostfireRare12_zps482f05e4.jpg
13 Grutush the Pillager  photo FrostfireRare13_zps4888945f.jpg
14 Breathless  photo FrostfireRare14_zps3dc34f8f.jpg
15 Coldstomp the Griever  photo FrostfireRare15_zps8d72178e.jpg
16 Canyon Icemother  photo FrostfireRare16_zps40cef8cb.jpg
17 Son of Goramal  photo FrostfireRare17_zps368c1c75.jpg Level 100
18 Broodmother Reeg’ak  photo FrostfireRare18_zpsdc1d2eb4.jpg
19 Vrok the Ancient  photo FrostfireRare19_zps27aa24a3.jpg Level 100
20 Chillfang  photo FrostfireRare20_zps9e4f137e.jpg

Borrok the Devourer on the WoD Alpha:

The good people over at wowhead have put a nice list of the current jumping puzzles in the WoD beta. There is currently one in Shadowmoon Valley and two in Frostfire Ridge. Check it out here.

There has also been some Heroes of the Storm news today. The first is a look at the new battleground/map which they are currently working on. The second is in the form of a video showing off the Master Skins they are working on. The first set they’re showing off are ones on Warcraft heroes.

Quote from: Blizzard
With this episode of Designer Insights, we’re shifting our focus to a brand new battleground called Garden of Terror. Senior Technical Designer Meng Song gives us an overview.    
Trikslyr: Garden of Terror is our brand new, 3-lane battleground featuring a day and night sequence. Can you tell us what changes occur when the night sequence begins?   Meng: When night falls, the night horrors will come out in the garden area of the Battleground and all normal mercenary camps will disappear. The minimap displays the location of all the night horrors with purple indicators, similar to the Haunted Mines display of skulls. This should make locating the Night Terrors easier to pinpoint. Garden of Terror provides us with the opportunity to feature our dynamic lighting. During the night, we turn down the brightness of your hero’s vision, so the map becomes much darker. We recommend players to stay alert and keep your allies close, night is the perfect time for enemies to strike and take advantage of your reduced visibility. As a side note, the night sequence will not end until all the night horrors are killed. Since the nature of the map changes and the day/night cycle is controlled by the players, it becomes part of the strategy whether to try and keep the map on the night cycle or try and shift it back to daytime.
T: One of the objectives on the map is for each team to grab seeds. This is done by killing the small, but deadly Infested Servants scattered throughout the garden, and the massive plant called the Flowering Shambler. What’s the purpose of collecting the seeds?   Meng: After collecting 100 seeds, any player on the team can right click on the Fertile Soil inside their base to summon the almighty Garden Terror. That player will become the Terror and will be free to use the Garden Terror’s power to their advantage. However, use your time wisely, as the summoned Terror has a time limit that will expire.
T: Besides a massive amount of health and power, what kind of cool abilities can players look forward to obtaining once they become the Garden Terror?   Meng: The Garden Terror has two abilities. Plant Horror Overgrowth disables and damages all enemy buildings around the casted area. Be careful, as the Overgrowth can be destroyed by the opposing team. This creates a good risk-reward scenario and opens up gameplay choices. Players can use the ability as bait, place it in areas away from heroes, or just go for the all-in play. Plant Horror Overgrowth will be on top of the priority list for enemies, so players will have to think on their feet with how, where, and when to use such a powerful ability. If you’re sick of the enemy team clumping up and pulling off a wombo-combo on your team, Spore Queen’s Curse lets you turn them into slow, weak Plant Zombies! This is an area of effect polymorph ability that can definitely turn the tide of a fight, when used correctly.It’s wise to keep the ability off cooldown, so the ability can be used as a follow up tactic right after an Overgrowth.
T: Are there any Heroes in particular that excel well on Garden of Terror?   Meng: We believe some of the choices below fit well on this unique battleground:

  • Heroes that have summons and/or can jungle well such as Gazlowe and Zagara
  • Heroes that have good AoE and/or are difficult to ambush like Stitches, Brightwing, and Falstad
  • Heroes or talents that allow you to scout, such as Tassadar and Clairvoyance

Trikslyr: We like to end our Designer Insights with a fun anecdote. Mind sharing a terrifying moment that occurred while testing the new battleground?   Meng: There were a few hilarious moments that occurred during the development playtest. At one time, the Garden Terror was balanced to be so strong that we just couldn’t kill it. So you would get these weird moments where each team would summon a Terror, all the other four heroes would be forced to chase the enemy Terror in an attempt to slow it down. The game eventually turned into a base race scenario in which the Terror who could kill the enemy’s core faster won. In another test phase, the Garden Terror’s Spore Queen’s Curse ability could be casted on the enemy’s Garden Terror. So when two separate Garden Terrors were summoned, it was all about which Terror could cast the ability on the enemy Terror first, and it was pretty hilarious to watch teams beating up on a tiny Garden Terror.

A huge thank you Meng Song and the design team for taking time out of their day to chat with us about Garden of Terror. If you missed any of our previous Designer Insights, check out the list below, and keep an eye on HeroesoftheStorm.com for more news from the Nexus.