Pictures + writeups of slides at the raid panel:
I took pictures at the raid panel. I’ll try to contain my excitement lest my exclamation marks take over, so I’ll let some of it out here: OMFG THIS IS GOING TO BE SO FUN I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!!!
I know this is easily listed as text elsewhere, but it’s fun to see anyway. Slide listing a few of the new instances that will be introduced with The Burning Crusade:
Floorplan: Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj (20-man raid instance)
Floorplan: The Temple of Ahn’Qiraj. The Library of the Scarlet Monastery (aka Doan’s instance) can fit inside the triangular boss room. The SM Library is shown in this chart on the right-hand side.
Blurry screenshot: A boss in Ahn’Qiraj. I’m pretty sure this boss is from the 20-man instance. At the panel, he had a guy run through the instances on foot for us. Of course, he was haxed out to run at like 500% speed, but he was still capable of dying. Once he fell off a cliff accidentally and died. And once he aggroed a boss and got one-shotted. Laughs all around. I didn’t get a good enough picture to post here, but the inside of Ahn’Qiraj so far looks laid out like the bug caves in Tanaris/Un’Goro, but the walls were darker and there were tons of bug pods hanging down from the ceilings like chandeliers. Besides the Silithid bugs, there were the Qiraji (that’s waht I THINK they were called), who are the masters of the Silithid. The Silithid are bugs, of course, but Qirajis have a look that we’ve never seen before in the game. They look vaguely humanoid, except they’re HUGE. They had legs and arms, but were a ghostly whitish sort of color and had a weird extended back (almost like a centaur) and roamed in groups of two and three.
Floorplan: Naxxramas. You can see that the four corners constitute four different wings: Abomination (where research is done and they are produced), Deathknight, Spider, and Necro.
Screenshot in Karazhan (Medivh’s Tower): Baby Orc-angels on the roof of the opera house lobby. Get it? ORCANGELS? HAHAHAHA… The dude ran through the lobby and the developer giving the panel said “no wait wait wait, back up, you have to let them see the ceiling there. Here is the Sistine Chapel of Warcraft!” I know you can’t tell in this picture, but believe me when I say: the opera house is gonna be GORGEOUS. And the library? HOLY CRAP. Huge bridges and towers suspended in midair. Giant cascading staircases. Monumental arches. And some parts of the tower have been knocked down, so you’ll have to navigate around ruins, too. AAAAAAAA I can’t wait to go into Medivh’s Tower OMGGGGG!!!!
Devs at the raid panel on Saturday. It’s a shame I’m a noob who doesn’t know all their names. Help me out?
In other news, there were pictures of a giant writhing city in the Outlands with green pipes leading to it–“And see these pipes? Well, you’ll find out later what that’s all about” was all the dev had to say.
They wouldn’t tell us anything offical about the Alliance race at all. They did say that Hero classes were being thought about, becuase they like that idea from Warcraft 3 and want to find some way to port it to WoW.
They talked about the evolution of items a little bit in the class panel. They said that “+spelldmg” gear is relatively new, and they’ve been putting it in to make sure that casters have a way to ramp up their DPS via gear, since melee units do that by getting higher DPS weapons. So more +spelldmg gear is to come.
This doesn’t have anything to do with the expansion, but first: in 1.9, you will be able to get into more than one battlegrounds instance at a time. They hope this’ll help with getting critical mass. Also, they’ll be putting in a re-queuing cooldown as a penalty for /afk-ing out.
Random trivia: A few weeks after they began development on Warsong Gulch, they also tried developing a fighting game that would be set underneath the FFA PVP arena in Stranglethorn, in the tiger pens. It would have been 5 alliance vs 5 horde, no respawning, and you just go at each other until one side dies. Then they totally cut it becuase it didn’t work. We saw some screenshots. The idea sounds cool… I wish they’d figure something out to put in the tiger pens underneath the arena anyway =)
Someone asked “are you going to allow battlegrounds concepts within a faction?” and they pretty much said “no, we want to reinforce the horde vs. alliance dynamic, as well as follow the lore very strongly.”
They are actively exploring CROSS-REALM BATTLEGROUNDS. No promises, but they are researching it.
Making a difference: They are exploring ways to make the outcomes of Battlegrounds actually affect the rest of the realm–something about competing for supplies.
After we waited in line for a few hours, we got to play the expansion for an hour on the first day. Once we got to the front of the line, we found that it was a little bit underwhelming: all we would get to see was A) ahn’qiraj on 60s and B) Blood Elves’ beginning quests. The classes we could choose as a blood elf were warrior, warlock, mage, and priest.
In the lore/quest panel, they said that the Blood Elves are very much preoccupied with power–so their eyes glow green to reflect their hunger for the chaotic energies of demonic magic. (Hahaha listen to me I’m a nerd.) Back in in Warcraft 3, the Blood Elves were pretty much wiped out by the Scourge, and since the Sunwell that they built for themselves and drew power and energy from was destroyed, they got all whacked out and joined forces with Illidan in desperation, cuz Illidan promised to teach them how to harness demonic energy directly from the Twisting Nether. In exchange, they vowed to help Illidan, so some of the Blood Elven leaders traipsed away through the Dark Portal to go with Illidan to conquer the Outlands. Soooooo, the Blood Elves that are left here on the world are thirsty for magic, and even MORE thirsty to join their beloved leaders in the Outlands, where they think a paradise of magic and power is being built for them. So they as a race will be working toward the goal of reopening the Dark Portal to find their leaders again. At this point the guy said “Let’s just say… they may be surprised when they find out just what their beloved leaders have been up to.” HMMMMM….
He also stressed that yeah… the Blood Elves don’t like the trolls or the orcs or them all… but Horde needed a pretty race so here you go. They say it’s an alliance of convenience but they’re using the horde as support while they rebuild their strength, and that the Forsaken leader, Lady Sylvanas, is their conduit of entry to the horde (since Sylvanas was a high elf herself before Arthas made her undead).
I only remember two of the racial abilities.
1) Mind tap: when you cast mind tap on enemies, it drains their mana and gives it to you (I THINK), AND it buffs you (I think the buff lasts 5 or 10 minutes). The buff stacks up to three times.
2) Arcane torrent: it is an aoe silence, and it “releases” whatever energy you have stored up by using Mind Tap. Basically, Mind Tap works like combo points on yourself… when you use Arcane Torrent as a caster, you instantly gain 40-140 mana per “combo point” and your mind tap buff disappears. If you’re a warrior you gained rage (I don’t remember how many rage points though).
Fluff: Right now, their walking and talking actions are exactly the same as night elves’, except that when Blood Elves jump, they do pirouettes in the air instead of flipping as NE do. It’s kinda silly. “Triple lutz!” Their starting area is a forest of green and gold, and the buildings are magnificently beautiful. Spiralling towers, fountains, bridges arcing through the air…
I highly recommend it, becuase it’ll suck you in, and you have more fun while playing… why things look the way they do, why the factions hate or like each other, why we have to go kill certain famous people, etc. And Medivh!!!! We’re gonna go to the outlands to look for Medivh!!!!!!! And his tower is right there (in the game now, you can see it and there’s even a portal at the entrance) in Deadwind Pass!!!!! hehe.
More blizzcon stuff:
I missed the “keynote” speech by Mike Morhaime because we didn’t think that the line to get in would be so long. Although we got there at like 9, we didn’t get in until well after the speech was over =( It was so funny… where else can you go in the world and walk around and all the random snippets of conversation you hear go “And the tank went down and it all went to ****!” … “And then I tried rooting him but…” … “****ing shamans!” “****ing pally bubbles!”
Starcraft ghost looks like fun. I suck at first-person shooters, but the line for it was short and the people I was with play ’em. We got to play two types of games, both 8v8: one was a “capture resource nodes” game and the other was “mobile base unit.” I had fun as a firebat. I saw a demo of the single-player game, too, which looks really fun. You’ll have to get someone more qualified than me to tell you if it is good or how it is different from other first-person shooters, but to me it looks good–you can cloak (stealth), do all kinds of acrobatics, loot corpses and toss them aside, decimate marines with land mines, break innocent mechanics’ necks, etc. Also Nova’s butt is kind of distracting.
Yeah, that’s a model in the front and a statue in the back. Hahaha. The costumes on the models were really, really good–there were also a night elf sentinel and human mage from the promotional art.
I went to the “lightbringer” meeting table late, but still got to see Paladinchaz (tall skinny white guy) and Orcbasher (short round white guy) and Marika/Ilyana (cute brunette girl), and some people from The Coalition who included a normal-looking asian girl like me. They asked me what guild I was from and when I said “Lost Cause,” they said “Ooo, that’s a really good guild.” <3 hahaha. I also got to see these two people from LAG. They were kind enough to give us their concert tickets since they weren't interested in the Offspring… half of my group bought full tickets and most of us didn't (including me), so I put their tickets to good use. See:
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that picture is of the band Level 60 Elite Tauren Chieftan. See the lead singer with the huge hair? That's SAMWISE DIDIER, the legendary artist. OMG. See the guy on bass on the right? I'm pretty sure that's Mike Morhaime, one of the CEO/founders of Blizzard. SO FUNNY. They played three songs:
Power to the horde (which was the song that got played when you finished the campaigns in warcraft 3)
I am MURLOC (hahahaha… and they brought up the awesome murloc costume guy who danced around with them onstage)
LEEEEROY (they introduced this song with… "Who here is alliance? This next song is about one of your greatest heroes… WHO YOU LET DIE… You just stood there and WATCHED HIM DIE…" We thought he was going to sing about Uther Lightbringer, but the chorus went LEEEEEROYYYYYYYYYY, paladin for the hooooorde)
Oh man. So funny. The headbanging… ahahahahahaha. They were actually really good, this band of funny blizzard employees. Totally death metal. You should have seen Samwise rocking out. Hahahahhaa. I took a crappy video with my camera during "I am murloc." Please don't report me. If anyone is interested, I can upload it somewhere.
We stayed for the comedian, who was actually funny (or I guess I had really low expectaions). He made his routine relevant and made fun of us ("Some of those guys up there for the soundalike were trying so hard to be cool, with the leather jacket and the backstreet boys facial hair… but then they said FOR THE HOOOOOORDE… I'm sorry guys, the cool train left the station a LONG TIME AGO" … "Some of the girls in the costume contest were pretty hot. And some… well, they think they are hotter than they actually were. But hey, it's ok. Girls here, you're what I call Blizzcon-hot. Admit it. You came to this thing. Enjoy it while it lasts, because this weekend and this weekend only, you have +3 to cleavage")
We met some horde-on-Dragonmaw in the parking lot of our hotel, and one of us gave them one of our room numbers. Later that night, we were about to start our fourth round of mafia when three of them came knocking. There were only three of them, so I let them in. They were pretty drunk. Then came three more. And two more after that. And a few more after that… +beer… It got pretty loud. They were from two guilds, West Dragon (http://www.westdragon.org/) and Hellmonkey. My conversations went like this:
Judy: OMG WHAT BOSS IS WEST DRAGON ON IN BWL!?!?!?
Guy: OMG WE'RE ON VAEL WE'VE BEEN STUCK ON HIM FOR THE LONGEST TIME
Judy: OMG THAT FIGHT IS LIKE THE MOST FUN EVER HOW IS YOUR TANK ROTATION GOING
Guy: OH THE TANK ROTATION IS GREAT, WE GOT THAT DOWN FLAWLESSLY, IT'S JUST THAT WE KEEP MAKING STUPID MISTAKES OR WE GET REALLY BAD LUCK SO WE HAVE FOUR PRIESTS DECKED OUT IN FULL TRANSCENDENCE, RIGHT? SO THIS ONE ATTEMPT, THREE OUT OF FOUR OF THOSE PRIESTS GOT THE FIRST THREE BAS… BAD LUCK! IT WAS LIKE… OH GOD, WIPE FOR SURE…
Other guy: YEAH WE DID SIX ATTEMPTS THE OTHER DAY WE KEEP GETTING STUCK AT 1% FOR SO LONG!!!
[Ad nauseum; this went on for like 20 minutes]
He told me that it's awesome then BA goes on a hunter pet. I said "Wait, WHAT? I read that BA can't get cast on a hunter pet at all!" He said that they've had it happen. They have all the hunters take out their pets and leave them in a faraway corner, and if one gets BA they all blow up, but it's worth it since it buys them time. I was like… wtf are you sure? haha.
West Dragon was a bunch of guys that ROCKED the AB tournaments. Hear it told by them: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.aspx?fn=wow-realm-dragonmaw&t=144522&p=1&tmp=1#post144522
Then security came and knocked on our door. You heard it right, folks, your very own Arala was at a warcraft party that HAD TO BE BROKEN UP BY THE POLICE. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
I originally wrote this stuff up for my guild's forums, so I tried to keep them not-personal. I have this to add: we drove down on Thursday night (George drove Laura, Raymond, and me) and got to the hotel at 4am. We got to the convention center and waited in a long line to get our badges and met up with four of George's friends who play on Tichondrius–see Esmond, Justin, Mike and Tyson here. After the convention on Friday, we ate at a really good Japanese restaurant that Mike likes a lot. We tried going karaoke but the karaoke place rejected us, so instead we played Laura’s “Elephant King but with Street Fighter moves” in the parking lot for many laughs instead. A tired Dan joined us on Saturday. E, J, M, T and I went to the concert and watched the two out of three acts that were not the Offspring. Hanlong and Tracey (from lynbrook) got in line behind us and I chatted with them and boasted about my 8 epics. Hahahahaha. Hanlong wouldn’t tell me what server he played on though. After that, we ate at the Outback, where songs were felt coming on and lag made George run into the wall. On Sunday morning, we played some games of Psychic Poker, ate at Quizno’s with Esmond, and drove home (George drove Laura, Dan, Raymond, and me).
Shanshan, your post is timely–we tried to remember what was after “exploding starred and featherd of cattle” but couldn’t. Here is our exploding star from this trip:
Shimmering flatseed oiled upholstereet fighter twogat a light?ning boltaman crunch berries witherspoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down the medicine go down the medicine go down with the sicknesstle crunch taterminator… crap… i have a hole in my memory until… in a body bag jonnni de pi gu hen daboo. shmoboo. something needs doing?… crap… i can’t remember… uhh… something something… i’ll edit this entry later after you tell me what the rest was
If that was undecipherable, here is the long version:
street fighter two
got a light?
spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
down with the sickness
Then there was playing of “sing a song with this word in it, and whatever word you end on is the word the next person has to use,” the highlight of which was Dan getting “twice” and singing “twice twice baby.” Then I fell asleep and was cranky. Crankiness FTL. Then the four people in the car who were not me ate at Rojo’s Wraps across the street from Westgate. I draped myself across the backseat of the car and continuted to be cranky. Then my dad drove me back to Berkeley and I woke up again telling D about Blizzcon and hearing some songs. Then I was dead tired again. I guess that brings me to now. The end.