Coinciding with GamesCom in Cologne, Germany, Blizzard Entertainment live streamed a “Warlords of Draenor” event today from Los Angeles. The event, hosted by Chris Watters, included talks with various members of the Blizzard team as well as several videos, culminating in the Warlords cinematic, which revealed the expansion’s Nov. 13 release date, which is a week after this year’s BlizzCon.
Chris Watters hosted the event, starting off by introducing Mike Morehaime, the CEO and co-founder of Blizzard. Morehaime got the crowd cheering at the reminder that this year was the 20th anniversary of Warcraft: Orcs and Humans as well as the 10th anniversary of WoW.
When developers Ion Hazzikostas and Brian Holinka took the stage, Watters asked them about what will happen to the characters who are boosted to level 90 at the beginning of Warlords. Hazzikostas explained that those characters will learn their class in a structured environment similar to the death knight starting zone. He wane on to talk about how garrisons will be putting the Warcraft back in the wold, letting each player raise an army to help take down the Iron Horde.
The pre-expansion event is going into the game with patch 6.0, and it centers around the iconic Dark Portal. The Iron Horde is going to march through it into the Blasted Lands and destroy Nethergarde Keep on their way to Blackrock Spire. On November 13, players will go through the portal themselves to discover it’s Draenor, but not as they know it.
Holinka talked about Ashran and how the island should return a feeling of world PVP to the game. With the Alliance base in the south and the Horde in the North, Holinka said it will harken back to the heyday of Alterac Valley, but with added incentives for killing your enemies; the currency of the island is Ashran fragments, and they can be looted from enemy corpses, giving the victor half of the dead character’s fragments. The island also has a jail and a possibility for tomes to drop that give you a class-specific buff.
Next up was Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development Chris Metzen, who introduced the “Lords of War” series, four animated shorts that each focus on one of the warlords: Kargath, Grommash, Durotan and Kilrogg. The teaser for the series as well as the first video, featuring Kargath and his founding of the Shattered Hand, can be found at Blizzard’s blog. The next video they showed was the extended trailer for the expansion (watch right at the top of this page), which includes video of all the zones, dungeons, raids and garrisons.
The final video of the hour was the actual cinematic, showing how Garrosh Hellscream went back in time 35 years to change history and begin this divergent timeline.
“Warlords of Draenor” is going to have nostalgia for those who have fond memories of Outland and the original RTS games as well as plenty of exciting content for new players. Digital pre-orders are for sale now.