By Ben Barrett on August 15th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.
I’ve spoken about the Blizzard cinematic siren before and it has gone off again. Yesterday evening at an event in Los Angeles (which, for some reason, was then simulcast to the Blizzard booth at Gamescom rather than just being ran there) the titanic MMO developer showed off the CGI intro to Warlords of Draenor, the next World of Warcraft expansion. Blizz announced its release date–November 13th–and spoke about what’s coming in the expansion itself. They also showed off the first episode of their new animated series about the eponymous Warlords. Find it all below.
Let’s start with the meat, shall we?
Cor, particles eh? On the off chance that, like me, you had basically no idea who any of these people were despite having played every Warcraft game and most of WoW, here’s a crash course. Four Legs McGee is Mannoroth, the green goo is his blood which enslaves but empowers those who drink it. In the original timeline (stay with me) Grommash Hellscream and his whole clan do so, then taking over Draenor and invading Azeroth. His kid, Garrosh Hellscream, shows up a lot later and is quite the bad guy, final boss of the last WoW expansion. He’s gone back in time (a dragon helped him) to this moment and altered history by explaining to his da’ what a bad idea the whole blood-drinking dealio is. In this alternate timeline/universe (nearly there) they instead use future tech to unite the clans and invade. Only the invasion comes into the current time and universe because Garrosh has a bone to pick with the heroes of Azeroth (aka us).
Who woulda thunk a time travel story would get complicated?
Anyway, if you happen not to care about all that, here’s the in-game trailer also released yesterday:
For how old WoW is, it’s not looking half-bad. It’s unlikely we’ll ever see a full graphical overhaul as Blizzard prefers iterating over time, like with Warlords’ new character models. Those are just the tip of the iceburg on the ridiculous number of changes coming when patch 6.0 hits around a month before the expansion release itself. Some of this was detailed in the livestream, which you can watch archived here. It also had the debut of the WoW animated series’ first episode, focusing on the ludicrously but very-Blizzardly named Kargath Bladefist. A trailer for the whole thing is here.
You can pre-order Warlords of Draenor for £34.99 over on Battle.net. It also includes the previously-released level 90 character boost, which they hope might drag a few screaming souls back into the murky depths. I’ll be resigning myself to at least levelling my old main up to 100, though there’s something about this expansion that has me more excited. You know, if I stopped eating, I could probably stop going to work, and I’d have more WoW time…