These are, I must regrettably inform you, two stories related to World of Warcraft - not two stories related to one another. I apologize for dashing your dreams of Blizzard angrily stirring from its mountain lair and - blind with rage over losing Spider-Man and Evil Dead director Sam Raimi - hurling a spell bolt from on high that immediately transforms its playerbase into horses. Instead, I decided to collect today's big WoW news in one place - mostly for convenience's sake but also slightly to mislead you with a headline. I apologize for this most grievous of sins, but gosh, it was so, so worth it.
First up, Sam Raimi sat down with Crave Online during Comic-Con, and the conversation eventually drifted into WoW territory. In short, Raimi was too busy, so Blizzard and Legendary Pictures found someone else to fill his directorial shoes. In slightly-less-short:
"Actually, they don’t have me directing World of Warcraft anymore because when I took the Oz job, they had to move on to another director. They had to start making it.”
Which, I suppose, is kind of a good sign - given that these things have a habit of fizzling out precisely because all the big names scatter to the wind and never return. In this case, we're at least getting something, from the sound of things. As for who the new director is, it's a mystery at this point.
Meanwhile, within in the actual World of Warcraft, Blizzard's fired up the ol' Recruit-O-Tron again, but this time with a twist: If a friend you've lured into the MMO black hole's all-consuming depths sticks around for two months, you'll gain an item called Heart of the Nightwing. Here is the glorious thing that it does:
"Teaches you how to transform into an Obsidian Nightwing, allowing you to carry an ally on your back. This is a flying mount."
Let me reiterate that: you get to become a flying mount, presumably via the magic of friendship. Less amazing, but still pretty neat: the accounts of recruiters and recruitees are linked, which yields "benefits like bonus experience and the ability to summon each other nearly anywhere in the world." Sure, some newer MMOs already have built-in convenience features that nearly make this sort of thing unnecessary, but it's still pretty neat, I think.
Will these features have the disenfranchised masses returning to WoW in anticipation of Mists of Pandaria, though? Only time will tell. I have to say, though: I kind of want to roleplay a mount now. No speaking, no doing anything without my master's express command. And in the game.