Blizzard Talks Warlords Of Draenor And The Future Of Warcraft

Written by Katie Allen on Sun, Nov 10, 2013 6:00 PM
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Blizzard have used their annual Blizzcon convention to officially announce and give details on upcoming World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor.

The fifth expansion for the prodigious MMO will take place 30 game years back, before Draenor was destroyed at the end of Warcraft II: Beyond The Dark Portal, and will see former orc warchief Garrosh Hellscream using time travel to create an alternate timeline beyond the portal where the orcs were never corrupted by the Burning Legion, and are instead now united into a new “Iron Horde”...

So, plot-wise pretty extreme; taking the franchise back to its origins could be pretty revolutionary. Blizzard were good enough to elaborate on how it was that Garrosh has managed to escape his trial at the hands of the Alliance in Pandaria and, it seems, possibly fundamentally alter Azeroth's chronology.

Awaiting trial, the expansion will see Garrosh helped by Bronze Dragonflight, and be able to return to Draenor before its destruction. He there prevents the orcish “Warlords of Draenor” from being corrupted into a pact with the evil Burning Legion. The expansion, then, will bring characters and settings from right back in Warcraft: Orcs and Humans to the present day.

Level Cap And New Character Models

In terms of practical changes to the gameplay, the level cap has been lifted from Mists of Pandaria’s 90 to 100. Notably, players will have the opportunity to boost one character to level 90 as soon as they purchase Warlords of Draenor, entirely skipping the normal necessary grinding. This level skip can be applied to any character at any level, even a brand new alt.

In a move that will be a relief to anyone tired of some of Warcraft's aged visuals, the races themselves will be receiving a much overdue aesthetic overhaul with the expansion's accompanying patch. This - Blizzard assures us - wont mean that your character will have changed beyond recognition, just that it will have, you know, more definable facial features, and won't look its full nine years old. Bonus.

Blizzard have updated their site with visuals of the new models for several races, with more to be announced soon. You can check out the updated Dwarf below:

Draenor Map And "Garrisons"

Draenor itself will consist of seven zones, some of which are entirely original, whilst others are more reminiscent of their current Outland equivalents; the only surviving part of Draenor in the present WoW universe. For the first time in a WoW expansion, the Alliance and Horde will also have separate starting zones, with the Horde starting in  the northern Frostfire Ridge, and the Alliance beginning on the far other side of the map in Shadowmoon Valley.


Blizzard have also announced the inclusion of "Garrisons" in their new expansions. These "enduring home base[s] integrated seamlessly with the world", as Blizzard has described them, allow you to build a base that will act as your own personal fortress. It can be customized with "specialized structures like farms, stables, armories [and] workshops", and players will be able to recruit followers to the garrison who can man your base and go out to fulfill missions and loot dungeons on their behalf. It's not quite clear exactly what this will entail, since it currently sounds like a way of recruiting NPCs to, well, avoid actually playing the game yourself. However, it could also possibly be used to introduce an RTS element to the expansion; again, heading back to the origins of the Warcraft franchise.

With World of Warcraft subscriptions having been in decline for some time now, Warlords of Draenor looks to be Blizzard’s attempt at injecting some enthusiasm into the franchise from fans of older iterations of the Warcraft world. Blizzard were pretty explicit at Blizzcon regarding the fact that they currently have no intentions to make the game free to play as many have suggested they might, instead believing that the way forward for the still-vast MMO is through keeping the content “fresh and new”, providing an easy, accessible “onramp to the game” for new players and keeping familiarity for older players who want to come back to the game.

With the new expansion looking like it could both be both a nostalgia trip for long-term Warcraft fans whilst still adding a lot more to the game, Warlords of Draenor could just be what Blizzard need help reverse the slow subscription decline. We could have a while to wait, however; the expansion does not have a slated release date as of yet. You can see the announcement trailer below.

What do you think of the details of World of Warcraft’s newest expansion? Do you think it will be enough to keep subscribers paying their monthly fee? Could it tempt Warcraft veterans back into the fold?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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01:36 Nov-12-2013

Which one are u getting folks , this one, or Elder Scrolls Online ?

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07:04 Nov-12-2013

Nothing of it. Stick to GW2 and try Everquest next. I am tired of games that thinks they are worth paying mounthly subs after already paying full price, while there are so many exelent games without it.

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20:04 Nov-12-2013

I agree with u , there are many good F2Ps. I heard that WOW will go F2P in the near future, going for Nosgoth or GTA online.

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13:08 Nov-11-2013

Haha funny its not Blizzards attempt to breath new life or enthusiasm into the franchise what its about is milking another 200-300 million cash from the pockets of there slave like fans enough is enough they have made 10's billion off something no one else would have gotten away i say bring me WC4

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13:17 Nov-11-2013

stats to back up my claim 7-15million subsricbers have purchased the game of them atlest 6.9million of them have paid US$15-$20 a month for the last how manys number of years plus paid for the expansions on top of that add it up thats well over 10 even upto atlest 20billion for something costing 1B

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13:21 Nov-11-2013

oh and one more thing i played linage 2 i spent $190 and was given a lifetime acount no monthly payment and the ablity to make unlimited accounts for being one of there best player does wow reward there people that way no never only in a person dream would that happen lol wow such a greed game

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17:37 Nov-11-2013

I also want warcraf 4, but this wow expansion seems pretty cool actually

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11:46 Nov-11-2013

I was hoping they will mention Warcraft IV.

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09:11 Nov-11-2013

I don't like orcs

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09:15 Nov-11-2013

dude.. wtf ??... in warcraft 1 &2 the main character were orcs and humans.. like srsly.. wtf ?.. if Warcraft 1 &2 wouldn't be released you wouldn't have you childish WoW to play..

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09:19 Nov-11-2013

It's not that i don't hate orcs. It's just that i'm not fond of them.

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08:06 Nov-11-2013

Warcraft 1 & 2 were fun... WoW is, and will be bull**** for me atleast..

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22:35 Nov-10-2013

Sandbox WoW is here build your own city and skip all theme park with one character :-D

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21:44 Nov-10-2013

How much longer can Blizzard milk this MMO? I can't believe over 7 million people still play this.

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18:29 Nov-10-2013

The only exciting thing in Blizzcon (for me) was the announcement of the gigabyte sniper z87, a cheaper z87 motherboard, around £190 I think.

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18:25 Nov-10-2013

I want Warcraft IV.Nuff said.

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21:43 Nov-10-2013

Me too!

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