I am not at Blizzcon, nor am I watching every moment of it on the Virtual Ticket – I am still too neck-deep in schoolwork – but the announcement of the new expansion is a BIG FREAKING DEAL. So Amowrath was kind enough to fill me in when the new expansion was introduced at Blizzcon today. At my first opportunity, I looked up the trailer on YouTube (thank you, again, Amo!) and watched what everyone at Blizzcon, or those with Virtual Tickets, watched about two hours ago…
My first reaction… Draenei, Draenei, Draenei!!
Once that started to calm (ever so slightly – I am still chanting “Draenei, Draenei, Draenei!” in my head), and I watched the video a few more times, I looked back over the “subtle” announcements of features toward the end of the video…
The very first and most confusing feature being…
But wait, what? Draenor is not new. We went there in Burning Crusade, and it is all blown up and broken. Nothing what any of the videos scenes looked like.
I held my questions, and reviewed the other features…
- Build and upgrade your garrison
- New character models
- Level cap raised to 100
- New dungeons and raids, monsters, world PvP zone, items and rewards, hundreds of quests
- Boost to 90 and play immediately
Some interesting updates, especially the insta-90 and the new character models. No more worry of “catching up” or people new to the game being too daunted by 100 levels to wade through to catch their friends. It is a feature with both pros and cons, though. For one, what will happen to all of the already near-empty older zones? I imagine there will still be people who will level the “old fashioned way” but what an entirely new dynamic that will bring. The updates to the character models (for all of the original races) is a much needed and much asked for update, and I cannot wait to see all of them. In fact, I was just recently thinking on and discussing this very topic!
After looking over the video several times, I got back to one of my favorite parts about this whole thing already (Draenei, Draenei, Draenei!)…
In fact, the first few seconds of the video had me literally clapping…
FINALLY!! Finally, Velen is going to become a serious part of the story in WoW!! Finally, all of his many prophecies will begin to take shape!!
“How?” is a question I am anxious to discover the answer to!
But but but, before I derail myself completely, back to the original “Huh?”
All of the shots do NOT look like the Draenor I am familiar with – Outlands. Outlands is the remnants of a blown up Draenor, the same almost-fate of Azeroth during the Cataclysm. Outlands is an alien and fascinating world, but it is literally in pieces. So how is Draenor a “new world” and what are all these zone shots that look nothing like Outlands?
The description on World of Warcraft’s YouTube video of the trailer leads to even more questions…
Across Draenor’s savage jungles and battle-scarred plains, Azeroth’s heroes will engage in a mythic conflict involving mystical draenei champions and mighty orc clans, and cross axes with the likes of Grommash Hellscream, Blackhand, and Ner’zhul at the height of their primal power. Players will need to scour this unwelcoming land in search of allies to help build a desperate defense against the old Horde’s formidable engine of conquest—or else watch their own world’s bloody, war-torn history repeat itself.
Wait… Grommash? Isn’t he dead? We just defeated his son, Garrosh. Blackhand? Dead too, betrayed by Doomhammer way back in the original orc and human wars. And Ner’zhul. What? We know he is gone. He became the original Lich King and his essence was destroyed by Arthas when he fully took on the mantle of the Lich King.
How can we interact with people who died before we ever visited Draenor back in BC?
So I followed the link in the comments to the Warlords of Draenor page, and found more questions…
Carve a Path Through History
It is the era of an Old Horde, forged with steel rather than fel blood. A union of great orc clans, the Iron Horde, tramples the planet Draenor beneath terrifying war machines. Azeroth falls next. Worlds uncounted will follow.
You must mount a desperate charge on Draenor – savage home of orcs and adopted bastion of stoic draenei – at this pivotal moment. Your allies are legends from across time; your fortress a foothold in an alien land. Lead the armies of one world against another…before the future itself is unmade.
SAY WHAT?? An entire expansion in THE PAST?? Whoa…
Is it possible we might stop the destruction of Draenor? We might avert the fall of Shattrath? We might keep the Broken Ones from ever existing? We might save the Draenei from near-extinction?
The possibilities are almost too much for me to contemplate currently. I mean, first of all, to see the long-lost home of my favorite race (other than Argus – which I still want to see someday, Blizzard!) when it was still the beautiful planet they first came to. To see Shattrath and Auchindoun and Karabor before they were destroyed. To see what each piece of Draenor looked like BEFORE it was “Outlands.”
But then, there is the other half. I have been interested in the Bronze and Infinite dragonflights (the idea of fictional time travel in general) long enough to know the consequences of changing the past. Why are we going back to Draenor? Is the Infinite dragonflight somehow still working to disrupt the pathways of time? If we go back, are we just supposed to watch Draenor work through its intended history? Do we have to see Shattrath fall? Do we have to watch the genocide of the Draenei? Do we have to witness the creation of the Broken Ones? Do we have to stand aside as the Orcs destroy Draenor all over again?
If so, what is the point? (Other than utterly tearing apart my heart!)
For now, I am full of questions, but I am also full of a great deal of excitement. There is nothing more fascinating to me than the history and lore of the Draenei.
I very much look forward to the coming weeks, and the coming expansion.
Blizzard, you had me at “Velen.”
P.S. – Draenei, Draenei, Draenei!
EDIT: So after coming home, watching the trailer, and writing this post, I finally took the time to look around some more. It appears the “how” of going to Draenor in the past is Garrosh escaping during his trial (at the conclusion of the Siege of Orgrimmar and his defeat) and finding someway to travel back in time. He does this to try and stop the biggest event that he sees as leading to his failure, the orcs drinking the blood of Mannoroth and becoming corrupted.