EDIT: 11:00AM PST Stream is complete! Edits are in progress. 🙂 Welcome to BlizzPro’s coverage of the December 7th Live Developer Q&A, where Community Manager Josh “Lore” Allen and Game Director Ion “Watcher” Hazzikostas take community questions and dispense answers that are sure to infuriate r/wow. Follow along (or, if you’re coming in after the show, watch the rebroadcast) at https://www.twitch.tv/warcraft. Responses are being typed live, but we’ll clean up with a more complete transcript after the initial broadcast is over. Watcher offered this note regarding class- or spec-specific questions before they got into actual questions: Crow’s TL;DR: “We’re going to talk about classes a lot, but I am not an expert on classes. I did my homework as best as I could, but please be gentle.” Is the secondary stat “squish” not going to hurt specs that rely heavily on Crit (Fire Mage) or Mastery (Arms Warr) etc? Crow’s TL;DR:
Much like the “Lords of War” animated series helped set the stage for the primary players of Warlords of Draenor, it looks like Blizzard is about to unleash a new series of shorts in the lead-up to Legion. Hence, Harbingers. From what we see in this teaser, it certainly appears like the focus will be on Illidan and his Illidari, Khadgar’s path to inheriting the Guardianship of Azeroth from Medivh, and a true origin story for Gul’dan. Of course, it’s also possible that there will be more than just these three (who saw the Maraad short coming when Lords of War started up?) but we’re certainly going to get those three at the very least. More information as it emerges.
Boisterous Youtuber Jesse Cox sits down with Ion @WatcherDev Hazzikostas to drop science about LEGION and we here to tell you everything that went down. Some analysis will follow depending on how quickly Crow can type. To watch the VOD, skip on over to Twitch, or just read on for Crow’s recap. Alpha to Beta Transition: Hazzikostas led off with this big announcement: this week, provided nothing explodes, the Legion alpha will be wiped and replaced with a more stable beta build. Invites for the beta test will be going out throughout the week, and the plan is for the beta realms to come back up at 2PM PST on Thursday (5/12) for testing. Much news was made of Legion going into beta in 2015 after it was announced at gamescom, but the devs later took a step back and realized that while previous beta tests had a degree on incompletion
Blizzard’s official response to the ongoing debate about classic servers has got me thinking, and to a great extent, I’m sure that was the point. Without going into that entire debate here, Blizzard’s response seemed crafted to re-shape the conversation, mainly by setting the following terms: Blizzard is obligated to protect their intellectual property or they stand to lose legal control of it. So pirate servers still need to die when Blizzard is able to target them. Blizzard can’t justify the monumental cost it would take to re-create the older versions of the game AND provide them with the support they deserve as Blizzard products without impacting the ongoing support of the current game. However, the idea of “pristine servers” that eliminate some of the post-Classic mechanisms that have trivialized elements of the Classic game are a possibility, and Blizzard’s willing to talk about those. Let’s try to paint a picture
CM Nethaera and Executive Producer/Senior Vice President J. Allen Brack have taken to the forums to offer a response to the ongoing debate about classic servers, triggered by the shutdown of the Nostalrius community earlier this month. The major takeaways: Blizzard doesn’t have a legal path to protecting their rights while allowing a third party to use their IP. There are “tremendous operational challenges” to making classic servers happen, followed by supporting those servers into the future. A “pristine realm” with many of the modern accouterments of the game is a possibility. This is a careful response, but it does throw a few important details into the forefront of the discussion. The fact that Blizzard can’t allow pirate servers to operate without damaging their own IP is an important distinction to make, because it’s not about retaining subscription money, but about their rights as the custodians of the Warcraft IP.
In what is a completely unexpected bit of news to walk into on a Monday morning, Blizzard has without fanfare announced that LEGION will be released on August 30th, 2016. More information as this develops. Read the announcement here:
Set to be unleashed next week, William King (best known for his extensive work in Games Workshop‘s Warhammer 40k universe) kicks off a great story with Illidan, which really digs into the demon hunter’s mind all the way from his imprisonment to his career in Outland. But before we get in too deep: Critical Data WHAT’S IN THE BOOK The advance copy I received was 318 pages of fairly non-stop self-destructive glory for all of the viewpoint characters. Begins with the moments just before we met Illidan for the first time in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. This is a decidedly darker and more graphic story than I expect out of Warcraft, though it’s not TOO graphic and it does suit the material. WHAT’S NOT IN THE BOOK Deviations from canon dialogue. King goes through a lot of the scenes where we’ve seen Illidan in-game (from WC3 all the way to the
Blizzard has announced a new children’s book series in collaboration with kid-friendly publisher Scholastic and we don’t know much, but what we do know is pretty exciting. First off, the story is being written by Greg Weisman. The name might not be familiar, but when you hear about some of the stuff he’s worked on, you’ll know his quality: Co-creator of Disney’s Gargoyles Supervising producer of The Spectacular Spider-Man Executive Producer of Star Wars Rebels Producer of DC’s Young Justice And that’s without going into all the writing credits he has throughout years in the animation/TV industry. The bottom line is that he’s been around for a long time and worked on a lot of high quality cartoons, including some that really push the envelope for what you’d consider “children’s television.” As for the story itself, Blizzard’s resident thunder god Chris Metzen and James Waugh (Director of Story and Creative
A sneak peek for SyFy’s SFX make-up competition show Face Off reveals that they’re going into some territory pretty familiar to us here: Senior Art Director Chris G. Robinson was on deck to inform the contestants of what they’re taking on, and the show promises to be a look at the game from the perspective of contestants who are very into it vs. contestants who are not. Either way, it’s a great piece of cross-media, especially in advance of the Warcraft film release and the impending invasion of LEGION. More information as it shows up.
A long-gestating effort among some SC2 modders is what produced Warcraft: Armies of Azeroth, a very sophisticated remake of the systems and units of Warcraft III using Starcraft II‘s map editor. A melee map for the game is already available on the Arcade if you want to check it out, but there’s certainly more to it than that. The mod team wants to go further, to the extent of re-creating all of the campaigns from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne expansion while adding races to the multiplayer maps. It’s a pretty ambitious project, which is why they’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance it. Granted, the amounts they’re asking for seem a bit steep, but knowing the kind of code trickery and weirdness they have to do to get the Galaxy Editor to play like the WC3 editor from back in the day, I feel like