Sunday, August 5, 2007

Blizzcon Blog: Expansion to introduce 'brutal ancient races of Azeroth'

Editor's Note: Reporter Michael Georges is blogging on the scene at Blizzcon in Anaheim, Calif. He sent this live update Saturday. Stay tuned Sunday for the final part of the Blizzcon Bog 2007!

ANAHEIM, Calif.--Today was a climactic crescendo of amazing sights, beautiful sounds, and exciting information! Without further ado, let me get into it:

More information on the upcoming WoW expansion Wrath of the Lich King - In a panel discussion today, Chris Metzen, vice president of Creative Development for Blizzard, revealed some really juice tidbits of info about the upcoming expansion, and general plans for events in WoW in the future. The expansion was described as revealing and further detailing some of the "brutal ancient cultures of Azeroth."

Players should expect not only to meet up with Arthas--who it is said will interact with players almost from the moment they arrive in Northrend--but players should also expect to see more of the essential conflict between orcs and humans, Horde and Alliance. As both factions decide to send expeditions after Arthas, their own propensity to come into conflict with each other will apparently play itself out large in the game. Garosh Hellscream, son of Grom Hellscream will likely make an appearance as leader of the Horde expedition, as will Sylvanus Windrunner, appearently eager to try out the strain of scourge plague on Arthas and his minions, and we will see more of Bolvar Forddragon, legendary dwarfish explorer Brann Bronzebeard, and Tirion Fordring of the Silverhand.

In addition, several new races or offshoots of races will be either introduced, or re-introduced. The coolest by far have to be the Taunka, an ancient offshoot of the Taurens. The Taunka are based on the buffalo and are described as being anti-rangers who force nature to bend to their will. The Vrykul, a race of giant vampire barbarians are native to Northrend and will strongly resist the expeditionary forces from both factions. Also mentioned were Iron Dwarves, the Tuskarr, a walrus people, and the Nerubians, cool spider dudes that may be keeping something hidden under the old god maybe?

The panel revealed some additional tidbits, though where they will play in was not exactly defined. Malygos, an ancient insane blue dragon, will declare war on magic and users of magic... And, we will likely see the magical bubble city of Dalaran rip itself out of the ground and teleport into the skies over Northrend courtesy of the Kirin Tor...Whoa!

There's gonna be a movie...yep...a movie...and we'd love to tell you about it...yep... Blizzard and Legendary Pictures are teaming up to produce a live action World of Warcraft movie. Details were really sketchy as they are clearly in early stages. What was revealed was that they will use a compressed timeline to produce a storyline that blends some recent events into a cohesive, kickass, really cool movie. There was much love and cooperation expressed by all parties, and the desire to make a movie that raises the bar even from Lord of the Rings while stretching the genre to be unique to WoW. It was clear that the folks at Legendary Pictures "get" World of Warcraft and hopes are high that they will make a movie that will make us all proud to play this game.

Next: We attended a wonderful live concert of Blizz game music...and "turned our flippers to the sky!"