Nothing makes me want to jump back into the world of Azeroth than a brand new World of Warcraft expansion. So when I say I am excited for the next installment of the probably the greatest MMO ever, it's really not an understatement. So, lets take a more indepth look at what to expect from the new expansion, Warlords of Draenor.
-NEW CHARACTER MODELS-
With no new races or classes announced, one of the biggger visual related announcement was the visual upgrade to character models. With the eight original races having the same character models since Vanilla, Blizzard have decided that now is a good time to give them a complete rehash. Early impressions certainly look good! Take a look here:
For me, the best looking thing about these new models is just how "real" they look. They have a grittiness about them, and it really adds to them. The sheer increase in number of polygons is always going to make them look better, but the details are really noticeable. For example, on the Tauren model, the teeth and lips look incredibly detailed. There's a certain life and warmth to them.
Perhaps the best thing however is that they still feel like World of Warcraft races. The dwarf for example, really feels like it lives on Azeroth. They are different, however they don't feel too different to the old models. New, but keeping enough of the old with it to make it still the same characters you love.
-A RETURN TO OUTLAND-
So far it would appear that the new zones are all going to have gone back in time. Obviously not so much has been revealed about the exact story, but what is known is that we will be going back before orcs were green, to the continent of Draenor, where the orcs and draenei are locked in a deadly war.
Draenor is Outland before it was destroyed. Our focus so far appears to be on defeating the "Iron Horde", a group of Orcs led by Garrosh's father, Grommash. They seek to enter Azeroth through the Dark Portal, and this is simply something that cannot happen.
Of course this story line will (hopefully) involve a whole bunch of Thrall and much more. A slip of the tongue from Chris Metzen also suggests that the bronze dragon flight, Kairoz Dormu, may of taken Garrosh back through time...so no doubt we will see more of the mad warchief.
Here are a couple of pictures of the brand new zone, and its scale compared to the old zones.
On top of this, it would appear that Frostfire Ridge is going to be a brand new zone for World PVP, involving warring factions of ogres.
-GARRISONS TO BUILD AND RUN-
One of the simply brand new features of the upcoming expansion is the new feature of Garrisons. Garrisons are your own plot of land, and your chance to make something in Azeroth well and truly your own. To call them player houses would probably not be doing justice to the depth of this new system.
With your Garrison comes the ability to do many things. It is not just choosing where to put this set of table and chairs, but also you can hire people to help run your Garrison. There are also suggestions that you will be gaining access to various professions that you do not already know, however in a limited manner.
And, of course, as always, there will be purples for your character. Epic gear will be a benefit from running your own garrison, the only true motivator in this world.
Take a look at some early screenshots!
Although it's something that some will no doubt miss, it appears that Blizzard are giving just about everything you can think of a complete rehaul. And quite frankly, I think this is the best path to go down, rather than just introduce a new race or class, make sure the things everyone already love are up to date and shiny.
Here we can see that they are updating everything from the PVP scoreboards, to things like spell books and the talents page. Take a look!
-LEVEL CAP RAISED TO 100, AND THE CHANCE TO RAISE ONE CHARACTER TO LEVEL 90-
Of course, the level cap will be raised once again, reaching the vaunted reaches of level 100. If triple figures isn't exciting enough for you, Blizzard are also giving you the chance to lift any character to level 90 immediately, giving anyone the chance to dive right into the new content.
Although the boosting thing is not something I am entirely comfortable with, I think there can be no doubt that it will raise even more interest, and having even more people playing the game.
The level 100 talents, which are also being showcased, are almost completely individual talents. All of them have different effects depending on what spec you are in, and nearly all of them are passives. Will be interesting to see how they turn out.
Of course there will be the usual plethora of content to come out with the new expansion, with new raids and dungeons to be revealed along the way. Whatever happens though, you can guarantee you will find me there fighting it out for whatever awful storyline they throw the Alliance next...PLEASE GIVE THE ALLIANCE SOMETHING METZEN!
Until then, we can drool over the new character models, and get ridiculously excited for another breath of life into the game we love to hate, World Of Warcraft!