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BlizzCon 2013: Warlords of Draenor detailed, Heroes of the Storm beta sign ups live

Friday, 8th November 2013 19:11 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

BlizzCon 2013 kicked off today with Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime providing the opening keynote . During the course of the opening, Warlords of Draenor was announced as the latest expansion for World of Warcraft, and beta sign-ups went live for the firm’s Heroes of the Storm MOBA.

Titan, WoW won’t go full on F2P

During his opening remarks, Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime reiterated that Project Titan was put on hold for the time being, stating as he did earlier this year that the game wasn’t “up to the Blizzard quality in a reasonable time frame,” and that during the revamp, the team has “come up with something really great.”

He also reiterated that the firm’s signature MMO, World of Warcraft, would not be going 100% free-to-play any time soon.

“We’ve always taken the business model on a case by case basis,” he said. “In the case of World of Warcraft, the first 20 levels are free. It wasn’t designed as a free-to-play game. I don’t see that type of transition happening in World of Warcraft, although we are always looking for new ways to make the game more accessible.”

Warlords of Draenor announced as latest WoW expansion

Chris Metzen, SVP of story and franchise development came on stage to introduce the next chapter in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.

According to Metzen, the conflict coming will be the Alliance’s “finest hour,” mixing in all the history, and context of the game, by confronting the “ghosts of the past.”

“We have been thinking a lot about Warcraft, what makes it distinct, what makes it tick and about the early days,” he said (thanks CVG). “Many of you were with us during the events of Orcs and Humans, Tides of Darkness and Beyond the Dark Portal. The events of those came predicated what’s happening in the modern era of WoW

“There’s a huge amount of players that never lived those events, met those characters or had those adventures. As we’re thinking about where to go. Some of the baddest dudes ever in the Warcraft franchise almost had their way and conquered the entirety of the Eastern Kingdoms. If they had history would have taken a turn.

“What if those dark days could come again, what if those vicious villains could threaten our homes again. The conflict coming will be the Alliance’s finest hour. Horde, you’ve had to live with the consequences of Thrall’s disappointments, with Garosh’s reign of terror, but in the face of all that you have a chance at a new start, to redefine yourselves in this brave new world.

“But as is often true, to forge a brighter future, sometimes you must confront the ghosts of the past.”

The expansion includes the new Draenor zone, the level cap will be raised to 100, includes new dungeons and raids, hundreds of new quests, the ability to build and upgrade garrisons, and new character models will be introduced.

Players will also have the option to instantly upgrade one of their toons to level 90 so as to jump in and start playing in the new zones right away.

A session devoted to the expansion will be streamed at 3.30pm EST and if you have a virtual ticket you can watch it at home.

Two videos showing the creation of Draenor and a look at factions have been posted here, along with a set of artwork and screenshots.

Heroes of the Storm beta sign ups go live

During the opening ceremony after Morhaime left the stage, Heroes of the Storm, a “homage” to the player mods created like Defense of the Ancients, was discussed by Dustin Browder, vice president of both StarCraft 2 and the new MOBA.

“Heroes of the Storm is Blizzard the game,” said Browder. “A combination of all of our heroes and villains in one big battle to the death,” the company said during the opening ceremony. “It’s not just enough for us to pay homage to what our fans have created.

“We have to change the genre, Battlegrounds change the way people play.”

A cinematic trailer for Heroes of the Storm was shown before a clip of the Alpha version of the game. Both are posted below.

During the clip, Arthas, Kerrigan, Diablo, were all shown as playable. There were various characters and enemies from Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo, franchises, and the game has a very “WoW’ look to it.

The game is playable today at show and beta sign-ups are now live.

Hearthstone open beta starts in December, iOS and Android versions coming

Rob Pardo, the firm’s CCO, came on stage to discuss Hearthstone, the developer’s strategy card battle game. The game will go into open-beta next month and the tablet version is playable at the show and attendees get a special Hearthstone card – the Elite Tauren Chieftain.

iPhone and Android versions of Hearthstone are in development for and slated for release during the second half of 2014.

For those interested in the Warcraft movie, director Duncan Jones will be making a presentation tomorrow along with Blizzard’s Chris Metzen. The special effects director, Bill Westenhofer who worked on Life of Pi, will be at the panel as well. He’s been playing WoW since the start and has a level 90 character.

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24 Comments

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  1. Erthazus

    Jesus is coming.

    Go Blizzard.

    #1 9 months ago
  2. DSB

    I don’t think it ever occured to me just how many badass characters Blizzard had lined up for this. That video kinda brings it home, no?

    I just hope they can match them up with some worthwhile gameplay.

    I want to be Deckard Cain, and just like bore people to death with my inane chatter. Special power “Long, painful speech”.

    I want to get into MOBAs, and LoL is quite good… DOTA 2 makes me feel like I’m 5 years old and I have to learn how to play videogames again. I am literally the worlds biggest bitch in DOTA 2.

    Hopefully Blizzard can kinda Blizzardize the genre and make it easy to learn and hard to master. LoL style.

    #2 9 months ago
  3. GK

    watch it where?

    #3 9 months ago
  4. Hcw87

    Expansion looks awesome, going to play that for sure. Shame everyone i used to play with stopped playing though, and the server i played on is pretty much a graveyard by now.

    #4 9 months ago
  5. Darkfield

    MAN I’M PUMPED! Warlord’s of Draenor looks epic. I’m gonna kill me a shitload of ORCS!

    #5 9 months ago
  6. Dark

    looks good.

    #6 9 months ago
  7. DarkElfa

    The shark still looks fake.

    #7 9 months ago
  8. Sylrissa

    I’ll admit it looks good, and this is the kind of expansion I wanted to see for wow after Wrath, I might not of left if they did back then.

    Did they finally wake up after the sub numbers starting taking a nose dive?.

    #8 9 months ago
  9. Erthazus

    MOBA looks great.

    Expansion set is not. Technically Outland is DRAENOR… Destroyed one from Warcraft I and II.

    I think this is recycling. WoW days are totally over.

    #9 9 months ago
  10. Hcw87

    How is it recycling when it tells the story from BEFORE vanilla. 90% of the player base knows nothing of the pre-vanilla times, so this is great.

    I wonder what will happen with the 60-70 Outland though.

    #10 9 months ago
  11. Erthazus

    90%? Where are the statistics of 90%?

    I know a lot of people who played Warcraft II. The storyline was great. Warcraft I storyline was simple as F.

    It is recycling and the cheapest way to tell the story. I think Blizzard just don’t know where to go next with Warcraft. They stuck with it’s plot and recycling things for no reason.

    But okay with the story. F. it. What about new classes or Races? NONE. You get revamped models Only, your FARM and +10 levels. Great, lol.

    Raids/Dungeons included. Yaay… Not.

    #11 9 months ago
  12. Hcw87

    Well i think there will be more expansions following more shortly after this one.

    From MMOChamp: ”The end of this expansion is going to spill over into the next one. Many more expansions are lined up now.”

    Maybe they’ll roll out an expansion yearly, or even every half a year, to keep the content coming.

    But yes, it’s weird there is no new races/classes (yet).

    #12 9 months ago
  13. DSB

    Kinda reminds me of going to Outland for the first time.

    They did an awesome job of those worlds. Running around Hellfire Peninsula was like stepping into a Dali painting compared to vanilla WoW. Mind: Blown.

    I wish they’d been able to up the ante like that with the following expansions.

    #13 9 months ago
  14. Hcw87

    @13
    Hellfire Peninsula had an awesome soundtrack aswell

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8gkiaytcB0

    #14 9 months ago
  15. DSB

    @14 Yeah, the last hurrah of Matt Uelmen.

    #15 9 months ago
  16. Stephany Nunneley

    @ All – just FYI: I am downloading Diablo 3 stuff now. Of all the days for one’s Internet connection to act like a 2yo throwing a fit in the middle of a store – it had to be today.

    IOW: please stand by! thanks! ;)

    #16 9 months ago
  17. Darkfield

    @Erth I think what Hcw87 meant was that most of us have no immersion of that era, we read about it sure but we haven’t experienced it. I think this is bloody great.

    #17 9 months ago
  18. Erthazus

    @17, Okay. But I just don’t see how Blizzard will deliver the atmosphere of WCI and II days. So far it looks like just “another expansion set”.

    I’m not feeling it really although trailer was very atmospheric.

    Anyway, Blizzard Moba. Now that is a great announcement. I want to be Jim Raynor and kick Diablo’s ass so hard with my gigantic gun ;)

    #18 9 months ago
  19. DarkElfa

    WoW peaked with Lich King.

    #19 9 months ago
  20. Hcw87

    Build your own base on Draenor, WoW version of Housing.

    Your friends can come and see it, trade resources.

    Collect followers and send them on missions. Name them!

    Customize your base. Pick the zone and buildings

    Offline progression (days to weeks)

    Integrated into the world, no loading screens.

    Allows you to get epic gear, your own land, limited access to professions you don’t have.

    You can build a mine in your base and go and mine, or send followers to go mine for you.

    Your garrison can be expanded over three tiers. Each expansion gives you more plots of land.

    You can move your garrison later.

    Collect trophies and build monuments. Access them by completing achievements. Mount a rare spawn’s head in your Town Hall.

    Buildings have unique bonuses, such as reducing the recovery time for your followers after a mission or a free resurrection in the world once a day. These can be upgraded and customized with specializations after three tiers of upgrades. This is like talents for your building.

    The Inn lets you find new followers every day. It comes with a kitchen that has a cooking NPC. The specializations let you pick Tank, DPS, or Healer followers.

    There are three tiers of art for every building, inside and outside change with each upgrade.

    Alliance and Horde get unique art for buildings.

    Many ways to collect followers, bribe or recruit them.

    Followers level up by doing missions. Even after the level cap, followers can increase their item level.

    Followers have quality or rarity and can be customized and named.

    Send them on Raids, Dungeons, and Quests. Matching up followers and their traits with missions is almost a minigame.

    There are also specialized missions, which are unlocked by owning certain buildings. These have bonuses that are unique.

    #20 9 months ago
  21. Erthazus

    ^

    With the WoW engine this is going to look pathetic. In theory it must look amazing. That’s why Everquest Next………………

    #21 9 months ago
  22. DarkElfa

    @21, BAM, you said it.

    #22 9 months ago
  23. debug

    Jim Raynor against Diablo, a bit ridiculous :p And nova was in the “good” side, eheh. The trailer looked amazing, the graphics are what they are, cartoon looking. Not my style but ¯\(ツ)/¯

    #23 9 months ago
  24. viralshag

    Wait… Boost to 90 and play immediately? That’s probably the one thing that catches my eye the most.

    #24 9 months ago