22:00: Closed beta to start in the weeks after BlizzCon! I wonder how many weeks after…
21:59: Raging affix all enemies enrage at 30% health and deal 100% increased damage until slain – extra enemies – corpses explode on death – periodic damage at all times were all different affixes to make the challenge mode harder. It can be used as an alternative or replacement method of raiding to get your gear if you’re good enough!
21:55: Dungeons as Endgame. Blizzard want dungeons to be relevant throughout the expansion and are now merging mythic dungeons, challenge modes and all the testing done in WoD to make the Challenger’s Keystone. It points to a random Legion dungeon, power level determines difficulty and reward, may have additional modifiers, beat the timer and upgrade the keystone, but if you fail your stone gets depleted – but you still get loot depending on what you have done. So it sounds like the dungeon will scale UP with your gear, further enhancing that levelling experience of levelling whatever way you like.
21:54: Black Rook Hold is a ghostly fortress where we will confront Lord Ravencrest and demons that have infested the zone. No mention of the Eye of Azshara levelup dungeon though?
21:52: Helheim is the Grimrail Depot of the expansion, where most of the dungeon is on a ship sailing to Helheim. This is the story for the Kvaldir explained much further here and is the “hell” version of Viking lore, in the sense of the Vrykul in WoW.
21:51: Halls of Valor is another levelup dungeon inspired by Valhalla with such a beautiful aesthetic – not only because I’m currently watching the Vikings TV series. We’re racing to get Odyn’s approval to attain a Pillar of Creation.
21:49: Darkheart Thicket is a dungeon teased with a trailer of what the zone looks like, filled with the corruption of the Druid’s zone. I do love the black and red aesthetic of the Nightmare, have to admit it wasn’t what I was expecting for it.
21:47: 5 max level dungeons await us at 110 – Vault of the Wardens, Black Rook Hold, Helheim and two dungeons within Suramar outside of the raid: the Noble District and the Catacombs. These two dungeons act as “attunement” for the Suramar Palace raid.
21:46: Now onto 5man content – we’ve got 5 levelup dungeons: Eye of Azshara, Nelthation’s Lair, Halls of Valor, Darkheart Thicket and Violet Hold (didn’t we do that one before? Dammit Dalaran get your prison shit together, I’m sure there are plenty of pro’s at Prison Architect who can help!).
21:44: The second raid zone, Suramar Palace is Gul’dan’s base of operations, but is by far not the main Legion presence within the expansion. It’s not going to be Blackrock Foundry 2.0 hopefully. But I do love how as soon as we discover a new race, hidden by tens of thousands of years… And we commit genocide on them.
21:43: As we already know Xavius is the final encounter in the raid, and we got teased with a very red raid with interesting mirrors to the main world within.
21:42: What?! Cenarius is a boss that we have to defeat in this raid?!
21:40: He really doesn’t know how to slow down his speaking, does he? Emerald Nightmare is a 7 boss raid, accessed through Val’sharah and it’s based on the Emerald Dream fallen into shadow where we get to climb the Great Tree Shaladrassil and enter the Nightmare itself. Something that’s more prevalent than trolls within WoW are dragons, and it seems that Blizzard missed having that opportunity, so they made the first boss in the Emerald Nightmare a dragon.
21:37: Gnomebliteration and rolling down the great wall in Mists were cited as similar minigames that are going to be reintroduced for Legion’s endgame, among missions, world bosses, profession objectives, etc. Emissaries will be present at your order hall, and you can pick which areas you want to go to for your dailies. In addition, the dailies will stack up if you don’t log in for a few days, but they will disappear over time!
21:35: Objectives will now appear on the map with a very similar objective scheme that Diablo has (UI-wise) for its adventure mode and bounties. There were 5 points on the map where you had to go to and you get rewards such as artifact weapon power – I guess there could be some kind of meta reward for completing them all? I guess not, as we would feel compelled to complete all of them in that case.
21:32: A new endgame is being tested once again for Legion, combining Warlords and Mists endgame outdoor content. Free-form gameplay with a sense of purpose is prevalent, to make it structured yet without feeling compelled to do the dailies, as well as making use of the entire world – instead of subzones like the Hozen Plateau in Valley of the Four Winds or The Pit in Gorgrond.
21:30: An interesting concept is that even if people are ahead of you in level, you can still level together at the same challenge in a zone – I wonder if that breaks at 110, he mentioned there are still non-scaling foes for max level only people, but does the entire continent become level 110 once you do? A level 102 was cited to be able to kill a boar at the same speed as a level 106 in the same zone.
21:27: Here is where I can’t type as quickly as someone can generally make a point. Hazzikostas takes the stage and announces that the Broken Isles has a dynamic levelling experience where you can choose what zones you want to level through first – with only Suramar as level 110 content. The stories probably don’t logically move into each next zone as what worked so well in Mists, but each zone has their own story that’s secluded within their own zone entirely.
21:24: Suramar is still a WIP, showing that perhaps the expansion isn’t as far along as initially thought with the early cinematic reveal. But what we do see is pretty gorgeous and is definitely not like anything we have seen in the other zones. That’s one of the main gripes I have with WoW in general is how each zone can be vastly different, when all that changes between them is a small mountain range or whatever. Thal’dranath is a zone for later content, similar to Tanaan Jungle (and hopefully not Farahlon, Platner seemed quick to move on from there…).
21:19: Suramar was protected by impressive magics to protect the city with an arcane well, similar to the Well of Eternity called the Nightwell. The elves within the city evolved into the Nightborne, thanks to the city being plunged into eternal darkness. I guess that kinda explains the retcon of how an elven society managed to survive for so long underwater before Gul’dan raised the Lost Isles in Warcraft II. Maybe? I’m still not buying it. Nightfallen were also teased, a version of the Wretched that we see over in Eversong for these Nightborne Elves – That’s what they become when they don’t have access to their Nightwell.
21:17: Swiss mountains and Yosemite were the influences for Highmountain’s zone feel, looking for pine forests and big mountains to be the theme of the zone. If there’s any zone we want flying for, I guess it’s this one!
21:15: Alpine harpies, moose (babby moose too! Incoming companion of that model for sure). Once again the female Highmountain Tauren don’t look too different from standard female Tauren. Why don’t they get moose antlers either?
21:13: Highmountain is one of the highest peaks in Azeroth – so I guess it’s taller than Hyjal or Mount Neverest. It’s the home of three ancient Tauren clans of the Highmountain tauren. Until recently they were all at peace until the cave-trolls Drogbar stole from them. The Drogbar are explained to be Neltharion’s allies from waaaaaayy back in the day, so it’ll be interesting if there’s any Old God connection with them.
21:10: Azsuna is based on the Greek Isles it would seem, and it looks like they’ve enjoyed building the ancient night elven architecture based around a concept piece. Ingame, it looks like the hit the nail on the head.
21:08: The Vault of the Wardens is apparently within Azsuna! Alongside manshees (male banshees or Spectres), dragons and naga (with new models too!) it looks like a very diverse zone with an interesting story arc. There’s a Wrath of Azshara model that looks like what happened to Neptulon, but I guess that’s a reused skeleton rather than some story plot.
21:05: I’m guessing that this back and forth between Morris explaining what we’ll be seeing as landmarks and places to visit, and Platner going through the models, concepts and small teasers – this time we’re back to Morris looking at Azsuna. Platner interrupts the presentation with explaining the new tech for rendering distant scenes and how the screenshot of the zone is in fact a screenshot, and not built outside of the game!
21:03: Platner is up again with the art of Stormheim itself, showing a clip of the bold mountain peaks and viking architecture we will be able to see in the zone.
21:01: Back to Morris again with introducing Stormheim as one of the first areas that we’ll see after the joint scenario, and we get to compete against the Vrykul God King in the Halls of Valor. We get to find out about the origins of Kvaldir and Valkyr. Not much added to what we knew from last year, outside of some ingame models and concept art. Although it’s an interesting thing to see the God King with his fel touched arm/horns!
20:58: Gary Platner takes the helm With a sneak peak of Val’sharah itself now, we get to see how the conflict between the Druidic architecture meets with the nightmare, and it looks pretty horrific (in a good way)! Corrupted Ancients too patrol the nightmare infected areas.
20:57: … And aquatic form updates. I guess that’s a woo, too! Even if we barely see it these days anyways!
20:54: Shaladrassil and Black Rook Hold are key sights to see, among creatures such as Arch Druid treants, satyrs under Xavius’s rule and Nightmare Dragons. OH! New Moonkin models!
20:52: Julian Morris heads up the next section of discussing what we’re doing on the Lost Isles after we’ve been defeated at the Tomb of Sargeras. Val’sharah is the Druidic focus of the expansion, where we will see the Emerald Nightmare begin to spread from where it was supposedly contained in the Stormrage novel.
20:50: After the intro, we have to integrate with our factions, before returning to Mardum to build our class hall (garrisons 2.0, hopefully they’ve learned from their mistakes) and creating our artifact glaives.
20:48: In the starting experience, to catch up 100 levels worth of abilities and fit them within the lore we get to steal the demons’ abilities including an eye beam and metamorphosis. Maiev captures us midway through the DH intro and keeps us within the Vault of the Wardens, presumably after Illidan has been defeated.
20:45: New demons and constructs are demonstrated, including some new versions of the Sayaad (succubi), a miniature floaty Gorefiend/fleshy Therazane and big robots among many others are seen.
20:42: Discussion of Demon Hunters themselves from Eric Maloof here, discussing what the introductory experience for Demon Hunters will be like. Illidan looks down the Black Temple back when we were raiding it, and sends Demon Hunters to Mardum – a prison world that was shattered by Sargeras. A keystone was safeguarded here, and Illidan has sent his Demon Hunters off to retrieve this keystone. With a small trailer to expect what we will see from Mardum, it looks like Tanaan on steroids.
20:35: Afrasiabi heads up the start of the presentation with an introduction of the Legion expansion. A ground zero Legion invasion in a 40 person scenario (20 Alliance and 20 Horde) with a story catch-up and kick-off for the expansion, which results in a world changed by our heroics. It sounds like the Tanaan experience with having the small army instanced off from the rest, to give you the feeling that you’re part of an elite pack of heroes instead of a swarm, especially at the start of the expansion.
20:33: A small hiccup with the EU side of battle.net, hearing the StarCraft panel instead of the Warcraft one, I’ve now switched to the US side and everything seems to be okay! Here we start with the introduction of the Broken Isles and Legion.
20:30: The World and Content Overview is about to begin. In the next 90 minutes we will be taken on an epic tour of the new content we’ll be exploring in the expansion, including the zones of the Broken Isles, new dungeons and raids, and how the story unfolds. We’ll also get a sneak peek at upcoming features. On the panel stage, we will be missing the panel for the future of StarCraft II, and covering it at a later time.