Well, the beta is finally shut down after almost exactly 5 months of testing (including the alpha). I first got in on June 17th, and at the time the alpha was still limited to Horde characters in the Frostfire Ridge zone only (up to level 92). This was a couple of weeks after the alpha opened up and someone may have noticed my shameless whining about not being in the alpha and helped me get in. Thanks, you-know-who-you-are. 😉
In the past I had participated in the Wrath, Cataclysm, and Mists betas but never to the same degree as I did in Warlords. Typically I’d check out class changes, maybe tame a new hunter pet or two, and that was that. I wasn’t really involved in the community back then, nor had a blog, so that probably explained my lack of interest. This time I felt compelled to get some info out to you guys. I hope I helped. I certainly tried to put a lot of effort into beta coverage here.
The end of beta event was pretty fun. It basically involved game masters spawning all sorts of things to kill us repeatedly outside of Stormwind and Ogrimmar — bosses, elites, rares, iron stars, and even hordes of gastropods. I stopped by the PvP server briefly to check out what was happening in Ashran. I couldn’t get into Ashran itself (it was full), but I got a few nice shots from the outskirts. Below you can check out a gallery of the event.
End of Beta Event Gallery
Here’s what I’m thinking will happen at BlizzCon 2014:
- If they don’t outright announce a new WoW expansion, they’ll give us some kind of teaser. The rumors are that Warlords will only have 2 raid tiers, so in that case an early announcement might make sense. I originally thought it would be silly to announce before the next one is even out, but if they stay true to their word about shorter expansions it got me thinking that they might do something unexpected.
- I’m not 100% convinced it’s Eye of Azshara specifically, though it’s hard not to get excited while reading this (until you realize the internet is full of trolls). It’s awfully specific though.
- They’ll talk about patches 6.1 and 6.2. Class panel may talk about some more balancing stuff going live for Warlords.
- They’ll announce an HD remake of WarCraft 3 (or maybe the whole trilogy). Same game, but with updated graphics, UI, and modern battle.net integration. Maybe it will even use the Heroes/StarCraft engine if they’ve found an economical way to import the Warcraft campaign into it.
- StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void reveal (not a big surprise) with new trailer
- New Hearthstone expansion
- Heroes of the Storm release date
- There will be an entirely new game announced, but it won’t be a big budget game. It will be more along the lines of Hearthstone.
- No full-fledged trailer for the WarCraft movie. MAYBE a teaser, but since it’s a 2016 movie I am not hopeful of seeing anything substantial. Probably lots of concept art, maybe some set photos or behind-the-scenes footage. Maybe a few props on display in the convention.
The plan is to still have a Hunting Party Podcast this Sunday after BlizzCon, but we’re not sure how many hosts will be there. Darkbrew and myself are likely candidates, but beyond that we’ll have to see since everyone else is at BlizzCon. It may be too early for them after a night of partying!
Warlords Strategy Guide
I can finally publicly announce that I’m the author for the Hunter class section of the official Warlords of Draenor strategy guide. I was approached a while ago and have been working on it in secret ever since 🙂 The hunter support classes were written by other class bloggers (many of them from WoW Insider also).
I’ve seen a preview of it and it turned out quite nice. I’m supposed to have a couple of free copies in the mail. When/if those show up, I’ll probably give them away here on the site.
It’s definitely exciting to see my writing in print for the first time ever. I even got to take some of the screenshots. 🙂