Game over, man! Game over! Blizzcon’s come and gone, and it’ll be another year till we’re treated again. No reason to feel down though, as much like Santa disappearing up the chimney on Christmas night, we’ve been left goodies!
First up we got an utterly schwing-worthy trailer for the long-rumored expansion, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Granted, it’s got Blizzard designer/author/artist, Chris Metzen doing a dodgy “in-a-world” impression, but the visuals more than make up for any lack of vocal gravitas, also, it’s just plain cool to see how different all the once familiar areas look after the re-sundering of Azeroth. In addition, the trailer does a pretty good job of listing all the major changes and additions we can expect, thank you BIG YELLOW TEXT!
- New Horde Race: Goblins (kind of like Gnomes, but less hairy)
- New Alliance Race: Worgen (kind of like Wolfen, but not)
- Flying Mounts in Azeroth (their emphasis, not mine)
- New Race/Class Combinations
- New Monsters (Grrr! Argh!)
- New Dungeons and Raids
- Azeroth Reforged: Classic Zones Forever Changed By The Cataclysm
- Level Cap Raised to 85 (still feel it should have been 90)
- Hundreds of New Quests (Dr.Evil-pinkie.jpg)
- New Secondary Skill, Archaeology
- Herioic Classic Instances: Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep (for the masochists out there)
- New Battlegrounds With Rated Team Play (’bout time!)
- Guild Leveling System and Achievements
- New Character Progression: Path of Titans
You just know that like the Night Elves and Blood Elves before them, everyone’s going to be rolling a Worgen alt ‘cus they look so darn cool.
Once again the guys at Kotaku have done an excellent job with their Blizzcon coverage, there’s this nifty picture piece that shows off dozens of hand painted StarCraft II space marines custom designed by Blizzard employees, have a look. It’s hard to pick a favorite but if push came to shove I suppose I’d have to settle on the Hello Kitty space marine.
Now, if you couldn’t make it to Blizzcon yourself (LOL, you have a job and responsibilities!) you can drool over the swag bag here, and if you really do have a job and can’t quite figure out what to do with all the mint green paper you get at the end of every month, you can throw some of it at a stranger and actually buy a swag bag on Ebay… for $500!?!
And because no WoW round up is complete without mentioning her at least once, here’s a neat interview WoW.com did with the First Lady of Warcraft, Felicia Day. On Season 3 of The Guild:
WoW.com: Can’t wait to see it. 12 episodes per season, and it’s still in the same format — how has the length changed since you guys started?
Felicia Day: Season one was 47 minutes, that was when we were doing it on Paypal donations. 3-6 [per episode], I think six was the longest. And then for season two we definitely increased that, I think there’s an eight minute episode, and we had 12 episodes, so that ends up being 77 minutes. It’s a lot more content than we were making, we were able to have a budget, so at least a lot more content. And then this season I know is going to be probably feature-length. I would say at least eighty-something minutes.
On the topic of Warcraft related fan made videos, have a gander at the newest winner of Blizzard’s annual WoW movie contest, this little piece is titled “Don’t Make Me Get My Main“, it’s short but sweet.
Switching gears, let’s have a look at what’s going on in the world of Atreia, and focus for a bit on Aion: Tower of Eternity. NCsoft Content Writer, David Noonan sat down with the guys at MMORPG.com for a fascinating interview that gives you a little bit of an idea of the kind of hard work, care, and attention to detail that’s gone into making sure Aion’s lore strikes a chord with western audiences, definitely worth a look.
Player attention is a precious currency, so we resolved early on to make every word you read count. If you play an Asmodian character, you don’t click the “Accept” button or “OK” button when you’re talking to Morheim’s brigade general. Depending on the situation, that button says something like “Blood for blood!” or “The task is mine.”
“Blood for blood!” is the Asmodian version of a military hoo-ah; it can mean almost anything in context. But its overt meaning reinforces two core Asmodian principles: an eye-for-an-eye attitude toward perceived wrongs, and the notion that all Asmodians are one big clan—all of the same blood. And “the task is mine” reinforces how seriously Asmodians take their duties. They don’t just undertake a task…they own it.
It’s just a little thing, sure, but those buttons subtly reinforce the Asmodian mindset. And it sure beats “OK.”
Then there’s this really informative ten minute video NCsoft released (on the amusingly named “Twitvid”) during Gamescom, it’s not exactly detailed, but it’s nice to get the information directly from Aion Lead Designer, Yongchan Jee (amazing mullet). Jee talks about his reasons for going with Aion’s unique PvPvE combat system, and you have to wonder what they’ve got up their sleeves regarding mounts given that by Jee’s own admission, the traditional use for mounts i.e. transportation, doesn’t apply to Aion.
You could say Gamescom was good to Aion, however, Aion was not quite as good to Gamescom in return, well not always. While it’s true we got a ton of great new info and the interview shown above, they also saw fit to unleash this pretty terrible piece of Aion inspired Live Theater. I must apologise for linking to it, you can watch it at Youtube if you really must – I wouldn’t sit through that again for all the Kinah in Atreia.
Ahem, so… the three best mounts ever?
Artax: Atreyu’s horse in the Neverending story just beat out Shadowfax. I mean don’t get me wrong I’d love to wride Shadowfax, but no amount of wow gold could purchase a steed that by its own choice only allows Kings and Princes of Rohan on its back. Plus, Shadowfax doesn’t tolerate a saddle… ouch?
Estimated Cost: 20,000 wow gold
Panthor: What, you thought I was going to say Battle Cat didn’t you? Psh! In case you’ve forgotten half the time Battle Cat turns into Cringer, good luck winning a fight with him backing you up!
Estimated Cost: 25,000 wow gold
Vermithrax Pejorative: The amount of joy sheer joy derived from being able to strike cold fear into the hearts of the peasants below really cannot be overstated.
Estimated Cost: 50,ooo wow gold
Right, I’ve definitely babbled enough for today, now if you’ll excuse me I must get off here and go raid the office fridge for some Jammie Dodgers to munch on while I finish Mass Effect. What? We have snacks here at EpicToon okay!
Keyboard Cataclysm? Oh Blizzard! (Just click the barely visible keyboard seen underneath the art gallery)
8-bit Trip, or what you end up doing with your time if you can’t make it to Blizzcon.
-by Chris Coker