Although the aging king of MMOs has seen higher subscription totals, World of Warcraft isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. With big events planned for the game’s upcoming ten-year anniversary, Blizzard plans to bring back retired players and draw in some new ones with the upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion.
It’s been two years since Blizzard released the Mists of Pandaria expansion and saw the usual spike in subscribers that an expansion pack always brings along and the developer is looking to recreate that magic with Warlords of Draenor this fall. According to a livestream on Battle.net, Warlords of Draenor will be available on November 13, 2014. As is always the case with Blizzard, the announcement came along with a stunning cinematic trailer.
The trailer takes us back 35 years in time to a pivotal moment in Hellscream’s journey. Much like the Wrath of the Lich King cinematic, this one focuses heavily on lore before transitioning to the action. That said, we do get to see an epic Orc battle.
The street date was announced during this morning’s livestream hosted by Blizzard’s Mike Morhaime, Chris Metzen, Ion Hazzikostas and Brian Holinka. The expansion has already sold 1.5 million pre-orders to help make up for the 800,000 subscribers that left the game over the summer. The teaser footage of the gameplay gave fans a peek at the upcoming zones, mounts, dungeons, and enemies. Don’t expect to see a full-WoW makeover, but the footage does look very polished for a game that is building on ten-years of content.
The group of Blizzard reps took some time to talk quite a bit about what the expansion is bringing to the game. One of the most exciting new features will be the garrisons that players can build and manage. The group likened maintaining the garrisons to the original Warcraft RTS experience. The crowd also went crazy when the Blizz reps described the game’s new PvP opportunities. In particular, the ability to loot other players after slaying them had fans standing up and cheering.
Like the other recent WoW expansion packs, Warlords attempts to strike a balance between appealing to the original World of Warcraft community and potential new players. To help get new players up to speed on what they’ve missed during the last ten years in-game, Blizzard is offering a 90-level character boost to everyone who purchases the expansion pack. If you pre-order, you can actually cash in on that boost right now.
Before Blizzard revealed the cinematic intro for Warlords, Chris Metzen took the stage to introduce the first episode of the mini-series Lords of War. The animated mini-series offers an extra dose of lore for fans looking to learn even more about the history of Draenor. The preview is heavily focused on Kargath’s history and his battles in the arena.
Do you think Warlords of Draenor will help revitalize the WoW community or is the MMO too far past its prime?
Warlords of Draenor releases November 13, 2014 for PC.
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