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Blizzard's Next WoW Expansion Looks to the Past

By now you've heard the news of a new World of Warcraft expansion, announced here at Blizzcon. Judging by comments made at a WoW panel, this expansion is going to be a lot tougher on players than the previous one and its Kung Fu Pandas.

For "World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor," Blizzard took Grommash Hellscream, the Orc leader from the old "Warcraft" games, and asked what would happen if he could go back in time and make one change.

The result will be the Iron Horde, which is trying to open a portal into the current world of Azeroth and go after Horde and Alliance alike. "This is exactly the kind of thought that gets our franchise back home," said Dave Kosak, lead narrative designer for WoW during the panel.

He described Draenor, the world inhabited by the Iron Horde, as "a savage world that gives us a great place to have heroic adventures." In addition to taking on Grommash and his Iron Horde, you will also see old cities now in ruins, like the Alliance home world.

WoW is in need of a shot in the arm. "Mists of Pandaria" stiffed with consumers and the game has plunged from 10 million subscribers a year ago to 7.6 million. The game is approaching its tenth year and people are getting bored. But there was palpable excitement among players and a resoluteness on the part of the Blizzard staff to say ok, we get it, no more Kung Fu Panda, no more easy button. You want a fight? You'll get a fight.

  • Martell1977
    I still don't understand why Blizzard wont make Ogres a playable race. They were the strongest unit in Warcraft 2 on the Horde side. Instead they make lame races like blood elves and pandas...

    I quit WoW a few months before Cataclysm launched and have never regretted it. It's not a bad game but they catered to casual players too much and sacrificed game-play to add subscriptions. Thanks to WoW, I have completely written off the MMO genre.

    The best part of the game for me was the story and IMO, Blizzard (more than likely under Kotick's supervision) actively ruined that.
    Reply
  • opmopadop
    What I wouldn't give for a WoW hard mode server, no targeting using the 'TAB' key, have to find flight points like the old days, loose experience when you die, text/names above enemies disabled, no auction house. Just one server with toons that WANT to play the game properly, please!
    Reply
  • Gaidax
    Tell them only that the Lich King is dead... and that World of Warcraft has died with him!
    Reply
  • Pherule
    Ogres?

    1st head: So angry!
    2nd head: So hungry!
    Reply
  • Zeh
    WoW became boring after the two main heroes/antagonists from Warcraft 3 died - Illidan and Lich King.
    Bringing back content from WC2 won't save the MMO, neither will what they're trying to do here.
    A Warcraft 4 is long overdue, imo, if only for the sake of story.
    Reply
  • Nilo BP
    So help me, they say the expansion is going to be "tough" but the first thing I hear is that everyone gets a free level 90? I made up my mind long ago, WoW is out of the question until leveling stops being a joke.

    Warcraft needs a break. Fast forward 20 or 30 or even more years in the fictional universe, make some real changes, get out a new strategy game, cultivate some characters of Arthas's caliber instead of these nondescript one-dimensional guys. Right now, the way they're treating the franchise both story- and gameplay-wise feels like unashamed milking.
    Reply
  • electrontau
    Any other MMO would LOVE to have 7.6 million players. Let's hope Elder Scrolls Online will survive long enough.
    Reply
  • crenelle
    The graphics look as simply rendered as they have been for years. Panderia was a marginal improvement, but this new planet looks like they're keeping the rendering at the same level as things were several years ago. And from the trailer, there's no clue that there's an interesting story line, much like the weird, largely lame new leveling island Blizz introduced a few weeks ago of the coast of Panderia.
    Reply
  • MasterMace
    People will not come back for this crap. The game is finished, the question is when will it end. Fanboys always cite the X million subscriptions, instead of the massive loss after loss of subscriptions.
    Reply
  • none12345
    It wont end anytime soon. There are mmorpgs a decade older then wow that are still alive and well today. So, id say its likely to be around at least 10 more years.

    Ultima Online is still going, Everquest just had its 20th expansion, or we can go older....The Realm is still going and that was from the mid 90s.
    Reply