Between the hour and a half long panel at BlizzCon 2013 and the massive FAQ on Blizzard’s site, there’s a lot of new information to read through about Blizzard’s next World of Warcraft expansion.
If you’re just looking for a quick overview, we’ve laid out some of the most important points right here. And if you have any additional questions, add them in the comments below and we’ll see if we can get answers during our interviews with Blizzard developers during the show.
1) Are there any new classes?
None were announced during the show, and Blizzard stated that “there are no new hero classes planned for this expansion.” While Blizzard was very clear to add the “hero” modifier to this statement, that at least limits the number of possibilities.
2) Is this the last expansion for Warcraft?
This is not the final expansion. The ending content of Warlords of Draenor will spill over into the next World of Warcraft expansion. The team has a lot a lot more content to share.
3) Where does the expansion take place?
You can see the map of the Orc’s homeworld, Dreanor, in the map above. The zones in this expansion have been rebuilt from scratch, since you’re traveling back in time to Warcraft’s roots.
In a future patch, you’ll be able to explore Netherstorm, but that area will not be available at the game’s launch.
4) What does the level-90 boost include?
You can choose one character per account to boost up to 90 once you get the expansion. They can be level one, and you don’t have decide which character to upgrade immediately. According to Blizzard, “New and returning players will have an opportunity to get up to speed on the game before diving into their faction’s starting zone content -- similar to the Death Knight starting experience in Wrath of the Lich King. And you don’t have to worry about starting from square one, Blizzard promises: “a level-appropriate set of gear (along with some other assistance)” that will be revealed later.
If you’re worried about players coming into 90 and having no idea how to play thier class (or maybe it’s been a while since the last time you played), Blizzard says the recent Proving Grounds features “help players learn how to tank, heal, and deal damage in dungeons in a solo ‘teaching’ environment, to help ease the learning curve and prepare players for battle as quickly, efficiently, and enjoyably as possible.”
5) What do I get for hitting the new level-100 cap?
Blizzard says, “At every level from 91 to 100, characters will earn a major permanent boost to one of their their key spells and abilities (e.g. a Fire Mage might earn a +50% damage boost to Pyroblast or +30% boost to Scorch). Players will also unlock a new talent tier once they’ve achieved level 100, rewarding each class with three potent new abilities to choose from.
6) What’s with the different look of the characters?
You can check out the revamped gnome model above, but Blizzard says, “We’re still in the process of determining which races will be available upon the expansion’s release, but our goal is to update all eight of the original World of Warcraft playable races, along with the Draenei and Blood Elves, over the course of the expansion launch and subsequent content updates.”
7) What is the the Garrison?
The Garrison is your own personal fortress where you can customize the layout, appearance, and gameplay effects. Same-faction friends in your party can visit your base to check it out and trade resources, and it’s a non-instanced area, so you’ll be able to see it in the distance as you fly around Draenor.
The biggest addition to the Garrison are followers: You’ll be able to collect followers, and “You can also allocate them to complete tasks -- things like crafting or gathering resources, which they’ll do whether you’re online or offline.
“The resources you’ll acquire during missions include both existing crafting reagents and Garrison-specific materials. For example, if you assign a follower to a mining mission, you could receive ore, but you might also unearth stone, a new kind of resource used to construct and upgrade buildings.”
If you want it relocate to a new location at some point, you’ll be able to move your Garrison, and there three tiers to level-up your structure. You can read even more in-depth information about the Garrison on Blizzard’s website.
8) What are the inventory changes about?
Similar to the collected mounts and pets in current WoW, you’ll soon have a separate menu dedicated to toys, heirlooms, and (possibly) Tabards, thus removing them from your inventory. All of these items will become account-wide rather than character-specific, and quest items will also not take up bag space! You’ll be able to use quest specific items from your quest tracker.
In addition, the expansion will introduce auto-sortable bags, in case you want to automatically fill a bag with only one specific type of item. Any items added to your inventory since the last time you opened up your bag will be highlighted in white, and there’ll be an icon to clearly indicate vendor trash. Stack sizes will increase for some items and you’ll have the ability to craft directly from your bank.
9) What’s new in Dungeons and Raids?
The game will add seven new dungeons at launch, with a mix of choices for leveling up as well as “new, unexplored Dungeons to delve into at max level,” including the return of Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS) as both a Heroic and Leveling dungeon
There’ll be two new raids released around launch, and flex scaling has been revamped. Blizzard introduced a new Mythic difficulty as well, which is even harder than heroic with a fixed 20-player size.
10) And what about PvP?
Draenor will introduce a world PvP Zone, which will operate more like a persistent sandbox than an instance with a clear beginning and end. Cross-realm technology will be used to balance out the pairing of Horde and Alliance factions, and UI improvements will introduce an objective tracker and capture stats. In addition, flags will fill with color as they’re captured to make your current progress even clearer.
New Battlground scores will give you a better idea of how you’re doing, and those scores will be based on doing damage, healing, capturing, and objectives. And at the end of Battlegrounds you may get lucky and win an item in advance such as, rather than waiting to trade in honor. Those items may include : bonus armor, bind-on-equip gear, or consumables
11) More WoW is nice, but what about Blizzard’s other MMO, Titan?
Blizzard’s super secret project will remain under wraps for this show. After going through an internal revamp, there’s nothing new to announce at this time.