Saturday, 5 April 2014

Take Me To the River

Do you see what I see? SPOILERS!

The dust is settling. The Data Miners have stripped out the Alpha Client, and us as players have a metric crapton of new information to digest, often with absolutely no context to accompany it. There are those of us who, like WoW Insider's Anne Stickney, can see a particular item and immediately know it is important:

Yeah, Anne, that's a Spoiler.

As it transpires, I didn't know the significance of this item. More importantly for those wanting to avoid the S-Word, someone had 'spoilt' me on Twitter in under a minute. As it happens, it is cool because this is part of the Velen questline we opened our account and this website with. Needless to say, with the floodgates open there's potential for Spoilers to just leap out at you at a moment's notice. That's why Dawson is here too, because this little nugget pops up in the Scenarios section, unmarked:


STONARD? There's a Scenario in STONARD?

This is significant...?

Anyone who knows their geography will know that the Swamp of Sorrows is how the Alliance (before Marshtide Watch, the Goblins and the Draenei came along in Cataclysm) got to Nethergarde Keep IN THE BLASTED LANDS. Stonard was, for a long time, the only flightpath too, for the Horde. The rest of us had to run through Deadwind Pass. Did you notice I mentioned THE BLASTED LANDS there? Yeah, you know, the place with the Dark Portal in it.

I reckon Dawson't Creek won't be its final name come the pre-Expansion launch Event, but I will quietly put a pile of coins that Stonard's going to play a part in how Garrosh gets there. On that front, there's other Scenarios that are Azeroth based:

The Krawl, eh?

Now, this could be any number of things. Maybe there is a Class Quest being developed as was the case with the Warlock one that used the Black Temple. Maybe the Quillboar have a link with Draenor themselves and we'll be going back to grab some item of significance (Agamaggan did have a significant part to play with the Burning Legion, after all and the liberation of Azeroth.) I'd like to think however that this too might have a significance in the pre-Expansion event: this is one of the few places on Kalimdor with a Scourge presence, after all. However, as my good Twitter friend @unlimitedBlack pointed out, there's also data for a Blackfathom Deeps Scenario in the data files, with a descriptive title that suggests it is very similar in tone to the existing 5-man. Could it be possible therefore that Blizzard is considering developing 3 Man Scenarios for some of the more problematic low level 5 mans, or even to do L100 versions of these for Draenor?

Needless to say, I am sure there are plenty of other Spoilers out there to be found. When I do, you'll hear them here first :D

Friday, 21 February 2014

Die Another Day

Ner'zhul uses an evil force, the Void Terror.

At the end of the zone, you fight Ner'zhul and he manages to corrupt a Naaru into a "Dark Naaru". To purify the Naaru, Velen sacrifices himself and dies. This is a pretty huge plot twist and his death will be part of a cinematic at the end of the quest. It is followed by a giant battle. You join Maraad (freed from Ner'zhul earlier) to fight the Iron Horde.

And with that, the die was cast.

This LEGITIMATE Warlords spoiler, which has flown around the Internets like Superman after a Vindaloo, is the first indicator of what we (as Alliance players) are going to experience once we hit what used to be Shadowmoon Valley... no, hang on, that's the past that's not happened and that's NOT current Valen but PAST Valen... right? Is this just Alliance or does the Horde get this as well? Or actually is this the Horde side of the story, maybe the Alliance get...

Okay, let's just stop this RIGHT HERE, shall we?

This is where we have a conversation about the nature of spoilers, and how things can and will change with a Beta.

It seems amazing that people have forgotten the events of the last Beta so easily, considering precisely how many people were actually involved in that process to begin with. A lot changed at the eleventh hour there, to the point where the entire Starting Area experience was re-written. It is hardly fair to assume therefore that this is what we will get once the game launches. It is also very clear that we have no real idea exactly what happens apart from that one line. Without a great deal more context it is largely impossible to judge this action in a wider framework, and one might argue it could be dangerous to even try and do so. In fact, what we could use right now is a Beta client. I am sure one will be along shortly, but until then, it is probably wise to keep a long way away from anything.

However, people will want to discuss this, not because it's a spoiler, but because of the implications this particular fatality has in the scheme of things. We are told there's a Cinematic and a Scenario that accompanies events, and that's probably more a significant area of discussion right now than the actual circumstances that surround it. Is this an indicator of how each zone will play out? We get to explore, then we get this sequence to drive the story forward? If we do I find that far more more exciting a prospect than the actual spoilers, because that's telling me that Blizzard is rethinking the entire levelling experience to pull players into the experience. Now all I want is to see the actual questing, and I'm sorry watching some bad warlock do that in a You Tube video isn't going to cut it for me. I want REAL. I can wait for that too.

There are a bazillion *potential* spoilers that could fall out of these early forays into the Expansion, but ultimately the ones you want aren't there, so you're forced to feed off other's perceptions and not your own. As a result it can be easy to forget that what one person thinks is news is what another considers trash, and that in the end it's one HUGE spoiler for anyone who just wants to start from scratch. As a result, until there's an actual Beta Client to play that more than Blizzard staff and invited press people have seen, it's probably a good idea not to get too carried away about anything.

There will be spoilers. Oh yes. Proper ones too.

Just not *yet*

Another Way to Die

So, what are you doing here?

There's a good chance you saw me set up this site, off the radar, away from the main place as an area I can talk about Spoilers and not upset people. So if you are here, welcome aboard, and strap yourselves in, because I will be talking THINGS THAT CANNOT BE NAMED.


Don't say I didn't warn you :D