One of the important things to note about World of Warcraft lore is that it’s never been static. It will retcon itself six ways from Sunday letting you know that the stuff you thought was true was never actually true, and it’s something the franchise has been doing since the second installment of the series was launched. (Remember when Azeroth was the name of the human nation, not the freaking planet?) This is not a game where the lore has been carefully planned out so that you can make reasonable predictions much of the time, this is where the lore repeatedly changes as new installments come out.
This is fine. I really like games where all of the lore is written out and planned well in advance (obviously) but I also have appreciation for the way that WoW’s backstory does change with the tides. It rarely outright invalidates the past, but the past is not static as we learn more about it.
Enter the speculation about Druids in Kul Tiras, speculation that seems to be getting backed up with increasing amounts of evidence. And as I look at all of this, I can’t help but note that even a moment’s consideration reveals that this is an enormous mess for the game’s overall lore.
The latest build for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth’s ongoing alpha test is available, and to the surprise of absolutely no one who has been watching the datamining community there’s already stuff that’s been dug out of the files. Want to see more followers from the as-yet-undisclosed mission system? Here you go, those are in there. Want to see some new models for weapons and such, or male orcs without terminal posture problems? Obviously, those are both in there.
There are also a new selection of Azerite traits, both in a general pool and for the three plate-wearing classes… and for Priests, just because Priests need love too. The dataminers have also uncovered new broadcast text added with this particular patch, but you might want to avoid that if you’re trying to minimize your spoilers before the expansion is actually released. There’s plenty of stuff to look into and speculate about anyway.
Watching as speculation and mining swirls around the Mag’har as a future allied race, I can’t help but start thinking about the bigger picture in World of Warcraft. Because soon we’ll be able to make another couple of allied races, and we’ll have more on top of that, and it brings up a pretty good question: what, exactly is the Alliance at this point?
You might think that’s a silly question, but both the Alliance and the Horde are kind of nebulous political groupings, and their extant members are a pretty big deal when you’re speculating about who’s going to be next to sign on board. Plus, I think it helps a bit to consider what could be coming in the future, both for future customization options and further development.
So, then, let’s start with the Alliance, because it’s first alphabetically and a bit simpler to put together. What actually comprises the Alliance?
If you’ve already done all there is to do in the most recent Final Fantasy XIV
patch, you won’t be able to say that for much longer. Patch 4.25 releases on March 13th
, and it brings with it more content for players to explore, starting with the new forbidden land of Eureka. Deep in the Glass Ocean, an island is there that is found on no charts and has never been explored… and also contains ancient Allagan technology and ferocious beasts.
So, naturally, you’re going there to explore and set up a trading post because that’s what you do.
After you’re done with the mysterious island, you can hop back over to the continuation of the Hildibrand quests, which continue Nashu’s misadventures in Kugane with new faces, new complications, and presumably a new series of sight gags. You can check out the preview for a little more information, or you can just wait the short span of time until you can explore the content for yourself less than two weeks.
So, who’s the next hero for Overwatch? We don’t know yet, but there’s plenty of room for speculation… and there’s a little more food for that speculation with the latest lore release. Of course, it doesn’t outright say who the next hero is, but it seems like it might be relevant as we look at a letter from Torbjorn to his wife following his rescue by Reinhardt, right before the birth of his daughter.
This all lines up nicely with speculation that Torbjorn’s daughter Brigitte, whom we’ve seen in Reinhardt’s recent video; it turns out that she’s also Reinhardt’s goddaughter, thus further linking her to what happens next. Obviously, this is speculation, and it could be something completely different… but it does seem to be where the lore is pointing at the moment. As much as it’s pointing to anything. It could always be Torbjorn’s lost arm as the next character, really.
Pokemon Go players are beginning to see the introduction of Poke-lore to the MMOARG. While the last big update brought weather to the game in a unique way, people noted that it didn’t seem quite enough since the Generation 3 mascots are thematically oriented more than weather-based, but still fighting each other: Kyogre, the whale of floods, battling with Groudon, the land loving drought bringer, with air-poppa Rayquaza trying to get them to settle down.
So what is Niantic doing to reinforce this? A kind of raid-boss battle. From now till March 5th, Niantic has brought back both Groudon and Kyogre during the current Rayquaza craze. It’s the first time Niantic’s brought back retired legendaries for a non-regional event, which is highly significant as both are arguably more powerful than EX Raid exclusive Mewtwo and will remain some of the most powerful Pokemon when POGO implements all the current generations.
There’s more, though, and lapsed players should really take note!
Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes? Well, because Neverwinter
is currently lousy with snakes, that’s why. Specifically, the Yuan-ti have a center of power by the old Royal Palace of Omu
, and they guard the entrance zealously to keep out the sort of people who would stab the lot of them and take their stuff. You, being a player character, will have to stab lots of them to get in there, then commence the snake-stabbing.
Also you might be able to dismantle their power base in the area by doing so, but let’s be honest, the loot alone would serve as a motivator.
Of course, the snakes aren’t going to make it easy on you; you’ll have to fight your way to the entrance and the path to the main temple, then contend with the high priests of the snake god Dendar. It’s not going to be easy, but player will have ample reason to head in there, assuming you can get over any lingering apprehension about the sheer number of snakes.
If there’s one universal rule to cities, it’s that they’ve got some other ruined underground city you can also explore because cities work like layer cakes. You don’t believe us? Are you calling Neverwinter
a liar? Because there’s a whole lot of undercity lying underneath the Lost City of Omu, and by gosh, you’re going to want to explore every inch of it
in hopes of finding some magical artifacts that have just been left in there piled in a heap in the corner.
Yeah, that’s how ruined cities work, too. Valuable artifacts just got thrown into the Artifact Corner. Don’t ask us why, we’re not city planners.
If you’re interested in looking through these ruined subterranean structures, you can take a full look through the tour guide on the official site (we’ve got the images just below, as well), where you can learn a little more about the various locations now found away from the gaze of the sun. There’s no mention of being able to buy up ruined portions of the city for gentrification and/or installing a Whole Foods, but we can assume.
The Atropal boss in Neverwinter
is not something you want to run into in a dark alley. Heck, it’s probably not something you want to run into anywhere, for any reason, at any point in time. It is a pretty disturbing-looking monstrosity, that’s the point here. And there’s a whole development blog available now about how the boss was designed
, so if you’re wondering how a boss gets from its concept art (which may have just been a used tissue) to a finished model, it’s well worth a read.
You’ll also learn something about how skeletons and rigs work in the game, as the Atropal is based off of a heavily modified human male skeleton. Yes, it’s very different, but all of the fundamental parts work, so it’s just a matter of tweaking limb size appropriately and giving it a truly disgusting appearance. If you like reading up on how bosses get put together, it’s well worth an examination.
Calm down, Final Fantasy XIV
fans; the actual patch doesn’t release until Tuesday next week. But the patch notes are available right now
, covering everything you’ll get with this particular update. Looking forward to features like the next stage of Omega, new dungeons, or new regions altogether? They’re all in here!
Wait, new regions? Yes, apparently there’s a new place with an aetheryte that will be important with this particular patch, and while there’s room to speculate about where that will be, it’s obscured for right now.
Players will also be happy to learn about more details of the mechanical aspects of the game’s new glamour dresser and the dungeon-recording Duty Recorder, along with a glance at new mounts, new items, new tomestones… new stuff, in short. You can check out some of the new stuff with the gallery down below, and you can read through the patch notes right now. It’ll make waiting for the full patch over the weekend just a little bit longer.
When can we start playing allied races in World of Warcraft? Probably as soon as we can pre-purchase Battle for Azeroth, based on current expectation. And when will that be? We just don’t know. What we do know is what the collector’s edition appears to be packing. Yes, it’s mounts and a pet, that’s always what we get, but it looks like it’s going to be two mounts based on faction and the previously spied Tortollan pet!
It looks like Alliance players will be getting an armored Seabraid Stallion (there seem to be new horse models out there) while Horde players get an armored raptor (representing the Zandalari Trolls). Obviously, nothing has been confirmed yet, but that’s what everything is pointing toward… and if that’s showing up in datamining, it might not be that far off.
As far as the actual game rather than the box for the game? Yep, WoWhead is datamining the heck out of that too – check out the mounts and beasties, music, pets, maps, and talents for just a taste of what’s available. Or don’t spoil yourself. You choose.
Amazon’s New World
is a game that’s captured quite a bit of rumor and speculation lately, and here’s a fresh video to throw more wood on the rumor pile
! It’s difficult to impossible to tell how legit it is, but it certainly does seem to match up with the first promo we saw for the game, so if it’s a hoax, it’s at least a consistent one. And if it’s legit, it’s still not clear whether it’s a leak or a deliberate tease.
The video on Reddit hints at what amounts to an alternate version of colonial America, as filled with superstitions and magic as it is with actual settlers trying to not starve to death and all of that. Hopefully this particular rumor doesn’t end with the game’s page getting yanked and prompting another string of furious concern and anxiety, but there’s no way to be certain of it right now. If you’d like to see what may or may not be a reveal, check out the leak.
The next patch for Final Fantasy XIV
arrives on January 30th, and that naturally means a whole lot of content for players to explore
. It does not mean that you’ll be able to purchase a new house right away, however. House purchasing for the six new wards added to all four districts will be enabled a week after the patch, and at first it will be oriented toward free companies only. There will also be new restrictions in place so that each player can have one personal house and one free company house per server, so hoarding houses on alts won’t be possible. We’ll find out more as housing draws closer.
And that’s just one of the many things in place for the patch; there are also job adjustments, more glamour options, and the complete removal of elemental properties. Yes, elemental materia is being removed, and players in Eureka (which is coming in 4.2.5) will have an entirely new system based around elemental changes and a new advancement board. If you’re just interested in seeing what the game has to offer in terms of visuals and teases of the story, of course, you can check that out just below in the full trailer for the patch.