It’s been a rough week for fans of World of Warcraft as Blizzard has continued to be mired knee-deep in a problem of its own creation, so it’s understandable if you managed to miss that some information about the next expansion might have been mined out. It turns out that there are some new NPC skins in the latest patch files that point to Death Knight textures for Pandaren and the various allied races, implying that some or all of these races might be able to become Death Knights… which would be a big deal, since thus far the hard cutoff point had been Worgen and Goblins, on account of the Lich King no longer making Death Knights.
Essentially, these races are all ones that would not have been running around while Arthas was still active (aside from Dark Iron Dwarves, but let’s overlook that), but having new NPC skins for these races implies that there will at least be non-player characters running around with distorted voices and significantly less heartbeat than usual. Of course, the last time something similar was found it presaged the addition of allied races in the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch, so who knows what happens next? Regardless, it certainly seems to hint at some antics relating to Northrend for the next expansion.
All of this is datamined information rather than actual announcements, however, which means that the announcements have to go right back to reminding people of what an imbroglio Blizzard has made for itself. The 15th anniversary celebration event planned for Taiwan has officially been
cancelled postponed for reasons that should be immediately obvious with a moment’s thought while still being a disappointing move for the company. We can only assume that the business office in Irvine, CA is busy praying for metaphorical rain on November 1st. [Update: Apparently, either Reddit or Facebook or both mistranslated this; the current version on Facebook seems to suggest the current event has been canceled but will be rescheduled at some point. “We would like to inform you that we have extended the 15th anniversary celebration party of the world of Warcraft, which was scheduled for October 18th (Fri) to 20th (Fri). We know that many players are looking forward to this event as much as we do. We are considering different options and will announce new event dates in the future.”]
Last but not least, it appears that the game’s German community manager is departing the company. No specific reason is cited in the farewell message, just a general statement that it’s time to return to Germany (the corporate headquarters is in France), but players can feel free to develop their own absurd theories about the motivation at play.
Actually, let’s not end on that note; let’s watch a Vulpera assembling a campsite as a racial ability. That’s more uplifting, isn’t it?