WoW Wednesday – The Big PAX Appearance
By Meredith Watson, OnRPG Azeroth Reporter
In just two short days Blizzard will be at PAX East. This in and of itself is a big deal as Blizzard doesn’t frequent the gaming conventions. Earlier this month Rob Pardo, Chief Creative Officer at Blizzard, announced via Twitter that they would indeed be at PAX East to announce a new game. What could it be?
The first thing that comes to mind is Titan, the not so super-secret next-gen MMO that Blizzard is supposedly working on. Rumours abound about what Titan is and when will it be announced. There are rumours it will have robots, hippies, be futuristic, have a huge social impact, be free to play, be for the Xbox and released in 2015. Who knows. It seems fairly certain Titan isn’t World of Warcraft II or another Diablo or Starcraft though rumour also has it that it isn’t necessarily a new IP. However, Rob Pardo was quick to point out that is wasn’t Titan.
So, again, what could it be? I think most agree that it is probably Blizzard All Stars, a multi-player online battle arena game. Blizzard All Stars was actually a Starcraft II custom map that was announced way back in 2010 at BlizzCon but has since become a standalone game. Originally this game was called Blizzard Dota. Dota meaning Defense of the Ancients and was a fan made map and mode for Warcraft III. The developer that was overseeing Blizzard Dota went to work for Valve on Dota 2 where there was contention over the name. Valve won the rights to it in a settlement and what we have left is Blizzard All Stars.
MOBAs are popular right now but for me it holds little to no appeal. Not even the possibility of getting to be Sylvanas Windrunner would tempt me to play. What do you think? Will you play Blizzard All Stars?
There is also speculation it could be a playable demo for Diablo 3 on PlayStation but it seems highly unlikely given Blizzard has stated in email, “As mentioned in the invite, this is a little something, different from what we’ve previously announced or talked about, and not a sequel, etc.” Maybe it isn’t Blizzard All Stars after all given it has been announced previously.
In other news, character models will be getting an upgrade in the World of Warcraft. In an interview with MMORPG Greg Street aka Ghostcrawler states:
“ …and we are working on updating all of the player models. The Pandaren is kind of the example of where we want to go with that. Where they have facial animations, their eyes move, mouths move. Their fingers are individual and not just one big mitt like the old models are. It takes a lot of work, it’s a brand new model, with new animations that have to match. Unlike the Pandaren, we can’t take say the Tauren and make it a brand new race. At the end of the day, they have to still look like Tauren. It still needs to feel like it’s your character that you’ve had for eight years. They’ve got to have the soul of those existing races. It’s a long term project, it’s going well. We don’t yet have an ETA or how we’ll roll it out though.”
This is great news for those of us who play classic races or even Cataclysm races which are looking fairly dismal compared to the newer races. The night elves hands are big lumps and gnomes appear to have only four digits while the human female feet are little more than rectangles. It might be welcome changes to see some of our beloved characters get a makeover. However not everyone is a fan of this news. One forum poster commented “ No. I don’t want my favourite races to be ruined by what Blizzard considers an “upgrade”. I need only look at how ridiculous Pandaren look (or any new characters for that matter) to sway me away from this “improvement” – this isn’t the future I asked for nor wanted.
It’ll only be acceptable if every character is given a free race change if they don’t like their new model. Let us not forget that the wretched pandas all have the same faces.” He brings up a valid point. Blizzard may well ruin the looks of our favourite races. I remember how upset I was when they changed night elf eyes but a race change might be a bit extreme. And let’s not forget the ridiculousness that is Malfurion Stormrage after the last “makeover”. As with all the Blizzard changes, we as a community just adjust (though there is a fair bit of righteous indignation on the forums). It would be nice to have an option between older and newer models though. What changes would you like to see to the older races?