Game Design Exercise: Farahlon

Recently, we were told in a developer interview that Farahlon may never come, or at least not in Warlords of Draenor (which lowers the possibility of it ever appearing by itself). Not only that, it was also suggested it might be retconned to have been Ashran all along, which is a total disaster from lore perspective. Although it has been since reported the retcon will not happen, the thought that it was even a possibility remains frightening. And you know I’d love to see Farahlon in-game, so the news was rather shocking to me. I thought, if they don’t see a place for it in game, I’ll show them how to do it – I’ll design Farahlon myself, basing it on the way rest of WoD is designed. (Also, usually when I get to making something, Blizzard then announces they’re doing it, so that helped too)

Farahlon

Here’s my basic concept map of what my version of Farahlon looks like. It’s color-coded for your convenience, the basic light purple being the foliage color. I know Farahlon was referred to as a green land in past quests, but not only could it be understood as simply “full of life” (as opposed to the hellish landscape Netherstorm is), but I also believe it’s a small retcon that helps differentiating the zone from Nagrand or Talador. Purple forests and plains of Farahlon would be a unique, new environment in the game, or at least in Warlords of Draenor.

As you can probably guess by the layout, there is an Iron Horde invasion in progress. After the Iron Horde has been defeated in Tanaan (and largely controls only the Iron Citadel) the Iron Horde goes into desperation mode. They launch an invasion of Farahlon, looking for new technology and magic that might help them swing the tide of war their way. Not only the Farahloni Draenei are now in danger, but also the Alliance hears about the Iron Horde excavations and wishes to stop them before they find something. On the Horde side, Durotan hears about the local Laughing Skull being dispossessed by the Iron Horde and dispatches with a fleet to help them.

The Alliance first arrives on the south, headed by Jaina Proudmoore, who takes over the Alliance side legendary questline from Khadgar (at least for the time of the patch). They create a new Kirin’var Village in the same place as the last one and the player establishes a new outpost for his garrison – but only after dealing with the local saberons (living in the place that is Sunfury Hold in Netherstorm). Meanwhile on the Horde side, Durotan orders the fleet to attack the Shadow Council ships off-the-shore, instead getting in a scuffle with the local sea-borne orcish clan, the Waveriders. After a three-way battle, Durotan makes peace with the Waveriders and together you arrive at their village, where the player establishes her outpost.

From there, you get new daily quest every day, directing you to disrupt the enemy operations in one of the nearby areas. While there, you also get minor quests that explain the backstory of these places. Major threats in the zone are obviously the Iron Horde who’s excavating the Apexis ruins in search of new power, the Primals and the Fara, including their birthplace, the Fara Wilds, as well as Shadow Council forces – which include the Sargerei, the Bonechewers and the Vrocks (fel-corrupted cursed arakkoa).

The legendary questline continues, headed by Jaina and Rommath, depending on your primary faction. Most of it consists of searching the Apexis ruins, including the Apexis towers scattered across the zones, as well as taking whatever the Iron Horde found from them. At one point, the legendary questline sends you to Veil Krasha, a settlement established by Order of the Awakened and headed by Dawn-Seeker Verroak, and his main universe counterpart, Talonpriest Verroak (meaning my main Twitter RP character). The two counterparts work together on the “Overgrown Apexis Ruins” (name TBD) where the Apexis ruins were taken by the Primals and are drained from all remaining power. You help the arakkoa defeat  the Primals, uncover their lost artifacts (and uncover some of their history, at the behest of Reshad) and discover there’s a whole untouched ruin underground.

The Apexis towers scattered throughout the zone serve as a major hotspot of battle. When the servers reset with raid lockouts, the towers are vacant, but they will come under attack by the Iron Horde, the Primals and the Alliance and Horde NPCs. The players’ task is to take control of these towers, gaining access to special buffs, Apexis crystals, loot and gold. The towers will be regularly assaulted by the NPCs of other three factions, so players also have to keep them under control. Names TBD, currently using Manaforge names as placeholders.

Another such hotspot is the Fields of Farahlon. Located between the main Iron Horde base, the city of Farahlon and the Waverider hunting grounds, these once tranquil fields became a bloody battlefield. The Iron Horde pushes towards Farahlon to conquer it, while the Farahloni try to push the IH back. Meanwhile the Waveriders do not care for the Iron Horde or the draenei and task the Horde players with looting whoever or whatever they find on the field, including a rich monastery at the Stormspire (name TBD).

This is just a general overview of what the zone is about and a more detailed look at all the plots and features, including three dungeons tied to the zone’s story, will follow soon, with one post for each major part of the zone.

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About Arakkoa

Verroak Krasha, an Arakkoa druid with over 50 years of experience. Formerly from Farahlon, during the Orcish expansion relocated to Skettis, then to Sethekk Halls, then to rebuilt Shattrath, following the heresies in each of those places. Finally, he founded his own succesfull alchemy business and set out into the wide cosmos to explore strange new worlds and seek out new life and boldly go where no bird has flown before. View all posts by Arakkoa

One response to “Game Design Exercise: Farahlon

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