Not many people get to see the Emerald Dream. Or at least, not with their waking eyes or with a capacity to truly remember it. I remember reading that a few adventurers were briefly sent into it to retrieve some items for powerful entities like Keeper Remulos but most of us, underpowered mortals can only dream of seeing it, no pun intended. So when I got the chance to take a peek at its true form I jumped at the occasion, even though I knew I was getting into a combat situation. The fabled Emerald Dream is one of the legendary places that you hear stories about. There are even various theories about its true purpose. Some say it’s a Titanic blueprint, and even that one causes certain confusion. Is it a blueprint to be used in case of reorigination, or is it just an old plan that is no longer relevant with the world’s original ordering completed?
Monthly Archives: February 2015
Name: Sednaq of Mikiruq
Class: Expert (non-combatant)
Professions: Skinning, leatherworking, fishing, cooking, first aid
Religion: Traditional tuskarr shamanism
Alignment (per D&D): True Neutral
Traits (per CK2): gregarious, gluttonous, kind, diligent, brave, lustful
Previously: Mesonyx Attacks!
After the very people we entrusted with leading us justly and equally betrayed the ideas I believed in I felt… disoriented. I didn’t know where to go, who to see. Every friend can become an enemy once they hear what happened, or at least of the version of the story the leaders will tell the masses. I didn’t doubt they would paint me as a traitor of all of our values, someone who turned on his society. To think I once believed their lies. They said they wanted peace and prosperity for our people, but once faced with the kind of power that artifact provided us they showed their true faces. They turned their attention to war. I honestly thought that the devastation wrought upon our world would teach us something. But maybe, I thought, it was just the leaders. Maybe the Collective, that is, the people, would still believe me and see what I saw. I had to try and look for allies.
Welcome back to next part of my game design exercise about the Emerald Dream expansion, which I dubbed Dream of Creation. For a while, I was struggling with the idea of how exactly should I divide up all the potential material into posts. Since designing an expansion takes up a lot of space and time, and many internal elements are very intertwined, I can’t really design everything in one, specific order, like I was able to with Farahlon. Take for example designing leveling zones. Let’s say I want to have space for six chapters of the zone’s storyline, but I can’t leave it at that. I need space for not only level cap content, but also for potential future patch areas, like parts of Krasarang used in patch 5.1. So while designing even the first leveling zone, I have to take into account how many reputation factions or other level cap activities I want to have. And when I decide how many reputation factions there will be, I have to decide what role they will have in distributing gear… so yeah. My point is, it’s a really complex system and a lot of thought has to go into it. Even when you have just one post written, you have to keep in mind almost everything else right from the very start.
So how do you decide what post to write first? I decided the best way to present this expansion will be to present it in the same order a player would normally experience it. In short, we start with the pre-expansion patch, and continue to leveling. Next post will describe at least one of the new races’ starting experience, and we will continue through leveling zones, and into endgame content of patch X.0, and only then proceed to further patches. Because I want it to feel as “real” as I can make it, I will keep information about those future patches hidden until shortly before their respective posts’ publication. So now, I invite you to the X.0.1, the Wild Hunt – the pre-expansion patch to Dream of Creation.
Another thing I wanted to speak about before the break is something else I felt would help the immersion of this exercise. Basically, after a BlizzCon announcement you’d have a Q&A session which would reveal various small (and not so small) details about the coming expansion. Well, we didn’t have it. To create one, I invite you to ask Q&A questions in the comments below. I will gladly answer all of them, pretending to be a real game dev when I can.
Name: Lunk, of Dustbelcher Clan
Age: about 30
Class: insists it’s Culinarian
Professions: cooking, archaeology, keeps randomly dropping and reacquiring various other professions
Religion: Lunk will pray to the closest available god because he’s not sure they’re always in range.
Alignment (per D&D): Chaotic Good
Traits (per CK2): genius, slow, kind, charitable, content, arbitrary, humble, gregarious
I’m not on the research staff, so most of the days I have a fair share of free time when I’m done producing potions and overseeing the gnolls and the broken draenei in my production room. Then I go out and try to chat up a few people in our “village” and realize how busy or tired most of them are. Yesterday evening when I was done with work, I went to look for Orkan and found him in Verroak’s room, working on some solution they were preparing together. He had no time for me, so I thought I’d check some other important people around here. I checked Theramas first, and he was still in his lab. He never seems to tire. I know what he is in reality, but it still seems strange. For two days straight he’s been in his lab, working on spells to treat his mental patients. And he wasn’t the only researcher busy with work either. Zovaar was working on those enchanted information disks, and he even got Podric to help him. I kept wandering around until I found the boss in the security quarters – or mission control, as he started calling it recently.
Hello again, we return for another Game Design Exercise post. As promised, we are done with Farahlon (unless I decide to make a proper art map for it one day) and we are moving on to our next topic. You probably already know what to expect from the title and my previous GDE post, but hey, when an expansion announcement at BlizzCon comes we usually know the trademark and the obvious implication of what comes from the trademarked title. So let me put on my best impression of Chris Metzen and “announce” this thing.
Ever since World of Warcraft began, it had a deep, expansive mythology. Although we started with just Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, we always knew there was so much more out there. And we always wanted to bring all of that rich universe to life in the game. Since before the game came out, we had plans for how we would implement various elements of this universe. And as time went by we slowly implemented those realms into World of Warcraft. We visited Outland and defeated Illidan. We went back to Azeroth to go to Northrend and finally deal with the Lich King once and for all. In Cataclysm, we visited the Elemental Planes. And we always knew Pandaria was out there, and Mists of Pandaria we finally got to see it. We even went to Draenor before it was destroyed.
But there’s one element that we haven’t visited yet. One element that we always knew was out there. A special, magical realm underlying all of Azeroth. And we always struggled how to properly represent it, given its vast size and all the lore behind it. But we thought, it’s time to finally get it done. To finally let the heroes of Azeroth into this mystical realm… realm of dreams… and nightmares. A realm that was once again comes under attack by nefarious forces and needs our help. Because if we no longer can find safe haven even in our dreams… how can we ever feel safe?
Ladies and Gentlemen… Dream of Creation!
A long time ago, our world, Mesonyx was a lush, verdant world. We had plains, forests and oceans. Live thrived everywhere on the surface and many different races called it home, including dwarves and gnomes left behind by the Titans. We had many beautiful, large cities everywhere across the planet, from the spires of Thyle to the sprawling parks of Electris, to the famous dome of Ophyr. We had many monuments, including great pyramids which housed the greatest wonders of our technology. Most of our world shunned magic for being a harsh and unpredictable mistress and abandoned all gods to strive for independence from their whims. That was the Golden Age of Mesonyx, thousands of years ago, before the great Kalimdor was shattered. We were the most important world in our solar system, regardless of what the Titans thought. But it had to come to an end.
Name: Riktal, daughter of Tagal, of the Frostwolf Clan
Class: Mage (frost)
Professions: herbalism, inscription
Alignment (per D&D): Chaotic Neutral
Traits (per CK2): quick, ugly, shy, kind, just, diligent
In most places, if you talked about inhabitants of Mesonyx, the fourth planet from our sun, people wouldn’t treat you very seriously. This isn’t most places. We’ve been sending people to a parallel past Draenor and taking ingredients from there. We have fought an invasion of Infinite Dragonflight. We finally opened a rift to a completely alien planet, met space gnomes, killed an evil undead alien god, and we regularly trade with two distant worlds. We have employees from other planets – and not just the common Draenor, but we have a darfellan and a shivarra. So naturally, an alien from Mesonyx doesn’t raise too many eyebrows. It does however answer some questions and doubts Azerothians had about the world. For example, the canals must be real and there are actually native races up there. Or rather down there, considering what we’ve learned. Anyway, let’s explain this in a proper order.