Tag Archives: Anzu

GDE: Dream of Creation, Arakkoa starting experience

Call it build 7.0.0.21600

Call it build 7.0.0.21600

Welcome back to Game Design Exercise. The first thing you might notice is I decided to shorten the title. “Game Design Exercise” was taking up a lot of precious character space, so I decided to shorten it in case I ever need a particularly long title for one of the sections. The second thing you might notice is that the map posted this time is different from the previous one. I continue working on it and although most of the additions are things I hid from public view (because they spoil future content before it’s ready) there are some zone shape and size changes. They stem from me noticing that Ravenwood and Thornbranch are definitely too small. Most starting zones aren’t much smaller than regular end-game zones, so I thought I wouldn’t be able to realistically squish in a full 1-13 experience in those areas. They are now bigger, partially at the cost of the oversized Verdant Plains.

Another thing I wanted to talk about before the break is a concern that was raised on Twitter recently. Dream of Creation is adopting several fey creatures from Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy sources and one of those creatures is called a hag. They’re ugly troll-like creatures that undeniably bear some resemblance to a caricature of an old woman, and the term likely comes from there. To me, a person with a certain fantasy gaming experience, hags were just a normal thing that didn’t raise any red light. I was however told that the term is considered offensive. I mean, it’s obvious calling a real person “hag” is an offense, but a person was concerned that using it as a name of a fantasy creature is offensive as well, regardless of the term’s past in the genre. Personally, I don’t see it, but if enough people see it as a valid concern, I will adopt it. So, what do you think? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.

So, I invite you to read my take on arakkoa starting experience for Dream of Creation, an Emerald Dream expansion. They are arakkoa from the main timeline, so they continue storylines from the Burning Crusade and only influences from Warlords of Draenor are clarifications about the common past of both timelines and references – such as WoD characters showing up here in their main timeline incarnations. Enjoy!

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A peek at the Dream

MenrimNot 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?

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The Founding of Veil Krasha

VerroakArtAvatarNow after all these people went to Draenor and saw that warped little alternate, they think that our Draenor used to be just like this. Well, you’re squawking wrong. For example, you can find hardly any arakkoa outside of the Spires of Arak, and I come from Farahlon, which you lot didn’t even go to. I mean, I’ve even heard some rumors it doesn’t exist over there. And that’s nonsense again, you can’t have geological differences between different timelines, not without Deathwing to mess the land up for laughs. So people say, how did your family come to Farahlon? How did this Veil Krasha even exist? Well, I’m no Reshad, but let me tell you a story.

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Skyreach Manuals: Life Cycle of the Primals

AltVerroakThe Primals are some of the most curious creatures of Draenor. In many ways they’re so very different from all the other forms of life on our world, and in many ways they’re also very similar. Some say the Primals are mimicking other life forms, as is often said to be the case with mandragoras and hydras, and some say they were deliberately designed in a similar way. One of the most common theories about the Primals is that they’re a Titanic creation gone haywire. The Breakers are commonly believed to be the Titanic creations, but some argue that so were the Primals. The best proof of that theory are ancient artifacts related to the Primals sometimes found in forgotten Titanic vaults. Whichever the case, the Primals are a faction of creatures with very distinct life cycle, clearly tying them all together.

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History of the Arakkoa

You might have found my history of Draenor posts I made some time ago, but I must tell you something about them – they’re almost entirely fan fiction (albeit based on some actual canon info from the Burning Crusade). With Warlords of Draenor coming up on the horizon, the beta revealed to us the actual course of events. This post is made to summarize everything we learned so far in beta, and that’s a lot, explaining many previously confusing parts. I wasn’t right on many accounts, but I will still sometimes pretend, for hilarity’s sake, that my old fanon version was canon in our original Draenor. From now on, I’ll write in-character as Dawn-Seeker Verroak, the alternate Draenor version of my character. It is only slightly fictionalized, in order to make a cohesive plot. The non-canon parts I made to fill out the gaps are written in italics.

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Not quite a valley

VerroakSo I was on a magically grown boat, swimming away from the only way back to my reality, in the companionship of a botanus who insisted he owes me his life and must repay this debt. I understand why we had to be so quick about escaping it, but the last thing I wanted was being stuck on Draenor of the past. Of a different past, no less. The more I heard about what’s happening out there, the more I was sure this wasn’t the Draenor of my childhood. Somehow, this universe’s Shattered Hand is not a real clan, but a group of masochists and former ogre slaves. Let’s not even mention the Ogre Empire – which was long gone when I hatched, and yet here seems to still exist (albeit in a collapsing state). The fall of the Ogre Empire only happened with the rise of the Talon Kings, and Terokk. Could this mean that in this universe Terokk was never the religious and political figure he was in our reality?

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Enter the Nexus

You may have recently noticed the whole alternate timeline mess I’ve been in. If you’re a busy adventurer who keeps raiding people’s tombs for loot all day you may have missed large parts of what I was doing and then wondered what the fel I’m talking about. Well, I thought I could explain a couple of things in a form not limited to 140 characters. I’ll try to be as clear as possible with this bogus adventure.

It began a couple of weeks ago, when I suddenly got a visit from none other than Lorewalker Cho himself. He arrived with another Pandaren who kept nosing around stuff he shouldn’t be taking interest in. I noticed right from the start that something’s amiss with this Fat Long-Fat, but couldn’t quite pinpoint it. Nevertheless, while they went to sleep in another room, I continued my work on the theory behind the whole rift. Oh yeah, the rift. It’s a really long story. In short, this is an extra-dimensional rift leading to a place called the Nexus, some bizarre multiverse where people from all kinds of universes converge. You’ll learn more about it in a moment.

So I was busy on my theoretical work, when I suddenly heard a lot of noise. Cho started yelling that Chi-Ji went through the rift. Yes, Chi-Ji, the crane god from Pandaria. Before long, it turned out Fat Long-Fat is in fact Chi-Ji in humanoid disguise and when he came to our tower, he was purposefully looking for my rift. What he wanted with it, I still don’t know but when he went through, Lorewalker started panicking and demanding me to go look for his stupid god. I tried to tell him it’s not my fault, but he wouldn’t listen. He officially agreed to go through himself in search of Chi-Ji, but as he was about to go, he pulled me in with him.

There I was, on a rock in the middle of a bay, on the wrong side of my rift. We swam through the water into what appeared to be large wooden pier, only to realize we were in the middle of some kind of battle. Angels, demons and tanks started converging all around us, with a large ship additionally shooting at one of the military bases there with giant cannons. This was the place in the Nexus known as Blackheart Bay, named so after a pirate who turned out to be an undead Azerothian – a former Lordaeronian ship captain who got pulled through while defending his kingdom from Kul Tiras in an ancient war. This was the first time I realized my rift wasn’t the first, and things were getting pulled in for centuries.

After the battle, I got to talk to some of the people who call themselves “heroes” in this Nexus. A human named Bama Kowalski, a.k.a. Sergeant Hammer, explained that people from many planets have been pulled in here for a long time now, and all were conscripted to fight by the Arbiters, rulers of that realm. They fought in regular battles in officially sanctioned battlegrounds for no real reason – they simply fought, got killed, came back to life, and continued to fight simply to curry favor with these Arbiters. That is a bit messed up. What is way more messed up is that there are all kinds of people there. Soldiers from a futuristic place called “Koprulu Sector”, angels, humans and demons from a world called “Sanctuary”, and people from all over Azeroth and Draenor. And what people – multiple versions of Arthas, including various Lich Kings, some giant demon lord called Diablo, Uther the Lightbringer, some random fearie dragon, Tyrande (one version of whom is somehow a blood elf), a giant abomination in a bikini, even Chen’s little niece Li Li. They just fight, for no reason.

It seemed odd to me, but everything made more sense when we went to look for these Arbiters with Lorewalker Cho, hoping they can help us find Chi-Ji and get out of this place together. Unfortunately, Lorewalker came out of the meeting with them changed. You know Lorewalker Cho. Jovial, friendly, talkative. After he talked to the Arbiters, he was suddenly eager to fight in these endless battles, telling me his first battle will be his “evaluation”, and offering me an evaluation too. I quickly connected the dots and realized these Arbiters had some kind of mind control they did to people to make them fight for them. I refused to see these Arbiters, lest I fall under their spell too, and dragged Cho with me to look for Chi-Ji in the Cursed Hollow, a place apparently ruled by Raven Lords (whose presence explains the mysterious disappearance of the famous Lost Sons of Anzu).

On our way there, we have encountered a group of three heroes going for another battle. As they were going for the Cursed Hollow, we pretended we’re the other two heroes for their battle. The unfriendly Emperor James Raynor fellow wasn’t buying it, aptly noticing that I’m nowhere near his or Diablo’s level of power, but Lorewalker Cho smoothed it a bit, and Prince Arthas finally convinced him that we’re the real deal. So me, Lorewalker Cho, Emperor Raynor, Prince Arthas and Valla (a demon hunter – not that kind of demon hunter) went for the Cursed Hollow. As soon as the battle was about to begin, me and the Lorewalker immediately ran off, looking for the Raven Lords.

Those three heroes didn’t take to our desertion too well. Emperor Raynor started shouting something about “his mid quitting” – that may have been about me, as I agreed to do something called “mid lane”. Nevertheless, we made it to the Raven Lords’ lair quickly and to our surprise, we found Chi-Ji right there. After Lorewalker Cho had some “insightful” discussion with all the bird gods, we left the area, getting back to the rift. That’s when Emperor Raynor found himself a new group, this time with the task of punishing us “scrubs” for ruining his game. So we ran, followed by Emperor Raynor, Stitches in bikini and Demon Tyrael.

As we reached the Blackheart Bay again, we thought we lost the three so-called heroes, but they came back with one of these Arbiters. Ugly things – no face, just a smooth, circular head and a giant suit of armor. This “Lord Order” started making some strange gestures and ordering us to stop, or we will face consequences. That’s when Lorewalker Cho copied one of my spells, Sunfire if I recall correctly, and fired it off at the Arbiter. To my surprise, he crumbled like wet noodles. They may have great mental powers to mind control even demon lords, but they’re very weak in a fight. Perhaps that is their whole plan – to mind control powerful heroes, make them fight each other until they become unstoppable behemoths, and then use them to conquer the entire multiverse.

Whatever their plan was, Cho and Chi-Ji used that chance to quickly jump through the rift and as I would later learn, they safely returned to the right dimension. Unfortunately, as I was about to cross, Lord Order gathered his strength and cast something at the rift. I jumped in without looking back at him and got sent through to what appeared to be the right place. It was still Stormwind, it was still the basement of Maginor Dumas’s tower, but there was no rift, no equipment and no crew.

I went up the stairs, silently, looking for any clues about what exactly happened. Through the windows, I noticed the Park was all right – it wasn’t a smoking crater, the district was intact! That was when I knew something really wrong was going on and looked through the papers. Luckily, I didn’t wake up anyone, but I found a newspaper. The date was right, so I didn’t travel in time. At least, not vertically. As it turned out, all kinds of details were wrong in the paper. No mention of Horde, or orcs, and Queen Tiffin Ellerian was still mentioned as alive. The conclusion was obvious – Lord Order sent me in revenge to an alternate timeline, one where the Dark Portal was never opened and Stormwind never felt the horrors of an orcish invasion.

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