Tag Archives: Warlords of Draenor

GDE: Dream of Creation, Verdant Plains zone

Call it build 7.0.0.21600

Call it build 7.0.0.21600

Welcome back to Game Design Exercise, where I try to write up an expansion to World of Warcraft as I would have done it, despite about three or four people total caring about what I post here! As I would have done it, if I had a thousand pairs of hands and a mountain of money to spend. Really, it’s my wish fulfillment fantasy, taking the best parts of various expansions and doing them in the context of the Emerald Dream. Like I said in the last post, I’m in a slightly resigned mood when it comes to these. In the time since the last post I’ve been thinking about various other design options. A Dishonored sequel about an Overseer who becomes the next Outsider! My original game idea about playing as a guild, which turns out to be a lot like Garrisons: the Game! Ultimately, all of those ideas are extremely unlikely to become anything more than ideas and with this one, at least I have a few more people reading it. So I might as well keep going.

Now, to end the rant, today we’ll embarking to the first zone of the expansion proper, Verdant Plains. Like in Warlords of Draenor, I decided to go with an Alliance/Horde split between starting zones. In part because I thought it worked, and in bigger part because I decided the entrances to the Emerald Dream become the racial mini-capitals for the new races. It would be like Alliance players entering the Cataclysm zones through Bilgewater Harbor. So today’s post is the beginning of the Alliance storyline, and involves several factions, including Greymane Crossover (a new Alliance reputation faction), Skettis Exiles (the arakkoa racial faction), a continuation of the Wild Hunt storyline and an introduction to a few new elements.

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Aberrations of the Bone

IzzikShienor-100For some time, Mr. Krasha was looking for people interested in going to one potential mission, one that wasn’t very popular among most here. Ever since our crews started going out into the other worlds, we all heard about the Xa’tac and the terror they sown across known worlds. This “Space Scourge” was furthermore rumored to recently re-emerge after centuries of presumed extinction at the hands of the Burning Legion. So when the boss was informed by the Gnadra that our gnomish friends, Captain Matus T. Manks’s crew, was abducted and held on that world, few were interested in actually going there. I know it’s common among the adventurers to quote Draenor for being so savage, but this world was the home of an interstellar empire of terror and undeath. Even if they are presumed to be dead, who knows what kind of terrors still lurk within? And we weren’t too far off.

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Infinite Azeroths 2: Time and Again, part II

PREVIOUSLY: Time and Again, part I

Tarakan was tied up to a chair in a dark room. When he woke up there, his first instinct was to timewalk away but not only were his legs tied to the chair, his gear was gone as well and as a hunter he had no magical powers of his own. Through the few beams of light coming from a hatch in the door he managed to spot a strange, red stone lining the walls. Red stone… he heard about it before. Tarakan’s brother encountered it. A stone that negates all magic where it’s around so no one can enter the room magically, including the arcane serpent being unable to phase through the walls. Most people would have no idea how much time has passed. But he was not most people – he was a Timewalker. Time was his domain.

Suddenly, the door opened and a lot of light burst into the room – something especially painful for a cursed arakkoa. But in that burst of light emanating from the door frame he saw a human-shaped shadow. The shadow stepped in and the door closed behind him, as a faint lamp turned on near the roof. The shadow was no other but Khadgar. But not our Khadgar. It was a parallel Khadgar from this timeline, one that grew up to be a very different man. He was smiling and scratching his goatee, contemplating his captive.

“We meet again, Timewalker,” Khadgar said. “I must admit, I expected you to already turn into a dragon and attempt escape by now.”

Tarakan sighed. “I’m not a dragon. I’m a Timewalker. I am a mortal servant of the bronze dragonflight.”

Khadgar chuckled. “Mortals willingly serving dragons? Do you think we had no dragons over here? The capricious, gluttonous things wouldn’t be able to stop themselves from eating mortals standing around nearby.” Either dragons were very different in this timeline, or Khadgar was lying. “Especially ones that look like they would taste like chicken.”

Tarakan frowned. Cannibalistic jokes never amused him, and especially the numerous ‘do you taste like chicken’ lines from orcs who thought they were oh-so-clever. “You don’t know the first thing about us. And I’m not going to help you find it out.”

“We’ll see,” Khadgar said, “We’ll see how much pain and hunger a… not-dragon can withstand.”

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Character Profiles: Balerok

BalerokHeader
Name: Balerok
Race: Dragonman
Gender: Male
Age: 21
Class: Alchemist
Religion: Balerok doesn’t follow any religion. Balerok’s creator tried to get him into that old god craziness, but Balerok refused.
Alignment (per D&D): Chaotic Neutral
Traits (per CK2): Genius, Diligent, Proud, Deceitful, Ambitious, Arbitrary, Paranoid, Lunatic

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Infinite Azeroths 2: Time and Again

Time travel. It’s complicated. And I don’t mean just the extremely powerful magic necessary to make it reality. Once you’re there, in the past or in another timeline, there is an almost infinite number of factors you have to take into account. Every step you take can end up undoing hundreds of possible lives. And every major change that brings a given timeline out of its alignment… out of its one, true fate can be disastrous. This is what the Infinite Dragonflight has been attempting for… forever, I will have to say because our mundane descriptions of duration or time lose meaning here. They attempted to throw timelines out of alignment, and thus to disintegrate them. Why? To bring chaos, entropy. And when all universes, all realities are destroyed, our entire multiverse ceases to exist and the only thing left are the Old Gods – external parasites from beyond all of creation. Without our universe to contain them, they are free. And perhaps they deserve to be free, but not at the cost of uncountable myriads of innocent lives.

Azeroth-28. An empty, dark corner of Dalaran, one that is ruled by a militaristic, jingoistic and magi-elitist Kirin Tor. One that enviously looks out to other worlds out there in the galaxy and seeks to dominate them all – but lacks the manpower and resources to do so. Not long ago, their Emperor, Khadgar, went into the white tower of Karazhan, using its temporal instability to seek new power that could overthrow the other worlds out there. He went missing for years and his Council tried to keep the Empire intact. Until, one day, he reappeared as mysteriously as he disappeared – having witnessed an alternate Azeroth, one much less developed and already embroiled in a conflict with yet another timeline. He saw this as an opportunity. Now they could command not one Azeroth, but two… or more. An infinite number of Azeroths, all striking out at the potential threats among the stars. But he underestimated the defenders this Azeroth had – the Timewalkers.

In that dark corner of Dalaran, suddenly a magical vortex opened. But this time, it was not another lazy mage quickly transporting himself from the top floor to the street. This time, it was a dwarf clad in bronze robes with the symbol of infinity on his tabard. Or rather someone that looked like a dwarf – it was, in fact, a bronze dragon, Keeper Morozdormu. And behind him, three more characters, subordinates, step out. An arakkoa hunter with a pet arcane serpent coiling behind him – Watcher Tarakan and Pita. Then, a red-haired human male with a hopeful look – Historian Llore. And finally, a dark-skinned, human-looking female mage – Weaver Agam. The four looked around until the dwarf spoke up.

“Alright, folks,” Moros said, “it looks like we landed safely, with no witnesses. Time to work.” He raised his left hand, with a strange hourglass in it. “According to our Vision of Time, we can safely stay here for just over a day. Let’s get digging!”

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GDE: Dream of Creation, Satyr starting experience

Call it build 7.0.0.21600

Call it build 7.0.0.21600

We return for another Game Design Exercise: Feelings of General Irrelevance Edition. When I started these exercises, it was partly due to just wanting to test my design skills for something that I can’t actually design, and the one thing that interested me the most out of the possible options – World of Warcraft patches or expansions. The other part was having some kind of written material to show off as proof of my skill. Well, turns out the second part is pointless because “make believe doesn’t count”, according to a Blizzard employee I asked about this, although half-jokingly. Now, I don’t hold this against him but it did make me feel rather… irrelevant and my efforts pointless. Sure, I can design this stuff but it’s not going to be made real. The only design I can actually do is for games I have little interest in. So in other words, I can’t do the design that I want, period.

I still enjoy to just “make up stories”, as it was once called by Chris Metzen, so I will continue doing these but it just doesn’t feel the same. It’s just the soul-crushing realization that all of my efforts here will never be received by the people I aspired for. But no, it’s all fine. I’m not trying to get anyone’s sympathy – just thought I’d share this… insight with my readers, as few as there are of them.

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Character Profiles: Aeresham

AereshamBotanusName: Aeresham Alkar
Race: Botani
Gender: hermaphrodite
Age: 100
Class: Not applicable
Professions: herbalism
Religion: Genesaur worship
Alignment (per D&D): True Neutral
Traits (per CK2): quick, gardener, patient, cruel, diligent, temperate

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One step closer to the full ‘Dex

VerroakArtAvatarI have a certain respect for the mo’arg. The engineer dudes, not the beefy mooks. They’re smart, they’re dangerous and their appearance incites terror. When you see a mo’arg going at you, you know you’re in trouble. Sure, they’re going a little extreme with the whole “replacing body parts with machines” thing, but everyone has got their own little obsession. I must admit, mine is probably collecting. Not pixelated monsters in a tiny hand-held device, not cards or teddy bears – collecting people. The more varied and stranger their races, the better. Just seeing all kinds of creatures working together fills a certain, warped sense of collectorship in my mind. And I always wanted to have one of these – the mo’arg. I worked with, and fought, Sal’salabim so I know what they’re capable of. But only recently I got the chance to get one of them in my employ.

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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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