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BlizzCon 2013: Warlords of Draenor panels dish out details on raiding, garrisons, and more

MJ Guthrie

BlizzCon 2013 continued on Saturday, hosting more panels and Q&A sessions that offered players additional details about World of Warcraft's newly announced Warlords of Draenor expansion. Designers working on the expansion held a Q&A session for fansites that dished out morsels of news from garrisons to looting to buying high-level characters. The Systems Panel, on the other hand, laid out more details about raiding, dungeons, gear, and the leveling experience.


One of the highlights from the Q&A included the discussion about a new loot model, one that will scale the number of drops based on the number of groudmates who participate in the boss kill and who haven't participate d in that particular kill yet that week.

Another point that the audience brought up was the idea of buying a boost that will create or raise a character to high levels in order to participate in upcoming content. Devs responded that since players can already in essence buy a high-level character now (by getting another account, powerleveling a toon, then paying to have it transferred to their main accounts), buying a similar but simplified service through the Blizzard Store is a logical possibility.

The devs also noted that they are doing a legendary quest line again, that scenarios are planned for 6.0, and that Justice Points might possibly go the way of the Dodo. And they assured players that leveling in WoD will be fun and fast-paced, unlike leveling in Burning Crusade. As for garrisons, they can be built only in specific spots instead of just plopped down anywhere, and players will be able to invite their friends inside. You can hear all the details and more in the following fansite Q&A video.

Systems Panel

Although the Systems Panel focused heavily on raiding, dungeons, and gear, it also touched on garrisons, leveling, and content. One tidbit that elicited cheers from the audience was the fact that little, if any, of the upcoming new content will be daily quests.

Devs spoke about wanting to recreate the feeling of older dungeons, where places were more functional and less raid-like. The capstone for Draenor raid content is the Blackrock Foundry, a zone with three wings in a non-linear layout with 10 bosses, where players will tear down the Iron Horde war machine and face Warlord Blackhand.

Of the three difficulty tiers, only the highest level -- Mythic -- will be restricted by server. For the other two, Normal and Heroic, raid parties can be built from all servers. As for the new designations, players who are currently used to Normal difficulty raids will be prepared to face the Heroic content, and those who are up to the Heroic challenge now will find their skills are equal to Mythic.

Gear-wise, Blizzard is moving toward simplifying things a bit; currently there is just too much to do when a player gets a shiny new piece of gear. So to start, the reforging system will be no more. Dodge, parry, hit, and expertise will also be done away with. Fewer items will be able to be enchanted (though there will be more options available per piece) and fewer will have gem slots (but gems will be more powerful). Additionally, primary stats on gear -- even tier sets -- will change based on the player's current spec, just as like certain limited-item drops do now. Weapons, jewelry, trinkets, and cloaks, however, will be more role-focused.

This panel also detailed garrisons. When players build their garrison, they'll get some stock buildings as part of the deal, like a town hall (where the owner will interact with NPCs for garrison upgrades), a mine, a farm, and a fishing shack. Later, other structures like an alchemy lab, a scribe's office, engineering works, and a storehouse can be added.

All these details and more (including a large gallery of images) can be found on the WoW Insider liveblog. A more detailed look at the level 90 to 100 leveling experience highlights dynamic world events, quest UI changes, and level 100 content as well as the fact that story-related questing will involve major characters from lore.

Massively's on the ground in Anaheim during the weekend of November 8th, bringing you all the best news from BlizzCon 2013. Whether you're anticipating World of Warcraft's and Diablo III's next expansions or reveals from Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, we aim to have it covered!

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