Among several others, EU fansite Mamytwink was invited to a press event in Versailles where he not only got to interview Ion Hazzikostas, but also was able to play the same character, a gnome warrior, for five hours, allowing him to finish the alliance "start" zone in Draenor, Shadowmoon Valley. This is a direct translation of Mamytwink's french bullet points covering his 5-hour playtest with some minor adaptation for clarity. Spoiler alert! The last point after the break has a spoileriffic spoiler in it. Be warned.
- Mamytwink played a gnome warrior in Shadowmoon Valley, the Alliance landing zone in Draenor. After around 5 hours /played and 80 quests, he completed the zone, reaching level 92
- The new models are excellent (he also created a dwarf). The facial expressions are amazing!
- At level 91, he had 63,000 HP as a tank
- Mobs had approx. 100k HP
- His attacks hit for between 1k and 5k when not crits. Crits on certain abilities hit for 10k (Shield Slam)
- Level 90-91 was 597k XP, 640k for 91-92
- Quests awarded between 10 and 15k XP, 20k for more difficult ones.
- A new type of quest has been added, "bonus objectives". When you arrive in a zone a quest may appear in your log which you earn additional XP for completing. If you leave the area, the quest disappears.
- Shadowmoon Valley is made up of large verdant plains. Everything happens in the moonlight. The area is peaceful and it feels really good. Clearings and forests are beautiful (colorful). It contains Naaru, Draenei cities and Iron Horde strongholds.
- Arguably, the starting area of the Alliance is pretty much complete. Very detailed and full of different mobs etc.
- He discovered many Burning Crusade-era mob models that had been updated: Nether Rays, Talbuks, Turtles, larvae, Boars, Sporebats, wolves, bees. The new Talbuk and Sporebat models are just epic!
- The Alliance landing zone focuses principally on the Draenei and the Iron Horde. Ner'zhul is the principal enemy force in the zone. [Note: the mamytwink article says "the Draenei and Iron Horde sporebat", I think this is an error.]
- The zone ends with a scenario which he couldn't test as it wasn't available. The scenario was called "the Purge of Grommar". [Note: probably Grommash]
- He had the opportunity to hear the new music, which was excellent.
- In conclusion, he found the area really well done. The fact that it consists of vast plains and colorful clearings immerses us completely in the game. The decorations are totally new, there was not the impression of déjà vu (except for the mobs, but it is not surprising).
Regarding the end of the zone quests with Ner'zhul and Velen:
- Ner'zhul uses an evil force, the Terror of the Void. At the end of the zone, you fight Ner'zhul. He manages to turn a Naaru into "Dark Naaru" form. To purify the Naaru, Velen must sacrifice himself. He dies. This is a huge twist. Note that his death will be staged through a cinematic (end quest).
- What follows is a huge battle. You rejoin Maraad (you previously liberated him from Ner'zhul) to fight the army of the Iron Horde. You decimate the enemy, the battle rages on.