Ordinarily I'd only pick one of those questions to answer, but the legit answer to your first question is simply "We don't know," so I'm going to let it slide. And we don't know. Blizzard is pretty notorious about avoiding mentioning exact dates, particularly so with what's going on in this expansion. Sorry! As far as who comes along from Azeroth, the main players are Khadgar, Thrall, and Maraad. There are other minor NPCs who are also along for the ride, but those are the three big names you see from the get-go. If you see any other familiar names while running around Shadowmoon or Frostfire Ridge, it's likely you're looking at the Draenor version of that character, and not our familiar Azeroth versions.
For the record, there are a lot of familiar names.
Do you think having multiple difficulties for the same boss takes away from the specialness of the encounter? Is accessibility more important than atmosphere and challenge?
There was once a day where I would have said no, absolutely not to that second question. In vanilla, raiding was a pretty big deal -- if you were running around in tier gear, you were instantly recognized as a raider. However, when you look at raids like Naxx40, and you realize that out of all the people playing this amazingly huge popular game, only the tiniest of fractions actually got to see that content, that's when you start to ponder that second question with a little more seriousness.
Here you have a really cool raid that a lot of people worked very, very hard on, with all kinds of interesting story elements in it, and only the smallest handful of people actually get to see it. It was even more glaringly obvious in Burning Crusade, which had a pretty cool trailer that predominantly featured Illidan Stormrage -- and in game, you didn't get to fight him if you weren't in a raid guild and hadn't gone through the hoops of raid attunement. Big villain, everyone's excited to see him, yet only a few get to see what he says and does during that encounter.
By the time Wrath rolled around and we were dealing with the Lich King, something kind of needed to be done, because these were important story elements that people were just flat-out missing out on. Does having multiple difficulties take away from the special? Nah. Beating your head against a few different levels of difficulty now is about the same as three months of beating your head against Ragnaros in vanilla. I'd almost argue it's more interesting, because at least now, you can jump from normal to heroic and the encounter is suddenly interesting again.
Question - have they said if they'll number squish after every xpac? or is it better to do it staggered?
They haven't said one way or another. I imagine if numbers start getting too out of control again, we'll see another squish come into play. Honestly, it's not even noticeable when you're out there playing on the beta. It feels the same as it did before, it's just the displayed numbers that are different.
I thought Blade's Edge is Outland's form of Draenor's Gorgrond, not Frostfire. Didn't Blizzard say so themselves at BlizzCon 2013? Or I got it wrong? I don't mean to be a wise-ass, just wondering...
It's both, actually! When you're running around in Frostfire, there are sections of mountains that look eerily similar to sections of Blade's Edge. It's pretty weird!
Q4tQ: I notice on some of the alpha videos that Shaman Lava Burst looks way prettier, and has some extra graphics, i.e. a lava effect around the hands after the spell is done, and even some dripping onto the ground. Is this new to WoD, or has it always been there? I can't run spells at max, so i can't tell
It's new! There are a few different changes with spell effects for shaman. I think every class had a spell or two visually tweaked, probably -- I couldn't tell you for certain because all I've really played caster-wise is the shaman.
How does the city of Orgrimmar come across with the new leadership? After 2 expansions of Garrosh, I'm curious as to how the city feels and looks in terms of what goes on.
It's not fully implemented yet. Garrosh Hellscream is still sitting in Grommash Hold, but the city itself has Darkspear Guardians and Thunder Bluff Protectors along with the usual Orgrimmar Grunts -- no Kor'kron to be seen. The troll area is once again open for business as usual, and the tauren area has all tauren guards and not a Kor'kron in sight. The Undercity, on the other hand, still has its Kor'kron contingent -- although they're slightly less rude to Forsaken.
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