The flames of war burned brightly as the Horde has just dealt a huge blow to the Alliance with the burning of Teldrassil, home of the Night Elves. Vowing to end the Banshee Queen’s reign, King Andiun prepares to strike back thus setting the stage for the Battle for Lordaeron.
With this ongoing hostility between the Alliance and Horde happening in Azeroth, Heroes from both fractions here in Singapore also geared up for the Pre-Lanch Party organised by Blizzard at The Arts House. Starting out with a media session with World of Warcraft Game Designers John Yang and Johnny Cash, they shared on the thought process for Battle for Azeroth’s design and the new features.
While they couldn’t say much about Sylvanas Windrunner as expected from the way Blizzard has been handling questions about her both to fans and media alike, they gave the assurance that the Banshee Queen is a complicated character and Blizzard will take utmost care with her character development. While both were happy to share more about what has already been shared with fans via official Blizzard channels and other media outlets, they were cautious with information on things yet officially confirmed even though fans have datamined out of current and beta builds such as the races and their armour.
Not surprising if you ask this writer based on the trend in which Blizzard has been dealing with information releases through the many expansions but I will have to agree with their suggestions for new players to experience the game. While the level boost that comes with every purchase of the expansion will put you in the position to experience the new content as with the rest of the players, there is no substitution of leveling through the older content to really experience Azeroth such as the great gates of Ironforge or the grandeur of Silvermoon.
With the media session done, it was time to get the battle started with over 200 heroes from both the Alliance and Horde gathered for the fan event. Starting off with a meet and greet session with the two developers who also shared about the expansion and took questions from floor. Those wondering about the current WoW: Legion App need not worry as it will auto update for Battle for Azeroth as shared by the Developers. The App has been a staple since the Legion expansion and it was expected that gamers would be concerned about especially with the removal of the WoW Armoury App.
* Hero is the generic terms the various NPCs (non player characters) call the players in the game
It was then time for the heroes to pit their skills in archery, catapult operations and mug sliding as they battled to bring honour to their fraction in various minigames, earning points to decide the winning fraction at the end of the session. Taking cue from the PvP concept, heroes would first complete the games in their own side before heading over to the other fraction to do the games there.
For those deciding to take a pit stop to reload and refuel for the continuing battle, there was a decent food spread to restore health and mana while the Survival Hunter and Jaina cosplayers added to the atmosphere of the event. On display were also a themed photowall with props and the winning fan art pieces from Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Those looking to get their hands on the special edition or pick up sweet loot could also do so at the merchandise booths.
In the end it was a Horde victory even though it was a close fight. The Warchief will be pleased although just like in the trailer, you can never count the Alliance out. The night ended on a high with a lucky draw, with a grand prize of the Illidan statue.
Overall I would say the pre-launch event was a good one especially when helmed by the right people who knows the industry well. Sadly in Singapore, most gaming events are either a product of clueless organisers and overseas ones like Blizzcon or E3 are something out of reach for most. While it is a long shot, this writer prays that we will get to see more of Blizzard here in Singapore.
Photos by Nicholas Kwan
By Kenneth Wong
© POPCulture Online 2018