BlizzCon 2013: Reaper of Souls and Warlords of Draenor details

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

The mighty Crusader, a new holy knight class from Diablo III’s Reaper of Souls.

World of Warcraft and Diablo III fans rejoice, for while BlizzCon 2013 didn’t have any big surprises, it did bring some splendid news focused on the upcoming expansions. The yearly Blizzard convention, which sheds light on the big Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft franchises, took place this past weekend from November 8-9. Now, while Diablo III’s Reaper of Souls has already been releasing tidbits of juicy morsels about the new Crusader class and Act V, the big news at BlizzCon was WoW’s upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion!

Let’s start off with D3’s world of Sanctuary, where Malthael, the Angel of Death, has thrown the realm into chaos with his undead legions. The now human Tyrael scrambles to gather the Nephalem, so that they may rise against the corrupted angel and save humanity from its impending doom!

At BlizzCon, new features like a campaign-less Adventure Mode, monster-mashup events called Nephalem Rifts, and unique PS4 controls were announced. Of particular interest is the Adventure Mode, which lets players avoid all the cutscenes and dialogue, instantly unlock all waypoints, and jump right into the maps. Difficulties can be ramped up, to provide some immediate challenge, and randomized events will let those players who want a bit more direction follow mini-quests.

As for WoW, we’re moving away from pandas and diving into a conflict between Orcs, Draenei… and the past! Classic characters like Grommash Hellscream, Ner’zhul, and Blackhand will join players, after they take a journey through the Dark Portal to Draenor… pre-Burning Crusade. If you’re new to the WoW universe, or an old vet who doesn’t want to bother leveling up a new class (and yes, there won’t be any new classes in this xpac), Blizzard gives you the option to insta-level a character to 90 and experience the 90-100 content right away!

And guess what? Character models will receive a much needed graphics overhaul, as their 9-year-old age is definitely beginning to show. “We know that many of you already strongly identify with the look of your current character, so we’re dedicating a lot of time and resources to make sure these updates capture each race’s iconic identity and personality,” Blizzard explains. “We’re still in the process of determining which races will be available upon the expansion’s release, but our goal is to update all eight of the original World of Warcraft playable races, along with the Draenei and Blood Elves, over the course of the expansion launch and subsequent content updates.”

Featured image courtesy of Blizzard’s Warlords of Draenor. Image of Crusader courtesy of Blizzard’s Diablo 3.