World of Warcraft's newly announced expansion Warlords of Draenor will take players back to the homeworld of the orcs. Here's what players can expect when they hop through the Dark Portal.
In Warlords, Garrosh Hellscream has traveled back in time to Draenor prior to their invasion of Azeroth in the first Warcraft game. He brings advanced technology with him so that they can successfully conquer the humans and other races of Azeroth this time around. By the time of the expansion, most of the orc clans have put aside their historic differences and united as an Iron Horde under Grommash "Grom" Hellscream, Garrosh's father. The Frostwolf clan, however, remains defiant. Here are Blizzard's descriptions of the major orc clans that players will encounter:
- Frostwolf Clan: Father of Thrall and namesake of the orc starting lands in Azeroth (Durotar), Durotan leads the Frostwolf Clan. Renowned for their prowess as one-on-one combatants, the Frostwolf are a strong, close-knit clan whose bond with wolves only adds to their strength—though their numbers remain smaller than most clans.
- Shadowmoon Clan: Led by their chieftain Nerzhul, these orcs make their home within Shadowmoon Valley. They are profoundly linked to the spiritual world and have many seers, astrologers, and speakers of the dead among their ranks. Their strength lies within their mastery of the dark arts.
- Shattered Hand Clan: Led by the twisted Kargath Bladefist, these orcs make their home among the Spires of Arak. These former slaves have been drawn together through a macabre joy of pain both self-inflicted and imposed upon others. It is through this pain that they believe they gather strength, and their reputation as relentless and dirty fighters is well-earned.
- Blackrock Clan: Led by Blackhand himself, the Blackrock are a disciplined, organized, and militaristic clan who boast expert smiths and metalworkers. Well armored, they utilize brute strength and weaponry to destroy their foes.
- Warsong Clan: Led by legendary Grommash Hellscream himself, this orc clan makes their home in the lush land of Nagrand. The mounted raiders of the Warsong favor speed and maneuverability in battle—they move quickly, strike swiftly, and are away before their enemies know what hit them. Their war cries inspire their allies and strike fear into all those who dare get in their way.
- Bleeding Hollow Clan: Led by Kilrogg Deadeye, this clan makes their home in the jungles of Tanaan Peninsula. They are a fanatical and crude clan who fight with a berserker fury and gain the boon of prophecy from their elders, who sacrifice an eye to see into the future.
Another result of Garrosh's meddling with history is that Draenor never splintered into Outland, the continent from Burning Crusade. While some of the Warlords zones have the same names as locations in Burning Crusade, they're substantially different:
- Frostfire Ridge: Across snow-covered wastes and beneath towering volcanoes, heroes of the Frostwolf clan and the Horde unite to repel invaders from their homeland.
- Shadowmoon Valley: Amid rolling moonlit hills, the draenei at the holy temple of Karabor unite with the Alliance in a desperate fight for survival against the Iron Horde and Shadowmoon clan.
- Gorgrond: Deep within the desert canyons of Gorgrond, an arsenal of massive siege weapons built by the Blackrock clan is about to be unleashed upon the whole of Draenor.
- Talador: In the shadow of a besieged Shattrath City, the Auchenai Soulpriests actively seek to safeguard the countless draenei souls inside Auchindoun from a terrible demonic threat.
- Spires of Arak: At the height of their power, the regal arrakoa plot atop their high peaks, well out of the reach of the brutal Shattered Hand orcs and the wingless outcasts below.
- Nagrand: Among the fertile hills and outcroppings of Nagrand the wolf-riders of the Warsong clan remain a threat not to be trifled with
- Tanaan Jungle: Within the overgrown jungle home of the Bleeding Hollow clan, a Dark Portal is under construction . . . and an Iron Horde army makes grim preparations to conquer Azeroth.
Netherstorm, the Burning Crusade zone that consisted of several land masses floating in the Twisting Nether, will be making a return as well. However, the region will be added in a patch after launch.
The Alliance and Horde will each have their own cities. The Horde are based in Bladespire Citadel, deep within the mountains of Frostfire Ridge. The Alliance, meanwhile, have established a foothold at Shadowmoon Valley. Their city is Karabor, which was known as the Black Temple in Burning Crusade. It's a temple owned by the draenei in this timeline rather than Illidan's fortress.
Other major features of Warlords include a new level cap of 100, player-owned strongholds, and updated character models for the vanilla races. Players will each be able to boost one character to level 90.
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