Blizzard hosted a live event earlier today, announcing the release date for Warlords of Draenor, the next expansion in the Warcraft universe. During the event, host Christ Watters of Gamespot, interviewed the lead game designers for World of Warcraft, and in particular, the guy who controls the PvP content, Brian Holinka.
Holinka talked in depth about the Island of Ashran, the new world PvP zone that will be introduced in Warlords of Draenor. The had PvP guy had plenty to say about the changes that most hardcore PvP’rs have been wanting for quite some time, including a system that will once again reestablish balance in the two warring factions.
So what is Ashran, and why would you even care about it? Is it going to be like another gank-fest like the Timeless Ilse? Or will there be a better system in place? Holinka has some answers that I think you will find quite pleasing.
First off, Ashran is a large, open PvP zone for players who have reached the max level of 100, and it offers a little something for everyone. It will share similar elements to the original Alterac Valley, however, Holinka was quick to point out that Ashran will remind old school players of the original AV, where matches would sometimes last for 4-5 days.
Ashran was built upon the remnants of an ogre civilization, and looks deceptively like a nice enough island just off the coast of Tanaan Jungle. It probably would be a lovely place to visit if not for the never-ending tug-of-war between the Horde and Alliance taking place in the central region of the zone.
Watch the interview from the live event, and fast foward to about the 5:40 mark where the interview with Holinka and Hazzokostas begins.
So there will be artifact fragments that players will be able to collect that will be used as currency on Ashran, much like Timeless Coins on the Timeless Isle. And, during the battles on the outskirts of the island, you will be able to loot a player’s partial stash of fragments if you kill them.
What makes Ashran different than other world PvP zones, is that it is persistent. That means the battle is going on all the time. All the objectives will be PvP oriented, but players will be free to do what they want. The zone will also use Cross-realm, so like Holinka mentioned in the article, they will take Horde heavy realms and combine them with Alliance heavy realms for a more balanced battle. No more one sided battles that sees one faction refusing to end the match, because they are graveyard camping the other faction for kicks and HK’s.
Another extremely cool feature will be the addition of special loot items for each class. Holinka went into detail about the Paladin specialty of being able to judge groups of players and temporarily send them to their faction’s jail. Once in that jail, another group of players can torture/kill these judged players, while they try and fight their way out.
Players will be able to reach the Island of Ashran through a flight path, once they have hit the max level of 100, or once their individual garrison reaches level 3, there will be a direct portal available.
The Island of Ashran, while be completely open for players of either faction, will cap out at 100 players a piece, which means, if the battle gets hot and heavy, then players from each side will be pressuring the casual PvP’rs to get involved or get out.
What do you think of the Island of Ashran? Are you a PvPer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Hey, while you’re here, check out our coverage of the live-stream event and cinematic trailer, along with the first Lords of War episodes for
Warlords of Draenor